Inside Mount Pleasant: a Laid-Back Coastal Town

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1 Jul 2020
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While you’re on your way to vacation on Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island and full of excitement for the trip ahead of you, it can be easy to not pay attention to the town that you’re driving through to get here. Mount Pleasant is completely unique, and draws in so many people for its history, charm, and cuisine. This town was founded due to its proximity to the harbor, and today it’s consistently voted one of the best places to live in South Carolina. If you’ve never gotten the chance to explore Mount Pleasant, check out our take on what makes this place so special, and set some time aside on your next trip to experience it for yourself!

Visit The Old Village Historic District

  1. Pitt St. Bridge b. Signage for the Old Village, found on Royall Ave. c. Pitt St. business district 

(all images are courtesy of Island Realty Concierge unless otherwise noted)

 

The Old Village is where Mount Pleasant started, as it was the center of business along Shem Creek. Tucked behind Coleman Blvd. and before you reach Sullivan’s Island, this part of Mount Pleasant is like a different town itself. This area has a couple of schools, several churches, and parks. The roads here are quieter, the businesses have been around for ages, and evidence of how life used to be remains in ways that residents can still enjoy today.

Taking a stroll along Pitt St. will truly make you feel like you’re in a small town, with a pharmacy/soda shop dating back to 1937, an old inn and restaurant (currently undergoing renovations and set to open back up soon!), one street over is H&R Sweet Shop that dates back to 1947, and several other small businesses that emphasize the tight-knit community feel. On the farther end of Pitt St. sits Alhambra Hall and Pitt St. Bridge. Alhambra Hall was once a ferry terminal, but now serves as an event venue with a traditional ambience where people typically hold weddings. Pitt St. Bridge (also known as Cove Inlet) used to be the way for trolleys to get from Mount Pleasant to Sullivan’s Island. The original bridge consisted of wooden planks atop barrels, and is the path that sailors of the Hunley used to transport the submarine to Breach Inlet. In 1945 when the Ben Sawyer bridge was constructed, the Cove Inlet Bridge was no longer needed, and was then converted to a fishing pier. Today, you’ll still see people fishing off of the bridge, as well as residents walking their dogs or simply enjoying the coastal breeze.

Mount Pleasant’s history doesn’t stop in the Old Village — there’s much to learn throughout the town! 

Learn About Mt. Pleasant's Rich History

d. Patriots Point Museum, e. Shem Creek Park,  f. Boone Hall Plantation

(all images are courtesy of Island Realty Concierge unless otherwise noted)

 

Patriots Point is a museum housed in an old aircraft carrier, and has several different exhibits to learn about Charleston military history. During the day this museum offers guided tours, and in the evenings they host field trips for school groups to stay overnight and have a hands-on history experience. 

Shem Creek remains a cultural hub for restaurants and local businesses, and you’ll find local shrimp vendors in this area as well. This area is a hot-spot for locals and visitors to enjoy happy hour on the water, and even paddleboard and kayak along the creek with companies like Nature Adventures and Coastal Expeditions!

As you travel north on Highway 17, you’ll see small stands and shacks set up with sweetgrass baskets. This stretch of the road is also known as Sweetgrass Highway, named after the craft that is so special that only the residents with Gullah-Geechee heritage know how to make them. This tradition is passed from generation to generation to keep this part of their culture, so be sure to make a stop at one of these stands to get your own sweetgrass basket!

Passing all of the stands on Sweetgrass Highway, you’ll see the grand signage for Boone Hall Plantation, the only plantation still in-tact east of the Cooper River. Boone Hall still operates as a farm, and you’ll even find these goods sold at Boone Hall Farms Market. They offer tours to educate people about the history behind it, as well as what life was like for people during the time of its full operations as a plantation. Boone Hall hosts several different events throughout the year, such as the Lowcountry Oyster Festival, Boone Hall Fright Nights, Scottish Games and Highland Gathering, and others. If this plantation looks familiar, you’ve probably seen it in TV shows or movies! The Notebook, Days of Our Lives, and North and South are just a few of the features Boone Hall has had in popular culture. When you’re taking your tour here, see if you can spot the scenes from your favorite films!

Enjoy Great Restaurants and Retail

g. Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, h. Mimosas at Page’s Okra Grill,  i. Out of Hand, boutique on Pitt St.

(all images are courtesy of Island Realty Concierge unless otherwise noted)

 

Apart from the many historical aspects of Mount Pleasant, its more modern additions make the town known for great shopping and dining. Charleston is known for its cuisine, and that really shows in Mount Pleasant’s food scene. Towne Centre is an outdoor mall that features a mix of local businesses and well-known stores like Old Navy, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Lululemon, and restaurants such as Burton’s Grill, P.F. Chang’s, and TCBY.

Shem Creek features dining on the water with restaurants like Red’s Ice House, Saltwater Cowboys, Tavern & Table, and more! You’ll also find many local restaurants along Coleman Blvd. like Page’s Okra Grill, Vicious Biscuit, and Mozzo Deli. While there’s too many amazing restaurants and shops in Mount Pleasant to list them all, we have a few of our favorites featured in our Insider’s Guide, linked below!

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