North of Broad
In addition to the myriad of tourist-oriented shops in the Old City Market itself, there are a few gems in the surrounding area that also appeal to locals.
A laid-back flea market vibe dominates at Old City Market (Meeting and Market Sts., 843/973-7236, daily 6 a.m.–11:30 p.m.), with the front, westward Market Hall featuring meandering halls lined with smallish, tourist-oriented shops and the subsequent, less-grand buildings purely for touristy flea market stalls. Pricier establishments, such as the famous Peninsula Grill, line the perimeter. Tip: If you must have one of the handcrafted sweetgrass baskets, try out your haggling skills—the prices have wiggle room built in.
Women come from throughout the region to shop at the incredible consignment store The Trunk Show (281 Meeting St., 843/722-0442, Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m.). You can find one-of-a-kind vintage and designer wear and accessories. Some finds are bargains, some not so much, but there’s no denying the quality and breadth of the offerings.
For a more budget-conscious and counterculture vintage shop, walk a few feet next door to Factor Five (283 Meeting St., 843/965-5559), which has retro clothes, rare CDs, and assorted paraphernalia.
Indigo (4 Vendue Range, 800/549-2513, Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.), a favorite home accessories store, has plenty of one-of-a-kind pieces, many of them by regional artists and rustic in flavor, almost like outsider art.
Affiliated with the hip local restaurant chain Maverick Kitchens, Charleston Cooks! (194 East Bay St., 843/722-1212, www.charlestoncooks.com, Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.) has an almost overwhelming array of gourmet items and kitchen ware, and even offers cooking classes.
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition