My Town: Darius Rucker’s Charleston, South Carolina

The Charleston native shares his favorite Holy City hot spots

Photo: Jim Wright

Music has taken singer-songwriter Darius Rucker all over the world, but the Charleston, South Carolina, native has always been happiest with his feet on Lowcountry soil. “Charleston has always been home,” Rucker says. “It’s the people. The weather is great. We’ve got incredible beaches. There are all these great tourist attractions, but the people here are so nice and so real.” It’s an authenticity that the former Hootie and the Blowfish front man echoed in 2008 when he made the seemingly risky decision to switch from rock-and-roll to country after years as a fan of the genre. That kind of transition has been historically difficult to pull off, but Rucker succeeded beyond all measure and became the first African American artist since Charley Pride in 1983 to reach No. 1 on the country music charts with his debut single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” Last March, Rucker released his fourth country record Southern Style, which yielded his seventh No. 1 hit. When he’s not in the studio or on tour, here’s where you’ll find him in and around the Holy City area.

7:00 a.m.
Breakfast All-Star: “I’ll get up in the morning and take my family—I have three kids—to Page’s Okra Grill. I order the corned beef hash every time I go there. It’s the type of food that I grew up on. And sometimes they have these salmon patties. Growing up, when my grandma wanted to do something special, she would make those…just exactly like the ones here.”

8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Play Ball: “I’ll take the kids to school after breakfast. I love doing that—love being a dad. After drop off, I’ll play a little golf out at Bulls Bay golf course. It’s out in Awendaw—just north of Charleston. With traffic it takes about twenty minutes to get there. I’ve played golf since I was fourteen. I like how no two rounds are ever the same. And I get to be out in nature…and hang out with my buddies.”

1:30 p.m.
Lunch Break: “Then I’ll drive back into town and have lunch with my wife—probably at Liberty Tap Room in Mt. Pleasant. I’ve been eating there for years. And they do this great thing at Christmas with me, where we buy tons of toys and local kids get to come in and pick a toy. It’s nice seeing people give back.”

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Dad Duty: “Later, I’ll pick the kids up after school and we’ll head down to King Street. We’ll walk around, shop, and maybe stop in Belgian Gelato for a treat.”

6:00 p.m.
Island Time: “We’ll head out to Sullivan’s Island before dinner for a walk on the beach. Sullivan’s is just so beautiful. You can walk in either direction—toward the lighthouse or the bridge over Breach Inlet. You can’t go wrong.”

8:00 p.m.
On the Town: “If my wife and I are going to get a babysitter and go out to dinner, we’re going to go to FIG. I think it’s the best restaurant in Charleston. My absolute favorite meal in Charleston is an appetizer there: the gnocchi bolognese. I usually get it doubled as my entrée. It’s the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, seriously. It’s like eating clouds.”

10:00 p.m.
Music Matters: “If we feel like having a beer, we’ll go back out to the Windjammer on Isle of Palms to hear whatever band they have playing that night.”