Project Overview

JetBlue: Darius Rucker’s Locals’ Guide to Charleston

Travel

by Stephanie Hunt

From Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry to stages at Red Rocks, Baton Rouge and Berlin, Darius Rucker has traveled the world—first as lead vocalist for the multi-platinum Hootie & the Blowfish, and now as a chart-topping solo country artist. But the crooner’s heart remains in Charleston, South Carolina, his hometown.

I love traveling and performing,” he says, “but there’s truly no place I’d rather be than in Charleston, with my family, driving carpool and going to volleyball games—the whole being-a-dad deal.”

When the two-time Grammy winner isn’t on the road performing, he loves cooking breakfast for his family and taking advantage of the beaches, golf courses, award-winning restaurants and great shopping that Charleston is known for. JetBlue caught up with Darius to find out some of his hometown faves.

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Date-night spot — Big cities like New York may have more restaurants than the smaller Charleston, “but there are none better anywhere,” Rucker claims. If he’s taking his wife for a special occasion, FIG, a retro bistro that emphasizes local foods, is Rucker’s go-to: “it never disappoints.” He’s also a fan of The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island, dishing up inventive pizzas like the Old Danger.

Date-night spot — Big cities like New York may have more restaurants than the smaller Charleston, “but there are none better anywhere,” Rucker claims. If he’s taking his wife for a special occasion, FIG, a retro bistro that emphasizes local foods, is Rucker’s go-to: “it never disappoints.” He’s also a fan of The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island, dishing up inventive pizzas like the Old Danger.

Breakfast and lunch treats —Though Rucker’s allegedly quite the French toast chef, the family also frequents Page’s Okra Grill, which serves a killer breakfast all day, along with shrimp and grits and the down-home cooking that Rucker grew up with. Papa Zuzu’s dishes up super fresh and healthy Mediterranean fare, like portabella mushroom gyros, not far from Rucker’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, and Liberty Tap Room, also in Mt. Pleasant, is his standby when craving a hearty burger at lunch .

Golf course — Guitar or golf clubs? It’s a hard call for Rucker, who takes to the greens every chance he gets. The Bulls Bay golf course in Awendaw (north on Highway 17) is one of his favorites, featuring expansive marsh and Intracoastal Waterway views. Of course there’s always the PGA-acclaimed Ocean Course on Kiawah Island.

Family outing  A bike ride across the causeway then a beach walk on Sullivan’s Island is a Rucker family mainstay. Sullivan’s beaches are never crowded and always relaxing, especially in the late afternoon. Fall sunsets are not to be missed.

Music venue  The Windjammer on Isle of Palms is his spot for late-night beer and local color. It’s an old-school beach bar and a great venue to see bands (including Hootie, back in the day).

Shopping — With a teenage daughter and son, Darius is often on King Street, hitting boutiques like The Impeccable Pig or Dumas and Sons, then treating the kids to Belgian Gelato or Jeni’s, a “splendid” ice cream spot.

Hideout  For all his celebrity globetrotting, Darius is happiest at home, in his backyard overlooking the marsh. “There’s nothing better than hanging out with my wife and kids and just appreciating how lucky we are to call this place home.”