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The Retro Road-Trippers


Erin Meister, 31, coffee professional, and Brett Leveridge, 54, online producer

Budget: Tight

Duration: 5 Days

“We love old-school things: run-down towns, long-standing candy stores, and any place where someone named Mama is cooking. I always have to find a specialty coffee shop and craft fair, and Brett likes raw bars and vintage shopping.”

Go here: Charleston, South Carolina

Why Now: Thanks to a revival of industrial Upper King Street, where Williamsburg types are turning crumbling buildings into multihyphenate spaces and street-food-inspired restaurants, Chucktown’s old-world charm is tempting to both nostalgia seekers and travelers hoping to connect with local artisans.

What to Do: Comb the excellent selection of vintage clothing, shoes, and home décor, including plaque-mounted deer antlers, at the refreshingly cheap Jlinsnider (539 King St.; 843-751-6075). Then meet the locals at old Gadsden Funeral Home (221 St. Philip St.; 843-754-5533), a—you guessed it—funeral home converted into a gallery, or over oyster-shell-infused beers at Holy City Brewing’s Bendy Brewski yoga class ($10 for the class and tasting; 4155 C Dorchester Rd.; 843-225-6089).

Where to Stay: The best bargain in town, NotSoHostel, is also a southern Americana throwback, complete with rocking chairs on the porch and Ping-Pong tables and hammocks in the backyard (from $24; 156 Spring St.; 843-722-8383; notsohostel.com).

What to Eat: Dig into housemade chanh muôi, a Vietnamese salt-pickled-citrus drink, and homemade dumplings at Xiao Bao Biscuit (224 Rutledge Ave.; 843-743-3880), opening in early November in an old gas station. Get your caffeine fix with a coffee julep (espresso, honey, mint) at Black Tap (70˝ Beaufain St.; 843-793-4402), and take in the scene at the Ordinary (544 King St.; no phone), a classic oyster bar opening in a grand old bank this December.

Buy This: Anything tattooed chocolatier Johnny Battles touches turns into edible gold at Sweeteeth (various locations; sweeteethchocolate.com). Ask for his bacon and smoky blue-cheese bonbons (two for $4).

Also Consider: Motoring from the thrift-shopping mecca of Austin, Texas, to kooky arts colony Marfa, and then staying in one of El Cosmico’s vintage Airstreams (from $110; elcosmico.com).


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