You don’t need a national magazine — or a degree in rocket science — to know that Charleston is an outdoors kind of place.
Just take a stroll on the Ravenel Bridge.
“Look what happened to the bridge,” said Frank Perkins, owner of Time Out Sports in Mount Pleasant. “They put in a sidewalk and bike path, and there are always people on it. We get a lot of people who come in here on vacation, and we sell a lot of kayaks, both to people from out of town and locals.”
Between the kayaking, the fishing, the surfing and the hiking, Perkins said, Charleston has a nice, diverse and thriving environment.
Now our little secret is out. In the new issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine, Charleston is named one of “the fifty next great adventure towns” — one of five Southern cities in the east.
The magazine refers to the Holy City as the “jock in the Southern belle set,” and compliments the metro area on myriad outdoors activities.
Ethan Fried, who does communications for the magazine, said that for the list, National Geographic Adventure selected “innovative towns that aren’t just prime location spots now but also smart choices for the future.”
The magazine is especially impressed with Middleton Place.
Earlier this year, National Geographic Traveler magazine put the Inn at Middleton Place on its “stay list” of eco-friendly hotels with great architecture and ambience.
This time, National Geographic hails horseback riding at the inn, as well as kayaking the Ashley River and nature walks available at the Middleton Place Outdoor Center.
Alanna Mayernik, a Pittsburgh native, rides at Middleton and said it is the Lowcountry environment that first lured her family here nearly two decades ago.
“If you’re going to go riding, you might as well go to one of the most beautiful places around,” Mayernik said. “One of the things we like about the area is the outdoors.”
Of course, things have been heading in this direction for a while. Perkins said he sees a lot more people retiring here in part because they can find so many ways to spend their days outdoors, year-round. So if you think it’s getting more crowded on the creeks, don’t grouse — some people are real happy.
Roger Warren, vice chairman of the board of governors for the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the designation is an honor.
“Whether scouring historic forts, biking the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America or kitesurfing off our beautiful beaches, there are many adventures to be had in the Charleston area,” Warren said.
And now everybody knows it.
Up and coming
National Geographic Adventure magazine has named Charleston one of “the 50 next great adventure towns” in which to live and play.
This is what they say: “Think of Charleston as the jock in the Southern belle set. With new offshore ecotours and surfing at nearby Folly Beach, the pretty city’s outdoor action now matches its good looks. Locals kayak the Ashley River, horseback ride from the historic Inn at Middleton Place, or hike among cypresses.”
Median home price: $252,000
Other Southern cities that made the list: Chattanooga, Tenn.; Islamorada, Fla.; Charlottesville, Va.; Lenoir, N.C.; and Mobile, Ala.
On the Web: For the full list, go to nationalgeographic.com/adventure .