My Charleston: Darius Rucker

The Grammy Award–winning singer shares his must-visits in Charleston

Grammy Award–winning singer and former Hootie and the Blowfish front man Darius Rucker was born and raised in Charleston, and lives there with his family. His third solo country album, True Believers, was released last year.

“I always say we don’t have the number of restaurants that New York has, but the quality rivals it. At FIG, there’s this gnocchi Bolognese, which is the single greatest Italian dish I’ve had. It is absolutely amazing. I tell everyone who comes to town and can’t get a reservation to go sit at the bar just to order it. The seafood is the thing to get at Red Drum. It’s the one place where I get something different every time. For something sweet, there’s Kaminsky’s. They supply desserts to restaurants all over Charles-ton. I love their coconut cake—it’s literally to die for.

I love going to the Windjammer on Isle of Palms to have a beer and listen to a band; they book a lot of national acts. The bar has been there since we were playing clubs back in the early 90s. The great thing about Charleston is you can walk into any of these little restaurants and there is someone playing guitar.

The beaches here are beautiful, and they’re not crowded—even in the main season, you can always find a spot. I love going with my kids to Isle of Palms, Sulli-van’s Island, and Folly Beach. You can do a day trip and just sit on the beach all day, playing and swimming.

I go down to the Battery all the time to walk around with the kids. I took a tour once with Tommy Dew and was blown away. He gets really deep into history and what happened around there. And I love trips to Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired.

What I love most about Charleston are the people. Locals always go out of their way to help tourists and others. It has the nicest people in the world, and that’s a fact.”