Each year about this time, they begin to descend upon our town, like an army of dumbstruck, digital camera clickin' zombies. Of course, we're talking about tourists. And there's a reason they come here — we've got attractions galore. But our city is about more than entertaining ghouls from Ohio. It's a place where folks work and play. Most importantly, it's a place where people live. And that's precisely why the living dead envy us. Especially Yankees.
Foreclosure, shmoreclosure ...The birds are chirping and everything's rosy in Pleasantville.
From the Towne Centre to the Old Village, the soccer moms are bustling and the corporate chains are hustling.
Best New Development
It's just like living South of Broad ... but in the nation's seventh most dangerous city.
100 Aquarium Wharf. Downtown.
There's nothing like six inches of glass between you and two rows of razor sharp shark teeth.
Best Tourist Trap
Everything you could ever need to remember your trip to Charleston ... and plenty that you don't.
Best Tour Company
Palmetto Carriage Company
40 N. Market St. Downtown.
Giddyup and hold on tight. There's nothing like wooden wheels on cobblestone to help digest that three pound bag of benne wafers.
Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
122 East Bay St. Downtown.
They're not the undead ... they're made of wax. Get your spook on in Charleston's authentic dungeon — no orcs included.
Best Old Thing
Enough old stuff (and kitschy new junk) for sale to deck out your house like it's 1700 all over again. But inflation's a bitch.
Best New Thing
Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge
Ahhh ... it's finally safe to text while driving over the Cooper River. Rearview mirrors, rejoice.
St. Philip's Episcopal Church
142 Church St. Downtown.
The brown steeple poking up over Charleston's French Quarter is home to one of the world's most famously haunted graveyards (zombie alert), and a Friday night youth program that's apparently been drawing in the tweens by the hundreds.
Best Public School
Wando High School
1000 Warrior Way Road. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 881-8200
This sizeable school may be making news for a few students playing Frank and Jesse James, but that fortunately doesn't overshadow the scores of talented, college-ready graduates it continues to produce.
Best Private School
300 Albemarle Road. West Ashley.
(843) 556 3620
Consistent winner Porter-Gaud saw its first presidential candidate this year in class of '83 grad Stephen Colbert. Perhaps if another P-G grad had been on the election board that turned him down, we'd have a whole new race for the White House.
Roper St. Francis
316 Calhoun St. Downtown.
With a one-to-four child-to-teacher ratio, one of Charleston's largest employers deserves serious accolades for providing yet another "life-saving" service.
Best Public Space
Corner of Calhoun and King streets
What other park in the country turns up 300-year-old relics every time you dig a hole? Cheers to the warm months to come, CofC coeds.
Best Free Wi-Fi Spot
4 Vanderhorst St. Downtown.
There's something very 21st century about surfing the net with high speed access floating in the air, surrounded by authentic relics from the heart of the dark continent.
Best Outdoor Event
Lowcountry Oyster Festival
Boone Hall Plantation.
1235 Long Point Road. Mt. Pleasant.
Sixty-five thousand pounds of oysters and a beer truck sounds like a recipe for some weird-looking vomit, but the crowds keep growing bigger at Boone Hall's annual throwdown.
Spoleto Festival USA
Spoleto is very likely the event that put Charleston on the cultural map. Two weeks of art, opera, and theater? It's enough to make us all use fake British accents and wear coattails.
Best Fund-raising Event
Susan G. Komen
Race for the Cure
Breast cancer continues to effect the lives of more women and their families every year; 5,500 runners raised a half million dollars during the 2007 event.
Best Street Character
A night on King Street is not complete without a run-in with Charleston's favorite vagabond. We were proud when we got word he was moving home to Arkansas to take a job last summer, but we're secretly glad he stuck around.
Best Apartment Complex
3301 Glenn McConnell Pkwy.
An oasis of ponds, pools, and easy living amenities right off the Glenn McConnell.
Best Place to Work
Roper St. Francis
316 Calhoun St. Downtown.
Working for the hospital, you can count on health care in your benefits package, but Roper provides everything from life to pet insurance as core basic benefits, plus generous time off and a Best of Charleston-voted child care program.