Reader's Picks: Recreation, Health, & Beauty 

click to enlarge BEN WILLIAMS

With all the brain-eating and flesh-chomping that zombies do, you'd think the undead would pack on the pounds pretty quickly. Not so. Why? Let us point out the obvious: They're always on their feet, and they're always on the go. They don't stop, and they never sleep. They burn calories 24/7. You, on the other hand, are probably shackled like a Microserf for eight or more hours out of the day to a computer and you sleep another six or so hours. But you still find ways to get your arms and legs moving and your heart beating if your readers' picks are any indication. And that's a good thing. You'll need to be in tip-top shape when the zombie apocalypse finally happens.

Best Local Sports Team
Charleston RiverDogs
360 Fishburne St. Downtown. (843) 723-7241

From "Nobody Night," when the Dogs played to an empty stadium, to "Stephen Colbert Night" last summer, our baseball homeboys always guarantee a good time that goes way beyond the ol' ballgame.

Best Local Athlete
A.J. Green, Summerville

Green is the second all-time leading receiver in high school history, accumulating 5,373 yards in four years. He'll play for the Georgia Bulldogs next year — watch out SEC.

Best Marina
Charleston City Marina
17 Lockwood Drive. Downtown.
(843) 722-4968

City Marina is home to some genuine old salts. There's nothing like a day on the water followed up by a dark n' stormy or five at the marina's home bar, Salty Mike's.

Best Island
Sullivan's Island

Even after losing their most celebrated drinking establishment, Bert's Bar, Sullivan's still has the appeal to be named Best Island once again.

Best Place for Family Fun
James Island County Park
871 Riverland Drive. James Island. (843) 795-4FUN

From the climbing wall to the dog park to the Christmas lights to reggae on a warm summer evening, there's just no rival to the county park for all-day-long good times.

Best Park
James Island County Park
871 Riverland Drive. James Island. (843) 795-4FUN
Dogs love it. Kids love it. Joggers love it. We're lucky to have this escape so close to town.

Best Surf Shop
McKevlin's Surf Shop
8 Center St. Folly Beach.
(843) 588-2247.

McKevlin's is genuine: family owned, staffed by Folly's sickest surfers, and they won't try to sell you a board shaped by a machine (a pop-out). If you've never checked out their daily blog, it's friggin' hilarious.

Best Bike Shop
Mike's Bikes
808 Folly Road. James Island.
(843) 795-3322
709 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 884-5884

Whether you need a Folly cruiser, a sleek aluminum frame to ride to California, or just a tune up, Mike will hook you up.

Best Sporting Goods Store
Dick's Sporting Goods
2070 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley. (843) 573-0891

From balls to bats to baseball caps, clubs and rods to weights for sculpting bods, Dick's got it all.

Best Dive Shop
Charleston Scuba
335 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley.
(843) 763-3483

Want to swim with the fishies? There's nothing closer to walking on the moon than breathing like Darth Vader 100 meters down.

Best Outdoor Outfitters
Half-Moon Outfitters
280 King St. Downtown.
(843) 853-0990
425 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 881-9472

Half-Moon not only stocks the best selection of outdoor gear around, their new warehouse at Park Circle recently became the first Platinum certified-LEED green building in South Carolina.

Best Store for Beach Gear
Waves Surf and Sport
1134 Hungryneck Blvd. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 856-9230

Summer's just around the corner, and fortunately there's a one-stop shop on the way to Isle of Palms for everything you need for a day in the sun ... except brewskies.

Best Place to Buy a Boat
Hanckel Marine Sales Service
2445 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley.
(843) 556-2550

It's a shame to live in Charleston and never get out on the water. If you're ready to make the investment on your suntan and trout supply in the freezer, go see Hanckel.

Best Golf Course
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island
(800) 654-2924

Even the worst slice can't be that upsetting when it comes down into crashing waves in a beautiful Atlantic sunset. If there's a more scenic course in the world, it's in Scotland.

Best Health Club
Gold's Gym
1291 Folly Road. James Island.
(843) 853-4653
35 Folly Road Blvd. West Ashley.
(843) 329-4653

Whether you want to pump iron and get the heartbeat pounding, or just do some yoga, Gold's is hard to beat for a full-service workout.

Best Personal Trainer
Bill Fagan, East West Health Arts
792 Folly Road. James Island.
(843) 762-6580

Fagan is both a personal trainer and a Kung Fu expert. Work with him and you'll not only look and feel better, but your mind will clear as well.

Best Physician
Dr. John Knepper
570 Long Point Road. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 724-6546

There are few things more important to your family than having a doctor you can trust. At Sewee Family Medicine, you're in good hands.

Best Plastic Surgeon
Dr. John Hensel, Lowcountry Plastic Surgery
570 Long Point Road. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 971-2860

You know that feeling when you find the perfect pair? Hensel wants to help you find them and call them your own. We assume there's no shortage of patients in Mt. P.

Best Dermatologist
Dr. Marguerite Germain
612 Seacoast Pkwy. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 881-4440

Dr. Germain has traveled the world, lived in Italy, and was once a flight surgeon in the Navy. Now that she's settled in Mt. Pleasant, her chief mission is making your skin glow.

Best Tanning Salon
Various Locations.
(877) 235-0054

With eight locations in Charleston, it's easy to banish pasty white skin forever.

Best Dentist
Dr. John Rink
33-C Gamecock Ave. West Ashley.
(843) 766-1132

Nothing eases the pain of a root canal like DVD movie glasses, warm hand mitts, and massage chairs, all of which Dr. Rink offers.

Best Chiropractor
Dr. Mark Luckie
1692 Hwy. 171. West Ashley.
(843) 571-3100

It's not at all surprising that Dr. Luckie won this category a third year in a row. He's an expert at making your body work at its optimum level, and is cool enough that Widespread Panic, the Black Crowes, and a host of other rock bands recruit him every time they roll through town.

Best Pilates Studio
Exhale Pilates Studio
360 Concord St. Downtown.
(843) 723-3334

Pilates is the full body workout — you get the stretching of yoga, the peace of mind of meditation through controlled breathing, and the increased heart rate of vigorous exercise. At Exhale, they offer one-on-one and group classes in an intimate setting, so you'll never feel like the forgotten dud in the corner.

Best Yoga Studio
Holy Cow Yoga Center
10-B Windermere Blvd. West Ashley.
(843) 769-2269

Imagine a string is pulling up on your spine. Now breathe deep. And hold. Holy Cow offers classes all day, every day for every skill level, so if you've ever wanted to try yoga, they're a good place to start.

Best Acupuncturist
Dr. Zeyi Chen, M.D.
from China
5 Daniel St. West Ashley.
(843) 571-6913
1465 Stuart Engals Blvd. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 881-1818

"South Carolina's grandfather of acupuncture" has been practicing in Charleston for nearly two decades, and before that he was at home in China, making his fellow countrymen feel better. We're glad he moved stateside, because our American ways could certainly use his skilled touch.

Best Hospital
Roper St. Francis Healthcare
316 Calhoun St. Downtown.
(843) 724-2111

Roper is a leader in cancer care, heart and vascular problems, and joint replacements. If you're going to get sick, at least there's quality care close to home.

Best Place to Give Birth
Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital
2095 Henry Tecklenburg Drive. West Ashley.
(843) 402-1000

They're nearing 2,000 annual births, and St. Francis churns out more little humans each year. The hospital prides itselfs on making you feel at home while you're giving birth by providing comfortable birthing suites and a dedicated, caring staff.

Best Piercing Shop
Factor 5
283 Meeting St. Downtown.
(843) 965-5559
5527 Rivers Ave. North Charleston.
(843) 747-0540

Whether you're looking to pierce your nose or your collarbone, Cyrus and the staff at Factor 5 will "hook" you up.

Best Tattoo Shop
Blu Gorilla Tattoo Studio
1436 N. Meeting St. Downtown.
(843) 805-8071

That this category exists is a testament to progress in South Carolina. The talented staff at Blu Gorilla promise not to screw up those Chinese letters and write "refrigerator" where you were hoping for "courage."

Best Sex Shop
Generation XXX
7219-A Cross County Road. North Charleston.
(843) 552-9700

The best place in town to pick up "Meme," the inflatable midget love doll with "three openings of pleasure."

Best Day Spa
Urban Nirvana

8 Windermere Blvd. West Ashley.
(843) 720-8000
636-D Long Point Road. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 881-1160

From massage to wax, body wraps to scrubs and hydrotherapy, Urban Nirvana is the pampering, feel-good queen of the Holy City.

Best Massage Therapist
Christy Schachte, MoM Spa
920 Houston Northcutt Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant. (843) 849-4955

"My chief goal is to help one woman, who in turn, may change one family, which may assist a community, and the ripple effect continues into something bigger, more beautiful than we could ever accomplish alone," says Schachte about her business. We like that attitude as much as we like a good massage.

Best Hair Salon
Stella Nova
310 King St. Downtown. (843) 853-6161
78 Society St. Downtown. (843) 723-0909
2048 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley. (843) 766-6233
1320 Theatre Drive. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 884-3838
118 E. Richardson Ave. Summerville.
(843) 875-7525

Charleston's beauty empire wins year in and year out because they're simply the best at flattering you, and helping you flatter your significant other.

Best Barber Shop
Broad Street Barber Shop
102 Broad St. Downtown.
(843) 723-6533

It's important to look sharp on Broad Street — fortunately there's a bonafide old-school barber ready to prepare you for that meeting with the mayor, St. Michael's Sunday service, or God forbid, an appearance before the judge.

Best Hair Stylist
Lynn Huneycutt, Whispers
on Wentworth
71 Wentworth St. Downtown.
(843) 577-6516

Huneycutt wins this one year after year, and she's well qualified to have your mop looking its absolute best. Discounts for students and men!

Best Hotel
Charleston Place
205 Meeting St. Downtown.
(843) 722-4900

The hotel that revitalized King Street two decades ago is still the finest place to lay your head in town.

Best Bed & Breakfast
Two Meeting Street Inn
2 Meeting St. Downtown.
(843) 723-7322

From the view of the Battery to the evening sherry, this is luxurious Charleston living at its best.

Best Veterinarian
Ohlandt Veterinary Clinic
1509 Folly Road. James Island.
(843) 795-7574

One reason Dr. Johnny Ohlandt is consistently voted Best Vet is likely his emphasis on education. He doesn't just fix Fido — he helps you keep him well.

Best Bowling Alley
Twin River Lanes
613 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 884-7735

Get your gobble gobble on and roll a turkey at Twin River — where every frame is closed and you never want the strikes to end.

Best Nail Salon
East Bay Nails
334 East Bay St. Downtown.
(843) 724-0856

If breaking a nail is a traumatizing experience for you, who you gonna call?


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