Look Closely Or You Might Miss Out On This Block Of Downtown Charleston

By Chanel Dror
shopping in charleston - leon's

Charleston is a small town, but still, the options for places to explore and dine can be overwhelming for a first time visitor. My favorite way to get to know a new place? Zero in on one walkable area where you can spend the entire day, saving you the time it takes to dart around town, and allowing you the opportunity to really get to know the neighborhood.

On our whirlwind trip last month, we discovered an area that perfectly fit our criteria — charming, up-and-coming, and full of character. Tucked away off the beaten path, this small strip of Cannon Street offers up enough shopping and dining delight to take up an entire afternoon of explorations.

photos by Lucy Cuneo

Mac & Murphy Boutique

Credited as being one of the first shops to kickstart this block’s renaissance, Mac & Murphy attracts design lovers from near and far. Established in 2009 and nestled in a centuries old building, the well curated boutique sells and designs the prettiest paper thing. Stop in for souvenirs, help with a custom project, or just for a few laughs with shop owner Liz Macpherson.

Indigo & Cotton Menswear

Just a stone’s throw away, a stylish men’s shop is offering up a selection of clothing that satisfies just about every sensibility. Indigo & Cotton is at once casual, cool, and hip, making it the perfect place to both shop and hang out.

Beads on Cannon

Quench your creative cravings with a trip to Beads on Cannon. Unlike some of its neighbors, Beads is an older, no-frills space. But much like the other shops on the block, its owners are plain passionate about their craft. Pop in for two levels of floor-to-ceiling beads and beading materials just begging for a creative eye.

Hominy Grill

All that shopping calls for some sustenance, and on this block, the choice for a lunch break is clear. At Hominy Grill, James Beard Award winning chef and owner Robert Stehling lets Lowcountry cuisine shine by dishing up simple, clean, comfort fare. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner inside, or simply have a seat in the courtyard at any time to enjoy a Southern-style cocktail.

Cannon Green

It doesn’t take more than a few hours in Charleston to quickly realize that Lynn Easton is one of the creative forces that drives the art and hospitality scene. Cannon Green is the event planner and hotelier’s latest project — a gathering space for special events, or simply an amazing place to grab brunch, dinner, or drinks. Since you’ll be in the area, be sure to stop in for bites and sips, and to take in the gorgeous updated space.

A short drive away, two beautiful restaurants make choosing where to go for dinner very difficult…


It takes a lot of self-control to walk past Leon’s Oyster Shop and not go inside. Thanks to the industrial beachy interiors, you can’t help but relax in the space, and when you add fresh seafood, fried chicken, frosé, and fun-loving staff to the mix, well, Leon’s allure is undeniable. Afterwards, grab some soft serve ice cream at the charming walkup window outside for the perfect sweet treat.

Pancito & Lefty

Being from Texas, we take our Mexican food pretty seriously, and I’ll admit that I didn’t expect to find it in any decent shape or form in South Carolina. Boy, was I wrong! The team at Pancito & Lefty are serving up some of the best south-of-the-border flavors I’ve ever tried — the guacamole and pozole were out of this world! Oh, and don’t even think about leaving the restaurant without trying their tequila, carrot, and ginger cocktail. Yum.