Cabarrus

Special dining in Charleston

Charleston Restaurant Week

Charleston. www.charlestonrestaurantweek.com.

Days: Sept. 7-18.

Activities: You can always dine like a gourmet in Charleston, one of the best-eating cities in North America. And you might come home well-fed but broke. The game-changer is Charleston Restaurant Week: Sept. 7-18 this fall. It's sponsored twice a year by the Charleston Restaurant Association. Their winter Oyster Roast focuses on tradition. Their Taste of Charleston, held in October, highlights chefs. But the September (and January) Restaurant Week is all about offering affordable samples of the city's extremely competitive dining scene.

Close to 100 participating area restaurants will offer special menus where you can buy a three-course meal consisting of signature items for $20, $30 or $40 per person.

Many participating eateries are downtown; others range along the area coast from Kiawah Island and Folly Beach to Mount Pleasant and Isle of Palms; others are in West Ashley, Daniel Island, North Charleston and Summerville. They include intimate, casual bistros as well as elegant establishments.

This year, participants at the $40-per-meal level include The Ocean Room (Kiawah Island Golf Resort) and The Charleston Grill (downtown).

At the $30 level: 82 Queen and The Library Restaurant at Vendue Inn (both downtown), and Blu (Folly Beach).

Places offering $20 meals include The Noisy Oyster (downtown) and Eagles Nest Pub at River Towne Country Club.

Go to www.charlestonrestaurantweek.com to see the menus of participating restaurants. Contact your choice directly to make your reservation.

Target audience: All.

Directions: Interstate 77 south to Columbia, then Interstate 26 E. to Charleston.

Travel time from Charlotte: 3 1/2 hours.

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