Consider this a niche article, but as an avid caffeine consumer who prefers the sweet nectar of energy drinks, I visit gas stations almost daily in the Charleston area. Although my roots are in West Ashley, I find myself traveling far and wide to Daniel Island, Mt. Pleasant, Downtown Charleston, and James Island far more frequently than I would like to admit (I pretend not to consider gas in my expeditions, it makes me too sad). I would consider some of the gas stations in these areas as top tier for a good energy drink selection and they’re ideal for fueling up.
Blue Water on Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant
This has to be my favorite location to visit for the reason that it holds a spot near and dear to my heart. I’m not ashamed to say I visit this gas station at least 3 times a week to get my energy drink fix. Even though I’m a native to West Ashley, I tend to visit the Blue Water on Long Point because of the convenient location by my dearest friend and fellow Talon staff member, Sophia Martuscello, whom I spend an absurd amount of time with. This gas station has everything you could need. They have (almost) every Yerba Mate flavor and a wall of energy drinks, and not to flex but I feel like I have a good relationship with their staff. They’re so dope in there and I never fail to have a lively conversation when I’m checking out. Also, they just added the prettiest fake grass in the parking area which adds to the aesthetic.
Side Note: This refers to the Blue Water on the right that looks newer because there are two Blue Waters across from each other on Long Point (I’ve never been to the other one, oops)
Vibe: 9/10. Yes. I feel as comfortable here as I do in my own home.
Bathroom: 7/10. It’s nothing special and is always clean. What more can you ask for.
Staff: 9/10. The dopest. Always have something to share with you.
Gas: 8/10. Comfortable spot, not sketchy at all. Gas prices are alright and I would feel safe(ish) pumping my gas at night.
Refuel on Daniel Island
Ah yes, another frequently visited gas station with a staff that I’m in love with. At Refuel, it’s likely that I will be checked out by one of two individuals that have become accustomed to my gas station order of a single Ultra Zero Monster, either way, they are concerned for my health and I don’t blame them. Not only are the quality of the bathrooms good, but they also have a large coffee area with lots of options (it’s still gas station coffee tho). The only thing that has bothered me recently would be the lack of masks worn in the store by older men and the large group of middle school boys that would congregate in the seating area outside, tragic.
Vibe: 8/10. Mostly good vibes, but it can be stressful when the line is long or someone starts walking around without a mask.
Bathroom: 7/10. Always clean, but it’s kind of small.
Staff: 10/10. Actually the best people, they’re so silly.
Gas: 7/10. I will do anything but buy gas on Daniel Island because the prices are so much higher, but it’s alright when I do, I guess.
Circle K on Daniel Island
Another Daniel Island location, typical. Refuel and Circle K stand side-by-side in my eyes because they’re both great in their own, special way. Circle K has the most divine selection of beverages like the oat milk coffee Monster (a personal favorite) and unlimited options and sizes for bottled water. Their bathrooms are a bit cramped, but they’re always clean which is honestly the most important aspect of it all.
Vibe: 7/10. Good vibes overall. I have never had a bad experience here (only strange ones)
Bathroom: 7/1o. Perhaps this is a TMI, but there is simply not enough legroom in the stalls which is quite the downer
Staff: 6/10. I don’t know them that well but they’re easy to talk to and kind.
Gas: 4/10. Never bought gas here and I don’t plan on it.
VGo on Savannah Highway
Given that this gas station is situated close to my residence, I like to visit it when it’s convenient. I was scared out of my mind the first time I went into this pace, it was all in the fluorescent blue lighting and narrow aisles. It’s also quite intimidating checking out because the clerks are behind a huge wall of lottery tickets and CBD products and stand on an elevated platform. Other than that it’s a fun time in there and I can always walk out with a story to tell. One evening I was purchasing a green Monster and a man outside stopped me for some change and proceeded to tell me about God. I’m not affiliated with any religions but the old man made some intellectual points. Another time I was waiting in line and a man burst through the door franticly, walked out, then ran back in. Apparently, he went into the store and returned to his vehicle to find out that his child was missing. No bueno :/
Vibe: 6/10. I still get nervous walking in to this day 🙁
Bathroom: 1/10. I’ve never seen them so I cannot formulate an opinion but I do know that they have bathrooms.
Staff: 4/10. They seem so closed off from customers, but I think they’re all family. The lady that works there is dope and so is her son 😉
Gas: 7/10. Always clutch. A little sus at night time, but I prevail.
Blue Water on Lockwood Drive
Another Blue Water? Okay. This spot is so nifty because it’s on my way to and from work so I can always grab a pick me up if I’m fixing for one. I don’t know the staff very well which is sad, but they’re always kind when I come in. Additionally, they have so many options inside if you’re in need of a snack or an energy drink. The tax downtown does make my purchases a little more expensive which is why I don’t visit it as frequently as I would like; however, I will succumb if I’m in a pinch. Overall the vibes are great and it’s located by the Marina which is quite nifty.
Vibe: 7/10. I’m usually on my way to work when I go here, so the vibes aren’t always great, but I tend to work around that.
Bathroom: 0/10. I don’t even think they have a bathroom, or at least I’ve never seen it. Not too worried about it, but it is conventional.
Staff: 7/10. They’re alright, I don’t know much about them though.
Gas: 5/1o. Also has more expensive gas which isn’t ideal for a working woman who has to buy Premium gas.
Circle K in West Ashley
There are three specific Circle K locations that I consider to be top tier in West Ashley. The one on St. Andrew’s Blvd is a great spot and very spacious inside. I always see that they have Rap Snacks which is pretty cool if you ask me. It’s also conveniently located by a skate park, making it a perfect stop before or after skating. Next, the Circle K on Sam Rittenberg is fire, but only if you’re able to maneuver into the parking lot. Whoever constructed the lane situation around that Circle K needs to be fired because there is no easy way to get in and out in the direction you need to go. It’s very spacious and has plenty of options that will fulfill all your heart’s desires. Lastly, there is the Circle K located on the corner of Wappoo Road and Savannah Highway. I will begin with a disclaimer because although she is small, she is strong. I really only like this one because it is the closest to my house and I meet the best people when I go into the store.
Vibe: 7/10. Any of these locations will give you the same vibe tbh.
Bathroom: 0/10. No comment, I have never been in any of their bathrooms.
Staff: 8.5/10. I like the staff at all the locations except St. Andrews Blvd, they can be harsh sometimes :/
Gas: 8/10. These locations are my go-to’s for gas, even though I have to watch my back lol
Spinx in North Charleston
The Spinx was a classic pre-COVID day. I remember visiting it nearly every day when my sister was a senior at AMHS, and I continued to make stops to it throughout my junior year and briefly during my senior year. Now that I am no longer physically going to school, my former love for the Spinx is dying down, but she will always be the OG.
Vibe: 5/10. It can really go either way here. As a girl, it’s quite uncomfortable because there are (too) many men at this location and I have has bad experiences with them trying to talk to me (don’t call me baby or try to touch me xoxo)
Bathroom: 5/10. Fairly clean, but still gross if that makes sense.
Staff: 7/10. I know their faces by heart and they never fail to make me smile.
Gas: 8/10. Prime spot if you’re able to find an available pump, but it’s always busy so good luck.
To conclude, I would like to say that there are many more gas stations that I have visited that would rank well according to my criteria, but I visit these the most so I felt inclined to share more. Choosing the right gas station to go to can be stressful and sometimes intimidating, making it an art to figuring out the most ideal location. For now, that is all the wisdom my pea-brain can share, so I bid you well Raptors, xoxo.