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The top tourism event in the state of South Carolina is right in our backyard.

As I blogged about recently, our SC vacation rentals are part of a huge $22.6 billion industry in the state.   The powers-that-be announced the news at a recent statewide tourism conference in Columbia.

The numbers show tourism is big business, indeed.  By staying in here, you and a large group of your friends and family can experience one of the best destinations anywhere  –  Charleston.  Our vacation homes are oceanfront or close to it, so you can also have the experience of a proper beach vacation while you’re at it.

Also coming out of that same conference: the top tourism event/initiative in the entire state of South Carolina is also located right here.

They tapped the Cooper River Bridge Run as big winner of the conference, taking home the Governor’s Cup for the top tourism event of the year.  You can read more from the Post & Courier.


CRBR: the state’s top tourist event 


The Cooper River Bridge Run has been a favorite for decades.  It draws people from across the planet to run across one of Charleston’s great rivers.  It has become the third-largest 10K in the United States.

It’s seen a lot of growth in its lifespan.  The first year saw 7,400 finishers.  2006 saw a whopping 33,700 folks finishing the run/walk.

This year marks the 42nd running of the race, which will take place Saturday, April 6th.  It’s traditionally one of the most popular weekends for tourists in the Charleston and Isle of Palms area.  One of our homes makes a great home base for race weekend, with gourmet kitchens in which to carb up, stretches of beach to warm up on, and expansive decks and pools to relax after the race.

If you are interested in a that weekend, do call us at EP as soon as possible.  That weekend has several other events going on as well.  Summerville’s three-day Flowertown Festival will draw a lot of folks.


Most folks come “from off” to this gigantic top tourism event


The Cooper River Bridge Run is popular with locals.  But get this: 60% of participants come from out of town for the event.  The CRBR and all its ancillary events have an annual economic impact of around $30 million.

You still have time to register online, although you have missed the early registration discounts.  The official CRBR website has all the details.

This year, there are medals for all finishers.  There’s also a nifty Active Experience app which allows you to track race participants, among several other nifty features.

So get those running shoes and muscles ready for the top tourism event in South Carolina.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


Fall is here, the weather is wonderful, and it’s time for another very popular local 5K and 10K: the IOP Connector Run.

This weekend is the 26th incarnation of a well-loved local island event.  Not only is it healthy fun, it also benefits a worthy cause.  Whether you’re a local or here visiting, you’re welcome to take part or just spectate and enjoy the after party.

If you’ve been to the Isle of Palms before, you probably drove over the IOP Connector while you were here.  You may have noticed folks walking, running or biking over it.  It offers great views of the marsh and tidal creeks, and there’s usually a nice breeze.  It’s the easiest way to get between the Isle of Palms and Mount Pleasant.

If you’ve been here lately, you may have noticed an unusually large number of people running on the IOP Connector.  Chances are they’re training for this weekend’s big event, the official Connector Run.

It’s the 26th annual Isle of Palms Run and Walk for the Child  –  a yearly 5K and 10K race that draws runners and walkers of all levels to the island.

The race is subtitled “…For the Prevention of Child Abuse & Healing those Affected in Charleston.”  As the name indicates, proceeds go toward advocacy programs for children in the area.  It’s done a lot of good over the years while also proving to be a fun fall and island event.

This is how organizers have described the race:

“This Run/Walk is the most scenic on the East Coast, providing panoramic early morning views of the Intracoastal Waterway as you walk and run from the Isle of Palms over the marsh towards Mount Pleasant. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the sunrise, and a wide variety of coastal birds and passing boats with thousands of other walkers and runners as well as a fabulous After Party with fun & games, kids’ activities, snacks, beer garden, and Live Music.  All of this while helping the Exchange Club of Isle of Palms raise money for the prevention of child abuse!”

All the deets of the Run/Walk


It takes place this Saturday, October 6th  –  that’s tomorrow!  The race itself begins at 8:00 a.m.  The start line is on Palm Boulevard near J. C. Long Boulevard, right next to our office.  If you are taking part, you could literally jog from one of our beach homes to the start line.  Not a bad way to warm up before the race.

For the 5K, runners or walkers go halfway over the Connector, then loop back.  10K-ers go all the way over to Mount Pleasant, near the entrance to Seaside Farms), before looping back.

Early and online registrations are over, but you can still enter the race.  You can register in person for $35 at the packet pickup today (Friday, October 5th) between 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. at East Cooper Hospital.  You can also register tomorrow, the morning of the race, between 6:00-7:30 a.m. at the IOP Public Safety Building, 30 J.C. Long Boulevard, right down the street from our office, for $40.  You can also give more that the required amount.  It will count as a donation to the truly worthy cause.

The race is organized by the City of Isle of Palms and the Town of Mount Pleasant as well as the Exchange Clubs of both towns.  It has a slew of big sponsors including East Cooper Medical Center, presenting sponsor Mahle, Harris-Teeter, Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Windjammer, Mercedez-Benz, Dockery’s, Rivers Kids, UPS, Sullivan Law Office, Isle of Palms Family Dentistry, and many more.

Get set for #Oktoberkest tomorrow morning after the Connector Run


This year’s theme is #Oktoberfest, and you’re encouraged to dress for the part.  Unlike many area runs, strollers are welcome.

The post-race party has evolved into quite a bash, especially with this year’s Oktoberfest theme.  There is a complimentary beer garden for those participants 21 and over (bring ID), live music featuring the ever-popular PLANE JANE and awards as well as a special kids’ entertainment area.  There will also be brats!  (Sausages, not kids).

There’s an important note to those staying on the Isle of Palms.  If you’re coming to or leaving the Isle tomorrow morning, the IOP Connector will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 7:00 a.m. due to the Connector Run.  They will reopen the Connector around 10:30 a.m. when the last runners and walkers and all the course markings are cleared. Between those hours, you will need to access or leave the island via Breach Inlet and Sullivan’s Island.

Here’s the official website with all the info.  And here’s the race’s very helpful and comprehensive Facebook page.

So have some healthy Oktoberfest fun and a Connector Run on the Isle.  And remember to contact Exclusive Properties for the best beach rentals Charleston.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


Technically this weekend is the beginning of fall, but there’s a very summer-like festival going on this weekend, and it celebrates all things sea & sand.  And the weather looks to be just right for such a beach-themed event.

It’s the 2018 incarnation of one of Folly’s biggest fests  –  the Sea & Sand Festival.  It’s traditionally been held in the spring.  They’ve switched things up this time to celebrate the end of the summer season/peak time.  This time around, it’s going on tonight through Sunday, September 21-23rd.

They describe it as being the most family-friendly of all the Folly events, perfect for all ages.  It’s been entertaining families for quite some time now.  28 years, to be exact.  As usual, it looks to be a lot of Folly fun.

It kicks off tonight with the Miss Sea & Sand Fest Pageant, open to females 4 years and up and males 7 years and under.  Judging is based on evening wear, hobbies, awards, volunteer activities and love for Folly Beach.  It takes place at Folly River Park starting at 7:00 p.m.  Here are the categories:

Saturday is the main event, the big Street Festival on Center Street from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m.  Get set for approximately 70 food, art and craft vendors, silent auction, live music, plenty of food, bungee trampoline, jump castles, face painting, carnival games, etc. There are several special sections for the kids, including inflatables, arts & crafts and Sea & Sand Side Show Kids Area.

There will be live music all day, on two different stages.  Performers include headliner Occasional Milkshake (with Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish, Hank Futch from the Blue Dogs, and Cravin’ Melon’s Gary Greene).  Other acts are Wylder Funk Band, Ros Bonghi (reggae), and The Secrets (funk).  It all sounds very danceable.


Sea & Sand Sunday Funday 


Sunday has a couple fun events.  First is the Volleyball Competition kicking off at 9 a.m.  Then at 1:00 it’s the Sandcastle Competition.  They take place on the beach in front of The Tides, where they’ll also have live music during and after the competition.

It’s always for a good cause, benefiting Folly Beach Parks and Rec.  If you are in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, it’s worth the drive to check it out.  Experience firsthand how the Folly vibe is a bit different from the one on the IOP.  On the way there, you can also stop along the way in downtown Charleston.

Read details and admission info here.  Or find out more on their Facebook page.


2019 Bridge Run has officially been postered


Time to mark your calendars for one of the biggest weekends of the year.  The 2019 Cooper River Bridge Run will be taking place Saturday, April 6th.

Word to the wise: if you are planning to run or walk the CRBR, better make plans early.   It’s one of the busiest times of the year.

This will be the 42nd running of the race, which is the third largest 10K in the United States.

The official Bridge Run poster has been chosen.  It’s a colorful and cheerful image with Impressionistic roots, by artist and local D. Scott Stevenson.  He has quite an impressive resume, having done design work for L.L. Bean, REI, Major League Baseball, UCLA and Princeton.  He has been involved in exhibits at the Smithsonian, Air & Space Museum, Metropolitan Opera, and the National Zoo & Aquarium.  Here’s more on the unveiling.

Here’s the official website, where you can get all the details and register for the race.

So check out Sea & Sand, and it’s not too early to get set for the 2019 Bridge Run.  Call us soon if you’d like to book a place at the beach.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger





This weekend, try a fun beach run on the Isle of Palms… or you can set some ladybugs free!

One of the more fun local running events is coming up this Saturday.  What makes it unique is that it’s on the beach itself.  You get to run on wide hard-packed sand, at low tide, just steps from the ocean.

It’s hard to beat a race that takes place right in front of your Charleston beach house.

Yes, it’s the 2018 edition of the IOP Beach Run  —  now in the 26th year of its existence.  It’s happening this coming Saturday morning, July 21st, rain or shine, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

All beach run events start and finish behind the Windjammer at Front Beach.

In years past, sponsors have been familiar area businesses.  They’ve included The Windjammer (of course), TrySports, The Foot Store, East Cooper Medical Center, Play It Again Sports, Atlantic Game and Tackle, Chick-fil-A, Powerade, Barrier Island Eco Tours, Coconut Joe’s, Island Ice Frozen Yogurt, Harris Teeter, the Isle of Palms Marina, ACME Lowcountry Kitchen, East Cooper Sporting Goods, Race Management Systems and Beach House Spa.

More specs on the IOP Beach Run 


Those of you who’ve taken part in years past may note some changes to the event.  When it first began in 1993, it was originally called the “Sand Shark Run” and was a four-miler.  It has evolved into the Isle of Palms Beach Run –  a 5K and also now a 10K event, as well as Youth Fun Runs  – 100 yards for ages 4 and under, ½ mile for ages 5 to 8, and one miler for ages 9 to 14.  The 5K is a run/walk and the 10K is a run.

Fees are: $35 for the runs and walk, and $15 for Youth Fun Runs.

NOTE: You still have time to register online.  The deadline for online registration is noon tomorrow  –  Wednesday, July 18th.  Here’s a link where you can register online.

If you miss tomorrow’s deadline, you can still register in person during packet pickup.  That will happen Friday, July 20th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Windjammer, or Saturday morning starting at 7:00 a.m.

The 5K and 10Ks begin first at 8:00 a.m., followed by the Youth Fun Runs at 9:00.  The 5K/10K awards are given out afterwards at the Windjammer.

Here’s the event’s page on the IOP website.  These are the results from last year’s Beach Run.


Set some ladybugs free 


One of the best things about staying in a Charleston beach house is that you get to bring different generations together.  There’s nothing like enjoying the unbridled summer joy of kids on vacation from school.

So when the kids are itching for something fun to do, it helps to have some cool stuff lined up.

One such thing is also coming up this Saturday.  Starting at 9:00 a.m., you and your kids are invited to come to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for a massive ladybug release!  This is the 5th annual installment of an event which has grown each year in popularity.

In previous years, Magnolia has distributed 150,000 ladybugs to be set free out into the 60 acres of gardens.  This year, they’re upping it to 200,000 of the cute little critters.  Much more than just being adorable, ladybugs are also great friends of the garden, and are natural predators to harmful pests like aphids and scale insects.

What to expect


Appropriately, the event will begin with the arrival of a red Volkswagen Beetle resembling a ladybug.  Beloved local mascots Charlie T. RiverDog and Cool Ray will be on hand to help in the fun.

Each family will receive a slew of ladybugs to release somewhere on the grounds.  Magnolia will store them in a cool place the night before, so they don’t immediately fly away when released, but will linger and get used to their new surroundings.

A $20 general garden admission fee for adults applies, but kids 6-12 are $10, and children five and under are free.  They’ll give out prizes for the best ladybug outfit in different age categories.  Talk about a cute photo op!  There will also be face painting, live animals and nature displays from several different organizations.  Word to the wise: arrive early and carpool if possible.  The ladybug release ends at 2:00.

The following groups will be present, offering information or activities for the kids…


• Beekeeping display
• Berkeley County First Steps
• Charleston County Sheriff’s Department
• Charleston Fossil Adventures
• RiverDogs baseball team
• Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
• Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 12-8
• Grice Marine Laboratory, College of Charleston
• Keeper of the Wild
• MEDUCARE Transport Service, Medical University of South Carolina

• S.C. Department of Natural Resources
• Sea Kayak Carolina
• South Carolina Aquarium
• St. Andrews Fire Department
• Stingrays hockey team
• Tri-County Master Gardeners
• Turtle Survivor Alliance
• U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
• U.S. Coast Guard

Magnolia Plantation is located at 3550 Ashley River Road in Charleston, a scenic drive from the Isle of Palms.  Here’s a link to more info about the event on their website.

So enjoy the fun, and remember to get in touch with EP to help you find the best place to stay at the beach.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger