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On the heels of last month’s Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble, get set for another holiday-themed fun run happening this weekend, the ever-popular Reindeer Run.  More about that in a minute.

As I covered in that last blog, this past weekend was filled with tree lightings and parades.  They were set for various venues around the Lowcountry, all within easy driving (or even walking) distance of the Isle of Palms.


Weather and schedules


Alas, the weather was a bit uncooperative, as rains put a damper on certain events.

Saturday’s Isle of Palms Street Festival and Tree Lighting went on as scheduled.  The free carnival rides were spinning, including a big Ferris wheel on Ocean Boulevard near Front Beach.

Sunday’s events didn’t fare quite as well.  Out of an abundance of caution, the powers-that-be decided to postpone the downtown Charleston Christmas Parade It’s been rescheduled for Sunday, December 16th.

The parade specs will stay the same.  It will start at 3:00 p.m. near Colonial Lake, travel up Broad Street to King Street, then on up to Marion Square.  If you’re in one of our beach rentals Charleston that weekend, it’s worth a trip to the peninsula.  After all, Santa will be there.

The tree lighting ceremony was skipped due to the weather.  But fear not, they lighted the tree and Marion Square anyway, just without the official hoopla.


Free parking when heading downtown 


I’ve covered this before, and I’ll cover it again.  The City of Charleston is offering a nice holiday gift of two hours of free parking in one of several downtown parking garages.  Of course a visit to the Isle of Palms isn’t complete without a trip to the historic peninsula.  This helps out.

You can print out a voucher here.  Or if you’d rather just show your device, here’s a link to a mobile voucher.


Run, Run Rudolph!


This coming Saturday morning, December 8th, is the 28th annual Reindeer Run and Walk.

There will be cash prizes, creative costumes, kids and dogs.  Unlike the Turkey Day Run Gobble Wobble, strollers and dogs are not only allowed, but actually encouraged.  It tends to relax the scene a bit when you throw babies and canines into the mix.  It also ups the cuteness factor, bigtime.  There’s also free beer and a big afterparty for those 21 and over.

The Reindeer Run is a 5K (3.1 miles) through the streets of the lower peninsula of downtown Charleston.  It’s quite a scenic route.  It’s just the thing to get you in the mood for Christmas and is well suited for all fitness levels.

They give awards for kids 6 & under and adults up to 99 and beyond. You are encouraged to dress in your best holiday costumes to win fabulous prizes.  Categories include: Adult Individual, Child Individual, Group and Dog.


More specs on the Reindeer Run 


Runners start at 9:00 a.m., walkers at 9:05 a.m.  The race/walk begins and also ends at the corner of East Bay and Queen Streets.

The Reindeer Run also happens to be a terrific fundraiser for MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and is sponsored by Half-Moon Outfitters.  Over the years they’ve raised over $1,000,000 for the hospital.  Last year alone it was $50,000.  Here’s more about the event from Count on 2.

Here’s the official website, with registration info:  http://www.reindeerrun.org/

So check it out if you’re so inclined.   And when you are looking for beach houses near Charleston, just call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger




This week is Thanksgiving, which in these parts means its fine time for a turkey day run.  More about that in a minute.

If you’re in Charleston for the holiday, there are plenty of options for your dining pleasure, as I covered in a couple of those more recent blogs.  Our vacation homes have terrific gourmet kitchens and spacious dining rooms where family and friends can cook, eat and gather together.

Alas, we tend to eat a lot on this particular holiday.  According to USA Today, the average American consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day.  Another way to look at it  –  that’s the same as downing 15 Dairy Queen small hot fudge sundaes in one day.

That being said, it makes perfect sense that Thanksgiving Day is now the number one day in America for running and/or walking events.  You can find a “turkey trot” or turkey day run all over the country, and their numbers increase each year.

It’s a great way to kick off the day right and preempt some of that holiday food guilt waiting you later in the day.  USA Today covered the turkey trot/turkey day run phenomenon here.

The second most popular holiday for running?  Fourth of July.  The third is New Year’s Eve/Day.


Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble 


Not only is one of our vacation rentals the perfect setting for a holiday meal, it’s also the perfect launching pad for a morning run or fun walk.  Most are oceanfront, so you can just step outside and do that on the beach.

But there’s something festive and fun about venturing downtown for a group effort.

This leads me to a beloved local event that draws thousands of folks to the historic city, many in costume.  And it’s happening this Thursday, November 22nd – also known as Thanksgiving.

It’s the Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble 5K For clarification, the Gobble Wobble is for those who’d prefer a walk to a run.

The race is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, with a history that dates back about a century.  It’s been run in various venues and formats, including relay and high school track team competitions.  At one point it even ran from Charleston to Summerville.  Now it is a true 3.1 mile/5K run and walk, and this is officially the 41st one in a row.

The TDR/GB attracts over 7,500 registrants from all over North America.  It’s second in size only to the Cooper River Bridge Run in these parts.  At last check, it was the 28th largest 5K in the United States.  It also happens to be a U. S. Track & Field certified event.

The course itself is ideal for seeing the sights since it travels down and back up the historic spine of the peninsula.  It starts at Marion Square, travels down Meeting Street to the Battery, past White Point Gardens, down Murray Boulevard, then back up King Street to Marion Square.


Specs on the TDR/Gobble Wobble 


Online registration is no longer available.  Don’t fret – you can register tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 21st) in person and pick up race packets from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.  You can also do so the morning of the race from 7:00 a.m. till 8:30.  Registration and packet pickup are in their Expo tent near the Embassy Suites at Marion Square downtown.

The run kicks off promptly at 9:00 Thursday morning.  There are also shorter length runs for the kids starting at 10:00 a.m.  So it leaves plenty of time to get in some good exercise/sightseeing before you head back home for the big meal.

Before you do cross back over the bridge, check out the post-race party with free food and beverages (beer for those 21 and over), live music and the awards ceremony.

There is a bit of a tweak from years past.  They are no longer allowing strollers.  They are, however, allowing little ones to ride in a pull behind wagon at the back of the pack after the last corral.  And here’s more from Channel 2 News.


Charities that benefit from all that running, wobbling and gobbling 


As is the case with just about every turkey day run, proceeds go to charity.  Last year’s benefited these great local charities:

They’ve set this year’s goal to raise $10,000 more, so come on out and support these great causes while having some holiday fun.  Here’s the official site with all the details: http://turkeydayrun.com/

And as always, remember to call EP for the best in SC vacation rentals.

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


This weekend there’s a fun beach run going on on the Isle of Palms, a rare chance to race near the surf.

Not only is it healthy, sandy fun near your Charleston beach house, it also helps support a great cause.  Think: loggerheads, and sea life.

The South Carolina Aquarium is a big draw for people visiting Charleston, and for good reason.  They have wonderful interactive exhibits exploring wildlife in the ocean and water habitats near here.  They have also created a state-of-the-art rehabilitation hospital for one of the Lowcountry’s favorite part-time residents, the loggerhead sea turtle.

Much like human guests, loggerheads pay a visit to the beach near the Isle of Palms between May and October.  In the turtles’ case, they are laying nests of eggs.  Local “turtle team” volunteers monitor them carefully to ensure their safe hatching and return to the ocean.

Lights Out for Loggerheads 


This is why ask those staying in a Charleston beach house to keep “lights out for loggerheads.”  You are asked not to have any exterior lights on that would be visible from the beach, and thus confuse loggerhead hatchlings as they crawl to the sea.  They can mistake the exterior lights on a luxury house on Isle of Palms for the reflection of the moonlight.  They instinctively look for it to head toward the surf.

Well, the SC Aquarium is sponsoring a 5K sunset beach run/walk on the IOP this weekend.  It will benefit sea turtles and their new Sea Turtle Care Center (turtle exhibit and hospital expansion).  By my count, this is the third annual one.

It’s called the Turtle Trek 5K, and it’s happening this coming Saturday, September 29th  from 4:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m.  This is unusual since most run/walks take place in the morning.

Here are the deets on the Turtle Trek 5K beach run


Here’s more about the beach run.  You can register here.  Last I checked, registration is full, but you can add your name to the waiting list.  There is still availability for the kids’ fun run at 5:00.  lastly, here’s the event page on the Aquarium’s website.

IOP County Park is located at 1 14th Avenue.  Parking at the county park is $8 per car, or free for Gold Pass members.   Or you could just walk, bike or golf cart from your home on the IOP.  The event will go on rain or shine.

So enjoy a fun sunset beach run on the IOP.  And be sure to call EP when you’re looking for the perfect place to stay on the Isle of Palms.

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