The Lowcountry continues to find itself on best of lists, including the Best Restaurants in America.
This may be the so-called offseason, but there sure is no shortage of great eating out options for feeding the folks in your beach house Charleston.
Witness the last several blogs. From Charleston Restaurant Week, to the Resy Hit List, to the Lowcountry Oyster Festival (largest in the world) and the Charleston Food Truck Festival, January means fantastic foodie fun in these parts.
Since we’re on a roll with great restaurants near the Isle of Palms, why not keep the theme going.
Some of the Best Restaurants in America are in Charleston
If you’re looking for some of the best dining in the United States, you’re in luck. TripAdvisor recently released their “Travelers’ Choice” list of the top fine dining restaurants in America. And guess what? Three of the ten are near the Isle of Palms. In fact, five of the top 17 of the Best Restaurants in America are in Charleston.
Senior Vice President for TripAdvisor Restaurants, Bertrand Jelensperger, had this to say: “The 2018 Travelers’ Choice restaurant winners are what diners consider the best-in-class, and we hope these leaders in hospitality will inspire others to try something new… Food and dining experiences can often be the main highlight of any trip or an evening out.”
Which ones are they? From Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Top Fine Dining Restaurants in America:
- 4) Circa 1886
- 6) Hall’s Chophouse
- 8) Charleston Grill
- 15) Peninsula Grill
- 17) Grill 225
Read more about them here. And here’s the list of the full list of Best Restaurants in America/fine dining, From Tripadvisor’s website.
Three days in Charleston? Here’s a guide for where to eat out (for serious foodies only)
As evidenced by polls and reviews and word of mouth alike, Charleston is a world-class culinary destination. It’s a large facet of Lowcountry culture, and a big draw for those coming here to visit.
The Post & Courier, Charleston’s newspaper, has a well-regarded restaurant critic and food aficionado/writer Hanna Raskin. One of the most frequent questions she is asked is where to eat when visiting Charleston.
As a result, every January she published her recommendation for a three-day eating tour of Charleston. She lays out her itinerary of where to go for breakfast, lunch, cocktails and dinner, with suggestions of great local experiences and must-do things to see along the way.
It’s a bit extreme to follow all of it. I’m not sure anyone is capable of eating quite that much in a three-day period, except maybe a teenage boy.
But it is a good overview of some of the best places to try around the Holy City, recommended by someone who makes it her business to know.
Here is her list of a three-day culinary tour of Charleston.
Super Sunday in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals
Of course this weekend is the Super Bowl. A beach house Charleston is a perfect place to watch the game. You can gather friends and family together around any of the many flat screens, complete with ample open concept spaces with gourmet kitchens to whip up great game day snacks.
Here’s a link to 76 Super Bowl party food recipes and ideas, from the folks at Delish.
So when you are here visiting, check out some of the great restaurants near the Isle of Palms. And be sure to call EP to book the perfect beach stay near Charleston.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
If you’re driving to the Lowcountry, the news continues to be good as far as Charleston gas prices are concerned.
If you’ve been driving around the Lowcountry lately, no doubt you noticed a much less painful experience at the pump. And depending where you were driving from, chances are you were pleasantly surprised. The Palmetto State consistently has among the lowest – and often THE lowest – gas prices in the entire country. It is yet another reason to visit South Carolina!
This past Friday, I found gas nearby for just $1.78 a gallon. That’s a sizable drop from what we’ve seen earlier in the year, and in previous years as well.
Gasbuddy is a good resource to help you find the best gas price near you. They have an app, or you can search via their website.
You Know What Means Yet More Good News for Charleston Gas Prices? Costco.
When you’re here on vacation, you’re best bet for gas is also a great place to stock up on supplies for your stay. To the delight of countless locals, a second Costco has opened in the Charleston area. And thankfully, this one of east of the Cooper, a super easy drive from the Isle of Palms. Just cross the IOP Connector, travel north on Highway 17, and look for the sign on your left. It’s near the Mount Pleasant airport.
It’s (almost) Spoleto ticket time again
Also in the news – this week, tickets go on sale to the public for the Spoleto Festival.
This year is the 43rd annual installment of the famous arts festival. As usual, it promises to be an exceptional one. Here’s a listing of the performances, over 150 of them.
Spoleto Festival USA 2019 will run from May 24th through June 9th. Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning – Wednesday, January 16, beginning at 10:00 a.m. You can order tickets through the official festival website. If you prefer, you can also place your order by phone at (843) 579-3100.
Spoleto had this tip regarding tickets orders: Please keep in mind that online and call volume is highest between 10:00am and 1:00pm. Waiting until after 1:00pm may result in faster service. If online traffic is high, you may encounter a virtual waiting room.
FYI, presale tickets are available now for donors who give $100 or more to the festival.
Of course a beach house Charleston makes the perfect home base for a festival experience. Now is a great time to book for the end of May and beginning of June. Not only do you have Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto going on, but you’re also entering the height of wedding season in one of the top nuptial destinations in the U.S.
So be sure to call Exclusive Properties as soon as possible to secure the perfect one. And happy pumping with low Charleston gas prices!
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
We’re cruising into weekend two of the holiday proper, and it’s a time for football and a festive Charleston New Year’s Eve.
A special happy holidays shout-out to all of you here visiting on the Isle of Palms. The weather is definitely more summer than winter-like, with temps today in the high 60’s. That makes enjoying one of the best things about a beach house Charleston — the BEACH — all the more pleasant.
Many of our homes are just steps from the sand and surf. There’s something wonderfully festive about splashing around in late December and during the calendar flip. Who needs the Caribbean when you can stay on the Isle of Palms?
The next few days will offer a multitude of fun things to spectate, see, do and celebrate a Charleston New Year’s Eve.
A perfect time and place to watch college football
We are smack in the middle of college football bowl season, and tomorrow (Saturday, December 29th) is a big day. I’m talking bowl games, especially the ones which are part of the college football playoffs.
Here’s a rough guide to what’s worth watching on your flatscreens. At noon, the SC Gamecocks take on Virginia in the Belk Bowl.
Then at 4:00, it’s No. 2 Clemson Tigers vs. No. 3 Notre Dame – a playoff semifinal – in the Cotton Bowl.
At 8:00, it’s the other playoff semi when powerhouse No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide faces No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
It should be quite a day of pigskin, especially considering that Clemson is having to play without one of its best players.
Charleston New Year’s Eve happenings
If you’re here now, you have an overchoice of how to ring in the new year. Here’s a comprehensive lowdown from the Post and Courier.
Of course, it’s hard to beat hunkering down in your beach house for a warm family gathering. No need for an upcharged Uber or a designated driver, plus you avoid the crowds.
On the other hand, you may wish to ring it in in the company of others.
One event is worth singling out. The City of Charleston is hosting its annual Charleston New Year’s Eve party in Marion Square downtown. It’s a free, family-friendly, non-alcoholic way to celebrate a little earlier in the day. It’ll take place from 4:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m. and is perfect for the younger ones in your group. This year’s theme is “Dance Party.”
Get set for:
- Dance floor and custom light show;
- Live music by Cattle in the Cane and John Cusatis;
- Plenty of food trucks for your eating pleasure;
- Make your own party hats;
- Check out the family photo booth;
- Face painting and inflatable zone;
- 5:30 light show with DJ Brandon Curbow spinning the best dance party hits of all time.
Marion Square is at the corner of King and Calhoun Streets on the downtown peninsula.
A quick reminder – individual fireworks are prohibited on the Isle of Palms.
So have a happy and safe Charleston New Year’s Eve. And remember, to call EP for the best beach houses near Charleston.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
Well, now that Thanksgiving has passed, holiday festivities (think: tree lighting, lake lighting, parade) are in full swing near the Isle of Palms.
Get set for a trio tree lighting, one taking place each day of this first weekend of advent. Sunday’s tree lighting is also coupled with one of the biggest local parades of the year.
So there’s a plethora of merriment sure to put you and your loved ones in the holiday spirit.
Light the Lake
First up, tonight – Friday, November 30th – is a relatively new holiday tree lighting in Charleston. It’s called “Light the Lake,” and it takes place at the newly renovated and quite lovely Colonial Lake downtown.
Sponsored by the Charleston Parks Conservancy, it will happen from 5:30 till 7:30 p.m. They’ll light up the beautiful new Christmas tree in the middle of the lake, which was recently replanted with lush new landscaping. In fact, it was part of a $5 million renovation/restoration project on this 150-year old beloved Charleston park.
Also on hand will be a DJ spinning favorite holiday tunes along with food trucks with plenty of eating and hot beverage options. Be sure to wear something festive so you can take a photo on the picturesque open carriage for your Christmas card.
Colonial Lake is located on Broad Street between Rutledge and Ashley Avenues downtown, an easy drive from our rental homes South Carolina.
Light up the Isle with an IOP Tree Lighting
Then on Saturday, it’s Christmas, “island style.” You don’t even have to leave the IOP for holiday fun.
It’s the 7th annual Isle of Palms Holiday Street Festival and Tree Lighting, and it will happen this Saturday, December 1st from 2:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m.
You really oughta check it out. It’s about as local as you get.
The fun happens at Front Beach on the IOP. There will be plenty of live music, craft vendors, food and beverage options from local restaurants and the like. Kids will enjoy the free carnival rides, jump castles, mechanical bull, balloon artist, and face painting, as well as visits with Beach Santa, who’ll be there from 4:00-6:00. Then to top it all off, they’ll light the 24-foot tall Christmas tree at 5:45.
Here’s the live music schedule:
- 2:00 – Sullivan’s Island Elementary Chorus;
- 2:30-4:30 p.m. Shem Creek Boogie Band;
- 5:00-7:00 p.m. Blackwater Rhythm and Blues Band.
It’s centered around Ocean Boulevard. If you’re staying on the Isle of Palms, you might just want to walk or head over on a golf cart and check it out.
Downtown Charleston gets its Christmas on
Then this Sunday, December 2nd, the downtown holiday season is officially launched with a combo of events. First it’s the Charleston Holiday Parade, beginning at 3:00 p.m. near Colonial Lake. The parade route will travel up Broad Street to King Street, then up towards Calhoun Street and Marion Square. There will be plenty of marching bands, holiday music, floats and special appearances, culminating with the big guy himself, Santa, bringing up the tail end.
Then, at 4:30 at the parade’s endpoint in Marion Square, it’s the Holiday Tree of Lights jubilee, going on from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. There’ll be plenty of live music and performances, after which they’ll light up the 64-foot official City of Charleston Christmas tree (along with many others in Marion Square). It’s always a lot of fun and great for all ages.
Here’s more on downtown’s holiday events.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
If you’re planning on cooking this season, following are some handy holiday recipes to help.
It will soon be upon us, the week when loved ones gather together to offer thanks. It’s no secret that food often takes center stage – during the holidays in general, and next week in particular.
In America we have this tendency to overdo things – case in point: the food at state fairs. Hot Beef Sundae. Fried Beer. Mealworm-covered Caramel Apples. Fried Butter. (Yes, that was actually served at the Montana State Fair).
Tis the Season for Decadent Delights
Chances are you’ve heard of Turducken – a chicken, encased inside a duck, encased within a turkey. Then the whole thing is cooked up as the ultimate poultry feast.
Well, creative and possibly slightly crazy baking minds have come up with the dessert equivalent. It’s a mega-pie/cake extravaganza, billed as the “Turducken of Desserts.”
Actually, the official name is the Pumpecapple Piecake, and it comes from Three Brothers Bakery in Houston. It weighs a whopping 23.5 pounds and fetches $250. It’s big enough to feed an army or a neighborhood. You’ll be a very popular person on the block.
It’s actually three pies within three cakes, all stacked on top of each other. So in other words, it’s:
- A pumpkin pie baked inside a pumpkin spice cake,
- A pecan pie (or chocolate pecan pie) baked within a chocolate cake, and
- An apple pie within an apple spice cake.
This isn’t one of those holiday recipes to try. You’d just better go ahead and order one from them. Here’s a link to do just that. And don’t forget some Pepcid AC to go with it.
Pick up a Pecan Pie
If you’re looking to pick up a classic southern dessert in person, there’s a great gourmet option near the Isle of Palms. Young Plantations has set up shop for the holidays. From now through November 21st, they are having a pecan pie sale. You can purchase a classic pecan pie for $11.95, or a chocolate version for $12.95. That’s a bit more reasonable than the Pumpecapple Piecake. And again, you don’t need to follow holiday recipes to get one; just take a quick drive instead.
They also sell all kinds of classic southern treats like cheese straws, fresh pecans, candies, gift boxes, tins and baskets that make a great souvenir from your stay in Charleston.
Their shop is located in Towne Centre, on the roundabout near Lowe’s. The address is 1117 Market Center Blvd., Suite 100 in Mount Pleasant. That’s just over the Connector from the Isle of Palms.
Cook up the big dinner yourself… with a couple holiday recipes from the chefs at Middleton Place Plantation:
Brandon Buck, Middleton Place Executive Chef
Pecan Bourbon & Apple Cider Turkey Brine
- ½ cup of pecan bourbon (alcohol cooked off)
- 1 gallon apple cider
- ¾ cup kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ light brown sugar
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 6 leaves of sage
For the roasting of the turkey
- ¼ lb. unsalted butter
- 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 3 cups mirepoix (2 parts diced onion, 1 part diced celery, 1 part dice carrot)
Begin by simmering your bourbon in a 6 qt or larger stockpot until the alcohol has burned out of the base liquor. Next add your apple cider, and bay leaves bringing that to a simmer. Next add your ¾ cup of kosher salt and ½ cup of light brown sugar then stir until dissolved. Finish by adding your thyme, sage, and black peppercorns. Allow the mixture to cool by placing in an ice water bath, and then pour the brine completely over the turkey in large bags or a plastic container.
Allow the turkey at least 6 hours, up to 12 hours, to be immersed in this brine. At the end of your time with the turkey in brine remove and pat dry with a clean paper towel. Finally rub with olive oil, season lightly with herbs, salt, and ground pepper and bake at 325 F in a roasting pan with 4 cups turkey or chicken stock , ¼ lb. unsalted butter, and your mirepoix. Baste every 15 minutes with this liquid until you reach an internal temperature of 165F. For a nice addition to your turkey if baking, brush with the Bourbon Sorghum glaze for the last 30 minutes of cooking once every 10 minutes
Bourbon Sorghum Glaze
- ¾ cup of bourbon
- ½ cup Sorghum Syrup
- ½ lb. unsalted butter
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring and heat until dissolved. Brush on your turkey towards the end of cooking to form a nice golden brown skin doing so in 10 minute intervals.
Holiday recipes: A Classic Homemade Dessert…
Courtney Simpson, Middleton Place Restaurant Pastry Chef
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 pound (4 sticks) butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup ice cold water
Mix flour and salt in bowl of mixer. Slowly add butter to flour while mixer is on slow/medium speed. Mix until butter cubes are about pea sized. Slowly add water a little at a time until a dough ball forms. You may not use all the water. You are looking for a drier dough. Divide dough in half and wrap each half. Allow dough to chill and rest at least 20 minutes. Roll out each dough half to a circular shape. Line pie pan with one of the halves and allow dough to hang over the pans edge about an inch. Trim if needed. Save the other rolled out half for the top. Place dough in the refrigerator while you are preparing the filling to allow dough to firm up.
- 4-6 apples, peeled
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour Mix together sugars and spice in a separate bowl. Peel and cut apples. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples and allow them to macerate. Once some sugar has resolved and the mixture has made some juice, add flour and mix. Place apple mixture in prepared pie pan and add butter pieces on around on top. Brush the edges of the crust with an egg wash. Place top pie crust on and pinch sides together. Finish the edges of the crust as you would like. Cut small vent holes on the top to allow steam to escape while baking.Egg wash the top and sprinkle with sugar in the raw (optional) and bake pie at 425 F for 20 minutes and then turn heat down to 375 F and allow to finish baking. Pie crust should be a golden brown and filling should be bubbling through vent holes. Allow pie to cool before serving.
And remember to count your blessings, count them one by one.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
It’s time to snag those festival tickets for some of the many late fall and early spring events near Charleston. Word to the wise: it pays to shop early.
Case in point: as I blogged about recently, tickets for the Wine + Food Festival went on sale a while back. Within hours of the ticket launch, many events had already sold out.
Festival tickets have just become available for another one of the big events happening in the months ahead.
You can now purchase tickets for the 37th installment of SEWE – the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.
SEWE draws more people to the Lowcountry than any other single event. It’s set for February 15th through the 17th, 2019. Get ready to spend a weekend enjoying some of the best wildlife art, crafts, demos and activities in the world. It’s all about “Celebrating Wildlife Art & The Sporting Life.”
SEWE is also quite good for kids. Children ten and under are free. There are many events and activities perfect for educating AND entertaining young ones. They’re sure to get a kick out of the petting zoo and the DockDogs. Actually, there’s no age limit on enjoying both of those. They tend to be two of my favorites to check out at SEWE.
And then there’s the art. This is how SEWE describes it:
“The Thrill of the Hunt: Sewe is nature’s gallery, where collectors and conservationists capture the experience through coveted works of art. For the avid sportsman, for the person who revels in the sporting lifestyle or even a simple moment unplugged, this weekend is the ultimate luxury – the pursuit and the prize. SEWE is…Nature. Curated.”
SEWE recently announced the official poster and featured work of art, which you can see in the image above. Entitled, “Little Havoc,” this painting by Lou Pasqua shows a Boykin Spaniel rushing a covey of quail.
By the way, the Boykin Spaniel is the official dog of South Carolina. So when you’re here visiting, keep an eye peeled for the state canine!
You can read more about Lou and his work here.
Some Specs About What to Expect at SEWE, Plus How to Snag Festival Tickets at a Discount
- Five downtown venues around Charleston;
- 100 world-class artists;
- 300 exhibitors;
- Over 80 different events and activities good for the whole spectrum of ages. Truly wholesome and family friendly.
You can order either general admission festival tickets or special VIP packages with insider access. The latter tend to go fast. Here’s the official website, with the full schedule as well as online purchasing for festival tickets.
As a special bonus, if you order general admission tickets now through October 31st, you’ll save 20% off the price by using the promo code WILD during checkout.
There are several good things about coming to the Lowcountry in the so-called offseason. Temps are generally moderate to downright delightful. The beach is less crowded. You’ll get the best rates on all our beach homes. You’ll also get the best selection from our portfolio.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
Weather report: in the wake of Hurricane Florence, we are very happy and relieved to announce that all is well with the Lowcountry. Charleston is open for business.
It’s been a very tense couple of weeks. Seems like we always had at least one eye on the latest weather report. The Governor of the state ordered a mandatory evacuation early last week. Pretty much everything shut down – government offices, post offices, schools, grocery stores, and yes, even our beach homes.
Those of us near EP’s Isle of Palms vacation rentals were watching the weather, spaghetti models and conflicting, nerve-wracking possibilities on social media. Florence was a massive storm, both square-mile and force-wise. It was also quite slow moving, which added to the tension.
To aid in the evacuation, Governor McMaster ordered the lanes of I-26 reversed. For several days, all four lanes led northwest, away from the coast and the Isle of Palms. If you were here, you may have taken part. Lane reversals stretched from Charleston to Columbia. I used the reversed lanes to head north on Thursday, and it was an eerie experience. I’m hoping it’s the only time I’ll ever have to do it in my life.
Great news: our very local IOP weather report
Thankfully the Charleston Lowcountry was spared the wrath of Florence, which dumped its rains and wind further north. Eastern North Carolina has been hit especially hard. The flooding situation there gets worse each day as the rivers swell to record flood heights.
Please consider a donation to the Red Cross Florence relief fund. They are on the front lines helping the thousands of people in need.
Here on the Isle of Palms, here is our local weather report. Our rain gauge recorded just one half inch of rain during Florence. We had a couple palm fronds down – less than a typical thunderstorm. It was a miracle.
So in a nutshell, the weather report is terrific. We are back in business, along with everything else. Yesterday the schools cranked back up, and all the grocery stores and Walmarts are open again.
If you are booked in a beach house Charleston, you should be good to go. Please call our EP office if you have any questions or need additional information.
Current conditions on the IOP
It’s Ticket Time again for Wine + Food
Fall… tis the season to launch ticket sales for some big spring events. Case in point: ticket sales have kicked off for the 2019 Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
The festival celebrates a classic combo: wine + food, vines & vittles – and it comes together each March in a uniquely Charlestonian way at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
One of the big perks of coming to Charleston is that you can sample some genuine Lowcountry cuisine. What has been local to us for decades has been discovered by the world, elevated, analyzed, copied and now given its due.
The 14th annual foodiefest will take place March 6 – 10, 2019. 114 events take place over the course of the five-day festival, and many sell out super-fast. People come from all over the globe and plan their calendars around W + F. So buying tickets in September for a March event is actually a pretty smart idea, especially if you want to snag one of the popular ones.
“One thing that makes Charleston Wine + Food unique compared to other wine and food festivals is we reprogram 85 percent of our schedule year after year,” says Executive Director Gillian Zettler. They are also expecting 400 chefs (!) and 150 beverage professionals to take part.
Here are some of the new offerings this year:
- A field trip to Mepkin Abbey’s mushroom farm;
- A tasting event with live music and crafters at The Cigar Factory;
- Glamping at Old Towne Creek County Park;
- Hip-hop dance class and cooking based on healthy interpretations of Julia Child recipes.
The festival gets bigger and better known each year. Here’s a link to the festival website, where you can see all the scheduled events and buy tickets online.
So good luck snagging those tasty tickets, and remember – when you are looking for the best beach house Charleston, just call Exclusive Properties.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
Technically we’re past the summer season, but there’s a very summery-tasting event going on starting today: Charleston Beer Week.
As a matter of fact it’s the sixth annual Charleston Beer Week.
This event has proven so popular – and the Charleston beer scene is growing so fast – that the festival is, too. They’ve added an extra day.
This time around, it’ll go on from today, September 7th through Saturday September 15th. Get set for 64 different events happening over the course of the nine days that now make up Charleston Beer “Week.” This is up from 40 events just a couple years ago.
As I’ve mentioned in that last blog, Charleston Restaurant Week is already going on and will run through next Sunday the 16th. You have the your pick of well over a hundred area restaurants offering special menus. In fact, some may even be within walking/biking/golf cart range if you’re here on the Isle of Palms.
Charleston Restaurant Week, Meet Charleston Beer Week!
It makes sense that Charleston’s Restaurant and Charleston Beer Weeks overlap. After all, beer and food go hand in hand. So do beer and a beach house Charleston.
Fairly recently, there were just a few microbreweries in the entire state of South Carolina. Now there are 24 production breweries and three brewpubs in Charleston and environs alone. Two more breweries and a brewpub are scheduled to open within a year. Many of the existing ones are expanding, adding more brewing capacity, staff and canning lines.
According to Steve Warner, economic developer at CRDA: “Charleston’s rapid increase in craft brewing reflects what’s happening across our region – a growing, youthful population attracted to Charleston’s unique character and strong economy, a thirst for innovation and inspiration, and a desire for community. Charleston Beer Week celebrates that growth, these artisans and their passion, and is one of my favorite times of the year.”
Events take place all over the Charleston area. Some events require tickets, others are free or pay-as-you-go. Here’s the official website.
In related good news, many of the events benefit local charities. They include:
- Surfrider Foundation
- Turtle Survival Alliance
- Center for Women
- Charleston Animal Society
- F. Help No Kill Rescue
- Plus other worthy causes.
Last Call for Shaggin’ on the Cooper
Tomorrow (Saturday) night, September 8th, is the last of what’s proven to be a perennially popular event, Shaggin’ on the Cooper. While staying in the Lowcountry, why not dance the official dance of the Carolinas?
It takes place on the pier in lovely Waterfront Memorial Park in Mount Pleasant, under the Ravenel Bridge. Gates will open at 7:00 p.m. Live music by Recollections starts at 8:00.
Tickets are $10 when purchased at the gate or in advance for $8. This event usually sells out early, so definitely try to get them in advance.
Waterfront Park is a pleasant drive from the Isle of Palms. The street address is 99 Harry Hallman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. Here’s a link for more info and to buy tickets online.
And as always, when you’re looking for the best place to stay on the beach near Charleston, start your search with Exclusive Properties.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
If you’re around Charleston this weekend, get set to get in an island mood, mon, and get your reggae on. We might not be in Jamaica, but it sure will sound and taste like it.
As I blogged about earlier this summer, reggae is in air. The Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series has been entertaining folks during the peak summer months. Concerts take place in the big meadow at James Island County Park. The venue is at 871 Riverland Drive across the Ashley River.
The August 3rd Reggae Nights Summer Concert with Mystic Vibrations was supposed to be the last of the season. However, it got cancelled. They are making up for it tonight – Friday, August 24th. Come hear the music of Amani Smith and the Give Thanks Band.
You’re encouraged to bring chairs or blankets but not coolers. There will be plenty of food and beverages to satisfy all the folks from your beach house Charleston.
Gates open at 7:30 and will remain open until 10:30. Each concert lasts from 8:30 p.m. till 11 p.m. Admission is just $10, or free for Gold Pass members and kids 12 and under. Here’s more about it.
Then there’s the REGGAE, JERK & WINE FESTIVAL
Then, jump to Sunday, and it’s the fifth annual installment of a spirited combo festival taking place at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. This fun festival celebrates all things Jamaican, benefits some good causes, and should be perfect for all ages.
Here are the details:
- A full day of fun – noon till 7:00 p.m. Sunday, August 26th;
- Jamaican specialties like jerk chicken and pork, curry goat and oxtail;
- “Best Jerk Chef” competition among professional and amateur chefs;
- Wine tent with tastings and presentations;
- Live reggae music by Local Lance Starr & Band, MC Wayne Hall and his soca tribute, Phorein (formerly Melo Yellow) of Montego Bay Jamaica (their first time performing in South Carolina or anywhere near our SC vacation rentals), steel band Sounds of Sand, and well as reggae fan favorites The Dubplates;
- Dominoes, ludo, pepper eating contest & raffle;
- Arts and crafts marketplace;
- Proceeds benefit the Healthy Lifestyle Network, which educates kids and adults on healthy eating. It also benefits the Shelton Project, which works to fight childhood sexual abuse in Port Antonio, Jamaica.
- You’re encouraged to bring school supplies, soccer balls and shin guards, crafts and cotton fabric, which they’ll distribute to needy kids in Charleston and Jamaica.
- Ticket ($40) includes admission to the Plantation & Gardens, a souvenir glass and wine tasting. Ticket cost $25 for designated drivers or kids ages 13-20; kids 12 and under are free.
- More info and online ticket ordering at the festival website: http://www.screggaejerkfestival.com/
Magnolia is located at 3550 Ashley River Road in Charleston.
So get your reggae on. And when you are searching for a great beach house getaway near Charleston, be sure to call EP for the best.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
There’s no question about it, one of the main draws of a beach house Charleston is the beach.
Or course then you can add in the charms of Charleston. Throw in the natural beauty of the Lowcountry, the courtesy of the locals. Add in great food and fascinating culture around these parts. No wonder the beach near Charleston are so popular.
But back to the beach. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep it clean, safe and in good condition. The same is true of the wildlife in the waters nearby.
Inside your IOP beach house, you’ve probably seen the notices about Lights Out for Loggerheads. Many of our luxury beach homes are oceanfront. As a guest, you are asked an important thing. Please do not to have any exterior lights on at night during the turtle nesting season. That’s because loggerhead and other turtle hatchlings get turned around and think they are heading out to sea, under the moon’s reflection.
For the same reason, you also shouldn’t use flashlights on the beach at night, including those on cell phones.
More ways to help the beach
You are also asked not to dig large holes in the sand. If you do, you should fill them in before heading back to your beach house for the night. Large holes pose hazards not only to sea turtles but to human beings walking the beach after dark. This is especially true if they’re obeying the nighttime beach rules and not carrying a flashlight!
Littering has become an issue on the beach here on the Isle of Palms, particularly during peak season (aka NOW). As a result, a band of dedicated locals has organized a weekly beach cleanup on Mondays this summer. It involves 30 minutes to an hour of cleaning up the IOP beach. This is followed by a fun social time – discounts and specials at a nearby establishment for those who participate. I wrote about it in this blog.
Well, it’s proven to be quite popular. Not only that, it’s also having a positive ripple effect on area people and businesses.
Coconut Joe’s, a fun and festive food fixture on Front Beach, has taken the lead in a plastic straw ban. These are notorious for causing a problem for sea life. Check out that viral video of people trying to extract a large plastic straw from a poor suffering loggerhead turtle. It’s heartbreaking and will make you never choose a plastic straw again.
Susan Hill Smith, a key member of the IOP cleanup crew, posted the following on social media a couple weeks ago. It’s really worth a read…
Cool news about the IOP beach…
Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew is teaming up with partners for a July 30 Front Beach “super sweep” that will also celebrate Coconut Joe’s decision to phase out plastic straws in its oceanside restaurant.
Charleston Surfrider Foundation and Coastal Conservation League will join Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew, which has been staging a weekly Front Beach trash cleanup with a social component Monday evenings during the summer. The public is invited, and anyone who wants to join in can help. Sign-in for the hour-long sweep will be on the beach starting at 5:30 p.m. at the public walkover by Coconut Joe’s, which will host this week’s gathering with discounts. Volunteers only need to clean up for half an hour before joining the after-party.
With guidance from Surfrider, Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew kicked off its sweeps June 25, with plans to continue the sweeps through Labor Day. Around 50 to 100 volunteers have shown up each Monday, and crew organizers expect a boost in participation July 30 with Surfrider and CCL pulling in their supporters. The South Carolina Aquarium will also be on hand to encourage volunteers to track trash collection, which they can do with a special app or old-fashioned pen and paper.
“This sweep is about bringing people together to share information and, ultimately, change habits to create and sustain cleaner beaches here on Isle of Palms and worldwide,” says Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew Co-organizer Katrina Limbach.
Surfrider is an an international non-profit working to protect and preserve the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Charleston Surfrider Vice Chair Olivia Bueno is excited about the group’s involvement in the July 30 sweep and the added help from CCL.
“Collaborating with different organizations allows us to reach beyond our normal capacity and come together as a community to raise awareness on the marine debris issue we are facing in the Lowcountry,” Bueno says. “When volunteers see firsthand the abundance of plastic litter on our beaches, it helps reiterate the importance of rising against plastics and instills a behavior change to refuse single-use plastics, especially plastic straws.”
Coconut Joe’s steps up…
Coconut Joe’s decided to join the wave of businesses ditching plastic straws with encouragement from Charleston Surfrider. Surfrider is in the second year of a local “Strawless Summer” push that also encourages consumers to go without. For Coconut Joe’s, the transition started in mid-July and will be permanent, not just a summer thing, according to Caitlin West, chief of operations for the main restaurant as well as Joe’s To Go and Island Joe’s next door.
“We are not offering any straws voluntarily. They have to be requested. If someone needs a straw, we will provide a paper straw for a nickel. A portion of all of our straw sales is going to Surfrider,” explains West, daughter of Coconut Joe’s owner, Joe Petro.
While there have been some complaints, she says, most of the feedback so far has been positive. She intends to press further in making Coconut Joe’s more eco-friendly, for example, eliminating all plastic cutlery. After all, the Coconut Joe’s family considers the ocean to be their home, too. “Any little bit to keep it clean, to get it cleaner than it already is, and reduce our impact is very important to us.”
So please do your part to help preserve the beach and wildlife in South Carolina. And when you are looking for the perfect beach house, be sure to give Exclusive Properties a call.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger