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It comes as no surprise that Charleston and art are a match made in heaven.  In fact, according to one list, Charleston is THE best city for art lovers in the U.S.

So sayeth the folks at Apartment Guide.  They based their assessment on the per capita number of artistic entities and galleries in the city.  Charleston comes in at one for every 1,775 residents, which is the highest concentration in America.

They referenced 56 Charleston art galleries/dealers, special events like Spoleto, Piccolo Spoleto, MOJA, and institutions like the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.

This is what they had to say about the Holy City:

“In addition to the yearly offerings, dozens of galleries and exhibition spaces have sprung up across Charleston… But the heart of the city’s art community lies in the studios of Gallery Row on historic Broad Street and along the avenues of the nearby French Quarter… If you take a tour of the Lowcountry’s historic antebellum homes, you’ll be privy to some of the finest private art collections in the South.”

It’s yet another reason to come stay in the Lowcountry, not that you really needed it.

Read more about it here.


SEWE means Charleston and Art go hand in hand all weekend long 


Speaking of art, one of those special art events is going on this weekend, and it’s a biggie.  As I blogged recently, you can see some of the very best wildlife artists on earth, here in the Holy City.

It’s SEWE, and it’s taking place in five main venues on the Charleston peninsula.  They include:

They’re convenient to all our vacation rentals.  Figure about a 30 minute drive or so, factoring in traffic.


Check out Charleston and art.. or Party with a Purpose this weekend


Mardi Gras is still a couple weeks away (March 5th), but the celebrating’s already cranking up in these parts.

This Saturday (February 16th) is the Parrothead Mardi Crawl It’s the 15th annual one, to be exact.

This movable, Jimmy-Buffet themed party takes place in various venues around Shem Creek.  Shem Creek is where the shrimp boats (and several other boats) dock.  There’re plenty of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating, great views, pretty people, dogs, dolphins, SUPers, pelicans, you name it.  From the Isle of Palms, just head over to Sullivan’s, then cross over to Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant and go about halfway to the Ravenel Bridge.  You can’t miss it.

The Parrothead Mardi Crawl is sponsored by the Lowcountry Parrot Head Club, which encourages you to come “party with a purpose.” 

If you sign up for the event, you’ll play various games like trivia, enjoy food and drink specials, festive beads and prizes, and migrate from one place to the next at your own pace.  You can either walk, take a limo or even a water taxi among the venues.

Participating restaurants/locales include: Red’s Ice House, The Mill Street Tavern, Saltwater Cowboys, RB’s, Vickery’s, and The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene.

It’s all for a good cause  –  several, actually.  They include the Alzheimer’s Association of South Carolina, the Ronald McDonald House, Pet Helpers and others.

There will be plenty of live music.  Here’s a breakdown of what’s going on:


It’s always a raucous good time, with Buffet beachy tunes and libations that pair perfectly together, like Charleston and art.

So check out some greatCharleston and art happenings.   And when you are looking for beach rentals Charleston, be sure to call EP for the very best.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


One of the many popular Charleston festivals is coming up fast – I’m talking the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, aka SEWE.

The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition is a celebration of wildlife art, wildlife preservation and the sporting life.  The three-day celebration draws the largest number of visitors of any single event in the Lowcountry.

This year this mega Charleston festival takes place February 15th through the 17th and promises to be bigger and better than ever.  More about that in a minute.

Today  –  February 1st  –  is the last day to purchase tickets online.   Use the promo code SAVE to get 20% off general admission day passes for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, until midnight tonight.

Here is a link to buy tickets.

Three-day general admission tickets are just $50 not counting the discount.  If you prefer individual day tickets, Friday and Saturday day passes are $25, Sunday is $15.  But hurry  –  and don’t forget that promo code.

By the way, it’s a very family-friendly event.  Kids 10 and under get free entry to the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.

 Here’s what’s new this year at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, aka SEWE


If you’ve been to the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition before, you probably already know the lay of the land and how things have been in the past.  Well, they’ve made a few tweaks this year, designed to help things move even more smoothly.

Here’s what’s new:

  1. Expanded area at Brittlebank Park, one of the five main venues covered by the day pass. This area has many different popular events going on, like the beloved DockDogs competition, and so they’ve folded in even more green space and acreage for your comfort and pleasure.
  2. A new and improved Kid Zone. It will now be located at the north end of the Brittlebank playground.  The kids in your clan will love the exotic petting zoo, games, pony rides, inflatables and all sorts of SEWE fun.
  3. A new Marine Village – focused on fishing, watersports and other water-based activities. Located at Brittlebank.
  4. Even “Cooler Art” –  two renowned artists, Ryan Kirby and Chad Poppleton, will paint wildlife scenes on YETI Tundra coolers, which will then be auctioned off for a good cause.  The fun takes place at Charleston Place on Saturday afternoon.
  5. This year SEWE will have even more dogs –  yay!  In addition to DockDogs and the sheep- and duck-herding border collies, they are bringing in STARR.  These are specially trained search and rescue dogs (Search Tactics and Rescue Recovery Team) who help find lost hikers, children, Alzheimer patients, people in the water, etc.  They’ll be doing demos on all three days of the festival.

Read more about these new additions here.



What’s even better than a Super Bowl?  How about a Pup Bowl.


Of course this Sunday is the Super Bowl, when the perennial Patriots will take on the L.A. Rams in Atlanta.

Those who are animal lovers may already know about the awesome Puppy Bowl, which airs on Sunday afternoon on Animal Planet.   In fact, this year a local puppy, a Dachsund named Charlie sponsored by PetHelpers, is taking part.

Not to be outdone, the Charleston Animal Society is sponsoring their own Pup Bowl at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre tomorrow  –  Saturday, February 2nd.  Adoptable puppies and dogs will be squaring off on the gridiron  –  the PUPtriots versus the K9 Rams.  Get set for:

So get those SEWE tickets stat.  And when you are looking for luxury beach house rentals SC, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger




Ah, margarita.

So here you are in luxury house on Isle of Palms, kicking back on the deck overlooking the ocean.  You’re relaxing in a lounge chair with a good book, working on your tan.  The only thing missing is a liquid libation on the table next to you.

Have no fear, there’s a festival for that!

Get set for the 3rd annual Charleston Margarita Festival, going on tonight.  It takes place at Brittlebank Park downtown, an easy drive from the Isle of Palms.

Deets on the Margarita Festival


Admission ($45 general, $55 early) allows you to taste from among 20 different margaritas, whipped up by some of Charleston’s best.  Think: Mex 1 Coastal Cantina, SOL Southwest Kitchen, Tattooed Senorita Cantina, Yo Bo Cantina Fresca and Stems & Skins.

There will be plenty of other food and drinks available from the likes of Roti Rolls, Smoky Oak Taproom, The Shelter and Rebel Taqueria.  Also dance to great Latin music by DJ Luigi and Bryan the DJ – salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton – plus Top 40 and more.

They’ll be checking IDs at the door, and you must be 21 or over to enter.  So better leave the kiddos at home.

The Charleston Margarita Festival is a rain or shine event and goes on from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. tonight – Friday, August 3rd.  Here’s the official festival website.

Word to the wise: call an Uber or Lyft back home to your beach house.


Surf Filmfest


If you feel like staying indoors this evening, you might want to check out a fun evening at Charleston Music Hall.  It’s the second annual surf film fest, entitled, “Surf in the City: A Night of Surf Films.”  Doors open at 7:00 and the films start at 8:00.  This is what’s on tap, according to the Post & Courier:

“Outer,” from teenage filmmaker Logan Marshall, is a look at surfing along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, starring the islands’ hometown heroes, teen pro Bo Raynor and former pro Jesse Hines.

“Rum Punch,” from Imperial Motion, is a short film and salute to summer, with lots of shredding and a vintage vibe to it.

“Find Refuge in the Sea,” from James Tull and the Salty Crew, is a surfing and fishing film that follows the fellas on “a wild search for waves and fish” down the Baja Coast.

“Scoring Skeleton Bay,” from Brett Barley, documents the fulfillment of a dream to surf the legendary Skeleton Bay, “the world’s longest barreling left point” break in Namibia in South Africa.

“Arctic January,” from Jonathan Stromberg, follows Danish surfer Oliver Hartkopp on his “strike mission” to a remote area of Norway in the middle of a winter storm after the Polar Night period, when there’s only around three hours of sunlight each day.

Like I mentioned a couple blogs ago, the surf scene is really happenin’ near Charleston.  This is a great chance to experience the surf life, even if the weather’s rainy outside.  Admission is just $10.  Here’s more.


Remember to shop tax free this weekend


As I covered in that last blog, be sure to take advantage of tax-free shopping this weekend.

Basically, from now through midnight Sunday, you’ll pay no sales tax on several basic items.  Examples are clothes, shoes, school supplies, computers and printers, linens, purses, and much more.

The list is immense.  The savings really adds up, since by shopping this weekend in the state of South Carolina, you’ll be saving 9%.  That’s 6% state tax plus 3% county tax near Charleston.

Here’s more from Live 5 News.  This is a helpful link to the official SC Department of Revenue document on what is and is not covered for tax-free purchase this weekend.

So sip a margarita or two (or fifteen), see some surfing, and save some $.  And remember, when you are looking for a beach house near Charleston, be sure to call Exclusive Properties.   We’ll put you in the perfect one.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger