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Piccolo Spoleto has announced its festival lineup, and it’s a whopper.

Of course, Piccolo Spoleto is the “little sister” of Spoleto Festival USA, and the two run concurrently with each other.  This year it’s Friday, May 24th through Sunday, June 9th.

Spoleto tickets have been available for some time, as I’ve covered in this blog.  But Piccolo Spoleto announces their performers and schedules much later than big sis Spoleto does, and much closer to the festival itself… in other words, now.

No doubt that’s because they have so many more events to coordinate and finalize  –  literally in the hundreds.  Piccolo Spoleto 2019’s official guide is a whopping 76 pages long.  As usual, there’s a myriad of great things to choose from; it’s actually a bit of over-choice.

 

Get The Official Piccolo Spoleto Guide Now

 

You can pick up a printed copy of the guide around town, or at their main office.  The City of Charleston runs Piccolo Spoleto through its Office of Cultural Affairs, located at 75 Calhoun Street, Suite 3800.  It’s open Monday through Friday from 9:00 – 5:00.

They will also be glad to mail you a copy.  Just give them a call at 843-724-7305 or email CulturalAffairs@charleston-sc.gov.

The schedule is also available online.  Here’s a link to the 76-page Piccolo Festival schedule.

By the way, you never know what kind of up-and-coming talent you might discover at Piccolo.  About a dozen years ago, a young and relatively unknown comic named Amy Schumer was the warm-up act for Isaac Witty in a Piccolo Spoleto event!

 

What’s Piccolo Spoleto offering this year?

 

Here’s the official website with access to all the events.  You can search by date or by category –  festival traditions; music; theatre & dance; literary, heritage & ideas; or visual arts.

The festival traditions category is especially fun.  Most of those are free and fun large-scale events, like the Sunset Serenade, Family Day at Marion Square, the Memorial Day Concert, Sand Sculpting Competition here on the Isle of Palms, Piccolo Spoleto Finale, and the ever popular Seed & Feed Marching Abominable.

Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 866-811-4111, or in person at the Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun Street, 9:00am – 5:00pm daily from Tuesday, April 30. Payments accepted: All major credit cards, cash, or check.

A Charleston beach house is an easy drive from all Spoleto or Piccolo Spoleto events, most of which take place on the downtown peninsula.  It also provides you with a beach vacation at the same time.

 

Free Spoleto Artist Talks, or “Salons”

 

If you’ve been to Spoleto before, you know that tickets can be a bit pricey, especially for large productions like operas and theater performances.  That’s one thing that makes Piccolo Spoleto a nice option.  Many events are free or are much less expensive than Spoleto events.

Well, this year Spoleto itself is offering free artist talks, or Spoleto Salons, happening three Tuesdays in a row leading up to the festival.  The first one is tonight.  They are free, but you do need to reserve a spot.

 

Here’s more about the free salons from Spoleto Festival…

 

The Spoleto Salons—hosted at The Murray Center, 14 George Street—aim to illuminate elements of the 2019 Festival, offering fascinating behind-the-scenes perspectives from various creative personnel. Salons are free and open to the public; reservations required. Use the buttons below to reserve your seat or call (843) 579-3100.

 

SALON 1
Tuesday, April 30, at 5:30pm
Moderated by Edward Hart

 

THE RIPPLE EFFECT

How has Spoleto Festival USA changed the physical and cultural landscape of Charleston? The Festival has not only been instrumental in the preservation of some of Charleston’s most well-known theaters and buildings but has also been a catalyst for creating new performing arts spaces for artists throughout the city. Further, how has the Festival been a beacon for attracting people to the Charleston area?

RESERVE YOUR SEAT

 

SALON 2
Tuesday, May 7, at 5:30pm
Moderated by Edward Hart

 

SALOME FEATURING DIRECTORS PATRICE CAURIER AND MOSHE LEISER

Best known for the “Dance of the Seven Veils,” Strauss’s opera Salome is as riveting today as it was at its 1905 premiere. The libretto―dripping with opulent language from Oscar Wilde’s play by the same name―depicts the biblical story of Herod’s lovesick stepdaughter and John the Baptist’s ill fate. Please join us for a discussion with Salome Directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser as we discover how time has influenced their career in storytelling.

RESERVE YOUR SEAT

 

SALON 3
Tuesday, May 14, at 5:30pm
Moderated by Edward Hart

 

MEETING MELANIE

You may not know her name yet, but soprano Melanie Henley Heyn is a star in the making—and singing the title role in this season’s all-new production of Salome, Strauss’s notorious opera. Born in a small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Melanie studied at Manhattan School of Music, University of Southern California, and the Konservatorium Wien (now the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna) in Austria. And though she has sung professionally in countless orchestral and vocal concerts around the globe, performing as Salome at Spoleto Festival USA will be her full-length opera debut. Please join us for a discussion with Melanie as we discover what it takes to become a leading soprano.

RESERVE YOUR SEAT

 

So plan your Piccolo Spoleto experience now, and call EP ASAP if you’d like a beach house for a festival home base.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Spring has sprung, which means the opening of other seasons as well – farmers markets (which I covered in that last blog), and RiverDogs baseball in Charleston.

Charleston’s team, the RiverDogs, is a Single-A Sally league team that’s, rather ironically, part of the Yankees organization.  We are securely in the South, after all.

Charleston Baseball has a Very Cool Owner

 

The team is co-owned by none other than the SNL alum and movie icon himself, Bill Murray, whose official title is “Director of Fun.”  Bill lives in Charleston and can be seen out and about the area, photobombing unsuspecting tourists and turning up in the most unlikely places.  Potential Bill Murray sightings are yet another perk of visiting the Lowcountry.

As you might imagine, the Riverdogs isn’t just any team, or ballpark, or milieu.  They’re known for their zany promotions and for their creative cuisine.  Plus, it’s just a wholesome, very fun way to spend an afternoon or evening.  It’s got something for everyone staying in your Charleston beach house, and is a fun outing for locals and visitors alike.

 

Go to The Joe

 

The RiverDogs play at “The Joe,” Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, named after Charleston’s beloved mayor.  It’s a gorgeous ballpark, and they just completed a major redo of the field to make it better than ever.  It’s also super convenient to get to.  If you’re on the Isle of Palms, head to Highway 17, take it all the way onto the peninsula and the Crosstown, and turn right onto Lockwood.  There’s plenty of parking nearby.  For your GPS, it’s at 360 Fishburne Street, Charleston.

Riverdogs Baseball Officially in Play

 

The season technically started last week, but they were playing an away stretch (and won four out of seven games).  Last night was the first home game, and they had amazing attendance  –  the fifth highest of all time.  Over 8,000 folks filled the park.  They’re here for a home stretch and have some fun things planned in the days ahead.

Get set for:

Friday – Fan Pick Fireworks Night.  Post-game fireworks show over the Ashley River/Boeing Red Shirt Friday honoring members of the military.

Saturday  – NBA Draft Night. Fans can try to sink a half-court shot to win $1,000.  Also Make-A-Wish SC Wish Night with the RiverDogs wearing special jerseys.

Sunday –  Kids’ Opening Day/ MUSC Health Family Sunday.  Kids eat free.  They can play catch on the field (before the game) and run the bases (after).  They’ll even get a shot at announcing the game, running cameras, working concessions, etc.

Monday  –  Game of Bones Dog Day.   Dogs are welcome.  Craft beer tasting by Bay Street Biergarten.

Tuesday  – Live & Local.  They’ll have a farmers market on the concourse.  You can also check out Rusty Bull Brewing Co. and their new BellyItcher Ale, the RiverDogs signature brew.

Wednesday –  Education Day.  Students/teachers will take off from school to watch the game which starts late morning.

 

Here’s a link to the official website for RiverDogs baseball, with this season’s full schedule and ticket info.

Not just Hot Dogs & Cracker Jacks

 

But back to the food.  They’re always coming up with the most interesting stuff to nosh on and sip.  This year they even have their own beer.  They collaborated with Rusty Bull to brew their own unique summer ale, named the BellyItcher (don’t get a pitcher, get a BellyItcher).  You can only get it at the Joe.  It’ll be for sale at all 70 home games.

They’ve also tweaked their menu, as they do each season.  New up this year: a pimento cheese and fried green tomato sandwich, steakhouse fries topped with mac and cheese, Mediterranean healthy nachos and a chicken and waffles bowl.

They like to have food that’s easy to eat at the park, carry with a beverage and balance on your lap, like a hot dog but more creative.  So in the spirit of Riverdogs baseball, they’re serving several dishes in a full-sized plastic dog bowl.  The Dog Bone Bowl will have smoked pork rib with BBQ sauce and baked beans.  You can find it and many more (including shrimp and grits) in the Bowls and Strike stand.

They also have come up with a new version of their popular beer shake.  This year’s offering: The Strawberry Lemonade Beer Shake, made with Natural Light’s Naturdays.

Read all about it in the Post & Courier.

 

So check out RiverDogs baseball, now through the summer.  And remember to call EP when you’re looking for the perfect Charleston beach house.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Today, you can score free pancakes, help a great local cause to boot, and see one a top beautiful place in the country.

It’s International House of PancakesFree Pancake Day, going on all day until 7:00 p.m.

Let’s face it, pancakes make the world a better place.  They’re a great way to feed the folks in your Charleston beach house.  They’re perfect for all ages.

Pancakes aren’t just for breakfast, either.  In fact, a pancake lunch or early supper makes a fun vacation outing.

 

Foodie Freebie Fun

 

Any guest from 7:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. will receive a free short stack of their original buttermilk pancakes.  If you so desire, you can leave a donation to charity.

This offer is good at all iHop restaurants nationwide, where the default charity is Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  They also like to support local charities, as Live 5 News explains.

Here in the Lowcountry you are encouraged to donate to the new Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.  It’s a wonderful place being built in downtown Charleston which will provide world-class care to women and children.

This is the 14th Annual National Pancake Day.  Since they began the celebration in 2006, they’ve raised over $30 million for charities across the U.S.

Read more from Count on 2.  Here’s a link to iHop locations.

If you’re here on the Isle of Palms, just cross the Connector.  There’s an iHop near Lowe’s and Towne Centre.  For your GPS, the address is 1787 N. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant, just “a short hop” from your beach house.

 

Be sure to check out a Top Beautiful Place near here

 

The Discoverer Blog recently named the 15 Most Beautiful Places in the United States.  They are places of natural beauty, like the Grand Tetons, Yosemite, the Na Pali Coast in Kauai and Sequoia National Park.

Not surprising to those of us who live here, one special spot in the Lowcountry made the list. It’s one of my favorite places and a real “must do” for folks coming here.

Remarkably, it’s a single tree.  And it’s totally worth the drive out to see it.

Of course I’m talking about Angel Oak.  In fact, it’s believed to be one of the oldest living things in the entire country.  It’s estimated to be twice as old as the United States.  It’s:

This is what they had to say about it:  “The South wouldn’t be complete without its stunning oaks, and this one takes the prize. The 500-year-old tree can be found just outside Charleston. Its knobby arms draped with moss make it a wonder to behold, and you’ll feel like you just stepped out of a southern romance novel.”

For your GPS or smartphone, the street address is 3688 Angel Oak Road, Johns Island.  

Read Discoverer’s whole list of beautiful places here.

So take an afternoon and check out this amazing top beautiful place.  And when you are looking for a Charleston beach house or other great things to do around here, be sure to give EP a call.  

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

 

 

Nothing like a good beach packing list to make your trip planning a little easier.

A stay in a Charleston beach house is a great idea for many reasons.  Two of the main ones?  You get to visit Charleston, one of the top destinations in the world.  And, you get to stay at the beach, one of the best parts of the world.

It’s a natural win-win.

The weather this time of year varies.  We have had some wonderful 70+ degree days lately, with more coming down the pike.  It’s actually a great time to be at the ocean and the Lowcountry.  The beach itself is far less crowded than peak times.  At certain hours of the day you can practically have it all to yourself.

 

Packing help for your stay at the beach

 

To help you prepare for your trip, the travel gurus at AFAR have assembled a thing called, “The Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing List.”

Basically it outlines 18 practical must-haves or should-haves for your stay at the beach.

The whole list is well worth a read on their website for the details and specifics, including top-rated products and where to get them.  You can read it here.

But I’ll give you the list lowdown here:

  1. Swimwear
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Hat
  4. Footwear
  5. Sunglasses
  6. Water
  7. Snacks
  8. Towels
  9. Wet Wipes
  10. Beach chairs
  11. Layers
  12. Shade
  13. Reading material
  14. Games & gear
  15. Dry snacks
  16. Waterproof speakers
  17. Power pack
  18. Tote bag.

Of course, you don’t need to pack all this stuff from home to bring with you when you visit Charleston.  You can purchase all of this and more once you get here.  There are countless shopping options nearby.

 

A Charleston bucket list 

 

Once you’re here, there’s obviously a whole lot more than just the beach to see and “do.”

The Post & Courier, Charleston’s trusty newspaper, recently assembled a “Charleston Bucket List” of 50 fun things to see and do around the area.

It’s quite a good list, actually, with specific suggestions that are not just the obvious tourist sites.  A couple examples: rent a bike downtown from Holy Spokes; hunt for Charleston murals downtown; go to the Royal American and get $8 punch in a souvenir cup.

I won’t outline them all, but you can see the full list here.

So enjoy your beach time, and enjoy some of the dozens of Charlestonian things to do.  And when you are looking for a great  beach house, be sure to call Exclusive Properties.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

As I covered in that last blog, Charleston Restaurant Week has kicked off, meaning lots of Isle of Palms food options.

It’s going on now through a week from Sunday (January 20th).  It’s a fun way to feed the folks in your Charleston beach house with a vast array of Isle of Palms food.

The cuisine of the Lowcountry has become world famous, and the restaurant business around here is a fast-moving competition that columnists report on like sports scores.  Restaurants open and close with shocking speed.  Thus taking part in Charleston Restaurant Week could also be seen as an activity while you’re here.  It’s dual purpose in that sense – adventure and nourishment all at once, for all ages in your luxury house on Isle of Palms.  Plus, it’s one less meal you have to cook.

 

Participating restaurants at CRW

 

As I mentioned, well over 100 restaurants are taking part in CRW this time around. The following restaurants are taking part for the very first time and might be especially interesting to check out:

There are both dinner and lunch options among the many different restaurants taking part.  Offerings and special prix fixe menus have gotten much more creative with each passing year.

You can get the whole scoop on the official website, with links to the special event menus, websites and reservations.  When possible, you should definitely make a reservation, as they tend to fill up very fast.

 

Another oyster option for Isle of Palms food fun

 

As I covered in a previous blog, an oyster roast is a longstanding, beloved Lowcountry tradition.  It’s a way to enjoy a delectable gem of the ocean while having fun with friends and family around the shucking table.

You really have to experience one to understand the allure.

This weekend is your chance to try one in a pretty fun way.   It’s Shuckin’ on the Cooper, a winter sister event to the ever-popular “Shaggin’ on the Cooper” summer dance series at scenic Waterfront Park in Mount Pleasant.  It’s organized by the good folks of Charleston County Parks, who put on an array of terrific events like the Holiday Festival of Lights.

This was originally scheduled for December but was postponed due to weather.

Here are the details:

It’s happening at the Mount Pleasant Pier in Memorial Waterfont Park in Mount Pleasant, under the Ravenel Bridge.  It’s an easy drive from the Isle of Palms.

So check out a local restaurant or a classic Lowcountry oyster roast.  And when you are looking for a perfect Charleston beach house, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

photo credit: Charleston County Parks and Rec

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, whether you were here in Charleston or elsewhere.

Some of you may have taken part in the Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble, which I covered in that last blog.  It took place yesterday morning downtown.  The winner finished the race in under 15 minutes.  Most other runners did it in under 40.  Here’s more about it from Live 5 News.

 

Grateful to be here

 

This is a wonderful time to be in a Charleston beach house.  Many of our homes are oceanfront or close to it.  That means you are just steps from a pleasant stroll on the beach to walk of some of that turkey.

This is also a wonderful time of year when giving thanks is at the forefront.  Gratitude is good for the body and soul and is known to reduce stress.  I heard a wonderful talk a couple weeks ago by an authoritative speaker.  She explained that the part of the brain that controls fear, also controls the expression or feeling of gratitude.

The interesting thing is, the two cannot coexist at the same time.  So in other words, if you want to get rid of those fearful feelings that seem to bombard us via the news, just count your blessings.  Reflect on the things for which you are grateful.  Like health, family, friends, together times.  A vacation with loved ones at the beach.

 

Black Friday after Thanksgiving Day

 

Well, today is officially Black Friday, when shoppers hit the stores en masse and often act like idiots.

Apparently the day has lost a lot of its luster and punch, as more and more people shop online.  I mean, why not just stay in your PJs, crack open your laptop, and order that way, instead of fighting traffic and crowds?

Also, the sales start even sooner, long before the superfat Thanksgiving Day newspaper arrives.  I was getting Black Friday sales alerts in my email last week, with early purchases possible.  No longer is this day such a big deal, shopping-wise.

If you are interested in shopping, here’s an overview of the best deals out there for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  It’s put together by the Asheville Citizen-Times.   Many of the deals are online, so you can stay put in one of our beach house rentals Charleston SC and still make a dent in your Christmas list.

 

Healthy alternatives to Black Friday

 

If you’d like to do other things today instead of the purchase of material goods, there are several enticing options.  Here’s a handy list to help give you some ideas.

Options include volunteering, donating to a worthy cause, walking around the city, writing letters to family and friends, or reading a good book.

 

After Black Friday… try Small Business Saturday 

 

There’s a growing movement afoot to shop local on Saturday.  It’s been officially dubbed, “Small Business Saturday.”  The trend of all things LOCAL that’s so popular in restaurant circles (think: farm-to-table) has expanded to merchants as well.

So if you’re on the Isle of Palms this weekend, consider hitting the local stores on Saturday.  The Charleston area has some truly great and unique local merchants.

And when you’re in the market for the perfect Charleston beach house, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

When you come to stay in a Charleston beach house, it stands to reason that you can use some good beach reading material during your visit.

This weekend just happens to be the perfect chance to stock up on beach reading and much more, appropriate for all reading and interest levels.  It’s a fun annual event that also happens to support a worthy cause.

If you’re here right now, the weather is marvelous.  Thankfully we only had a little wind from Hurricane Michael.  Of course our thoughts and prayers are with those in Florida, Alabama and Georgia who were seriously affected by this historic storm.

We have been blessed and fortunate on the coast of South Carolina.  It’s perfect weather to lounge on the deck with a book and take in some Vitamin D, aka sunshine.

This weekend is the Charleston County Library’s annual fall book sale, affectionately known as “That BIG Book Sale.”  This is the 37th year that TBBS has taken place.  It’s going on today through Sunday.

This is some of the beach reading material (and more) you’ll find at the book sale:

 

TBBS is sponsored by Charleston Friends of the Library (CFOL). Proceeds go toward helping the public library do its good work for the community.  CFOL pledges at least $100,000 to the library each year; most of that is raised by book sales like this one.

It’s a great, wholesome place to do some early Christmas shopping.  They tend to have a lot of local interest items, so it’s also a nice place to grab a souvenir from your stay in the Lowcountry.

TBBS takes place at the Omar Shrine Auditorium at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant.  It’s located at 176 Patriots Point Road, an easy drive from the beach.

Here’s a link from the library’s website.  And here is more from the Post & Courier.

 

Victory Cup Charleston = Polo and Hot Air Balloons

 

There’s a fun party going on in Ravenel this weekend.

It’s the Charleston Hot Air Balloon Festival at Hyde Park Polo Club.    Also going on  –  Victory Cup polo matches, part of the national Victory Cup Tournament happening around the country.  Get set for some lovely horses, spiffy fashion and hats.

Here’s more about it from the Post & Courier, along with other fall festivals going on this weekend.

Events happen tonight and tomorrow, October 12th and 13th.  Tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon are the polo matches.  Sponsors include Ferrari, Bentley Charlotte, Vineyard Vines, Truly, Angry Orchard, Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

You can get the whole scoop about that at the official Victory Cup website.

 

A new farmers market in Charleston 

 

And last but not least, there’s a new farmers market launching this weekend.  Called The Post and Courier Farmers Market,  it’s happening on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 in the Visitor’s Lot of the Post & Courier, at the corner of King and Columbus Streets downtown.

They’ll have over 40 vendors, with produce, artisans’ wares and food trucks for your shopping and dining pleasure.  This is also a great way to sample local Lowcountry products and find a souvenir from your stay in Charleston.

As a nice bonus, there’s free parking available in the P&C employee parking lot across the street.

So grab some good beach reading at a great price, watch some polo, and check out a new farmers market.  And remember, when you are looking for the best beach rentals near Charleston, to call Exclusive Properties.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

Beach litter, and ocean pollution in seas and waterways, has become huge headlines lately.  And for good reason.  It’s a serious problem.

We here in the Lowcountry, we love and take great pride in our beaches.  It’s one of the primary things that drew us here in the first place, and continues to draw folks to Charleston.

The beaches, especially those on the Isle of Palms, also tend to draw a lot of day trippers.  And unfortunately, not everyone cleans up after themselves.   Beach litter is everywhere.

When I travel to other countries and then return home, I am often shocked by how much people in America litter.  It is a chronic problem all across the country.

The Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew tackling beach litter one butt at a time 

 

Several concerned IOP residents organized a weekly beach litter cleanup during the peak summer season, which I covered in this blog.  It involved folks gathering at Front Beach, picking up litter along the beach for 30 minutes to an hour, then meeting at a local watering hole for special drink and food specials.  It became a fun community event for both locals and kind people visiting the Isle of Palms.  They did a total of eleven sweeps beginning the last Monday in June.

Now that peak season officially ended on Labor Day, they are keeping up the effort.  Instead of a weekly deal, they’ve switched to a monthly basis.  The first monthly sweep will be Monday, October 8th, and each second Monday of the month after that.  October 8th signup with start at 5:30.  November, December and January signups will be at 4:30 each time to account for the earlier sunsets.

The October 8th beach litter sweep will be followed by a gathering and specials at Papi’s Taqueria, a new eating place that’s getting a lot of positive buzz here on the IOP.  It’s a great, hip beach spot.  They’re located at 1012 Ocean Boulevard.  Here’s a link to Papi’s website.

 

Yikes! Check out the IOP’s official beach litter tally 

 

Part of the beach sweep/beach litter effort was to try and assess the kind of garbage people are leaving on the beach.  The good folks at the South Carolina Aquarium provided resources to help litter-picker-uppers to keep track of what they collected.  Following are the results.

Plastic straws/stirrers – 833

Other plastics – 9,407

Cigarettes/filters – 8,142

Cigars, lighters, tobacco packaging – 282

Styrofoam – 809

Medical supplies/personal hygiene – 410

Cans, stakes and misc. metal – 388

Fishing gear – 141

Glass – 117

Balloons – 78

Large items like building materials – 49

Other misc. items – 2,445

Total – 23,101 trash items

 

It included 10,240 plastic items as well as 8,424 items related to smoking.  Many of those were cigarette butts, which often also include small pieces of plastic.

Wow, that’s a whole lot of trash, and that’s just what got officially counted.  I sure am glad it’s no longer on the beach, or in the ocean.

Thank you, Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew!

Here’s a great article from the Island Eye News with the full story.

So when you are visiting the beach, please make use of the garbage cans and recycling bins located at beach access points.  And remember, when you are looking for a great Charleston beach house, to call EP.

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

 

 

 

If you’re here this weekend, your Saturday can be filled with festive fun, including a genuine grape stomping.

Two popular day festivals are happening tomorrow, August 18th.  They offer the chance to cool off or at least seriously quench your thirst.

Grape stomping on an Island

 

Tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 is the 15th annual Grape Stomping Festival at Deep Water Vineyard.  You may recall this was formerly known as Irvin-House Vineyards.  They produce a nice selection of local wines that with names like Low Tide, Lowcountry Red, Magnolia, High Tide, and Deep Water Blend.

It’s also the location of Firefly Distillery, famous for its Sweet Tea Vodka (This makes a great souvenir from your Lowcountry stay, by the way.)

The fun takes place at 6775 Bears Bluff Road on Wadmalaw Island.  It’s a 30 minute drive south of Charleston, so figure about an hour or so from the Isle of Palms. The cost is $10 per car advance or $20 at the gate, and part of the proceeds will be given to local charities.

There will be plenty of food as well as tastings available for purchase.  Food trucks will include El Pincho Taco, Coast Crust Pizza, Home Team BBQ, Dave ‘n’ Dub Hot Dogs, The Immortal Lobster, and Rebel Taqueria.  Tastings are $6 or $7 and include a souvenir wine or shot glass.  They’ll also have their refreshing frozen Wine-a-Ritas ready to sip, as well as beer from Low Tide Brewing.  Bootless (local Southern rock/country) and Dall Baker & Friends (beachy Lowcountry roots-grass) will provide live music.

It’s also appropriate for the kids, as there will be fun activities for them.

Make like Lucy and Ethel

 

But the main attraction is the grape stomping contest, inspired by the famous 1956 episode of I Love Lucy.  For fans of the show, it was the episode entitled “Lucy’s Italian Movie” from Season 5 of the iconic show.

Teams of two people each (the Stomper and the Swabber) will have three minutes to stomp 20 pounds of fresh grapes with bare feet.  The one that produces the most juice, wins.  And of course, you are encouraged to dress like Lucille Ball from the iconic TV scene.  In fact, concurrent to the stomping contest will be a Lucy Look-A-Like Contest.

See above pic for costume and hair ideas.

There will be three adult stomps and one kids’ stomp.  Here’s the schedule:

10:00 – Gates Open
11:00 – 12:00 – Dallas Baker and Friends (Set #1)
12:00 – Kids’ Grape Stomping
12:25 – 1:15 – Dallas Baker and Friends (Set #2)
1:15 – 1st Adult Grape Stomping
1:45 – 2:30 – Bootless (Set #1)
2:30 – 2nd Adult Grape Stomping
2:50 – 3:45 – Bootless (Set #2)
3:45 – 3rd Adult Grape Stomping
4:00 – Lucy Look-a-Like Contest
4:15 – 5:00 Bootless (Set #3)
5:00 – Contest Winners Announced

You’re encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, but not coolers.  Here are more details, including the rules and parameters and ticket sales.  

Wadmalaw Island is actually quite a nice and scenic drive from the Isle of Palms.  It’s an island known for farms and fresh produce, so while there you can stock up on local, healthy food to bring back home.

 

Brewskis galore 

 

Also Saturday evening, from 7:00-10:00 p.m. is the 16th annual Ballpark Festival of Beers It’s a 21-and over only event, so leave the kids and teens at home.

This takes place at The Joe, Charleston’s beloved baseball park, and it’s a wildly popular event.  A $30 ticket/wristband allows you to sample some of approximately 100 beers, everything from stouts, pilsners, lagers, you name it, from this country and abroad.  There will also be $15 designated driver wristbands.  It’s sponsored by The Kickin’ Chicken, which will also provide food, along with Semilla, Towin’ the Dough, Big Daddy Pork Skins and more.

Here are some of the beers that will be available:

There will be live music by The Blue Plantation Band and Ben Fagan & The Holy City Hooligans.  Oh  –  and in case this is your first time around here, you’ll get to experience one of the Lowcountry’s favorite pastimes: the joy that is cornhole.

VIP tickets sell for $60 and allows early admission at 6:00 p.m.  Here’s a link with more info.

The Joe is located at 360 Fishburne Street on the downtown peninsula.

So have fun, stay hydrated, and be safe.  And when you’re searching for a luxurious Charleston beach house, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger