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The weather is warming up nicely, and farmers markets around Charleston are back in season once again.  And you certainly have your pick of some outstanding ones.

Farmers markets have seen a surge in popularity, for so many good reasons.  They dovetail perfectly with the locavore/eat local movement, the farm-to-table trend, the eat healthy trend, and the shop local and support area businesses and farmers movement.  That’s a lot of trends and movements, and they’re all good.

According to Certified SC Grown, here’s some of what’s harvested fresh in the month of April:  asparagus, beets, cabbage, cilantro, leeks, mixed leafy greens (collard/kale/mustard/turnip), onions, oriental vegetables, parsley, radishes and strawberries.

Downtown Farmers Markets

Charleston Farmers Market

The farmers markets around Charleston are especially good.  The biggie around here, the downtown Charleston Farmers Market on Marion Square, has been named one of the ten best in America.

It offers a neat blend of fresh local produce, unique Lowcountry and artisanal products, artistic crafts that are a cut above the norm, and creative food and beverage vendors.   It’s also a lively Saturday morning scene at the green hub of the downtown peninsula.

The Charleston Farmers Market kicks off its 2019 season this coming Saturday, April 13th at 8:00 a.m. with over 100 vendors.  There will also be live music by Red Cedar Review and a special Plow-to-Chow event by Lowcountry Local First.

This market happens Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. from April 13th – November 30th.  Here’s the official website.

Post & Courier Farmers Market

One other farmers market downtown is a relative newcomer and takes place on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m.  It’s The Post and Courier Farmers Market with 40 vendors, plenty of live music, food and beverages for sale.  The locale is their Visitor’s Lot at the corner of King and Columbus Streets downtown (134 Columbus Street).  There’s plenty of free parking available in the employee parking lot across the street.


Farmers Markets Closer to the Beach


You also have some other options that are closer to our luxury beach house rentals SC.  By the way, shopping at farmers markets is a perfect way to stock your kitchen, put something fresh on the dinner table, and find a souvenir to take home from your stay in the Lowcountry.

Mount Pleasant Farmers Market

This market kicked off last week and takes place each Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. through September.  It’s located in the special pavilion next to Moultrie Middle School at 645 Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.  It’s a great spot to pick up fresh seafood or ready-made meals for dinner.  There’s also food available to purchase and eat onsite.

Sullivan’s Island Farmers Market

This one, just over Breach Inlet from the Isle of Palms, also kicked off last week.  It happens on Thursdays from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, now through June 27th.  It’s a relative newcomer, having launched in 2016.

This year they’ve changed the location.  It used to be in front of the Poe Library.  They’ve moved it to Stith Park, at 2050 Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island.  Check it out, they’ll have about 30 tents as well as food trucks like The Immortal Lobster.  You can check out their Facebook page for more details and who the vendors are this time around.

Isle of Palms has a farmers market as well, but theirs happens in the fall.  But fear not, there are many others that have also started or will shortly, including:

The Post & Courier did a piece recently about area farmers markets with all the details and links to each one.  Read it here.

So support local farmers and businesses while getting a true taste of the Lowcountry.  And remember to call us at EP when you’d like a luxury place to stay at the beach near Charleston.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Another December weekend, another weekend filled with your pick of holiday market plus other holiday happenings near Charleston!

The weather these past couple weekends has wreaked a bit of havoc on events in the Lowcountry.  Although we didn’t get the snow that blanketed parts north, we did get a lot of rain.

Alas the Parade of Boats in Charleston Harbor, a local tradition and fun annual event for all ages, was cancelled by the Coast Guard due to rough chop.

The downtown Charleston Holiday Parade, which was supposed to take place the first Sunday in December, luckily just got postponed.  It’s due to take place this Sunday, December 16th.

The time is the same  –  it starts at 3:00 p.m.  –  but they’ve tweaked the parade route a bit.  The revised route will now head up Meeting Street.

Here’s the scoop from the official city website, and it includes info about related street closings.

The parade is always a lot of fun, with floats, lots of marching bands and holiday music, local celebrities and the big guy himself, Santa.  It’s an easy drive from the Isle of Palms.  Just head through Mount Pleasant, over the Ravenel Bridge and take the Meeting Street exit.

A holiday market or two in Charleston


Another casualty of the rainy weekends has been the downtown Holiday Market This weekend is the last chance to check it out.  Thankfully the rain should be gone by mid-morning tomorrow.

The Holiday Market is scheduled to take place this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15th and 16th from 9:00 a.m. till 3:00.  It’s the holiday version of the Charleston Farmers Market, which has been named one of the best in the country.   The market is centered around Marion Square and is an ideal place to grab a bite or pick up something to prepare dinner with in one of our beach rentals Charleston.  It’s also a perfect place to do some Christmas shopping or pick up a uniquely Lowcountry souvenir from your stay in one of our luxury beach house rentals SC.

Here’s the market’s official website.


Also going on tomorrow is a relatively new holiday market.  It’s the Cigar Bazaar Holiday Market happening at the Cigar Factory, also downtown.

Here are some deets:


Brunch with Santa right on the IOP


If you’re on the Isle of Palms this weekend or next, you’ll have a great chance to have brunch with Santa.

That’s right  –  On December 15th and 22nd, Santa himself will be right here on the IOP.  He’ll be at The Refuge, the popular island restaurant in the Harris-Teeter shopping center, between 9 -11:00 a.m.

This will be especially fun for any kids in your clan.  They can have their picture taken with Santa, check out the hot chocolate and ornament decorating stations.  Oh  –  and kids 6 and under eat free!  Can’t beat that.

So have a hopefully rain-free weekend enjoying holiday fun.  And when you are looking for the best beach house near Charleston, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger




As we’re cruising toward Christmas, this is yet another weekend filled to the gills with plenty of merriment including a holiday parade or two or three.

Events include a classic Lowcountry tradition (Holiday Parade of Boats), holiday markets and other festive things that are perfect for all ages.

Now, if only we can get the weather to cooperate.

Last weekend saw a lot of rain, to the point that the downtown Charleston Christmas Parade was postponed until next Sunday, December 16th.  This weekend looks to be rather wet as well.  But look at it this way  –  at least if you’re in one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals, you’ll be warm and dry.  Parts further north (the Upstate and especially North Carolina) are staring down the barrel of a potentially huge snowstorm.  Temps there will be right around freezing, and the forecast includes freezing rain and ice in parts.  That’s when people start losing electricity, and what sounded like a winter wonderland quickly turns into a giant, cold hassle.

So count your blessings.  Charleston is a very nice place to be, for a myriad of reasons.

Holiday markets happening now


Tomorrow  –  Saturday, December 8th – is the 19th annual Mount Pleasant Holiday Farmers Market & Craft Show It takes place on the site of the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market Pavilion by Moultrie Middle School on Coleman Boulevard.  The market will take place from 11:00 till 4:00, likely before the rain comes in.  Local craftspeople will sell their wares, and there’ll be plenty of edible goodies available for purchase.  It’s a great place to pick up a locally-made souvenir from your stay in Charleston.

This holiday market is especially convenient to the Isle of Palms.  Just head over to Sullivan’s Island, then take the Ben Sawyer Drawbridge to Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.  It will be on your left.

There’s also a great holiday market option downtown, happening both Saturday and Sunday.

The famous Charleston Farmers Market has technically finished for its regular season.  But fret not, for the next couple of weekends they’re having their special Holiday Market in Marion Square, the site of the normal downtown market.  It’ll go on from 9:00 until 3:00 (Dec. 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th) and will feature more great gift options and gourmet food.  There will also be live holiday music and free visits with Santa.


A couple different kinds of holiday parade this weekend 


Then Saturday night is the ever-popular (and quintessentially Lowcountry) Holiday Parade of Boats in Charleston Harbor.  Ahoy and Ho Ho Ho for the 37th annual installment of this parade on H2O.  Watch as folks sail or motor by in their brightly decorated and well-lit vessels.

It starts about 5:30 p.m. and should last till about 8:00 p.m.  Boats will start out around Fort Sumter, head up the Cooper River under the Ravenel Bridge, head back under the bridge and down the peninsula, around the Battery, up the Ashley River, and end near the Coast Guard Station. Good viewing spots include the Battery or Waterfront Park downtown.  There will be a special catered and ticketed viewing party sponsored by the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston at the Charleston Maritime Center starting at 5:00 p.m. Read all about it here.

On Sunday night, it’s the 23rd annual Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade and Tree Lighting.  The fun kicks off at Moultrie Middle School (645 Coleman Boulevard) at 5:30 p.m. with the lighting of the big tree and fireworks.  The parade will follow at approx. 5:45.  The route starts at Mill Street, then heads south on Coleman Boulevard to the intersection of Patriots Point Road and West Coleman Blvd.  FYI, the parade route has been deemed a “No Drone Zone” for safety reasons.

It’ll contain more than 100 groups and will feature lighted floats, marching bands, antique cars, Santa riding on a fire engine, and more.  You can vote for your favorite float  —-   #VoteTheFloatMP.

Here’s the scoop.

Honestly, there are about 38 other things going on this weekend near our SC vacation rentals, including Chanukah on the Square on Sunday.  Here’s a breakdown from the Post & Courier.

So enjoy a holiday parade or market this weekend, you’ll have your pick.  Or just hang out in one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals and write Christmas cards, listen to carols and the sound of the ocean.  If you’re not here now but would like to be, just give EP a call.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger




Thanksgiving week and the days after are full… of holiday happenings, festive food, likely some travel, shopping and family time.

Today, it’s all about giving.  But first, let’s look back on the last couple days.

Thursday: Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving


The days after Thanksgiving have come to have certain monikers.  Of course Thursday – Thanksgiving  –  is all about gratitude and coming together with family and friends if possible.  Of course one of our luxury beach house rentals SC is an ideal place to do that.

Friday: in the Black


Friday, aka the day after Thanksgiving, has been known as “Black Friday” for several decades now.  It was seen as the official start of the Christmas shopping season.  The name came from the idea that merchants counted on this time to have their sales numbers enter the black, although the stress of it soon suggested other dark connotations.  It became notorious for having super-early doorbusters that led to people greedily charging each other in Walmarts, etc. for cheap consumer goods –  not exactly the Christmas spirit.

With the onset of online shopping, Black Friday has become much less of a big deal.  Most people would prefer just staying in their pajamas and ordering online, skipping the traffic, crowds and hassle.  Not only that, but it gets shipped straight to your house.  After all, it’s no fun schlepping a surplus of purchases home, especially if you’ve done it while on vacation.

Saturday’s all about small business


In more recent years, the following day  –  the Saturday after Thanksgiving  –  has become known as “Small Business Saturday.”  It’s an effort to encourage people to shop unique local merchants as opposed to giant national or global chains  –  thus keeping the economic impact in the community.  This is similar to the local movement in the food /restaurant realm.  Eating local is not only more interesting and unique, it’s also better for the environment.

After all, if you’re coming to visit, you might as well experience something that is unique to Charleston and the Lowcountry.  There are slews of local businesses around here, and checking out the Charleston Farmers Market is a great place to pick up a great souvenir of your stay here.

Here’s an interesting fact  –  90% of the businesses in the state of South Carolina are local.   They are a HUGE part of what gives the area its particular personality and charm.  So when you’re here, be sure to shop, eat or stay local whenever possible.

Monday is all about the internet


So yesterday  –  the Monday after Thanksgiving –  is known as “Cyber Monday,” since most people have returned to work and start shopping on their computers in earnest.  Sure enough, the emails rushed into my inbox touting all kinds of online sales and special deals.  In fact, most now trumpet “Cyber Week,” so no doubt they’ll be streaming in all week long.

And now, today, is Giving Tuesday


So finally, that brings us to today – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  This is perhaps the most recent of all the monikers.  Nonprofits and people doing good have embraced it, as a chance to help people give back.

This is how the good folks at the Lowcountry Food Bank put it:  Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement and the opening day of the giving season. Millions of people come together to support and champion causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are well known for getting great “deals.”  Make Giving Tuesday a day for giving back!

Greg Laurie had this to say:  I’m thinking today is going to be a good day. Why? Because it’s #GivingTuesday, and people all over the country and around the world will be giving toward charitable causes and organizations that they believe in.  And any day that we are thinking more of others than of ourselves is a good day, right?

I’ve also had a slew of worthy causes emailing requests this morning for help.  #GivingTuesday is the hashtag of the day.

Great options for Giving 


If you’d like to help needy local families have a holiday meal this season, the Lowcountry Food Bank can bring that about, with your donation.

The wonderful people of World Vision will also match donations with one of 31 great gifts.  They include chickens, goats, medicines, a goat and two chickens  –  simple gifts that can transform a needy person’s life.

Here’s a good tip.  If you donate via PayPal, they’ll match donations dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $500,000.  After that amount, they’ll add 1% to all remaining donations. No deductions, no fees.  Charities include Unicef, Save the Children, charity: water, and Feeding America.

Some other ideas:  The Petco Foundation, which has helped 5.5 million homeless pets find loving homes.  You can support it by giving online, or by purchasing certain items like calendars and photos with Santa in stores.

Birdlife is a huge, beautiful part of the Lowcountry.  If you give today to Audubon soon, your gift will be matched by an anonymous donor.

So think about giving to a worthy cause today, or any day.  And be sure to call us at Exclusive Properties when you need a beach getaway.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger