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We are rapidly approaching festival season in the Lowcountry, and a Spoleto auction is just a harbinger of things to come.  SEWE is coming up the weekend after next. Then there’s Wine + Food, Charleston Fashion Week, and a whole slew of others.

Before you know it, the world-renowned Spoleto Festival will be here, kicking off the peak summer season for SC vacation rentals.

You don’t have to be here right now to get in on the pre-Spoleto fun.  Right now an exciting online Spoleto auction is taking place.  Proceeds benefit the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, the official musicians of the festival.

There almost 100 great items up for bid, including:

The online auction is running from now through Monday, February 18th at 10:00 p.m.  Out of the 93 items up for bid, 53 have no bidders yet, as of last check.  So you have a shot at getting a great deal on terrific items or experiences while you’re here.

Several involve adventures in areas away from Charleston as well.  Cases in point: Design Tour of Manhattan, A Weekend in the Queen City, Garden & Gun Atlanta Getaway, Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival, Birthday Luncheon for Eight in Hilton Head, Private Tour of Jefferson’s Monticello, and many more.

Here’s a link to the online bidding and a list of everything that’s up for grabs.

 

A Special Luxury Live Spoleto Auction Event 

 

Also, there will be a special LIVE auction gala event this coming Friday, February 8th.  The event will take place at the just-opened Hotel Bennett on Marion Square in downtown Charleston.

This live auction will have 15 very special items up for bid, like dinner for 12 by renowned Charleston chef Mike Lata of FIG fame.  Here’s a description from their website:

“You and 11 guests will enjoy an intimate dinner prepared by James Beard Award-winning Chef Mike Lata of FIG and The Ordinary in the privacy of your own home [e.g. your luxury house on Isle of Palms]. Chef Lata and Harry Root of Grassroots Wine will work together to create a delicious multiple-course menu featuring the best local produce and seasonal ingredients paired with wine from FIG’s extensive list that highlights small-production winemakers.”

Voting by proxy is also available, so you don’t have to be here in person this Friday to bid.   You can contact Spoleto Patron Services at (843) 720-1104.

If you are here this week and would like to attend the live Spoleto auction, you can obtain tickets by calling (843) 720-1114, or by using this link.

But hurry.  Tickets are only available until February 6th at 12 p.m.  –  that’s tomorrow, Wednesday.

 

The Latest on CHS Flying High

 

As I’ve blogged about numerous times, Charleston International Airport is on a roll.   It’s undergone a massive $200 million renovation. The number of carriers and flights is growing by leaps and bounds.

Well, the latest counts are officially in, and the Charleston International Airport has set an all-time record for the number of travelers flying through.

A whopping 4.47 million people came in or out of CHS in 2018 It’s the first year ever to top the 4 million mark, and it’s a 12.1% increase over the previous year.

It translates into an extra 500,000 people over the previous year.  This is amazing, especially when you consider the airport was shut down for four days last January (2018) for snow and ice, and three days this past September for a hurricane swirling in the Atlantic.  Read more here.

So, happy bidding/flying.  If you are interested in coming for Spoleto, call us soon as possible since our homes tend to book up fast.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Photo credit: Spoleto

 

 

 

The news keeps getting better and better for Charleston International Airport, and the latest milestone is thanks to British Airways.

As I’ve covered many a time, CHS has undergone a massive $200 million renovation.  It’s easier and more pleasant than ever to fly to Charleston and our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.  It’s generally the fastest way to get here if you’re coming “from off.”

Several new airlines have begun flying here, like JetBlue, Southwest and Alaska.  Existing ones have been adding flights and new routes at a good clip.  Not coincidentally, we’ve seen more folks flying to stay with us from many of these new destinations.

Well, this fall the powers-that-be made yet another big announcement.  CHS will soon have nonstop flights to London, thanks to the fine folks at British Airways.

The British are Coming!  The British are Coming!  Cheerio, British Airways

 

Beginning April 4, 2019, British Airways will provide twice-weekly service between CHS and Heathrow.  Flights will take place on Thursday and Sunday.  They’ll be aboard a Boeing 787-8, just like the ones that are assembled right next to the airport.  In fact, part of the actual plane that will be flying to and from Charleston was made here.

Here’s the schedule:

Depart from Charleston at 10:50 p.m.  Arrive in London at 11:50 a.m. the next day.

Depart from London at 5:20 p.m.  Arrive in Charleston at 9:20 p.m.

This initial schedule will last through October 24th, 2019.  It is quite possible they will eventually add even more flights during future peak travel seasons.  Five-day-a-week flights between England and Charleston are not out of the question.

Here are some interesting stats.  Last year, 110,000 left CHS headed for Europe.  That breaks down to around 2,100 per week, a sizable number.

South Carolina receives around 750,000 international visitors per year.   Approximately a quarter million of those come from overseas.

So, soon it will be easier than ever for our friends across the pond to come and stay here.  When it’s cold and drizzly in London, they’ll be able to hop on a single flight and then be lounging on the beach on Isle of Palms.

Here’s a great and quite comprehensive article about it from the Post & Courier.

 

Charleston International Airport on pace to set records 

 

CHS is busier than ever.  As of late September, before this news was announced, the number of ticketed travelers passing through was 3.3 million, up 12% from last year.

At last check, they’re likely to set an all-time record and pass 4 million by the end of this calendar year.

For your convenience: More parking at CHS 

 

Also, just in time for the holidays, CHS has added more parking options at the airport.

They’ve added a remote lot with an extra 200 spots, along with free shuttle service.  They’ve also doubled the number of spaces in the handy cell phone waiting lot.  It can now hold 80 vehicles.

Here’s more on the story.

So we say a special welcome to our friends from Great Britain. If you are interested in staying at the beach, do be sure to give us a call.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

First up, a follow-up to that last blog, and what’s on everyone’s mind… Hurricane Florence.

Florence has thrown the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic into a tizzy.  With good reason.  This monster storm has been looming large on the radar screen for quite some time now.  As I covered in that last blog, it caused the Governor of South Carolina to order a mandatory evacuation for folks in the coastal counties of SC.  This has affected visitors to our Isle of Palms luxury rentals and us residents alike.

Things around Charleston have been anything but normal.  All eight area WalMarts closed Monday night at midnight.  Post offices and schools shut down (the schools have been converted to emergency shelters). Charleston International Airport (CHS) shut down all flights on Wednesday.

Where will Hurricane Florence land?

 

It’s been a nerve-wracking waiting game, a weird competition among spaghetti models that show various terrible scenarios.  The Euro model in particular suggested dire consequences for the Lowcountry.

Sadly for our Carolinian neighbor to the north, Hurricane Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington.

Here, near Charleston, we seem to have been spared the worst.  Thankfully Florence has been downgraded to “just” a tropical storm that is heading into South Carolina.

On the Isle of Palms, the winds have started to pick up, and we are expecting a lot of rain.

 

Check out current conditions on the Isle of Palms 

 

If you’d like to keep up with current weather conditions here on the IOP, Exclusive Properties has installed a live beach cam.

Click here to see what the view from a luxury house on Isle of Palms looks like right now.

By the way, CHS (Charleston’s airport) is expected to open back up tomorrow, now that the threat of grave danger has passed.  Our vacation homes should be back open soon for your visit.

So be safe.  We’ll try to do the same.  If you have any questions, just call us at EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger