King Street has been named one of America’s Great Streets, a top ten list honored by the American Planning Association. These are folks who know a thing or two about urban spaces. It’s part of their “Great Places in America” awards. In particular, they singled out the section of King from Broad to Spring Streets.
Others on the list include Broadway in New York City, Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., and Clematis Street in West Palm Beach.
U.S. News and World Report’s Travel section named King Street as one of the ten best shopping streets in America. Some others on the list? Fifth Avenue in New York, and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Not bad company.
What makes King Street So Great?
The College of Urban Studies at The College of Charleston compiled a list of the main things that contribute toward King being so great. According to their analysis, King Street:
- is a human scaled street,
- invites pedestrians,
- exhibits natural smart growth,
- blends seamlessly into its surroundings,
- reminds us of our past, with an eye to the future,
- has energy,
- and fosters an agglomeration of economies.
King Street has so much to offer these days, with plenty of shops, galleries, restaurants, night spots and more. But it wasn’t always such a thriving street. The development of Charleston Place, which opened in 1986, sparked a renewal that has grown ever since and has rapidly spread to Upper King, north of Marion Square. Now King Street is hotter than ever.
Time for Second Sunday on King
Second Sunday on King Street is one of the most fun and successful recurring events around, and it’s about to crank into high gear for the high season.
A big chunk of King Street downtown is blocked off to pedestrian & canine traffic only from 1:00 till 5:00 in the afternoon. Basically it runs from from Calhoun (Marion Square) to Queen Street. Restaurants have tables set up on the street, there are musicians and food vendors all over the place… this thing grows bigger and better all the time.
This Sunday is the latest installment, and this year it coincides with a big holiday – Mother’s Day.
One good option is to park in one of several parking garages run by the city. These allow you to park in the shade (unless you are on the top level). As a nice bonus, the city offers two hours of free parking in most of their garages during Second Sundays with a voucher. Here’s a link to print a voucher for this coming Sunday.
Insider’s Tip – they also have free parking vouchers available, first-come, first-served, at the official Second Sunday booth along King Street.
Speaking of Mother’s Day…
Apparently, this year Americans will spend more money than ever honoring our moms. After all, who deserves it more than they do?
Experts with the National Retail Federation estimate Mother’s Day spending will total a record $25 billion. That’s up from $23.1 billion last year, and the highest since they’ve been tracking data.
Mother’s Day is behind only Christmas and back-to-school as the biggest holiday/occasion for spending.
Here’s the scoop from the Post & Courier.
The average person is expected to pay $196 this year as opposed to $180 in 2018. Better order those flowers and make brunch reservations ASAP!
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
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:
- Marion Square (tents, exhibitors, cooking demos, Birds of Prey, etc.);
- Charleston Place (wildlife art central);
- Gaillard Center (vendor central and wildlife shows/presentations);
- The Marriott on Lockwood (duck decoy central);
- Brittlebank Park (larger than ever, with DockDogs, border collie sheep and duck herding, search and rescue dog demos, marine village, kids zone, petting zoo, pony and camel rides, etc. etc.). Read more about the expanded offerings here.
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:
- Registration at noon Saturday at Red’s, 98 Church Street in Mount Pleasant;
- Live music starts there at noon, with The Three Sheets Island Band;
- Throughout the afternoon, live music aboard the Palmetto Breeze by Taco Donkey, Tyler Boone, and the Dave Landeo Band;
- Afterparty at Red’s starting at 7:00p.m. with music by Saluda Shoals;
- $25 advance at $30 at the event;
- More info and advanced tickets here.
- Or on their FB page.
It’s always a raucous good time, with Buffet beachy tunes and libations that pair perfectly together, like Charleston and art.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger