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Sales tax holiday means plenty of things are totally tax-free!

This weekend marks a special holiday for folks in South Carolina…  it’s a sales tax holiday, when a whole bunch of things are absolutely tax-free!

You have a chance to save some serious dough if you shop this weekend.  This is especially true if you have school-age children.  The tax-free holiday’s happening across the entire state.

It’s the 19th annual sales tax tax-free holiday, and it promises to be a busy one.  Sources say back-to-school shopping and the tax-free weekend is the second best shopping weekend. (Not surprisingly, Black Friday is first).

This weekend is your chance to save a chunk of change on items you generally purchase this time of year.


Sales tax by the numbers… and how the savings really add up 


You’ll save the state sales tax (which, in South Carolina, is 6%), as well as local taxes.  Here in Charleston County, that’s an additional 3%.  So by shopping this weekend, you can save a whopping 9%.

That really adds up, when you consider what the average family with school-age children spends annually on back-to-school supplies.

For those with kids ages K-12, the average is $685.  For college-aged kids, it’s $942.  The National Retail Federation estimates the total spent this year will be a cool $82.8 billion nationwide.  That’s a whole lotta pencils and glue sticks!

The whole list of what qualifies and what doesn’t is HUGE, and I’ll include it below.  Basically, in a nutshell, you won’t have to pay sales tax on the following items: school supplies, computers, printers, computer software, calculators, book bags, clothes (!), shoes, bedspreads and linens, bath mats, and shower curtains.

However, you will still have to pay tax on cosmetics, eyewear, furniture, jewelry, backpacks (for hiking/camping – but book bags are okay), mattresses, wallets and watches.

It’s a great time to shop!


It’s worth noting that you don’t have to prove you are a student or have one to get the discount.  So this weekend is a great time to go shopping for computers, clothes and shoes, whatever your educational status and age.  There are plenty of great shopping options near the Isle of Palms.  Just head over the IOP Connector and hit Towne Centre in Mount Pleasant for some great options.

The holiday runs from this Friday, August 3rd through Sunday August 5th at midnight.

Read more on the story from the Post & Courier.

So check out the full list below.  And remember, when you are looking for a great beach house, be sure to call EP.  We have the very best in Isle of Palms luxury rentals.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


Exempt aka tax-free items (A-C) include:


Exemptions regarding computers:


Note: The sale of a computer monitor, keyboard, or scanner by itself would not be exempt during the sales tax holiday. If a monitor, keyboard or scanner is purchased as part of a package that included the computer processing unit, then that is one transaction to purchase a computer and the sale of the packaged unit (CPU, monitor, keyboard, scanner) is exempt. The sale of a digital music player, digital camera, cell phone or a smartphone, whether or not purchased in conjunction with a computer processing unit (CPU), is not exempt during the sales tax holiday.

Exempt, tax-free items (D-O):


Exempt, tax-free items (P-R):


Exempt, tax-free items (S-Z):



Nonexempt aka taxable items (A-K) include:


Nonexempt items (M-Z):


Charleston Surfing is alive and well on the barrier islands

Charleston surfing is hot.

Folks who stay here generally have a yen for a little island time.  You can wake up and see the ocean.  Eat a little breakfast on the deck.  Then stroll down to the beach for a day of kick-back time.

And, of course, the especially nice thing about a Charleston beach house is that you can easily head downtown into the Holy City to experience its charms and culture.

One thing you might not realize, is what an established Charleston surfing scene there is around here.

Matter of fact, it officially goes all the way back to 1963, when the Carolina Coast Surf Club was first founded.  This was back in the days when the vacation rental industry was barely a thought.  When a “Charleston beach house” meant a family place out on the islands where Charleston residents took their kids in the summer.

But these early surfers banded together and have kept it going and growing in the years since.  In fact, it evolved into a nonprofit in 2001, and now is involved in all sorts of great endeavors.  Their activities include cleaning up the IOP beach, sponsoring scholarships, taking part in the very cool Surfers Healing program, and helping out with the Surfrider Foundation.

They have a heart for bringing surfers together and for preserving the ocean and beaches for everyone to enjoy.  New members are very welcome.  Here’s a link to CCSC’s website with all things surf related.

Their website also has a handy live surfcam, so you can check out current weather and wave conditions on the beach.  Here’s a link to that.

CCSC also provides all kinds of useful info, including a list of the six basic rules of surf etiquette.

Six Simple Charleston Surfing and SUP Rules


Click here to read what each of these important rules actually means.

So come check out the local Charleston surfing scene.  And when you are looking for a great Charleston beach house, be sure to call EP.   We’ll put you in one right near the surf if you’d like.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


Be aware of rip currents near the beach

When you’re staying at the beach near Charleston, it’s vital you know about one particular water safety issue: rip currents.

An AP article a few years back really got my attention.  It reported how over the Independence Day holiday, four able-bodied people lost their lives on beaches in Brunswick County, NC.

The cause?   Rip currents.

I’ve covered this important subject in previous blogs, but it bears repeating.  We want everyone staying here to stay safe.

The story focused on a young judge and his wife and their two sons, who were enjoying the sunny weather after a stretch of rainy days.  Many other folks were out swimming in the water, glad that the weather had cleared.  All of a sudden chaos broke out, as numerous beachgoers got caught in rip currents.  The couple entered the water to help others in distress.  The husband, by all accounts a very strong swimmer, didn’t make it out alive.


What are rip currents?


First of all, they are not rip tides or undertow, where you are pulled under the water.  Rip currents are channels   –   mini-rivers if you will, of water that rushes from the shore back out into the ocean.  The current of this water runs very fast, often much faster than even the best swimmer can manage to swim against.  So instead of getting pulled under the water, you are carried out to sea.

In other words, rip currents are channels of water that flow out into the ocean. They can be very strong and move very fast – up to 8 miles an hour. Rips pull people away from shore, but will not pull a person under. They may be narrow, or up to over 100 yards wide.

The most common reaction is to panic and try to swim against the current back to shore —  and that often leads to disaster, as it did in Brunswick County.

Rip currents are most common where the sand and ocean floor are uneven, and around piers and jetties.  The cause  –   an extra amount of water coming onshore (through high winds or big waves, or several days of rainy weather).  All that extra water has to go back into the ocean somehow, and it does so via rip currents.  The ironic thing is they often appear from the surface as a calm section of ocean between sets of waves, thus attracting unsuspecting swimmers.

If you are coming to stay in one of our homes, we want you to be safe.  Coastal meteorologists and area teachers are pretty good at educating locals (especially kids) about the dangers of rip currents.  But if you are coming here from another part of the country, you may not know about rip currents and how to best handle them.


What is the answer?


The answer is counter-intuitive.  Even though the water is pulling you out to sea, do not try to swim directly back to shore.  Instead, swim parallel to the shore, in either direction, until you are out of the rip current  –  then swim back toward land.  Above all, don’t panic.  Stay calm, swim parallel, then back in and you’ll be fine.

One thing worth noting about the situation in Brunswick County  –  not a single one of its beaches has lifeguards.  Lifeguards obviously are trained to deal with rip currents and know what to do when they hit.  One can’t help but think they would have prevented the tragedy that happened there, had lifeguards been present.

A great plus if you are coming here is that both the Isle of Palms and Folly Beach have sections that are under the watchful eye of professional lifeguards.

Sure enough, a couple weeks ago (July 12th), Isle of Palms lifeguards rescued four people from very strong rip currents near the IOP Park.  The rescues were about 60 to 75 yards from the shore.  Read the story from Live 5 News here.

Another great help is warnings about dangerous conditions.  Here on the Isle of Palms, the town has posted an informational sign at the main intersection.  If you’re heading to the Isle of Palms from Mount Pleasant, it’s to the left as you come off the Isle of Palms Connector.   The Town is great about posting warnings in red letters if there are rip currents or other dangerous conditions you should know about.

According to Cole Thomas, assistant park manager at the Isle of Palms County Park, “People panic when they start to get pulled out.  What we’re trying to teach people to do is turn and swim parallel to the shore so you’ll swim out of the rip current and you’ll eventually stop feeling it pull.” 

It’s worth noting that according to park officials, an estimated 80 percent of all surf rescues are due to rip currents.


Basic tips and facts about possible rip currents 


What Do Rip Currents Look Like? 

• Churning, choppy water; 

• Different water color;

• Foam or seaweed moving seaward;

• Break in the wave pattern.

What To Do If You Get Caught In a Rip Current? 

• Don’t panic;

• Do not try to swim against the current;

• Swim along the shoreline to get out of the rip;

• Swim back to the shore diagonally (away from the rip);

• Wave for help if you are in trouble.

Other Basic Beach Safety Tips:

• Learn to swim or stay out of the water;

• Swim with a buddy and near a lifeguard;

• Enter water feet first;

• Watch your children;

• Always obey the posted signs and flags on the beach and at the lifeguard stands;

• Use sunscreen and drink water.


So when you are coming to a Charleston beach house, be informed.  Please do be careful.  And remember, as always, to call EP for the best in beach homes around.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


Shark Week and a lot of fun activities surrounding it

Now is the peak season summer rentals at the beach, and Shark Week is upon us.

A lot has changed since the summer the movie “Jaws” came out.  Truth is, before that summer of 1975, people didn’t think much about sharks.  You simply didn’t see them very often, and they rarely made the news.

Then Peter Benchley wrote that book, Steven Spielberg directed that movie, and John Williams composed those ominous notes.  The summer blockbuster was born, and people were afraid to get in the water.

We’ve come a long way since then, and now, sharks are all the rage (in a good way).  Think Sharknado.  Sharknado 2, 3 4, 5 and now 6, due to be released on July 25th.

Shark merchandise is everywhere… shark T-shirts, sunglass holders, pet costumes, shark gummies, even shark-bite doughnuts at Dunkin (frosted like a life preserver).  Their numbers have rebounded, thanks to conservation efforts and education.

Ever since 1988, the Discovery Channel has been airing SHARK WEEK, where its programming is saturated with all things shark.  It’s become the longest running annual series on TV.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Shark Week, which officially kicks off July 22nd.

In honor of Shark Week, the South Carolina Aquarium is running its own version starting Sunday (July 22) and running through Saturday (July 28).  A visit to the Aquarium during their Shark Week is a fun experience for all ages, and especially for any kids staying in your Charleston beach house.  Aquarium admission includes Shark Week activities.

Shark Week activities include:


The SC Aquarium is located on the downtown peninsula, at 100 Aquarium Wharf.  It’s a nice drive from our Isle of Palms vacation rentals.  From the IOP, just head into Mount Pleasant, cross the Ravenel Bridge, and head down East Bay till you get to Calhoun, then turn left.  Figure about a half hour drive from the beach.

Here’s a link to Shark Week on the Aquarium’s website.


Track sharks nearby!


Osearch is a non-profit group based in New England that has been tracking sharks for years.  Perhaps the best known is local “celebrity shark” Mary Lee, a great white who has frequented Lowcountry waters.  They have a great app and website where you can track shark activity not just near Charleston, but around the globe.  Here’s a link.

If you are staying near the beach and swimming in the ocean, it’s wise to be shark-aware.

Sharks are a natural part of the ocean, and they generally have little interest in humans.  Problems generally occur when they mistake us for their normal prey, like seals or fish.   It’s believed that Pacific surfers have been attacked while lying on top of a surfboard because, from below, the silhouette resembled a sea lion or seal, which are common in Pacific waters and those around Cape Cod.  Once the shark bit them and realized it wasn’t, they generally let go and left.

Around here, it’s wise not to wear jewelry while swimming in the ocean, since the sparkly reflections resemble fish scales.  A good rule of thumb is also to avoid being in the water near large schools of fish.

So be safe and enjoy Mother Nature and all her amazing creatures (like sharks).  And remember to call EP when you are looking for the perfect beach house.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


IOP Beach Run and Ladybug Release

This weekend, try a fun beach run on the Isle of Palms… or you can set some ladybugs free!

One of the more fun local running events is coming up this Saturday.  What makes it unique is that it’s on the beach itself.  You get to run on wide hard-packed sand, at low tide, just steps from the ocean.

It’s hard to beat a race that takes place right in front of your Charleston beach house.

Yes, it’s the 2018 edition of the IOP Beach Run  —  now in the 26th year of its existence.  It’s happening this coming Saturday morning, July 21st, rain or shine, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

All beach run events start and finish behind the Windjammer at Front Beach.

In years past, sponsors have been familiar area businesses.  They’ve included The Windjammer (of course), TrySports, The Foot Store, East Cooper Medical Center, Play It Again Sports, Atlantic Game and Tackle, Chick-fil-A, Powerade, Barrier Island Eco Tours, Coconut Joe’s, Island Ice Frozen Yogurt, Harris Teeter, the Isle of Palms Marina, ACME Lowcountry Kitchen, East Cooper Sporting Goods, Race Management Systems and Beach House Spa.

More specs on the IOP Beach Run 


Those of you who’ve taken part in years past may note some changes to the event.  When it first began in 1993, it was originally called the “Sand Shark Run” and was a four-miler.  It has evolved into the Isle of Palms Beach Run –  a 5K and also now a 10K event, as well as Youth Fun Runs  – 100 yards for ages 4 and under, ½ mile for ages 5 to 8, and one miler for ages 9 to 14.  The 5K is a run/walk and the 10K is a run.

Fees are: $35 for the runs and walk, and $15 for Youth Fun Runs.

NOTE: You still have time to register online.  The deadline for online registration is noon tomorrow  –  Wednesday, July 18th.  Here’s a link where you can register online.

If you miss tomorrow’s deadline, you can still register in person during packet pickup.  That will happen Friday, July 20th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Windjammer, or Saturday morning starting at 7:00 a.m.

The 5K and 10Ks begin first at 8:00 a.m., followed by the Youth Fun Runs at 9:00.  The 5K/10K awards are given out afterwards at the Windjammer.

Here’s the event’s page on the IOP website.  These are the results from last year’s Beach Run.


Set some ladybugs free 


One of the best things about staying in a Charleston beach house is that you get to bring different generations together.  There’s nothing like enjoying the unbridled summer joy of kids on vacation from school.

So when the kids are itching for something fun to do, it helps to have some cool stuff lined up.

One such thing is also coming up this Saturday.  Starting at 9:00 a.m., you and your kids are invited to come to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for a massive ladybug release!  This is the 5th annual installment of an event which has grown each year in popularity.

In previous years, Magnolia has distributed 150,000 ladybugs to be set free out into the 60 acres of gardens.  This year, they’re upping it to 200,000 of the cute little critters.  Much more than just being adorable, ladybugs are also great friends of the garden, and are natural predators to harmful pests like aphids and scale insects.

What to expect


Appropriately, the event will begin with the arrival of a red Volkswagen Beetle resembling a ladybug.  Beloved local mascots Charlie T. RiverDog and Cool Ray will be on hand to help in the fun.

Each family will receive a slew of ladybugs to release somewhere on the grounds.  Magnolia will store them in a cool place the night before, so they don’t immediately fly away when released, but will linger and get used to their new surroundings.

A $20 general garden admission fee for adults applies, but kids 6-12 are $10, and children five and under are free.  They’ll give out prizes for the best ladybug outfit in different age categories.  Talk about a cute photo op!  There will also be face painting, live animals and nature displays from several different organizations.  Word to the wise: arrive early and carpool if possible.  The ladybug release ends at 2:00.

The following groups will be present, offering information or activities for the kids…


• Beekeeping display
• Berkeley County First Steps
• Charleston County Sheriff’s Department
• Charleston Fossil Adventures
• RiverDogs baseball team
• Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
• Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 12-8
• Grice Marine Laboratory, College of Charleston
• Keeper of the Wild
• MEDUCARE Transport Service, Medical University of South Carolina

• S.C. Department of Natural Resources
• Sea Kayak Carolina
• South Carolina Aquarium
• St. Andrews Fire Department
• Stingrays hockey team
• Tri-County Master Gardeners
• Turtle Survivor Alliance
• U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
• U.S. Coast Guard

Magnolia Plantation is located at 3550 Ashley River Road in Charleston, a scenic drive from the Isle of Palms.  Here’s a link to more info about the event on their website.

So enjoy the fun, and remember to get in touch with EP to help you find the best place to stay at the beach.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger




Bands, Burgers and Brews, a Burger Throwdown

There are several key ingredients to a successful summertime stay at the beach, and yes they include burgers, especially at this time of the year.  Although the specific recipes may vary according to individual tastes, it’s hard to beat certain basics.

I’m talking burgers, beer, and hanging out with cool coastal people listening to live bands.

If you’re in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals this weekend, you have more than one option to do all of the above.

Bands, Burgers and Brews


First up, tomorrow afternoon it’s the annual Bands, Burgers and Budweiser Burger Throwdown at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina.  This looks to be a lot of fun and is an easy drive from the Isle of Palms.  It’s this side of the Ravenel Bridge  –  in other words, east of the Cooper.  For your GPS, it’s 20 Patriots Point Road in Mount Pleasant, in the Lookout Pavilion.

Entry tickets are just $5 advance, $7 at the gate.  Food and bev tickets are $1 each.  A burger sampling goes for two tickets.

Chefs will be cooking up the following burgers from the Bud & Burgers Recipe Series (prepare to drool):

The samples are in slider-size, so you can try many different varieties.

There will be live music from Thomas Champagne & Friends (“a danceable blend of reggae and funk”), Moondog (four-piece jam band), and Folly Pirates Over 40, a Jimmy-Buffett-like band.

There will also be plenty of fun activities.  Get set for corn hole, inflatables, chippo golf, disc/Frisbee golf, and “Bobbing for Burgers.”

Get more info and buy advance tickets here.


A new music festival kicks off


There are so many long-running festivals near Charleston, many of which I’ve blogged about recently.  Every so often a new or new-ish one pops up that looks like a lot of fun and just become the next local tradition.

Tomorrow is one such event.  It’s the inaugural Bud Light Getaway Festival.  It’ll feature some pretty cool musical talent, plus lots of great food by regional food and beverage vendors.

Get set for live music by:

This fun event is sponsored by Bud Light in partnership with a great local group  –  Surfrider Grand Stand Chapter.  Proceeds will help their efforts to preserve and protect local beaches and oceans.

There seems to be a lot of Bud this weekend!

It takes place tomorrow evening (Saturday, July 14th) starting at 5:00 p.m.  It’s located at North Charleston’s Riverfront Park, which has evolved into quite a great music festival venue.

Tickets are $30 each and you can get them online here.

So grab a burger and a brew, and enjoy the summery weather while listening to live music.  And remember to call EP when you’re looking for the very best beach house near Charleston.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


Charleston is officially the best city in America to visit

Here’s yet another reason to come to Charleston  –  it’s the best city in America to visit.  More about that in a minute.

Lately I’ve covered certain important holidays where you get free stuff or good deals.  National Doughnut Day, National Fried Chicken Day, Free Ice Cream Day at Ben & Jerry’s.

Well, another one is coming up again tomorrow, and it’s a fun one.  It’s also perfect for hot weather.

Tomorrow  –  July 11th (7/11) – is Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven Get it?

Just walk into any 7-Eleven tomorrow (7/11) between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and you can get a free small Slurpee of your choice.  No coupon, code or purchase necessary.  They have been doing this since 2002, and usually give out about 9 million of them each time.

7/11 is also they celebrate 7-Eleven’s birthday.  Tomorrow is their 91st.  7-Eleven is the largest chain of convenience stores in America.

Here’s more on the story.


It’s official: Charleston is the best city in America to visit


It’s that time of year, when the powers that be list their best of rankings, and the Holy City is ranked the #1 U.S. destination, again.

Travel + Leisure magazine just released the results of their annual “World’s Best” Awards, as determined by their readers’ survey. The 2018 World’s Best list is the 23rd annual ranking by the esteemed travel magazine.

The rankings of the best city in America are based on the following areas: sights/landmarks, culture/arts, food/restaurants, people/friendliness, shopping, and value.

Those of you who have been here before, probably don’t need a survey to tell you how great the Lowcountry is.  Charleston is hot, and I’m not speaking temperature-wise.

Still, it’s nice to get the official recognition.

Once again, Charleston has been named the best city in America to visit.  This is the Holy City’s sixth time at the top spot.

Nathan Lump, Editor-in-chief of the magazine had this to say:  “Charleston continues its run as Travel + Leisure readers’ pick for the top city in the United States with good reason. This is a city that is not content to rest on its laurels as one of the most beautiful and well preserved historic urban environments in the country. Thanks to a creative local population intent on creating world-class experiences, there is always something new and exciting going on here, from a vibrant cultural scene to innovation in food and drink to fresh takes on style and design.”

Senior Editor Jacqui Gifford made the announcement this morning on The TODAY Show.

Here’s the list:

TOP 15 CITIES IN THE U.S. 2018, in order, are:

I’ve spent a good bit of time in all of these cities, and actually lived in three of them, and I have to say it’s a pretty good list.

This is what they wrote about Charleston in the rankings:  “The jewel of the South Carolina coast has crowned our list of favorite American cities since 2013. But that doesn’t mean the Lowcountry destination isn’t evolving. Thanks to an influx of business, Charleston is bustling with revitalized energy. A new generation of restaurateurs, helmed by Sean Brock of Husk and McCrady’s, is turning the city into an international food destination. Writes one reader: ‘I love the history, the art, the grits, and the proximity to Kiawah and other beautiful coastal areas. This is the perfect city for a girls’ weekend, a family vacation, or a romantic getaway.’” 

Charleston was voted the 10th best place in the world to visit.  It’s the only U.S. destination to make the top 15.

Here’s a link to all their rankings.  They’ll list them all in their August issue, which hits the newsstands on July 27th.

Here’s more on the story from the Post and Courier.

Every time one of these rankings comes out, the word spreads even more about how wonderful Charleston is.  That only increases the demand even more for luxury beach house rentals SC.  So if you are interested in staying in one, you’d best call us here at EP as far ahead as possible with your preferred dates.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Photo credit: Explore Charleston/ Charleston CVB



Help feed the hungry with loaves and fishes

There’s a simple and cool way to help feed the hungry while you’re here on vacation.

When you are staying in a Charleston beach house, food’s a big component of a successful vacation.

Speaking of which  –  Happy National Fried Chicken Day!  Yes, that is really a thing, and it’s today.  In honor of this momentous occasion, Harris-Teeter is offering a whole bucket for just $4.99.  Talk about a great way to feed your clan.

Here’s a link outlining all the specials at chicken places across the country, from the folks at Fortune Magazine.

You have plenty of grocery shopping options 


There’s nothing like gathering in the kitchen, family and friends all cooperating together to put a home-cooked meal on the table.  Luckily our vacation homes are conveniently outfitted with gourmet kitchens to do just that.

Thankfully, the Isle of Palms has its own full-service grocery store once again, as Harris-Teeter is in the spot that housed the old Red & White for decades.  There’s also an unbelievable abundance of grocery shopping options just over the IOP Connector in Mount Pleasant.   Just about every chain around is represented, and they are all a short drive away.

With the acquisition of Piggly Wiggly Carolina, Mount Pleasant now boasts six large Harris-Teeters in Mount Pleasant alone (not counting those downtown or in West Ashley)… not to mention multiple Publix, Wal-Marts, BiLo, Trader Joe’s, Aldi and a Whole Foods.  And last but certainly not least – a brand new Costco (!) will be opening later this summer in Mount Pleasant.  It’s just up Highway 17 North, near Wando High School and an easy drive from the Isle of Palms.

So in other words, you’ll have plenty of convenient options to stock your fridge.

Help feed the hungry after your visit


So there you are in your Charleston beach house.  You’ve had a glorious week full of sun, fun and merriment, and Saturday morning is here  –  time to check out.  Even though everyone seemed to eat to their heart’s content, there’s still a bunch of food left in the fridge, freezers and pantry.  You don’t really feel like schlepping it home in the car or heaven forbid, try to take it with you on the plane.

Well, a wonderful charitable option is available that allows you to help feed the hungry, thanks to the Isle of Palms Methodist Church.  It’s the pretty white church in the dog leg of the road, where 21st Avenue comes into Palm Boulevard.  Their address is 12  21st Avenue.

Each Saturday morning until Labor Day, they collect any unopened food items you might have and distribute it to the local non-profit food bank, East Cooper Community Outreach (aka ECCO).  They call it Loaves and Fishes, named after Jesus’ famous miracle of feeding thousands of people with just five loaves and two fish.  It’s a creative and practical way to share the bounty and feed the hungry in our community.

Not only do they take typical dry pantry items, they also take fruit, vegetables, bread and frozen foods.  Collection takes place in front of the church from 9:00 a.m. till 11:30 a.m. every Saturday till the end of the summer season.

Here’s a link to the church’s website.

So feel free to stock your beach house with groceries galore… and know that any extra won’t have to go to waste.  And remember to call EP when you’re looking to book the perfect one for your friends and family.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger






Isle of Palms is a great place to spend July 4th

Happy July 4th, aka Independence Day  –  considered the peak of peak weeks for beach rentals.

If you’re driving to or around South Carolina, you are also enjoying the lowest gas prices in the nation, as I covered in this blog.

There is no shortage of nice ways to celebrate the July 4th holiday, officially happening tomorrow.  Most are close to the Isle of Palms.  In fact, you’ll probably be able to see pyrotechnics from the decks and porches of your Charleston beach house.

Before we get to the fireworks, first up is a really neat way to show your patriotism and colors on July 4th, right on the sand of the shore.

This year marks the 9th anniversary of Salute from the Shore  –  where you can show your love of country while also being on the beach itself.

Salute from the Shore is a cool flyover of the South Carolina coastline by current and vintage U.S. military planes.   As always, the flyover will start at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 4th at Cherry Point, SC, just north of Myrtle Beach.  It’ll be led by two F-16s from the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force BaseVintage airplanes include privately owned aircraft.  This year, the lineup includes:

The planes will head down the coast and circle around Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant before continuing south past Hilton Head.  They’ll travel at different speeds, since the vintage aircraft tend to lag behind the F-16s.   But they will be visible along the coast between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.

You’re encouraged to show your colors and share your photos and videos.  Just email them to salute@salutefromtheshore.org  and tag images with #SalutefromtheShore.

Here’s the full scoop at the official website.


July 4th Fireworks 


Fireworks displays will take place all over the area, so you’ll have an overchoice, really.

Charleston/Mount Pleasant  – 

Fireworks will be shot off a barge in the harbor after the sun sets, in what’s officially known as the “4th of July Fireworks Blast.”  Great views abound on both sides of the harbor.

Patriot’s Point will again open the flight decks of the USS Yorktown, which is probably the best view of all.  You can watch for free from the land (parking $10), or if you want to be on deck, there are two options including VIP tickets, but as of this blog onboard spots are all sold out.

Over at the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, there’s a special “Uncle Sam Jam” happening out on the pier  –  also a great location to watch the fireworks.  There will be live music by Ellen Drive, hand-spun milkshakes and fresh sandwiches at the Riverwatch Café.  Gates open at 7:00 and the music starts at 8:00.  Advanced ticket purchase is recommended as it will no doubt sell out fast, and tickets are limited.  $8 advance, $10 at the door, if any are left.  Kids three and under are free.  See details here.

Also, July 4th is a home game for the Charleston Riverdogs.   A great option is to head out to the Joe to take in America’s favorite pastime while munching on an all-American hot dog.  There will be a fireworks display after the game.  The Joe is a beautiful stadium located at 360 Fishburne Street downtown, an easy drive from your beach house Charleston.  Here’s more on the schedule.


Fireworks on the beaches…


Isle of Palms

The fun starts around 8:00 p.m. near Front Beach.  The City will launch fireworks from the Isle of Palms pier after dark.

Just a quick reminder  –  individual fireworks are prohibited on the Isle of Palms.  So if you are in a luxury house on Isle of Palms, leave the hassle to others and just watch the official town show.

Sullivan’s Island

They celebrate July 4th all day, starting with the annual bike and golf cart parade from 8:30 – 9:00 a.m., a community cookout and picnic at 6:00 p.m.  It’s at Stith Park playground next to the firehouse in “downtown” Sullivan’s.  There will be live music by Permanent Vacation (beach music and classic rock) with a fireworks display when it gets dark.

Folly Beach

They’ll shoot off fireworks from the beach at Third Block West, beginning about 9:30.


So happy birthday, America.  And remember to call Exclusive for the best beach houses near Charleston.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger