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Thanks for helping stop beach litter

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

Turtle Trek 5K Sunset Beach Run

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




Sea & Sand, plus a new Bridge Run poster

Technically this weekend is the beginning of fall, but there’s a very summer-like festival going on this weekend, and it celebrates all things sea & sand.  And the weather looks to be just right for such a beach-themed event.

It’s the 2018 incarnation of one of Folly’s biggest fests  –  the Sea & Sand Festival.  It’s traditionally been held in the spring.  They’ve switched things up this time to celebrate the end of the summer season/peak time.  This time around, it’s going on tonight through Sunday, September 21-23rd.

They describe it as being the most family-friendly of all the Folly events, perfect for all ages.  It’s been entertaining families for quite some time now.  28 years, to be exact.  As usual, it looks to be a lot of Folly fun.

It kicks off tonight with the Miss Sea & Sand Fest Pageant, open to females 4 years and up and males 7 years and under.  Judging is based on evening wear, hobbies, awards, volunteer activities and love for Folly Beach.  It takes place at Folly River Park starting at 7:00 p.m.  Here are the categories:

Saturday is the main event, the big Street Festival on Center Street from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m.  Get set for approximately 70 food, art and craft vendors, silent auction, live music, plenty of food, bungee trampoline, jump castles, face painting, carnival games, etc. There are several special sections for the kids, including inflatables, arts & crafts and Sea & Sand Side Show Kids Area.

There will be live music all day, on two different stages.  Performers include headliner Occasional Milkshake (with Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish, Hank Futch from the Blue Dogs, and Cravin’ Melon’s Gary Greene).  Other acts are Wylder Funk Band, Ros Bonghi (reggae), and The Secrets (funk).  It all sounds very danceable.


Sea & Sand Sunday Funday 


Sunday has a couple fun events.  First is the Volleyball Competition kicking off at 9 a.m.  Then at 1:00 it’s the Sandcastle Competition.  They take place on the beach in front of The Tides, where they’ll also have live music during and after the competition.

It’s always for a good cause, benefiting Folly Beach Parks and Rec.  If you are in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, it’s worth the drive to check it out.  Experience firsthand how the Folly vibe is a bit different from the one on the IOP.  On the way there, you can also stop along the way in downtown Charleston.

Read details and admission info here.  Or find out more on their Facebook page.


2019 Bridge Run has officially been postered


Time to mark your calendars for one of the biggest weekends of the year.  The 2019 Cooper River Bridge Run will be taking place Saturday, April 6th.

Word to the wise: if you are planning to run or walk the CRBR, better make plans early.   It’s one of the busiest times of the year.

This will be the 42nd running of the race, which is the third largest 10K in the United States.

The official Bridge Run poster has been chosen.  It’s a colorful and cheerful image with Impressionistic roots, by artist and local D. Scott Stevenson.  He has quite an impressive resume, having done design work for L.L. Bean, REI, Major League Baseball, UCLA and Princeton.  He has been involved in exhibits at the Smithsonian, Air & Space Museum, Metropolitan Opera, and the National Zoo & Aquarium.  Here’s more on the unveiling.

Here’s the official website, where you can get all the details and register for the race.

So check out Sea & Sand, and it’s not too early to get set for the 2019 Bridge Run.  Call us soon if you’d like to book a place at the beach.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger





Weather report: in the wake of Hurricane Florence, we are very happy and relieved to announce that all is well with the Lowcountry.  Charleston is open for business.

It’s been a very tense couple of weeks.   Seems like we always had at least one eye on the latest weather report.  The Governor of the state ordered a mandatory evacuation early last week. Pretty much everything shut down  –  government offices, post offices, schools, grocery stores, and yes, even our beach homes.

Those of us near EP’s Isle of Palms vacation rentals were watching the weather, spaghetti models and conflicting, nerve-wracking possibilities on social media.  Florence was a massive storm, both square-mile and force-wise.  It was also quite slow moving, which added to the tension.

To aid in the evacuation, Governor McMaster ordered the lanes of I-26 reversed.  For several days, all four lanes led northwest, away from the coast and the Isle of Palms.  If you were here, you may have taken part.  Lane reversals stretched from Charleston to Columbia.  I used the reversed lanes to head north on Thursday, and it was an eerie experience.  I’m hoping it’s the only time I’ll ever have to do it in my life.

Great news: our very local IOP weather report 


Thankfully the Charleston Lowcountry was spared the wrath of Florence, which dumped its rains and wind further north.  Eastern North Carolina has been hit especially hard.  The flooding situation there gets worse each day as the rivers swell to record flood heights.

Please consider a donation to the Red Cross Florence relief fund They are on the front lines helping the thousands of people in need.

Here on the Isle of Palms, here is our local weather report.  Our rain gauge recorded just one half inch of rain during Florence.  We had a couple palm fronds down – less than a typical thunderstorm.  It was a miracle.

So in a nutshell, the weather report is terrific.  We are back in business, along with everything else.  Yesterday the schools cranked back up, and all the grocery stores and Walmarts are open again.

If you are booked in a beach house Charleston, you should be good to go.  Please call our EP office if you have any questions or need additional information.


Current conditions on the IOP


Like I mentioned in that last blog, we have a live beach cam so you can see current conditions at the beach near your luxury house on Isle of Palms. Watch it here.


It’s Ticket Time again for Wine + Food 


Fall… tis the season to launch ticket sales for some big spring events.  Case in point: ticket sales have kicked off for the 2019 Charleston Wine + Food Festival.

The festival celebrates a classic combo: wine + food, vines & vittles  –  and it comes together each March in a uniquely Charlestonian way at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.

One of the big perks of coming to Charleston is that you can sample some genuine Lowcountry cuisine.  What has been local to us for decades has been discovered by the world, elevated, analyzed, copied and now given its due.

The 14th annual foodiefest will take place March 6 – 10, 2019.   114 events take place over the course of the five-day festival, and many sell out super-fast.  People come from all over the globe and plan their calendars around W + F.  So buying tickets in September for a March event is actually a pretty smart idea, especially if you want to snag one of the popular ones.

“One thing that makes Charleston Wine + Food unique compared to other wine and food festivals is we reprogram 85 percent of our schedule year after year,” says Executive Director Gillian Zettler.  They are also expecting 400 chefs (!) and 150 beverage professionals to take part.

Here are some of the new offerings this year:


The festival gets bigger and better known each year.  Here’s a link to the festival website, where you can see all the scheduled events and buy tickets online.

So good luck snagging those tasty tickets, and remember  –  when you are looking for the best beach house Charleston, just call Exclusive Properties.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger



Hurricane Florence and the Lowcountry

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

Florence and the coastal Carolinas

For those of you who are headed to Charleston, Hurricane Florence is a big, looming reality.  It is that for all of us.

Charlestonians are known for our hospitality.  But Florence is very much an unwelcome guest in the Lowcountry – or anywhere, for that matter.

We have been monitoring the news this past weekend and week.  Frankly Florence has consumed our lives in a huge way.  It affects us all as well as all of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals.

Yesterday, Governor McMaster ordered a mandatory evacuation for all coastal counties in South Carolina.  It applies to residents and visitors alike.  Our luxury homes are located in Charleston County, which stretches along the SC coast from Edisto Island south of Kiawah all the way north to above McClellanville.  Anyone along the coast was urged to leave and head to safer, higher ground.

Beginning today at noon, the Governor ordered all lanes of I-26 East reversed to allow people to leave the coast more rapidly.  I-26 lane reversals have been done successfully in the past and help expedite moving traffic away from areas in the storm’s path  –  in this case, Florence.

Evacuation orders will last until further notice.  Schools, post offices, governmental offices and even area WalMarts are closed.

Earlier today, he lifted the mandatory evacuation order for the three SC counties to the south of us – Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper, with the exception of Edisto Beach.  For much of the day, it looked like Charleston was going to escape the brunt of Florence, with most of the models showing it coming ashore in North Carolina.

However, the European Euro model this afternoon showed a concerning path that travels down the SC coastline.  We certainly hope and pray this is not the accurate path.

There is no doubt that staying in a Charleston beach house is one of the best ways to experience the Lowcountry.   But it’s always wise to keep a weather eye out for the “h” word.

Hurricane hunters hoping to help re: Florence


A few years back, NOAA and NASA were able to conduct the most advanced technological study of hurricanes in history.  They flew unmanned aircraft into storms around the globe in an effort to better understand, and thus predict, those in the future.  The “Global Hawk” flew at very high altitudes (in fact, above the hurricanes).  The smaller “Coyote” collected data within the storms themselves.  All this hurricane chasing adds to the knowledge base to hopefully help us all stay safe from such destructive events.

So stay safe, and say a prayer for our beloved Lowcountry and the people in the path of this storm.  And when you are looking to book a great vacation home, call EP.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger





Charleston Beer Week lasting nine days

Technically we’re past the summer season, but there’s a very summery-tasting event going on starting today: Charleston Beer Week.

As a matter of fact it’s the sixth annual Charleston Beer Week.

This event has proven so popular  –  and the Charleston beer scene is growing so fast  –  that the festival is, too.  They’ve added an extra day.

This time around, it’ll go on from today, September 7th through Saturday September 15th.  Get set for 64 different events happening over the course of the nine days that now make up Charleston Beer “Week.”  This is up from 40 events just a couple years ago.

As I’ve mentioned in that last blog, Charleston Restaurant Week is already going on and will run through next Sunday the 16th.  You have the your pick of well over a hundred area restaurants offering special menus.  In fact, some may even be within walking/biking/golf cart range if you’re here on the Isle of Palms.

Charleston Restaurant Week, Meet Charleston Beer Week!


It makes sense that Charleston’s Restaurant and Charleston Beer Weeks overlap. After all, beer and food go hand in hand.  So do beer and a beach house Charleston.

Fairly recently, there were just a few microbreweries in the entire state of South Carolina.  Now there are 24 production breweries and three brewpubs in Charleston and environs alone.  Two more breweries and a brewpub are scheduled to open within a year.  Many of the existing ones are expanding, adding more brewing capacity, staff and canning lines.

According to Steve Warner, economic developer at CRDA: “Charleston’s rapid increase in craft brewing reflects what’s happening across our region – a growing, youthful population attracted to Charleston’s unique character and strong economy, a thirst for innovation and inspiration, and a desire for community. Charleston Beer Week celebrates that growth, these artisans and their passion, and is one of my favorite times of the year.”

Events take place all over the Charleston area.  Some events require tickets, others are free or pay-as-you-go.  Here’s the official website.

In related good news, many of the events benefit local charities.  They include:


Last Call for Shaggin’ on the Cooper


Tomorrow (Saturday) night, September 8th, is the last of what’s proven to be a perennially popular event, Shaggin’ on the Cooper.  While staying in the Lowcountry, why not dance the official dance of the Carolinas?

It takes place on the pier in lovely Waterfront Memorial Park in Mount Pleasant, under the Ravenel Bridge.  Gates will open at 7:00 p.m. Live music by Recollections starts at 8:00.

Tickets are $10 when purchased at the gate or in advance for $8.  This event usually sells out early, so definitely try to get them in advance.

Waterfront Park is a pleasant drive from the Isle of Palms.   The street address is 99 Harry Hallman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.   Here’s a link for more info and to buy tickets online.

And as always, when you’re looking for the best place to stay on the beach near Charleston, start your search with Exclusive Properties.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Charleston Restaurant Week & IOP Farmers Market kicking off this week

Well, peak season for our Isle of Palms vacation rentals is officially over, Labor Day is in the rear view mirror, and it’s time for the latest installment of Charleston Restaurant Week.  Also, the Isle’s own farmers market is cranking up once again.

Charleston Restaurant Week (CRW Fall Edition) is here again


First up, it’s the fall incarnation of Charleston Restaurant Week.  It starts tomorrow (Wednesday, September 5th) and lasts through Sunday the 16th.

Sponsored by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, Charleston Restaurant Week hasbecome a very popular event that happens each January and September.  It’s a great choice for both local residents and out-of-towners.  It’s a perfect way to sample the cuisine for which Charleston has become famous.

Well over a hundred restaurants are participating in this incarnation of Charleston Restaurant Week.  Generally they offer their own chef-designed multi-course prix fixe menus, at prices lower than ordering a la carte.

Here is a link to the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association’s helpful webpage on the event.

You can find participating restaurants in these areas/categories:

Participating restaurants show up under each category or location. There are links to their menu, website and often where you can book a table, if possible.  It’s highly recommended to make a reservation.  Seats for CRW fill up notoriously FAST.

None of these locations is too far away.  Even Kiawah, the farthest option, is a scenic and pleasant drive from the Isle of Palms.  Plus, you could even factor in a stop along the way at a true Lowcountry treasure  –  Angel Oak.

Here’s more from Count on 2 News.


The return of a farmers’ market on the Isle of Palms!


Also this week marks the start of the second annual Isle of Palms Farmers Market.

You don’t even have to leave the Isle to get some of the freshest local produce and foodstuffs available.

You can get produce that was in the field or on the tree just a couple hours ago, often at better prices than the big chain stores.

Starting this Thursday, September 6th, walk, ride a bike or golf cart to the IOP Farmers’ Market!  Last year was its first year, and it proved so successful that they are making it an annual thing.

Here are the details:

So check out those great eating options like Charleston Restaurant Week starting this week.   And when you are looking for a great place to stay at the beach, be sure to call EP for the best.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger