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June 28th is Carolina Day

Today  –  June 28th   –  is officially known as Carolina Day, and it’s a pretty important occasion.  This is the 243rd year of its celebration.

Carolina Day is a state holiday in South Carolina, commemorating an important moment in Revolutionary American history.

In a nutshell, Carolina Day marks an early victory of the young upstart colonists as they defended Charleston Harbor from the mighty British Navy.

What makes it so important…

 

This happened on June 28, 1776 –  just a week before the Declaration of Independence.  Considering the timing, many believe the bold early win gave the folks in Philadelphia the momentum and extra bit of encouragement to go through with it.  After all, Charleston and Philadelphia were both major trading cities at the time.  As a result, boats, supplies, people and information traveled regularly between the two colonial powerhouses.

The battle centered around Fort Sullivan on Sullivan’s Island.  British forces  – nine Royal Navy warships and the British Army under Cornwallis –  were swarming off the coast, trying to take the fort and thus get a foothold in the Colonies.   But a small group of patriots from the Carolinas and Virginia turned them back, despite the fact that they were outnumbered ten to one.

The 2nd South Carolina Regiment under command of Colonel William Moultrie dug in their heels at the fort and turned back the assault, which came at them from ocean, mainland and the Isle of Palms.

This was the first time that American colonists decisively defeated the British in their fight for independence.  It kept Britain from gaining a stronghold in South Carolina for another four years.

Here is a great recounting of the day by the South Carolina Historical Society.

 

How to Celebrate Carolina Day

 

Official commemorations of Carolina Day began all the way back in 1777.   So Carolina Day was one of America’s original holidays, even though many folks (visitors and locals alike) still don’t know all that much about it.  Leave it to Carolinians to make United States history even before we were officially a country!

No wonder Carolina Day became a holiday.  Colonel Moultrie became the namesake for the fort on Sullivan’s Island, which is now well known as Fort Moultrie.  Later he went on to become general and a two-time governor of South Carolina.  Fort Moultrie is part of the National Park Service, recently designated as “Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park.”

Carolina Day at Fort Moultrie

 

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 29th  –  is the official local celebration at Fort Moultrie, located at 1214 Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island.  It’s just over Breach Inlet from the Isle of Palms.   Admission will be free to Fort Moultrie, along with programs of events and activities from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. Saturday.  Events include reenactments by the 2nd South Carolina regiment, medical demonstrations, demos on weapons, musket drills, every day camp life and living conditions of the patriot soldiers.  Activities are kid friendly and appropriate for all ages.

10:00 am – Artillery Demonstration

11:00 am – Artillery Demonstration

1:00 pm – Infantry Demonstration & Children’s Musket Drill (Wooden muskets available for kids)

2:00 pm – Artillery Demonstration

3:00 pm – Artillery Demonstration

Admission is free, as entrance fees to the park will be waived on Saturday.  Here’s more on the local Carolina Day events going on this weekend.

So celebrate Carolina Day and its important role in our becoming a free, independent country.  And when you are looking for the best in rental homes South Carolina, be sure to call us at Exclusive Properties.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Shem Creek - Phase 3 almost done!

Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant is one of the most scenic spots around.  Located off of Coleman Boulevard, you travel right by it when you drive from the Isle of Palms to Charleston.

Shem Creek is where you can spot commercial shrimp trawlers and the dolphins that often follow them.  Several seafood restaurants with awesome views and rooftop bars line the creek, like Tavern and Table and Saltwater CowboysRed’s Ice House is a particularly hot spot where you can dine al fresco on the deck with your canine friend.

Buy fresh-caught shrimp at Wando Shrimp Company, a tucked-away favorite of locals, at 102 Haddrell Street.  The shrimp is excellent, as are the prices.

Shem Creek is also the location of one of the best “new” parks in the area, the incredibly beautiful Shem Creek Park.  Piers, boardwalks and docks stretch across the marsh and extend all the way towards Charleston harbor, offering great views previously only seen by boaters or birds.

The beauty of Shem Creek Park

 

The whole goal of Shem Creek park has been to increase the public’s access to the water, and boy has it succeeded beautifully.

Shem Creek Park has been completed in phases. The first phase, constructing the boardwalk that runs all the way out to the harbor, opened in 2011 to rave reviews.  Phase 2 involved building public and commercial docks that run along the side of Shem Creek near Vickery’s and Water’s Edge.  It opened in 2016.

Coleman Boulevard is a busy thoroughfare, as is its bridge that crosses the creek.  Up until now, people who wanted to get from one side of the creek to the other and were not in a car or boat had to cram onto a very narrow sidewalk on the bridge itself, right alongside the rushing cars.  This became a rather harrowing experience, as crowds of people, runners, parents with strollers and small children, pets on leashes, artists painting the view, all tried to share the narrow space while taking care not to step into the traffic whizzing by.

The view from the bridge is, arguably, one of the very best views of Shem Creek.  However, your eye had to be on the cars and road instead.  Enter Phase 3.

Phase 3

 

This third and last phase of the project involves a key part in making the whole area around Shem Creek come together  –  literally. Phase 3 is a wide and lovely pedestrian bridge across the creek, running alongside Coleman Boulevard, to link both sides together.

It creates the perfect solution, with a spacious and SAFE decked walkway for people and pets that runs along the harbor side of the Coleman Bridge.  Construction on this final piece of the puzzle is underway now.

It will even have a covered section and a tree that will provide shade on hot and sunny days.

They recently added yet another feature to the original plan  –  an ADA-compliant ramp.  It will allow easy access to the docks on the Tavern and Table side of Shem Creek.  T&T graciously allowed the project to take down an old shed which supported their sign, to allow this new ramp to be built.

Last I checked, the project is running a month ahead of schedule, even after adding this extra feature.  It may even open by the end of July.  This third and final phase of the project costs $3 million  –  money well spent for both public enjoyment and safety reasons as well.

The image above is from Thomas & Hutton, who designed it.  The good folks at Cape Romain Contractors are doing the construction.

Read more on how the project is progressing in this story by Live 5 News.

So check out one of the most scenic spots in the Lowcountry, Shem Creek and its lovely docks and boardwalks, and soon-to-be pedestrian bridge.  And when you are looking for Isle of Palms vacation rentals, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

Check out rooftop bars in Charleston and beyond for great views and cool libations

The weather is summery  –   today marks the official start of the season  –   and it’s prime time to get a tan while enjoying views and beverages in one of the many rooftop bars of the Lowcountry.

Rooftop bars have become quite the trend around the world, and especially here in the Holy City and nearby Mount Pleasant.

Because historically Charleston limited the height of its buildings  –  not letting anything be taller than a church steeple  –  generally you have fantastic unobstructed views from rooftop bars, in all directions.

The weather in the Lowcountry is also so pleasant that they can function pretty much year round.  Some have pools to cool off in during the hotter months.

The best rooftop bars, and restaurants, and more…

 

Rooftop bars are not just bars either  –  they are often excellent restaurants as well.  Nothing like eating and drinking al fresco with great views.  Several are breweries.

Recently, the Post & Courier put together its list of the top 19 rooftop bars in Charleston, Mount Pleasant and the like.  Some faves  –  The Pavilion Bar, Élevé, Balao, Revelry Brewing, Red’s Ice House, The Boathouse (right here on the IOP!), and Saltwater Cowboys.

Read the whole list of top rooftop bars here.

 

RumFest Time

 

There’s a lot going on this weekend, including a relatively new event happening tomorrow.

It’s called RumFest, and is quite the celebration of all things rum.  Shiver me timbers!  Get set for:

It’ll happen tomorrow  –  Saturday, June 22nd  – from 7:00 pm till 11:00 p.m. at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain Street in downtown Charleston.  Figure about 30 minutes from the Isle of Palms.  Last I checked, only 20 VIP tickets were left.

Read all about it and get tickets at the official website.

 

So enjoy a cool libation in one of the many rooftop bars in the Lowcountry or at RumFest.  And when you are looking for the best in Isle of Palms luxury rentals, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

 

 

 

Mount Pleasant Pier Extension plans going forward

The Charleston area is blessed with a terrific array of parks and public spaces, and the Mount Pleasant Pier is one of them.

This pier, located in Mount Pleasant in the shadow of the Ravenel Bridge, has become a beloved spot for fishing, strolling, watching wildlife, and checking out the boat traffic on the Wando and Cooper Rivers.

It is part of Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park, which boasts lots of parking, playground areas for the kids, a pavilion and memorial garden.

The pier and park are a prime spot for many popular special events.  These include Shaggin’ on the Cooper, Music in the Park, the Blessing of the Fleet, the Sweetgrass Festival, just to name a few.

It seems they keep adding new events there with each passing year.

Well, the Town of Mount Pleasant recently announced some big new plans for the Mount Pleasant Pier.

Exciting Mount Pleasant Pier Plans

 

The proposal: a major extension from the end of the pier off to the right, adding floating docks and boat access to the public.  It would also include a possible stop for a water taxi, as well as dedicated police and fire/rescue boat access.

The plan also adds a 30 foot wide pier extension with extra fishing space.  Also included are more retail and restaurant square footage, and ADA compliant access.  It basically turns the long straight pier into an L-shaped one.

The cost of the expansion  –  approximately $6 million.  The powers-that-be have already funded it.  It only needed approval by Mount Pleasant Town Council.

Well, the approval came through, so the Mount Pleasant Pier expansion is moving forward.  They’ll bid out the project, then proceed to construction, which should take about 10 months.

There hasn’t been public boat access at Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park before.  This is a major move in that area.

So get set for expanded water access east of the Cooper.  And when you are looking for the best in Isle of Palms vacation rentals, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger