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48th Annual Scottish Games

This weekend is your chance to get your Braveheart on, at the 48th annual Charleston Scottish Games.

This longstanding tradition brings all things Scotland to the grounds of Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant, just over the Connector from our Isle of Palms vacation rentals.

The day begins at 9:00 a.m. this Saturday, November 2nd.  Presentation of the clans takes place at 11:30.  Prepare to see many patterns of plaid, as more than 40 different clans will take part.

What to expect throughout the day at the Scottish Games…

 

Adults are $20 online ($30 at the gate), children $5, free for kids 5 and under.  Tickets include admission to Boone Hall Plantation.  The Scottish Games last till 5:00, and parking is free.  They’re expecting about 6,000 people, so it’s wise to get there early and stay late.

The Scottish Games are sponsored by the Scottish Society of Charleston.  Here’s the official website with all the details and online ticket purchasing.  Also, you can check out the Scottish Games’ Facebook event page for more info.  #WeRScots

 

Also happening this week on the IOP…

 

Also, a quick reminder of two other events happening this week, both of which are on the Isle of Palms itself.  Actually, they’re both at the Rec Center in the middle of the island.

First up, tomorrow (Wednesday, October 30th), it’s the last IOP farmers’ market of the season.  Look for the tents over near the tennis courts.  They’ll have live music, food trucks and plenty of local vendors.  It’s also a great chance to meet the island natives, especially with election day coming up next week.  Several folks are running for City Council and are sure to be there.   It’s going on from 3:00 till 7:00 p.m.

Then on Thursday  –  Halloween  –  it’s the annual Halloween Carnival and Costume Contest, also at the Rec.  Read all about it in this blog.

So check out some IOP events, and have a sheaf tossing-good time at the Scottish Games at Boone Hall.  And when you are looking for the best in beach rentals, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Halloween Carnival & Fall Festival

We’re solidly in the throes of the fall festival season, and the coming week will also see the annual Halloween Carnival right here on the Isle of Palms.

 

10th Annual Towne Centre Fall Festival

 

First up is a fun fall festival that takes over Towne Centre in Mount Pleasant.  It’s dubbed as “A Day of Family + Pet-Friendly Festivities to Celebrate Fall!”

The fun cranks up tomorrow  –  Saturday, October 26th, from noon till 3:00 p.m.  It’s just over the Connector from our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.  (For your GPS, that’s1218 Belk Drive in Mount Pleasant.)

Get set for:

The Fall Festival is based in the lovely park area, The Oaks, across from Barnes and Noble.  Admission is free.  Here’s more from their website.

 

Halloween Carnival on the Isle

 

This year, Halloween falls on Thursday night.  Every year the Isle of Palms sponsors a Halloween Carnival and Costume Contest at the Rec Center at 24 28th Avenue.  Everyone is welcome, both residents and visitors alike.

They’ll have games, jump castles, face painting, temporary tattoos, plenty of candy and prizes.  The fun happens from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 31st

At 5:30 the costume contest will start.  Unlike Towne Centre’s Fall Festival, this one will be for two-legged little ones.  They’ll judge by several different age divisions (1 and under, 2-3 years old, 4-5 years old, 6-7 years old, 8 years old, 9 years old, 10 years old, 11-12 years old, 13 and older).

Read all about it on the IOP website.

So check out a Fall Festival or a Halloween Carnival near the beach.  And when you’re looking for the best beach homes to rent for a fall getaway, just give us a call at EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

2019 Loggerhead Nesting Season

In good news for the Isle of Palms and the planet, Turtle Team volunteers have declared the 2019 loggerhead nesting season a splashing success.

The loggerhead nesting season is also officially over for the year.

A recent issue of the Island Eye News shared the news, along with an in depth report on the season.  It was written by Mary Pringle, longtime IOP resident and project leader for the Island Turtle Team for almost 20 years.

By the way, the Isle of Palms/Sullivan’s Island Turtle Team is one of almost 30 nest protection projects across the state, under the auspices of the SC Department of Natural Resources.

Here’s an interesting excerpt from the article  –

“The last nest produced hatchlings on September 26 at 30th Avenue on the Isle of Palms. The Island Turtle Team found and protected more nests this summer than any other since records have been kept… Vacation rental companies also pitched in by handing out our “Lights Out” brochures to their front beach visitors. This helped to keep the beach dark and safe for nesting females as well as hatchlings emerging from the sand.  Because of this it was not only the most prolific season for nesting, but also one of the most successful for getting these tiny turtles safely into the ocean where there is a chance they will survive. Even Hurricane Dorian did not destroy any nests because it passed us at low tide.”

Special shout out and thanks to folks staying in our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, for participating in “Lights Out for Loggerheads.”  It really makes a difference!

 

Here are the stats for the 2019 Loggerhead Nesting Season

 

ISLE OF PALMS
57 Nests – all hatched
55 False (non-nesting) Crawls on the Beach
18 Nests incubated in situ.  39 Nests Relocated
Incubation Time (Average) 54.7 Days
Clutch Count (Average) 119.1 Eggs
Hatch Success (Average) 87.8%
Emergence from the Sand (Average) 84.2%
Hatchlings Produced 5,788

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND
15 Nests – all hatched
21 False (non-nesting) Crawls on the Beach
8 Nests incubated in situ. 7 Nests Relocated
Incubation Time (Average) 51.8 Days
Clutch Count (Average) 113 Eggs
Hatch Success (Average) 90.3%
Emergence from the Sand  (Average) 87.9%
Hatchlings Produced 1,286

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
8,800 Nests (not all have hatched)
12,617 False (non-nesting) Crawls
6,299 Nests incubated in situ. The Rest Relocated
Incubation Time (Average) 54.1 Days
Hatch Success (Average) 57.5%
Emergence from the Sand (Average) 54.9%
Hatchlings Produced So Far 478,882

 

These numbers are really encouraging.   Read the whole article in the Island Eye News.

And be sure to call us at EP when you’re searching for the best beach homes near Charleston.  You just may spot a loggerhead nest while you’re here!

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

British Airways nonstop flights to London

In an exciting announcement, British Airways solidified its commitment to provide nonstop flights between Charleston and London.

As I covered in a previous blog, it was big news last year when British Airways announced nonstop flights between Charleston and London.  It marks the first true international service for CHS.  Flights arrive and leave from Heathrow.

The inaugural flight took place April 4, 2019, to much fanfare and excitement.  Ever since, flights take place on Thursdays and Sundays.  Flights would land and take off at Charleston International Airport in the evenings.  They are aboard the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, manufactured right next to the Charleston International as well as in Everett, WA.  The plane seats 214 people.

As announced previously, British Airways CHS-London nonstop service lasts through October 24th.  It was designed to take place during peak travel months.

By all accounts, it has been a success.  Airport CEO Paul Campbell estimated that flights averaged more than 90% occupancy.  Nonstop flights have opened up travel between The Holy City and Great Britain, not to mention Europe in general.

 

British Airways commits to Charleston for 2020

 

In good news for Charleston and travelers in general, British Airways made it official that nonstop Charleston to London service will happen again next year.  They based the decision on this year’s sales and “enthusiastic”  feedback from both sides of the Atlantic.

The move is a definite show of confidence in the strength of tourism and businesses in South Carolina, and especially in the Lowcountry.

The 2020 season will start slightly earlier next year, kicking off on Sunday, March 29th.   Local officials hope that even more flights will be added in the future as word of the service spreads.

Read the whole story in the Post & Courier.  Check out available flights at British Airways’ website.

 

Domestic nonstop flights to and from Charleston

 

Charleston International keeps adding nonstop service to several great domestic destinations as well.  At the moment, here are the nonstop flights of over two hours:

There are also several other nonstop flights that are just at two hours in duration.

So check out Charleston International and the increasing number of nonstop flights available there.  And when you are looking for the perfect Charleston beach house, be sure to give Exclusive Properties a call.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Ghostly Tide Tales this Friday

You don’t even have to leave the Isle of Palms to experience fall fun this weekend, including the annual Ghostly Tide Tales right on the beach.

The weather is cooling down, the beach crowds have died down, and it’s a perfect time to enjoy the IOP.  As an added bonus, rates on our Isle of Palms luxury rentals are lower, just like the temps.

Fall truly is here.

This weekend, two different events are going on that are definitely season-appropriate.

 

Ghostly Tide Tales on the Beach

 

First up is a fun annual event sponsored by the Isle of Palms Rec Department –  Ghostly Tide Tales.  It’s described as an eerie but family-friendly telling of ghost and pirate stories that connect to the Lowcountry.  Eric Lavender, pirate storyteller extraordinaire, will regale the crowd around the campfire with stories that are just scary enough to keep you alert.

Organizers encourage you to bring lawn chairs or blankets, along with a flashlight and a friend or two.  Meet at the 25th Avenue beach access this evening, Friday, October 18th, at 6:00.

The fun will last about an hour.  There will also hot cocoa to drink around the campfire.  It’s a free event that’s open to all ages.  No tickets or registration are necessary.

Here’s more from the IOP website and the event’s Facebook page.

Also, here’s a link to photos from a previous year’s event.

 

Fall Festival on the Isle

 

Also coming up this weekend on the Isle is a fun Fall Festival.  It’s sponsored by the Isle of Palms Methodist Church.  That’s the pretty white church in the dog leg of Palm Boulevard, just past the Harris-Teeter parking lot.

Here are the deets:

So enjoy fall on an island. And be sure to give EP a call when you’d like to book the perfect place to stay at the beach.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

That Big Book Sale this weekend

This weekend has several fun things in store, including Follypalooza for a good cause and the ever-popular annual “That Big Book Sale.”

Staying in a beach house and reading good books just go hand in hand.  This weekend’s the perfect opportunity to score some amazing deals on beach reads, books of every kind, plus a whole lot more.

It’s the Charleston County Library’s annual fall book sale, also known as “That BIG Book Sale” (or TBBS for short).  This is the 38th year it’s taken place.  Sponsored by Charleston Friends of the Library, proceeds go right back into helping the community, as libraries do.  CFOL pledges a minimum of $100,000 to the Charleston County libraries each year.  Most of that is raised by their book sales that happen throughout the year.  This one is the biggie.

Here’s some of what you’ll find at the Book Sale…

 

That Big Book Sale takes place at the Omar Shrine Auditorium at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant.  It’s located at 176 Patriots Point Road.  It’s going on today, Friday October 11th  from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; tomorrow (Saturday, October 12th) from 9:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m., then on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m..

Here’s a link to That Big Book Sale Facebook event page.

 

Follypalooza Fun

 

Well, Folly Beach’s latest festival is coming up this Saturday, October 12th.  It’s the 12th annual Follypalooza street festival extravaganza, a cancer benefit.

There will be plenty of live music (by Tres Matones, The Kevin West Band, Ashes of Old Ways, The Destinators, RainCheck, Headrush & Big Stoner Creek), a kids zone,  plus scores of food, arts & crafts, and fashion vendors.

The party kicks off Saturday at 10:00 a.m. on Folly’s Center Street and lasts till 4:00 p.m.

It’s billed as a family-friendly event, good for all ages.  Kids 12 and under are free.

The best news is that all the proceeds go towards helping MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, as well as local individuals and their families living on Folly who are fighting cancer.  Festival organizers work with a special group named Folly’s Angels to identify those most in need of financial help.

Entrance to the festival is $10 at the door and includes a commemorative cup and a koozie.

Here’s the website with more info as well as Follypalooza’s Facebook page.

So check out a gigantic book sale, and party with a purpose on Folly.  And when you are looking for the best in beach rentals Charleston, be sure to give EP a call to book the very best.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

Charleston No. 1 City

The votes have been tallied, and it’s official: Charleston is the No. 1 City yet again.

This latest accolade is according to the world-wise readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine.  It marks the ninth year in a row that Charleston has won the title.

Over 600,000 people participated in the 32nd annual voting of the Readers’ Choice Awards.  Charleston won No. 1 City in a few different ways.  First, it was christened Top City in the World Outside the United Kingdom.

Top Cities Outside the U.K.

  1. Charleston, S.C.
  2. Merida, Mexico
  3. Dresden, Germany
  4. Tokyo, Japan
  5. Kyoto, Japan
  6. Santa Fe, N.M.
  7. Singapore
  8. Quebec City, Canada
  9. Salzburg, Austria
  10. Alexandria, Va.

 

Top City in the World!

 

Charleston also received the highest score among all destinations, tapping it as Top City in the World.

Melinda Stevens, Editor in Chief of Condé Nast Traveler, had this to say: “Charleston, South Carolina for me: well-made, thoughtful, sophisticated not without a certain humor. It is a city for wandering alone, for getting lost, its neighborhoods revealing themselves like stage screens in the theater.  A sea-salty tang on the air from the water, the tropical palms…you’re reminded all the time just how south – how practically Caribbean – you really are… Everyone says hello, with a smile, a ready laugh.”

Michael Tall, Board Chair of Explore Charleston, responded to the accolade: “We are humbled that the readers of Condé Nast Traveler continue to recognize the uniqueness and authenticity of Charleston. It is an honor to be the recipient of the inaugural Top City in the World Outside the U.K. Award, and it makes this year even more special,” said. “These prestigious accolades are reminders that Charleston’s charm shines brightly through its people, rich history, renowned cuisine, world-class accommodations, pristine island communities, and thriving cultural arts and shopping scenes.”

 

Yet another way Charleston is the No. 1 City

 

Condé Nast Traveler  also named Charleston the No. 1 City (small) in the U.S.  A few years back, they decided to split the city category based on population size.

According to Condé Nast“Charleston may be a small town, but this city punches well above its weight… When you consider everything it has to offer—history, culture, food, charm—it’s no wonder the so-called Holy City has topped our list of the best small cities in the U.S. for nine years running.”

Here’s their list of the top ten best small cities, in order:

  1. Charleston, SC
  2. Santa Fe, NM
  3. Alexandria, VA
  4. Savannah, GA
  5. Key West, FL
  6. Aspen, CO
  7. Monterey, CA
  8. Chattanooga, TN
  9. Greenville, SC
  10. Santa Barbara, CA

 

Also, Charleston International wins big

 

In yet a another win for the Lowcountry, CHS  –  Charleston International Airport  –  was named one of the ten best airports in the United States.  Ranked at #7, it’s the first time it’s made the top ten.

Check out all the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards here.

So come and see why people vote Charleston as the No. 1 city in the world.  Just call EP, and we’ll find the perfect Charleston beach house for your visit here.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Fall Home Tours in Charleston

It’s officially autumn, which means it’s time once again for Charleston’s popular Fall Home Tours.

It’s your chance to see inside some of the most elegant Charlestonian homes and gardens.

Sponsored by the Preservation Society of Charleston, it’s a tradition that goes back more than four decades.  This year’s Fall Home Tours runs from October 3rd through November 2nd, 2019, when some of the peninsula’s most exclusive properties are open for tours.

The Preservation Society offers this chance for you to experience historic Charleston from an insider’s viewpoint.  It’s their primary fundraiser for the day-in, day-out work they do all year long to help keep Charleston so charming.

The Society is a local partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  In many ways, Charleston has become a national trailblazer.  It is perhaps the preeminent shining example of how to preserve our past while making it a vital part of our present.

Tours are generally scheduled in three-hour blocks of time at different times of day, depending on the property.  There are four different categories: House and Garden Tours, Curated Garden Tours, Photography Walkabout and Workshops, and Morning History Walks and Talks.

Each House and Garden Tour features six to eight private properties usually located on a particular street or neighborhood.  They include South of Broad, The Battery, Broad Street, Ansonborough, Church Street, Meeting Street, King Street, East Battery, South Battery and Tradd.

Some other options of Fall Home Tours:

 

For all the details or to book and purchase tickets, which vary in price, visit their website.

 

Charleston’s First Food Truck Village Now Open

 

The food truck phenomenon has taken the world by storm.  Believe it or not, the Charleston area now boasts more than 150 different food trucks.  Yowza!

Food trucks of course vary their location, by design.  If you’re looking for the current site of a particular one, you pretty much have to check on social media.

As I’ve blogged about before, every so often a bunch of food trucks will gather in one spot for a food truck rodeo or festival.  But never before has Charleston had a dedicated permanent “food truck village.”

Well, that all changed this week with the opening of the new Meeting Street Eats food truck village and outdoor dining space.  It’s located at 445 Meeting Street, between Columbus and Spring Streets.

Here are some specs:

Here’s their website with the whole scoop.

So head downtown from your luxury house on Isle of Palms for some food truck fun or fall home tours.  And be sure to call EP for the best places to stay on the beach.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

photo credit: Preservation Society of Charleston
IOP Connector Run this Saturday

This Saturday, October 5th, is a favorite event, the IOP Connector Run.  It’s the 27th annual installment of the popular 5K and 10K, officially known as the Isle of Palms Run and Walk for the Child.

Runners and walkers of all levels are welcome to take part, and it’s all for a good cause.

The race is subtitled “…A 5K & 10K Charity Race to Raise Money for the Healing and Prevention of Child Abuse in Charleston, SC.”   Proceeds go toward children’s advocacy programs in the Lowcountry.

Organizers have described the IOP Connector Run this way:

“This Run/Walk is the most scenic on the East Coast, providing panoramic early morning views of the Intracoastal Waterway as you walk and run from the Isle of Palms over the marsh towards Mount Pleasant. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the sunrise, and a wide variety of coastal birds and passing boats with thousands of other walkers and runners as well as a fabulous After Party with fun & games, kids’ activities, snacks, beer garden, and Live Music.  All of this while helping the Exchange Club of Isle of Palms raise money for the prevention of child abuse!”

 

Some Specs on the IOP Connector Run

 

The race begins at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  The start line is right next to Exclusive Properties’ office, on Palm Boulevard near J. C. Long Boulevard.  5K runners or walkers go halfway over the Connector, then loop back.  10K-ers go all the way over to Mount Pleasant, near the entrance to Seaside Farms, then loop back to the IOP.  Unlike many area runs, strollers are welcome.

You still have time to register online on the official IOP Connector Run website.  Here’s the race’s very helpful and comprehensive Facebook page.

The race is organized by the City of Isle of Palms, the Town of Mount Pleasant, and both towns’ Exchange Clubs.  Exclusive Properties is proud to be one of the event sponsors.

The post-race after party has evolved into quite a bash, with beer garden for those participants 21 and over (bring ID), food, live music and a special kids’ entertainment area.

Important note:  the IOP Connector will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  They will reopen the Connector around 10:30 a.m. when the last runners and walkers and all the course markings are cleared.  Between those times, you’ll have to access/leave the Isle of Palms via Breach Inlet and Sullivan’s Island.

 

Yet more pumpkins

 

As I shared in that last blog, Boone Hall Plantation is a great place to find the perfect pumpkin.  Their pumpkin patch officially opened today and will stay open through Halloween.  And it’s not just about the pumpkins.  There are also plenty of fun activities for the kids of all ages like a petting zoo, hayride, climbing wall, giant inflatables, not to mention their awesome corn maze.

Well, the good folks at Hulafrog came up with a list of the top five places around the Lowcountry to get a pumpkin.  Yes, Boone Hall is number one on the list… but there are some other great options.  One popular choice is Hibben Methodist Church, located on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.  That’s across the street (more or less) from the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market.  I drove by there the other day and saw a few families picking out just the right pumpkin.  An added plus is that proceeds go to charity.

Read the whole list here.

By the way, pumpkins aren’t just good for decorating.  They are also incredibly versatile in cooking.  Here’s a post with ten delicious and healthy ways to use pumpkin in the kitchen.

So check out the IOP Connector Run, and pick up a pumpkin or two.  And when you are looking for a Charleston beach house, be sure to call us at EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

photo credit: IOP Connector Run