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Bridge Run Options

Before we get to the latest IOP COVID-19 update, here’s some news about the rescheduled Cooper River Bridge Run, originally slated to take place this coming Saturday, April 4th.

Of course COVID-19 changed all of that.

Organizers officially postponed the Bridge Run until August 1st, 2020.  They are offering some creative options for those who signed up.

 

Three Options if you signed up for the Bridge Run

 

You can read more about it at Live 5 News or on the official Bridge Run website.

 

COVID-19

 

Another day, another official IOP update to share.

Yesterday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced that all public access to beaches and waterways would be closed.

There was some confusion as to what exactly that meant.  This morning, the City of Isle of Palms released the flowing update on the beaches amidst the COVID crisis.

“The City of Isle of Palms is in a state of emergency. As the situation continues to change rapidly, the City’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community and staff.”

 

Latest IOP Update

 

Per the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-16, the City of Isle of Palms will implement the following restrictions immediately:

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

COVID-19 update

News updates on COVID-19 continue at a rapid pace.

Reports and directives flow down the pike from above.  They come from global health entities (the WHO, aka World Health Organization), the federal or national level (the White House and President, the CDC), the state level (the Governor), counties and cities.  It’s hard to keep up with them all, and the situation changes on a dime.

The City of Isle of Palms City Council convened on Wednesday afternoon in an emergency session to address COVID-19 as it applies to the island.

 

Here is the official COVID-19 update which resulted from that meeting:

 

The City of Isle of Palms is in a state of emergency.

As the situation continues to change rapidly, the City’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community and staff.

On March 25, 2020, the Isle of Palms City Council, acting in accordance with Section 5-7-250 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, which empowers Council to enact emergency ordinances affecting life, health, or safety, approved Emergency Ordinance 2020.02 which implements the following restrictions:

Before taking action on Emergency Ordinance 2020.02, Council sought advice from Dr. Edward O’Bryan, Emergency Medicine physician at MUSC. He is also the Executive Director of MUSC Health Solutions, Chief Medical Officer for MUSC Business Health and the Director of Business for Telemedicine Services for Business Health. The full transcript of Dr. O’Bryan’s comments is available here.

The audio of the meeting is available here.

 

The City also offers the following information.

 

Medical Testing: 

 

If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms including respiratory distress, please call 9-1-1. For all other symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, we encourage you to take advantage of the MUSC Health Virtual Care telehealth service.

MUSC Health is offering COVID-19 screenings free of charge to South Carolina residents experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms located in South Carolina. Non-residents may use the service but may be charged for the visit and the panel.

All MUSC screenings must be initiated online through their telehealth service: https://campaigns.muschealth.org/virtual-care/index.html.

No walk-up traffic is accepted at the drive-through testing location.

 

Prevention:

 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

 

Information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

The official information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a good source of information for everyone:

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Disinfecting your home if someone is sick

How to Protect Yourself

Symptoms & Testing

Information for Travelers 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

The City of Charleston ordered folks to shelter at home this week, as did Columbia.  Governor Cooper of North Carolina just did the same, joining many other states that are so doing.

We are certainly in unprecedented, uncharted waters here.

May everyone stay safe and healthy as we are encouraged/ordered to stay at home and shelter in place.  It truly is a matter of life and death for many.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Spoleto Festival

The Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the globe, and Spoleto Festival is the latest to fall victim to this pandemic.

Spoleto organizers just announced the sad news, the cancellation of Spoleto Festival 2020.  They made the decision after a conference call with the 50 board members of the festival.  This is the first time in festival history.

Spoleto Festival was one of the last holdouts in announcing a postponement or cancellation.  One of the other big holdouts: the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.  Just this morning, they made the official announcement  that the Olympics will be postponed until next summer.

Locally, Nigel Redden and other Spoleto organizers had been holding out hope that by the time the festival rolled around  –  May 22nd – June 7th  –  perhaps the worst of the pandemic would be over.

However, events of the last week changed that.  It brought home the sad reality that this situation is grave.  The threat is likely to last a while.

Statement from Spoleto General Director Nigel Redden:

 

Dear Friends,

Gian Carlo Menotti founded Spoleto Festival USA as a haven for artists.  Audiences could immerse themselves in performances that challenged, entertained, and often enlightened.

2020 promised to be an exceptional year for Spoleto Festival USA. Omar, the new opera by Rhiannon Giddens and co-composer Michael Abels, would open our celebration of the 350th anniversary of Charleston’s founding.  It would remember an African scholar who was sold into slavery through Gadsden’s Wharf in 1807.  Geoff Nuttall organized a Bank of America Chamber Music series that was extraordinary, even by his high standards.  Artists from New York, South Africa, and New Orleans were ready to arrive for concerts in the Wells Fargo Jazz series.

We were prepared to welcome back Scottish Ballet, which made its American debut at the Festival thirty-four years ago.  We were ready to welcome Caleb Teicher, a young tap dance wonder who first appeared at the Festival in 2009.  Our audience  was buying tickets in record numbers.  We planned to add performances of The Stations, Meow Meow, and Wonders at Dusk.  But the world has changed.

Our decision to cancel the 2020 Festival season is extraordinarily difficult and deeply painful to our artists, volunteers, staff, and, I think, to our audience. However, to continue plans in the face of COVID-19 would be irresponsible. We commit to making the 2021 Festival, scheduled for May 28 – June 13, 2021, an even more wonderful way to celebrate life and the arts. Our dedication to young, emerging artists remains the same, and together we can ensure a bright future for them and for Spoleto.

For more info…

 

We will be in touch with ticket holders and donors as soon as possible with additional information regarding ticket return options and refunds. We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation.

Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones during these uncertain times.

 

Read more about the announcement on the Spoleto website. or the Post & Courier.  Those who purchased Spoleto tickets may receive a refund, or they have the option of considering it a donation to the festival.

These are frustrating and uncertain times.  It is hard to make plans or know what lies ahead, with any sense of surety or timeline.  Official declarations are happening at a rapid pace, that quickly shift the status quo.

May we all have patience, wisdom and health as we face the days ahead.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Photo credit: Spoleto Festival USA
COVID-19 and the IOP

The COVID-19 situation seems to change so rapidly that updates post right as the situation shifts again.

But there have been some developments today on the Isle of Palms that will affect your stay in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals  –  in a good way.

Many people are out of school and work.  The weather at the Isle of Palms has been absolutely gorgeous  –  temps in the mid-70’s, Carolina blue skies.

As a result, the beaches have been crowded, mostly with day trippers from Mount Pleasant and elsewhere in the Charleston area.  Folks with cabin fever descended en masse on the beaches.  The last few days have seen crowds on the IOP that rival peak summer months.

Although area beaches are spacious, people were not practicing safe social distancing, especially around the Isle of Palms County Park and Front Beach.  Parking lots were full.  There were long lines for ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.  Young people visiting for the day were congregating in large groups.

Well, this morning the Isle of Palms City Council held a special emergency meeting to address the issue in regards to keeping us all safe from COVID-19.

 

The Latest on IOP Beach Access

 

They came up with a solution.  For the next two weeks, starting tomorrow  –  Saturday, March 21st  –  IOP Police will set up checkpoints where people enter the Isle of Palms from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. each day.  Only those with a specific purpose for being on the island are allowed onto the island during those hours.

They include residents and their guests, property owners, day workers, medical providers, caregivers or childcare workers, delivery drivers, and short term renters and hotel guests.  They will ask for supporting documents like driver’s license, resident stickers, decals and the like.

If you are coming to one of our beach homes, simply show a copy of your rental agreement or booking confirmation.  They will accept both paper and electronic versions.

Thus, the beaches are OPEN for residents and those staying in our vacation homes.  You can expect our beach and island to be much less crowded this way.

Of course, we are all asked to maintain social distancing when enjoying the beach.  South Carolina Governor McMaster has directed law enforcement to break up any crowds that might gather on beaches in the state.

Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll had this to say:  “What this portrays to our residents and our businesses is that we’re still working and rentals are still coming. We just can’t have the beaches overloaded like they’ve been.”

Read more about it at the Post & Courier.  Also, Counton2 covers the story here.

 

Keeping Charleston Fed During COVID-19

 

A special website has sprung up called Dining at a Distance.  Restaurants in the state are not allowed to have sit-down dining at the moment.  But many local eating establishments are now offering take-out, curbside pickup and delivery options.

I mean, it’s a giant list that keeps on growing.  It’s also a great way to help these local businesses in what’s a tough time for them.

Their tagline is, “Support Charleston restaurants, while responsibly practicing social distancing.”

This website is a very useful clearinghouse of what’s available all over the Charleston area, with links to each one.  Delivery options include DoorDash, GrubHub, Uber Eats, Chownow, Postmates, and direct from the restaurant.

It’s a great way to feed everyone in your luxury house on Isle of Palms.

Hope to see you soon on the Isle of Palms.  It’s a beautiful place to escape the COVID-19 chaos.  If you have any questions, please contact us at Exclusive Properties.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Coronavirus and the IOP

During this difficult time of the Coronavirus, we understand the importance of maintaining a high standard of cleanliness.  Here at Exclusive Properties, we aim to provide a safe and happy place for your family to visit.

Our private homes are the perfect place to safely enjoy a vacation.  Here you can greatly reduce the stress of being in large crowds or stuffy hotels.  You’ll have the place to yourself, with plenty of room for your whole family or group to stretch out and take refuge from the chaos.  You can come have a relaxing time at the beach and forget the rest of the world while you’re here.

The beach itself is peaceful and uncrowded  –  a healing place.  In fact, taking walks in nature is recommended during these times of Coronavirus.  It’s a good way to get exercise, get away from the news cycle, destress and relax.  The beach is an ideal place to do that.

Exclusive Properties is a family-owned property management company specializing in luxury vacation homes on the Isle of Palms. We have been in the vacation rental and property management business for 10 years, managing the most exclusive properties in the Charleston Area. Our luxurious vacation rentals provide everything you need for an incredible experience in Charleston for you and your family.

We are here to make sure you have a great vacation because you deserve to stay at the beach in style!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.  Our team of experts will be happy to assist you.

 

Coronavirus and the IOP

 

As a follow-up to that last blog, the City of Isle of Palms has provided another update on the Coronavirus and how it affects island operations.  You can read the post here.  Trash pickup and recycling will proceed as normal.  Just a heads-up, the Rec Center and public bathrooms are closed till March 31st.

Harris-Teeter on the island is open and ready to help you stock your shelves.  So is Costco over the Connector in Mount Pleasant, along with Publix and a slew of other grocery stores.  A friend went to all three this morning.  He experienced no huge lines, was able to get everything on his shopping list, and was delighted by the upbeat, helpful attitude of the employees.

As you can imagine, many events have been rescheduled.  The Cooper River Bridge Run has been changed from April 4th till August 1st.  Summerville’s Flowertown Festival, originally scheduled for the Bridge Run weekend, will now take place on Labor Day weekend.  Read more about it at Live 5 News.

The Isle of Palms is experiencing lovely weather right now.  It’s actually a really good time to be here in one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.

Stay safe, wash those hands, and do what you can to keep stress levels low… like taking a walk on the beach.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Coronavirus or COVID-19

Of course the thing on everyone’s mind right now is the Coronavirus, or COVID-19.  News alerts are coming down the pike at a rapid pace.

Colleges are postponing students’ return to campus after spring break and urging online classwork instead.  Cancellations include March Madness, the rest of the NBA season, along with spring training and most other sports.  Even The Masters at Augusta wont take place as scheduled due to concerns over COVID-19, although they hope to reschedule.  Broadway, Disneyland and Disney World are shutting down this weekend.

Several states have opted to close public schools, including Ohio and Maryland.  That is not the case here in South Carolina, where schools will remain open until further notice.  The attitude here in South Carolina is a bit more moderate and less stressful than other parts of the country that have higher concentrations of people and COVID-19.

 

Local effects of the Coronavirus situation

 

Locally, organizers of the Volvo Car Open have canceled the event.  One of the main reasons was because several of the athletes are based in Europe.  With the airline travel ban taking effect tonight at midnight, they would not be able to attend.

At last check, the Cooper River Bridge Run is still scheduled to go on as planned on April 4th.  Check back regularly as they monitor the situation closely.  The thinking is that most people who would be taking part would be, by definition, healthy, and the event takes place out of doors  –  unlike most spectator sporting events.

UPDATE:  This just in  –  the Cooper River Bridge Run has been postponed until August 1, 2020.

The Isle of Palms has issued an official statement.  Here it is in its entirety, from the official city website.  Check back for additional updates as well.

 

City of Isle of Palms Monitoring COVID-1

 

The City of Isle of Palms, in coordination with federal, state and local partners, is closely monitoring the emergence and spread of COVID-19 and preparing for potential impacts to our community. As cases are confirmed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is posting regular updates on its website.

The health and well being of our employees and community is the City’s top priority. City staff is coordinating with key stakeholders in our community and planning for continuity of normal operations.

The City of Isle of Palms wants to encourage people to stay calm, stay informed, share official and reliable information, practice common sense habits to reduce their risk of exposure and prepare for the possibility of having to stay home for several days.

CDC Recommendations

 

The Centers for Disease Control recommends taking the following simple preventative measures to avoid the spread and reduce the risk of infection:

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is now offering free telehealth screening to all South Carolinians. Anyone experiencing symptoms can visit MUSC.care and use the promo code COVID-19 and be screened without having to leave the home.

The SCDHEC Care Line is available to provide general information about COVID-19 by calling 1-855-472-3432 from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. seven days a week.

For more information, please visit the CDC’s and SCDHEC’s websites.

 

Stay safe and healthy, and wash those hands.  If you have questions about reservations for one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals or anything else, just give us a call and we’ll do our best to help.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Charleston #1 City Overall

Charleston is no stranger to “best of” lists, and once again it’s been named the #1 city in the latest poll.

You can add it to the Holy City’s long list of accolades.

The latest is from Southern Living, the arbiter of all things below the Mason-Dixon line.  With a monthly readership of 23 million, they cover lifestyle, travel, gardens, décor, cuisine, homes, all the fun stuff that makes living in the South so grand.

Each year, they single out the best of the best, in their South’s Best Awards, based on surveys of their loyal readers.

Sid Evans, the magazine’s Editor in Chief, has this to say:  “At Southern Living, we’re passionate about celebrating the extraordinary people and places that define Southern hospitality.  Our goal is to identify the destinations our readers are loving the most right now—places that represent the very best of the South. This year’s awards are a unique mix of newcomers and longtime favorites.”

 

Charleston #1 City in the South…. Yet Again

 

Southern Living tapped Charleston as the #1 Best City Overall.  This is the fourth year in a row that it’s been so honored.

Other cities that made the top ten: Savannah, GA; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Austin, TX; Asheville, NC;  Alexandria, VA;  Atlanta, GA; Richmond, VA; and Tallahassee, FL.

Charleston appeared 16 times among the top ten lists in several different categories.  It racked up a couple other #1 spots.  Rodney Scott’s BBQ was selected Best BBQ Joint in SC, and The Dewberry was tapped as the Best New Hotel.

You can read more about the #1 City rankings and more here.

The South’s Best Awards cover these categories: cities, small towns, BBQ joints, classic restaurants, new restaurants, beach towns, mountain towns, college towns, new hotels, historic hotels, neighborhoods, garden shops, boutiques, bookstores, scenic drives, natural wonders, and more. Read the list of all the Southern Living winners here.

So why not come to the #1 city in the South.  Just give us a call at EP, and we’ll find  you the perfect beach house Charleston for your stay.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Music Video Shoot on the IOP

You and your friends are invited to a music video shoot, right here on the Isle of Palms!

It’s not every day that one can be immortalized on video for posterity.  But this weekend is your chance.

The Windjammer is an Isle of Palms institution.   Located at Front Beach, it’s usually IOP party central.  Their tagline is “Charleston’s Premier Beach Club.”  It’s the site for music festivals (like Hazelnut Hang and Sol Slam) and concerts all year long.  It’s also known to host the occasional pop-up surprise event like Darius Rucker trying out his latest music.

This Sunday, March 8th, it will also be the location for the filming of a music video.  And you are cordially invited to come to The Windjammer and be an extra in it.

The artist is Lauren Hall.  She’s a rising country music singer/songwriter from right here in Charleston.  She released her first EP in 2014 and has performed all over the region.  She considers her musical influences to be Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, Alison Krauss, Dixie Chicks and Miranda Lambert.

She’s been in Nashville working on new music that she’s getting ready to release this spring… and this will be part of the official video for the new single.

 

Here’s what Lauren has to say about the music video shoot…

 

Guyyyyys!! I am SO excited to be saying this, but the first single is on its way in a MONTH or so and the music video will be following it very soon! We have one last scene to shoot and I wanted to personally invite y’all to be a part of it! We will be staging a mock show and performing the song, so the more the merrier! (Plus, whoever comes gets a sneak peak of the new single 😉)

It’s gonna be a big party basically, just with some cameras around! Y’all have been so patient and supportive as I’ve grown in my music and it would mean the absolute world to have you guys in the video. Feel free to invite ya friends!! It’s gonna be fun y’all! See you March 8th ☺️🎥

 

The party starts at 7:00 p.m.  You’ll want to get there to get a good  –  and visible  –  seat.

Read more about the music video shoot at its Facebook event page.

You can find out more about Lauren and her music here  or @MusicLaurenHall.

The Windjammer is located where 10th Avenue hits the beach.  In other words, it’s at 1008 Ocean Boulevard, oceanfront on the Isle of Palms Front Beach area.

You come be an extra in a music video for a rising star.  And when you’re looking for the very best in SC vacation rentals, be sure to give EP a call.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Front Beach Fest on IOP

The Isle of Palms sponsors a number of events throughout the year, and this weekend it’s Front Beach Fest.

More about that in a minute.

Just a quick reminder that the time is here for the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, going on now through Sunday, March 8th.   Foodies have descended upon the Holy City en masse.  Marion Square is covered in fancy tents, and people have come ready to eat and drink.  They’ve snatched up almost all the tickets.

There’s a total of more than 130 events and experiences.  They include 30 beverage workshops, 20 brunches + lunches, 29 dinners, 23 signature events, 16 hands-on classes, eight excursions, three happy hours and three days of the Culinary Village.

Apparently there are ticket exchanges available through Lyte, for those who want to give it a try.

 

Front Beach Fest this Saturday

 

Perhaps you don’t feel like spending $135 (or more) on a ticket to the Wine + Food Festival Culinary Village.  After all, people recently complained that they stood in line for two hours for a single small taste of a dish.  Yikes!

Well, the Isle of Palms is cranking up their annual Front Beach Fest this Saturday, and there’s absolutely no charge to attend.

This free street festival is definitely family-friendly, with a lot of things that kids will love.  They’ll have…

Front Beach Fest will take place from noon till 4:00 p.m. this Saturday, March 7th.  the fun will center around the “downtown” Ocean Boulevard area on the Isle of Palms, where most of the shops and restaurants are.

Check out the official Isle of Palms website or their Facebook event page for more info on the event.

 

Spring Forward this weekend!

 

Just a quick reminder… this weekend is also when we switch to Daylight Saving Time.  Before you go to bed Saturday night, be sure to move the clocks ahead an hour so you start Sunday morning off right.  Thankfully most cell phones and tablets make the change for you automatically.

DST is always such a mixed bag.  Yes, you lose an hour, which can really throw off a person’s internal clock.  But the extra hour of daylight in the evenings sure is nice.

So check out Wine + Food if you can snag a ticket, check out the free Front Beach Fest, and spring those clocks ahead this weekend.   And when you are searching for the best in beach rentals Charleston, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger