January is a month with an R in it, so it’s a fine time to enjoy an oyster roast, and check out some Charleston lighthouses while you’re at it. They’re both quintessential Lowcountry things to see/do.
As I covered in this previous blog, oyster roasts are a classic Lowcountry tradition. If you’re here during a month with an R in the name, you really should check one out. It’s a great way to sample a seafood specialty and mingle with the locals.
This coming Sunday, there’s one which will also benefit a good cause.
Charleston Lighthouses dot our horizon
Lighthouses are an iconic symbol of the coast. They have saved the lives and steered the courses of countless sailors across history. The Lowcountry has a couple of Charleston lighthouses, and they’re fun to spot.
The closest to the Isle of Palms is the one on Sullivan’s Island, near Fort Moultrie. It is fully functioning and has been quite needed this week, what with all the sea fog that’s been moving in.
Just look toward Breach Inlet or down the beach – you can’t miss it. It’s tall, black and white, and triangular in shape – quite unusual for an American lighthouse.
There are a couple other interesting facts about this lighthouse that distinguish it from others. It has an elevator, aluminum siding, and was the very last major lighthouse to be built in the U.S. It was commissioned on June 15, 1962.
The other of the two main Charleston lighthouses is the historic Morris Island Lighthouse. Built in 1876, it was the original Charleston Harbor light. It actually has roots dating all the way back to 1673.
The years have taken their toll, though. While it used to be on dry land, now it’s now submerged in the ocean’s tides. Waters now completely surround its base, and it no longer functions as a lighthouse.
Help Save the Light
A nonprofit called “Save the Light” is dedicated to preserving the Morris Island Lighthouse before it gets swept away by the relentless surf. They purchased the lighthouse in 1999 and work tirelessly to restore and protect it.
Save the Light is sponsoring an oyster roast this Sunday at Bowen’s Island, another Lowcountry institution.
Here’s STL’s official website with more about what they do. They even have a live webcam on the lighthouse.
Also, here are the deets on the oyster roast:
- All you can eat fresh local Lowcountry oysters, along with homemade desserts, wine and beer;
- This Sunday afternoon, January 6th, from 2:00 till 5:00 p.m.;
- Plenty of live music by The Shakin’ Martinis, The Island Duo, and Last Resort;
- Located at 1870 Bowen’s Island Road;
- Price $45-$50 per person, for a good cause.
Pay-What-You-Can at another iconic Lowcountry site
If you’ve been here before, no doubt you have seen the massive aircraft carrier parked in Charleston’s harbor. It’s the USS Yorktown, and it’s well worth a visit.
It’s the centerpiece of the Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum, as it’s officially known.
The Yorktown was one of only two dozen Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II. Also known as the “Fighting Lady,” she earned 11 battle stars while serving in the Pacific from 1943-45.
The museum encompasses more than “just” the Yorktown aircraft carrier. There’s also the Cold War submarine Clamagore, the WWII destroyer, Laffey, and numerous aircraft. There’s also the National Medal of Honor Museum and the Vietnam Experience, the only Vietnam support base camp in the United States.
This weekend is a great time to visit.
They are offering something they only do once a year. It’s their eighth annual “Pay What You Can Weekend,” going on this Saturday and Sunday, January 5th and 6th. They will waive the normal admission fees ($24 per adult) and parking fee ($5). Instead, you’re free to make a voluntary donation, if you so wish.
So basically, you can name your own price. (As always, military in uniform and children under six are free.)
Hours are 9:00 a.m. till 6:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, and every day.
All of this is located on the Mount Pleasant side of Charleston harbor.
Here’s their website.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger