Looking for things to do on the Charleston Coast this April? We’ve gathered some of our favorite local events and activities. Check them out and let us know which one is your favorite!
Migratory Bird Walk
April 14 & 21, May 12
Visit the Center for Birds of Prey for a Migratory Bird Walk with experienced birding guides. Recreational birdwatching is becoming a favorite past time across the country. Be sure to bring your binoculars and camera!
Charleston Outdoor Fest
April is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors in the Lowcountry. Head to the James Island County Park for a weekend of canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, rock climbing, and more! Enjoy live music and vendors all weekend. And even try your hand at archery or mountain biking with the Try It Pass!
Shaggin’ on the Cooper
Put on your dancing shoes and head over the Mt Pleasant Waterfront Park for an evening of shag dancing and live music. The Carolina Shag is a descendant of the Jitterbug and originated in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. You don’t want to miss this fun-filled evening!
Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival
Join locals and visitors alike for the Blessing of the Fleet. Spend the day celebrating the local fishing and shrimping industry. Watch the Boat Parade, enjoy delicious seafood tastings, and participate in a shag dance competition
The Charleston Coast is full of things to do year-round but things really amp up in Spring. What are some of your favorite Lowcountry events and things to do? Let us know in the comments!
February 7th is national Book Direct day. What does this mean? Well, when you book directly through a property management company, like Charleston Coast Vacations, you get the best price and the best service available. Third party sites, like Airbnb and VRBO, upcharge your reservation 10%-20%! This equates to hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars extra on your vacation. Save that money so you have more to spend during your Charleston Coast vacation!
Booking through local companies means you get an insider’s knowledge of the area you are visiting, along with the property you are renting. Local property managers visit the properties they manage regularly, often once a week, and can tell you everything you want to know about the property! Does the house have a crockpot? Is there a grill? How many pillows are in the house? At Charleston Coast Vacations, our local property managers are here to help you have the best vacation ever.
But there is more to booking a vacation rental than the property. You must consider the area you will be staying in and what there is to do. If you’ve never visited the Charleston Coast before or if you’re a regular to our lovely seaside towns, booking directly through a local company ensures you get the best recommendations on things to do. At Charleston Coast Vacations, our guest services representatives are here to help you plan your vacation. We have restaurant recommendations, we know the best tours in town, and can tell you all the best spots for surfing on the Charleston Coast.
The properties we manage are listed on some of these third-party sites. This is so our homeowners receive national, and sometimes international, exposure. But, we are a local, family-run company serving the Charleston Coast for over 28 years. Our goal is for our guests to enjoy the Charleston Coast while creating beach memories to last a lifetime. So sit back, relax, and book direct today.
Today, we cover Dewees Island Frequently Asked Questions!
What time is check-in? Check-out?
Check-in and check-out times are house specific. Please refer to the “Important Check-In Information” email that we send to you 15 days prior to your check-in date.
Occasionally, early check-in is available for a $100 fee. To arrange early check-in, please call or email us at least 72 hours prior to check in.
Do we have to bring all our groceries on the ferry?
Yes, but you don’t have to bring them all on the same run you are arriving on. Some families choose to have part of their group take all the luggage on the check-in ferry, while the rest of the group then shops and returns on a later boat. It is entirely up to you. We will assist the first group of arriving renters in each home; subsequent arrivals need to be greeted by your party.
Watch this video for helpful tips on how to pack for Dewees Island!
Does everyone in my party need to check in at the same time?
No, but you are responsible for picking up and orienting guests who arrive on later ferries.
Where should we stand while waiting for the ferry?
Please wait at the top of the ferry waiting area, and not on the dock. Be aware that your luggage carts should be under the awning and out of the way in order for passengers to disembark (think airplane).
Do I wheel my own cart down onto the dock?
Unless the mate tells you otherwise, able-bodied passengers should wheel their own carts on the dock to the loading zone of the ferry. The mate will help you get the cart onto the boat.
What’s with the Ferry Passes?
Dewees Island is a private island and access is provided via a ferry system. Ferry passes allow you to come and go as you please. The cost is a $53 pass, per person, for the week. Day visitors pay $27 (good up to 2 nights).
We will have called in all the names for the ferry. Board the ferry and find a seat. You will sign in on a clipboard once the boat pulls away. Sign in for Lot 200 – that’s the code for Charleston Coast Vacations! Please send names of all members of your party by 30 days prior to check in. You may add names here. Name additions within 72 hours of your check-in date are not guaranteed.
What are the Ferry hours?
The Dewees ferry runs hourly. The first run to the island on weekdays is 6:00 am and off the island is 6:30 am. Saturday, the first run to the island is 7:00 am and off the island is 7:30 am. On Sunday, the first run to the island is 8:00 am and off the island is 8:30 am. The last run to the island is 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, it runs until 12 midnight. To save money and fuel, the ferry does not run is there are no riders.
Ferry runs off the island are “on demand” on the half hour. Be sure to call the ferry at 843-568-3990 at least 45 minutes before you want to leave the island. For example, if you want to go off the island at 10:30 a.m., call the ferry BETWEEN 9:30 and 9:50 am and say, “I’d like to be picked up on the 10:30 am ferry.” Tell them how many people, carts of luggage, dogs, and wheelchairs/strollers you may be bringing. The captain will then decide which boat to bring. If you have not called for a reservation, then you may have to wait until the next ferry. Here is a link to the latest video about catching the ferry.
Can we ride on the top deck?
Yes! Be sure pets are leashed and kids are supervised. Hang onto your hat and have fun watching for dolphins, turtles, and manatees!
What if we are late catching the ferry?
The ferry leaves Isle of Palms on the hour and departs from Dewees Island on the half hour (as long as you’ve called to reserve). You are late if you arrive one minute after your scheduled ferry check-in time. It takes a few minutes to unload your cart and get your gear onto the boat. Please don’t stress out the captain by arriving at the parking lot exactly at departure and expect to get on the ferry. It is his job to depart on time. If you miss your scheduled ferry, Charleston Coast Vacations cannot guarantee there will be room for your party on the next ferry. Bottom line: if you’re not early, you’re late.
How much bottled water will I need for the week?
NONE! Please don’t stress out our resources by bringing bottled water to the island. The water on the island is perfectly safe to drink, and there is a great tasting R-O filtration system at the landings building. If you must, bring your own 3-gallon bottle– and leave it behind for the next guest to refill. Cases of individual bottles of water should not be on the ferry: you will be subject to a fine.
Speaking of water, can I take a 20-minute outdoor shower on Dewees Island?
Water is EXTREMELY expensive on Dewees! I know you’re on vacation, but being on an island with its own recycled water makes it unique. Only shower when needed and make it quick. Only do laundry when you have a full load. Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load. Make sure all outdoor hoses, showers, and fish cleaning sinks are OFF. If you notice a running toilet, shut that toilet off and email email@example.com or call us at (888) 250-8730 IMMEDIATELY. If the owner is billed for excessive use of water, it’s possible that the bill will be passed along to you, the guest. So please be mindful of water usage!
How should I pack?
Please pack lightly. Most homes have basic beach gear and chairs. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions. You can use one or two of the rolling hand carts at the Dewees Marina to load your groceries and other belongings onto the ferry. Handcarts are limited to two per property so please be mindful. If you arrive at a crowded time, your luggage may need to wait for the next boat, or you can choose to hand carry your luggage onto the ferry. Click here for more packing tips.
Where do we go when we get off the Ferry at Dewees?
Once you land on Dewees, roll your luggage cart up the ramp and out of the way. Find your assigned golf cart and drive it up towards the front of the dock. Load your luggage onto your golf cart and return the luggage cart to the top of the ferry landing. Use your map to locate your lot number. If you will be arriving after the sun has set, please bring a flashlight to see the lot numbers.
Will we have house keys?
You will receive house keys in your check-in packet. Two keys are provided per property.
Where do we find the golf carts?
When the ferry arrives at Dewees, the mate will take your handcart off the ferry. You then roll it to the top, past the covered dock and out towards the golf carts. Leave the handcart at the golf cart loading and unloading area. Golf carts will be labeled with the Lot Number of the property you are renting or the reservation holders last name. They are labeled on the front and driver side. The golf carts are all individually owned. Please only drive the carts designated for your home.
BE SURE to plug the golf carts in overnight, every night. When plugged in correctly, the meter on the charger will move to the right and show how many amps are being used. If the meter doesn’t move, try plugging in the cart again. It can be a little tricky when you first learn to plug in the carts as it sometimes takes force to get the plug completely in.
Renters must have a valid driver’s license. All drivers must have a license on them while behind the wheel. Absolutely NO children behind the wheel of a golf cart. It is a motor vehicle and you are subject to a fine.
Does the house come with linens?
The house comes with sheets and towels. Clean towels and sheets will be stacked on the beds when you arrive.
What grocery items does the house have?
Each property has two rolls toilet paper in each bathroom, one roll of paper towels in the kitchen, a kitchen towel, dish sponge or brush, hand soap in the bathrooms, two dishwasher tablets, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, a standard coffee maker, coffee filters, and a few garbage bags.
These items are meant as a starter supply to get your vacation off on the right foot. If you are staying longer than a few nights, you will likely need to provide your own supplies to last the duration of your trip.
Does the property have wifi?
Every private house offers internet access through AT&T. As the island is remote, this service can be intermittent at times and should not be expected as an amenity.
Can I have a bonfire on the beach?
No. Bonfires, fireworks, and firearms are strictly prohibited on Dewees Island. If these items are found, you will be fined and asked to leave the island.
Does the property have a grill?
Propane grills are accessible for every property. Houses offer private grills and suites share a community grill. Public Safety refills propane as needed. They can be reached at 843 296 4952.
Where do I put my garbage and recycling?
Please separate and deliver all garbage and recycling to the on-island facility. Please reference your map for the garbage and recycling location.
Will my cell phone work on Dewees Island?
Cellular service is intermittent on the island, however, all private homes offer a phone for local calls.
Are there restaurants on Dewees Island?
Dewees Island does not offer restaurants or stores, however, excellent options are available on the Isle of Palms and surrounding areas.
What is there to do on Dewees Island?
Our Environmental and Social Committees have scheduled a wide variety of programs on the island, particularly in the summer. If there are events happening during your stay, they will be posted on a sign hanging from the Dewees dock as well as our Facebook page.
Check out our Sea Turtle conservation program. Every day a volunteer walks the island to look for turtle tracks and report to the island’s turtle conservation team. If you are interested participating in this, please call Judy at 843-259-1713. Here is a video about walking with the turtle team.
FISHING: Click here for specific tips. Anyone fishing on Dewees is required to have to a South Carolina Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anyone recreationally harvesting fish, oysters, clams, shrimp, and crab. For additional details, please see SC DNR’s website. Fishing licenses can be purchased online or by telephone, 1-866-714-3611, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; or by visiting fishing gear stores.Fishing gear and bait can be purchased at Haddrells Point Tackle, Charleston Angler, or the Isle of Palms Marina Store.
If you are not sure what you are doing and would like to rent a kit for a crabbing or fishing lesson, let us know and we can schedule that for you. Or you can hire a captain for a private inshore fishing lesson. Captains Ben Floyd and Chad Ferris will both pick you up at the Dewees Dock for a day of fishing.
Here is a link to ourisland map. Print a copy and bring it along!
As always, if you haven’t liked us on Facebook or followed us on Instagram, be sure to do so! And don’t forget to download the Dewees Island app for the most up to date information.