Celebrate Folly Gras, 2019!

Every year, Folly Beach comes alive with the spirit of Mardi Gras! Join us on the beach for the annual Folly Gras parade and festival with arts, crafts and fashion vendors, live music, free activities for kids, and a delicious variety of food and beverages, sure to make you say “Laissez le bon temps rouler!”

Folly Gras 2019
Photo: VisitFolly.com

Saturday, February 23, 2019 – Parade begins at 11:00 am

The best way to enjoy Folly Gras is by staying on the island. Whether you are a local in need of a staycation, or visiting us from out of town, we have the perfect vacation homes and villas for a fun Folly Gras weekend. Check out our Folly Vacation Rentals to be in the middle of the action or far enough away to peacefully unplug when you’re ready for some relaxation. We’ve got vacation rentals spanning all of Folly Beach to offer a variety of experiences, and we’ve got a front row seat for the Folly Gras festivities from the dunes properties Folly Beach office, which is located at 31 Center Street.

For tickets and more info about the vendors, music, and more, check out VisitFolly.com and Let the Good Times Roll, Lowcountry Style!

Outdoor Activities on the Charleston Coast

We love spring on the Charleston Coast! The weather is perfect for spending a day at the beach or exploring all the Charleston Coast has to offer. We have compiled a list of outdoor activities on the Charleston Coast so you can take full advantage of the beautiful weather!

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

The gorgeous Ravenel Bridge, as it is locally known, has quickly become a Charleston Icon. The Ravenel Bridge opened in July 2015 and connects Peninsular Charleston with Mt. Pleasant. The bridge has a pedestrian and bike path that provide outstanding views of the Charleston Harbor, Peninsular Charleston, and Mt. Pleasant. Walk, run, or bike your way across this Charleston Icon!

ravenel bridge Outdoor activities things to do Charleston

Fort Sumter

While we’re talking about the Charleston Harbor, why not take a tour of Fort Sumter? The tour includes a ferry ride of the Charleston  Harbor filled with Charleston History and beautiful views. If you keep your eyes peeled, you will likely see a dolphin or two (or three!). Fort Sumter is where the Civil War began and holds an important place in American History. See where the first shots were fired and learn about Charleston’s important, and lengthy, place in American History.

Fort Sumter Outdoor Activities Charleston things to do vacation

Charleston City Market

The Charleston City Market is a mix of open air and enclosed stalls. Vendors sell everything from sweetgrass baskets and handmade jewelry to homemade sweets and local art. If you’re looking for a gift for your family or friends (or yourself!) be sure to stop by. The Charleston City Market is open daily year round and opens for a night market on Fridays & Saturdays.

City Market Charleston Outdoor Activities things to do Vacation

Charleston Tea Plantation

While in Charleston, visit the only tea plantation in North America. A visit to the Tea Plantation is free! Tour the tea production building, visit the gift shop, and marvel at the acres upon acres of tea plants. The only charge (besides a souvenir from the gift shop!) is for the trolley tour. The trolley tour takes you through the tea fields and stops by the greenhouse. The closest tea plantations are in Asia, Africa, and South America making this a once in a lifetime visit!

Tea Plantation Outdoor Activities Charleston Things to do vacation
Photo: Instagram user @petermicu via @charleston_tea

King Street

King Street is a wonderous street that can be considered the Main St of Historic Charleston. The lower end of King Street is known for its outstanding shopping. You can spend the entire day just on this half of the street! Upper King Street (north of Calhoun Street) is home to numerous galleries, delicious restaurants, and fun bars. If you’re in town for it, we highly recommend Second Sunday on King. Taking place every second Sunday of the month throughout the year, Second Sunday on King shuts down the lower half of King Street to vehicle traffic. Pedestrians, dogs, vendors, and restaurant tables line the street for the day. Enjoy open-air dining, shopping specials, and more dog sightings than you can imagine!

King St Outdoor Activities Charleston Things To Do Vacation
Photo: Instagram user @charlestonlivability

What are your favorite outdoor activities on the Charleston Coast? Let us know! We are always looking for fun outdoor activities for ourselves, our families, and our guests!

Transformation Tuesday: Saylors’ Malibu

Last week, we discussed when and how to renovate your vacation property. This week, we are featuring the most amazing Transformation Tuesday we have ever seen! 1215 E Arctic Ave on Folly Beach, formerly known as “The Blue Lagoon”, underwent a total renovation between September 2017-March 2018.

1215 E Arctic Ave Folly Beach Vacation Rental Charleston Coast Vacations Before
1215 E Arctic Ave Before!

Now know as “Saylors’ Malibu”, 1215 E Arctic is a stunning oceanfront home which provides not just oceanfront views, but on the beach feels. The renovation was completed by one of the Lowcountry’s best teams and boy can you tell!

1215 E Arctic Folly Beach Charleston Coast Vacations Vacation Rental After
After! Check out the gorgeous new windows!

Custom pieces are plentiful in the home. From the custom 10-seat dining table to the live-edge hardwood custom bar in the kitchen, no piece of the home was left untouched. In the bathrooms, unique tiles on the floors and in the showers help make each room a little different from the next.

1215EastArcticAve Folly Beach Vacation Rental Charleston Coast Vacations
Custom Dining Table with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

“Saylors’ Malibu” is a home you will want to vacation in year after year. Secure your 2018 and 2019 vacation today!

Living Room 1215 E Arctic Folly Beach Charleston Coast Vacations

The cozy living room lacked cohesion before the renovation. Now, the living room radiates perfection. The sectional sofa ensures seating for the whole family while you watch tv, read your favorite book, or just stare out the gorgeous new windows!

 

Kitchen 1215 E Arctic Folly Beach Charleston Coast Vacations

The designers kept a similar, mostly white, open and airy feel in the kitchen. But, the custom cabinets and custom live-edge hardwood bar top enhance the natural beauty of the space. The new windows leave you feeling like you’re on the beach from the comfort of the kitchen.

Guest Bedroom 1215 E Arctic Folly Beach Charleston Coast Vacations

New furniture and simple, understated accent pieces tie together one of the guest bedrooms.

Master Bedroom 1215 E Arctic Folly Beach Charleston Coast Vacations

The master bedroom feels more sophisticated now. The new floor to ceiling windows provide natural light that balances the dark wood of the furniture.

Master Bath 1215 E Arctic Folly Beach Charleston Coast Vacations

In the master bathroom, a change in paint color and opening the walk-in shower changes the entire feel of the room. The textured tile in the shower provides depth to the space.

Porch 1215 E Arctic Folly Beach Charleston Coast Vacations

Updating the railings and porches, along with painting the exterior, makes the outside living spaces more desirable. Take an afternoon nap in the hammock “on the beach” without getting sandy!

Things to Do: April

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

Charleston Things to Do Birdwatching (2)
Photo: Instagram user @centerforbirdsofprey

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 21-22

Charleston Things to Do Outdoor Fest
Photo: Instagram user @charlestoncountyparks

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

April 28

Charleston Things to Do Shaggin on the Cooper
Photo via Facebook: Charleston County Parks & Recreation

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

April 29

Charleston Things To Do Blessing of the Fleet
Photo via Facebook: Experience Mt Pleasant

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!

Book Direct at Charleston Coast Vacations

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!

Book Direct Charleston Coast Vacations

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.

Charleston Coast Snow Day

When booking a vacation on the Charleston Coast, one rarely thinks of snow, even in the colder winter months. But, a snow-filled beach vacation is exactly what our guests received to start 2018.

Snowstorms on the Charleston Coast are rare, but not unprecedented. Typically the storms consist of small flurries, leaving only a light dusting of snow and never lasting more than a day. However, there have been three record-breaking snowstorms in Charleston’s history. The last big snowstorm followed just months after hurricane Hugo, arriving over Christmas in 1989. The ‘89 snow storm dumped a record eight inches of snowfall over a two day period. Southerners not used to plummeting temperatures or frozen water were treated to their first white Christmas.

Charleston Coast Snow Storm
1989 Christmas Snow. Photo: The Post & Courier

This year, the Charleston Coast rang in the New Year with a storm.  Snow began falling on the first Wednesday of 2018 and left the Lowcountry buried under five inches of snow! Now, since the Charleston Coast is not used to even minor snowfall, let alone five inches, roads, businesses, and schools, were all shut down. Putting safety first, our small but buzzing city came to a complete halt.

Most of our guests that stayed with us through the storm were visiting from much colder areas of the US. For many of these “snowbirds,” escaping to the Charleston Coast is a means of evading the freezing temperatures back home. Boy, were these guests in for a surprise this year! Here’s what one lucky guest had to say about the unexpected snow:

“We actually had a GREAT time. There was something about expecting 60 degree weather (or better) and then instead spending a week at a cold beach that turned out to be perhaps our best vacation in Folly ever. We come fairly often (right after Christmas), to get away from cold Virginia (and Colorado for my dad). Instead, we (and everyone else) struggled with terrible weather and we had a blast:…Making snow angels on the beach…Making little snowmen on our balcony…We’ll be back next year…we would be a very lucky family to have half as much fun as we did this year.” – Karen E

Charleston Coast Snow Day Folly
Photo credit from left to right: Facebook User Dave’s Dogs, Facebook User Logan D.

Charleston Coast Snow Day Snow
Photo Credit (clockwise): Janice J., Karen E., Paul B.

Wish you were Beer: Low Tide Brewing

Wish you were Beer:  A semi-regular posting on charleston’s hoppin’ craft brewery scene

This week’s feature: Low Tide Brewing on John’s Island.

Low Tide Brewing
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

20 years ago, John’s Island had one stop light. It was the way to get to Kiawah but was overlooked as a destination in its own rite. Now, John’s Island is on the up and up with real estate development through the roof, and a restaurant scene that draws crowds away from the famous eateries of downtown Charleston. This rural island is quickly becoming home to many must-do attractions. Recently, we went to one of our favorite craft breweries, Low Tide, for a lowcountry oyster roast and the opportunity to talk to the owner, Mike, about what makes this destination so special.

Charleston’s love for oysters is as deep rooted as our live oaks and southern hospitality. Anyone lucky enough to visit our lovely city during the “off season” is in fact visiting during peak oyster season.  Low Tide Brewery takes advantage of this, hosting a monthly, all-you-can-eat oyster roast with live music and unique beer pairings at an unbeatable price of $15 – $20 per ticket. The time tested rule with oysters: they’re best to eat during months that contain the letter “r.” This means September through April, you’d be hard pressed to visit during a weekend when there isn’t a lowcountry oyster roast somewhere. While Low Tide is not the sole venue to catch a great oyster roast, it stands out from the crowd as a guaranteed good time with great drinks.

Low Tide Brewing Oyster Roast
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

Lowtide is unique in how their beer connects and exemplifies the things that make Charleston great: the people, the food and the environment. From the conception of the brewery’s name (which came to Mike while kayaking in Charleston’s tidal rivers), to the everybody’s-a-local atmosphere in the taproom, to the packed events and sought-after food trucks, the connection to this great city is enhanced by their beer. It’s a can’t miss destination for locals and newcomers alike.

Reflecting the mix between classic styles and fusions of flavors that the Charleston culinary scene is known for, Low Tide has produced over 120 distinct beers since opening. Mike gives a lot of credit to the “liquid engineer” of the operation, his partner, Andy. After accepting resumes from across the globe, Andy stood out from the crowd. Receiving a 4 year degree in fermentation, brewing was never a hobby to him but a profession. Because of Andy’s expertise, he is no one beer pony and a key ingredient in Low Tide’s success.

Low Tide Brewing Beer
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

While other breweries might have one or two experimental beers that are good or focus all their attention on one variety of beer, Low Tide strives to provide a range in styles and ace every one. They are constantly rotating and releasing new brews with names like “Gingerly Squeeze My Lemons”, “Coconut Pete’s Chai Ale”, and “Hush Your Mouth Triple IPA”, but typically only 12 or so are on draught in the taproom at a time. This keeps things fresh in the tap room, there is always something new to try.

Andy’s prowess allows Mike’s vision for Low Tide to become a reality through their beer. The “Coastal Harvest Gose” was a great example of the ingenuity going on behind the scenes. A gose is a sour beer originating in Gosland, Germany dating back 1000 years. While the original gose historically owes its unique flavor profile to the River Gose’s high saline content, Low Tide used “sea pickles” harvested by Mike from some of Charleston’s salt marshes to emulate the salty element of the classic. The beer was a unique twist on the classic and emphasized Low Tide’s ties to Charleston’s environment.

Low Tide Brewing Beers
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

While there has been talk about future plans for bottling, currently, you can only get their beer at the brewery itself or at restaurants lucky enough to have it on tap. It isn’t particularly rare to find them on tap at restaurants featuring craft brew selections because they ship kegs statewide. If you’re looking for a restaurant in Charleston that has them on tap we would recommend trying Bohemian Bull, Bay Street Biergarten, or Loggerheads. There are even some restaurants around Charleston that are lucky enough to have their exclusive, signature brew created by Lowtide as a compliment to their menu and atmosphere. So, only at Triangle Char & Bar can you find the delectable “Triangle Char & Bar Welcome Wheat” and out on Kiawah, the infamous Ocean Course Clubhouse features its very own “Ocean Course Ale”.

Mike’s original concept was to create a brewery to cater to Charleston’s rich restaurant scene focusing on creating those signature brews and the taproom was meant to be more of a bonus. Less than two years after opening the doors of the large converted warehouse that calls home, there are times when Mike wishes that there was more space. As the brewery evolved, it gained a dedicated following of both locals and visitors alike. The extent of their popularity is most astounding during their events, like their Oyster Roasts, when the whole front lot is closed off to allow for the crowds overflowing out of the taproom.

Apart from great beer and great times, the crowds grow because everyone is welcome here. No matter where you’re from you are treated like a local. Mike mentioned how important it is to him to make everyone feel comfortable, and it shows. When scanning the crowd at the oyster roast there wasn’t an obvious archetype for the typical low tide patron. Young, old, a number of families with their kids, people who have lived on John’s Island their whole life, others visiting for the first time, and (in the Charleston way) everyone brings their dogs. While Mike admits that he never thought that he would be so happy to have dogs and kids running around his brewery, it means a lot to him to see that there is such a sense of community that has developed around the taproom and their brews.

Low Tide Brewing
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

Take a trip out to John’s Island and stop by Low Tide Brewing next time you’re in town. You can follow them and check out all their upcoming events on their facebook page and find more information about them on their website. Hope to see you there!

Feature Friday: Charleston Oceanfront Villas

Feature Friday highlights at least one spectacular property each week! This week’s feature Friday highlights the Charleston Oceanfront Villas on Folly Beach.

Charleston Oceanfront Villas Beach
All photos in this post are from Donnie Whitaker

The Charleston Oceanfront Villas is located at 201 W Arctic, Ave, Folly Beach. The Charleston Oceanfront Villas are two blocks from Center St, two blocks from the Folly Fishing Pier, and, as the name suggests, right on the beach!

The Charleston Oceanfront Villas is a community of condos ranging from 3-4 bedrooms but not all condos are rentals, there are full-time residents in the building. The community is gated with no assigned parking and the option for covered or open-air parking. There are two elevators and two pools in the community. The pools are seasonal and are the place to be in the summer! Head down to the pool early to snag your lounge chairs and set yourself up for a day of relaxation. 

Charleston Oceanfront Villas Pool

The proximity to Center St. makes these condos ideal for those who simply want to park their car and walk everywhere on vacation! In the mood for some seafood? Great! Walk across the street to Loggerhead’s for local oysters and music on the deck. If you prefer oceanfront dining then walk over to Blu for a spectacular dining experience.

You can easily go fishing for the afternoon on the Folly Beach Fishing Pier. Take the short two block walk to the pier, grab your fishing license from the pier store, then head out for an afternoon of sun and fun! After a long afternoon fishing, end the day with a cocktail and an appetizer at Pier 101.

Charleston Oceanfront Villas Sunset

Every condo at the Charleston Oceanfront Villas has an oceanfront view but the exact view depends on the condo’s location in the building. Some villas have better views of the pier while others have a better view of the sunsets. All condos have an oceanfront balcony or sundeck, the perfect place for your morning coffee.

The villas range in prices, just as they range in the number of bedrooms and decor. The get the best price available, always book directly through Charleston Coast Vacations. We are local and can provide answers to all your questions about the condos or about the area. In addition, we love Folly and the Charleston Coast, let us help make your vacation a breeze.

We invite you to make yourself at home at the Charleston Oceanfront Villas. Sit back, relax, and slow down. It’s Folly, y’all!