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!

Frequently Asked Questions

Today, we cover your frequently asked questions when renting with Charleston Coast Vacations!

Charleston Coast Vacations, Frequently Asked Questions

When is check in? What time is check out?

Check-in is at 4 pm. Early check-ins are not available.  Checkout is at 10 am. Late checkouts are not available as we must prepare the property for incoming guests.

Where do I check in?

This depends on what island you are vacationing on! Folly Beach check-ins visit our Folly Beach office, located at 31 Center St, Folly Beach, SC 29439. Isle of Palms, Wild Dunes, and Dewees Island check-ins visit our Isle of Palms office, located at 1400 Palm Blvd Suite M, Isle of Palms, SC 29451.

Is housekeeping included? What about linens?

Yes, departure housekeeping is included with your stay. Linens for the beds and baths are provided for your stay. Plan to purchase or bring pool and beach towels.

Does the property have beach chairs?

At most properties, beach equipment like chairs and umbrellas are not guaranteed with the rental. Occasionally, previous guests or the homeowner will leave some equipment behind. We recommend bringing, purchasing, or renting these items for your vacation.

Are paper products included?

A starter pack of paper products is included with your vacation: 1-2 rolls of toilet tissue per restroom, 1-2 rolls of paper towels in the kitchen, a liner in each trash bin, a few dishwasher tablets

If you’re staying for more than a few days, you will likely need to bring or purchase these items from the grocery store.

Are pantry items in the property? Salt and pepper? Spices?

Pantry items like salt, pepper, oil, and spices are not guaranteed. Occasionally, previous guests or the homeowner will leave some behind. We recommend bringing or purchasing these items for your vacation.

Does the property have a crockpot?

Specialty cooking items like crockpots, large steamer pots, and gravy boats are not included with every rental property. If you need a particular kitchen item for your vacation please plan to bring it with you.

Does the property have a hair dryer?

Hair dryers are often provided by the homeowner but, due to their small size, they often go missing. If a hair dryer is important, we recommend bringing one with you.

Does the property have internet?

Yes! All properties managed by Charleston Coast Vacations have wireless internet. Please note, during times of high occupancy on the islands, the internet speeds will vary.

For more information and additional frequently asked questions, check out our welcome video!

Feature Friday: Too Sandy

This feature Friday we are featuring Too Sandy, located at 2 Sand Dune Ln, Isle of Palms, SC. Our featured property, Too Sandy, is located in the quiet Beachside community, centrally located to everything Isle of Palms has to offer.

Too Sandy, 2 Sand Dune Ln
Too Sandy, 2 Sand Dune Ln

Too Sandy is a quaint, 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom ocean view beach cottage. Located just across the street from the beach, a quick 3-minute walk will have your toes in the sand. The Beachside neighborhood boasts a community pool and community tennis court.

Too Sandy, 2 Sand Dune Ln
Too Sandy, 2 Sand Dune Ln

The first thing you notice about Too Sandy upon arrival is the beautifully landscaped yard and ample parking. The second thing you notice is the large sun deck. This deck has comfortable Adirondack chairs and gets plenty of light. Enjoy your morning coffee or afternoon nap on the deck, all while looking out at the ocean. If a screened porch is more your style, don’t worry, Too Sandy has you covered! The screened porch features outdoor dining and is located off the living room and master bedroom.

Too Sandy, 2 Sand Dune Ln
Too Sandy, 2 Sand Dune Ln

Inside the glass front door, you are welcomed into the relaxing cottage. Too Sandy’s open floor plan allows you to lounge in the living room while you hold a conversation with someone in the kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen, it is huge! Plenty of space for cooking, eating, and a card game all at the same time.

Too Sandy, 2 Sand Dune Ln
Too Sandy, 2 Sand Dune Ln

The master bedroom is on the right side of the house and features a beautiful king bed. The master has an en-suite bath with a walk-in shower and private access to the screened porch. The two remaining bedrooms sit on the opposite side of the home and share a bathroom. Each bedroom has two twin beds, a flatscreen TV, and lots of natural light.

Too Sandy is a cozy beach cottage perfect for families or a few friends who want a quiet getaway at the beach. Once at Too Sandy, you will not want to leave. Families and friends return to this cozy beach cottage year after year to rest and relax. Start your tradition and book your stay today!