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.

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!

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!

Thanksgiving on the Charleston Coast

Thanksgiving on the Charleston Coast is the start of a wonderful holiday season. The weather is idyllic, the food is world-class, and the relaxation is top-notch! Read below for our recommendations on what to do, where to eat, and, most importantly, where to relax!

Sunset - Thanksgiving on the Charleston Coast
Folly Beach, SC

First things first, let’s discuss the weather. The best weather in Charleston is in late fall/early winter. The average temperature is 67°F with sunny skies. This may sound cold to us Charlestonians, but we all know that if the sun is shining it can feel closer to 70°F or higher! That’s splendid weather for a long walk on one of the Charleston Coast beaches. Fun fact: Thanksgiving day in 2016 produced a high of 76°F with sunny skies – pretty perfect if you ask us!

Wild Blue Ropes - Thanksgiving on the Charleston Coast
Photo: Wild Blue Ropes

To take advantage of the beautiful Charleston Coast weather, head outside! Your first stop (besides the beach!) should be Wild Blue Ropes for the annual Make Room for Turkey Day climb! Held the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (November 22), this event encourages people to get outside and be active! Located just a short drive from Folly Beach, Wild Blue Ropes is a fun adventure for the entire family.

Turkey Day Run - Thanksgiving on the Charleston Coast
Photo: Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble

Before indulging in the Thanksgiving feast, head downtown for the 40th Annual Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble 5K. Considered a Lowcountry Thanksgiving tradition, the Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble loops through Historic Charleston, beginning and ending with a party in Marion Square! Take in the sites of Historic Charleston and the fun costumes many people wear.

After running (or walking) the streets of Charleston Thanksgiving morning, it’s time for a feast! If you don’t feel like cooking, Charleston has many fabulous restaurants that are open for Thanksgiving dinner. Check out Eater Charleston for their list of open restaurants. We recommend making a reservation to ensure you have a table!

Isle of Palms - Thanksgiving on the Charleston Coast
Isle of Palms, SC

On Saturday, head downtown to Marion Square for the Charleston Farmers Market or venture to one of the many plantations. If relaxation is more your style, head to the beach! Grab a beach chair or a blanket and your favorite book and set up shop on your own slice of paradise. For relaxed dining after a day at the beach, head to one of the local restaurants on Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, or Sullivan’s Island!

The Charleston Coast is your oyster for Thanksgiving week. Part of the Lowcountry lifestyle is enjoying good food with those you love and Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to embrace this tradition!

Packing for the Charleston Coast

What do I bring?

The age-old question you ask yourself, your family, and your friends, when packing for the beach! Here is a list of our recommended items plus our must-haves at the beach.

Linens, Towels, & Toiletries

Packing for the Charleston CoastAll vacation rentals have standard bed and bath linens. The beds will be neatly made and towels will be nicely placed in the bathrooms. We recommend bringing any toiletries you will need during your stay. If a hair dryer is a must, toss it in your suitcase. Bring or plan to purchase your beach and pool towels.

Kitchen

Packing for the Charleston CoastKitchens are stocked with plates, silverware, glasses, cooking utensils, pots and pans, and mugs. Coffee makers and toasters, as well as blenders, are found in most rentals.

The type of coffee maker, 12-cup or Keurig, depends on the property. If this is important to you, check the amenity list for your property or send us an email! Special cookware items, such as crock pots, gravy boats, and large steamer pots, are not always provided.

If special cookware items are important to you please plan to bring or purchase them. Items like salt, pepper, and olive oil are not guaranteed but are often left behind by the previous guest.

Paper Products

Packing for the Charleston CoastA starter pack of items such as dish soap, dishwasher detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, and bin liners will be present at check-in.

Plan to purchase extras of these items or bring them with you.

 

 

Beach Equipment

Beach chairs and umbrella are not provided with every rental. We strongly recommend bringing any necessary beach equipment or planning to rent or purchase upon arrival.

You can rent all beach items, including games, from the Things To Do section of our website!

Our Beach Day Must-Have’s

Packing for a day at the beach should be a no-brainer. Here are our favorite items to when beaching on the Charleston Coast!

Let’s start off with the most important item, both on and off the beach: SUNSCREEN! The sun on the Charleston Coast is strong and no one likes getting a sunburn. Remember to apply sunscreen on overcast days, too!

Packing for the Charleston Coast

And don’t forget your beach towels. These are the second most important item at the beach. We love extra big, fluffy beach towels. And, if you want to sit on the sand or sunbathe without getting your towel sandy, bring a beach blanket with you! An old sheet, blanket, or even a huge old scarf or sarong work well as beach blankets.

Beach chairs & umbrellas, do you use them? Everyone is different. Some people swear by beach chairs, some only go to the beach if they can sit under an umbrella or canopy. Whatever your fancy, make sure you grab it on your way out the door. Beach carts and wagons are handy for transporting bigger items. If you don’t feel like lugging beach equipment on vacation with you, check out the Things To Do section of our website for rentals!

A visit to the beach with family or friends (or both) is always more fun with beach games. You can play bocce, volleyball, or bring a soccer ball or football for a quick game of pass.

If you prefer a more mellow beach trip, bring a good book.And don’t forget your sunglasses and hat so you can read the pages! Check back soon for our list of favorite beach reads!

Packing for the Charleston Coast

When packing for a beach day, snacks are of the utmost importance. Packing plenty of water, Gatorade, and seltzer is important. It’s good to have a balance of snacks: potato chips (we love Cape Cod!), fresh fruit, carrots, and pretzels are a few of our go-to’s.  Remember, alcohol is not permitted on any of the Charleston Coast beaches.

And finally, you have all your stuff together, now you need something to carry it in! A good, sturdy beach bag, sometimes more than one, is important to a solid beach trip. We love canvas bags or our Blue Dunes tote bags (you can pick up extras from our office!)

There is no way around it, we LOVE the beach! Our must-have lists evolve and change each year, so be sure to check back for more tips!

What are your beach must-have’s? Let us know in the comments if there is something we just HAVE to try!