Who says you can’t do a little shopping during your vacation? Not us! There’s always room in your itinerary to check out the lovely shops and boutiques along the Charleston Coast. With great stores in Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, and Sullivan’s Island, you won’t have a minute to get bored. Plus, you’ll end up with plenty of souvenirs and gifts to bring back home after a day of Charleston shopping!
Read on to learn all about the top spots to shop in Charleston, South Carolina, and don’t forget to view our free Destination Guide. It’s full of additional recommendations for activities and attractions in our beautiful coastal area.
Are you planning a vacation to Isle of Palms? You’re in luck if you like to shop, because there are numerous stores to check out here. Feel free to visit Island Surf Co. For some great surf gear and rentals, the Sand Dollar Gift Gallery for unique items, or the Marina Market for supplies to take on your boat. You can also always stop by Harris Teeter to grab some quick groceries or ingredients for dinner!
Don’t worry if you’re headed to Folly Beach instead. This area has plenty of options as well! Consider shopping at Beachwear & Gifts, Mr. John’s Beach Store, or McKevlin’s Surf Shop. Just don’t forget to try some of the delicious food at all of the great restaurants here, like Jack of Cups Saloon! Your taste buds won’t be disappointed.
Now that you know all about some of the best places for Charleston shopping, it’s time to book your trip. Luckily, Charleston Coast Vacations has an excellent collection of rental properties available in all three of these areas! You’ll have no trouble finding the perfect villa or beach house, whether you’re planning a family vacation or romantic getaway.
Are you ready to celebrate Christmas in Charleston? We’re ready to help you! Here at Charleston Coast Vacations, your experience is our No. 1 priority. That’s why we love to offer local tips and recommendations about how to enjoy our incredible area to the fullest. Read on to learn about fun festivities and awe-inspiring activities that you can get involved in this holiday season.
If you’d like to learn more about Charleston, SC, then you need to check out our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of helpful information about activities, attractions, events, and more. Take a look today!
The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Christmas in Charleston
Attend a Fun Event
Christmas in Charleston isn’t complete without attending our variety of unique, must-see events. It doesn’t matter if you’re here for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. There are festivities that people of all ages and interests can enjoy! Here are just some of the many possibilities:
Note: Please be aware that while the above events are still on for 2020, they might have limited hours or capacity as well as special rules that attendees must follow due to COVID-19. We recommend visiting the official websites for the most up-to-date information before your trip.
Go Holiday Shopping
The Christmas fun doesn’t stop there. If you visit Charleston, SC, for the holidays, then you need to spend some time exploring local shops. The Charleston City Market is one of the best places to find gifts for family and friends. (Make sure you treat yourself to something nice, too!) This historic market in Charleston has dozens of unique vendors and an open-air section where you can enjoy the cool weather as you browse.
Cozy up in a Gorgeous Vacation Rental
There’s one more essential aspect of the perfect Christmas in Charleston: a beautiful property in the area! Luckily, Charleston Coast Vacations has numerous options in Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, and Sullivan’s Island. Whether you’re looking for a quaint villa for you and your special someone or a spacious beach house for your family, we have what you need.
Where is your go-to spot for a cold beverage after a fun-filled day in Charleston, South Carolina? If you ask five different locals, you might get five totally different answers. That’s because there are simply so many fantastic bars in our area! Whether you’re visiting for the first time or you’re looking to try something new, we can help. Check out the list of possibilities below and discover the best place for happy hour in Charleston, SC, for you!
We included several of our favorite bars below, but there are many more that you should visit while you’re here. Access our free Destination Guide to get the full list of our recommendations for bars, restaurants, outdoor activities, and so much more. It’s the key to an unforgettable Charleston vacation!
Now that you know where to find some of the best happy hour deals in Charleston, SC, it’s time to find a vacation rental near your favorite spots! You can score some incredible deals on properties with Charleston Coast Vacations for your upcoming getaway.
Do you remember your first time visiting the beach? The expansive ocean ahead seems infinite, and there’s no feeling like having soft sand beneath your toes. Taking your family on a beach vacation will ensure you make memories that will last a lifetime. But first, you need to choose which beach or beaches you are going to visit! Here are the best beaches in South Carolina for families.
Isle of Palms Beach, also known as the Isle of Palms County Park, is the beach you will most likely visit if you stay on Isle of Palms. This beach is one of the most popular in the area, and for good reason. Enjoy walking out on the boardwalk, watch your kids play on the community playground, play volleyball on the sand court, and of course, utilize the beautiful beach. Lifeguards and beach rentals are present during the summer season, and there is usually an ice cream truck waiting with a sweet treat!
Local tip: If you’re staying in a vacation rental within walking distance to the beach, you won’t have to pay for parking at all. Almost every avenue corresponds with a beach access point, and you can walk right onto the beach from any of them.
If you’re staying on Folly Beach, heading to Folly Beach County Park will be most convenient for you! Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Folly River, this beautiful beach has visitors every day out of the year. Lifeguards are on duty seasonally, and there is a snack bar during the summer months. Parking costs can vary anywhere from $5 to $10 depending on the season, but we recommend getting an $85 Gold Pass if it’s worth your while for unlimited entry.
3. Sullivan’s Island
Sullivan’s Island is the local’s beach. This island neighbors Isle of Palms, so it’s very easy to get to. This beach has beautiful views of the Charleston Harbor, and it is common to watch a massive barge float by from time to time. The beach spans just 3.3 miles, but there’s plenty of room. We recommend this beach for families with older children, and you’ll definitely want to visit one of the island’s restaurants after your fun in the sun.
However, parking can be a challenge. There is no set parking lot, so you will have to abide by the parking signs on the side of the road and make sure that all four wheels are off the pavement. Beach access is clearly marked, so once you park, you should have no problem getting on the beach!
Book Your Family Beach Getaway Today
Now that you know the best beaches in South Carolina for families, it’s time to book your getaway. All of these beaches are near our homes at Charleston Coast Vacations. Vacation rentals are the perfect way to make memories– your kids will love waking up to the sound of crashing waves, and you’ll love enjoying your morning coffee with ocean views. Browse our vacation rentals and book your stay today!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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!