Category: The Best of the Lowcountry
With Charleston being a foodie destination with a reputation that gets glossier with every new restaurant opening, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with what to try next. We’ve taken the liberty of sifting through all the new restaurants in Charleston this spring and compiling a list of those serving up grub worth your dough.
Sorghum & Salt, 186 Coming Street Downtown
Sorghum & Salt opened in April, and this spot has already racked up a reputation among locals – not bad for a restaurant in its infancy.The menu changes, but as of now you can stop in and choose from their Garden and Grains, Meat and Fish, or Larger Plates menus, all of which are reasonably priced. We can’t vouch for everything, but you can rest assured that the Collard Green Tagliatelle with Shrimp Sausage – Calabrian Chili – Collards and Bread Crumbs — phew, that’s a mouthful, in more ways than one — is a meal to remember.
Rodney Scott’s BBQ, 1011 King Street Downtown
If you haven’t been here yet, you’re doing yourself no favors. Scott’s slow-pulled pork, chicken, and ribs alone will make you moan (that reaction is actually their claim to fame) but you have to also try the fried catfish sandwich — not to mention the fixings. Take your pick of fresh-cut fries, cornbread, hushpuppies, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, mac ‘n’ cheese, greens, perlo rice, and, yes, of course, grits.
Benny Ravello’s, 520 King Street Downtown
Love the Mt. Pleasant Benny Palmetto’s? Then you’ll also dig the new downtown sister restaurant Benny Ravello’s, which hit King Street in mid-April. Serving up slices bigger than your hand, Benny’s is in the former George Loan Co. pawn shop and has been operating off the same menu as its predecessor — except this time no beer and wine. But you’ll forget all about your thirst for alcohol once you get a taste of some of the best pie in town.
Workshop Charleston, 1503 King Street Downtown
The hottest of hot spots right now is Workshop — an upscale food court that, after less than a month in business, is the talk of the town already. Workshop boasts minimalist decor and maximum flavor. Choose food from Pink Bellies (featuring Thai Phi’s Animal Style Burger), JD Loves Cheese (coming to you from Cynthia Wong, the baker over at Butcher & Bee), or Kite Noodles (Korean food from Jonathan Ory). John Lewis of Lewis BBQ has also taken up residence with his Tex/Mex concept called Juan Luis. There’s also pizza by Slice Co. and Bad Wolf Coffee (also from Ory). The food court seats 100, so grab a seat soon to test the waters for yourself.
Martha Lou’s No. 2, 2000-Q McMillan Ave North Charleston
Morrison Street’s soul food institution Martha Lou’s has long been a favorite among locals, but a mention by the New York Times in 2011 gave the restaurant an extra, and welcomed, boost. In April, the 87-year-old proprietor opened a second locale in North Charleston, officially called Martha Lou’s No. 2 Love and Happiness Catering, where they’re serving all the faves — fried chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese, green beans — every day of the week.
What new Charleston restaurant has caught your attention?
Each spring, thousands visit the city of Charleston to partake in the Spoleto Festival USA, one of America’s biggest performing arts festivals. For 17 days and nights, this festival delights the Holy City with the best artistic performances with more than 150 performers from around the world.
Opera, theater, dance, jazz—the Spoleto Festival USA has it all, and the lineup is more diverse than ever in its 41st year. From highly-anticipated fan favorites to up-and-coming productions, this year promises to be even better than the last, which is incredible, considering that last year’s sales were record-breaking.
If you plan to attend this year’s festivities, then understanding the full vision of the event is essential. Spoleto’s rich history and dedication to the arts are inspiring and allow you to fully appreciate the talented performances that come to town every year.
In this insider’s guide, we will give you the scoop on the history of the Spoleto Festival USA and highlight some of the must-see premieres this year. Whether you are a Charleston local or an out-of-town attendee, consider this your go-to guide for festival this year.
The History of Spoleto Festival USA
Since 1977, the Spoleto Festival USA has been captivating audiences in Charleston and enriching an already vibrant community. First founded by Pulitzer-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, the three-week event was originally intended to be an American counterpart to the Festival of Two Worlds in the small town of Spoleto, Italy.
The founders wanted a city that would mimic the small-town charm of Spoleto, Italy, while also providing enough theaters and accommodations to host the festival. They found their ideal location in Charleston, a city that is known for its picturesque neighborhoods and historic charm.
The Holy City’s abundance of churches, theaters, and early dedication to the performing arts made it the perfect setting for the festival. In addition, the city’s vibrant community and small-town atmosphere were similar to the small Italian town, which further cemented the founder’s decision to make Charleston the home of the festival.
The Mission of the Spoleto Festival
Since its beginning in 1977, the Spoleto Festival has been committed to showcasing only the best artistic performances and supporting young artists, helping them foster their passion for the arts in all forms. It also brings a significant impact on Charleston’s economy and regularly invests in both local businesses and the community.
Dedication to Young Artists
Spoleto has supported young artists since its inception and encourages them to pair up with more experienced performers so that they can learn new skills. The festival offers many exciting opportunities for blossoming artists to advance their careers, including auditioning for the seat in the Spoleto Festival Orchestra or the Westminster Choir.
Giving Back to the Local Community
Spoleto’s mission also gives back to the city that it has called home for over 40 years. Though the event brings international fame and economic success, the festival also directly invests in the local community.
Spoleto has not only played a key role in preserving historical landmarks, such as the Dock Street Theatre and the Middleton-Pinckney House, but it also continues to educate the local community through programs that help inspire a deeper appreciation for the performing arts. Most notably, their Open Stage Door program distributes complimentary tickets to community-based organizations so that they may be part of the Spoleto experience.
Historical Charleston Theatres, Churches, and Event Spaces
Charleston boasts many elegant theatres and churches that serve as the venues for the 17-day festival. These prominent event spaces not only provide the lowcountry with a place to view world-class performances but, also offer a glimpse into the history of Charleston.
Here is a list of beloved Spoleto venues and some notable performances taking place around town.
Charleston Gaillard Center
The recently renovated Charleston Gaillard Center will once again host Spoleto’s featured opera this year, an extravagant production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Dates for the performance are May 26 and June 1, 4, 8.
The Gaillard Center will also present the Westminster Choir, Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra’s performance of Mozart’s Great Mass.
Last, don’t miss a special, one-night-only performance by American roots musician Rhiannon Giddens on June 9th at Gaillard Center!
Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul
Conducted by Joe Miller, the Westminster Choir performs at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul. This fan favorite is considered one of the most-loved traditions of the festival.
College of Charleston Cistern Yard
Performances at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard this year include Terrance Blanchard, featuring the E-Collective, on June 3rd for a one-night only performance. Multi-Grammy winner Terry Blanchard and the E-Collective create a perfect ensemble that combines jazz, funk, rock, R&B, and blues music.
College of Charleston Sottile Theatre
Israeli dance company L-E-V, is set to perform OCD Love at the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre on June 2, 3, and 4. Led by choreographers Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, the production explores love through the lens of obsessive compulsive disorders.
Monchichi, the duet that blends hip-hop with contemporary dance, will also be performing at Sottile Theatre on May 26-28.
Dock Street Theatre
The historic Dock Street Theatre will host the Druid production of Waiting for Godot, which begins on May 25. It will also host the American premiere of Antonio Vivaldi’s opera Farnace, which begins May 27.
Notable Premieres and Fan Favorites
From the very beginning, Spoleto has encouraged artists from all backgrounds and ages to participate and explore their creativity to its fullest. As a result, each year brings a remarkably diverse lineup that relies on both traditional and contemporary performances to delight audiences.
Those who attend Spoleto regularly will recognize a few reoccurring performances, but there is always excitement surrounding new premieres. If you are attending the event this year, here are the anticipated performances premiering at Spoleto:
New York tapper Ayodele Casel’s world premiere, While I Have the Floor, explores identity, language, communication, and artistic legacy. Casel will also be participating in the popular “Conversations With” program, an intimate conversation with participating artists who open up about their creative processes and the experience at Spoleto.
Cinema and Sound
Fans will welcome back acclaimed pianist Stephen Prutsman, who performs the original scores for the world premiere of Cinema and Sound. The program blends silent film and a live soundtrack for a particularly innovative performance at the Woolfe Street Playhouse.
The U.S. premiere of Antonio Vivaldi’s most popular 18th-century opera, Farnace, is a highly-anticipated performance this year. Produced by Garry Hynes, the mythical Roman war drama will star Anthony Roth Costanzo, a legendary countertenor.
An opera full of dark comedy and seduction, the U.S. premiere of Royal Opera House’s Quartett will be sure to captivate audiences. Composed by Luca Francesconi, conducted by John Kennedy, and directed by John Fulljames, you won’t want to miss this performance at the Memminger Auditorium.
Over the years, many regular attendees of Spoleto have their favorites events that they look forward to attending every year. Last year’s Porgy and Bess was an enormous hit in Charleston and was a signature performance of the 40th anniversary of Spoleto.
Performances aside, there are also activities and events that Spoleto fans love to attend. Here are other favorites that will please all ages and backgrounds:
The “Conversation With” program gives audiences a chance to hear from the visiting artists and get an inside glimpse into their creative thought processes. The artists will be interviewed by CBS correspondent Martha Teichner, and each presentation lasts for approximately an hour. Fans will get to hear from their favorite artists, including director Garry Hynes and pianist Stephen Prutsman.
The sessions are free as long as attendees register in advance.
Fans of Spoleto not only get to watch artistic performances, but they can join in themselves. With the “Master Classes” program, the performing artists teach both experienced and beginners dancers the art of their craft.
This year’s classes are being led by Company Wang Ramirez, L-E-V, Company Class with Gallim Dance, and Hillel Kogan. Get tickets while you can!
Held in the Simons Center Recital Hall at College of Charleston, Jazz Talks gives audiences the chance to listen to an intimate conversation between notable jazz musicians. This year’s discussions will include the following:
Fud at 100: A Centennial Celebration: Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg discusses the legacy of his great-uncle Joseph “Fud” Livingston alongside historian Karen Chandler and music critic Larry Blumenfeld on May 28.
Trumpeting Truth – A Conversation with Terence Blanchard: Larry Blumenfeld will return to discuss arts, advocacy, and social justice issues with Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard.
These events are free if you register in advance.
Spoleto Finale at Middleton Place
Of course, no one should miss Spoleto’s grand finale across the Ashley River at the historic Middleton Place. Attendants will get access to the full lineup of local and regional bands, headlined by breakout band The Revivalists. Additionally, ticket holders will also get to explore the beautiful gardens and refined lodgings of one of Charleston’s treasured National Historic Landmarks.
The Piccolo Spoleto Festival
Charleston’s existing dedication to the performing arts is one of the reasons why Spoleto Festival USA founders chose the city to host this yearly event. It isn’t surprising, then, that the Piccolo Spoleto was created to offer even more cultural opportunities.
What Is Piccolo Spoleto?
In 1979, Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. launched the Piccolo Spoleto Festival to highlight Charleston’s local performing artists. While the main venues feature artists on a national and international level, this series gives attention to regional, less known artists. Plus, most of the events are free and family-friendly!
The festival runs concurrently with its parent event, which means that everyone can easily fit some of these popular Piccolo events into their schedule.
Are you in the mood for some improv? This comedy extravaganza is held each year at Theatre 99 on Meeting Street and features top comedic artists with original performances. Although most Piccolo events are family-friendly, this one is more suited toward adults.
Piccolo Fiction Spotlight
Are you a fan of the written word? The Piccolo Fiction Spotlight invites South Carolina writers to submit their brief short stories for a chance to be published in the Charleston City Paper, broadcast on S.C. Public Radio, and be read in the historic Charleston Music Hall.
The Spotlight Concert Series
The 13-performance program features classical arrangements by The Charleston Renaissance Ensemble, Chamber Music Charleston, and the Charleston Piano Trio with violist Miles Hoffman.
The Sundown Poetry Series
One of the oldest Piccolo Festival series, the Sundown Poetry Series offers local and regional poets the opportunity to gather for free evening readings. After the readings, many authors stay for a Q & A sessions to discuss their work. This event traditionally takes place at Dock Street Courtyard on Church Street.
Ready for Spoleto Festival USA?
If you happen to be in Charleston during the festival, then you should definitely explore some of the amazing artistic performances happening in the Holy City this spring. With over 160 ticketed events, there is something for everyone at Spoleto to enjoy.
If you’re from around here, chances are you’re pretty familiar with the Charleston joggling board. But at the inaugural High Water Festival last month, there were more than few out-of-towners who found themselves wondering about the funny-looking black “benches” situated in the shade around the food trucks. Sitting beneath oak trees with a Roti Rolls snack or a Diggity Doughnuts treat, a lot of folks were curious about the bouncing boards, so we thought we’d offer a little history lesson on how the Charleston joggling board came to be.
Charlestonians have long been acquainted with joggling boards. Found throughout the Lowcountry — in parks, outside buildings, on front porches — the joggling board is actually the brainchild of a family in Scotland. According to the Old Charleston Joggling Board Co., the first joggling board was built in Sumter County outside of Stateburg, South Carolina back in 1803, specifically at the Acton Plantation.
As the story goes, Mrs. Benjamin Kinloch Huger was suffering from severe rheumatism when she wrote to her family at Gilmerton Estate in Scotland, conveying that her condition left her unable to get any sort of exercise. The family responded with an idea — the joggling board — a 10-to-16-foot board that can jiggle. Sending a model for her to try, they suggested she sit on the board, bouncing gently as a form of exercise. Mrs. Huger sent the model to the plantation’s carpenter, and soon she was enjoying the benefits of the board, which sinks as weight shifts to the middle and can swing from side to side.
By the mid-1800s, joggling boards had caught on and become a full-on craze, filling piazzas, porches, and gardens throughout the Lowcountry. But after World War II, good-enough timber became difficult to come by and the fashionable benches began to fade. Fast-forward to the 1960s when Charlestonian Thomas Thornhill began constructing them again in his home for friends before eventually founding his own company. In the 1970s, his Old Charleston Joggling Board Company began to produce them again for the public — and the rest is history!
These days, you’re likely to run into one at any given point in Charleston, and they’ve particularly grown in popularity at weddings in recent years. And joggling boards have always been popular with kids, as there’s something super playful about them, and of course they’ve always been great for rocking babies.
Our favorite story about the joggling board perhaps is this one: they were also called courting boards, where flirtations could flourish. In the Victorian era, a gent would sit on one end, the lady on the other. As they bounced, they’d gradually bounce closer together, eventually meeting in the middle.
Traditionally painted “Charleston green,” joggling boards are made of fine Carolina pine, and to this day an invitation to sit upon one is akin to an invitation of friendship.
Little did those out-of-towners know, as they munched on Lowcountry snacks next to complete strangers at Riverfront Park last month, that they were inadvertently participating in a centuries-old tradition and making new friends in the most Southern of ways. Happy Joggling!
Check out Oyster Creek Trading Company for more handcrafted boards.
NoMo restaurants are booming! Located in the East Central area of the upper peninsula of Charleston, NoMo gets its name from being located on the north end of the peninsula on Morrison Drive — though many would argue that Morrison in itself is all north. You may know it as the north end of East Bay Street.
The up-and-coming ‘hood’s location means cheaper rent and lots of room for development. And as the city continues to grow, so do the possibilities.
The name NoMo was really cemented with the construction of student housing on Morrison Drive, called 930 NoMo. Like the name or not — there was a bit of controversy! — NoMo has really taken off the past couple of years… but you can still call it East Central if you like.
Places like Tattooed Moose (the duck fat fries are the best) and Santi’s (great Mexican food and margaritas) made their claim to the area long before it got trendy. But other eateries have since arrived, turning it into a popular place to be.
Here are five new(ish) restaurants in NoMo that are helping the neighborhood make a name for itself.
Lewis BBQ, 464 North Nassau Street
Lewis opened last year with a bang, its mouth-watering Texas-style brisket giving its new Lowcountry fans a lot to moan about. Pitmaster John Lewis spent a decade perfecting his BBQ magic, a tradition that runs in his family, before arriving in downtown Charleston. But it’s not all brisket — and if you’re not in the mood for a line you can order a BBQ sandwich via a special window outside. The cocktails and craft beer are pretty special too, particularly when enjoyed on the patio.
Edmund’s Oast, 1081 Morrison Drive
Edmund’s Oast is upscale and a great spot for dining when you want to do it right. If you’re wanting to simply sample it first, go during happy hour for some killer food and drink deals. Top tip: the brunch is some of the best in town and a perfect destination for showing off the city’s culinary greatness to visiting friends and family.
Goat. Sheep. Cow. 804 Meeting Street #102
Goat. Sheep. Cow. earned a wonderful local reputation as a cheesemonger and cozy deli with a popular sandwich-of-the-day in its south of Broad spot before landing in NoMo late last year with a much more expansive space. If you’re looking for a fun place for wine, cheese, a bit of prosciutto, and plenty of conversation, bring a friend or two to the city’s premiere fromagerie.
Butcher & Bee, 1085 Morrison Drive
It was a sad day for Charleston, especially those in search of something to munch on late at night, when Butcher & Bee shut its King Street locale. So you can imagine the rejoicing when it re-opened last summer in NoMo. The restaurant wanted a bigger space, and that is exactly what it found, and then some, in its new spot. They also serve everything from brunch to lunch to, yes, late dinners til 2 a.m. Top tip: the burger is the best.
Home Team BBQ, 126 Williman Street
Home Team has enjoyed success in West Ashley and Sullivan’s Island, so naturally it was only a matter of time before it made its way downtown. Home Team arrived on the block before Lewis and, more recently, Rodney Scott moved in to turn the surrounding area into a BBQ destination. This location has the same favorites as the others — best wings in town, a comfortably casual feel. But downtown’s Home Team comes with more music, welcoming such greats as BB King’s son, because the blues and BBQ just go hand in hand.
What’s your favorite of the new (and not-so new) NoMo restaurants?
We love to shop, but more importantly we love to shop local! Charleston wasted no time this year — the warm days are upon us and it’s time to do some spring cleaning with the closet. Here are a few places where you can shop unique finds while also supporting local businesses. We’ve even included a place to take your wardrobe’s remnants from years past!
Bashful, 36 Windermere Blvd. West Ashley
There really is no such thing as window shopping at Bashful. The boutique stocks limited amounts of unique, trendy women’s wear, jewelry, and handbags, so you have to buy before it goes “bye!” You may remember it from its old location in Avondale, but the shop has upgraded now to more space in S. Windermere shopping center.
Consigning Women, 21 Magnolia Road, West Ashley
Consigning Women & Men, 1055 Crickentree Village, Mt. Pleasant
A Charleston tradition since 1989, Consigning Women stocks only high-quality, name-brand, currently stylish clothing for a fraction of the original price. Bring in your own gently used clothes and not only will you be doing your once-chaotic closet a favor, but you’ll also get in on a very economic exchange. The shops are good for your wallet, but they’re great for the planet!
MOSA Boutique, 420 King Street, Downtown Charleston
From slinky sundresses to lace mini dresses, MOSA on King also has an in-store bar, complete with craft beer on tap, wine, and mimosas — mimosa, MOSA, get it? They’re stocked on both booze and spring styles, and their comfy seating area will ensure the spouse and kids have a place to rest while you shop.
Channels, 507.5 King Street, Downtown Charleston
Channels arrived to King Street in 2014, combining the surf and skate styles that the owners embrace in their everyday lives. You can expect to see a long list of quality brands here, including Citrine Swim, Reef, Boho Me, and Chucktown Inc. Summer styles range from cute and casual to cool and sporty, and their line of sunnies and swimwear is not to be missed.
Candy Shop Vintage, 9 Cannon St, Downtown Charleston
Since 2009, Deirdre Zahl has sold incredible vintage jewelry and vintage-inspired jewelry as Candy Shop Vintage. Her own Candy Shop Collection consists of vintage-inspired jewelry that reflect the quality and craftsmanship of the vintage jewelry she has collected for many years. Zahl also introduced her own Charleston rice bead necklaces as an homage to flapper-style costume jewelry she’d discovered in her antique store digs. We think the whimsical colors and fun lengths make for a playful spring accessory.
Holy City Vintage Market
Holy City Vintage Market is a roaming pop-up market where many local vintage vendors who typically have online Etsy shops set up for the day and show you their latest wares. The market only pops up every two months or so, and the vendors can vary — and the vendors’ stock always varies! Each shop has a different eye/style so you’re sure to find something that’s you – from Runaround Sue’s vibrant 1960s style to Red Rose Vintage’s (a shop that travels in an updated vintage airstream) casual 80s gear to the boho, floral styles of Little French Dress. The next HCVM is on Easter Sunday April 16 at Park Cafe (730 Rutledge Avenue, downtown Charleston), so you can sip mimosas from the outside bar and shop while you wait for a brunch table!
Where will you shop this spring?
We have a wide variety of new listings at the beach, and it’s just in time. The mercury is starting to rise and the sun is shining, that can only mean one thing….its almost summer on the Charleston Coast! What better way to spend the lazy days of our favorite season than at one of Charleston’s fabulous beaches? Check out some of the newest listings from dunes properties agents on Sullivans Island, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island and Dewees Island.
2614 Bayonne Street, Sullivans Island
4 beds | 4.5 baths | 4,754 sq ft
One of the finest second row homes on Sullivans Island and only steps away from the Station 26 beach access path! A stunning remodel of this home was completed in 2015 by Phillip Smith Contractors. The 3,410 square foot first floor boasts a downstairs master-suite with outside porch, and direct access to the elevated pool and workout cabana. There is an additional guest suite off the front entrance. The house has a open great room and dining area combination with bay windows overlooking the pool area, a large office area, a gourmet kitchen with attached den and additional fireplace. Listed by Tim Reese
2102 Atlantic Avenue, Sullivans Island
9 beds | 6 baths | 5,760 sq ft
Located on a street to street, half acre lot on Sullivans Island, this unique, one of a kind home features lots of possible configurations for a large family! The owners built this home with generational living in mind. Side A and B each feature four bedrooms, two full baths, wrap around porches, 2 car garages, hardwood floors in the main living areas and tons of storage. In addition, there is a two story carriage house, connected to the main house, that features a one bedroom living space on the first floor and a studio space on the second. The main house, sides A & B, live like two separate homes but have privacy doors to make the spaces separate. Listed by Betty Poore & Vannessa Carter
708 Palm Boulevard, Isle of Palms
4 beds | 2 baths | 2,434 sq ft
This bright and cheery home with double front porches is centrally located on the island. The first floor features an open floor plan with a full bath. The kitchen window overlooks the pool located in the private fenced in backyard. Upstairs you will find the master suite with walk-in closet and large private bathroom. Three more nice size bedrooms are also upstairs with one of the front bedrooms that opens out to the upstairs porch. Plenty of parking underneath. Close to the beach, downtown Isle of Palms, connector and just a short drive to historic Downtown Charleston. Listed by Ginn Maiers
1653 B East Ashley Avenue, Folly Beach
4 beds | 2.5 baths | 2,200 sq ft
Here is your chance to own a 4 BR oceanfront home on Folly Beach that will hold a large family, performs well on a rental program, and doesn’t break the bank. Enjoy the sunrise and seascapes from large oceanfront balconies. There are hardwood floors downstairs and an enormous kitchen with granite countertops and a bar -height counter to gather around. The kitchen flows into the open living and dining room with windows and sliding doors that lead onto the oceanfront deck and let the light in. There is also an oceanfront deck upstairs that can be accessed by the master bedroom and two more bedrooms. Listed by Vince Perna & Laurie Hull
1120 E Arctic Avenue, Folly Beach
3 beds | 2 baths | 1,379
This is a renovated classic Cape Cod style beach house. Located on a full corner lot and directly across from beach access. ”Neptunes Folly” is on a vacation rental program with great occupancy and rental income history! The property also sits on a dead end, less traveled street. Enjoy beautiful ocean views from the large front porch. The open living/dining room area and updated kitchen are perfect for entertaining. The property also has plenty of off-street parking, a huge plus on Folly Beach! Listed by Keith McCann
5 beds| 4 baths | 4,300 sq ft
If you are all about the beach, then look no further. This classic style beach house is oceanfront with enough room for family, friends, and grandchildren. Needless to say the views are amazing. The first floor has a very large great room with fireplace, sunroom, and master suite all with ocean views and outside access. Additionally, the kitchen is updated with newer cabinets, granite, and stainless steel appliances. Listed by Karen Hilty
312 Pelican Flight Drive, Dewees Island
3 beds | 2 baths | 1,616 sq ft
This is the best starter home on private, unspoiled Dewees Island. This lovely 3 bedroom cottage with loft and open floor plan has views of managed wetland, deer browsing areas, and maritime forest. Nestled into the pines with easy access to kayak trails and a very short walk to the beach. Home has porches which flank the living room, allowing for the sea breezes to blow through the main part of the house. Airy master bedroom is open to below through captains windows, and an additional loft area is perfect for watching the eagles nest or alligators below. Two other quiet bedrooms each have their own porch access areas and vaulted ceilings. Charming cottage decor conveys with a few exceptions. Under the house, there is great storage for toys including golf carts, kayaks and bicycles. Listed by Judy Fairchild
Dewees Island is a hidden gem located about 11 miles north of Charleston, where some people live and where others, including our fellow Charlestonians, love to visit. And simply put, it is where peace and solitude reign supreme.
On this small, secluded barrier island, there are no paved roads, no cars, no restaurants, and most importantly, no stress. Technology, computer screens, and phones can be ignored for the duration of your stay in favor of outdoor fun and relaxation. It is two-and-a-half miles of pure nature: beaches, dunes, an undisturbed maritime forest — a private paradise.
The homeowners of Dewees, ever aware of the conservation needs and uniqueness of the island, strive to leave the tiniest of footprints. The island is truly among the last of untouched places around, where all is unspoiled by the developed world. Since the island is full of Lowcountry wildlife, and it is not uncommon to share your visit with dolphins, turtles, eagles, and an enormous variety of sea and marsh birds.
The island is accessible via a ferry that leaves from 43 41st Street on the Isle of Palms. The ride lasts around 20 minutes, and you must be preregistered with Dewees Island Rentals or personally know a current Dewees owner in order to board. There are two boats- one smaller and faster, and one a bit larger for holding more people, luggage, groceries, and other deliveries. They decide which one to take based on the number of folks signed up to ride and the amount of stuff that’s going over. The ferry is often escorted by dolphins or a variety of seafaring birds and offers curious views all around. Even if you didn’t have the beauty and adventure of the island waiting for you, the ferry ride alone would be worth it. Be sure to call 30 minutes before leaving the island to make sure you get a spot on a returning boat.
Where to stay
Huyler House includes suites that are available for lot owners to stay on the island and homeowners to use for overflow house guests however, you do not have to know a Dewees owner to enjoy all Huyler has to offer. You can rent one of the suites, or choose from a variety of other homes from Dewees Rentals. The amenities are amazing: swimming pool, two tennis courts, billiards table, foosball table, shuffleboard table, screened picnic area with a grill, and wifi in the Great Room and suites.
Dewees is a wildlife preserve, so as we said before, you’ll encounter a variety of living creatures. Our resident Dewees Island expert, Judy Fairchild, is a naturalist who loves to show and tell all about Dewees Island, and especially the wildlife. A short cart ride around the island with Judy feels like a master class. It’s not uncommon to see a few baby raccoons, a basking alligator, or perhaps even an otter or bald eagle on a quick jaunt. While it is truly a thrill to be close to so much undisturbed nature, but there are some critters – like mosquitoes – you’ll want to prepare for in advance. Make sure you pack your bug spray. And, although this should go without saying, don’t feed the wildlife – including those pesky mosquitoes!
Once you step off the ferry and onto the tranquil island, don’t be surprised if you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders as your troubles subside. The roads are made of dirt and your only vehicles are your feet, a bike, or a golf cart. If you’re renting through Dewees Rentals, you’ll find a cart clearly marked for you when you exit the ferry. If you’re visiting friends, do what I do, and hitch a ride on one of their carts and then rely on your own two feet to get you around while exploring We think the best way to travel the length of the island is by foot on the sandy beach! The paths are clearly marked and the beachwalks extend through the maritime forest all the way to the sand.
There are no restaurants or grocery stores on the island, so if you’re going for longer than an afternoon, you’ll want to prepare and package your food in advance. Or, you can catch your dinner!
What to do
Fishing spots abound at Dewees, and there’s even a crabbing dock — but only take what you can eat in a single meal. Remember, conservation is key on Dewees. Other fun outdoor activities include kayaking, golfing, birding, beach walking, swimming, biking and golf carting. Lounging around with a good book is always a good idea, and you’ll find more one perfect spot on Dewees Island.
At every turn, there’s a breathtaking marsh or beach view and there are unparalleled sunrises on the beach and sunsets on the marsh. Views over the Impoundment, the old diked wetlands that can be flooded or drained as necessary, are amazingly serene. The shores are pristine, expansive, and gloriously empty, allowing Dewees to offer an almost private experience unlike any other on the Charleston Coast.
If you’re a long-time Charlestonian, chances are you’ve lived in a Charleston single house at some point in your life. Many visitors have come away remembering this iconic Charleston architecture. Charleston singles are, after all, common throughout the peninsula and beyond. From the mansions South of Broad to modest neighborhoods extending past the crosstown, the Charleston single is part of the city’s makeup and charm.
So what makes up a Charleston single house? Several things, like its long, narrow shape, distinguish the style from others, while the somewhat private porch is often the most favored feature of all. Of course, there’s rhyme and reason to its design, mainly relating to local conditions — namely the city’s hot and humid summers. Yes, even centuries ago, Charleston was known for being muggy on summer days and sultry in the evenings!
Here are a few of the features you’ll find in a Charleston single house and reasons behind their particular design:
1. Long, narrow shape
In order to build a single house, you need only a long, narrow lot, which is how the city was laid out in its early days. The tall, slender homes are typically placed quite closely to the neighboring home, perhaps too close for comfort in some cases. The single house has a narrow side, with the long side of the house – the traditional “front” – being perpendicular to the street. The plain, short facade is what faces the street.
While the house is long and narrow, it is also only one room wide, when viewed from the street — which gives the single house its name! But what the home lacks in width it makes up for in length and height. As mentioned before, the house is quite long, while many Charleston single houses are also several tiers high.
3. The Front Door
What may appear to be a front door — the one facing the street — is only an entrance to the private porch. The actual front door is down the middle of the porch. This was intended to give more privacy to the homeowners during the more modest Victorian period.
4. Interior Layout
Though the architectural form of the single house comes in everything from Federal to Victorian styles, the most consistent feature will always be its interior layout. A front door along the long side of the house leads you into a foyer and stairwell, and there’s a room to the left, usually a bedroom, and to the right — which normally serves as the living room, with the kitchen being on the other side of the living room — an open archway separating the two. The same floor plan is generally repeated upstairs.
Single houses have side porches — oops, pardon, I mean piazzas. Accessible via the aforementioned door on the street-side of the house, the piazza is strategically placed on the long side of the house to increase the odds of catching a cool breeze— definitely a factor to consider in a city that gets so hot and muggy during summers. They are also a pretty sweet spot to enjoy a cup of tea or an afternoon snooze!
If you are looking for a Charleston single to call your own, stop by The Real Estate Studio where our experienced, professional agents are always here to answer questions or show property.
The Spring market is starting early in 2017! Here are three of our new listings on Sullivans Island that will not disappoint. If you are looking for the perfect coastal property, you will want to be sure to check these out.
This stunning, newer construction home was completed in 2015 by Rhodes Residential Builders. The home features an open floor plan and a gourmet kitchen. This 3,450 sq. ft., 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home will exceed your expectations. First floor features a custom gourmet kitchen, great room with gas fireplace and glassed dining room area overlooking the pool. The large master suite with beamed cathedral ceiling and designer bathroom is also on this level. The second level consists of 3 large bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom. The ground level has a two car garage and ground level pool with additional entertaining space under the house. This home is absolutely beautiful and move in ready!
This wonderful third row home is on a street-to-street 1/2 acre lot just steps to the beach access at Station 26. The home was recently remodeled and shows beautifully. The first floor consists of a large eat-in-kitchen with breakfast area, separate dining area and great room. The master bedroom suite and three additional bedrooms are located on the second level as well as a small office area. There is plenty of room for a large pool and additional square footage if desired.
This spectacular home has 3 levels of living space and is close to the beach access at Station 29. This home is perfect for entertaining with the large first level great room with fireplace and sunroom leading out to the back deck and porch that overlooks a gorgeous pool. The first floor also includes the master suite with its own private office and an additional guest suite that was added in 2012. The second level has three additional bedrooms that share a large bathroom that could be easily converted into 2 bathrooms. There is also a small TV/media room that opens up to a second story porch. The ground level entertaining space that flows just off the pool consists of a new 4-person hot tub, large sitting area, and bar with refrigerators, sink, and mounted TV. This home was listed and under contract in less than a week!
If you have questions about these properties contact listing agent, and Sullivans Ilans expert, Tim Reese. Not quite what you are looking for? No problem, drop by or contact our Isle of Palms Office to speak with one of our professional, experienced real estate agents.
I’On, located in Mt. Pleasant, is a special neighborhood that is reminiscent of the beauty and charm that is so beloved in downtown Charleston — but without the narrow streets and lack of parking! A halfway point between downtown and Sullivan’s Island, I’On is nestled in a world of its own, where families thrive.
Founded in 1995, I’On is a village of sorts, with nearly 800 single-family homes, a square, six walking trails, and a grid full of narrow, quiet streets, lakes, green spaces, and so much more — like crab docks, a dozen pocket parks, a boathouse, spa, marsh views, and a wildlife refuge. And the name? “I’On” comes from Jacob Bond I’On, the first mayor of the town of Sullivan’s Island.
From fun and simple outdoor activities for the whole family to cute retail shops perfect for perusing on lazy weekend days, there’s a lot the residents of I’On love about their ’hood. We spoke with a few locals, and these are just a few of their favorite things to do and see:
- The Walks
As simple as it may sound, families relish living in a place where it’s safe to roam the streets, particularly here where there’s also plenty of sights to take in at every turn — like gates and gardens, yards and unique fountains. The sidewalks are wide, and so you’ll find that the residents’ feet are their favorite modes of transportation. I’On also has six trails, some of which are up to three hours long and cover eight miles of, including a 1.5-mile stroll along the marsh that can be ended with a beer at O’Brions Pub or a glass of wine at Grazi’s Shoe Cafe and Wine Bar.
- The Water
Who wouldn’t love living in walking distance of a body of water? Here, you’ll find Westlake, which also features an amphitheater that comes in handy for all kinds of family-friendly neighborhood events, and Eastlake, which is surrounded by beautiful houses and perfect for walks with your furry friends, fishing and feeding ducks. Plus there are picturesque creeks, sure signs you’re in the Lowcountry.
- The Green
There’s also tons of green space (and playgrounds!) here for both kids and pups to play in and the Rookery Wildlife Refuge, which features two observation towers.
- The Square
Besides the wine and beer spots, the Square also features an adorable gift shop called Sweet Olive and a cafe full of gourmet eats at Square Onion, where soups, salads, sandwiches, take-and-bake casseroles, desserts, and dips reign supreme. But if you want a cup of coffee, the best is only right outside the neighborhood at Collective Coffee. It’s an airy, hipster-y joint with the perfect cups of joe.
- The Community
Not only is it common to know your neighbor here, but you’ll probably know every dog’s name in the area, too. Kids meet up at playgrounds, parents chat on front porches, and the whole of the community seems happy to be here.
Interested in making I’On your home? Check out what is currently listed for sale. Or contact one of our experts at our Mt. Pleasant office.