Living on Johns Island
I chose the Johns Island lifestyle when I first relocated to the Lowcountry. Coming from a remote location like Martha’s Vineyard, I was ready for a tad more society, but not prepared to sacrifice a rural sensibility. Johns Island was just the ticket and, as great as I thought it was then, there are lots of new and exciting developments that people who are looking to buy or sell there may want to consider.
Charleston County’s parks have always been fantastic and they continue to be the jewels in her crown. Beachwalker Park is my favorite beach in the area and it just keeps getting better. The park was challenged by the town of Kiawah to address the parking issues arising from its popularity. The lot frequently filled up with sometimes over one hundred cars outside the gate waiting to get in. Thinking outside the box, the park service chose a queuing software frequently used for restaurants and people standing in line. A tablet computer allows the park employees to collect the driver’s phone number and automatically sends a text to confirm that car is now in the queue. They then receive a brochure for the nearby Freshfields Village where they can grab an ice cream, an extra book, or even some snacks for when they come back to the beach.
I was told it might be 20 minutes for a space to open up and was delighted to receive a text after just seven. They have even made it possible to add a bit of time in case the availability text comes just as your pizza order may have arrived. It’s safer for ingress and egress and, they don’t have all the idling cars pumping carbon into the environment.
The park system has also recently opened a new park on Johns Island near the Limehouse Bridge. It is the first public park with access to the Stono River with boardwalks, crabbing docks, picnic areas and walking trails with special bird watching stations. This park represents a collaboration with the City of Charleston and SC Department of Transportation to connect it to the City’s West Ashley Greenway that ends nearby. The Greenway is a popular biking and walking trail that connects straight through to Folly Road by way of an abandoned railway. I can almost hear the local property values rise.
Finally, I had my doubts while it was under construction, but the road widening on Maybank Highway from the bridge to where it intersects River Road has made life so much easier for Islanders. Living for months with the orange barrels and cones was frustrating and it seemed like an endless project. With the additional lane coming off the bridge finally completed, the evening commute has been trimmed significantly. And, with the addition of sidewalks and bike lanes, now everyone can travel safely and more quickly.
The newly improved access presents the perfect opportunity to check out the many new restaurants and retail options that have recently sprung up on our tree-lined island. Casual dining, coffee shops, and more upscale restaurants are opening all over, but primarily along Maybank Highway. If you have not been to Johns Island recently, you really should check us out!