Tag: kiawah island
Ask any resident of the Holy City, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” and you’re sure to be greeted with resounding affirmative responses. But, there are many factors to consider before moving to a new area. Generally speaking, Charleston is one of the best places to live in the country. In fact, the city has received an extensive list of accolades over the last decade, topping Travel + Leisure’s Best U.S. Cities since 2013. But, before permanently relocating, you should have a good understanding of the city, its culture, climate and cost of living to ensure it will be the best fit for your lifestyle.
Fortunately, Charleston has an abundance of beautiful areas to reside–from the bustling downtown homes to the beachside Isle of Palms real estate. Learn more about this flourishing coastal town in South Carolina and figure out which area your new dream home will be located.
What Is Charleston Like?
Perhaps one of the most enticing reasons to move to Charleston is the gorgeous weather year-round. The summers may reach scorching temperatures from time to time, but the winters are mild and pleasant. Plus, with so many beaches and outdoor water activities in the area, it’s easy to escape the summer heat while enjoying all the city has to offer. On average, the temperatures usually remain between the low 50s and 70s in the fall and spring, dropping down briefly to the mid-40s in the winter and rising back up to the 80s and 90s in the hottest of the summer months. With such a temperate climate, it’s no surprise an abundance of outdoorsy adventurers and beach bums gravitate towards this sunny little city.
Charleston, SC, is one of the greatest culinary destinations in the country right now with new restaurants popping up all the time. Many travelers come to the area to experience authentic Southern cooking, but stay for the surprising variety of cuisines available from classic French cooking to Sichuan joints. Of course, if you’re looking for good Carolina barbecue, you’ll have no trouble finding smoked meats from some of the most renowned pit masters in the state like Rodney Scott, but the adventurous eater will love all the other options available for exploring.
Though the downtown area has the greatest concentration of high-quality restaurants, you’ll find delectable dining throughout the area–from unexpectedly divine hidden fish shacks like Bowens Island Restaurant to decadent dining experiences at places like The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island. Believe us, you’ll never be hungry when you’re living in Charleston.
Originally part of the first 13 British colonies, Charleston and the surrounding areas have a deep, rich history that spans from the Revolutionary War through modern times.
Although some of the city’s past is dark, with slavery playing a major role in the pre-Civil War economy, Charleston has become a flourishing, progressive hub of forward thinking and modernity. From the mix of historical events that can take place here, including pirate endeavors and the creation of the first playhouse in the country, there is so much unique history to learn and experience.
The Outdoor Activities
With such beautiful year-round weather, it’s no surprise Charleston is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream place to live. Avid golfers look for Kiawah Island homes for sale to stay close to some of the top-rated championship courses in the country, while others prefer the bohemian vibe of Folly Beach. You’ll find exciting things to do in nearly every corner of Charleston. Visit the Francis Marion National Forest for a daytime hike along the Palmetto Trail, a cross-state trail that extends 350 miles with the goal of expanding to 500 miles. The Caw Caw Interpretive Center is another resource for experiencing and learning more about the Lowcountry’s environment and the beautiful creatures that inhabit it. And, in Charleston, anytime is a good time to go to the beach.
Downtown Charleston is home to some unique and very specific styles of architecture, ranging from Colonial and Federal styles to Classical Revival and even Art Deco. With more than 2,800 historic buildings, the area is teeming with unique designs and stories to match. You could spend days exploring the streets of downtown, discovering new, incredibly built houses. One of the most admired styles is the traditional Charleston Single, which is typically a two-story home featuring a covered porch off the side of both stories, a setup unique to Charleston developed prior to modern air conditioning to allow for air flow in the scorching summers.
The Best Areas to Live in Charleston, SC
If you’re still wondering, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” then you’re asking the wrong questions. Charleston is one of the most beautiful places to live along the coastline, and it encompasses so many different areas that there are plenty of different types of environments to choose from.
Most downtown residents consist of college students, young professionals or wealthy adults, with the South of Broad area being home to some of the richest residents in the area. The remainder of the peninsula welcomes the younger population, with many young families choosing to find homes further up the neck in the Wagener Terrace area. Close to Hampton Park and filled with adorable cottage-style homes, Wagener Terrace is close enough to the action of downtown while keeping a safe distance from the noisy bars and restaurants.
Just over the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, you’ll find yourself in Mount Pleasant. In the last 10 years, this town has grown exponentially as more people fall in love with Charleston and decide to relocate here. Regardless of what area you’re in, Mount Pleasant allows you to remain fairly close to downtown while having a more suburban surrounding. There are two beaches in Mount Pleasant—Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms—so you have plenty of options when it’s time to hit the shore.
For families looking to move to the area, Mount Pleasant is highly touted as having many of the best public schools in the entire state, a much sought-after characteristic. Enjoy spending your weekends walking through the outdoor town center, lounging by the beach or taking a walk over the bridge for unparalleled views of the surrounding area.
Heading southwest of downtown, the opposite direction of Mount Pleasant, you’ll discover James Island, home to the charming little area of Folly Beach. Known as the Edge of America, this shoreside locale is known for being a bit more bohemian than the other beaches in the area, but nonetheless a favorite haunt for locals and visitors alike. Here, you’ll discover hidden gems of the culinary world like Jack of Cups Saloon and Chico Feo. You can opt to take a sunset walk along the pier, or drive farther down the beach to the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve, a more secluded area of the beach where you can marvel at unique graffiti drawings and the abandoned Morris Island Lighthouse.
This area of Charleston was named for its geographical location as west of the Ashley River, which is also directly west of downtown. This charming town has plenty to offer, including proximity to downtown and its own hopping little area known as Avondale where you can explore funky tiki bars like Voodoo and even the oldest bar in Charleston, Gene’s Haufbrau. Though this area of Charleston is mainly residential, residents have easy access to the Citadel Mall, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Johns Island’s Angel Oak Tree.
Located in North Charleston, Park Circle is a short 15-minute drive from downtown. Considered a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood, Park Circle is home to young professionals and families. The strip of bars, restaurants and shops along E. Montague Ave. is the hub of this charming neighborhood, along with the adjacent Spruill Ave. businesses like brunch spot The Junction and the new Chinese-American joint called Jackrabbit Filly. Living in this area allows easy access to nearly every area of the city from downtown to the many beaches, while also harboring its own unique little culture of art and food.
Considered slightly more rural than other parts of Charleston, Johns Island is a gorgeous area surrounded by typical Lowcountry scenery of marshlands and live oaks draped in Spanish moss. The island itself is home to the Angel Oak Tree, what is believed to be one of the oldest living trees east of the Mississippi, as well as renowned restaurants, the Fat Hen and Wild Olive, and the charming Low Tide Brewing. From this location, you’re just a short drive to the James Island music venue called the Pour House as well downtown.
As you move farther away from the city, you’ll begin to feel more entangled in the natural landscape of the Lowcountry. Seabrook Island is only about a 45-minute drive from downtown Charleston, but offers serene backdrops of marshlands and the quiet relaxation of the barrier islands. Here, you’ll be close to the many championship golf courses on Kiawah Island, while remaining slightly closer to the city of Charleston. One of the major differences between Kiawah and Seabrook is that Kiawah is a gated community. Some people prefer this type of privacy, while others find getting guests and visiting relatives in and out of a gated community to be a bit of a burden.
For those who love outdoor adventure, this area might be a better fit as the island’s surroundings are ideal for kayaking, paddleboarding, horseback riding and much more. If you’re in the market for a boat or you already own one, the advantage to living so close to the water is clear. And, with such a gorgeous climate, you’re able to sail across the water almost any time of the year. Just imagine a New Year’s Eve sunset boat ride before the festivities begin.
As the barrier island located right next to Seabrook Island, Kiawah is similar in surroundings with lush live oaks flourishing across the island and thriving marshlands providing homes for the unique Lowcountry wildlife. For those who are interested in birdwatching or other types of wildlife observation, the island is the perfect environment for such endeavors. You can visit the Beachwalker Park or Night Heron Park to look for native species or simply enjoy the surroundings.
While Kiawah Island is a bit farther south than Seabrook, it is still under an hour from Charleston, making it possible to take a day trip into the city at any given moment. But, the island itself provides a variety of entertainment options as well as top-notch dining available at The Ocean Room and lovely cocktails at the Ryder Cup Bar. For golf lovers, this island is truly a paradise with access to five public courses and two private courses, many of which have been created by top golf designers and offer a challenge to players of all skill levels.
If you’re looking for Kiawah Island homes for sale, you’ll find a plethora of gorgeous properties that offer privacy and proximity to desirable activities nearby. Anyone looking for a slower pace of life will be attracted to the atmosphere of Kiawah.
Experience the Lowcountry Life
People who haven’t visited the area often wonder, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” and the answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Between the uniquely gorgeous natural landscape, abundance of activities and world-class culinary dining, what more could you ask for? If you’re thinking about relocating and looking for Seabrook Island real estate or property in the surrounding areas, consider the activities you’d like to be closest to. Seabrook and Kiawah offer the serenity of quiet island living, while areas closer to downtown Charleston provide the bustle of a small city and the promise of nightlife. Browse some of the available properties in the area and inquire with Dunes Properties to learn more about your next dream home.
Kiawah Island may be famous for its golf courses, tennis courts, and gorgeous high-dollar homes, but there’s much more to the island that you may have yet to discover. Here are 5 family-friendly Kiawah Island adventures for nature lovers and curious visitors.
From gators to birds to butterflies, the Heron Park Nature Center has a team of passionately knowledgeable tour guides waiting to walk you through all the fascinating history and habitats the island has to offer. Here are just a few of the educational adventures that await you at Kiawah.
If you’ve spent any time on Kiawah, you’ve probably encountered a ‘gator or two, but what do you really know about them? Did you know that in winter they lay dormant on the bottom of a pond or in underground dens scooped out with their own claws and jaws? Learn about that and much more during the two-hour Alligator Adventure tour, which is offered at Kiawah throughout the year for $20 per person.
Back Island Birding
They say that a bird lover’s paradise awaits at Kiawah. The island has well over 220 species of birds! The Nature Center’s birding experts are waiting to take you to remote locations to explore natural habitats while learning all about the natural history of the island’s vast avian wildlife. Comfy shoes, a camera, and drinking water are recommended in hotter months, but the program is offered throughout the year. The three-hour tour is $35 per person, and anyone age 16 and over can get in on it.
Who doesn’t love butterflies? Lucky for us, Kiawah offers a family-friendly tour through the Sanctuary gardens for autumn butterflies. You’ll get to use nets to catch and gently examine butterflies to discover about the resources these stunning creatures have lived on in the island. The walk is stroller accessible, one-hour long, and $12 per person. It’s recommended that you were clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
Night Beach Walk
Kiawah’s Night Beach Walk may have a pretty beach and a sky full of stars to offer you, but there’s so much to learn. Ever wonder why sea turtles cry as they lay their eggs in the island’s dunes? Or why ghost crabs have hairy legs? Or why the sea sparkles in shades of green? The point of the walk is for the whole family to learn about the island’s nocturnal creatures and their habitat. The tour is offered late spring and early fall, it is an hour-and-a-half long, $15 a person, and available to anyone. Note: persons under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Oh, and don’t forget the insect repellent and comfy walking shoes.
Historical Sunset Cycle
If you like to cycle your way through Kiawah, you’ll love the Historical Sunset Cycle, offered year round on Sundays only or by request. Learn about where the word kiawah came from and explore the island’s history and ecology while enjoying a beautiful sunset view from your bike. The tour is an hour-and-a-half-long, $15 per person, and available for anyone. Note: participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. They also recommend wearing comfortable clothing and bringing along a bottle of water.
Call the Heron Park Nature Center to learn more about current tours and schedules. What will be your first adventure?
Summer is almost here, the weather has finally started cooperating again and we’re gearing up for lots of outdoor activities!
If you’ll be around the Johns Island/Kiawah/Seabrook areas come join us and stop by our Bohicket Marina office because we’ll be staying open later for you. Stop by and say hello!
It was over two years in the making and caused quite a few traffic jams around Kiawah Island Resort, but the 2012 PGA has finally come and gone. Rory McIlroy shot a bogey-free round of 66 and won his second Wanamaker Trophy.
Golf and the Lowcountry go so well together and almost everyone at Dunes is a fan or a player, so the offices were quiet during the PGA. Two of our agents, Donnie Whitaker and Keith McCann, shared the PGA from their viewpoint as spectators.
Yes I live at the beach, but I didn’t even leave my house this Memorial Day weekend. I was in need of some serious vegetating time. I practiced some yoga moves and read. Not exciting, but needed.
In my readings I discovered Charleston has a few things to be proud of in the media. While flipping through the husband’s latest issue of Esquire (Bradley Cooper was on the cover, it didn’t stand a chance of getting to him before I read it) I saw an article on The Greatest Bars in America. I scavenged the list to see if any familiar haunts were on there and two local favorites were. The Isle of Palms’ own Windjammer and downtown Charleston’s Moe’s Crosstown Tavern were on the list. Unfortunately at the time of this post, Moe’s is closed for renovations but hopes to be open sometime this Summer and you can always visit Moe’s Downtown Tavern instead. Those are both great, unpretentious neighborhood watering holes. I’m a vegetarian but I hear raves about the burgers at both places.
I’ve never seen Moe’s not packed- a full, friendly house, not overcrowded. A variety of good beers and food. It’s got a vintage pub feel and if you’re a sports fan, they’ve got you covered with their soccer, football, baseball tv packages.
The Windjammer, however, is a bit different than any downtown establishment. The Windjammer brings a good variety of local music and national touring acts (I saw Maroon Five there after their first hit broke, Sister Hazel, Cowboy Mouth, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, etc). They’ve got a great beachfront deck, a volleyball net and during the summer, a season full of bikini contests. You’ll feel comfortable there straight off the beach in your swimsuit and flip- flops or I’ve seen people go barefoot (I don’t get that, but to each their own). But it’s a no frills bar- the recommended drink according to Esquire is Budlight in a can and that about says it all. And if a celebrity is staying on the island- chances are you’ll run into them there (oh the fun stories about Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner and others the staff can tell).
The other Charleston accolade is that Dr. Beach (Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman is Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University) picked the beach at Kiawah Island’s Beachwalker Park for his Top 10 Beaches of 2011 list. He has this to say “South of Charleston, Beachwalker Park is the public beach located on the southern end of Kiawah Island. Tennis and golf are featured here, as well as interpretative tours of the fauna and flora of the island. This is certainly a nature-lovers coast, so visitors should pack their canoes and kayaks to paddle through the tidal inlets or walk down to St. Sam’s Inlet to see thousands of birds. The water is not clear here, but it is clean and provides for fantastic seafood for low-country cooking. Visitors can also pack their bicycles, since the sand is compact enough to ride along the 10-mile long barrier island.” There’s 50 pieces of set criteria for Dr. Beach to make his selection and he had a lot of beaches to select from. We’re proud to be on that list.
We had a wonderful party to celebrate the opening of the Kiawah Seabrook Office at 1887 Bohicket Marina Village on January 22, 2011. The weather outside was brisk, but inside our little office we kept warm with a little wine and lots of great conversation. Thanks to all who attended. Those of you who were not able to make it, stop by the office to visit sometime! We have a fantastic group of experienced agents who have been representing buyers and sellers on the islands for years, and our hope is that this office will be an effective tool for their continued success. Best of Luck Kiawah Seabrook Group!
The latest edition of the Island Connection features a great article about Bohicket Marina’s new Yacht Club. Set to open on August 1, 2010, the new Club will be a family-friendly destination for fun, food, and of course, boating. Read the full article.
The article mentions the new Red’s Ice House that opened at Bohicket Marina just in time for the Bill Fishing Tournament early this summer.
With huge bar areas, glass garage doors that open to the view, great live music and sunset views to die for, it is the new place to be if you’re visiting Johns Island, Kiawah or Seabrook.
Check it out. For those of you who know Red’s at Shem Creek you won’t be disappointed. – it has the same good Red’s food and vibe. A walk along the boardwalk is a must.
This is the perfect place to end a day at the beach or on the water with drinks as the sun goes down… come join us. Just be prepared for a very busy parking lot!
Kiawah, Seabrook, John’s, and Wadmalaw Islands Specialist
The largest residential real estate transaction in Charleston County history was recorded last week. The three-story, oceanfront home on Kiawah Island features a pool, elevator, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a gourmand’s kitchen, a third-floor retreat with a private deck and a guesthouse. According to an article in the Post and Courier, “The deal is yet another high-water mark for the luxury real estate market in the Charleston area. About a year ago, 37 Meeting St. changed hands for more than $7.37 million, setting a new record for the peninsula. More recently, a waterfront home near Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant’s historic Old Village went on the market for $10 million.” Read the full article HERE.
The sale is evidence of the confidence buyers have in the value of real estate on Kiawah Island and the desirability of the Charleston Coast. For more information on Kiawah Island and some fantastic deals, contact our experts:
Karen Hilty 843.696.1325
Lucie Jones 843.696.7842
Debbie Mansfield 843.814.0521
Joy Millar 843.425.2816