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Wine + Food + Trucks

The Charleston Wine + Food Festival has fast become one of the country’s hottest culinary celebrations.   It’s coming up on its 10th year and boasts a new executive director who is charging ahead with some cool new ideas.

Official dates for the festival itself are March 4th-8th, 2015.   It might seem like a long way off, but it’s an extremely popular event that draws people from around the country and beyond.

A Charleston beach house makes a great home base for the festival, since most events take place in downtown Charleston, a convenient drive from our Isle of Palms vacation rentals and our Folly Beach rentals Charleston. If you are interested in one of our SC vacation rentals, either one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals or Folly Beach house rentals Charleston SC, you’d best book soon.

Coming up fast is the official launch party, which looks to be a very fun and rather unconventional event.   It will pair some of the area’s best chefs with local food trucks… and it will take place at a great venue - The Power House, the massively impressive building on the former Navy Base in North Charleston.

As new director Gillian Zettler puts it, it embodies "the beauty and innovation that can stem from collaboration and a joyful sense of community… The fun, friendly and laid-back spirit we plan to cultivate at the upcoming festival is what we hope to bring to our ticket launch celebration.”

The launch party will be August 27th from 7:00 till 10:00 p.m.  If you’re scheduled to be in one of our rental homes South Carolina on that date, you ought to check it out.   It'll take place at 1975 North Hobson Avenue in North Charleston, an easy drive from your luxury house on Isle of Palms or Folly Beach house Charleston SC. The official festival schedule will be unveiled at the party. There will be food (of course) and specially paired cocktails and beverages as well as live music.

Here’s a link where you can buy a ticket for the launch party:

Check out the lineup of who will be there:

       Featured Charleston Food Trucks + Chef Pairings:

  • The Lunchbox + Tim Richardson, Hank’s
  • Roadside Seafood + Mike Lata, The Ordinary and FIG
  • AutoBanh + Kevin Johnson, The Grocery
  • Outta My Huevos + Jaques Larson, The Obstinate Daughter and Wild Olive
  • Cory’s Grilled Cheese + Emily Hahn, Warehouse
  • Refuelers + Ken Vendrinski, Lucca and Coda del Pesce
  • Roti Rolls + Jeremiah Bacon, The Macintosh
  • Carolina Creole + Patrick Owens, Langdon’s and Opal
  • Featured Deserts:
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
  • King of Pops


• Emily Hahn of The Warehouse
• Jacques Larson of Wild Olive
• Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh + Oak Steakhouse
• Ken Vedrinski of Trattoria Lucca, Coda del Pesce
• Kevin Johnson of The Grocery
• Mike Lata of FIG
• Patrick Owens of Langdon's Restaurant + Opal Restaurant + Bar
• Tim Richardson of Hank's Seafood Restaurant

Here’s the festival’s official website, which will have the whole schedule once it’s released at the party: (Tickets for the festival itself officially go on sale on August 27th).

And remember, when you’re searching for a beach house Charleston, call EP. We have the best in luxury beach house rentals SC.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

The Angel Oak is saved!

Here’s a happy ending follow-up to a blog I wrote last year entitled, “Be an angel… help save an Angel.”

It is one of the most beloved and iconic symbols of the Lowcountry. It’s more than just a symbol, it’s a living thing. In fact, it’s believed to be one of the oldest living things in the entire country. It’s estimated to be twice as old as the United States.

What is it? The magnificent Angel Oak tree, of course.

People who come to stay in one of our SC vacation rentals, either our Isle of Palms luxury rentals or our Folly Beach rentals Charleston, often ask what are the must-see things to see/do while visiting the Lowcountry.

Sure, it’s easy to rattle off the obvious (downtown historic district, market, aquarium, Fort Sumter, Boone Hall).  But one that you might not expect but I would definitely recommend, is going to see a tree.

But not just any tree. It’s hard to explain. You just have to go see it in person to understand.

To whet your appetite, here are some stats:


  • 66.5 feet tall;
  • 187 feet wide (across the branch tips);
  • the trunk is 28 feet in circumference;
  • it provides 17,2000 square feet of shade.

The tree is part of a small park that has been owned by the City of Charleston since 1991, although it does not lie within traditional city limits. It’s located on Johns Island, a couple islands over from the peninsula. It’s not that far a drive from your beach house Charleston - if you are staying in a luxury house on Isle of Palms or especially in a Folly Beach house Charleston SC.

For your GPS or smartphone, the street address is 3688 Angel Oak Road, Johns Island. If you’re in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, you could go see it after a trip downtown - just cross the Ashley River Bridge and head over that direction.

Well, back to the good news.   As I mentioned, developers wanted to pave almost 36 acres of land right near the tree, building 500-unit apartment buildings, businesses and multiple single family homes right near the tree - only 160 yards from this national natural treasure. Not only would it ruin the peaceful serenity the park provides, it would also likely endanger the tree’s very survival.   Its root system extends far and wide under the ground.

A woman named Samantha Siegel basically put herself in front of the bulldozers and organized a massive effort to save the tree - Save the Angel Oak. Soon, others got on board… area schoolchildren, Piggly Wiggly, the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, the Coastal Conservation League , Mayor Joe Riley, the city of Charleston, Charleston County, and countless members of the public.

They were able to purchase the first section of 17 acres last year by raising $3.4 million. But there was still the matter of another 18.7 acre parcel the developers were still eager to grab.

It took six years, but they finally reached their ultimate goal. With a final generous $2.5 million gift from the Charleston County Greenbelt Program toward the $3.3 million price, they have now purchased all 35.7 acres, which will forever be preserved from developers. They are currently mulling over the best use of the land for educational and conservation purposes that will enhance our experience of the tree.

As Teddie Pryor, Charleston County Council Chairman said, "This is huge. This means that our grandkids and great-great grands can visit a tree that's been around forever….it was the right thing to do."

So when you are coming to rental homes South Carolina - specifically beach house rentals Charleston SC - be sure to check out something that is free, fun to do for all ages staying in your Charleston beach house, and will create a visual memory you won’t soon forget.

And remember, as always, to contact us here at EP for the coolest in luxury beach house rentals SC.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Charleston restaurants making national "best" lists

Well, the last blog featured the Lowcountry’s hip local libation scene.   Now it’s time to talk about the food to go with those beverages.

Charleston’s restaurants are no stranger to national press and accolades. The cuisine of the Lowcountry is one of the things that’s helped create the city’s world-class status and allure.

There’s a simple truism regarding our SC vacation rentals, be they Isle of Palms vacation rentals or Folly Beach house rentals Charleston SC. Everyone in your Charleston beach house is gonna get hungry.

While having a kitchen is a real plus when staying in a luxury house on Isle of Palms or a Folly Beach house Charleston, it’s also great to take everyone out to eat.

The trick here soon becomes deciding where to go, because there’s such a plethora of outstanding choices.

To help in picking a place, Zagat - the arbiters of good taste - came out with their top (aka “hottest”) restaurants in Charleston.

Zagat’s an especially respected source, since they base their determinations on the opinions of local diners and consider what matters most to them.   Zagat began rankings in New York about 30 years ago and now provides them for 33 cities in America, Charleston being one of them.

While they single out three especially popular places – the ever-classic Hominy Grill, and the oft complimented Husk and FIG - their official list includes eleven places that fly a bit under the radar.

I encourage you to click through their full slideshow with all their comments and suggestions (link to follow), but here’s a very brief recap:

  • 1) Básico (North Charleston, Lowcountry meets Mex)
  • 2) Edmund’s Oast (downtown, this is a rather new brewpub that’s making all sorts of best buzz lists lately)
  • 3) Nigel’s Good Food (soul food in North Charleston)
  • 4) The Ordinary (super seafood from the FIG folks, downtown on upper King)
  • 5) Palace Hotel (downtown on the East Side, a dive/gourmet dog place)
  • 6) Poogan’s Porch (downtown, classic southern and open 365 days a year!)
  • 7) Sesame Burgers & Beer (multiple locations)
  • 8) Sweet Radish Bakeshop (downtown, the only gluten-free bakery in the area)
  • 9) Two Boroughs Larder (downtown, great breakfast sandwiches)
  • 10) Warehouse (downtown, gourmet bar food and live music)
  • 11) Xiao Bao Biscuit (downtown, Asian like you’ve never had it)

Here’s a link to Zagat's article and slideshow:

It’s quite an interesting list that offers a wide variety of creative choices and prices, most pretty reasonable.  They are within a convenient distance from all our rental homes South Carolina, both Isle of Palms luxury rentals and our Folly Beach rentals Charleston.

And yet another list...

Thrillist recently came up with their list of the 21 best sandwich shops in America.  Charleston’s own Butcher & Bee made the list - in fact, it leads the pack.  

Although most places on the list were recognized for one sandwich in particular, the powers that be suggested simply getting whatever’s available at Butcher & Bee, it’s all good (and the menu changes frequently).   As author Adam Lapetina explained: “Their menu, scrawled on a chalkboard, is constantly changing depending on the region’s local offerings, but always features innovative creations such as the General Tso’s-chicken sandwich.”

The whole list has some gorgeous food photography and is guaranteed to make you hungry as you scroll through the best sandwiches in America:

So bon appetit…. and remember, EP has some of the coolest in luxury beach house rentals SC. So when you’re searching for a beach house Charleston SC, check out the options on this website, then give us a call.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


Local libations


Charleston has long been known as a foodie destination.   It’s fast becoming known as a libation destination, as well.

Craft distilleries seem to be the hip trend at the moment, and are a kind of extension of the micro-brewery craze. As a matter of fact, after decades of there not being any local liquor producers at all, there are now three in the Charleston area, as well as a fourth on nearby Wadmalaw Island (Firefly, with their famous sweet tea vodkas).

They include High Wire Distilling on upper King Street downtown and The Striped Pig in North Charleston.

And now Charleston Distilling has finally opened its doors, after undergoing about a year’s worth of construction.

They are located in the very cool “warehouse” a little further down King Street, at # 501 (near the corner of King and Morris Streets), in the storefront with all the rough wood barrels and giant copper vats. Even though they just opened, they’ve already been singled out as a hot spot by Travel + Leisure magazine.

All these distilleries are within an easy driving distance from our luxury beach house rentals SC, both our Isle of Palms vacation rentals and our Folly Beach house rentals Charleston SC.   If you are staying in a beach house Charleston and visit one of these places, be sure to bring along a designated driver! They make some potent stuff.

Charleston Distilling is not a bar but a tasting room, where they offer educational tours of how their spirits are made.  They produce liquor like vodka, gin, whiskey and bourbon in small batches using local ingredients. Grains come from Summerton, South Carolina. Tours are offered every hour from 11:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m.

Here’s their official website:

One of the fun things about staying in a luxury house on Isle of Palms or Folly Beach house Charleston SC is stocking it with local specialties. A visit to a Charleston beach house isn’t complete without a feast of fresh shrimp or crabs, and something local to wash it down with.   These spirits fit the bill. They also make a perfect souvenir of your time in the Lowcountry, or a thoughtful gift for those at home who held down the fort while you were enjoying a stay in one of our beach rentals Charleston.

Also in the news recently has been Mira Winery. Though based in St. Helena, California, it’s owned by a Charlestonian (Jim “Bear” Dyke, Jr.), and they will be opening an education center and tasting room downtown this fall. They recently unveiled a mural at the site of the planned education center, which will teach people about the wine-making process.

Mira has been doing something pretty interesting lately. They’ve submerged bottles of their wine at the bottom of Charleston Harbor and are studying the effects of ocean aging on the wine.

Should be very interesting to see what they discover.

And remember that when you are looking for SC vacation rentals, especially Isle of Palms luxury rentals, call EP, and do it well in advance. We have some of the very best in rental homes South Carolina, and they book up early.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Photo credit: Charleston Distilling

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