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21 Mar 2021
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Island Insider Tips

With spring’s official arrival, the weather is behaving right on cue here in the Lowcountry. It’s becoming downright gorgeous. Temps are easing toward the lower 70’s, the sky is Carolina blue, and the flowers and trees are starting to pop.
After a long year of being cooped up, folks have a hankering to head outside again. And why not do it while enjoying a meal with friends and family?

Outdoor Dining is Hot

Dining al fresco has always been a great idea, bringing to mind European cafes and bistros.  Dining outdoors in good weather is definitely de rigueur on the Continent. 

We’re finally catching up on this side of the Atlantic. Patio dining is more popular than ever here in the States. The pandemic has prompted restaurants to quickly pivot by adding an abundance of outdoor seating, whenever and wherever possible.

Americans have also gone pet-crazy. One giant silver lining of the pandemic is the number of animals that have found new homes - and how people have come to realize just how much having a dog or cat can enhance our lives.

Here at Exclusive Properties, many of our homes are pet friendly. That way, the whole family can enjoy time away together.  And speaking from experience - dogs absolutely LOVE the beach.

It’s also great fun to bring them along when you go out for a bite to eat. Basically, almost every place that has outdoor seating will let you bring your pup, as long as he or she is well behaved and on a leash.

We did an informal poll of Isle of Palms residents, asking their favorite local places to eat outdoors with their dog(s).

Patios on the Isle of Palms

Salt Works Deli at the Isle of Palms Marina - This is a scenic, fun spot to grab breakfast or lunch. They have a rotating menu of specials, just find them online or check the menu board out front. There’s plenty of outdoor seating overlooking the Marina and the Intracoastal Waterway. Perfect place to watch the boats and birds sail on by. IOP Marina where 41st Avenue meets the Intracoastal.

Papi’s Taqueria  -  Fresh, locally sourced tacos right on IOP’s Front Beach (1012 Ocean Boulevard).

The Windjammer – The IOP Front Beach classic, with plenty of live music, beach volleyball and island fun.

Coconut Joe’s  - Another IOP institution, with ocean-facing decks and family fare on Front Beach.

The Dinghy Bar & Grill – Popular gathering spot across the street from the ocean, with regular oyster roasts, happy hours, and live music. 

Seabiscuit  -  The IOP’s favorite place for breakfast or light lunch fare.

The Refuge – Located to the right of Harris-Teeter, a nice dinner spot with weekly specials like Steakhouse Night.

Patios on Shem Creek

Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant is high on the top of doglovers’ lists. This is perhaps the most scenic spot on the water, right where the shrimp boats dock, pelicans and dolphins frolic, and the creek heads out to the harbor.

Red’s Ice House  -  The original dog friendly establishment of the Lowcountry.  Hang out on the huge back deck overlooking the water with your dog -  they will have plenty of company.

Saltwater Cowboys – A newer place that’s already become a local institution.  Instagrammable food, great water views.

The Shelter – Across the street from the Creek, a fun hangout with plenty of outdoor seating, bar specials and cornhole.

More Patios in Mount Pleasant and Sullivan's Island

Mex 1 – If you’re on Sullivan’s and have a hankering for Mexican food.

Crave  – This place has gone all out with their outdoor dining, as many tables have their own personal fire pit.  Esquire Magazine declared that Crave has “The Most Life Changing Mac ‘N Cheese in America.”  Located right off the IOP Connector near Target.

Burton’s Grill – With two large patios and a delicious menu. Excellent Happy Hours too.  They regularly host “Paws on the Patio” events that benefit the Charleston Animal Society.  In Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.

Page’s Okra Grill – This place is perfect for Lowcountry and southern favorites like Shrimp and Grits, Fried Green Tomatoes and yes, okra. Great brunch and Bloody Mary Bar too.  On Coleman Boulevard before you get to Shem Creek.

Patios in Downtown Charleston

Charleston is awash in breweries, and just about every one is not only pet friendly, but dog enthusiastic. Top options: Revelry Brewing Company (top deck), Edmund’s Oast, Fatty’s Beer Works, Palmetto Brewing, Tradesman Brewing, and Munkle Brewing. 

Blind Tiger  -  Head to the hidden historic courtyard behind this downtown pub right on Broad Street.

Taco Boy (217 Huger Street), with a spacious outdoor patio perfect for pooches.

Fuel (221 Rutledge), a funky Caribbean-vibed cantina in a former gas station, with patio and bar areas that are people- and dog-friendly.

So bring your pup and/or your favorite people, and head out for some outdoor dining in Isle of Palms and Charleston.  You’ve got plenty of great options.  

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger