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Old 04-27-2007, 09:55 PM
Location: NYC
31 posts, read 139,388 times
Reputation: 18


My husband and I are going to the Charleston area in September. We would like to rent a cottage or beach house. There are so many islands to choose from. Kiawah, Folly, Edisto, etc. Can you tell me the advantages of each? We want to be centrally located as we would like to stay near or at the beach, but be close enough to travel to different areas to check out the living in this part of the country. We are from NYC and would like to get away from the snow and freezing cold!!! Maybe we would think of retiring there in a few years, although I would never buy down there (prices too high at beach anyway) because of the hurricaines and flood insurance costs. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks, Jo Carol
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Old 04-28-2007, 05:37 AM
Location: Summerville
890 posts, read 3,895,852 times
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Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island or Folly Beach. Kiawah and Edisto are not centrally located or convenient. It would be a pretty good ride into Charleston from them, at least 45+ minutes.
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:09 PM
Location: NYC
31 posts, read 139,388 times
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Smile Beach areas near Charleston

That's strange, I was told it's 20 min from Folly Beach to Historical District in Charleston. Another person said it was 15 minutes.
Yet another person says it's 21 miles from Kiawah Island to Charleston.
Still another says it's 12 miles to downtown Charleston from Isle of Palm.
Who to believe? Or are they all speed demons? Are these islands really kind of "beach tourist traps" w/carnival atmosphere? We are really not interested in that. Would love to find a place to converge w/nature. Any suggestions? I had heard of places down there where the dear are out in back in the grass and woods areas. True?

Maybe we shouldn't stay at the beach. We are looking for a 2 br rental. Would Mt. Pleasant or even Summerville be more convenient?
We want to see Charleston, but are also interested in looking around at other towns to see if we would like to retire down there. I understand that some of the plantations and Magnolia are not near Charleston at all.

Any input would help, thanks.
Jo Carol
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:31 PM
105 posts, read 479,485 times
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I haven't been there in a long time, but if you're looking for nature and preservation, I think you should seriously look at Kiawah Island....
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:46 AM
Location: Summerville
890 posts, read 3,895,852 times
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Okay let me try this again because how I wrote it didn't come across very clear.

The most convenient beach areas to stay at to be relatively close to Charleston would be Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island or Folly Beach. From those three you are looking at around a 15-20 minute ride into Charleston.

Kiawah and Edisto are further out and away from Charleston. If you stayed in Kiawah or Edisto it would be at least a 45 minute or more ride from there into Charleston.

I don't consider any of the beaches around here to be a tourist trap. They do not have boardwalks or vendors. They are all natural with mostly homes and far from being a carnival atmosphere. There might be little areas in a few spots with some shops and restaurants but they do not dominate.

Three plantations are located a little further out from Charleston in an area called West Ashley. They are all located on Highway 61 heading towards Summerville from Charleston. Coming from Charleston they will be in this order, Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place. Middleton is my favorite and is actually located within Summerville. From Charleston the ride to the Plantations is anywhere from 20-30 minutes.
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:34 PM
213 posts, read 901,615 times
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lady - your info given is accurate. not a big difference between 15 min and 20 min from folly to downtown - it could be either depending on traffic. I love Folly and its laid-back atmosphere. 12 miles from IOP is about right, not far at all. Sullivan's is next to IOP. Kiawah further. I also think folly, sullivan's or IOp would work. Folly more laid-back, IOP more developed and resort-like. Both nice, easy to get to charleston and surrounding areas.
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:56 PM
71 posts, read 331,402 times
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What scjj said is correct.

None of the aforementioned beaches have a carnival atmosphere. No boardwalks, amusements parks, etc. Folly Beach is thought of as funky and eclectic, while Sullivan's Island and IOP are slightly more upscale. All are family-friendly beach towns with year-round populations.

For locality and distance information, Google Maps is your friend.

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Old 04-29-2007, 10:56 PM
Location: Dover, NH
82 posts, read 357,313 times
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We just got back from a week in SC...myself and the family hit a few beaches while we were there (myself, my husband, two small children). Coming from the seacoast in NH, here are a few of my thoughts...

1. The water is beautiful...much warmer ! (65 degrees in April??We don't hit that in August!)
2. The beaches, at least compared to the Northeast, I find much more civilized. You are not tripping over arcades, fried dough stands, etc.
3. The beaches are very clean and unblemished; we really enjoyed our visits.
4. We drove around Sullivans Island (I think... got a little confused!) seemed to be quite a few rentals. SOme appeared rustic, while some were quite high-end.
5. Folly Beach seems to me to be an area that is transforming at a slightly slower pace. There seem to be more older, true cottages waiting to be revitalized. The area however, is still attractive.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:39 AM
Location: NYC
31 posts, read 139,388 times
Reputation: 18
Default Beaches in South Carolina

Thanks everyone for your good replies.
We were looking around for rentals and we actually came up with one we loved and it is on Johns Island. I know not near the beaches, but we figured we'd have beach when we go down to Tybee in Georgia on the way home and we just couldn't resist this rental for the money. It has a private pool in the back and a large screened in porch where we can barbecue and hang at night w/o bugs. We had an awful experience in Atlantic Beach NC a few years ago where we were eaten alive by mosquitos. It was a great cottage house w/a hot tub AND pool but we couldn' really enjoy it.
I am so looking forward to this trip. We had recently boughty a condo in Charlotte and were thinking of retiring there (in about 5 years or so) but now that I think about it, it's 4 hours to the ocean. Being from NY and not far from the baeaches here, the thought of being so land locked is not apealing at all. Does anyone know if the real estate, condos, small cottages, in the SC area is very expensive? We were thinking of looking around but are concerned about buyig there because of the hurricaines. How about just renting and living near the beach. I don't have to be that near the beach, just as long as I can get there in less than an hour.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks, and happy Mother's Day everyone!
Jo Carol
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Old 05-13-2007, 10:41 AM
Location: South Carolina
264 posts, read 738,107 times
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Hi Jo Carol
Housing costs in the Chas. area have been spiraling upwards for at least the last four years. New home construction has exploded here as well. Unfortunately though, the majority of those new homes are of the "beige, plastic" variety. Personally, I dont care for the look or the quality of them but to each their own.
Living on or near the ocean is going to cost you quite a lot. Homes in IOP, Sullivans, Mt. Pleasant, Kiawah, and Seabrook run from the high 200's to 400's. The first three are close to town, as someone stated earlier, but it is still difficult to get into Chas. from there, even with the new bridge, due to the ever growing traffic problems. However, the beaches themselves are much nicer in those areas. Folly was the beach to go to back in the day but erosion has taken its toll. There isnt much actual beach left except for on the far ends of the island. The southern end is taken up by a State park and the other end has a nice beach but also has dangerous rip currents. Still, the city of Folly is a wonderful, albeit a bit touristy, place to visit. I recommend stopping at the Anchor Line for lunch. Its a tiny place that looks like a fish market on the right side of Folly Rd on the way to the beach. Fantastic food and the seafood is always fresh!
Houses in West Ashley, about 10 min. to downtown, run in the low 200's to low 300's. This is a very nice area conveniently located to shopping, dining, etc. One of the two malls in Chas, Citadal Mall, is located there. Its a very nice area but once again, traffic and overcrowding are becoming a problem.
Further inland, where my partner and I live, the housing prices drop the further you get from the city. We live in a small town called Goose Creek which is about 20 min to downtown, traffic permitting. Houses here run in the low to upper 100's. Older homes such as ours can still be found for less that 100k though. In fact, we are considering selling ours and moving to a ranch out west. It is a 3 bdrm, 1 bath, single story brick home built in the 60's and will probably go for somewhere in the 90's.
Edisto, to the south, is a very nice area also. The state park there takes up part of the north end of the beach but its worth the price of the visit. We camped there once, on the beach, and had deer come up to our campsite the next morning. The rest of the beach is beautiful as well. Edisto is about an hour away from Chas and is much more rural in character. Housing there is starting to get scarce though and is driving the cost ever upwards. I havent done much work there lately so Im not sure of the costs but I would guess that they would be comparible to IOP or Mt. Pleasant.
All things considered, I would look for an older home preferably away from the storm surge areas and beaches. Its only a short drive to the beach from most areas and you dont have to worry about running away everytime a storm comes. Ive ridden out 4 of them in my little house and have only boarded up for one...Hugo. Even with todays construction codes, I wouldnt want to ride out a hurricane in one of the newer homes, especially not one of the vynal siding ones. My partner had one of those and the first tropical storm that came along blew half the siding off, whereas all i did was rake up the few twigs from my yard!!
Hope you have a wonderful stay in Charleston. Johns Island is very nice, although a bit rural. It has changed a lot in the past 30 years. What was once nothing but tomatoe and cucumber fields has now become a growing residential community. Oh..and you mentioned bbq so I have to say..Stop in at Bessingers...omg..best bbq ANYwhere! Its on Savannah Hwy just south of the city. Its worth the drive!
Have fun!!
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