Where to Stay
We stayed at the CUTEST beach house, just two blocks off the beach! We have stayed at our fair share of vacation rentals in life and we were blown away by this one. Samantha was so easy and wonderful to work with. There was not a single detail missed. The place was immaculate, so spacious, fully stocked, and had a beautiful screened in porch to enjoy early mornings and late evenings in a bug-free fashion. Hot outdoor showers, a five minute stroll to the beach, and a gorgeous interior made this house one we hope to come back to many times in life!
Beach Chair Company
IOP Beach Chair Company was a dream. Every morning they set up our requested number of beach chairs and umbrellas at the beach access point closest to our home. Our set up was available every day 10am-5pm. Not having to carry and set up our own chairs and umbrellas and lug them back and forth was a true gift! We loved visiting the beach multiple times a day with the ease of shade and comfort awaiting us with no effort on our end!
Rental Car + Stroller Wagon
Ok, as a mom to five little ones, one of the biggest reasons we DON’T fly places is because to get a vehicle and carseats that accommodate us without the process being a giant headache is, well, nearly impossible. Dana at King Street Minivans was SO pleasant to work with. A couple of weeks prior to our trip, I let her know what vehicle, what carseats, and what accessories we needed. We walked straight out of the airport to a minivan fully equipped with all the carseats we needed and an awesome beach stroller wagon we took everywhere! No rental car lines, no fuss. It was God’s gift to moms everywhere 😉 This reel gives you a good taste of just how well the minivan and stroller got us to and from all of our adventures.
There is SO much to see and do near Charleston that we just gave it our best shot at creating a schedule that was a fun mix of sight seeing and relaxing beach time. Sine we have napping babies and toddlers, one sight a day was our goal, with a “nothing but chill at the beach day” right in the middle of our trip to regroup. Also, we tried to book any sight seeing tours and adventures first thing in the morning to avoid toddler meltdowns, afternoon thunderstorms, and crowds. We booked all adventures for week days and left beach/resting for weekends to avoid crowds. It worked out so well!
Here’s a look at our itinerary:
Day 1: Flight Arrives. Instacart order arrives. Amazon boxes arrive. I build our Instacart order the week before arriving and place it the day we arrive as soon as I know our flight will be on time. I also place an Amazon order of anything else we might need to arrive the day we get there. After flying and driving, we don’t want to spend any extra time (or room) picking up groceries!
Day 2: IOP Barrier Eco Tour in the morning + beach in the afternoon
Day 3: Magnolia Plantation + Middleton Place in the morning + beach in the afternoon
(This was the one day we did two adventures because they were 10 minutes away from each other)
Day 4: Beach Day!
Day 5: Beach Day!
Day 6: Old South Carriage Company Tour of Downtown Charleston + Pineapple Fountain + Rainbow Row in the morning + beach in the afternoon
Day 7: Patriot’s Point in the morning + beach in the afternoon + Pitt Street Bridge for last night sunset 🙂
Day 8: Boone Hall Plantation morning + Fly out in the afternoon
Let’s dive into the details of our itinerary:
Isle of Palms Barrier Eco Tours
We drove about 3 minutes from the house to hop on an Eco Tour Boat Ride to Capers Island. We chose a week day during the school year and it ended up being us and two other people on the 40 person pontoon 😉 The one hour ride to the island allowed us to see large crabs, small crabs, hermit crabs, dolphins, and a variety of birds. Having an hour to explore the whole island by ourselves was AMAZING. My kids absolutely loved it. So many beach treasures to find and so wonderful to experience fairly untouched nature. The boat ride back was quicker, but equally packed with wildlife.
Magnolia Plantation is magical. We opted for the Audubon Swamp self-guided tour. We came within 5-10 feet of 6 alligators and 2 snakes…yikes! It was truly exhilarating and otherworldly for the kids. The riverbank of Magnolia holds a remarkable historic sight from a Civil War battle.
Middleton Place is gorgeous. Their landscaping is charming and feels very European. Between their perfectly planned and trimmed gardens to their 1,000 year old live oaks, it’s truly a sight to behold. Our kids’ favorite part was strolling the open sheep pasture.
Old South Carriage Company
Who doesn’t love a horse drawn carriage? It was so charming to get to see and learn about the history of downtown Charleston while being pulled by a horse-drawn carriage! Our tour guide was captivating and funny, the kids just loved him! While we were in Charleston for the morning we saw the Pineapple Fountain, Rainbow Row, some historic cemeteries, and had the famous pineapple whip!
This place blew us away. An air-craft carrier WWII ship that was PACKED with history that absolutely came alive for us while we walked through it. Walking through the main portion was riveting, but making it to the top deck with all of the aircrafts was remarkable. The boys also loved the Navy Aircraft Simulator ride inside the ship 🙂
Boone Hall Plantation
We loved Magnolia. We loved Middleton. But Boone Hall seemed to have some sort of charming mix of architecture and landscaped that we just loved. (Scenes from the Notebook were filmed here). These plantations hold excruciating memories of realities long ago and truly do an honorable + respectful job of educating young and old about the history each place holds.
Pitt Street Bridge
We spent our last night in Isle of Palms watching the sunset from Pitt Street Bridge. What a sight!!
Isle of Palms will FOREVER be a special place to us. We hope to make many trips back! 🙂