Beyond the beach: My favorite activities

Written by Ryan Ewing on Tuesday, 19 February 2013.

Tired of the pool or beach? Is it a rainy day at 48 Ocean Point? Here are my top five favorite things to do besides the pool or beach:

The Charleston City Market

This historic "shopping center" is filled with Southern vendors. Items vary from baskets to Southern style spicy hot sauce! It recently got redone with a more modern section. I enjoy The Charleston City Market because of its old style feel and the variety of items it carries.

Black Market Minerals

Located in downtown Charleston, this store holds thousands of different types of minerals. The whole store is filled with minerals, literally to the ceiling. You can buy anything from a pebble sized mineral to a huge geode (if you can fit it in your bag on the way home!) I enjoy Black Market Minerals because of its interesting atmosphere and items.

South Carolina Aquarium

Located in Charleston, this aquarium, in my opinion, is one of the best. It has a wide variety of animals in artfully crafted exhibits. It even boasts an albino alligator! All the exhibits are very interactive and realistic. I enjoy the South Carolina Aquarium because of its fascinating creatures and its interactivity.

Discovery Ice Cream

This ice cream store is located in Mt. Pleasant. It is a toy store too. But when I go there, I am not interested in the toys, I am most interested in there homemade ice cream and cones. They have a wide variety of ice cream flavors. But the best part is that they have a robot that makes your ice cream. That's right, a robot. This robot has chocolate, vanilla, and swirl with a few different toppings. And yes, they also have regular ice cream!

Jack’s Cosmic Dogs

This restaurant earns my number one spot because of its delicious hotdogs and corn dogs. The atmosphere is designed like an old hot dog eatery, but has a futuristic spaceship twist. The hot dogs and corn dogs are amazing. To go with your hot dogs and corn dogs they have classic, glass bottled sodas and milkshakes. What could be better?

Poe's Tavern: Casual, family friendly restaurant on Sullivan's Island

Written by Ryan Ewing on Wednesday, 28 November 2012.

 

Editors Note:
Ever wonder what the homeowners' family does during their trips to 48 Ocean Point? Who better to ask than the owners' oldest son! Ryan is going to be helping me with the blog by contributing articles about his favorite things to do around Charleston and Isle of Palms.
If you or your kids have any questions about what to expect during your stay at this beautiful oceanfront home, drop a line to the Ry-guy by leaving a comment on his post.

Hi, my name is Ryan. I am 13 and live in the Washington, D.C. area. I am in 7th grade and enjoy learning about history. One of my favorite hobbies is learning about aircraft and the modern aerospace. I am hoping that the Boeing plant in Charleston will open up for tours sometime!

I am the son of the owner of 48 Ocean Point and really enjoy the history of Charleston. I also enjoy going to 48 Ocean Point and want to help Nikki out in making your stay great as can be.

One of my favorite places to visit while I stay in 48 Ocean Point is Poe's Tavern, located in Sullivan's Island about 15 minutes away from Wild Dunes. Poe's Tavern is a family friendly restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious burger.

From the outside, Poe’s Tavern looks like, well an old tavern! The atmosphere is very rustic, and there are old pictures on the wall and strange objects that Edgar Allan Poe would most likely of had in is home. The staff are very friendly and welcoming as well.

Poe’s Tavern is very casual and you are not expected to be dressed fancy – beach cloths would most likely be fine!

When you are there, why not enjoy the "Raven Burger" an amazing yet simple burger because it is plain, just with cheese and a bun. When I go there, I usually order the Raven Burger, which goes great with a delicious bunch of French Fries.

I would recommend Poe's Tavern to all families. My family tries to go there every time we stay at 48 Ocean Point. For younger kids, they do serve other things and they do have a kid’s menu. When we go there my parents will most likely also order burgers as well.

The reason I like "The Raven" is that my favorite football team, the Baltimore Ravens, is inspired by the poem. After all,  Edgar Allen Poe did live part of his life Maryland. I have read Poe's short story "The Cask of Amontillado" and enjoyed it because it was so eerie. I recently read "The Raven," which is also creepy and good. You can contact Poe's Tavern at (843)-883-0083.

Spend the holiday season in Isle of Palms

Written by Nikki Smith on Monday, 12 November 2012.

While most folks may think of Isle of Palms and the Wild Dunes Resort as a summer vacation destination, it turns out there's actually lots of fun stuff to do here in the off season. The obvious pluses of staying this time of year through early spring: save some cash and avoid the crowds.

The holidays in Isle of Palms offer great weather, tons of festivities and great shopping, enough to make just about anyone wish for a white sand Christmas.

Get out on the golf course

The beauty visiting of the beach towns in South Carolina is you can play outside just about every day. So if you stay at 48 Ocean Point during December you can still get in a game of golf or two, or as many as you want. The resort offers a number of golf packages during the winter months.

Don't forget the house has four bedrooms, a private room for each member of your golfing foursome. And with sleeping arrangements for up to eight adults, you can bring along four more of your friends.

If you get tired of playing the Fazio-designed Links and Harbor courses at the resort, ask about their partnerships with other great, local golf resorts – including the Kiawah Island Resort where the 94th Annual PGA Championship was held last summer.

Explore the City Market at Charleston

Located about a 30-minute drive from 48 Ocean Point and open 365 days a year is the historic City Market at Charleston. For more than 200 years the Market has been a focal point of community life in Charleston and it continues to place where locals, tourists and artisans from all over the Low Country and beyond converge.

The Market extends from the Cooper River waterfront to Market Hall on Meeting Street, completed in 1841. The buildings house all kinds of local handcrafts and artwork, sculptures and photographs, clothing, jewelry, collectibles and souvenirs.

Speaking of souvenirs, don't leave without picking up one of Charleston's famous sweetgrass baskets!

Tour the Festival of Lights at Charleston

Since you're already spending a day in the Holy City, why not stay a little while longer to check out the 23rd Annual Holiday Festival of Lights. Pile the family into the rental car and cruise a 3-mile stretch that showcases over 700 shining displays.

The festival is more than just a driving tour, though. Check out all the fun family activities happening at the this year (according to the event website):

  • Marshmallow Roasts
  • Festival Train Rides
  • Lakeside Lights Interactive Activity
  • Enchanted Forest Walking Trail
  • Gingerbread Houses
  • 50-Ton Sand Sculpture
  • Giant Greeting Cards
  • Carousel Rides
  • Gift Shops
  • Portable Climbing Wall
  • Photos with Santa
  • Santa’s Sweet Shoppe

The event, sponsored by the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission, runs from now through the end of the year. On weeknights, the cost is $12 per vehicle. The cost increases to $15 per vehicle for Friday and Saturday nights.

Take in the Charleston Boat Parade

Here's something else to get you in the holiday mood this season: a parade of boats with their decks decked out in holiday lights from stem to stern. The Charleston Boat Parade begins in the neighboring community of Mt. Pleasant at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 1.

Thousands of spectators come every year to catch a glimpse of the boats as they drift down the Charleston side of the Cooper River toward the Ashley River. The parade lasts roughly two hours and will be followed by the city's tree lighting ceremony in Marion Square.

Visit Middleton Place for the holidays

A little less than an hour from 48 Ocean Point is the magnificent Middleton Place, a National Landmark and home to the country's oldest landscaped gardens where something is blooming year-round.

The land was first settled and cultivated by the Middleton family in the early 17th century and has remained in the family's stewardship for the past 320 years. A one-time slave plantation, most of the original buildings were burned to the ground by Union troops just before the close of the Civil War.

Beginning at the end of November, Middleton Place is your place for the holidays. The fun kicks off with the Holiday Market on November 23 & 24. The Garden Market and Nursery will be bustling with vendors while local candle and jewelry makers will discuss their wares. Hot cider, cookies and holiday-themed products will be for sale.

Events continue through December with caroling, storytelling, wreath and ornament making during the Family Yuletide in the Stableyards on Saturday, December 8 ($15 per person), the Grand Illumination of the gardens by torchlight on December 13 & 14 ($45 for adults, $20 for kids 12 and under) and a Gingerbread House Workshop at the Inn on December 16 ($18 for adults, $12 for kids).

Pirates of Charles Towne, Talk like a Pirate Day!

Written by Nikki Smith on Wednesday, 19 September 2012.

Believe it or not, today marks the 10th anniversary of Talk Like a Pirate Day. In honor of such a momentous occasion, I thought I would dedicate a blog post to Charleston's pirate history.

Back in the early 1700s Charleston, known as Charles Towne at that time, was a thriving port city and British North America's wealthiest. Around that time, pirates also began to flourish and initially local merchants didn't seem to mind.

Fed up with having to pay excessive taxes to England, the merchants looked for ways to trade with pirates with the hope of turning a better profit.

In time, though, pirates began attacking merchant ships and terrorizing the Atlantic seaboard, such as the time pirate Edward Teach (better known as the infamous Blackbeard) held the Holy City for ransom by taking several hostages and agreeing to let them go only if the governor provided his crew with medical supplies. The governor complied.

Such brazen attacks were upsetting to the merchants, and soon pirates became outlaws.

The city of Charleston is about 30 minutes from 48 Ocean Point. It's easy enough to drive there and park the car so you can tour the historic sections on foot. If you do happen to make this trek, check out some of the pirate-themed tours and attractions the city has to offer.

It is not uncommon to take a stroll along the beaches near Charleston and observe a treasure hunter with metal detector in hand, searching for pirate booty. Pirates would often bury their riches in the white sands with intentions of returning later, but sometimes a hangman's noose got in the way.

Charleston Pirate Tours is one of the best reviewed tours in Charleston. From their website: "In authentic costume & accompanied by Capt. Bob, the parrot, Eric Lavender shares stories of the pirates who plundered, partied, and perished in Charles Towne and brings Charleston's Golden Age of Piracy to life with stories of Blackbeard's siege of the city, the capture and execution of Stede Bonnet and other pirates, the romance between Calico Jack and Anne Bonny, and much more! Along the way, learn about the city’s most historical buildings and events."

Another place you may want to visit is The Pirate House, built in 1704. According to legend the Bermuda stone dwelling once served as a boarding house, gambling den and place where local merchants could trade with pirates to avoid paying the excessive British import tax.

The reign of pirates in the Carolinas lasted a relatively short time, but the history continues to live on. Exploring this history is something the whole family can enjoy together. Speaking of family fun, if all this pirate talk inspires you to test your sea legs, don't forget the schooner Pride –  an 84-foot, 3-masted tall ship – offers charter and evening cruises.

Photo: Queen Anne's Revenge 

Catch a movie during your beach vacation (for adults, older kids)

Written by Nikki Smith on Tuesday, 17 July 2012.

As we get into the dog days of summer here in Isle of Palms, you and your family may be interested in an entertainment alternative to hanging out at the beach or swimming pool all day during your vacation. 

One way to cool off is to head over to the Cinebarre movie theater located at 963 Houston-Northcutt Blvd just down the street in Mount Pleasant. 

Cinebarre is unlike most movie theaters you've ever been to. It's almost more like a dinner theater, and it's suggested patrons arrive 20-30 minutes prior to show time so they can order food and beverages (including beer & wine) from a full menu. Patrons can also place orders throughout the movie. 

Important! This movie theater caters to a more mature audience, and they have age restrictions. No children under the age of 18 are admitted without their parent or legal guardian. Children under the age of 6 or only permitted in the theater on Tuesdays during the first show of each film (so that parents can bring their small children). 

For parents who wish to leave the kids at home for a night, there are several babysitters near Isle of Palms, and we even recommend a few on our website. 

While the cost of movie tickets has skyrocketed over the years, Cinebarre offers several specials throughout the week to save families money. Catch a flick on Tuesdays for just $5 (extra charges for the IMax screen), or enjoy a free movie at dark every Wednesday night through August 8 at the Outdoor Film Fest. Just bring your blanket or chair anytime after 7 p.m.

College kids (21+) can enjoy $2 domestic drafts at the movie house all day every Wednesday, too. 

This weekend the theater is screening a Dark Knight marathon this Thursday night in honor of the newest Batman movie in the franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, which officially opens at midnight on Friday, July 20.

Check out show times or purchase tickets on their website or at the door. 

Things to do on the water while visiting Isle of Palms, South Carolina

Written by Nikki Smith on Monday, 25 June 2012.

The city of Isle of Palms in South Carolina is essentially a sand dune on the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s a place where couples, friends & families will find plenty of opportunities to get out and explore the Lowcountry wildlife and ecosystem.

Eco tours on pontoons and kayaks, fishing charters and sailing adventures are just some of the ways people around here like to spend time with Mother Nature. 

Barrier Island Eco Tours 

Not too far down the road from 48 Ocean Point is a group called Barrier Island Eco Tours. They offer excursions to Caper’s Island, one of the last uninhabited barrier islands, as well as dolphin and crabbing excursions. For the younger members of your family, they offer a marine biology class on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Cruises & Fishing Charters

The waters around Isle of Palms are filled with bass, sea trout, redfish, snapper, grouper, tuna and mahi-mahi and more. Charleston Angler has a store in the nearby Mt. Pleasant and offers boat rentals while Adventure Outdoors located in Isle of Palms offers boat rides and fishing charters.

Sailing Cruises & Boat Rentals

Charleston has a rich maritime history. And most sailing excursions are located in the Charleston Harbor, which is only about a 30-minute drive from our house at Ocean Point. OnDeck Sailing, for example, offers lessons as well as charters starting.

The Schooner Pride is an 84-foot three-masted tall ship modeled after an 18th century coastal trading schooner. It’s ideal for private charters and events like weddings and corporate retreats, but they also offer two-hour public sails.

For more ideas on how to spend your days the next time you stay near Wild Dunes and Isle of Palms (perhaps the next time you visit us at 48 Ocean Point), take a look at the Charleston Visitor’s Bureau website. They list of all kinds of things you can see & do during your visit: tours, shopping, beaches, golf, recreation, cultural, spas, sporting events and nightlight.

Using the Wild Dunes Sports Card

Written by Nikki Smith on Monday, 05 March 2012.

The Wild Dunes Resort offers activities the whole family will enjoy. From tennis and golf to bike & boat rentals to nature excursions and arts & crafts activities, it's no wonder Wild Dunes is consistently ranked among the top vacation destinations in the Charleston area.
 
(If you're still unsure about staying near Wild Dunes, the resort is ranked No. 1 on Trip Advisor for hotels in the area, and apparently Parents magazine included Wild Dunes in its Top 10 List of Best Beach Resorts for Families.)
 
As a guest at 48 Ocean Point you, too, can take advantage of these top-notch services and amenities. We keep a Sports Card on file with the resort desk, which grants our guests access to all of these fun activities for only a nominal fee. 
 
Check out this info sheet that outlines facilities and resort activities available at the Wild Dunes Resort. You can also find a link to the info sheet along with other useful links on the right-hand side of this page beneath "Plan Your Stay." 

Family Adventures

The Wild Dunes resort website is another great place to go when planning your stay at 48 Ocean Point. I recommend checking out the Island Adventures Recreation Program, which is where you'll find the bike & boat rentals along with nature excursions and sunset cruises. 

Obviously there's additional cost associated with these super fun activities, but you can use the resort's online concierge to make your reservations.

Golf Outings

If you're staying at 48 Ocean Point because you've heard Wild Dunes is home to not one but two Tom Fazio golf courses, you will be happy to know the Sports Card also your ticket to discounted greens fees. (You'll probably also enjoy watching other golfers stroll by from your vantage on the private deck or enclosed patio at the house.) 
 
Contact the Pro Shop to find out about green fees and tee times.

Swimming Pools

If you happen to tire of your private beach during your stay at 48 Ocean Point, the Sports Card grants you access to the resort's Grand Pavilion and its pools free of charge after 6 p.m. The Sports Card will also get you into the Swim Center, which non-resort guests may use all day for a small fee.
 
There's another pool in the Ocean Point community, which is available to our guests all day, free of charge. 

Tennis Courts

Golf is not the only passion at the Wild Dunes Resort. Did you know the resort has also ranked on the list of Top U.S. Tennis Resorts by Tennis magazine for nine years running? The resort offers 17 Har-Tru courts – including one stadium court. Five of the courts are lit for night play.
 
The tennis courts at Wild Dunes are not available to the general public, but holders of a Sports Card may enjoy these professional facilities for $25 per hour. Contact the Pro Shop to reserve a court. They also offer tennis groups and lessons.
... 
 
The Sports Card is an awesome added perk for our guests. If you would like to make a reservation to stay at 48 Ocean Point, or if you would like to learn more about how to take advantage of the card during your stay, feel free to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Something 'Wicked' this way comes

Written by Nikki Smith on Wednesday, 22 February 2012.

When you're ready to take a break from the sand 'n' surf of the Wild Dunes Resort, why not take in some of the local culture that Charleston has to offer? Aside from haunted walking tours and historic horse-drawn carriage rides, Charleston is also home to the area's largest entertainment venue, known as the North Charleston Coliseum Performing Arts Center. 

Tons of big name acts come through the Coliseum, like mega-performer Elton John and comedienne Wanda Sykes. The Coliseum will also host the Barnum & Bailey "Fully Charged" Circus beginning next week. Perhaps the biggest event of this season, though, is the Broadway production of Wicked coming to the Lowcountry from April 18 through April 29.

Tickets for the event start at about $60 when you factor in fees and go up to about $120. 

Looking for a relaxing place to stay while you're in the area? Currently the first and third weeks in April are available at 48 Ocean Point for a nightly rate of $409, which has a maximum occupancy of eight guests. That comes to a little more than $50 per night, per person to enjoy panoramic views and the sound of waves crashing in the Atlantic Ocean, all from a luxurious ocean front property. 

To learn more about the house or upcoming events around the Wild Dunes Resort and greater Charleston area, feel free to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Wicked:
Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. Wicked tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.

About the North Charleston Coliseum Performing Arts Center:
As the largest entertainment venue in the Lowcountry, the Coliseum has hosted 7 million visitors and countless concerts, sporting events and family shows. For ticket information, visit their website.

Dine in or eat at the Wild Dunes Resort restaurants

Written by Nikki Smith on Friday, 13 January 2012.

One of the biggest advantages of renting a vacation home like 48 Ocean Point is the savings guest enjoy from preparing meals in the fully equipped kitchen instead of having to dine out every meal.

A Harris Teeter is nearby, where guests can stock up on groceries and other essentials. I usually advise visitors to stop by the market on their way in since the house is tucked away on a private beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. (You may never want to leave again.)

But for those nights when you just don't feel like cooking, or perhaps on a night when you're celebrating a special occasion, you don't have to travel far to find a good meal. The Wild Dunes Resort has no less than six restaurants to choose from:

•    Sea Island Grill & Lounge
•    The Lettered Olive
•    Sand Bar
•    Hudson's Market
•    Dunes Deli
•    The Grand Pavilion Cafe & Bar 

The restaurants tend to vibe an upscale yet casual dining experience, right in line with the overall atmosphere of the golf resort. For a quick bite before an afternoon at the beach or on the one of the two Tom Fazio golf courses, stop into the Dunes Deli (a lot of grab 'n' go options) or Sand Bar, which boasts panoramic views of the resort's lush fairways.

Meanwhile, diners at the Grand Pavilion Cafe enjoy panoramic views of the ocean. This is a good choice for a standard beach fare — sandwiches, cocktails, snacks. The Sea Island Grill or Lettered Olive are your best bets for a sit-down meal.

At 48 Ocean Point, we maintain a SportsCard that grants our renters access to many of the Wild Dunes Resort amenities – restaurants as well as golf, tennis, swimming and a family recreation program – so when you stay be sure to take advantage of all the resort has to offer.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a comment below if you are interested in making a reservation at the house or would like to know more about the Ocean Point community within the Wild Dunes Resort.

Golfing at Wild Dunes

Written by Nikki Smith on Tuesday, 11 October 2011.

One of the best perks of staying at 48 Ocean Point (aside from the ocean view from the enclosed patio) is the close proximity to two of the area's best golf courses. This video will give you an idea of what the Harbor and Links courses are like. 

Who is Tom Fazio?

Written by Nikki Smith on Friday, 30 September 2011.

Having designed more than 200 golf courses over the span of nearly five decades, Tom Fazio is arguably the game's greatest architect.

No designer has more credits on Golf Digest's list of 100 Greatest Golf Courses. They discontinued their poll for the Best Modern Day Golf Course Architect Award after Fazio won three years in a row.

Two of Mr. Fazio's golf courses are located right here in the Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms. 

The Links Course at Wild Dunes

The Links at Wild Dunes, known for beautiful ocean views and challenging winds, made the Gold Digest list. As you play the course, you'll take in rustling palms, rolling fairways, massive dunes and ocean side finishing holes that are reminiscent of the game's Scottish birthplace.

Guests staying at 48 Ocean Point can relax on the enclosed patio or private deck off the master bedroom and watch as players putt out on the 17th green before teeing off on the 18th.

The Harbor Course at Wild Dunes

The Harbor Course at Wild Dunes remains one of the Charleston area's best resort courses. Watch out for water hazards, as the narrow fairways skirt salt marshes and sandy beaches. The holes aren't especially long, and golfers who can hit with accuracy will have more success on this course.

Both courses are open year-round. Facilities at each include a driving range, chipping area and putting green. They open every day at 7 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time, otherwise 5 p.m.

What's happening this fall around Charleston

Written by Nikki Smith on Friday, 16 September 2011.

Summer is becoming a distant memory, which means it's a great time to start taking advantage of Wild Dunes in the off season. Fewer crowds. Cooler temperatures. With an average high of 76 degrees, it's the perfect time of year to golf, shop and tour the Charleston area.

Here's a look at what's happening near 48 Ocean Point in October. We still have a couple weeks available if you'd like to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in our vacation home.

Golf at Wild Dunes

One of the best perks of staying at 48 Ocean Point is the proximity to two of the world's most beautiful golf courses. Both designed by the esteemed Tom Fazio, the Links Course and the Harbor Course are challenging at every level. 

During your down time at the house, you can watch other golfers putt on the 17th green on the Links Course from your private patio or collect lost golf balls near the beach. 

Homes & Garden Tour

Tickets are on sale now for the Preservation Society of Charleston's 35th Annual Homes & Garden Tour. It's actually several tours you can take, where you'll enjoy unique neighborhoods that represent Charleston’s flourishing culture from the Colonial era to the present. 

Most of the properties on tour are privately owned and are open to the public exclusively for the Preservation Society of Charleston. Tours begin September 22 and last through October 23. Check out their website for more.

Explore Civil War history

Charleston is where the Civil War began more than 150 years ago. And with the weather cooling down a bit, the air is right for a tour of the city's extensive history. Set sail with one of any number of companies that offer cruises around the Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumpter. Or saddle up for a horse-and-buggy carriage tour of the "Holy City." Get and up-close look at the old walled city as well as historic churches and public buildings that stood as far back at the Colonial Days.

If walking is more your speed, there are a number of interesting walking tours. Some of our favorites tour the darker side of the city's history, including The Old City Jail and some of the city's spooky graveyards.

Shop for antiques

If you think a city like Charleston, which is so rich with history dating all the way back to the founding of this country, would be an ideal place to find an abundance of antiques, you'd be right. Go for a walk and explore some of the Holy City's many fine antique shops. You'll be sure to find one-of-a-kind furniture, Civil War relics, priceless pieces of art, silver and other artifacts.

Fall is also a great time to stay at 48 Ocean Point because it's so affordable. While the price usually doesn't drop to $295 per night until October 7, I'm going to start offering the fall price 10 days early since we have some availability still during the last week of September. Contact me if you'd like to book a stay with us. 

30-Minute Beach work out idea #2

Written by Mahrya O'Connor-Delaney on Thursday, 07 April 2011.

Just to reiterate the basics from my first beach work out entry, remember Safety First!  Before you leave the house, drink a glass or two of water, find a water bottle that you can take down to the beach, slather on at least 30 sph, find your shades that have UV protection, and grab a good size towel. 

Alright, it’s time to head out.  If you’re new to exercising on sand, it’s best to find flat sand, this way you’ll still get the benefits that the sand provides by being less jarring on your joints and creating more resistance, but not risking your ACL with an angled surface.  

Also for this work out, we are going to add a little resistance.  In my opinion, a sandbag is the best to use, but if you don’t have one, grab a 2 gallon jug (hint: don’t fill up the jug until you get to the ocean, unless you want to carry the extra weight down to the sand)

Start with a warm up:

10 arm circles forward 10 arms circles backwards 5 neck rolls in each direction 10 left leg extensions (straight leg, kick out and reach to touch your toe with the opposite hand) 10 right leg extensions (straight leg, kick out and reach to touch your toe with the opposite hand): REPEAT

For the first circuit, do each exercise and take a 30 second break in between

  • 30 Air squats holding sandbag out in front of you with extended arms
  • 20 Lunges holding sandbag above you head
  • 20 Pushups
  • 15 Jump squats holding sandbag against chest
  • 45 second break, then REPEAT

Do 3 sets of:

  • 20 Sumo deadlift high pulls with sandbag
  • 20 Burpees
  • 30 second break

Now it’s time to cool down.  Just take a nice stroll down the beach and take in the scenery and the fresh ocean air.

Your visit: Irvin House Vineyard

Written by Mahrya O'Connor-Delaney on Thursday, 07 April 2011.

Your visit: Irvin House Vineyard

Now that we’ve hit our stride of spring, it’s time to get outside and enjoy. What better way to enjoy the beautiful scenery that spring provides than taking a drive out to the local winery and taste the local libations.

Irvin House Vineyards is the only local winery to Charleston, SC. At the Irvin House, they grow their grapes, harvest them, make the wine, and bottle the wines on site. They offer five different varietals of what they call “in the tradition of the southern muscadine: Tara Gold, Palmetto, Magnolia, Mullet Hall Red, and Live Oak Reserve.”

The vineyard is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. You’ll never have to wait long for a tasting, they start every half hour and will cost you $3 to taste all five wines and take home a nice wrapped glass. If you visit on Saturday around 2pm, Irvin House gives a free group tour of the vineyard or if you’re looking for a more intimate experience, private tours are available upon request.

The vineyard is a 25-minute drive from Charleston, SC. Travel west on Maybank Highway (SR-700) for approximately 10 miles to Bears Bluff Road (SR-10316). Bear right onto Bears Bluff Road. Continue west for another 8.5 miles. Turn left into the vineyard entrance between two stucco columns….and enjoy!

Beach workouts at Isle of Palms

Written by Mahrya O'Connor-Delaney on Monday, 28 February 2011.

Beach workouts at Isle of Palms

Between January and May, I know the only thing on my mind at 5 o’clock is No. 1,. Yay! I’m off of work, and No. 2, time for the gym.  I must get ready for beach season and rock that bikini!  

In January, getting me to the gym is like making a kid eat his lima beans, I just don’t wanna do it!  But by February it’s gotten a little easier, by March it’s fun because you’re seeing the results.  

If I can stay the course until May, BOOM, beach season here I come!  But the thing about working out is that it starts becoming part of your routine and once you get to your beach vacation, you see all that sand as an opportunity to break a sweat and have some fun.  

Here I’m going to give you some suggestions how to make the best of all that beautiful sandy space.

Safety first!  Before you leave the house, drink a glass or two of water, find a water bottle that you can take down to the beach, slather on at least 30SPF, find your shades that have UV protection, and grab a good size towel.  All right, it’s time to head out.  

If you’re new to exercising on sand, it’s best to find flat sand, this way you’ll still get the benefits that the sand provides by being less jarring on your joints and creating more resistance, but not risking your ACL with an angled surface.  

Let’s plan a 30-minute workout, I mean you are on vacation don’t forget.

You want to start out with a warm up before you attempt any rigorous activity.  

5 minutes:  
Use 40 yards to alternate between (5-7 strides of each activity, then turn around and come back the other way): Jogging, shuffle, back pedal, shuffle, 75-percent sprint.

10 minutes:
Interval Sprints, sprint as far as you can for as long as you can, take 30- to 60-second break walking, repeat.

Now that you’ve gotten your heart rate up, it’s time to exhaust the muscle to acquire strength.  Put your towel down for the push up portion so that your hands don’t get sandy.

10 minutes:
5 sets (if you’re feeling ambitious, 10 sets) of 25 squats, 10 pushups, 30 second breaks in between sets.

Be sure when you’re doing the squats that you are keeping your knees behind your toes and think of it as “sitting” down.  Extend your arms straight out for balance.

5 minutes:
Cool down, just take a stroll, and then head back to the house!

Other options if you aren’t looking for so much structure…get your friends together and go play football (American or European), ultimate Frisbee or a good ol’ game of sand volleyball.  

With any of these workouts, you’ve definitely earned the margaritas you’ll be having later, I mean come on ... it is vacation after all!