“WHAT’S NEW” IN THE CHARLESTON, SC AREA Summer 2009For Immediate Release, May 2009
• We’re welcoming our neighbors in North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina with unique package deals and exclusive lodging values at several properties throughout the Charleston area. www.goodneighborgetaways.com
• The Charleston Area CVB, along with its partners, is giving away five summer family vacations. Interested in signing up? It’s simple, after May 11, log on to www.charlestonfamilygiveaway.com and follow the steps to submit your video for an exciting fun-filled stay in the Charleston area. More wonderful family packages are available through the Convention & Visitor Bureau’s link: http://www.charlestoncvb.com/visitors/packages_family.html?category=2
• Visit the “Packages” section of www.CharlestonCVB.com for a wide variety of continuously updated packages.
NEW HONORS & AWARDS
• Chef Mike Lata of FIG was named James Beard’s Best Chef in the Southeast for 2009.
• The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, ranked number four in Golf Digest’s recently released list of the 100 top public golf courses in the United States. Kiawah Island Golf Resort also had another course on the list, Turtle Point at No. 48.
• The Spa at The Sanctuary Kiawah Island Golf Resort was awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award for the second year in a row.
• Harbourview Inn was named No. 51 of 100 Best Luxury Hotels in the World by Trip Advisor.com in the Travelers Choice Awards.
• Planters Inn, Charleston Place hotel and The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort were included on Forbes Traveler’s list of 400 of the best hotels in the world.
• The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island was ranked the No. 3 resort in the mainland US by Conde’ Nast Traveler.
• Kiawah Island Named No. 1 Most Romantic Beach by America’s Best & Top Ten.
• Charleston Area Named In America’s “Top 10 Value Cities for Couples” by Travel Research Specialists, Shifflet & Associates.
• Charleston was named a Top Romantic Destination by HGTV.
• Charleston was ranked 7th in the Most Romantic Vacations and 14th for Best Culture & History Vacation in the US & Canada by Tripadvisor.com.
• Southern Living readers voted Charleston their Favorite Southern City. Holy City honors also included top tier billing for Best Weekend Getaway and Best Family Destination.
• In Golf World's 2009 Readers' Choice Awards, Kiawah Island Golf Resort was selected as the No. 1 resort in the U.S., and Charleston/Kiawah Island was voted No. 1 of the top 38 golf destinations in North America and Europe.
• The Mount Pleasant Visitor Center is a 5600 sq. foot facility that will open July, 4 2009. This Lowcountry inspired center will house the visitor center as well as a hall able to seat 150 people and boasts an impressive catering kitchen. With views to the river and the park, this a perfect space for receptions and meetings of all types. Contact John Willson 843-958-3621 for more information.
• Founders Hall, is a brand new facility located on the grounds of Charles Towne Landing,. This event venue provides space for large receptions and meetings and invites guests and attendees to relax on a large screen porch while soaking up the Lowcountry atmosphere. Website coming June of 2009. www.foundershallcharleston.com
• The brand new Hampton Inn & Suites hotel is now open on University Boulevard near I-26 and US-78. It is very convenient and located 18 miles from downtown historic Charleston. Other nearby points of interest include Wanamaker County Park, Charleston Southern University and Trident Medical Center. The property boasts 115 guest rooms and two meeting rooms. To learn more or make a reservation, visit: www.northcharlestonuniversityblvdsuites.hamptoninn.com.
• Comfort Suites North Charleston recently added guests’ favorite complimentary cocktails to the evening manager’s reception. A full bar, choice of beers, non alcoholic drinks and tasty snacks are available Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 7:30. www.gatewayhospitality.com
• The Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association’s Fourth Annual Palette and Palate Stroll is also one of the most anticipated visual art and fine food events in the South. This year’s event will take place on Friday, July 17, 2009. Fine art and food connoisseurs will stroll through the historic streets of downtown Charleston, sampling tastings from thirteen of the local restaurants in the beautiful setting of thirteen prestigious galleries. To learn more, visit www.cfada.com
• The Fifth Annual Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival will take place June 5-6. Experience and enjoy a variety of Gullah Geechee skits, gospel groups, storytelling, folklore, music and dance performed by local entertainers. The largest showcase of diversified sweetgrass baskets in the Lowcountry will be displayed by local basket makers, along with unique handmade quilts, paintings and crafts at the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival celebrations. The festival provides a fun family atmosphere with jump castles, water slides, face painting along with an array of children’s arts and craft. Lowcountry foods will be provided by local restaurants and food vendors. www.sweetgrassfestival.org
• Harbor Fest will be held in Charleston June 26-29. Charleston Harbor Fest is a true harbor-wide celebration of the sea. Attracting visitors and locals alike, this event is family-friendly and loads of fun for all ages. The Tall Ships will be docked along the cities’ berths where visitors can explore and take in the many unique aspects of the festival such as boat-building, pirate demonstrations, take sailing lessons, watch the airshows and enjoy food and refreshing beverages. www.charlestonharborfest.org
• On June 12 and 13, the Fourth Annual Island Heritage Foundation Celebration will welcome the descendant of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass for a reception. A historic marker will be installed and a tea will be served at the Author’s Discussion. A Children’s Culture Camp will be offered and much more. Learn about the many options and celebrations at www.islandheritagefestival.com
• The Gibbes Museum of Art will present the Smithsonian traveling exhibition Ancestry & Innovation: African American Art from the American Folk Art Museum from July 31 – October 11, 2009. The range of artistic expression by self-taught African American artists from the rural South and the urban North is explored in this exhibition culled from the American Folk Art Museum’s rich holdings and highlights complex and vibrant quilts, paintings, works on paper and sculpture by contemporary artists. www.gibbesmuseum.org
• The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is taking to the high seas with a Pirates! exhibit that will open July 2009. Explore the world of pirates during July and August through interactive art-based programs that foster creativity. Shiver ye timbers and learn more about Pirates! at www.explorecml.org.
• The Charleston Museum’s “Around the World” exhibition series for children takes a closer look at European folk life. On display through August 30, this installment travels back in time to discover folk crafts and customs around Europe, Greek costumes, Italian marionettes, Spanish pottery, weapons and more. To find out about more about this exhibit and other special events, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
NEW FOOD NEWS
• Sustainable seafood, organic beef, Tupelo honey and antelope loin are just a few of the ingredients listed on the new streamlined seasonal menu at Circa 1886. Chef Marc Collins is offering an eclectic mix of cuisine inspired by turn of the century Charleston fare. Whet your appetite at www.circa1886.com.
• Hall’s Chophouse is a new upscale family-run restaurant on Upper King Street. The menu is mouthwatering and atmosphere is inviting. Currently serving dinner and will begin a lunch and brunch service soon. Visit the website to learn more. www.hallschophouse.com
• Sunset Sails are now available all summer long with Ocean Sailing Academy. Through August 15, OSA offers a 3 hour Intro to Sailing class. Want more? Take the 1 day “Learn to Crew” class. It’s perfect for spouses of captains, friends of sailboat owners and those wanting to learn a few basics about sailboats without committing to a full course. To learn more and sign up, visit www.OSAiling.com.
• Cruise the Charleston harbor aboard the Carolina Belle while enjoying a Home Team BBQ buffet and live blues from Shrimp City Slim. Offered most Thursdays throughout the summer and early fall. Check www.charlestonharbortours.com for a full list of dates and more information.
• The Schooner Pride is offering nighttime Charleston Harbor tours aboard an 18th century replica schooner. Passengers are even welcome to help the crew set the sails. This special tour is offered on select dates only. To view availability and learn more, visit www.schoonerpride.com.
• Discover the authentic stories of America’s most historic city with a genuine Charlestonian whose local roots date back to the 18th century. Michael Trouche has delighted people for decades with his personable style and thorough, entertaining knowledge of Charleston. He’ll take guests to see stunning architecture, ironwork and gardens. Experience memorable characters and events. Learn about all sorts of history and cultural traditions. Find out more at www.charlestonfootprints.com.
• The “I Will Reflect” campaign is underway for the summer. The Spa at Charleston Place and the Medical University of South Carolina have teamed up to sponsor a program to raise awareness about melanoma and skin cancer. Through September, the initiative offers several opportunities to “reflect”. Receive discounts at the spa and learn more about skin care protection at www.charlestonplace.com.
• Summer Wine Strolls are being held every Wednesday this summer at Middleton Place. Each week a different area in the gardens will be highlighted. Tastings will include a wide variety of summer wines, and feel free to stay for dinner at the Middleton Place Restaurant. Also at Middleton Place, summer is filled with activities for all ages. Kids 15 and younger will be admitted to the Gardens and Plantation Stableyards free with a paying adult (limit three children per adult) during the months of June, July and August. Learn more at www.middletonplace.org.
• Drayton Hall’s Family Fun Pack kicks off May 15. $39 for the entire family (2 adults and up to 4 children) and includes a family fun pack of gifts and games - a $75.00+ value! The one price covers admission and access to all daily tours and programs, museum shop discount, posters, patches, games, and more. The offer is good through September 15, 2009. Additionally, during “dig days” in May & June, visitors will interact with Drayton Hall’s archaeologists at open excavations. Hear about recent discoveries while viewing the dig’s physical features and recovered artifacts. www.draytonhall.org
NEW & UPDATED LINKS
• Jackson Madeleine’s site www.jacksonmadeleine.com will entertain and delight.
• Lily is now accessible through www.lilycharleston.com.
• Dixie Dunbar Studios has much to offer on www.dixiedunbarstudio.com
• www.vieuxtemps.net offers plenty of fine gift options.
• The Charleston Arts Coalition, a creative hub for all disciplines in Charleston’s creative community, is launching its first project, www.CharlestonCulture.com in mid-May.
SAVE THE DATE
• The 2009 Taste of Charleston will be held October 9-11. The 29th annual celebration of Lowcountry cuisine is hosted by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association and will include Charleston’s finest chefs. Don’t miss the Iron Chef competition, Taste of the Kitchen, Taste of the Arts and the main event: Taste of Charleston. www.charlestonrestaurantassociation.com
• The Charleston Museum presents Aisle Style: 150 Years of Wedding Fashion from October 16, 2009 – September 6, 2010. While focusing on the bride and her dress, the exhibition will also include accessories, men’s garments, trousseau treasures and photographs. This unique display will showcase wedding traditions from orange blossoms and blue garters to the magnificent white gown. Visit www.charlestonmuseum.org to learn more.