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The Right Place

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New York, NY
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The Right Place

We are 2 or 3 couples with 2 toddlers looking to rent a house for a week or so in August in the Charleston area. I don't know anything about the area and searching on the web seems daunting as there are literally thousands of options, and I don't know where to begin. I would appreciate it if someone can help me narrow things down, at least to a good area.

We are after the following in terms of a rental house and area:

- a special place - not a condo or townhouse or something that's part of a uniform development

- southern charm, nice architecture, a garden, a shady patio

- a pool for lazy days and active days with the toddlers

- in a neighborhood near a a nice, kid-friendly beach - ideally 5-10 walk

- easy access to downtown Charleston for lunches, dinner, shopping or other non-outdoor activities

Is there likely to be such a place? If so, how can I find it without sifting through vrbo.com?

Thanks

Charleston, South...
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1. Re: The Right Place

If you want to be close to a beach, you will need to stay on one of the local islands. The Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island or Folly Beach. Each is roughly 20 min drive from the historic district, depending on time of day and traffic. There are many homes on the Isle of Palms that meet your requirements.

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: The Right Place

August is the hottest month in Charleston. It's traditional for people with the wherewithal to get out of here and go to the mountains of NC, or further north.

Back to you: why have you selected this area for your August vacation?

Charleston, South...
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3. Re: The Right Place

Respectfully.... the OP did not ask us to suggest other places that he might like to visit, but to provide info for this area.

Charleston, South...
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4. Re: The Right Place

Not sure why you used the word "respectfully."

I asked why they chose Charleston. I didn't suggest other places the OP might like to visit in August, though Saratoga jumps to mind.

Three young couple with toddlers are not going to find these things in Charleston.

southern charm, nice architecture, a garden, a shady patio

- a pool for lazy days and active days with the toddlers

- in a neighborhood near a a nice, kid-friendly beach - ideally 5-10 walk

- easy access to downtown Charleston for lunches, dinner, shopping or other non-outdoor activities

Charleston, South...
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5. Re: The Right Place

I used the word "respectfully" because I was trying to be nice. A social grace that you rarely feel any compunction for your lack thereof. I was unaware that someone died and left you God. You are aware of the amenities of every single rental property in the greater Charleston area, not to mention knowing better than the OP what he/she is willing to accept in their rental and whether they should choose some other month for their vacation. They said "is there likely to be such a place?", thus implying that they realize they may not find all of these great things in one location. Millions of people visit in August, to my knowledge, none have melted. Yes, it is hot. Everyone knows it is hot in the south in August.

They live in NYC for heaven's sake, any drive here in Charleston is likely to be "easy access" compared to that.

And yes, I am aware that you will immediately request that this post be deleted.

Edited: 6:55 am, March 04, 2014
Portland, OR
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6. Re: The Right Place

If you can wade your way through their arguments (which appear on practically every forum topic), both have some good points.

- Locals will try to get out in August. It is also the wettest month on average. That having been said, we love visiting in the peak of summer (typically early July, instead of August). We live in Portland, Oregon, but vacation in Charleston every other year (and are originally from the South). Portland has no humidity, no beautiful thunderstorms, and no lightning bugs, so we love a few weeks at the beach there.

- You are not likely to find EVERYTHING you listed in one house there. Probably obvious, but if you value the proximity to Charleston, then it is less likely to find a private home (versus condo, etc.) with a patio, etc.

- Most of the beaches are kid friendly (as opposed to Myrtle Beach, perhaps).

- As mentioned, Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach are about 20 minutes into downtown, do offer houses, but have their share of condos, etc.

- A bit further (30-45 minutes) are Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. What you lose in proximity (and there are still lots of restaurants, etc.), you gain in a higher percentage of homes versus condos (and prices to match), more privacy (both are gated) and more of the other items you listed.

Hope this helps.

Portland, OR
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7. Re: The Right Place

Not sure of your budget, but we stayed at this place for a larger family gathering one year. Fabulous.

pamharringtonexclusives.com/vacation-rentals…

Charleston, South...
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8. Re: The Right Place

Depending on when in August schools in Charleston head back mid August. Making rentals cheaper and accommodations easier to find.

New York, NY
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9. Re: The Right Place

thanks for all the responses, even the impassioned ones!

i worry about the heat and humidity and still wonder if that'll be the ultimate deal-breaker. we want to make sure that this is a relaxing break, and the kids have a chance to run and play outside without suffering from heat exhaustion!

i was really hoping to have all the features i listed - this is going to be our big annual vacation and wanted it to be a special one. by way of background, since it came up, i chose Charleston because i thought it would be a good combo of culture, food, beach and outdoors. we usually vacation somewhere in Europe during the summer, but this year we are trying to save some money while acknowledging that there is much to be offered here in the US without having to go abroad for culture, beauty, etc... plus, i need to something entirely different from NYC or i'll go crazy...

i'm still reluctant, and no less so after reading all the posts, but will keep looking... continued good advice is appreciated...

Isle of Palms...
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10. Re: The Right Place

I played as a child all summer long on Sullivan's Island... and survived. Our daughter has made it to the age of 14. If you're staying in a beach house, you'll have ocean breezes to help. We don't go anywhere in August because it's one of our company's busiest months. Frankly, I don't know any locals, who flee in August, and I grew up here. Plus, there's always AC and sweet tea!

Isle of Palms, Kiawah, and Seabrook will likely all have rental homes with pools, shady piazzas, good neighborhoods, and kid-friendly beaches that are a short walk. If you don't want to undertake the search yourself (don't blame you), just call one of the local real estate management companies. Let them know what you want... then let them find it. I know Isle of Palms has homes that meet your requirements (maybe not a formal garden) because I live on the island.

I believe the short drive from Isle of Palms to downtown Charleston qualifies as easy access. You could even rent a boat and spend the day exploring the waterways and Capers Island, the undeveloped barrier island next to IOP. Do that on a weekday to avoid crowded waterways on the weekends when the locals take to the water.

Charleston has a great combination of culture, history, beaches (and other gorgeous, nature areas). Plus, you won't believe the number of incredible restaurants.