Was The Notebook Filmed on Seabrook Island?

The 2004 romance classic The Notebook was set in the fictional town of Seabrook, but was it actually filmed on Seabrook Island? See where the shots from the movie took place.

Filming Locations

Boone Hall Plantation

This popular tourist spot was used as a backdrop for the Hamilton’s summer home. Several scenes were shot on the property, such as the Hamilton family dinner, which takes place on Boone Hall’s back lawn. Fun fact: the scene in which Ryan Gosling’s character runs into the gate at Boone Hall was not originally scripted, but the director liked it so much he decided to leave it in the final cut.

Cypress Gardens

Remember the lake scene with the flock of swans? That was shot at Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. The geese that were portrayed in the shot weren’t native to the area, so the birds were brought in and had to be trained to follow the boat and appear on screen at the appropriate time. Cypress Garden’s scenes were filmed during January so as to avoid the alligators, which were hibernating at the time.

College of Charleston

The College of Charleston was used for the scenes where Rachel McAdams’ character Allie Hamilton is attending college at New York’s Sarah Lawrence College.

King Street and the American Theater

The scene where Allie and Noah are lying watching the traffic light occurs at King and Mary Streets in downtown Charleston. The movie theater where they catch “Lil’ Abner” together is the American Theater on King Street. The 19th Century William Aiken House on King was used for the film’s wedding scenes. There is also a shot where Noah and Allie are taking a stroll and chatting in which the local store fronts and parking meters were altered to reflect the style of the period.

Martins Point Plantation

Martin’s Point Plantation, historically referenced as Bears Bluff Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, is the home that Noah rebuilds in the movie. The filmmakers initially sought out a run-down house that they could renovate, but eventually decided to use the home at Martin’s Point.

Old Village

Sorry, Seabrook Islanders, the Old Village neighborhood of Mount Pleasant was the actual setting for the town of Seabrook Island. The 1996 Nicholas Sparks’ novel from which the film was adapted was set in the town of New Bern, North Carolina.

All The Epic Ways To Have Fun With Your Kids At The Beach

A trip to the beach with your kids does not have to break the bank! The beach is truly your oyster. All it takes is a little creativity and your family will be laughing and making memories. Here are some amazing ways to have tons of fun at the beach.

 

  1. Play Hopscotch

 

This is a simple, fun one for all ages to play on the beach. Find a stick or shovel to mark out the game. Get some rocks or shells for throwing, and your kids will have a ball.

 

  1. Make a Construction Site

Bring your child’s tonka trucks along and create a construction site that will blow their mind! Gather rocks, shells, water, and obviously sand. Let their creativity do the rest.

 

  1. Play Sand Darts

 

Mark out a dart-board in the sand, and see who can land their shell closest to the bullseye. It takes so little time to set-up, but you’ll be playing for hours.

 

  1. Dig a Hole

You can make just about anything fun when you make it a competition. There are various ways to make something a simple as digging a hole into a fun contest. Who can dig the biggest hole? Who can dig the biggest hole in 5 minutes? Who can hit wet sand first?

Your kids could even incorporate their hole into their castle’s property. It could be a pool for the royal residents.

 

  1. Find Animal Habitats 

 

Here is a way to teach your kids while vacationing, and best part is that they won’t even realize they’re learning. Walk around the beach finding various animal habitats. Teach them about the habitats they’re surrounded by: grasslands, water, and the dunes. If your kids ask you questions you don’t have answers to, look up the answers on Google and it’ll be a learning experience for the entire family.

 

  1. Collect Seashells 

 

Don’t forget the simple pleasure of searching for seashells at the seashore. Kids love this sort of scavenger hunt, and it requires no work on your behalf! They also are perfect for arts and crafts if you bring them home.

 

  1. Design Seashells

 

What do you do with the piles of seashells that are now indispensable to your kids? Get out the sharpies you packed, and let them go to town designing their own shells. Granted if you have toddlers, you’re rolling your eyes right now. But this is a great creative outlet for older kids.

Additionally, after you’ve decorated the shells you can place them around the beach you for future beach-goers to find.

 

  1. Play Trains

 

If your little ones are obsessed with trains, you can create an entire series of tracks in the sand for them. They very well may spend hours chugging Thomas the Tank Engine along the sand tracks.

Using the same concept, you can make roads for matchbox cars. Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t leave the cars at home!

 

  1. Limbo

Limbo is a classic beach game that will get everyone involved, moving, and laughing. Find a jump rope, pole, or stick, turn up the music, and let the games begin.

 

  1. Pictionary in the Sand

 

This is a clever spin on a classic, beloved game. The prime time to play is when the tide is out and the sand is prime for drawing. Use the cards that come with Pictionary or make up your own beach-themed ones.

 

  1. Be a Mermaid for a Day

 

Are your kids obsessed with mermaids? Make their dreams come true. Dig a hole, bury them, and then draw a mermaid body and tail in the sand. To make this even more fun, let them bury you too!

 

  1. Story Time

 

You can only go, go, go so much. Take a breather and gather round your kids for story time. Pack your favorite family read-aloud or a beach-themed one. Granted, you’d rather be wrapped up in your novel, but it’ll make sweet memories for your kids and ingrain a love of books in them.

 

  1. Build a Sandcastle

 

Build a creative sand castle with your kids with minimal toys using what’s around you: rocks, shells, sticks, and leaves. If your kids are older, have a sandcastle building contest. Who can make the tallest castle? Who can make the most creative castle?

 

  1. Save the Planet

 

Picking up trash along the beach with your children is an excellent way to teach responsibility to children. It’ll help ground them and remind them that even at the beach it’s not all about them. It will also provide an opportunity for you to serve alongside them and talk with them about the importance of protecting our earth.

 

  1. Build A Snowman

 

Do you wanna build a snowman? Come on let’s go and play! Sound familiar? Olaf couldn’t survive in summer, but you can build snowmen in the sand with your kids who will thrive in hot climates. Use shovels for arms and legs, hats, sunglasses, whatever you can think up!

 

  1. Melt Your Sandcastle

 

There’s always the tried and true helter-skelter 3-second method of destroying the castle you just spent half an hour building. Or you can slowly destroy it  with water. Your kids will be riveted as they watch it slowly waste away as you pour water from a cup or small bucket over the castle slowly.

 

  1. Take a Picture

One picture that is great to take each year is one of your entire family’s footprints lined up underneath the year drawn out in the sand. It’s meaningful to accumulate a new photo year after year and see how much they’ve (or rather their feet) have grown.

 

  1. Host a Relay Race

 

Divide the kids into teams, and at one end line them up with a bucket of water. At the other end place an empty bucket. The goal is for them to run back and forth with shovels or small cups, seeing who can fill their bucket with water first.

 

  1. Have a Foot Race

 

If you don’t have enough kids for a relay race, do a good old-fashioned foot race. Mark the starting line and finish line in the sand. Once the kids tire of this, have them run the distance individually and try and beat their personal best records.

 

  1. Do Yoga

This is going to take a little brain-storming if you want to avoid getting covered in sand, but it’ll be a welcome calm, relaxing exercise in the middle of an exhausting day in the sun. Lead your kids to strike poses that keep you all from rolling in the sand.

 

  1. Play Skee Ball

 

Bring the beloved game to the beach. Dig holes in the sand to place buckets in, and mark each one with a set number of points. Take turns rolling a ball down toward the buckets and see who can get the most points.

 

  1. Make New Friends

Encourage your children to make friends with those near your tent. It will instill kindness in them and also teach them valuable social skills. Maybe they’ll have a chance to get to know someone who is different from them, someone who isn’t in their daily social circles.

 

  1. Play Musical Towels

 

Bust out some music for a lively game of musical towels. Set up towels folded in squares the same way you would set up chairs for musical chairs. Same rules apply but for this version you’ve got a pretty sweet view.

 

  1. Create a Shoreline Masterpiece

 

Once the tide is low and hard, wet sand in is left in its wake, it’s time to get artistic. Have your children draw their own picture in the sand with a stick. Encourage them to use items they find around them in their masterpiece: flowers, rocks, shells, and leaves. Why not join the party? They’ll love having you participate.

     

  1. Build a Tent

 

Go on hunt for large sticks and gather the towels and beach blankets for this activity. Work together to make a teepee-style hideaway where they can relax and enjoy the shade.

 

  1. Host an Art Contest

 

Challenge your kids to draw in the sand with a stick, each round being a different theme. Who can draw the scariest monster? Who can draw the prettiest flower? Who can draw a flying car?

 

  1. Go on a Beach Scavenger Hunt

For little ones who may be afraid of the water, this is a fun activity that doesn’t involve the big, scary ocean. Create a list of objects for them to find around the beach. Kids of all ages love a good scavenger hunt. Winner chooses where the family is going for dinner!

 

  1. Organize a Beach Ball Relay

 

Organize everyone into two teams, and two people from each team carry the ball to the finish line. Here’s the catch: you can’t use your hands. First one to cross the finish line wins!

 

  1. Play Tic-Tac-Toe

 

Sketch a tic-tac-toe board in the sand and use creative beach treasures for the xs and the os. Use the shells from your seashell hunt or little rocks to mark your place. Three in a row wins the game!

 

  1. Balance on a Boogie Board

Line up all the kids at the water’s edge, everyone standing on their own boogie board. As the waves come and go see who can stay on their board the longest. Last one standing wins.

 

31 Re-Create the Olympics

 

This is an entertaining activity that will get everyone moving and laughing. Organize family-friendly beachside olympic games. Here are some ideas to get your gears turning. Make a balance beam in the sand, set-up hurdles, use a shell for a discus throw, play beach volleyball, or have a 20-yard dash.

 

  1. Beach Ball Toss

 

This is sure to get the little ones laughing. Everyone holds a corner of a blanket. Place a beach ball on top and get it bouncing. See if you can work together to keep it from falling to the ground.

 

Conclusion

I’m sure as you read through this list a few of these fun activities jumped out at you! Sometimes it can be difficult to keep kids occupied at the beach, but with this list in hand, you’ll never run out of ideas.

 

Hurricane Irma: What it Means for Seabrook Island

Hurricane Irma looks like she might pose a real threat to the southeastern United States. So what’s that mean for Seabrook Island?

As of now, the hurricane does not have a direct trajectory toward Seabrook. However, storms change paths quickly, so it’s important to keep an eye on the situation and take reasonable steps to prepare should the storm make landfall in our area.

Here are some things to do in advance….

Be Prepared to Evacuate

No matter where you are on the coast, it’s important to know the proper protocol for your area’s Evacuation Route. Pay attention to meteorologists, and if it heads our way, evacuation notices. Be safe and evacuate early to avoid traffic and booked hotel rooms.

If you are on vacation, check with the homeowner or rental agency to see what the plan of action is regarding refunds. Don’t ruin a vacation by acting too early, but know your options, so decisions are easy to make if the time comes.

Gas Up the Vehicle

Make sure your vehicles have enough fuel to make it long distances or while sitting in traffic in the event you do evacuate. If you stay, local stations are often unable to dispense due to shortages or electricity outages.

Get Cash

While traveling, it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand. If you are in an area where the electricity goes down, that means banks and ATMs will be unable to dispense cash. Businesses will also be unable to take credit or debit cards. Have enough cash on hand and secure so that you can buy supplies after the storm when necessary.

Get Supplies

It’s a good idea for anyone living near the coast to have a set of supplies for an emergency like a hurricane. Make sure to get enough food and water to last year each person in the family or group one week.

Also, if you take medicine, make sure you have at least a 30 day supply on hand as pharmacies will likely close in the event of a strong hurricane.

Be Prepared to Communicate

Batteries for radios and alternative chargers for phones and other devices will help if the power goes out. Having a method to communicate and find out about important updates is important, so make sure you have a way to hear the news.

 

Stay safe and we’ll update this blog as conditions change!

Sunken Boats Present Hazard to Other Boaters, Environment

Just as there are few things better than boating in the lowcountry, there are few things worse than being the owner of a sunken vessel.

Boats sink – it happens. It’s awful, but it happens. What’s really unfortunate about a sunken boat is that is can be costly to have the vessel removed. Plus, the cost of removal falls onto the owner.

While there are millions of sunken items on the ocean floor (shout out to the Titanic), it’s problematic when these sunken items present a problem. Those problems include everything from pollution to the dangers of damaging other vessels when masts or other parts of the vessel protrude from the water.

The waterways around Charleston are full of sunken boats. Anyone who has taken a boat up the North Edisto River or Folly River has certainly seen these vessels. During the high season, navigating around these abandoned boats can be tricky.

The Department of Natural Resources marks some protrusions with buoys to help protect other boaters, but they can’t get to everything.

Various grants provided to government entities do help to remove the sunken vessels from the waterways, but the problem is bigger than anything a grant can cover. Plus, it’s the responsibility of boat owners to remove their own vessels when they sink.

Removing a boat from the water is expensive and can costs anywhere from $3,000 to more than $10,000. This, of course, falls under the responsibility of the boat owner. However, many owners decide to just walk (or swim) away from the problem.

That’s where the problem comes in. When the owner of a sunken boat is known, it’s possible for officials from the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Ocean and Coastal Resource Management to require the removal of the boat. But finding the owner of a vessel that’s been sunken for years is difficult.

To combat this problem, identifying who the owners are of sunken boats and reporting these individuals to the proper authorities would help clear the waterways and reduce the eyesores.

First, make sure the boat is truly abandoned. According to the South Carolina Boating and Safety Act of 1991, any watercraft that has been moored, stranded, wrecked, sinking, or sunk, or unattended for more than 45 days is abandoned. If the vessel is legally moored or on private property, it is not abandoned.

The owner of an abandoned vessel is also responsible for any damage or injury the abandoned vessel may cause.

The best way to combat the problem of the abandoned boats in the South Carolina waterways is to hold owners of vessels accountable. Contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources with the hull numbers of abandoned boats to identify the owner.

If an owner can’t be located, it’s also possible to take ownership of the abandoned boat by contacting the Marine Title Authority, although that means you will have to pay the cost of removing the boat from the water.

Many of the boats in the Charleston area’s waterways have been abandoned for so long that it is likely impossible to find the original owners, which means ridding these boats from the water is unlikely.

However, to prevent this problem from getting worse, it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance of boats and make sure the proper precautions are taken in the event of inclement weather.

Should your boat sink in the future for whatever reason, do the responsible thing and have it removed from the water.

Experience a Total Eclipse on the South Carolina Coast

The Great American Eclipse will traverse the United States for 94 minutes before exiting off the coast of South Carolina on August 21.

While hundreds of thousands of visitors are already flocking to SC for vacations as high season winds down, even more are expected to visit during the eclipse. This is because SC is the only location to experience totality within 100 miles for millions in the region.

Those in the Charleston will experience the eclipse from 2:46-2:48 p.m. on Aug. 21. Totality will be visible over Charleston and its beaches (including Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Seabrook, Kiowah Island, and Edisto Beach) at 2:46 p.m.

Weather conditions are forecasted to be fair on Aug. 21, meaning there should be a clear view of the eclipse in the Charleston area.

Eclipse Activities in the Area

To view the eclipse from the water for a truly unique experience, considering one of the following events:

Stay on Seabrook Island and join us for a viewing on The Ocean Terrace! This is a private event for those staying on the island. The Club will provide live music & bar service will be available for purchase from 1:30-3:30pm.  The first 450 people with viewing glasses for the event. Book a Seabrook Island vacation home.

Celebrate this rare celestial event at Freshfields Village! On Monday, August 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. enjoy a variety of family friendly activities, music, food and more on the Village Green. A limited number of free eclipse glasses will distributed to the first attendees.

Edisto Watersports and Tackle is offering a ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ eclipse excursion from 1 – 4 p.m. This three-hour river cruise is $60 for adults and $30 for kids. Edisto Watersports and Tackle is also offering a kayak excurision from 1:30 – 4 p.m. This event is $50 for adults and $25 for kids.

If you want to get back to nature, try the Eclipse Kayak Tour to Capers on Aug. 20. This event involves paddling out to Caper’s Island to camp the day before the eclipse. Campers will explore the island and wait for the view of the eclipse before heading back to the mainland. Call 843-568-3222 for more information about this event.

Rather stay on dry land? Check out “Sip The Eclipse” Rooftop Blackout Event at the Carolina Ale House above Marion Square. The rooftop opens at 1 p.m. There will be a DJ and food and drink specials. Call 843-312-1947 for more information.

Fleet Landing, located at 186 Concord St., is hosting the Blackout Bash from noon to 4 p.m. and will offer beer, music, food, and fun during the eclipse. Attendees will also be given glasses. Food trucks and vendors will be on site.

Admission to this event is free. Call 843-722-8100 for more information.

Another great location to view the eclipse is on Pier 101 on Folly Beach. The total eclipse viewing party is from 1-4 p.m. and features live music from the Band of Brothers. Contact 843-633-0246 for more information.

Stay Safe During the Eclipse

Remember to protect your eyes from the eclipse by wearing special glasses. Also, with the influx of people in the area, travel time will take longer as the roads are congested. Allow yourself extra time to get to and from you destination.

7 Ways to Start 2017 Off Right on Seabrook Island

Whether 2016 is ending on a high note or low note in your life, you’re undoubtedly already looking forward to kicking off 2017. And, naturally, you want to do so on the right foot — who’s to say this won’t be your best year yet?

The mere act of existing at Seabrook Island ensures you’re off to a pretty great start. If you’re looking for more actionable ways to set the right tone for 2017, though, here are a few suggestions.

  1. Cover some ground

As 2016 comes to a close, it’s easy to forget how much you actually accomplished or how many good things happened throughout the year. Doing a yearly review can help give you some much needed perspective before heading into a new year, and there’s no better time for doing such a review than during a long stroll — or bike ride — on the serene and expansive stretches of beach at Seabrook.

  1. Pick a new hobby

If looking back over the last year leaves you feeling as though perhaps your life has grown a bit stale, it might be time to expand your horizons. New year, new hobby! Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from in this lovely island town, from bird-watching and beachcombing to tennis and golf.

  1. Break a sweat

There’s a quote by Isak Dinesen that reminds us, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” Just being at Seabrook takes care of the ‘sea’ part, and you can easily find the ‘sweat’ — and quite possibly ‘tears,’ too — at The Lake House Fitness & Wellness Center. Inside the 26,000 sq. ft. facility, you’ll find everything you need to start the year off healthy and happy.

  1. Hit the High Seas

Need a reminder of how vast and wonderful our world is? Charter a boat and head for open water. There are few things more breathtaking (and humbling) than staring out at the seemingly endless surface of the ocean. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider making it a fishing charter so you can reel in a big one while you marvel at the sea’s wonders.

  1. Say Hello

To anyone, or everyone. The truth of the matter is that one of the most beautiful things about being on Seabrook is the sense of community. When you pass by someone at Bohicket Marina or riding bikes along a trail canopied by moss-covered oaks, smile and say hi. If the moment warrants it, introduce yourself. Sharing the good fortune of being on the island at the same time makes for an instant bond.

  1. Saddle Up

Have you ever watched a movie where people gallop horseback through the surf on a sandy shore somewhere and thought, “One day, I’m going to go horseback riding on the beach, too.” Well, what are you waiting for? You can make your “one day” happen in 2017 with a quick visit to Seabrook’s Equestrian Center.

  1. Fix a Plate

Any Southerner worth their salt knows you can’t very well head into a new year on the right foot without fixin’ a heaping helping of food on New Year’s Day. Of course, this can’t just be any food — we’ve got a system ’round here. To up your odds of having a year filled with fortune, find a local restaurant serving Hoppin’ John (the black-eyed peas represent coins), collard greens (representing cash),

Wildlife Abounds at Seabrook Island, SC

Despite a few hiccups this year — ahem, Hurricane Matthew — Mother Nature is still putting on quite a show at Seabrook Island where wildlife is concerned.

In the latest community blog, residents noted sightings of a wide variety of species, ranging from two flocks of turkeys to plenty of piebald deer. In fact, an average of 70 deer were tallied during the annual deer survey back in September.

What’s more, it’s abundantly clear that residents at Seabrook love their wildlife. Part of the Island’s turtle patrol, Lucy Hoover reported that the volunteer-centric group identified 60 turtle nests this summer. (It’s worth noting here that Seabrook was recognized for logging the most volunteer hours in the state.)

If you’re wondering what wildlife might cross your path should you head to Seabrook, well, the answer is a lot. Seabrook is home to some of the most diverse and beautiful wildlife in South Carolina.

Naturally, some are far more dormant — and therefore less visible — during the cooler winter months, but they’re still around. Come spring, they’ll be out in abundance.

The wide cross-section of wildlife that calls Seabrook home includes turkey, deer, and turtle, as mentioned above. But it also includes alligators, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, dolphins, many species of venomous and non-venomous snakes, and a thriving variety of bird species.

In fact, there are so many amazing bird species to see on the Island that locals have formed a dedicated group for watching them. Called the Seabrook Island Birders, or SIB, the group often meets for birding activities. Just last Thursday, several members of the group met for a three hour hike, during which they noted an impressive total of 45 species.

Have you ever had a memorable wildlife sighting at Seabrook? Head to our Facebook page and tell us all about it!

17 New Beach Reads Perfect for Winding Down Summer

Summer isn’t over just yet! Sure, September has officially rolled around, which means autumn is right around the corner. But here in the South, we all know we’ve got at least a few more weeks of sunny summertime weather to soak up before we break out our scarves and boots.

In fact, some (read: me) may argue this is the best time of the year to hit the beach – the crowds have thinned, the skies are crisp and clear, and it has de-humidified enough that it doesn’t feel like the air is trying to wrap you in a hot, sticky hug all the time.

And there’s no better way to unwind at the beach than with an entertaining tome or two. Make the most of summer’s last stretch by spending your time sprawled on the sand with your nose in one of these books.

  1. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers, Modern Lovers is a smart, entertaining novel about love and adulthood in a group of tight-knit friends from college – whose own kids are now going to college. The Skimm describes it aptly as “Friends meets Almost Famous meets the beach read you’ll be remembering all summer.” Sign me up!

  1. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

If you love suspense, you won’t be able to put down Before the Fall – the story of the plane crash of a private jet leaving Martha’s Vineyard, leaving only two survivors. Written by the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo, this mesmerizing novel shifts in narrative from the aftermath to the backstories of other passengers as conspiracy theories begin to surface.

  1. Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright

A road trip, an adventure of self-discovery, The King… what more could you possibly ask for in a beach read? Last Ride to Graceland follows blues musician Cory Ainsworth as she seeks to answer a loaded question: is Elvis Presley her father? Bonus: the book takes place partially in coastal South Carolina, where Cory’s mom settled after a rebellious year being a backup singer for The King.

  1. Arrowood by Laura McHugh

If you missed Laura McHugh’s highly successful 2014 mystery, The Weight of Blood, you can see what all the fuss over this author is about with her sophomore effort. A gothic thriller, Arrowood is set in an ornate historical house in southern Iowa – the very same home from which protagonist Arden Arrowood’s twin sisters disappeared twenty years ago. Arden returns to her roots seeking answers, but the truth she finds may be even more devastating than she imagined.

  1. Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Feeling nostalgic? Let Alice Adams’ debut novel, Invincible Summer, take you back to your collegiate years and all the fuzzy feelings that come along with making connections at the threshold of adulthood. Adams tells the story of four friends over a period of twenty years as they navigate their 20s and 30s and increasingly long for the magic of youth (and one another).

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

You can’t very well have a must-read list without one of summer ‘16’s most highly anticipated releases, can you? Set 19 years after the last Harry Potter installment, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child finds our wizarding hero an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic and married father of three. The play delves into Harry’s regrets over his past, while also exploring the narrative of Harry’s youngest son Albus struggling under the weight of the family legacy on his shoulders.

  1. I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

Did you love How Stella Got Her Groove Back? How about Waiting to Exhale? Then you’re going to devour Terry McMillan’s newest effort, I Almost Forgot About You. An empowering story of charting your destiny, McMillan’s novel follows along as established optometrist Georgia Young quits her job and sets off on a wild journey that just might lead to a second chance at love.

  1. Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

When Nora hops a train from London to visit her sister in the pastoral countryside, she gets the shock of a lifetime – her sister has been brutally murdered in her own home. As Nora becomes more and more consumed with uncovering the truth, she begins to lose herself to the obsession. The debut of author Flynn Berry, this psychological thriller will grip you as it thrusts you into a haunting world of grief… and the complex bond between sisters.

  1. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Like The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl before it, All the Missing Girls proves author Megan Miranda is a master of suspense. This time, the story focuses on the disappearance of two young women a decade apart. Even more fascinating? It’s told in reverse, as protagonist Nicolette Farrell tries to unravel the complicated truth surrounding her rural hometown.

  1. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Sixty-nine-year-old widower Arthur Pepper has spent the year following his beloved wife Miriam’s death doing the exact same things he did when she was alive: get up at 7:30am, pull on the same grey slacks and mustard-colored sweater vest, water his fern, and tend to his garden. But something shifts on the first anniversary of Miriam’s death, when Arthur finds a gold charm bracelet he’d never seen in his late wife’s belongings. What ensues is an irresistible odyssey as Arthur travels the globe in search of answers.

  1. Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy

In a sleepy Kentucky town, two families wrestle with the secrets that have defined them – and their relationship with each other – for generations. A captivating effort from Edgar Award-winning writer Lori Roy, Let Me Die in His Footsteps is a fresh take on the classic tale of tragedy in a small town and how its impact lingers long enough to become mythic.

  1. Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

If you’re looking for a book that will charm you nearly to death, look no further than Etta and Otto and Russell and James – the story of an eighty-two-year-old woman from the rolling farmland of Saskatchewan who decides to chase her lifelong dream of seeing the sea. Left behind to drift in their memories are Etta’s husband Otto and their neighbor Russell, who has loved Etta for more than fifty years.

  1. Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard

Who doesn’t love a good recipe? And, even better, who doesn’t love a great book? When you bring the two together, you’ve got an undeniably winning combo – and that’s precisely what bestselling author Elizabeth Bard offers in her latest mesmerizing tome, Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes. The stories of life in the tiny village of Céreste will enthrall you, and the recipes will give you something to look forward to when your nose isn’t buried in the book.

  1. As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner

Sure to resonate with summer beachcombers, As Close to Us paints a poignant and moving picture of three Jewish sisters and the beachfront cottage they frequent with their families… until a horrific tragedy takes place on the sisters’ watch and transforms their sun-kissed world forever.

  1. Marrow Island by Alexis Smith

When Lucie Bowen left Marrow Island along with her mother twenty years ago, she didn’t imagine she’d return to the same eerie place that an earthquake two decades before had turned into an environmental disaster zone. But when a colony inexplicably emerges there, Lucie feels compelled to explore the creepy surroundings she once called home and uncover what has gone awry.

  1. The Girls by Emma Cline

The book with arguably the most buzz coming into the summer, The Girls by Emma Cline earned its young author a multi-million dollar book deal from Random House following a bidding war among 12 publishers. And it’s not hard to see why – her debut novel loosely based on the infamous Manson Family cult of young women living in a hippie commune in 1969 is transfixing (and impossible to put down).

  1. Life from Scratch by Sasha Martin

Life from Scratch follows food blogger Sasha Martin’s delectable journey as she sets out to cook – and eat – a meal from every country in the world over the course of 195 weeks. The subsequent life stories that emerge in the process are entirely evocative and, yes, will have you drooling on your dog-eared pages.

 

7 Unforgettable Experiences to Have When You Visit Seabrook Island

Once you visit the dreamy beachfront community of Seabrook Island, you’re never really the same. This place simply has a way of changing you, of getting a hold of your soul and never letting go. And while much of that is due to the island’s inherent beauty, it also has to do with the fact that Seabrook is more than just a place — it’s an experience.

There are certain things you can do when you’re here that you can’t do anywhere else, and those things have a inimitable quality. So the next time you come to town, give one (or more) of the following pastimes a try. We promise you’ll never forget your trip.

Celebrate your little swashbucklers on a pirate voyage

You’ll secure cool parent status for life when you set sail on the Black Ghost out of Bohicket Marina with your budding buccaneers! Pirates of Charleston offers an hour and a half long adventure cruise where your kids can dress like pirates, get their faces painted, earn their own pirate name, learn how to speak like a swashbuckler, and embark upon a treasure hunt on the high seas. Don’t worry, moms and dads — the Black Ghost is Coast Guard inspected and approved.

Learn about local biodiversity at Camp St. Christopher

Coming from someone who spent many summers visiting Camp. St. Christopher as a child, I can tell you it’s the kind of experience kids can’t shake… nor do they want to. Located on over 314 acres of beach, maritime forest and undisturbed salt marsh on Seabrook, Camp St. Christopher fosters a true love and appreciation for our coast’s unique biodiversity. Your child will relish activities like walking in the woods, examining marsh water through a microscope, swimming near dolphins, and fishing off the dock. You can even get in on the fun — if your kid is in kindergarten through second grade, you can come to camp with them for a small stipend.

Take a horseback ride through the North Beach surf

There’s a reason horseback rides on the beach are featured so prominently in cinema: they are every bit as magical as they’re made out to be. There’s just something about trotting along the huge expanse of sand at North Beach  hearing your horse’s hooves hit the water, watching the waves break in the distance, and tasting the tangy salt air in your lungs that makes a person feel truly alive.

Grab a bite and watch the boats come and go at Bohicket Marina & Market

Nestled between Kiawah and Seabrook, Bohicket Marina & Market is the perfect place to dock a boat — or sit outside and watch them roll in. While this may not be the flashiest way to spend the day, there’s something incredibly restorative about digging into a coconut lime mahi mahi taco (or three) from Nacho Mama’s Taqueria and watching the occasional dolphin fin break through the sea’s glassy surface.

Sink a hole-in-one at Crooked Oaks Golf Course

Any golfer will tell you that Seabrook is hard to beat for its spectacular scenery and distinctive challenges. Bonus? Crooked Oaks is the only golf course in the Lowcountry that was designed by the famous Robert Trent Jones, Sr., whose masterful courses can be found in 43 or the 50 States and in a whopping 35 countries.

Cruise out of the Bohicket Charter Dock for world-class fishing

You never know what you might pull up when you charter a boat and cast your line in the waters off the coast of Seabrook. But from Spanish mackerel to marlin and sharks, you can rest assured that whatever you reel in will be worth the excursion. If you haven’t crossed the threshold from hobbyist to avid fisherman yet, don’t worry — the world-class fishing you’ll find when you charter a boat out of Bohicket will take your obsession to the next level.

Catch a spectacular sunset at Pelican Beach

The locals affectionately refer to this beloved spot as “Sunset Beach”… for obvious reasons, of course! Because Seabrook has some of the longest spans of beach along the Carolinas’ coastline, it boasts some of the best leisurely beach activities — and that most certainly includes soaking up the spectacular sunsets that are essentially a given during the late summer. Cozying up on a pristine stretch of sandy beach beneath the crimson cast of the setting sun? Yes, please.

 

Charleston’s Latest Award: World’s Friendliest!

If you’ve ever thought, upon spending time at Seabrook Island, “The people here might just be the nicest people in the world,” well, you wouldn’t be alone – apparently, people all over the world have been having that same epiphany about the people of the Charleston area.

As you may remember, Travel + Leisure Magazine declared Charleston the “Best City in the World” just last month. But this week, the Holy City is being honored with a distinction its residents are undoubtedly particularly pleased with.

In their highly anticipated 29th annual Reader’s Choice Awards, Conde Nast Traveler just named Charleston the friendliest city in the world. Not just the U.S., mind you, which is a title the Holy City has held for many years.

This year, travelers who’ve hopped all over the globe gushed about how wonderfully kind and gregarious the good people of Charleston are. “Charleston is by far my favorite city!” one such traveler said. “It has the charm of the South, the sophistication of the city, and a warmth and friendliness that is unmatched,” said another.

According to Conde Nast deputy digital editor Laura Redman, Charleston is “having a moment.”

With more people than ever visiting our fair city, being named the friendliest place on the planet is a pretty impressive feat – despite steady growth, we’ve managed to maintain the utmost levels of Southern hospitality.

What’s even more special about that is the fact that the Charleston area is such a melting pot. We are made up of people from all over the world who’ve happily adopted our friendly demeanor or who moved to the area because it was in line with their own perspective.

On Seabrook, which is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, this intrinsic charm is easily apparent in the way people will stop and talk to each other, wave as they ride their bikes down tree-lined lanes and always, always have a smile at the ready.