A 72 Hour Staycation With Friends

We all know we live in paradise, so when your friends come to town, show off our little slice of heaven with SiP’s guide to the best way to fritter away a long weekend with friends. By Carol Antman. Photos by Steve Rosamilia.

Day 1- Beach Rides, Retail & Rum


Recalibrate visitors to island time with a beach bike ride. Those “mountain” bikes just pretend they’re tough — typical models prefer cruising the hard sand at low tide. In need of a spare beach bike with fatter tires for softer sand? There are rentals available from Sealand Adventure Sports on Middle Street. While you’re out, swing by The Co-op for a gourmet picnic. The California Turkey or Caprese sandwiches will fit right into your basket and make for a fine bite on the beach with your pals.


After you rinse off the sand, rouse yourself for a little retail therapy. Ashley Martin’s tiny Goldbug Shop has handmade artisan jewelry inspired by surf culture and travels to Kenya, Indonesia, Samoa and Hawaii. Next door at the Sandpiper Gallery, the island’s artist colony is well represented by Jim Darlington’s striking portraits and Leslie Pratt Thomas’s beach scenes. Guest not dressed for the weather? Spruce up casual wardrobes and crumpled suitcase living at the surprisingly affordable Almost Pink.


Enough activity. It’s time to slow down. Prepare your friends for the first stop on your staycation’s recurring golf cart pub crawl: At Home Team BBQ they mix up gallons of their popular signature frozen cocktail with two kinds of rum along with pineapple and orange juices, cream of coconut and nutmeg. It’s called a Game Changer. If you don’t already know, you’ll see why. Warning — this is the day your friends begin planning their next trip to see you again.

Day 2- Paddle, eat & Get S’more Beach time

An island vacation isn’t complete until you get out on the water. A paddle in a kayak from Coastal Expeditions will give guests a whole new perspective. Climb aboard at Shem Creek, the Isle of Palms Marina, or ask the company to deliver one right to your home. Once on the water, drift into the spartina grass, hunt for shark’s teeth on uninhabited islands, or spot dolphins and manatees.


Hungry now? Replenish at Poe’s Tavern. Treat out-of-towners to one of the poetic variations of South Carolina’s best burger, according to Business Insider. The Annabel Lee, topped with a crab cake, might have clinched it. Dessert calls for a special treat at Beardcat’s, which reviewers call “the definition of a gem.” It’s hard to choose just one or two of the constantly changing flavors of superb homemade ice cream and gelato.


As the afternoon wanes, load up your wagon with firewood and head to the beach for a uniquely Sullivan’s Island experience. This is one of the few places on the coast that you can build a bonfire. Plan by getting a permit from Town Hall and enjoy your s’mores as the moon rises over the ocean.

Day 3 - Greet the Sun, Walk in history, cheers!

 No doubt your friends will want some photos of sunrise on the ocean to show landlocked buds at home. Join the dog lovers and joggers for a morning frolic in the waves or kick back and enjoy the scenery in pajamas: just park at Breach Inlet for spectacular sunrise viewing.


Next stop is the historic Edgar Allan Poe Library for a book of poetry by its name - sake and a former island soldier. Take it to Fort Moultrie to elevate a staycation with a little history and poetry. The fort’s spooky labyrinthine passages were Poe’s muse. His spirit might give you goosebumps as your pals traipse along, muttering “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary….”

From up high near the signal flags, you’ll be able to see couples strolling hand in hand on the beach. It’s a perfect place to unleash your inner bard and recite, “It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea….”

Love and history have likely made your friends fall for the island, so it’s time for another stop on the golf cart pub crawl to seal the deal. True islanders know that a golf cart’s personality is essential, so make friends feel like family and encourage them to put a flag, sign or tinseled decoration on your cart and join the slow parade (or actual decorated golf cart parade on the 4th of July). Channel some Jimmy Buffet and meander down to Mex 1 for one of their creative margaritas or their award-winning Tequila Mockingbird.

Ahh island life. You’re all feeling it now.