Located off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, Kiawah Island is a sea island abounding with natural life. With marshes home to turtles, whitetail deer, and seabirds, alongside carefully protected sand dunes and maritime forests, Kiawah is a true world of its own; a place, as they say, to get away from it all. It’s no wonder why so many people choose to vacation here, live here part-time, or secure Kiawah as their full-time residence.
Pam Harrington herself is a Kiawah expert and enthusiast, and has lived most of her adult life in South Carolina. Her fondness for the island led her to, in 1978, open Pam Harrington Exclusives: A company dedicated to aiding clients in discovering the wonder of Kiawah for themselves. Whether assisting vacationers in finding breathtaking seasonal rentals, or securing a permanent home on the island for families, no one knows Kiawah better than Pam Harrington.
“I work with a lot of clients looking for that special place to bring their families; a place that’s totally about fun and beaches and golf and getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life,” explains Harrington. “We certainly offer a product that allows you to do just that. There are just so many great things happening here.” For a weekend away, she rounded up some of her favorite things to eat, see, shop and do.
For a breezy beach morning, breakfast, or brunch, Jasmine Porch features a variety of Southern favorites such as their Lowcountry Eggs Benedict, Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes, and classic Shrimp and Grits. Pair it with a side of their Griddled Ham, Chicken-Apple Sausage, or the Parisian Croissants.
Afterward, head to Bohicket Marina to kayak or paddleboard. If it’s your first time, Waterdog Paddle is great for beginners of all ages, and Charleston Paddleboard Co. provides transportation to and from your lesson. Also, consider a fishing or sailing charter with Lil’ Darlin Charters and Sweetwater Sailing for a harbor cruise or sunset dolphin watching. For chair and umbrella rentals, contact Butch at Island Services. Pam’s best advice? “There’s no better way to enjoy Kiawah than simply relaxing on the beach, enjoying the beautiful nature and surroundings.” We couldn’t agree more.
As lunchtime rolls around, La Tela Pizzeria, located at Freshfields, specializes in woodfired pizzas, pasta, mozzarella, and bread, all made in-house with ingredients sourced from local farmers on Johns Island and Wadmalaw Island. Additionally, Vincent’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain serves up old school hotdogs, hamburgers, malts, milkshakes, and ice creams.
During the afternoon, get a massage at Urban Nirvana, or consider a visit to Sanctuary Spa for an all-day luxury treatment. Also, Surfscooter provides bicycles for rent, perfect for exploring the island’s thirty miles of paved trails and ten miles of smooth beaches. For some afternoon shopping, Pam’s personal favorite spot is Indigo Books, an independent bookstore with a wide selection of books across various genres, unique greeting cards, beautiful stationary, and quality journals.
After a busy day, it’s time for dinner. Hege’s at Freshfield serves French cuisine comprised from fresh, regionally-sourced ingredients. Some of their specialities include Calves Liver and Chicken Parmesan, with adventurous appetizers such as French Escargot in the Shell and Napa Valley “Pizzetta.” Or, for a local seafood, head to the Sushi Lounge at The Ocean Room for a variety of seafood small plates, maki rolls, cocktails, and wine.
When selecting where to stay, the East Beach is centrally located on the island, close to spots such as Night Heron Park and The Sanctuary, alongside spots for golf and tennis. Nearby, Vanderhorst Plantation is easily accessible by bike, and West Beach is only about seven minutes away. Whichever location you select, Pam explains that there are plenty of options to choose from, including both oceanfront and off-ocean villas.
Whether you spend all day laying beachside, exploring the Island’s scenery, or lounging at the spa, Kiawah is a destination unlike any other.