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We have removed thousands of trees over the years. However, we never recommend tree removal if it's not warranted. Some South Carolina tree service companies tend to remove trees when they should be saved or simply pruned. Others go the opposite direction and never recommend tree removal.

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Latest News in Sullivan's Island, SC

9 Best Small Towns to Live in the Carolinas

If you're looking for a small town to call home in the Carolinas, you can't go wrong with any of these nine charming communities. From the historic streets of Beaufort to the sunny beaches of Sullivan's Island, each of these towns has its own unique appeal. And with a variety of shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities to enjoy, you'll never find yourself bored in any of these delightful places.Waxhaw, NC ...

If you're looking for a small town to call home in the Carolinas, you can't go wrong with any of these nine charming communities. From the historic streets of Beaufort to the sunny beaches of Sullivan's Island, each of these towns has its own unique appeal. And with a variety of shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities to enjoy, you'll never find yourself bored in any of these delightful places.

Waxhaw, NC

Nestled in the heart of Union County, Waxhaw is a remarkable small town with a population of just over 16,000 people. This picturesque community is known for its beautiful historic homes, brick-lined streets, and friendly Southern hospitality. With its close proximity to Charlotte, Waxhaw is the perfect place to call home for those who want to experience all the benefits of city living while still enjoying the peace and quiet of a small town.

Summerville, SC

With its idyllic setting and friendly Southern charm, it's no wonder that Summerville has been nicknamed the "Flowertown in the Pines." This picturesque small town, which is located just 30 minutes from Charleston, is home to more than 53,000 people. Summerville is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, as well as its variety of shops and restaurants. And with a number of annual festivals and events, there's always something going on in this lively community.

Pinehurst, NC

Pinehurst is a historic small town located in the heart of North Carolina's sandhills region. This charming community is home to just over 16,000 people and is known for its beautiful pine trees and golf courses. In fact, Pinehurst is home to some championship golf courses, making it a haven for golf enthusiasts from all over the world. If you're looking for a small town with a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere, Pinehurst is the perfect place for you.

Aiken, SC

Aiken is a small city with a lot to offer. Located in the heart of South Carolina's horse country, Aiken is home to more than 30,000 people. This historic community is known for its beautiful antebellum homes, as well as its lively downtown area, which features a variety of shops and restaurants. Aiken is also a popular destination for equestrians, as it is home to several world-class equestrian facilities.

Beaufort, SC

Beaufort is a small city with a big history. Located on the coast of South Carolina, Beaufort is home to more than 13,000 people. This historic community is known for its beautiful homes, as well as its scenic waterfront setting. Beaufort is also a popular destination for those who enjoy the outdoors, as it offers a variety of opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking.

Davidson, NC

Davidson is a small town with a big heart. Located just 25 minutes from Charlotte, IT is home to less than 13,000 people but is packed with charm. This vibrant community is known for its lively downtown area, which features a variety of shops and restaurants. Davidson College, a highly respected liberal arts school, also calls Davidson home. And with its close proximity to Lake Norman, residents of Davidson have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Sullivan's Island, SC

Sullivan's Island is a small island community located off the coast of South Carolina. This beautiful island is home to more than 2,100 people and is known for its sandy beaches, historic fortifications, and lush forests. Sullivan's Island is also a popular destination for birdwatchers, as it is home to a variety of unique and interesting bird species. If you're looking for a small town with a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, Sullivan's Island is the perfect place for you.

Isle of Palms, SC

Isle of Palms is a small island village also located off the coast of South Carolina. This lovely island is home to more than 4,000 people and is known for its sandy beaches, golf courses, and luxury resorts. Isle of Palms is also a popular destination for nature lovers, as it features a variety of parks and nature trails.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach is a small town located in South Carolina. It was voted the best small town to live in the Carolinas. Myrtle Beach is well known for its beautiful beaches, golf courses, and family-friendly attractions. With a population of just over 30,000, the town is home to several famous golf courses and is also known for Ripley's Aquarium, Broadway at the Beach, and Barefoot Landing, to name a few.

Myrtle Beach is a great place to live if you're looking for a small town with a lot to offer.

In Summary

If you’re looking for a small town to call home in the Carolinas, you can’t go wrong with any of these nine charming communities. With a variety of shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities to enjoy, you’ll never find yourself bored in any of these delightful places. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring today! Do you have any tips or tricks for living in a small town? Let us know in the comments below!

Mt. Pleasant adjusting short-term rental rules, number cap and taxes

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Mount Pleasant is changing its options and limits on short-term rental regulations. The town first implemented a short-term rental policy in 2020.The planning committee decided rentals should not make up more than 1% of the town’s residential property, and owners would have to apply for a permit and pay a special tax. The 1% calculation allowed 437 rental properties in the town.Planning Director Michele Reed says short-term property ordinances are new to a lot of cities in the past few years....

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Mount Pleasant is changing its options and limits on short-term rental regulations. The town first implemented a short-term rental policy in 2020.

The planning committee decided rentals should not make up more than 1% of the town’s residential property, and owners would have to apply for a permit and pay a special tax. The 1% calculation allowed 437 rental properties in the town.

Planning Director Michele Reed says short-term property ordinances are new to a lot of cities in the past few years.

“About four years ago, they decided to have staff start kind of conducting some public meetings and start doing some research on what are other municipalities doing and we did we looked at we looked at Folly Beach and Sullivan’s Island, the City of Charleston, and then we looked at municipalities and cities in other states to see how other folks did in other areas of the country,” Reed says.

Now the city is working to refine the ordinance. They will cap applications at 400 short-term rentals and offer two types of applications for owners. Owners who rent out between 24 and 72 nights a year, will pay a $250 application fee and a 4% tax on their property. Owners who rent out more than 72 nights a year will pay a $1,500 application fee and a 6% tax on their property.

“You recognize things as it’s put in place and you begin to administer it. You can’t write the perfect ordinance. So you see where there’s loopholes or you see where there’s problems or the language isn’t crystal clear. And so you see where those changes need to be made. We’ve done that a few times. And now we’re seeing, people do this for different reasons. And have different needs. So maybe we can accommodate that through changing up the program and how we operate it a little bit,” Reed says.

Reed says the application fees basically cover the cost to the planning department to operate the program. When it comes to the rental taxes, between the county and other sources, Mount Pleasant gets about 1% of the money from short-term rentals.

“I think council will recognize that if they didn’t, it could get out of control. And to kind of, not only protect those that want to operate, but also to protect the existing quality of our neighborhoods and the community so that they wouldn’t overtake neighborhoods and things like that,” Reed says.

Reed says all current short-term rental operators will have a chance to reapply before opening the applications to new properties until they hit 400 units.

Kerry Dawson, a Carolina One real estate agent, says she has long and short-term rentals and thinks the city is doing a good job so far.

“That’s how I get my income. I applied for the business license and permit from the get-go. So, I was probably one of the pioneers of that. And it’s been a really simple process,” Dawson says. “It’s been pretty good pretty easy. They’ve kept us informed of any changes. Or anything we need to do as far as taxes that kept it really simple. The little books that they send us each month, and it’s, it’s a good thing, I think.”

One owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, says his rental property is actually a future investment, that he rents to try and offset the cost of owning it.

“Our big desire to purchase this property that we have is not an income generator, but it’s to ensure that my kids are taken care of and have property to live on one day before it’s too expensive to buy,” he says.

He says his property is on the waitlist for the short-term rental, and the cap number could mean he doesn’t get a permit. That would be detrimental to him, as he tries to rent the property to cover the cost of buying and owning it.

“I should have the ability to rent long term and short term and that’s my perspective since I own it. I’m paying probably three times the property taxes on this rental property because it’s a secondary property, and I don’t have the rights to do what I want to,” he says.

The changes are currently in the beginning stages of discussions in the planning committee. The committee will hold a public hearing on the changes at its Aug. 24 meeting at 5 p.m. Reed encourages any owners to come to the meeting or to send their comments through the town website to be a part of the discussion.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Highest-rated barbecue restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina

Cooking meat low and slow over an indirect heat source—the only real qualifications for barbecue—is a truly American tradition, going back to indigenous cultures and picked up by early Spanish colonizers who also gave it the name the cooking style goes by now: barbacoa. Today, barbecue is a wildly popular staple across the U.S., with many cities and regions ...

Cooking meat low and slow over an indirect heat source—the only real qualifications for barbecue—is a truly American tradition, going back to indigenous cultures and picked up by early Spanish colonizers who also gave it the name the cooking style goes by now: barbacoa. Today, barbecue is a wildly popular staple across the U.S., with many cities and regions boasting their own take (and all claiming to have the best). Because barbecue meat spends hours upon hours cooking, restaurants are a go-to source for many Americans who would rather not spend all day and all night tending to their flames. Stacker compiled a list of the highest-rated barbecue restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina on Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor rankings factor in the average rating and number of reviews. Some restaurants on the list may have recently closed.

#16. Home Team BBQ

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (441 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 2209 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482-8780– Read more on Tripadvisor

#15. Smokey Bones N. Charleston

– Rating: 3.5 / 5 (182 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (3.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 7250 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29406– Read more on Tripadvisor

#14. Melvin’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (427 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 925 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464-3448– Read more on Tripadvisor

#13. Southern Roots Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (91 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Barbecue– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 2544 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29414-5325– Read more on Tripadvisor

#12. Cumberland Street Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (184 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 5 Cumberland St, Charleston, SC 29401-2603– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#11. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (35 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1622 Highland Ave, Charleston, SC 29412– Read more on Tripadvisor

#10. Melvin’s Barbecue

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (132 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 538 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412-3002– Read more on Tripadvisor

#9. Duke’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (94 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 331 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412-2548– Read more on Tripadvisor

#8. Bessinger’s Barbecue

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (578 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1602 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7869– Read more on Tripadvisor

#7. Home Team BBQ – Downtown Charleston

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (134 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Barbecue, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 126 Williman St, Charleston, SC 29403-3113– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#6. Rodney Scott’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (552 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1011 King St Corner of King Street and Grove Street, Charleston, SC 29403-4140– Read more on Tripadvisor

#5. Poogan’s Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,207 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Barbecue, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 188 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2123– Read more on Tripadvisor

#4. Home Team BBQ – West Ashley

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (476 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1205 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29407-5301– Read more on Tripadvisor

#3. Swig & Swine

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (2,182 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1217 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7826– Read more on Tripadvisor

#2. Queology

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,445 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 6 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-2062– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#1. Lewis Barbecue

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (839 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (5.0/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 464 N Nassau St, Charleston, SC 29403-3828– Read more on Tripadvisor

Why Confederate flags are flying in the middle of Charleston Harbor

Charleston’s contradictions often are clearly visible from the city’s harbor.Near the historic district, which has benefited from stringent preservation efforts over many decades, new hotels and apartment buildings rise. The soon-to-open International African American Museum located on Gadsden’s Wharf confronts Confederate flags flying above Castle Pinckney on Shutes Folly in the middle of the harbor.Those flags, when they appear, greet thousands of people a week on the water — vacationers on cruise ship...

Charleston’s contradictions often are clearly visible from the city’s harbor.

Near the historic district, which has benefited from stringent preservation efforts over many decades, new hotels and apartment buildings rise. The soon-to-open International African American Museum located on Gadsden’s Wharf confronts Confederate flags flying above Castle Pinckney on Shutes Folly in the middle of the harbor.

Those flags, when they appear, greet thousands of people a week on the water — vacationers on cruise ships, mariners on commercial vessels, tourists on harbor tours or private boat charters, visitors to Fort Sumter who take the ferry that passes Shutes Folly. The flags also are viewed from the land by thousands more every week who walk through Waterfront Park or along the East Battery.

Some visitors to Charleston who go on boat charters wonder aloud about those flags. Why are they there? Who decides to raise them? What message do they convey about the Holy City? Others voice their support.

Many don’t recognize the Confederate flags when they fly on Castle Pinckney because they are always the lesser-known divisional or national banners, never the Southern Cross that became the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, which is the one most closely associated with the Confederacy and the one that provokes the most controversy.

So it can come as a surprise when visitors learn that the flag on Shutes Folly is, say, the “Stars and Bars” or The Citadel’s battle flag, or South Carolina’s flag of secession.

On the water

The island has three parcels, according to Charleston County GIS records. The southernmost parcel is owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Fort Sumter Camp 1269. The other two are “undevelopable” and slowly fading away. One is deeded to Henry Laurens; the other to the Mary Simons Estate. The whole island now is a bird sanctuary. Visitors are forbidden.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans looks after the old fort, but restoring it and maintaining it would cost a fortune, so the installation is left to endure the elements and the nesting birds with little human intervention.

Every month or so, an SCV member rides a skiff to the castle and changes the flag. The idea is to raise flags that have historical significance, though sometimes one will see the Irish flag in honor of St. Patrick’s Day or the Italian flag to mark Columbus Day. At the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the group raised a blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag to show solidarity.

For Carolina Day, which marks the patriot victory over British forces at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in 1776, the state flag (or a historical version of it) will flap in the breeze. For the Fourth of July, the U.S. flag is hoisted.

But during other parts of the year, the SCV often raises a Confederate flag of some kind.

Sailboat charter captain Mark Stetler said he tries to avoid mentioning the flags until one of his guests ask about them, then he’ll strive to offer a neutral response, keeping politics off the boat.

“The discomfort starts with me,” he said. “I try to say as little as I can.”

But, often, he will feel the need to offer some explanation, so he tells his guests about Castle Pinckney, its history and its current status, and he’ll tell them that Confederate flags don’t always fly there.

The typical response is “stunned silence,” he said. Sometimes he will get an eye-roll or perhaps a question or comment alluding to the imposition of the Antebellum South and the Civil War onto the year 2022. He’s never hosted a guest who expressed support for the flags, he said.

Chris Rabens, a powerboat charter captain, said he passes by Castle Pinckney with his guests frequently. Usually, they are too immersed in the experience of being together on the water to pay much attention to serious matters such as South Carolina history, he said. A few will show interest.

Some guests are enthusiastic, uttering expressions of support for the Confederate cause (“The South will rise again!” they might shout); others question the motivations of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or voice mild disagreement, Rabens said.

“I get a broad spectrum,” he said.

Tamara Butler, director of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston, said the fort, its history and the Confederate flags that sometimes fly in the middle of the harbor are evidence of the city’s inherent contradictions and unresolved racial and economic tensions — and of the efforts among some to reconcile all that.

“It’s really important for people to see that Charleston is still trying to figure itself out,” Butler said. “My hope is that people will use controversial things (such as Castle Pinckney’s flags) to question their significance.”

The city is a place of public history, and it’s nearly impossible to ensure that all of it is presented and explained, she said.

“I can’t contextualize the fingerprints in the bricks; I can’t be there every time someone sees them,” Butler said. “So we need to have conversations about who’s responsible for public history work in the city.”

Charleston needs to invest more in the people who can do that work, and to ensure that African Americans are included, she said.

“Charleston sells itself as a progressive city, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Butler said.

The old fort

The island of Shutes Folly, little more than an eroding sandbar now, once was much larger and greener. Joseph Shute bought the island from Col. Alexander Parris in 1746 and tried to grow orange trees. The farm ultimately failed, but that’s not likely what gave the island its name. Rather, it was the manmade buildings that did so. A “folly” is a decorative structure, often grand and picturesque, that one might find in a large garden — or on a little-used island.

Shute’s “folly,” in this case, perhaps refers to Castle Pinckney itself, which has become solely decorative. Or it refers to the small grove of trees that once stood on the island’s highest ground.

The South Carolina Ports Authority acquired the island in 1958, but didn’t use it and soon tried to give it away.

It gifted the old fort to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269 in 1969, but it was returned to the state Ports Authority in 1984.

On June 21, 2011, the authority sold the remains of Castle Pinckney to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Fort Sumter Camp for $10. A year and half later, the nonprofit Castle Pinckney Historical Preservation Society was incorporated. Its website, castlepinckney.org, provides access to historical documents and photographs, and describes the history of the fort, a chronology of its use, and an accounting of efforts to preserve it.

Shutes Folly has had some sort of fortification on it since 1742. An early earthen and timber structure used during the American Revolutionary War was replaced with a larger log-and-sand fort in 1797, named for Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution.

An 1804 storm destroyed the log fort, but a replacement made of brick soon rose on the site. It was completed in 1810, and was used during the Civil War as an arms depot and a stockade — first for captured Union soldiers, then for Confederate blockade runners.

In 1878, a lighthouse was built there, along with a lightkeeper’s residence, providing its illuminated warning until 1917.

Castle Pinckney, though once armed and garrisoned, was not much used during conflicts and has come to be known as the poor stepchild compared with forts Sumter, Moultrie and Johnson.

Object vs. symbol

Philip Middleton, former commander of the SCV’s Fort Sumter Camp, said his group’s stewardship of Castle Pinckney includes keeping people off the island, protecting the nesting birds and what remains of the historic brick fortifications, and cutting back the profuse growth of vegetation each winter.

“We have been very circumspect,” he said. “We’re proud to be completely inoffensive.”

Unfortunately, restoring the old fort and doing more to interpret its history has been cost-prohibitive, Middleton said.

Messages left for four other SCV members in South Carolina went unanswered.

Castle Pinckney’s history cannot be contextualized properly without public access of some kind, said Michael Allen, a former National Park Service park ranger and former member of the S.C. African American Heritage Commission. Many people don’t realize they’re looking at a Confederate flag, he added.

A flag, if framed and labeled and hung on the wall of a museum, is merely an object for consideration. Flying it atop a flagpole in the public sphere effectively transforms it into an active symbol, Allen said. The banners, then, are not unlike Confederate monuments. Put a statue in a museum and one can provide the necessary context, he said. Put it on a pedestal in the public square and one is making a political statement, whether intended or not.

“So this raises questions about honoring the past,” he said. “Whose past do we honor, and how?”

Kyle Sinisi, a history professor at The Citadel, said Castle Pinckney is a historic installation and flying banners that had been raised above the fort in the past is appropriate. Fort Sumter also once flew a variety of flags, including Confederate flags, he noted.

Fort Sumter no longer displays Confederate flags of any kind.

“Flags add good context,” he said. “They turn (Shutes Folly) from a sand spit with some ruins on top of it into something that has a story. ... To me, it’s just a great shame that we can’t make it a tourist hot spot. It’s so tantalizing, it is so close and yet so far.”

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