Mortgage Broker in Sullivan's Island, SC

We know that many home loan officers have horrible reputations. Some brokers only see their clients as transactions, and a means to make quick money. They come off as impatient and pushy, failing to understand that this is a very big decision for you. At Mission One Mortgage, we take the opposite approach. We encourage our clients to take as much time as needed to ask us questions and review mortgage documents. We could say that our mission is to exceed your expectations, but we'd rather just show you. From assistance finding FHA, VA, or other loans to refinancing your current mortgage, Mission One is the team you can trust.

Here are just a few reasons why home buyers choose Mission One Mortgage:

No Additional Fees

No Additional Fees- Providing our client's services free of charge, using a mortgage broker like Mission One Mortgage can help you scout the best price on loans without a hefty price tag.

Access to 50 Lenders

Access to 50 Lenders- With access to a range of loans and interest rates available, Mission One Mortgage can shop for the best loans for your unique needs.

Accessible to Our Clients

Accessible to Our Clients- Providing a transparent and communicative service to all our clients, Mission One Mortgage ensures all phone calls are answered or returned in a timely manner.

Setting You Up for Success

Setting You Up for Success- Helping you prepare all your documents for pre-approval and the loan application, Mission One Mortgage will provide you with all the necessary information to secure the best loan.

Contact Us For Service !

Free Consultation phone-number (843) 822-5685

To understand the benefits of working with a mortgage broker, you must first understand their role in the home-buying process.

What Does a Mortgage Broker Do?

Your mortgage broker is a third party that works to connect you with mortgage lenders. Essentially, a mortgage broker works as an intermediary between a person who wants to buy a home and the entities offering loans to buy a home. The mortgage broker works with both the borrower and lender to get the borrower approved. They also verify and collect paperwork from the borrower that the lender needs to finish a home purchase. Typically, mortgage brokers have relationships with several home loan lenders. Mission One Mortgage, for example, has access to 50 different lenders, which gives us a wide range of home loans in Sullivan's Island, SC, from which to choose.

In addition to finding a home loan lender, your mortgage broker will help you settle on the best loan options and interest rates for your budget. Ideally, your mortgage broker will take a great deal of stress and legwork off your plate while also potentially saving you money.

Help with the Pre-Approval Process

If you're ready to buy a home, getting pre-qualified is a great choice that will streamline the entire process. Your mortgage broker makes getting pre-approved easy by obtaining all the documents needed to get you pre-qualified. In taking a look at your application, they will determine if you're ready for the pre-approval process. If your application needs additional items, the mortgage company will help point you in the right direction to ensure your application is as strong as it can be. Your mortgage broker will also walk you through the different types of loans, from Conventional and FHA to VA and USDA.

In order to be pre-approved for a home in South Carolina, you must have the following:

  • Two Years of W2 Forms
  • 30 Days of Pay Stubs from Employer
  • 60 Days of Bank Statements
  • A Valid Driver's License

Conventional Mortgages

Conventional loans can be used to purchase a new home or refinance your current one. Conventional loans include fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. Generally, borrowers must put down a 3% down payment for owner-occupants, 10% for a vacation property, and 20% for an investment home. If you are able to pay 20% of the total cost of the home, you can avoid private mortgage insurance, which is otherwise required. Conventional mortgages are often preferred by buyers with good credit or people needing a non-owner-occupied mortgage.

 Mortgage Broker Sullivan's Island, SC
 Mortgage Company Sullivan's Island, SC

FHA Loans

FHA mortgages are issued by the U.S. government and backed by the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). This loan is often preferred by first-time homebuyers because it only requires a 3.5% down payment and offers more flexibility with credit requirements and underwriting standards. FHA loans have several requirements you must meet to qualify. Contact Mission One Mortgage today to learn more about FHA loans and whether or not they're best for your financial situation.

USDA Loans

Also backed by the government, these loans are insured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and don't require money down. These loans have lower insurance requirements when compared to FHA loans, offer 100% financing if you qualify, and allow for closing costs to be covered by the seller. In order to qualify for a USDA loan, you must live in a rural area, and your household income must meet certain standards. These loans are often preferred by low-income citizens who live in rural parts of South Carolina.

 Mortgage Lending Service Sullivan's Island, SC
 Refinancing Sullivan's Island, SC

Veteran Mortgages

Also known as VA or Veteran's Affairs loans, these mortgages are reserved for the brave men and women who served in the military. VA loans help provide our military members, veterans, and their families with favorable loan terms and an easy home ownership experience. Often, those who qualify are not required to make a down payment on their home. Additionally, these loans often include less expensive closing costs.

If you are a veteran or the family member of a veteran, contact Mission One Mortgage today to speak with our Vetted VA Professional, Debbie Haberny. Debbie helps our military members, veterans, and their family members obtain home loans utilizing veteran benefits and would be happy to help as you search for a home.

Q. I was talking to my spouse about mortgage brokers, and they mentioned the phrase home loan originator. What's the difference between a broker and a loan originator?

A. The mortgage industry is full of confusing jobs and titles, making it easy to confuse roles and responsibilities. Such is the case with mortgage brokers and home loan originators. Though their roles share similarities, a home loan originator in Sullivan's Island, SC, works for a bank or credit union, while a mortgage broker works for a brokerage company. Home loan originators and mortgage brokers are both licensed by the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS).

Q. I've heard from everyone that you must have mortgage insurance to buy a home. What is mortgage insurance?

A. Essentially, mortgage insurance helps protect lenders if a borrower forecloses on the home they bought. One advantage of mortgage insurance is that when borrowers pay it, lenders can often grant loans to buyers when they might not have otherwise. Though not always required to buy a home, mortgage insurance is often needed for down payments of less than 20%.

Q. I have just been pre-approved to buy a beautiful home in South Carolina. Is there anything I shouldn't do now that I'm pre-qualified?

A. Mortgage companies like Mission One Mortgage, make getting pre-qualified for a home easy. However, as your loan process continues, your lender is required to run a new credit report before closing on a home. For that reason, it's to avoid any activity that might affect your credit score, such as:

  • Do not become a co-signer on a loan with someone else.
  • Do not quit or change your job.
  • Do not apply for new credit cards, automobile loans, or any other lines of credit.
  • Do not use your credit card to pay for large purchases, like furniture for your new house.
  • Do not avoid payments on current lines of credit, loans, or utility bills.

Q. My brother-in-law recently refinanced his home in South Carolina. What is refinancing, and should I consider refinancing my home too?

A. Refinancing your home basically means you're swapping your current mortgage for a new one, most often with a lower interest rate. If you would like to reduce the term of your loan, lower your monthly mortgage payments, or consolidate debt, refinancing may be a smart option. Many homeowners also choose to refinance if they want to switch from adjustable-rate mortgages to fixed-rate mortgages or to get cash back for home renovations. To learn whether refinancing is a viable option for your situation, contact Mission One Mortgage ASAP, as loan rates change frequently.

Mission One Mortgage: Turning Dreams into Reality, One Mortgage at a Time

Head-bottom

Here at Mission One Mortgage, we believe that the best communities begin with the dream of home ownership. Our mission is to make those dreams come true, with personalized service, expert guidance, and good old-fashioned hard work. As one of the most trusted mortgage companies in Sullivan's Island, SC, we have years of experience working with a diverse range of clients, from first-time buyers and investors to self-employed borrowers and non-native English speakers.

Though every mortgage situation is different, one thing never changes: our commitment to clients. Contact our office today to get started on an exceptional home-buying experience.

Contact Us For Service !

phone-number (843) 822-5685
 Refinances Sullivan's Island, SC

Latest News in Sullivan's Island, SC

The Best Small Town Getaway In South Carolina: Best Things To Do In Sullivan's Island

Visiting South Carolina is like stepping into a welcomed tapestry of history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. From the charming cobblestone streets of Charleston to the breathtaking vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this vibrant state offers many experiences for every type of traveler. With its vibrant cities, quaint towns, and welcoming locals, South Carolina invites visitors to embrace its Southern charm and create memories that will last a lifetime. With a state with as much diversity and offerings as South Carolina, it’s no...

Visiting South Carolina is like stepping into a welcomed tapestry of history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. From the charming cobblestone streets of Charleston to the breathtaking vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this vibrant state offers many experiences for every type of traveler. With its vibrant cities, quaint towns, and welcoming locals, South Carolina invites visitors to embrace its Southern charm and create memories that will last a lifetime. With a state with as much diversity and offerings as South Carolina, it’s no wonder we’ve chosen one of its small towns to feature in our Small Town Getaways series. Are you ready to explore all of the things to do in Sullivan’s Island?

Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, is a quaint barrier island at the entrance of the Charleston Harbor with just shy of 2,000 residents. There is such a refreshing variety of things to do, you’ll never have a dull moment. Originally named O’Sullivan’s Island, this captivating destination harmoniously blends the rich heritage of the South with the idyllic charm of a coastal getaway. As soon as you step foot onto these shores, you’ll be captivated by the beauty and serene nature that encapsulates the island.

Do you love visiting and learning all about America’s small towns? Take our interactive quiz to discover which Small Town Getaway you should take this year.

Table of Contents

Is Sullivan’s Island Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! Sullivan’s Island is definitely worth visiting for its unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and relaxed coastal vibes. Once you figure out what to do on Sullivan’s Island, there will never be a dull moment.

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How To Get To Sullivan’s Islan

Getting Around Sullivan’s Islan

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Best Time To Visit Sullivan’s Island

While the best time of year to visit Sullivan’s Island depends on personal preference, we’re here as your premier Sullivan’s Island travel guide to help you choose what season is best for you. No matter the season, activities in Sullivan’s Island are aplenty, so let’s get to it!

Where To Stay In Sullivan’s Island

Whether you’re seeking beachfront properties with stunning views or a quaint getaway with a touch of Southern hospitality, Sullivan’s Island has options to cater to various tastes. As far as Sullivan’s Island attractions go, sometimes it’s the accommodations that take the cake. What’s unique about choosing where to stay when on Sullivan’s Island is that there will be minimal if any, hotel or motel options. Your best bet is finding a charming home-away-from-home through VRBO.

Day One – A Few Local Favorites

Whether you’re taking a day trip to Sullivan’s Island or staying a weekend, we’ve come up with the best itinerary for you to consider. From finding out “what is Sullivan’s Island known for?” to exploring the beauty of the downtown Sullivan’s Island area, we have two full days of fun, sun, and delicious eats.

Day Two – Exploring The Coast

Visiting Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina is an experience of a lifetime. From sun-soaked days on the shore to immersing yourself in the island’s unique heritage, this small town offers a memorable coastal getaway for all who venture its way. Whether you’re strolling along its pristine beaches, exploring its historic landmarks like Fort Moultrie, or indulging in the local cuisine, the island offers a delightful escape from day-to-day life.

Also, you can keep learning about Sullivan’s Island courtesy of The Charleston Life’s YouTube video:

Are you ready to plan a day trip to Sullivan Island, South Carolina? Do you have your own list of things to do on Sullivan’s Island that you want to share with fellow travelers? Sound off in the comments section! Or if you want to keep learning about the best Small Town Getaways across the country, we have so many more for you to consider visiting.

Visitors and residents recall coyote encounters, attacks on Sullivan’s Island

Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.This comes a day after town officials reported five coyote-led attacks involving dogs within the month of August.They say the wild animals has been approaching people, dogs and roaming open areas of the beach more often than usual.The Jourdan...

Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.

This comes a day after town officials reported five coyote-led attacks involving dogs within the month of August.

They say the wild animals has been approaching people, dogs and roaming open areas of the beach more often than usual.

The Jourdan family says they experienced a too-close encounter with a coyote over the weekend.

“They were out halfway to the water, from the dune, so middle of the beach. And they were attacked by coyotes,” Jourdan said.

Five-year-old Willie Nelson, the Jourdan family dog, was taken by two coyotes early Saturday morning while on a walk with a babysitter.

Jourdan says it happened in broad daylight and in the middle of the beach.

He adds the family was devastated by the loss of their “wonder dog.”

“I was trying to get closure for my family’s sake, for Willie, because we weren’t even there. Which was frustrating. I crawled on my belly for over four miles between stations 26 and 28,” Jourdan said.

The attack occurred at Station 27, a part of the beach several residents have called a “breeding ground” for coyote packs.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources say the breed has been approaching people, dogs and roaming open areas of the beach more often.

They add that mid-summer and fall are peak active times for these animals, meaning it is when coyotes migrate to new spaces, feed and have young.

SCDNR officials say another reason for the increased interactions could be from them being opportunistic feeders, meaning they will be quick and take anything they need.

Others say they have been chased by coyotes in the past but escaped.

“We were walking in June when a coyote came out of the dunes and started chasing,” Sullivan’s regular Shelly Carson said. “I was able to chase it away, and it ran down the beach to chase a golden retriever.”

Now, they avoid the area altogether or take proactive measures to be able to walk safely.

“I’ve always known there are coyotes here,” Carson said. “Never seen one until this year. Really, March was the first time I had my first sighting and started carrying pepper spray on the beach. In June I started carrying a birdie alarm. And now I carry a stick with me too.”

Visitors are asking for help from officials to curb the problem.

“It’s close to our hearts, but the coyote system is unfortunately not something that is new, declining or lessened. Rather the opposite,” Jourdan said.

They ask for coyote population control, area management and listening to residential concerns.

Town officials say they do have systems in place to manage the problem, which include education, tracking, hazing and lethal control.

They ask anyone who experiences an encounter or sighting to report the problem immediately.

If you run into a coyote, you’re advised to react loudly, throw small sticks or cans or spray the animal with water.

For more information on coyotes along Sullivan’s Island, click here.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

SCE&G’s former seaside worker perk eyed for $30M-plus social club on Sullivan’s Island

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A newly formed development group plans to invest more than $30 million to acquire and renovate a 90-year-old, vacant private oceanfront club on this seaside enclave.But elected officials want more details before signing off on allowing a commercial project in a residential area....

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A newly formed development group plans to invest more than $30 million to acquire and renovate a 90-year-old, vacant private oceanfront club on this seaside enclave.

But elected officials want more details before signing off on allowing a commercial project in a residential area.

Sullivan’s Island Bathing Co. is asking the town to allow a members-only social venture called the Ocean Club at 1735 Atlantic Ave. as a conditional use in an area zoned for single-family homes.

Shep Davis, the development firm’s managing partner, pointed out last week that the property operated as a private club for close to a century without being open to island residents.

Under this latest proposal, they’ll have that option for the first time — at a cost of a $60,000 sign-up fee and an estimated $500 in monthly dues.

The property had been known for decades as the Sand Dunes Club. It was a private beachside retreat for employees of the former South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., which Dominion Energy acquired in early 2019 after the V.C. Summer nuclear plant debacle 18 months earlier.

The Richmond, Va.-based utility closed the property at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, and it never reopened, according to attorney Brian Hellman, a Sullivan’s resident who is representing the development group.

Built in 1933 for $14,000, the then 5,400-square-foot structure was called Jasper Hall, an officer’s club for military personnel stationed at nearby Fort Moultrie. SCE&G acquired it in the 1950s and expanded it over the years to just under 10,000 square feet.

Davis said the property has not been properly kept up for several years and is in disrepair.

One neighbor recently complained of the uncovered pool starting to smell and becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Hellman and Davis said the pool is being maintained.

$30 million-plus

Davis estimated it will take an investment of “in excess of $30 million” for his group to buy the property, overhaul the building and amenities and place a stormwater retention pond underground. Retrofitting the pool alone, he said could cost half a million dollars.

Real Estate

Improvement plans include offering separate pools for families and adults, upgrading the existing building and landscaping the parking area. The developers also would add a fitness center, dining terrace and gazebo along with a new entry area off a beach access path.

“We can preserve the building and re-create the club for its historical use,” Davis said.

Hellman said the current proposal comes after gathering input during several meetings with residents and town leaders over the past few months.

He said the private-membership venue will provide a place for homeowners to eat and exercise without having to drive off the island or jockey for tables with tourists at the restaurants in the town’s small business district.

“It will be a gathering place to socialize that won’t compete with beachgoers,” Hellman said. “Dining will not be open to the general public and will reduce the need for residents to leave the island.”

The 3.5-acre club site is owned by a company affiliated with Charleston real estate investor John Derbyshire, the former owner of the chain of Money Man Pawn shops. The firm paid Dominion $16.2 million for the property in 2022, according to Charleston County land records.

A large house is being built for Derbyshire, who plans to remain a partner in the project, on part of the property next to the club, according to Hellman.

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The developer said the goal is that the Ocean Club will be open to all Sullivan’s residents who want to join. Davis estimated the venture will need at least 400 members to get the project off the ground.

The proposed Ocean Club would give priority to individuals and families who primarily reside on the island, said Jim Wanless, one of the partners. Off-island residents could join, too.

Real Estate

The proposed parking rules to allow a social club in a residential area require at least one parking space for every 10 memberships whose primary or secondary residences are within 2½ miles. Sixty percent of those spaces must be designated for golf carts and low-speed vehicles.

For members living outside the 2½-mile range, which is basically anyone who doesn’t live on Sullivan’s, one vehicle parking space would be required for every five memberships.

The rules also would require one bicycle space — through a rack or corral — for every 20 memberships.

“For whatever the number will be of those living off the island, they most certainly would come by car,” Davis said. “On-island residents would have much less need for parking” since they’d have the option to come by golf cart, bike or foot.

Tentative plans call for 50 car parking spaces, at least an equal number of golf cart spaces and “adequate” bicycle parking spaces, Hellman said.

Though the membership will be open to all island residents, the developers don’t expect everyone to join. They also have not set a cap on membership.

“We are trying to come up with the right number of members for the club without excluding property owners,” Davis said.

Talking to the town

During a public workshop last week, where a standing-room-only crowd spilled into the hallway, the developers addressed a list of written questions from elected officials, including the benefit to the town if the club is allowed.

Davis said, under the current zoning, the property could be sold for residential development that would allow three to five homes that could be taxed at the 4 percent rate if they are primary residences. If the club use is allowed, the developers will pay the 6 percent commercial property tax as well as licensing and permit fees.

Real Estate

The developers also said they won’t allow corporate memberships or agreements with hotels to provide dining or other services. In addition, no reciprocal-use deals with other private clubs are planned.

The projected hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for interior services, with the earliest morning hours set aside for fitness activities. The club would be open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Outdoor activities would be allowed 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day except until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Some island residents see the idea as another amenity for Sullivan’s while others are concerned about increased traffic and noise a club would bring to a residential area.

In letters to the town, supporters pointed to the property’s long history as a site for dining, fitness, sports, recreation and cultural, educational and social events. They said those uses should continue to be allowed.

Others said they’re against the rezoning to allow a restaurant or for it to become a for-profit entity.

Town Council is expected to discuss the issue further and take public input during its meeting Aug. 15. Mayor Patrick O’Neil cautioned the developers not to expect a quick decision.

“This council proceeds pretty deliberately,” he said.

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Where to Eat Well at Charleston’s Beaches

Many of those visiting Charleston know that downtown is a hot spot for restaurants, but where should folks visiting one of the local beaches eat? From barbecue to noodle bowls, these island eateries can offer a wealth of choices for the hungry wave jumper or sunbather. Read MoreEater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. ...

Many of those visiting Charleston know that downtown is a hot spot for restaurants, but where should folks visiting one of the local beaches eat? From barbecue to noodle bowls, these island eateries can offer a wealth of choices for the hungry wave jumper or sunbather.

Read More

Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Before a day at Folly Beach, frequent visitors know to hit up Lost Dog for brunch. The cafe has something for everyone on the menu, from huevos rancheros to fresh fruit parfaits. Relax with a mimosa before hitting the waves and sand.

Full of surfers and deal-seekers, Folly Beach stop Jack of Cups offers filling curry nachos, dahl, and curry meatballs. The menu is a mash-up of different cuisines from across the globe, including nods to the South, which is always good while sipping a few craft beers.

Self-proclaimed “chill ass bar,” Lowlife offers expertly crafted cocktails, queso, local shrimp rolls, double cheeseburgers, and more in a hip and lively beach space. Lowlife also serves brunch every day of the week, so it’s like a vacation within a vacation.

A visit to Taco Boy is all about the experience. The interiors are lively and full of fun details. It offers a long list of tacos with unexpected fillings, like the Korean beef tacos stuffed with kimchi and grilled flank steak or the sauteed shrimp tacos come with ancho chile yogurt sauce and cabbage. On a nice day, enjoy the patio with a few friends and a frozen screwdriver to go with the other selections.

Spanish for "the ugly boy," Chico Feo makes for a super chill stop after a day on the beach. The eatery feels like visiting a friend’s backyard. The menu is a mix-up of warm weather favorites from across the globe, like Cuban beans and rice, bun cha, and plenty of tacos.

Bert’s Market isn’t a restaurant, but it is an icon on Folly Beach. The 24-hour corner store is well known as stop for made-to-order sandwiches and just about everything else you need for a day at the beach. Bert’s puts it best: “Patronized by freaks, surfers, skaters, crunks, retirees, tourists, stoners, day trippers, hippies, hipsters, and regular folk, Bert’s is the rockingest grocery in town.”

Dining at Sullivan’s Fish Camp is like stepping onto a sailboat out of the 1970s. The retro-chic restaurant is one of the chicest on the island. The menu includes fish camp classics, like peel-and-eat shrimp and smoked fish dip, paired with more modern offerings, like a tuna smash burger or Nashville hot grouper cheeks.

Diners can eat pizza, pasta, and fresh seafood just a few steps from the ocean. From the skilled hands of executive chef Jacques Larson, the Obstinate Daughter offers a stunning dining room to spend visit for lunch, brunch, or dinner. Visitors should order a craft cocktail, a few oysters, and try the ricotta gnocchi with short rib ragu at least once.

Home Team BBQ on Sullivan's Island is always packed with friends and families ordering pulled pork plates and catching a game on the televisions. The smoked wings with Alabama white sauce are addictive, as are the frozen boozy Gamechanger cocktails.

Cozy bistro High Thyme offers a more upscale experience than most beach-goers expect. Guests visit this Middle Street restaurant for celebratory dinners and Sunday morning brunches. Find dishes like mussels in a coconut chili broth, cioppino, three-meat bolognese lasagna, lamb meatballs, and more comforting dishes.

Contemporary Italian eatery Coda del Pesce sits right on the beach at Isle of Palms. Customers can watch the ocean while ordering from chef Ken Vedrinski’s seafood-filled menu. Make reservations early for dishes like the snowy grouper with peanut potatoes, grapes, and Castelvetrano olives.

Before a day at Folly Beach, frequent visitors know to hit up Lost Dog for brunch. The cafe has something for everyone on the menu, from huevos rancheros to fresh fruit parfaits. Relax with a mimosa before hitting the waves and sand.

Full of surfers and deal-seekers, Folly Beach stop Jack of Cups offers filling curry nachos, dahl, and curry meatballs. The menu is a mash-up of different cuisines from across the globe, including nods to the South, which is always good while sipping a few craft beers.

Self-proclaimed “chill ass bar,” Lowlife offers expertly crafted cocktails, queso, local shrimp rolls, double cheeseburgers, and more in a hip and lively beach space. Lowlife also serves brunch every day of the week, so it’s like a vacation within a vacation.

A visit to Taco Boy is all about the experience. The interiors are lively and full of fun details. It offers a long list of tacos with unexpected fillings, like the Korean beef tacos stuffed with kimchi and grilled flank steak or the sauteed shrimp tacos come with ancho chile yogurt sauce and cabbage. On a nice day, enjoy the patio with a few friends and a frozen screwdriver to go with the other selections.

Spanish for "the ugly boy," Chico Feo makes for a super chill stop after a day on the beach. The eatery feels like visiting a friend’s backyard. The menu is a mix-up of warm weather favorites from across the globe, like Cuban beans and rice, bun cha, and plenty of tacos.

Bert’s Market isn’t a restaurant, but it is an icon on Folly Beach. The 24-hour corner store is well known as stop for made-to-order sandwiches and just about everything else you need for a day at the beach. Bert’s puts it best: “Patronized by freaks, surfers, skaters, crunks, retirees, tourists, stoners, day trippers, hippies, hipsters, and regular folk, Bert’s is the rockingest grocery in town.”

Dining at Sullivan’s Fish Camp is like stepping onto a sailboat out of the 1970s. The retro-chic restaurant is one of the chicest on the island. The menu includes fish camp classics, like peel-and-eat shrimp and smoked fish dip, paired with more modern offerings, like a tuna smash burger or Nashville hot grouper cheeks.

Diners can eat pizza, pasta, and fresh seafood just a few steps from the ocean. From the skilled hands of executive chef Jacques Larson, the Obstinate Daughter offers a stunning dining room to spend visit for lunch, brunch, or dinner. Visitors should order a craft cocktail, a few oysters, and try the ricotta gnocchi with short rib ragu at least once.

Home Team BBQ on Sullivan's Island is always packed with friends and families ordering pulled pork plates and catching a game on the televisions. The smoked wings with Alabama white sauce are addictive, as are the frozen boozy Gamechanger cocktails.

Cozy bistro High Thyme offers a more upscale experience than most beach-goers expect. Guests visit this Middle Street restaurant for celebratory dinners and Sunday morning brunches. Find dishes like mussels in a coconut chili broth, cioppino, three-meat bolognese lasagna, lamb meatballs, and more comforting dishes.

Contemporary Italian eatery Coda del Pesce sits right on the beach at Isle of Palms. Customers can watch the ocean while ordering from chef Ken Vedrinski’s seafood-filled menu. Make reservations early for dishes like the snowy grouper with peanut potatoes, grapes, and Castelvetrano olives.

Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse a Last of its Kind: Beacon of the Beach

Every nightfall, a rotating light pulsates around Sullivan’s Island twice every 30 seconds. The luminous source is the Charleston Light, also referred to as the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, which has stood watch over the cozy beach town for more than six decades.When the pillar of light was first lit on June 15, 1962, it was recorded as the last major lighthouse in the United States built by the federal government. It was also the second brightest lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere, according to Fort Moultrie National H...

Every nightfall, a rotating light pulsates around Sullivan’s Island twice every 30 seconds. The luminous source is the Charleston Light, also referred to as the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, which has stood watch over the cozy beach town for more than six decades.

When the pillar of light was first lit on June 15, 1962, it was recorded as the last major lighthouse in the United States built by the federal government. It was also the second brightest lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere, according to Fort Moultrie National Historical Park guide Shelby McAllister.

The Charleston Light was erected to replace the defunct Morris Island Light, which was rebuilt in the 1870s after being destroyed in the Civil War. The lighthouse was at risk of being destroyed again by erosion and was later decommissioned.

Standing at 162.5 feet tall, approaching vessels in the Charleston Harbor could see the flash of the Charleston Light’s 28-million candlepower beam from more than 50 miles offshore. Five years after its construction, its wattage was reduced to 1.2-million candlepower, but it is still visible more than 25 miles away.

Its bright light wasn’t the only thing that caught people’s eyes. Many residents felt the original red and white color scheme was an eyesore. As the sun bleached the red to orange, it was decided that a paint job was in order. Black and white was the popular choice, so the Charleston Light received a makeover.

Sixty-one years later, the mid-century monolithic structure serves as more of a nautical landmark than a navigational aid, but its maritime history is not lost at sea. It was a fixture of the U.S. Coast Guard Historic District that includes buildings dating back to 1894.

When the Coast Guard automated the lighthouse in 1975, it no longer needed a keeper. In 2008, the Coast Guard relinquished ownership to the National Park Service.

THE MAN BEHIND THE LIGHT

Architect Jack Graham’s creation was not only the last of its kind, but it was also one of a kind. His vision for the lighthouse lit up in his mind when he was a 25-year-old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture and a serviceman in the Coast Guard.

In Graham’s last month of active duty, a supervisor gave him a final assignment of designing a lighthouse. The Coast Guard was displeased with the previous drawings that made it resemble a World War I battleship signal tower. By the time Graham was finished, it looked like an air traffic control tower.

Unlike typical circular lighthouses, Graham’s design was triangular with steel girders for the framework and aluminum alloy for siding. He credited his modernist approach and design to his college professor Louis Kahn, an influential modern architect in the post-World War II era known for his monumental and brutalist style.

In September 1989, Graham’s work would be put to the test when Hurricane Hugo lashed the island as a Category 5. The lighthouse’s design was intended to withstand winds up to 125 miles per hour. Hugo brought winds of 160 miles per hour, and the lighthouse never faltered.

In 2009, on Graham’s 75th birthday, he was able to view his creation from the top as he rode in the elevator for the first time. He wasn’t aware that his design was used for the lighthouse until three years after it was built, when he was flipping through a boating magazine.

The lighthouse became eligible to be listed on the National Register as part of the structures in the Coast Guard Historic District in 2012. That same year marked the structure’s 50th anniversary, during which Graham was recognized for the first time with an official ceremony and a historical marker on site.

Before Graham’s passing in June 2022, his wife Martha, who lives in Maryland, wrote “The Charleston Light and The Adventures of Scoops the Seagull.” The children’s book is about the lighthouse, which her beloved husband nicknamed “Sulli.”

Graham’s story lives on in the annals of history and is rekindled every time the sun sinks down past the horizon on Sullivan’s Island. That’s when the lighthouse and Graham’s legacy truly come to life.

Today, the lighthouse stands as one of the most technologically advanced for its time. It is the only lighthouse in America that has both an elevator and air conditioning, according to McAllister.

Due to ongoing problems with the elevator, there are no plans to open the lighthouse to the public. Of the 15 historic lighthouses in the state, none are currently open to the public due mainly to structural issues, she noted.

“This is history that is slowly disappearing, but not many people realize that,” McAllister added.

The National Park Service celebrates National Lighthouse Day every August by opening the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse grounds to the public. The last time the lighthouse was open for tours was 2018.

By Zach Giroux

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