Winter Weekend Getaway: Dewees Island

Angela and her husband, David, took a much deserved baby-moon last month to private Dewees Island. She shares all the details below!

It is a mild, Friday afternoon in late January. Sunny, a little cool, but mostly a gorgeous Charleston winter day. We board the private ferry to Dewees Island and sit across from the Emergency First Responder reporting to weekend duty. We both look at each other and begin to wonder if scheduling a weekend getaway to an island that is only accessible by ferry and is strictly a golf cart community was the best decision, since I am 36 weeks pregnant and look (and feel) like I could pop at any second. The Emergency Responder introduces himself, gets our details “just in case” and seems to hold in a grin of excitement at the thought of the thrill of delivering a baby on Dewees Island. To date, he explains, there has never been a baby delivered on the island and, as a matter of fact, the island houses two fire trucks, an ambulance, security vehicle and a helicopter landing pad, giving security and peace of mind in regards to emergencies and public safety.

As I look around at the other passengers on the ferry, I realize that there is an exact 1:1 human to dog ratio on board. Our dog-sitter plans having fallen through, we too were in tow with our 14-year old Chihuahua, Tater (more about dogs on the island later).

The beauty surrounding us on the ferry ride is truly spectacular. Dolphins and pelicans seem to guide the way as we pull up to the Dewees Island dock. We are pleased to be greeted with a golf cart charged and awaiting to take us to the pet-friendly suite that we have rented for the weekend at the Huyler House.

Tater is ready to ride! Dewees Island golf cart is loaded and ready for a weekend of exploring and fun.

Tater is ready to ride! Dewees Island golf cart is loaded and ready for a weekend of exploring and fun.

To say that we experienced the most relaxing and peaceful weekend together before baby’s arrival would not do the experience justice. Dewees Island is truly one of those places that you must experience for yourself. The community that resides on the island was friendly and welcoming and the nature and wildlife was spectacular. Rather than go on and on (because I really could) about how wonderful our experience was, I will encourage you to take a visit yourself.

Here are a few tips for making your stay on the island pleasant and comfortable:

Bring a few empty water bottles. The first building you will encounter upon arrival is The Landings Building. Here you will find a Nature Center with a touch pool, an archives exhibit, sustainable building resource library, mailroom for the residents, and most importantly a reverse osmosis water station. Water on the island is safe to drink, but my over-sensitive pregnancy palate required us to fill up some water bottles for extra pure drinking water.

Bring your own meals/snacks. We stayed in the Huyler House Suites which came with a fully equipped kitchen. There is no store on the island so I was sure (especially since I seem to be hungry all of the time growing a baby) to make a stop by the Harris Teeter on the Isle of Palms. It was convenient and right on the way to the ferry. I also pre-prepared a quiche and casserole for reheating when we were ready to eat. Surprisingly, several of the residents that we had met along the way offered to host us for meals or bring us snacks, although it wasn’t necessary, it was just another example of that tight-knit community feeling we experienced!

There is no TV (specific to the suite we stayed in) and internet service is at times slow. I realized that this may be one of the first trips my husband and I were forced to unplug (from our weekend television programs at least). The internet was available most of the time and I’ve been told it is often better at individual residences and that most homes do have television. As a last minute addition to our luggage, I threw in some playing cards and the baby care books that I have been meaning to read for the past nine months. We also enjoyed a few intense games of pool and ping-pong in the game room located under the Clubhouse, and bird watching at the Bird Blind, all within steps of our Suite. In the summer, the pool and tennis courts are open and of course the beach is just a quick golf cart ride away.

Dogs are welcome, but…We were fortunate enough to be able to book the dog-friendly suite and bring along our beloved Tater, but were informed by some of the residents the importance of keeping him on a leash and close by. As it turns out, alligators and hawks can be a real threat to snatching away a curious pet. We saw so much beautiful wildlife including deer and otters, but were reminded that nature is about the circle of life. Needless to say, Tater didn’t go far without one of us nearby. An overweight old Chihuahua would probably make for a great tasty treat for the local alligators! 

Interested in learning more about visiting or touring Dewees Island or better yet, the Real Estate Market for the island?  Check out Dewees Island Real Estate for more information, links to the Dewees Blog, available rentals, and available properties on the market. Judy Fairchild, a Dunes Properties agent, is our local resident Dewees Island expert!

Update: I am now 39 weeks pregnant and still anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby. While we are relieved that we will not have to name our baby girl after the island (although Dewees Wicke does have a ring to it), we are grateful for the time that we were able to spend on the island exploring the local nature and nurturing our relationship. I am a firm believer that a good sunset (or sunrise) is reviving to the soul.

For more pictures, please check out fellow Dunes Agent and local Photographer Donnie Whitaker for some spectacular pictures taken on Dewees Island.