By Holly Roberson, Associate Broker and Realtor
Why is Daniel Island SC attracting so many start-ups and small business owners? Is it the outdoor life? Is it the endless events? Is it the steady stream of traffic that on most days includes a fair number of bikes and golf carts? Or, is it the community bonding at the local eateries and watering holes? It's no surprise that two wildly successful technology start-ups, Blackbaud and Benefitfocus, have blossomed into major corporations that have chosen to make Daniel Island home to their corporate headquarters. I asked two local entrepreneurs, Aleysa Opelt of Aleysa Bags and Mary Patterson, Owner of Gaia Fit, to chime in on why they have planted themselves and their respective businesses in Daniel Island. Here are their top five best things about living and working on Daniel Island, SC.
Be it gathering for events at the park (July 4th is a favorite day of fun and popular outdoor concert in Smythe Park) or running into your friends at Blondie’s (which has "bagel approval" from some local New York transplants), there is a strong sense of community that takes its cue from the Daniel Island Association’s dedication to southern hospitality. There are free movies, fireworks, and concerts all year. Daniel Island is comprised with residents of all walks of life from all around the country (and even the world) who choose to call this charming small-town community in Charleston home.
Word of caution: One must learn to say “No” (politely!) because there are so many invitations for events and get togethers for both adults and kids alike. Holidays provide additional opportunities for neighbors to gather, mingle, eat, talk and catch-up. From a 4th of July decorated golf cart parade, to Halloween trick-or-treating and a Christmas luminary stroll along the oak lined streets, there is just a sense of camaraderie and "esprit de corps."
Outdoor living and Fitness
Daniel Island provides the perfect backdrop for the an idyllic lifestyle that includes outdoor fitness activities for any fitness level. From Smythe Park with its lush walking trails to Gaia Fit’s bootcamp (which can be as hard, or as easy, as you make it). Daniel Island was designed with neighborhood in mind. The sidewalks brim with neighbors exchanging hellos and a quick chat about local news while out for a morning walk.
This K-8 school is the neighborhood school the kids can actually walk and bike to from most anywhere on the south side of the island - it's the “center of the universe” for tweens and under!
Friendly warning: Traffic jams from 3:30-4 include golf carts, bicycles and watchful crossing guards!
From tennis lessons to tennis tournaments, the lighted courts (clay and hard), are a constant draw. There are local and USTA leagues for all ages and offer yet another opportunity to develop community on this tight knit island. Bag designer Alesya Opelt said one of her favorite memories of being on the courts was bumping into and meeting none other than Martha Stewart after a match. Daniel Island is full of surprises.
There is always a concert headlining at Volvo Car Stadium. Daniel Island life means riding a bike or walking over to hear a band and heading back with a group of friends. This summer’s schedule includes Hootie and the Blowfish, Hank Williams Jr., and Gov’t Mule.
With all these amenities and nearly everything within walking distance, it’s no surprise that Daniel Island is inspiring entrepreneurs to launch their fledgling businesses here, while giving them the maximum enjoyment during those sacred hours off. You too might just be inspired to join the daytime activities and then lace up your sneakers and hit the sidewalk to unwind. It’s all just a day’s work on Daniel Island.
NOTE: Living on Daniel Island offers a quintessiantial small town southern "know your neighbors" feel. It's a rare opportunity that comes along, that blends the historic charm, and southern elegance of an iconic Charleston landmark with the discerning address of Daniel Island Park.
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