Grab your barbour jacket and lace up those duck boots, the Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) is back and promises to be better than ever! If you’re a wildlife fanatic and a lover of all four-legged friends like myself, this is where you want to be from February 14th – 16th.  One of the most anticipated annual Lowcountry events of the year turns 37 this year and is an absolute Charleston SC bucket list-er.

Of course you’ll want to plan to see the iconic SEWE events – DockDogs, the Bird of Prey flight demo, and the countless chef demos – but with so much to do and see in 3 short days, you’ll want to make sure you maximize your SEWE weekend. That’s why having an insider’s scoop is key to planning out your weekend to take in all of the first, best, and jaw-dropping events of the weekend.

This 3-day celebration of wildlife encompasses events from art expositions and live animal demos, to educational shows throughout 11 event venues in downtown Charleston SC. Over 40,000 attendees navigate their way through the 20+ events that are held throughout each day and into the evenings.

The wonderful thing about Charleston is that even during the dead of winter, it’s never too cold to walk around outside. Traffic tends to get a bit crazy, so walking from event to event is recommended for those of you who are trying to see as many events as possible. Shuttle buses also run every 30 minutes taking you between the events and various venues, as well as the parking garages if you are staying outside of the peninsula.

If you’re not one for large crowds, Friday is the day to go! As people often don’t start arriving to town until Friday, the event venues have half the amount of people on that day as they do on Saturday and Sunday. This is also a great day to get the lay of the land and scout out which events you want to attend and revisit over the next two action-packed days. Arriving when the doors open at 10:00 am will also allow you to beat the crowd!

Looking for free admission? The events that take place in Marion Square downtown are open to all and free of charge! Sip on a drink and explore the vendors that border the park. Here you can see Birds of Prey flight demos, baby tigers and best of all, EVERYONE brings their four-legged friends! Well … those that are well-behaved and on a leash!

For the art enthusiasts, The Belmond Charleston Place will be hosting hundreds of artists from around the world in the ballroom. The live artistic competition, “The Quick Draw” is a neat way to see the artists in action, so make sure you plan your walk through the ballroom to include this exciting exhibit.

There are a few “firsts” for SEWE this year that you won’t want to miss. For those of you who attended, or heard about, Jack Hanna’s performance two years ago (he’s back this year!), you know that this is a remarkable experience where you can watch a live interaction with wild animals, including cheetahs and serval cats!  The 2nd Annual Lowcountry Social hosted by Yeti and Williams Knife Co. will be held in Brittlebank Park!  Enjoy an evening with family and friends that includes an open bar and delicious BBQ!

Park’s Edge and King’s Court are excellent luxury vacation rentals to stay during your time visiting Charleston for SEWE! Located right off King Street and a two minute walk to Marion Square, you can comfortably stay in the heart of all the action. Traveling with a larger group? Simply book both accommodations, known as King St Commons, and enjoy your time together as opposed to staying in smaller hotel rooms. Now that’s the best way to experience a weekend at SEWE!

After a day of ducks, dogs, and drinks, head back to your private vacation rental. With fully equipt kitchen, luxury linens, and comfortable furnishings you’ll find everything you need to relax and unwind…