What is the meaning of Lowcountry? Merriam Webster defines it as “: a low-lying country or region especially: the part of a southern state extending from the seacoast inland to the fall line.” South Carolinians define it as a geographical location and cultural mindset. But for me… It is more than that!
It’s Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper, the four counties that make up the SC Lowcountry Tourism area. These four counties offer a myriad of unbelievable experiences for all.
On any given day in lowcountry you can:
Take a walk under the old oak trees covered in Spanish moss.
Feel the sand between your toes as you enjoy our gorgeous beaches.
Pedal your way around our lush naturescapes.
Soak up some history at one of our many museums, former plantations, or historical churches and structures.
Become one with nature as you spy an alligator, deer, or Great Blue Heron paddling down a lazy Lowcountry river.
Stroll along our beaches as you scavenge for shark teeth.
Immerse yourself in the hunt for the next big fish.
Step off the beaten path to find our numerous hidden gems.
Window shop our local boutiques and stores.
Spy an array of birds in our Wildlife Refuges and Wildlife Management Areas
Meander along our waterfront parks.
Savor a bounty of renowned local cuisine fresh from the sea and our nearby farms.
Unwind and relax as you revel in a lowcountry sunset.
Welcome our lowcountry culture into your heart and mind as you are transported back in time.
Come along and we’ll explore this region, south of Charleston and north of Savannah, to find what makes the SC Lowcountry NATURALLY AMAZING!
Save the date for June 20-25, 2022! The state’s oldest festival with the longest parade is coming back in a big way! Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Watermelon Festival has taken a two-year break, but officials are anxious to bring the event back to the public! This marks the third time in history that the festival has been interrupted since its inception in 1931. The only events to cancel festival plans have been World War II, the Korean War, and COVID-19.
The six-day event will be held June 20-25th. Most events will be held outdoors, amid the fresh air and Hampton sunshine. Plans are also underway to televise the parade for those that want to watch from home.
-The festival will kick off with a Youth Parade and Opening Ceremonies on Monday, June 20th. Head over to Varnville to see this spectacular event that stretches from the Varnville Baptist Church to the Varnville Gazebo. The Hampton County youth look forward to this event every year. Golf carts, strollers, wagons are decorated in the festival theme and paraded along the route. Opening ceremonies are celebrated with hot dogs, drinks, and of course – watermelon slices. Stick around to watch the watermelon eating contest.
-Typically, Tuesday would bring the Taste of Hampton. This year an outdoor Food Truck Event is scheduled. Food trucks from across the county will be serving up their favorite recipes. This is a great night of fantastic food and fellowship. Children’s Day in the Park is two fun-filled hours of entertainment for the younger crowd. Bring the little ones for face painting, sidewalk chalk, games, water slide, and bounce house. Entertainment will be provided by local talent.
-A Fishing Contest will be held on Wednesday, June 22nd at Lake Warren State Park, along with a music event. The fishing contest is the oldest event in the festival’s history. All ages are invited to come out to Lake Warren State Park and compete for one of the many prizes. Bring the whole family for a day of fun!
-Thursday, June 23rd is the day for the Pet Show at Varnville Rec. Center, followed by the Battle of the Towns. Wade Hampton football field is the scene for this silly competition. Teams participate in wacky races and competitions for bragging rights and a trophy. Bring the whole family to see the competition and indulge in concessions.
-Friday is the day to come out for Arts & Crafts, Food Vendors, T-shirt sales and a free Street Dance. The street dance is the second largest event of the festival and held outdoors on Lee Avenue. The night is filled with music and old-fashioned family fun.Two different bands will play on opposite ends of the street, so there’s something for all tastes.Food vendors and arts & crafts will be available during the night’s festivities.
-And Saturday is the big day, starting with a 5K run, followed by the longest parade in the state. The route is 3.2 miles long, stretching from Varnville to Hampton! Pick your spot early and be ready at 10 am for queens, floats, state and local dignitaries, bands, and horses.
nestled between Charleston and Savannah, this natural paradise awaits your visit!
Just south of Charleston and north of Savannah, a natural paradise awaits your visit! The historic Kings Highway 17 travels through the beautiful SC Lowcountry and these protected treasures. The area that lies between Charleston and Savannah is a nature lover’s paradise. Here you will find wildlife management areas, nature trails, church ruins and a welcome center located in a historic house.
Start your journey at the Frampton Plantation & Lowcountry Visitors Center. We have all the information you need and a kind staff to deliver all the secrets to enjoying the SC Lowcountry. Our historic property used to be a part of a 4,000 acre cotton plantation. The original home was burned during the Civil War, but the current structure was rebuilt in 1868. Only four acres remains of the property today, but we are using them wisely. The backyard is the perfect spot for a picnic and take the dogs on a walk throughout the woods. We will also give directions to the Old Sheldon Church Ruins, which are just up the street. 1 Low Country Lane, Yemassee, SC, I-95, Exit 33.
The Old Sheldon church Ruins were burned during the Revolutionary War, rebuilt, then demolished during the Civil War. This site is a must-see for anyone traveling from Charleston to Savannah. It’s only a two-mile detour off the route. While travelling down Highway 17, Old Sheldon Church Road is just past the turn to Beaufort.
There is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary located in the middle of the historic and picturesque city of Walterboro, SC. Easily reached from I-95, the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place to leave the traffic behind, stretch your legs and enjoy nature. The sanctuary contains a network of boardwalks, hiking, biking and canoe trails that are perfect for viewing a diversity of a black water bottomland habitat.
The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge is home to a vast array of waterfowl, fish, shellfish and many other animals. It is also the home of Oak Grove Plantation House. A walk behind the house leads visitors to the former rice fields. Rows, dikes, trunks, and gates are still visible today. The paths are marked and meander around the rice fields and through wooded areas. Make sure to bring your camera and be on the lookout for wildlife.
The Edisto Beach State Park has 4 miles of ADA accessible trails for hiking and biking. These trails take you through maritime forest, historic monuments, and a Native American shell mound. These trails are also great for bird watching. Many shore and wading birds can be seen here.
8377 State Cabin Rd Edisto Island, SC 843-869-2156
Donnelley is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike. It is located on Hwy 17 in Green Pond (between Yemassee and Jacksonboro) in the heart of the ACE Basin. Open from dawn to dusk, this is a great place to glimpse Lowcountry nature at its finest. The property features a historic rice field system, which is now managed to attract waterfowl and migratory birds. The drive is pleasantly lined with beautiful old live oaks.
Lake Warren State Park is located just outside Hampton. The park provides many opportunities for outdoor recreation. A wide variety of wildlife can be found in the floodplain forest, wetlands and woodlands of the park. While walking in the park look for deer, armadillo, turtles, raccoons, squirrels… Be on the lookout for alligators, snakes and birds along the shores of the lake.
The Spanish Moss Trail is an expanding rails-to-trail greenway running from northern Beaufort County to Port Royal along the historic Magnolia Line Railroad. This 10-mile greenway has become a must-experience activity for locals and tourists alike. The 12-foot-wide paved trail is a great space for walking, running, biking, skating, scooting, strolling or even fishing. The trail is handicap accessible, and parking is provided.
Hunting Island State Park is the most popular park in the state. Over one million visitors visit each year. The Lowcountry barrier island contains five miles of beautiful beaches, a saltwater lagoon along with 5,000 acres of maritime forest and marsh. Hunting Island is also home to the state’s only publicly accessible lighthouse. Visitors are encouraged to climb the 167 steps to the top and observe the breath-taking views of the maritime forest and beach from 130 feet above.
2555 Sea Island Pkwy Hunting Island, SC 843-838-2011
This in-town green space boasts a nature trail that travels around a three-acre pond and through forested wetlands filled with ferns and native plants. The property also includes a butterfly garden, picnic area, outdoor classroom, observation decks, and a Nature Center. Permanent trailside displays help visitors learn more about the native flora and fauna of Jasper County and the Lowcountry.
Sgt. Jasper Park is conveniently located off I-95, at Exit 8. After exiting the interstate, point toward Hilton Head and turn left at the first traffic light. Follow the road around until you bump into the park entrance. Trails are located on both sides of the road. Some trails are wheelchair accessible. This is a great place to get off the interstate and stretch your legs. Dogs are welcome here, on a leash. A trail map is available in the park office.
The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of opportunities to explore and enjoy the great outdoors from sunrise to sunset every day. You can observe and photograph wildlife, fish, or during the season, hunt white-tailed deer. Make the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center your first stop when visiting the refuge. Located on Hwy 17 between Hardeeville and Savannah, it is open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but closed Sundays and all federal holidays.
South Carolina is a beautiful state. Our landscape includes beaches, mountains, and everything in between. Much of our natural beauty is preserved in state parks. These destinations are meticulously maintained for your enjoyment. Whether your visit is for a day, or an extended holiday, the SC Lowcountry has five state parks that each hold special treasures.
Hunting Island State Park
Hunting Island State Park is the most popular park in the state. Over one million visitors visit each year. The Lowcountry barrier island contains five miles of beautiful beaches, a saltwater lagoon along with 5,000 acres of maritime forest and marsh. Hunting Island is also home to the state’s only publicly accessible lighthouse. Visitors are encouraged to climb the 167 steps to the top and observe the breath-taking views of the maritime forest and beach from 130 feet above.
Hunting Island State park also has a 100-site campground that sits directly on the beach. Amenities include water and electrical hookups, shower and restroom facilities, beach walkways and a playground. There is also one cabin near the lighthouse. Visiting the park’s nature center should be on your list of things to do. There you can see interesting creatures and regularly scheduled programs for you to enjoy.
Every time you visit Hunting Island, visitors notice change. This barrier island is a temporary stop for many migrating birds as well as those who stick around all year. The ocean forces have been known to wreak havoc on the coastline, which is ever-changing. The saltwater lagoon was created by sand dredging in 1968. This beautiful waterway is a great area for kayaking, crabbing and fishing. Seahorses and barracuda have also been spotted in the lagoon. This area is also a great backdrop for a picnic on a sunny day.
Higher inland areas of the park contain some of the state’s best examples of semi-tropical maritime forest and ancient sand dunes. The dunes are now covered in slash pines, cabbage palmetto and live oaks. Nature trails are interwoven throughout this area for closer inspection. Look for deer and raccoons when traveling through the forest. Alligators can be spotted in the freshwater ponds. The island is also a great spot for bird watching. Painted buntings, tanagers and orioles can be spotted in the trees. Pelicans, oystercatchers, skimmers, terns, herons, egrets and wood storks can be seen along the shores and in the sky.
The beaches on Hunting Island are important habitat for shorebirds and sea birds. They use the beach to feed, and nest. Migrating birds use the beach as well. Some areas of the beach designated for birds only. Guests are always encouraged to keep out of posted areas and keep dogs on a leash to protect these important birding grounds. The beaches of Hunting Island are also important nesting areas for loggerhead sea turtles during the summer months.
The park has several hiking trails that make their way across the island. These trails are easy and can be combined to lengthen the experience. The trails wind along the lagoon and through the maritime forest through various wildlife habitats. They can also take you deep into the interior of the maritime forest where the habitat supports a population of deer, raccoon, owls, hawks and squirrels. The Marsh Boardwalk Trail is a designated National Recreational Trail. It is a wooden boardwalk that leads to a dock that provides a great area for viewing life in the salt marsh. The dock is also the perfect spot for observing beautiful sunsets. There is even a hiking trail from the campground to the lighthouse so campers can walk to the iconic landmark without getting into traffic or dealing with the effects of high tide. More experienced hikers will enjoy the Diamondback Rattlesnake Trail. This moderately strenuous trail is for experienced hikers and mountain bikers only.
Climbing to the top of the historic Hunting Island Lighthouse should be on the bucket list of anyone visiting the island. Anyone over the height of 44” can climb the 167 steps to the top where the views are worth the trip. From the top you can see a panoramic view of the maritime forest and Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is open daily, except for Christmas day and in the event of inclement weather. The original lighthouse was built in 1859. It was destroyed during the Civil War, then rebuilt in 1875. It was built of interchangeable cast-iron sections so it could be dismantled if it ever needs to be moved. This proved beneficial because that is exactly what happened in 1889. The lighthouse was moved 1.3 miles inland due to beach erosion. In 2003 cracks were discovered in several of the cast iron steps leading up. A crew spent more than 18 months making repairs and installing steel braces beneath the stairs for reinforcement. The braces were left unpainted, which creates a contrast with the original structure which protects the lighthouse’s historic integrity.
If you haven’t already, make plans to visit Hunting Island State Park. Climb to the top of the lighthouse. Enjoy the sunrise as you walk along the beach. Search for shells and shark’s teeth along the surf. Stop at the nature center and view the alligators. Experience the sunset from the Marsh Boardwalk and explore the eight miles of walking and biking trails. Come to the place where time stands still, and memories last a lifetime.
Hunting Island State Park 2555 Sea Island Pkwy Hunting Island, SC 29920 843-838-2011
If you are in search of a great oceanfront campground, look no further than Edisto Beach State Park. The park is rich in Native American history, wildlife, hiking and biking opportunities, as well as two campgrounds, cabins and 1.5 miles of pristine shell-covered beachfront. The park is made up of 1,255 acres of maritime forest along the beautiful SC coastline. There you will find the environmental learning center, ranger station, and welcome station.
Edisto Beach, along with its neighboring Botany Bay, is famous for its seashells. While Botany Bay does not allow the collection of shells, Edisto Beach State Park does. The Edisto Beach State Park also has 4 miles of ADA accessible trails for hiking and biking. These trails take you through maritime forest, historic monuments, and a Native American shell mound. These trails are also great for bird watching. Many shore and wading birds can be seen here. The park is a nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles. You can also spot white-tailed deer, raccoons, alligators, bobcats, and opossums.
Furnished cabins sit nestled in the woods, and campsites can be found along the Edisto Island oceanfront or in the shaded maritime forest. There are 120 campsites that accommodate RVs or tents. There are seven cabins located on the salt marsh.
While visiting the environmental learning center you can learn about the ACE Basin and more, featuring interactive displays including a touch tank. The ACE Basin is an estuary that is made from the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Rivers. This is the largest undeveloped estuary along the Atlantic Coast. Mornings at Edisto State Park can be spent hunting for turtle tracks. You can also cast a line and enjoy some of the island’s best fishing in Scott Creek Inlet. If you’re a boater, launch into Big Bay Creek and enjoy a day of fishing or exploring the waters of the ACE Basin.
The park also includes picnic shelters and a park store. The park offers a mile and a half of beach where surf fishing is allowed. Other locations include Steamboat Landing, Old bridge replaced by the McKinley Washington Bridge, and along the banks of Scott’s Creek along the Spanish Mount trail. There is also a small dock in the cabin area for cabin guests only.
Edisto Beach State Park 8377 State Cabin Rd Edisto Island, SC 29438 843-869-2156
Lake Warren State Park
Lake Warren State Park is located just outside Hampton. The park provides many opportunities for outdoor recreation. A wide variety of wildlife can be found in the floodplain forest, wetlands and woodlands of the park. While walking in the park look for deer, armadillo, turtles, raccoons, squirrels… Be on the lookout for alligators, snakes and birds along the shores of the lake. The 200-acre lake is perfect for freshwater fishing and boating. The park also has a 2-acre fishing pond. There are two boat ramps that provide access to the lake. Motors are limited to 10-horsepower. Jon boats are also available for rent.
If you enjoy hiking, the park has three nature trails. Trail locations can be found on the park MAP. The Nature Trail is a 1.25-mile loop that travels through the woods and ends at the fishing pond. Interpretive signs are placed along this trail to increase your knowledge of local wildlife. The Fit Trail has 10 exercise stations. This .0-mile loop is located among the wildlife in a mixed pine forest. The Yemassee Trail skirts along the bank of Lake Warren. Watch for birds and other wildlife including snakes and alligators.
Pets are welcome at the park. The trails are a great place to walk your dog. Dogs must always be kept under physical restraint or on a leash. The park also has picnic shelters and a playground. It’s a great place to spend a sunny day. If you’re looking to fish, hike, play or relax, Lake Warren State Park is the perfect destination for you.
Lake Warren State Park 1079 Lake Warren Road Hampton, SC 29924 803-943-5051
Colleton State Park
The Colleton State Park is a paddlers paradise. The 35-acre park is conveniently located off I-95 at Exit 68. The park provides easy access to the Edisto River, one of the longest free-flowing, blackwater rivers in the country, and serves as the headquarters for the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail. Although it is the smallest of South Carolina’s state parks, it connects to Givhans Ferry State Park 23 miles away via the Edisto River.
If you are interested in camping, fishing, picnicking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, birdwatching, geocaching or biking, this park is perfect for you. Other amenities at Colleton include an easy nature trail, a campground, picnic shelters and ballfields. There is also an air-conditioned cabin that is available that overlooks the Edisto River. This rustic cabin sleeps six and includes two sets of bunk beds, heating and air conditioning, a fireplace, indoor lights, electrical outlets small refrigerator and microwave. The 25 campsites come complete with water and electricity.
The Cypress Swamp Nature Trail runs along the bank of the Edisto River. This easy trail has a self-guided nature brochure, and the trail has numbered signs to help identify a variety of trees and plants including cypress, poplar, hickory, sweetgum, maple, dogwood, birch, and magnolia. You can follow the canoe dock boardwalk spur trail to the dark water of Edisto River. Watch for a variety of birds, deer, turtles, snakes, and other wildlife.
Pets are allowed in most outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Owners will be asked to remove noisy or dangerous pets or pets that threaten or harass wildlife. Pets are not allowed in or around lodging facilities.
Whether it’s boating, fresh-water fishing or just sharing stories around the campfire, you’ll find everything you need to at Colleton State Park.
Colleton State Park 147 Wayside Ln Walterboro, SC 29488 843-538-8206
Givhans Ferry State Park
Givhans Ferry State Park is nestled along the Edisto River. It’s the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Camping spots and cabins are available for rent. Four cabins with screened back porches overlook the river. Separate sites are available for tent, RV and primitive camping. There’s even a riverfront hall that’s available for events. The hall was built during the Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression as a part of the New Deal Program. As a matter of fact, the entire park was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which provided jobs during the 1930’s which addressed the need for the country to conserve natural beauty and create recreational spots to enjoy nature.
Once upon a time, this site was the crossing point for a ferry to move travelers across the Edisto River on the road from Augusta to Charleston. It was named after Phillip Givhan, the area ferry master during the late 1700’s. His granddaughter’s burial site is located on park property. The park’s riverbanks are protected as a Heritage Trust Site.
Givhans Ferry State Park is a part of the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail. Bring your gear and have someone drop you off at the Colleton State Park for the 23-mile paddling adventure that will bring you back to the park. The Edisto River is the longest free-flowing blackwater river in North America. View rare plants that thrive along the limestone bluffs as you paddle along the riverbanks. Plan on this trip taking between seven and nine hours.
A hike along the 1.5-mile River Bluff Nature Trail is another good way to see the flora and fauna found at Givhans Ferry State Park. Hike across moderately steep slopes and a canal and overlook the river from the bluffs. View Cypress trees that grow majestically from the river floor. Don’t forget to look for local wildlife along the trail. The trail is an excellent spot for birdwatching.
If you enjoy casting a line, fishing gear can be obtained at the park office. The park participates in the Park Loaner Program sponsored by the SC Dept. of Natural Resources. A valid SC fishing license is required. Fish for flathead, catfish, red breast, channel catfish, largemouth bass, striped bass, shellcrackers, blue catfish and eels. Fish from the riverbank or bring along the boat. Access to a boat ramp can be found just a few miles away from the park.
Swimming is permitted at the park. No lifeguard is on duty and all swimming is at your own risk. Geocaching is also permitted. Several are located throughout the park. Souvenirs are available at the park store. There you will find t-shirts, caps, mugs, patches and other goodies.
The park encompasses 988 acres of natural habitat. Amenities include 35 campsites with electrical and water hook-up, four 2-bedroom cabins, and a site for primitive group camping. Two picnic shelters and a playground are also available. The park also has volleyball courts, horseshoe pits and games that are available for check-out at the park office. A Wi-Fi signal can be found at the park office. Make your reservations today to enjoy all that nature has to offer at the Givhan’s Ferry State Park.
Givhans Ferry State Park 746 Givhans Ferry Rd. Ridgeville, SC 29472 843-873-0692
Reservations for all South Carolina State Park Campgrounds can be made by calling 1-866-345-7275. Visit the South Carolina State Parks Website for more information on these, and other parks in the Palmetto State.
Farm fresh local produce can be found during the spring and summer months throughout the SC Lowcountry. From u-pick farms, to produce stands and farmers markets, seasonal produce is abundant in our neck of the woods!
You can find Dempsey Farms on the way to Hunting Island State Park, Harbor and Fripp Islands. The farm has various produce throughout the seasons, starting with strawberries in April. They are a working family farm growing produce for the last sixty years. For a farm fresh experience stop by and pick with us. Follow their Facebook page to see what is available.
1576 Sea Island Pkwy. St Helena Island, SC 29920 843-838-3656
Bluffton’s Okatee River Farms has a great selection of local fruit and produce. This small family farm is located 1/2 mile from 278 in Bluffton, SC. They grow tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, okra, peppers and strawberries. April and May is the perfect time to stop by for u-pick strawberries. Follow their Facebook page to see what’s available.
1921 Okatie Hwy. Okatie SC 843-206-5023
Breland Hill Farm is a multigenerational family farm raising fruits, vegetables, and much more! A market is located in Ruffin. Housed in a repurposed tobacco barn, they grow, process, and sell all of their farm products here. U-pick strawberry fields are also located here. Visit their Facebook page to see what’s in season.
849 Spence Dr. Ruffin, SC 29475 843-866-7560 Call for hours of operation.
Shop at the Farm
Morning Glory Homesteadis a family farm on St. Helena Island, which uses sustainable agriculture methods to feed the community. This small family farm began as a homestead for a family of seven. Visitors to the farm can buy seasonal produce, bakery items, eggs and honey. You can also call to schedule a farm tour. The tour includes the rich history of the Gullah community.
Mon – Fri: By Appointment 42 Robert & Clara Trail St. Helena Island, SC 843-812-0344
Bluffton’s Okatee River Farms has a great selection of local fruit and produce. They currently have u-pick strawberries. They are also currently planting sunflowers for harvest. They also have seasonal fruit and veggies throughout the year. Visit their Facebook page to see what’s in season.
1921 Okatie Hwy. Okatie SC 843-206-5023
Kindlewood Farms was born from the interest in the age old techniques of grafting and a passion to create quality, sustainable produce. We are dedicated to producing high quality heirloom tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, okra, corn, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, and cantaloupe. We also grow grafted heirloom tomato plants and grafted cucurbits. Visit their Facebook page to see what’s in season and where to find them.
If you are in Jasper County and looking for fresh eggs, look no farther than Earleah Plantation. Call for more information or to order and pick up fresh eggs. 843-540-2200, email@example.com
Whipporwhill Farmsis a40-acre small family farm offering fresh chicken, rabbit and pork as well as fresh eggs and seasonal veggies. Come to the farm Monday, Wednesday or Sunday to shop on site, or find them at the Hilton Head Farmers Market at Coastal Discovery Museum on Tuesdays. Visit their Facebook page to see what’s in stock.
870 Tillman Road Ridgeland, SC 843-473-5231
Murdaugh Farms is a family-owned and operated farm offering a large variety of produce throughout the year. Some of the produce offered include the well-known Hampton County watermelons, squash (several varieties), cucumbers, zucchini, corn, red potatoes and other varieties of potatoes, okra, carrots, collard greens and many other types of produce. As produce becomes available, it will be posted on the Facebook page. We sell our produce both to the wholesale and retail markets as well as to individual buyers looking for just enough for a meal or two.
22603 Pocotaligo Road Early Branch, SC 803-942-3814
Drawdy Farms is a family-owned business, selling fresh locally grown fruits and veggies. Their produce stand is open year around, with whatever is in season at the time. We proudly serve the low country and support local farmers. Join their Facebook page for weekly updates!
2598 Hopewell Rd Brunson, SC
The Port Royal Farmer’s Market is open Saturdays, from 9 am-noon, rain or shine. You will find fresh, local, seasonal produce, shrimp, oysters, poultry, beef, pork, eggs, bread and cheese. If you have a green thumb, look for plants, ferns, camellias, azaleas, citrus trees and beautiful, fresh cut flower bouquets. Check out the fabulous prepared food vendors serving BBQ, dumplings, she crab soup, crab cakes, paella, coffee, baked goods, bagels and breakfast sandwiches. Find them at the Port Royal Naval Heritage Park at the intersection of Ribaut Road and Pinckney Blvd.
The BlufftonFarmers Market is open Thursdays, from 12-5 pm. Come find fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants and herbs at the Farmers Market of Bluffton. Gather with locals and tourists at this weekly community event to buy excellent produce, enjoy delicious food, listen to entertainment, and relax with friends. Located in historic downtown Bluffton along Calhoun and Lawrence Streets and through Carson Cottages, this family friendly market showcases local growers, local food vendors, local entertainment, local community causes and local information about the Bluffton area. Find them at 71 Green Street in historic Bluffton.
Come to the Hilton Head Island Farmers Market at Coastal Discovery Museum and take home fresh produce, chicken, rabbit, pork, seafood, salsa, fresh sausage, beef, meals to cook, cookies, breads, she crab soup and much more! The market is open every Tuesday from 10-3 in the spring, summer and fall. Hours shorten to 9 am-1 pm in the winter. Shopping at the Hilton Head Farmers Market is about more than getting great food, it is about meeting friends, strengthening the community, and rebuilding the local food economy. Find the Hilton Head Farmers Market on the grounds of Coastal Discovery Museum, 70 Honey Horn Drive, on Hilton Head Island.
The Ridgeland Farmers Market hosts a variety of vendors, including produce, baked goods, prepared meals, arts, crafts and estate sales. The market is located on Main Street in downtown Ridgeland. They are open Fridays, from 1-6 pm.
Sea Eagle Market is a family owned and operated retail and wholesale market and catering company located at 2149 Boundary St. in Beaufort. Stop by and pick up soft shell crabs, shrimp and more! Open Monday thru Saturday, from 9 am – 6 pm. For daily information visit their Facebook page. (843)521-5090
Maggioni Oyster Company is South Carolina’s largest provider of premium quality wild-harvested bushels and single oysters. They harvest oysters at low tide, wash off the briny mud, and deliver them directly to their customers. Maggioni Oyster Company first opened on Daufuskie Island in 1883 and later built a cannery in Beaufort. They have been family owned and operated for five generations. Find them at 440 Eddings Point Rd, on St. Helena Island. (912)844-1031
Lady’s Island Oysters specializes in single lady oysters, grown in the clean, crisp waters of the SC Lowcountry. The estuaries that nurture their oysters are filled with pure salt water flowing directly from the Atlantic Ocean. Great pride is taken to nurture oysters from hatchery to harvest. Find them at 35 Hutson Drive, in Seabrook. (843)473-5018
Bluffton Oyster Company has been a family run operation since 1899. The Bluffton Oyster Company actually sits on reclaimed land, built up by more than a hundred years of discarded shells from previous shucking operations. The oyster business thrived in early Bluffton and throughout the 1920’s, with five different oyster operations in the area. Now the Bluffton Oyster Company remains the last hand-shucking house in the state of South Carolina. They specialize in fresh local seafood; oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, fish filets, soft shell crabs and live blue crabs. Hours of operation are 9 am – 5:30 pm, Monday thru Saturday. You can also purchase fried shrimp, oysters and soft shell crab at the Bluffton Farmers Market on Thursdays. Find them at 63 Wharf St. (843)757-4010
Flowers Seafood has been commercially fishing and serving fresh, local seafood on Edisto Island for four generations. Come into their family owned seafood market and browse the selection of fresh, wild caught seafood. They have a large selection of fish, shrimp, crabs, and other seafood that comes “fresh off the boat” daily. If you’re interested in cooked food try their “To-Go” restaurant located right behind Flowers Seafood Company. The same fresh seafood is made ready to order. Stop by on your way to Edisto Beach. The market is open Monday-Saturday, from 9 am-6 pm, and Sunday 9 am-5 pm. The Flowers Seafood To-Go Food Truck is open Thursday-Saturday 11 am-7 pm. They are located just six miles from the beach at 1914 Hwy 174, Edisto Island, SC (843)869-0033 (Market), (843)869-3303 (kitchen/to-go orders)
Fiddler’s Seafood Market and Restaurant is a historical and beloved destination where fresh seafood is enjoyed and homemade goods are shared. Fiddlers gives customers an authentic taste of local, old-fashioned southern comfort. Their seafood is either caught by Fiddler’s owner, Billy Rowell on his very own boat or purchased from local fishermen. Within walking distance of their restaurant is the seafood market, where customers can bring home southern hospitality in its finest form. Fresh produce, homemade baked goods, and local crafts are all created by our own staff, or by the artisans of the Ridgeland, SC community. Visit their Facebook page to see what’s going on in the restaurant and market, or visit for yours self. The restaurant is located at 7738 West Main Street, (843)726-6681. The seafood market is just around the corner at 572 South Green Street, (843)726-6691.
Tuten’s Fresh Market Meat and Seafood is Hampton’s finest local butcher shop. This family owned business has been around for over 30 years. Ran by an expert butcher and grill master, Tuten’s is dedicated to delivering the very best meat and freshest seafood, with farm fresh produce and some staple grocery items as well! Come by and see them sometime. They’ll be glad to help you find anything you are looking for as well as give you some great tips for seasoning, marinating, and grilling your meals to perfection. Located at 604 Elm St. in Hampton, (803)943-4670. Visit their Facebook page for daily updates.
SC Lowcountry state parks offer excellent fishing opportunities!
It’s always a good time to go fishing in the South Carolina Lowcountry! We offer a true sportsman’s paradise! Our unique landscape provides many spots for anglers to prove their skills in both fresh and salt water. Our state parks are a great place to “catch the big one”, but don’t forget to pick up a valid South Carolina fishing license before dropping a line into the water.
Hunting Island State Park has five miles of beaches to fish, along with Johnson Creek, a salt-water lagoon, and an ocean inlet. Fish for trout, redfish, and flounder. Head over to the fishing pier at the southern tip of the park to try your luck. The pier extends 1,120 feet into the Fripp Inlet, where snapper, grouper and bigger varieties are found. Bait, equipment and other supplies can be purchased at the park store in the campground. The park also has a tackle loaner program. Rods and reels are available at the nature center for use on the pier. The park has a boat ramp that has access to both Harbor River and Fripp Inlet. Bring the camper and stay for a while in the beachfront campground. Hunting Island State Park 2555 Sea Island Pkwy Beaufort, SC 843-838-2011
Fish along the surf at Edisto Beach State Park or head over to the salt marsh. Flounder, whiting, redfish, and other saltwater fish can be caught here. Want to bring the boat? A boat ramp and dock with access to Big Bay Creek can be found in the park. Edisto Beach State Park also has a beachfront campground. Edisto Beach State Park 8377 State Cabin Road Edisto Island, SC 843-869-2156
Colleton State Park connects to Givhans Ferry State Park to offer 23 miles of freshwater, blackwater fishing. The park is conveniently located off Interstate 95 at Exit 68. A boat ramp is just ¼ miles away, with easy access to the Edisto River, one of the longest free flowing blackwater rivers in the country. Fish by boat or along the shore for bream, redbreast and catfish. The park is also the headquarters for the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail. This park participates in the tackle loaner program. Rods and reels are available for loan at the park office. Colleton State Park also has a campground. Colleton State Park 147 Wayside Lane Walterboro, SC 843-538-8206
Lake Warren State Park is located in Hampton, SC. Lake Warren is a 200-acre lake that offers freshwater fishing and boating. Fish this freshwater lake for largemouth bass, brim, redbreast, crappie, and catfish. The lake has two different boat ramps for boats with 10 horsepower motors. Jon boats are also available for rent year-round. Boats come complete with trolling motor, life jackets and paddles. Rentals are available through the park ranger. The lake also has a fishing dock. Lake Warren State Park 1079 Lake Warren Road Hampton, SC 803-943-5051
Looking for more fishing opportunities? We have marinas, and multiple charter fishing services. Have your own boat? We have 31 boat ramps in both fresh and salt water, fishing piers and artificial reefs. Fishing in South Carolina is popular year-round for fresh water, large mouth, red-breast, and catfish. The salt-water species vary from trout, redfish and flounder inshore to marlin, dolphin, king mackerel, snapper, grouper and much more offshore. Choose from a half dozen rivers, a beautiful little lake, or a great big ocean. Like shell fish? Catch your own shrimp and crabs, or dig clams and harvest oysters.
Bring Fido along for your next dog-friendly adventure to the South Carolina Lowcountry!
Dogs are considered family members and are treated as such in the Lowcountry. Accommodations, restaurants, tours, beaches, and charters can be found that welcome the addition of dogs to the party. Here’s a selection of activities in the South Carolina Lowcountry that are dog-friendly.
Parks and Outdoor Areas that are dog-friendly:
Hunting Island State Park allows dogs on a leash in the park. They are not allowed in cabin areas or inside the lighthouse complex. They are also not allowed on the northern tip of the island to protest critical shorebird habitat. Pets are allowed in most other outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Take advantage of the many walking trails located throughout the park.
Lake Warren State Parkallows dogs inmost outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. The trails at the park make excellent walking paths for dogs.
Edisto Beach State Parkallows dogs in most outdoor areas including the trails provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Pets are not allowed in the cabins or the cabin areas.
Colleton State Parkallows dogs in most outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Pets are not allowed in or around lodging facilities.
Dogs are permitted onHilton Head beachesbefore 10 am and after 5 pm Memorial Day through Labor Day. Dogs must be on a leash or under positive voice control at all other times.
Hilton Head Island’s Chaplin Community Park off-leash dog park is located off William Hilton Parkway between Burkes Beach Road and Singleton Beach Road. This is a great place to bring the dogs to play with others.
Hilton Head Sea Pines Forest Preserve and Audubon Newhall Preserve allow dogs on a leash.
Hilton Head Fishing charters and river cruises that allow dogs include Captain Mark’s Dolphin Cruise, Vagabond Cruise, Calibogue Cruises, Runaway Fishing Charters, and Over Yonder Charters. For websites and more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/charters/.
Hardeeville’sSgt Jasper Park has many walking trails that are perfect for short hikes with your dog. Ridgeland’s Blue Heron Nature Trail is also a good place for dog walking. Both parks are conveniently located just off I-95.
Hardeevillealso has an off-leash dog park located in the Richard Gray Sports Complex behind City Hall, 205 Main Street. The park is divided into areas for small and large dogs. There’s also a designated area for senior dogs as well. The park has shaded benches and doggie water fountains. The park is conveniently located just off I-95, making it a great place to let the pups run off energy.
Yemassee’s Frampton Plantation Visitors Center enjoys visiting with dogs. They are allowed inside and out! Plan a picnic on the grounds and take the dog for a walk through the woods. Come inside and visit with the friendly staff that love visits from leashed dogs. The center is located on I-95 at Exit 33.
Beaufort Bricks on Boundary Common Ground Coffeehouse and Market Café Hemingways Bistro Luther’s Rare & Well Done Panini’s on the Waterfront Plums After a downtown meal, be sure to go for a walk at the Henry C Chambers Waterfront Park.
St Helena Island Johnson Creek Tavern Marsh Tacky Market Café After a St. Helena meal, walk through the Chapel of Ease and Ft. Fremont.
HHI Skull Creek Boathouse Captain Woody’s Old Oyster Factory Crazy Crab Up the Creek Pub & Grill Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks Fishcamp on Broad Creek Go for a walk through Audubon Newhall Preserve or Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
Bluffton The Cottage Old Town Dispensary Katie O’Donalds Okatie Ale House Fat Patties Guiseppi’s Pizza Captain Buddy’s Charters Go for a walk through the many parks in the Old Town area of Bluffton, or Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve.
Walterboro Fat Jacks Sonic Drive-in After dinner, stroll through the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary.
Edisto Island Seacow Eatery Flowers Seafood Pressley’s at the Marina La Retta’s Pizzeria McConkey’s Jungle Shack After dinner, walk through Bay Creek Park or Edisto Beach State Park.
Ridgeland Alchile Mexican Grill Eats & Sweets Bakery Fiddlers Seafood PJ’s Coffee House Go for a walk through Blue Heron Nature Center’s trail after dinner.
Dog friendly accommodations are easy to find in the Lowcountry. Many rental homes, hotels and bed & breakfast locations are happy to accept your furry friends.
Certain rooms at the Anchorage 1770 are also dog friendly. Just let the staff know you plan to bring your furry friend, and you will be booked accordingly. The Beaufort Inn also allows dogs.
While visiting Lowcountry parks and wildlife management areas, dog owners are required to remove and properly dispose of the animal’s excrement. Please keep in mind, it is illegal to allow pets to chase or harass wildlife.
When going on outings with your dog be sure to bring food, trail treats, water and water bowl, plastic bags, leash, and collar. Make sure your current contact information is on your dog’s collar. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Limited mobility is not a problem in the SC Lowcountry.
The South Carolina Lowcountry is the perfect destination for people with limited mobility. The consistency of our flat ground makes reaching many attractions easily attainable. Come tour the natural beauty of our unspoiled landscape. Bask in the sunshine at one of our beaches, view the carefully preserved architecture and experience a fishing expedition. There’s something here for everyone!
For beautiful sunsets that are unmatched in beauty, head over to Port Royal’s Sands Boardwalk. Make sure to stop by the Cypress Wetlands Rookery on the way. Roll through the paved trail loop and look for egrets, herons, eagles and migratory birds.
Interested in fishing while in Beaufort? Head over to the Crystal Lake Park. The 25-acre park has a boardwalk that surrounds the lake and has docks that are perfect for catch and release fishing.
Looking for nighttime fun? Beaufort is one of the few cities where you can step back in time and go to a drive-in movie. The Highway 21 Drive-in has been updated with a digital format and concession stand snacks can be ordered online. They have two screens which show double features Thursday – Sunday nights. Grab your blankets and pillows and have fun the old-fashioned way!
Like to go camping on the beach? The Hunting IslandState Park Campground has an all-terrain wheelchair and Handicapped-equipped restrooms and mobi-mats that allow for smooth access to the beach. There’s also another wheelchair located near the lighthouse. Call 843-838-2011 for more information. Visit the nature center and the marsh boardwalk. Both are accessible by wheelchair. Tour the grounds of the lighthouse and see the footprint of the former facilities.
Beaufort’s Spanish Moss Trailis a 12-ft wide trail that follows the path to Parris Island that was used by the railroad to bring recruits to the marine training facility. No longer in use, the rails were removed, and a trail was constructed to lead visitors and locals along a path that winds through wooded areas and across the waterways of Beaufort County. Fishing can be done from several bridges along the way.
Old Town Bluffton is located along the shores of the May River. Stroll along the paths of the Oyster Factory Park or Wright Family Park. Oyster shell-paved sidewalks lead right to the door of theGarvin-Garvey House for a tour of Bluffton’s restored freedmen cottage. If Spending a Day in Old Town Bluffton be sure to visit the Church of the Cross, and stroll through the grounds of the Heyward House Museum.
The Bluffton Shell Art Trail is another fun outdoor activity that is accessible. Download the map and set out to discover all 21 shells that are placed throughout the historic district.
Hilton Head is home to the Coastal Discovery Museum. This facility also has nature trails and a butterfly pavilion. The museum also conducts tours on site and around the island.
If getting out on the water is on the agenda, spend an afternoonSailing the Coastal Waters. Tours range from dolphin searching to dinner cruises.
The town of Hilton Head offers matting for regular wheelchairs near beach accesses at Alder Lane, Coligny Beach Park, Driessen Beach Park, Fish Haul Beach Park, Folly Field Beach Park, and Islanders Beach Park. The town does not offer modified wheelchairs. Call 843-341-4600 for more information.
Daufuskie Island is an adventure that is not to be missed. The island is situated between Savannah and Hilton Head. It is only accessible by boat. Ferry services are available. Rent a golf cart and explore the Robert Kennedy Trail and learn the History of this Gullah Paradise where Pat Conroy used to teach in a two-room schoolhouse. Explore the island to your heart’s content with so much to see. Experience the secluded beaches, Daufuskie Island Rum Company, Bloody Point Lighthouse, Historic Gullah Homes, Mary Field School, The Iron Fish Studio, historic churches, Silver Dew Winery, and so much more.
Hampton County is home to the Lake Warren State Park. Enjoy fishing in the lake for largemouth bass, brim, redbreast, and other freshwater fish. There are docks to fish from shore or you can rent a boat and troll the 200-acre lake.
Hardeeville is home to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. This vast natural wonder has a driving tour through former rice fields that are teaming with an abundance of waterfowl. Look for alligators and migratory birds as you make the slow drive through the refuge.
Sgt. Jasper Park is another great place to view nature in Hardeeville. Several of the trails are designed for people with mobility impairment. You can also fish at the park.
Ridgeland’s Blue Heron Nature Trail winds around a pond and its surrounding wetlands. It’s conveniently located just off the interstate. It’s a great place to get out of the car and take in fresh air and relaxation.
Another Jasper County gem that’s located on I-95 is the Frampton Plantation House Visitors Center and Museum. It has sidewalks, a picnic area and ramp for guests with disabilities. Come inside and see the 153 year-old house that was saved from demolition by the Lowcountry Tourism Commission.
The newly opened Walterboro Wildlife Center features native wildlife of the state’s largest city park, the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary. Come to the center to view the interpretive exhibit hall showcasing plant and animal life. ClickHERE to see the newest addition to the collection. After a visit to the center, drive over to tour the sanctuary and experience nature firsthand.
Edisto Island is steeped in history and natural beauty. Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area is a beautiful spot to tour from your car. The entrance to the former plantation property is lined with an iconic alley of live oaks dripping in Spanish moss. Upon check-in, guests receive a driving tour map that includes information on the history of the property.
The Henry Hutchinson House is another Edisto Island treasure. The house was built by a freedman during Reconstruction. It is the oldest house of its kind on the island. It has recently been restored and the exterior is on display to celebrate this important time in American history.
Edisto Beach has rolled out the carpet for beach goers with disabilities – literally! New mats have been installed for visitors with mobility impairment. Beach wheelchairs are also available at the fire station. Simply call 843-869-2505, ext. 217 to make a reservation.
The South Carolina Lowcountry is a great place to film a movie. The landscape is filled with oak lined alleys, lazy waterways, and charming small towns. Our sub-tropical sea islands are also another well-used place to set a jungle scene. Let’s not forget the beautiful beaches and classically southern architecture. Our chameleon-like environment and mild weather can transport production crews from the South to the Midwest, tropical islands, and even Europe. Let’s take a chronological look at the movies that have been filmed in Beaufort, Jasper, Colleton and Hampton counties.
The Great Santini is a Pat Conroy classic that was filmed in Beaufort. The Meechum family home scenes were shot in the house is known locally as Tidalholm. Many of the military scenes were shot at the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station. All of the other scenes were filmed in and around Beaufort. Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner and Michael O’Keefe star in this 1979 coming of age drama classic.
Beaufort’s Tidalholm Mansion was also prominently featured in the film The Big Chill. It is a private home located in downtown Beaufort. The 1983 film includes the talents of Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, Tom Berenger and Jo Beth Williams. Kevin Costner was also cast for the film, but unfortunately the only scenes that made the final cut involved his funeral. Filming sites also included Bay Street and streets along the Point. Tidalholm also serves as a main backdrop in The Great Santini, filmed just a few years earlier in 1979.
Full Metal Jacket was filmed on Parris Island in 1987. The island is home to the training facility of the US Marine Corps. Footage of an actual marine graduation was used in the film. The movie stars Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Pat Conroy’s Prince of Tides was filmed on Fripp Island. Just an island hop-skip-and-a-jump from Beaufort, the beautiful, unspoiled beach made the perfect backdrop for the film. Conroy wrote the book in 1986, while living in Beaufort. The movie was filmed on Fripp in 1991, then in 1992, Conroy moved onto the island. Nick Nolte drives across the Beaufort River in the opening scene of the movie. The private home at 601 Bay Street was used as well. Nick Nolte, Barbara Streisand and Blythe Danner star in this Conroy classic.
Forrest Gump may have been set in Greenbow, Alabama, but it was mainly filmed in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Fripp Island, Beaufort, Hunting Island, Varnville, Walterboro, and Yemassee were all sights used in this iconic 1994 movie. Stars Tom Hanks, Robin Right, Sally Field and Gary Sinise travelled between Beaufort, Fripp Island, Varnville, Yemassee and Walterboro to create this American classic film that has left us with enough quotes to last a lifetime.
Disney’s Jungle Book was filmed in the South Carolina Lowcountry. The lush India jungle scenes were shot on Fripp Island, nearly 8,000 miles away from the story’s fictional setting. Locations for the war scenes were destroyed then later developed into a golf course. An abundance of exotic animals were brought onto the island foe filming, including monkeys, elephants and tigers. The 1994 movie carried a star-studded cast including Jason Scott Lee, Cary Elwes, Lena Heady, Sam Neill and John Cleese.
The War was filmed in Beaufort in 1994. The movie Stars Kevin Costner, Mare Wittingham and Elijah Wood. The movie follows the family of a Vietnam soldier as he tries to acclimate into his former life after the war. While his children build a treehouse in their small hometown of Juliette, Mississippi, they were actually filming in a Beaufort, SC live oak tree. Fun fact – this is Kevin Costner’s second time to film in the Lowcountry. He was in the cast of the Big Chill. Unfortunately all his scenes, with the exception of his funeral, were cut from the movie. Little did they know that he would become the Hollywood powerhouse that he is today.
King Farm scenes from Something to Talk About were filmed at Davant Plantation, just north of Ridgeland. Downtown Beaufort was also used for filming the college scenes. The restaurant at 822 Bay Street was used for a scene and many locals were cast as diners. The Beaufort County Library on Scott Street was used extensively during the production. Mobile dressing rooms were parked in the lot and the meeting room was used as well. The intersection of Craven and Scott Streets was a popular spot to try to catch a glimpse of Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid, Robert Duval, Gena Rowlands, Kyra Sedgewick and the rest of the cast. The film was released in 1995.
Even Jim Carrey and Courtney Cox found their way to the Lowcountry when Ace Ventura was filmed in 1995. Edisto Island’s Botany Bay and Yemassee’s Cherokee Plantation were locations used for the comedy film. Botany Bay was the perfect backdrop to film the tropical jungle and African village scenes. The Georgian mansion of Cherokee Plantation and its manicured gardens served as the setting for the British consulate in Bonai. Fun fact – the president of General Motors, Robert Beverly Evans, once owned Cherokee Plantation and named the Jeep Cherokee after his Lowcountry estate.
Hollywood came to the Lowcountry was once again when the all-star cast, featuring Sharon Stone, Peter Gallagher, Randy Quaid and Rob Morrow visited Beaufort and Ridgeland to film Last Dance. The 1996 film captured images of the Castle (411 Craven Street), Hunting Island and the newly constructed state prison in Ridgeland.
Parts of the movie White Squall were filmed in Beaufort. The 1996 film stars Jeff Bridges and Caroline Goodall. The production crew transformed 510 Carteret Street, Beaufort, into the movie’s bus terminal. The churchyard of the Parish Church of St. Helena, 501 Church Street, was also used in the movie. The church, built in 1724, is a Beaufort landmark. Other Beaufort film sites included: Murr’s Graphic and Printing, 1012 Boundary Street, the Chocolate Tree, 507 Carteret Street, and areas of Washington Street.
Demi Moore and Viggo Mortensen made their way to the jungles of the Lowcountry in 1997 to film GI Jane. The movie dealt with the extreme physical and mental challenges of training for the elite Navy Seals. Survival camp scenes for this movie were filmed on Harbor and Hunting Islands.
Edisto Island’s Botany Bay was the setting for the beach slave camp in the movie The Patriot. The movie was shot in entirely in South Carolina in 101 days from September of 1999 to January of 2000. Benjamin Martin’s (Mel Gibson) character is loosely based on the legend of South Carolina’s famed “Swamp Fox,” Francis Marion. The movie also stars Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs and Joely Richardson.
Forces of Nature made its way along the east coast and filmed in the Lowcountry in 1999. Ben Affleck, Sandra Bullock, Maura Tierney and Blythe Danner shot scenes at the Beaufort home at 411 Craven Street. The mansion, commonly known as the Castle served as the Cahill’s house. The stars were guests at the Rhett House Inn during their stay in Beaufort. It’s fun to note that this is the third time that Blythe Tanner was cast as the mother in a movie filmed in Beaufort (Great Santini, Prince of Tides, Forces of Nature).
Rules of Engagement is another movie that was filmed on the South Carolina Lowcountry. Vietnam War scenes from this 2000 film were shot on Hunting Island. The island’s lush, semi-tropical landscape is reminiscent of the Vietnam jungle. The military film stars Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson.
Edisto Island’s Brookland Plantation served as the home of Matt Damon’s character in the 2000 movie Baggar Vance. Actors Will Smith and Charlize Theron join the cast with Damon. The movie was also directed by Robert Redford. Golfing scenes were filmed at the Pete Dye course in Bluffton’s Colleton River Plantation.
Inspired by a heart-warming true story, Radio was filmed in and around Walterboro. Many of the 2003 movie scenes were shot at Hampton Street Elementary, which was also a location used in Forrest Gump. Filming also took place at Colleton County High School. Many scenes were shot along Washington Street. The coach’s house is located on just outside Walterboro on Mt. Carmen Road. Radio stars Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ed Harris and Debra Winger.
Cassina Point Plantation on Edisto Island was a scene from the movie Dear John. This was the site of Savannah’s (Amanda Seyfried) family home. Seyfried and Channing Tatum were filmed there for several scenes in the 2010 motion picture. Both stars shared their thoughts in a www.sciway.net post: “I love South Carolina,” says Channing Tatum. “I’m from the South, so I have an addiction with it. The food, the people, the lifestyle. It’s just so charming.” “The South is a whole different thing altogether. It’s romantic. It’s just so beautiful. It brings something to a film you can’t get anywhere else in the world.” – Amanda Seyfried
More recently Beaufort has been used in the production of the 2019 Netflix hit Outer Banks. While the story line takes place in North Carolina, filming is done in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. While a majority of the scenes were filmed in the Charleston area, Hunting Island plays a prominent roll in the series. The island was the spot for the nighttime beach scenes. And the boneyard beach area was the location for several party scenes. The Hunting Island Lighthouse also makes an appearance while the characters search for clues to a hidden treasure.
Stars Fell on Alabama was filmed in Beaufort and Bluffton in 2019. The romantic comedy was filmed throughout Beaufort, including Bay Street, The Beaufort Inn and Blackstone’s Cafe. Other locations included Port Royal, Beaufort Academy on Lady’s Island, and the Old Town Dispensary in Bluffton. The film is scheduled to premiere in film festivals in the fall of 2020.
Did you know Hampton was once the sight of a German Prisoner of War campsite??? Several POW camps were established in South Carolina during World War II. In 1942 America found itself the captor of 275,000 German and Italian soldiers. They were put to work on farms across the south. Hampton’s POW Camp was in operation from 1943-1946. 250 prisoners captured from North Africa were held here. POWs lived in tents with wooden floors or wooden barracks. The Hampton Armory was located across the street and housed the US Army officers in charge of the camp. POWs worked 8-10-hour days harvesting peanuts, cutting pulpwood or at the Plywoods-Plastics Corporation. They were paid 25 to 80 cents a day in script which they spent in the camp store.
Over the three years of activity at the camp, prisoners captured in Italy and France were brought to Hampton. The only thing remaining of the camp today is a historical marker that marks the spot. One must wonder if any of the souls who died here roam the grounds of Hampton, looking for a way home???
Hampton is home to another particularly eerie building. The Hampton County Jail was built in 1878 to house inmates while they awaited trail. Those accommodated here were only supposed to be guests of the facility for 48 hours or less. Many unfortunate souls were forced to stay in the cramped and inhumane building for much longer.
The first floor served as living quarters for the jailer and his family, along with one cell that was reserved for white women. In the 1960s, two rooms were converted into four cells to accommodate more “guests”.
The heavily reinforced upstairs was reserved for all other visitors. Seven cells occupied this floor, all sharing the same latrine. Although the ceilings were ten feet high, the cage containing the prisoners was only seven feet. In the 1960s, the cells were divided into more cells.
According to a 1916 report from the State Board of Charities and Corrections, the conditions at this jail were very unsanitary. The building had very poor ventilation and the floors were only cleaned three times a year. Inmates with tuberculosis and syphilis shared quarters, bedding and eating utensils with healthy cellmates. Bed linens were only washed once or twice a year. One prisoner froze to death while incarcerated. By 1919 the jail was rated as the worst jail in the state. A new jail was built in 1976 and this building would no longer be used to hold prisoners. Today it houses the Hampton County Museum. If you’re brave, go visit the old jail and see if you can run across the spirit of the poor soul that froze to death in his jail cell.
Thankfully, today is a new day and things like this don’t happen very often in the modern world. Humanity has come a long way. There’s nothing left of the POW camps and the Old Jail is now a museum. You can visit… if you dare!
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The Lowcountry & Resort Islands Region of South Carolina includes the four, southern-most counties in the state, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton, which are bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Savannah River and the state of Georgia.