We Are Dog-Friendly

Bring Fido along for your next dog-friendly adventure to the South Carolina Lowcountry!

dog-friendly south carolina
Photo by Amy Lane.

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.

dog-friendly beach south carolina
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

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.

dog-friendly south carolina beaches
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Lake Warren State Park allows 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 Park allows 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 Park allows 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.

dog-friendly parks south carolina
Image provided by Lanie Woods.

Dogs are permitted on Hilton Head beaches before 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.

Fikki enjoys the Lowcountry outdoors. Photo by Peach Morrison.

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.

Photo by Amy Lane.

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/.

Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Hardeeville’s Sgt 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.

Hardeeville Dog Park image by James Buquet.

Hardeeville also 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.

ACE Basin National Wildlife Management Area allows dogs on a leash. Roam the grounds, hike the trails and picnic on the lawn of the Grove Plantation House.

Fripp Island beaches, most accommodations and activities are dog friendly.

Pippa enjoys a windy day at the Sands Beach. Photo by Julieann.

Port Royal’s Sands Boardwalk and Beach and the Cypress Wetlands Trail are fun places to walk in the late afternoon. The sunset from the Sands Boardwalk is outstanding.

dog-friendly trails south carolina
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

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.

Edisto’s Botany Bay Ecotours also allows dogs.

Several restaurants with outdoor seating allow dogs. Here is a sample of restaurants by city. For restaurant websites visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/restaurants/.

Bricks on Boundary
Common Ground Coffeehouse and Market Café
Hemingways Bistro
Luther’s Rare & Well Done
Panini’s on the Waterfront
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Doggie life jackets are a good idea if you plan to add boating to your agenda. Photo by Charlotte Pinckney.

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.

The historic Anchorage 1770 is dog friendly.

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!

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Cooking with the Master!

The Lowcountry’s Favorite Comfort Food Cooked by Daufuskie Island’s Favorite Chef

Sallie Ann Robinson
Daufuskie Island
Shrimp and grits
Shrimp gravy simmers while Sallie Ann tells stories of Daufuskie.
Image by Carmen Pinckney.

Daufuskie Island’s own chef Sallie Ann Robinson tours the Lowcountry teaching Gullah cooking. The sixth-generation island native has authored several cookbooks and conducts cooking demonstrations both locally and nationally.  She came to the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage and taught participants how to cook shrimp and grits and share stories of her beloved Daufuskie Island.

Sallie Ann Robinson
Daufuskie Island
Old and new friends gather around their favorite Lowcountry chef.
Photo submitted by Carmen Pinckney.

The evening started off with glasses of wine and conversation. After we were properly acquainted, Sallie Ann started a demonstration that was intermingled with cooking and stories of her beloved Daufuskie Island. She shared stories of a very influential sixth grade year spent with her teacher (and later famous author) Pat Conroy. He wrote a book about his experiences on the island entitled The Water is Wide. Conroy would later write the forward to Sallie Ann’s first cookbook entitled Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way.

Sallie Ann Robinson
Daufuskie Island
Sallie Ann prepares ingredients for her recipe.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

As Sallie Ann weaved a tale of island stories, she fried bacon and stirred a pot of grits. She sprinkled shrimp with spices and tossed them in flour. Then she cooked the shrimp until they reached the perfect shade of pink.

Sallie Ann Robinson
Daufuskie Island
Participants get a closer look at the magic happening in the pan.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

She next sautéed the vegetables until they were tender and added the shrimp back to the pan.  The flavors simmered together until the gravy thickened and turned a beautiful brown.

Sallie Ann Robinson
Daufuskie Island
Shrimp and grits
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

When we felt like we couldn’t stand it any longer, the shrimp and gravy was ladled over the slow-cooked grits and presented to us! Believe me when I tell you, it was worth the wait! I have never tasted anything so delicious and comforting. I’m glad it was a cold night, because the meal warmed me from the inside out!

Sallie Ann Robinson
Daufuskie Island
Photo submitted by Carmen Pinckney.

As the evening came to an end, I waited in line with everyone else to have Sallie Ann sign my cookbook.  It was a pleasure to spend the evening with the sixth-generation Daufuskie native who is both an entertainer and a master chef. She is most definitely a Lowcountry treasure. After her demonstration I gathered ingredients and made my family’s Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Sallie Ann’s recipe for Cooper River Smuttered Shrimp can be found in her cookbook Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way. To experience a tour on Daufuskie with Sallie Ann Robinson, visit southcarolinalowcountry.com/daufuskie-island-tours.

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We’re Accessible

Limited mobility is not a problem in the SC Lowcountry.

mobility impaired destination
Sgt. Jasper Park photo by SC Lowcountry Tourism Commission.

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!

Photo by Carmen Pinckney.


The sidewalks and streets of downtown Beaufort make touring the city quite easy. Take a walking tour of Beaufort’s Historic Churches, or tour along Bay Street’s Waterfront Homes. Venture across Boundary Street to view the Homes of the Point . The Historic Churches of Beaufort  can be viewed, either driving or walking.

Penn Center
Penn Center image by Carmen Pinckney.

Looking for an indoor adventure? Visit the Beaufort Arsenal Museum , or the Penn Center.

Sands Boardwalk image by Miles Sanders.

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.

Image by Friends of Crystal Lake.

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.

Hwy 21 Drive-in image by Dan Reger.

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!

This image, taken from the top of the lighthouse, shows wheelchair friendly sidewalks that can be used to tour the lighthouse grounds. Photo by Bobby Weiner.

Like to go camping on the beach? The Hunting Island State 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.

Spanish Moss Trail image by Carmen Pinckney.

Beaufort’s Spanish Moss Trail is 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.


The Garvin-Garvey House and adjacent Oyster Factory Park have sidewalks for easy wheelchair access. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

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 the Garvin-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 leads throughout Old Town Bluffton. Image by Carmen Pinckney.

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

Image from Coastal Discovery Museum website.

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 afternoon Sailing the Coastal Waters. Tours range from dolphin searching to dinner cruises.

Hilton Head Beaches are handicapped accessible. Image from HiltonHead.com.

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 best seen by golf cart. Image from SC Living Magazine.

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.


Lake Warren fishing pier is the perfect place to park a wheelchair and throw out a fishing line. Image by SC Lowcountry Tourism Commission.

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.


Look for alligators while driving through the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.
Image by David Moran.

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 image by Carmen Pinckney.

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.


Blue Heron Park image from Facebook.

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.

Just up the street you’ll find the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage.   This museum has fun travelling exhibits and permanent displays.

Frampton Plantation House, c. 1868 – Lowcountry & Resort Islands Visitors Center and Museum has a ramp for easy access into the house. Photo by SC Lowcountry Tourism Commission.

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.


Photo from Walterboro Wildlife Center Facebook.

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. Click HERE to see the newest addition to the collection. After a visit to the center, drive over to tour the sanctuary and experience nature firsthand.

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area and Donnelley Wildlife Management Area are other great places for bird watching. Both are easily driven, and nature can be seen up close and personal from the seats of your car. Look for Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, and other native species.

Edisto Island

A drive down this avenue of oaks takes you to Botany Bay. Image by Carmen Pinckney.

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.   

Henry Hutchinson House image by Grayce Gonzalez.

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.

Photo from the Town of Edisto Beach Facebook.

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.

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Ridgeland’s Blue Heron Nature Trail

Interstate weary? This conveniently located nature trail is just what the doctor ordered!

The 10-acre Blue Heron Nature Trail and Learning Center offers relief for the road-weary, and it’s as easy to get to as any rest area. The nature trail is conveniently located at Ridgeland’s I-95, Exit 21.

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.

Along the trail you will find benches, swings, and an attractive butterfly garden. Be on the look-out for wildlife that frequently stop along the shores of the pond.

In addition to the herons, you may see egrets, ducks, turtles, fish, alligators, and other wildlife. The forest boardwalks take visitors in two different directions so make sure you travel both ways.

The nature trail is open daily dawn to dusk. The Nature Center is open Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Here you’ll find many displays of animals and other interesting facts about the South Carolina Lowcountry.

There is a parking lot that has plenty of room for a camper. The nature trail is also dog-friendly but be sure to pick up what your furry friend puts down.

Get out of the traffic and spend some quality time wandering around this natural gem located at 321 Bailey Lane in Ridgeland.

All images found on Blue Heron Nature Center Facebook page.

For more information on places to go and things to do in the SC Lowcountry visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/

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Hollywood Loves the Lowcountry

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.

To take a movie tour of the Lowcountry visit southcarolinalowcountry.com/beaufort-port-royal-st-helena-tours.

Photo credit for movie scenes: IMDb.


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Lowcountry Ghost Stories ~ Part 5

Part 5 – Jasper County

Jasper County has seen its share of battles over the years. First the Revolutionary War, then the Civil War took its toll on the county. The story of Purrysburg predates both historic events. The settlement of Purrysburg was established on the banks of the Savannah River by Swiss Protestants in 1734. By 1736, the town had 100 houses and 450 settlers. The town soon began to suffer from disease and unhealthy conditions. Those that survived moved on to other surrounding towns in the state and Savannah.

The town would once again see activity in 1779, when it was the site of the Battle of Purrysburg during the Revolutionary War. A 2015 excavation unearthed more than 100 musket balls, several canister shots, and many explosive shells. The battle was a British victory, but the American Patriots fought them off for one year in several skirmishes across the Lowcountry, including Bees Creek and Coosawhatchie. British troops returned to Purrysburg to rest before heading to Charleston. The Patriots were not captured. In fact, they were able to get word to other troops of the British advancement. Today, Purrysburg is the site of a boat landing. The only thing that reminds of the settlement of long ago is a historic monument. Just how many settlers and soldiers died on this spot is unknown. Do any ghostly specters haunt these grounds? If one believes in such things, one will have to admit the possibility.

The city of Hardeeville began to develop and flourish just as the Civil War came to town. During Sherman’s March to the Sea, his army blazed a trail through the town, leaving only one church and a few homes. The Hardeeville Methodist Church was spared because it served as a make-shift hospital for injured soldiers. How many soldiers died in this church? That is unknown. Do any souls haunt the grounds? That is unclear as well. You be the judge of that.

Ridgeland also experienced a visit from Sherman’s men. The Battle of Honey Hill was fought in 1864, and Union soldiers spent time in the Grahamville community. Officers stayed in a home on Bees Creek Road and used the Holy Trinity Church as headquarters. The Union army expedition failed to cut off the railroad between Charleston and Savannah. The battle saw 89 Union and eight Confederate casualties. Although the battle was a Confederate victory, it only delayed the capture of Savannah by a week. The battle was also significant because it was the first large scale combat engagement by a majority African American force. It was launched by the US African American Troops, including the 54th Massachusetts. After the war, these troops were stationed in Port Royal during Reconstruction.

Just outside Yemassee, Frampton House is nestled under ancient live oaks, dripping in Spanish moss. It is also the home of a few ghostly residents. It is said that the Frampton House has a few residents who have not moved on from this physical world into the afterlife. The house and surrounding land have witnessed a great deal of history and some of those souls may not be ready to leave just yet.

The Frampton name dates back to the 1700s, when thousands of acres were given as a King’s Land Grant to the Frampton family. It was divided into working plantations. During the Civil War, Robert E Lee commissioned earthworks built directly behind the house. This is a spot that was used to successfully (for a time) defend the railroad. In 1865 Union troops burned the original plantation home and the surrounding buildings. Frampton returned in 1868 and built the structure that still stands today. After seeing many owners and falling into disrepair, the house was acquired by the Lowcountry Tourism Commission in 1993.

Today visitors to the house report feeling a ghostly presence. Some have encountered an old woman in the front parlor. Others say they have seen a small girl on the stairs. Stop by and see for yourself so you can draw your own conclusions. The house is open daily, from 8:30 am – 5 pm. Stop by and wander the house and grounds. Have an open mind and see if you can discover one of the spirits that roam the property.

Ghost stories are a part of the Lowcountry folklore. They are woven into our history and have been passed down through generations by elders sitting on the front porch, rocking, and enjoying sweet tea. They are the stories that children love to hear repeatedly. They are best told after dark, especially during the Halloween season. Are they true? Who knows? Can they be debunked? Who cares? Are we going to keep telling them? Of course. Are we going to enjoy the telling? Absolutely!

Three ghostly images were altered for your enjoyment! Did you find them? Happy Halloween!

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Why is a spottail bass called a red fish? Because it’s a fish of many names!

Fall is finally here and it’s the season for catching redfish in the South Carolina Lowcountry! These fish are available year-round but tend to move from shallow water to deeper inshore waters during the fall.

Photo by Neal Kendrick of Carolina Tails Charters.

The redfish, or spottail bass is the Lowcountry inshore fisherman’s most popular gamefish. This highly sought-after saltwater fish has many names, depending on the geographic location. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources refers to it as a red drum. Along with redfish and spottail and red drum, this fish is also known as a channel bass and puppy drum. Why did it get the name redfish? Some say it’s because of the copper color of its scales.

Image from C1 Films and Jon Halker.

Traditionally in the Lowcountry it was known as a spottail for the distinctive black spot on its tail. Sometimes the fish will have more than one spot. On rare occasions it will have no spot at all. What is the purpose of the spot? The spot resembles an eye. This trick of nature fools predators into attacking the fish from the tail, allowing it a chance to swim away from danger.

This popular gamefish is prized by inshore fishermen in the Lowcountry because it is a great fighter, and it can grow to incredible size. The South Carolina record was caught in 1965, weighing 75-pounds. Fish that size are required by law to be released. It’s the smaller fish that is the most delectable.

Even Georgia residents enjoy fishing for redfish in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

How did this fish get so many names? That is a great question. This fish has been a popular catch for anglers throughout our history. It even had more names in the 1930s than it does today. Prior to the 1930s, most Lowcountry anglers called it a channel bass. For some reason, the species was, and still is, known by one name in one locality and an entirely different one just a few miles away.

When in Edisto, get in touch with Edisto Watersports to show you the best spots to find redfish.

According to the “Woods and Waters” column from Charleston’s News and Courier,  “Along much of its coastal range the fish, which we know as channel bass, is the redfish,” explained one column written in 1938. “This is the name by which it goes along the southwest coast of Florida all along the Gulf and the Texas coasts … The outstanding characteristic of this fish is the black spot, just about at the base of the caudal fin, or tail … Seen in shallow water, the tail of this fish assumes a beautiful shade of blue. In body color, the reddish cast of the scales is plainly apparent.”

Anglers can catch redfish from Lowcountry riverbanks. Photo by John Holloway.

“Drum is another name, and it is known as the branded and beardless drum. The name ‘branded’ comes from the appearance of the black spot near the tail, which is always an infallible ‘field mark’ of the fish. The real drum is a different fish, and, as some of the natural histories put it, is possessed of ‘a much larger and more resonant musical organ.’ It is known that the drum can emit sounds which are heard at a considerable distance.”

Daily redfish excursions can turn into friendly competitions. This one is a tie because one is longer and the other weighs more! Photo by Charles Pinckney.

Angler Robert S. Barnwell, Jr. offered even more colloquial names for the spot-tail in 1933. “In Virginia the bass is called red drum; in Florida red fish; in South Carolina simply bass. We divide them into three classes according to size – school-bass, stag-bass and channel-bass … we fish for school-bass in the creeks, for stag-bass in the surf, and channel-bass in the rips of harbor banks. As a rule, the school bass are below 16 inches, stag or surf bass range from 20-22 inches, and the channel bass above 36.”

This one is a beauty. Photo by C1 Films.

It doesn’t matter what you call this fish, there is no doubt about its popularity in the SC Lowcountry, where today it is widely known as the redfish. It has become so popular that a strict catch limit was put in place to keep the species at healthy numbers. In 2018 a limit of two fish per day (per angler) and six fish per boat are allowed. A keeper can only be between 15 and 23 inches long. Most anglers, however, prefer to catch and release. Redfish are a designated state gamefish, therefor if caught in South Carolina waters, redfish cannot be sold. According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Update to Red Drum (Redfish) Regulations (effective July 1, 2018) they may only be taken by rod & reel and gig. Restrictions on both sport and commercial fishermen allowed the species to rebuild.

Neal Kendrick of Carolina Tails Charters holds a redfish with multiple spots.

According to WRDG Chief Meteorologist and avid fisherman Riley Hale, “Redfish reach maturity around 4 years of age and once that happens, they are able to spawn. Slot redfish between 15-23 inches are less than 4 years of age and are usually the ones caught in tidal creeks and rivers. The slot limit is capped at 23 inches to protect the mature fish that spawn. During the fall, redfish spawn and can usually be found off South Carolina beaches, which makes them a prime target for anglers.” Hale also has good tips for protecting redfish during catch and release. https://www.wrdw.com/content/news/Catch-limit-on-redfish-in-South-Carolina-changes-July-1-486850941.html

Kayaking is another way to catch redfish. Photo found on meateater.com.

Redfish like to feed on crustaceans and other animals that live in the seagrass of the shallow waters. When they do this, their tails have a tendency to extend above the water in a behavior called “tailing”. When they do this, their distinctive spot can be seen on the base of its caudal fin. This is just as exciting as watching a dolphin break the surface. To see an amazing video on fishing for redfish and the tailing behavior filmed by Salt Creek Outfitters visit www.youtube.com.

Taylor Horton of Salt Creek Outfitters enjoys catching redfish.

Redfish also go by the name drum, due to the low, croaking sounds made by the male to attract females during spawning. They make these noises by contracting the muscles attached to its “swim bladder”. Redfish spawn in August and September, then the female will lay around 1.5 million eggs at a time.

A day on the water is always a good idea when catching redfish like this one! Photo by Neal Kendrick.

Redfish can be found in the SC Lowcountry year-round. For the first three years of their lives they thrive in our marshes, bays, and inlets, feeding on shrimp, fiddler crabs and small bait fish. In the fall of their fourth year they migrate offshore with spawning populations. These fish are immensely powerful and fun to catch. Anglers like to look for them tailing around grassy marsh areas during flood tides when large schools begin to form in the fall.

Photo by C1 Films.

According to Wikipedia chef Paul Prudhomme made a popular dish of Cajun-style Blackened redfish. The seasoning was then sold commercially. The dish became so popular that redfish were overfished to the point of near extinction in the 1980s. Then, in a 2009 episode of Iron Chef America, redfish was the secret ingredient for competitors, who used the fish to prepare several dishes.

Photo by Charles Pinckney

Tony Royal and Tuck Scott from Beaufort’s Bay Street Outfitters had interesting ideas regarding the difference in terminology of our local fish. According to Tony, “The origin of ‘redfish’ most likely came out of the UK, in the 1500’s where they have had a history of referring to things in nature that are red as “Red”. Red Bird, etc. Red Hair as Redhead. Some salmon in Pacific are also referred to as redfish. There is a lake in Idaho called Redfish Lake due to migration of salmon there. The origin of spottail (or spot tail) bass appears to more local, used along the SC coast in particular. It is not a bass but a red drum. There are also black drum. Smaller pinfish are also called spots. They are along our shoreline in warm months.”

Anglers of all ages enjoy catching redfish. Photo by Neal Kendrick.

Here’s Tuck’s interpretation: “The term Redfish came from Louisiana just like the term Spot tail bass came from here locally, but it is Paul Prudhomme who made it popular enough for places to use “Redfish” over other names and the proper name of Red drum. As a member of the Drum family. Red drum are the only drum that only the male drums.”

Special thanks to Suzannah Smith Miles and Riley Hale for their wonderful articles that educated me on redfish and its many names. Thanks also to Tony Royal and Tuck Scott for their insightful thoughts and Erin Weeks –  Media & Communication Coordinator for the SC Department of Natural Resources – Marine Resources Division.

…..not at all confusing…..right?

Interest in planning a fishing trip to the South Carolina Lowcountry? Visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/fishing-and-hunting/.

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Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah

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.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Wood stork image captured by Ira Runyan at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area.

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.

1. Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
ACE Basin Oak Grove Plantation House photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge is located off Hwy 17, on Hwy 174 towards Edisto Island. The refuge is home to a vast array of waterfowl, and the Antebellum Oak Grove Plantation House.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Stretch your legs and visit the trails of the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

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 wooded areas. Make sure to bring your camera and be on the lookout for wildlife. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/ernest-f-hollings-ace-basin-national-wildlife-refuge/.

2. Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Drive through the Lowcountry’s most photographed live oak canopy at Botany Bay.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

A venture further down Hwy 174 onto Edisto Island will bring you to the wildlife management area of Botany Bay Plantation. This is one of the most unique destinations on Edisto Island. The 4.000+ acre property boasts historical buildings, maritime forest, a boneyard beach and freshwater ponds. The property is covered in pine, palm and live oak trees, dripping with Spanish moss. Don’t be surprised to see deer, alligators, shore birds, crabs, raccoons and many other maritime forest creatures.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Botany Bay’s boneyard beach is covered in shells.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

There are two sites listed on the register of historic places at Botany Bay. A set of three surviving 1840s outbuildings and the prehistoric Fig Island Shell Ring can be seen on the property. Explore the plantation house ruins, walk the forest trails, or stroll the beach on this South Carolina controlled wildlife management area. Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area is a great place to spend a day. Bring a picnic, beach chairs and kayaks. Explore the wonders of the South Carolina Lowcountry! For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/edisto-islands-botany-bay/.

3. Edisto Nature Trail

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Edisto Nature Trail photo by David Lucas.

Jacksonboro is the perfect spot to get out and stretch your legs on the Edisto Nature Trail. The trail is located on Highway 17, adjacent to the Edisto River. Jacksonboro is in the area known as the ACE Basin. This low-lying part of the state is full of former rice plantations with beautiful marsh and river views, and teaming with wildlife.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Edisto Nature Trail photo by David Lucas.

The boardwalk trail meanders through the woods that change from pineland and maritime forests to cypress and tupelo swamp. Before and after the Revolutionary War, this area was rich in rice production. A 15-minute walk along the boardwalk will take you to a dock overlooking the Edisto River. You can also press on and take the 1.5-mile loop trail that can be completed in about an hour. It will transport you from the wetlands to higher upland forest area. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes. Be sure to bring bug spray if you come in the spring or summer. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/hiking-the-edisto-nature-trail/.

4. Bear Island Wildlife Management Area

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Bear Island image by Pluff Mudd Perspectives.

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area is located off Hwy 17 in the Green Pond area. This wildlife management area is managed to provide quality habitat for wintering waterfowl. It’s a great spot to view bald eagles, wood storks and roseate spoonbills.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Bear Island is a great place to photograph birds. Photo by Jim Killian.

Drive through this area for many opportunities to spot wildlife. The forest, marsh and river views are beautiful. Bear Island is located between the Asheepoo and South Edisto Rivers. From Hwy 17, turn onto Bennett’s Point Road and follow for 13 miles. The entrance is on TiTi Road. (843)844-8957. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/explore-sc-lowcouontry-wildlife-preserves-and-nature-trails/.

5. Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Donnelley Wildlife Management Area drive image by Carmen Pinckney.

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area 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. 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.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Roseatte Spoonbills can be found at Donnelley, along with many other species of birds.

The driving tour covers about 11 miles and should take from an hour to half a day, depending on how many stops you make. The marked stops on the map serve simply as suggestions; feel free to stop anywhere along the way (although please park on the shoulder) and walk off the road at any point to get a closer look at wildlife or native plants. Take extra precautions when viewing alligators, especially during the spring mating season. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/colleton-countys-donnelley-wildlife-management-area/.

6. Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Old Sheldon Church Ruins image by Carmen Pinckney.

A simple turn off Hwy 17 onto Old Sheldon Church Road is like stepping back in time. Travel up the road for about two miles and see the church ruins on the right. Parking is located across the street. This church was burned during the Revolutionary War, rebuilt, and then destroyed again during the Civil War.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Old Sheldon Church Ruins includes a historic graveyard.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Located just past the turn to Beaufort off Hwy 17, Sheldon Church has laid in ruin for more than 140 years. Its gable roof, pediment, windows & interior have disappeared, but the classic simplicity of its design still remains. Burned by British troops in 1779 and destroyed again during the Civil War it still serves as a religious center for special observances. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/experience-a-driving-detour-through-yemassee/.

7. Frampton Plantation House & Visitors Center

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Frampton House sits conveniently at the intersection of I-95 and Highway 17.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Historically speaking, the Frampton House property was part of an original King’s Grant to the Frampton family in the 1700s. The family oversaw the production of 4,000 acres of cotton, rice, and other crops. During the 1865 Campaign of the Carolinas, General Sherman’s troops burned the plantation house and all the farm buildings that stood on this site.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Go back in time at Frampton House. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The house was rebuilt in 1868 and the property was probably used for share cropping and tenant farming. Once slated for demolition, the house has been restored and the ground floor is open to the public. The second story holds the offices of the Lowcountry Tourism Commission. Frampton House is open to the public seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Come see us for all your SC Lowcountry travel questions and insider secrets. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/history-is-preserved-at-frampton-plantation-house/.

8. Blue Heron Nature Trail

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Blue Heron Nature Trail travels along a pond and Lowcountry wetland. Photo by Lynn Boyles.

Blue Heron Nature Center & Trail offers relief for the road-weary, and it’s as easy to get to as any rest area. 

This 10-acre green space meanders around a three-acre pond and through forested wetlands. The property also includes a butterfly garden, picnic area, outdoor classroom, observation decks, and a 4,200-square-foot Learning Center. Permanent trail side displays help visitors learn more about the native flora and fauna of Jasper County and the Lowcountry.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Look for turtles and fish from the docks at Blue Heron Nature Trail. Photo by Lynn Boyles.

The nature trail leads you around the pond with several scenic overlooks along the way. Along the trail you will find benches, swings, and an attractive butterfly garden. In addition to the herons, you may see ducks, turtles, fish, alligators, and other wildlife. Also, several boardwalks take you through the surrounding forested wetlands. Get out of the traffic and spend some time relaxing while you wander around this natural gem. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/lowcountry-activities-ridgeland-i-95-exit-21/.

9. Sgt. Jasper Park

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
The boardwalks at Sgt. Jasper Park are wheelchair friendly. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Hardeeville’s 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.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Lowcountry nature trails are great places to walk the family dog while travelling. This trail is at Sgt. Jasper Park. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The trails alternate between gravel, boardwalk and natural footing. The views around the lake are pretty, and the trails are relaxing. There are other opportunities at the part as well. There are canoes, kayaks, and a disk golf course. Information can be found in the park office. There’s a playground for the kids and plenty of picnic spots. There is also a covered picnic shelter. Grills can be found at the park as well. The disk golf course is located on the left side of the road. The park also has fishing opportunities. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/spending-time-at-sgt-jasper-park/.

10. Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge still operates a historic trunk system that controls water flow into the former rice fields. Photo by Allyson Jones.

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. Make the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center your first stop when visiting the refuge. The refuge is located on Hwy 17 between Hardeeville and Savannah.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Drive through or hike the trails of the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.
Photo by Allyson Jones.

The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge protects old rice fields & numerous species of wildlife including ducks, birds, deer, & alligators. The 4-mile driving tour is free and open sunrise to sunset. Wildlife viewing is excellent for photography, especially during fall, winter, and spring, along the 4-mile Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive and adjacent hiking/bicycling trails. Many species of wading and marsh birds can also be spotted here throughout the year.

The trails adjacent to the Kingfisher Pond Recreation Area are great for watching woodland songbirds during spring and fall migrations. Summertime brings in an array of species that nest on the refuge. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/savannah-national-wildlife-refuge/. To explore the hiking trails visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/savannah-national-wildlife-refuge-hiking-trails/.

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
The unspoiled natural habitat of the SC Lowcountry is pristine breeding grounds for many birds. This bald eagle was spotted at Bear Island by Rhonda Epper.

Visitors could easily spend several days in the area exploring all the natural wonders located between Charleston and Savannah on Highway 17. Pick a few favorites or see them all. The choice is yours. Bring along the camera, a picnic and don’t forget the bug spray!

Top Ten Natural Wonders to See Between Charleston and Savannah
Pack a picnic and stop for lunch at Frampton House. Enjoy free wifi, picnic tables, clean restrooms and a friendly staff ready to help you on your journeys.

Visitors could easily spend several days in the area exploring all the natural wonders located between Charleston and Savannah on Highway 17. Pick a few favorites or see them all. The choice is yours. Bring along the camera, a picnic and don’t forget the bug spray!

If you’re looking for a more civilized picnic spot under the oaks, plan to have lunch at Frampton Plantation House. Our ground floor contains a visitors center, complete with restrooms, museum displays and a gift shop. The backyard has picnic tables and plenty of room to stretch your legs. As always, pets are welcome both inside and out! Our friendly staff can answer any questions or give suggestions for their favorite attractions in the area. For more information visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/ or call 843-717-3090.

To download a PDF version of the map, complete with addresses and phone numbers click HERE.

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Farmers Markets of the South Carolina Lowcountry

With summer quickly approaching, SC Lowcountry Farmers Markets are in full swing! Enjoy some fresh air, browse, and take home local produce.

While social distancing and wearing masks are still important habits to keep, the markets are open and have plenty to sell! Each market takes place out of doors in the fresh air. Check your calendar, find your market basket and head to SC Lowcountry farmers market that’s closest to you!

Port Royal Farmers Market Lowcountry

The Port Royal Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. – noon each Saturday. The market officials ask that all visitors wear a mask and observe social distancing rules. Vendors will also accept preorders. Some of the items available include red potatoes, white potatoes, yellow squash, cucumbers, fresh bread, meats from Calibogue Catering, bakery goodies, shrimp, breakfast sandwiches, poultry products, flowers, and fresh pasta.

For more information or to sign up for weekly information visit https://portroyalfarmersmarket.com/. You can also sign up for their weekly newsletter alerting you to what’s going to be at the market for the week.

The Farmers Market of Bluffton in Lowcountry

The Farmers Market of Bluffton is another Lowcountry favorite.  Every Thursday, from 12-3 p.m. Calhoun Street is closed to traffic and transformed into a street market. Shop for fresh pasta, in season fruits and veggies, homemade bread and bakery items, fresh meats, jams and jellies, and prepared goodies. Don’t miss Hank’s Lowcountry she crab soup and the Cottage Bakery. If it’s a scorcher, treat yourself to a Palmetto Ice Pop!

The Bluffton Farmers Market in Lowcountry

The Bluffton Farmers Market information can be found on https://www.farmersmarketbluffton.org/. You can also sign up for their weekly newsletter to find out about what’s in season and for sale on Calhoun Street.

The Hilton Head Farmers Market happens every Tuesday, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the grounds of historic Honey Horn Plantation. Take home fresh local produce, pasture raised chicken, free range rabbit, pork, seafood, salsa, fresh sausage, cookies, breads, she crab soup, and more.   Free parking in the Coastal Discovery Museum parking lot, 70 Honey Horn Drive.

Local farmers, producers, vendors, and food trucks will be at the market to share the bounty of their crops. Three Sisters Organic Farm will be there to sell fresh zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The Grind Roasters will be there as well, to grind your favorite flavors of coffee. For more information visit https://www.coastaldiscovery.org/.

Ridgeland’s Jasper County Farmers Market kicks off the weekend every Friday from 1 – 6 p.m. The Market will host a variety of vendors including produce, baked goods, prepared meals, arts, crafts and estate sales.

You can find the Jasper County Farmers Market on Main Street, across from Fiddler’s Seafood Restaurant. For more information visit  http://jaspersc.org/farmers-market/.

If you’re in Walterboro, the Colleton Museum and Farmers Market offers fresh vegetables and fruits, local honey, local crafts, plants, baked goods, prepared food, music, and much more. The market is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. 

The mission of the market is to “encourage, support, and promote the entrepreneurial efforts of local, independent, small-scale farmers, food artisans and crafters seeking to sell products directly to the consumer while operating independently from large corporate or factory farms and businesses.” You can find the market at 506 East Washington St., in historic downtown Walterboro. For more information visit http://www.colletonmuseum.org/farmers-market.

For more information on things to do in the South Carolina Lowcountry visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/.

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Plan a Trip to the South Carolina Lowcountry!

beaufort sc
Downtown Beaufort’s Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park looks onto the Beaufort River.
Photo by Peach Morrison.

Thinking about planning a trip to the South Carolina Lowcountry? Why not plan a relaxing vacation in an area that is known for its scenic beauty and historic architecture. The SC Lowcountry is the perfect spot to enjoy a vacation that includes quaint southern towns, beautiful beaches and wide open spaces.

hunting island state park
Hunting Island image by Allyson Jones.

Hunting Island State Park is located 17 miles from downtown Beaufort. The park has 5,000 acres of beaches, hiking trails and plenty of fishing opportunities. Kayak, paddle board or hunt for crabs at the lagoon. Fish from the pier. Camp on the beachfront! Walk the many miles of the semi-tropical maritime forest that was used in the movies Forrest Gump and Jungle Book. Call 843-838-2011 for more information.

beaufort sc

Spend the weekend at the historic Beaufort waterfront. Head downtown Beaufort and enjoy lunch at one of the many waterfront restaurants. Relax, soak up sunrays from the swings and watch the river roll gently by. When the sun goes down, head out to the Hwy 21 Drive-in to catch a double feature.

beaufort sc
Downtown Beaufort photo by BeaufortPics.com.

Beaufort has many outdoor dining options in the waterfront area. These restaurants are a great destination for your family.  Sit on the deck, watch the clouds roll by overhead and enjoy some amazing food.

beaufort sc

Historic Beaufort is known for its Antebellum architecture.  Use our blogs Architectural Treasures of Historic Beaufort’s Bay Street or More Architectural Treasures of Historic Beaufort to conduct your own self-guided tour of the downtown area homes. Houses span from the Colonial period through Victorian, and everything in between.

beaufort sc

Beaufort fell very early during the Civil War. Homeowners abandoned the city and Union troops used it as army headquarters. Homes and churches became hospitals, offices, and officer’s quarters. Because of this, the city and its beautiful homes were spared from fire and destruction.

spanish moss trail beaufort sc
Views from the Spanish Moss Trail are beautiful.

Bring your bike and ride the Spanish Moss Trail. This green space was made where the railroad once brought recruits from Yemassee to Parris Island. The trains also carried lumber, meat and produce from Beaufort farms. The trail stretches from Port Royal to rural Beaufort County toward Yemassee.

savannah national wildlife refuge
Savannah National wildlife Refuge image by Daniel Pillatzki.

The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is another great space to get back to nature. The refuge can be found on the Savannah River, between Hardeeville and Savannah. You will find a variety of opportunities to explore and enjoy the great outdoors from sunrise to sunset every day. You can observe and photograph wildlife, fish and hike the many trails.

sc lowcountry fishing
Photo by Charlotte Pinckney.

Fish the Savannah River from Millstone Boat Ramp in Hardeeville or B & C Boat Landing at the Tillman Sandridge Wildlife Management Area. Common species found in the impoundments and canals are bluegill, crappie, large-mouth bass, channel and blue catfish, bowfin, and mullet, plus striped bass, red fish, and flounder.

frampton plantation house

Visit Frampton Plantation. Conveniently located on I-95, Exit 33, The Frampton Plantation House serves as the home of the Lowcountry Tourism Commission. The downstairs is open to the public. It is used as a visitor center with museum displays, tourist information and gift shop. The backyard has a lovely picnic spot under the Spanish moss draped live oaks. There’s also plenty of room to run around with the dogs.

walterboro sc wildlife sanctuary

Walterboro’s Great Swamp Sanctuary is a beautiful place to spend some quality time. 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. Wild turkey, deer, raccoons, beaver, otter, mink, opossum, squirrels, fox, alligators, and wildcats have been spotted here. Bikes and dogs on leashes are welcome on the pathways of the sanctuary, so load up the family and make your way to this nature-based tourism gem

walterboro sc antiques

Downtown Walterboro is another great destination. The city is a popular spot for antiquing. Washington Street has a vast assortment of antiques stores loaded with interesting finds. The Colleton Museum and Farmers Market is located at the end of Washington Street. Visit their Marketplace Café for fresh bakes goods. Beautiful homes can be found everywhere in downtown Walterboro. A walk is the best way to appreciate the lovely structures that were used as summer homes for nearby plantations. Take a nice, leisure stroll to photograph these beauties. Hampton Street is a favorite walking destination. Start here and let your feet guide you through the neighborhood.

walterboro sc

Visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/ to plan your next adventure. Come see us! We’ll be waiting for you!

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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.

Beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry
Thanks for the tag 📸exodusfoto
#southcarolina #southcarolinacoast #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #sclowcountry #lifeonthecoast #coastliving #coastalsouthcarolina #saltyair #saltlife #wildlife #wildlifephotography #spanishmoss #sunrisesunset
simplysoutherncottage keeps us in awe with each her projects. This bed swing refresh is one of our favorites!
📸: simplysoutherncottage⠀
#bedswing #prettyinpink #backporchliving #backporch #porchdecor #cottagestyle #bhgprojectjoy #bhghome #slhomes #southernstyle #bohostyle #bohodecor #bohochic #lowcountryliving #summervillesc #realestate #summervillerealestate #visitsummerville #sclowcountry #explorechs #mysouthernliving #charlestonrealtor #charlestonsc #summervillerealtor #72soldsc #jimbrantleyrealtor ⠀
A different type of sunrise for #sunrisesunday today. This is blue hour on Pawleys Island. Blue hour lighting hits different. Especially in places like this where there's such a vastness to the sky and you can see a gradient from stars to blues to the earliest purples from the sun's first rays in the sky, long before it even crests the horizon. Added benefit, no one in their right mind wakes up this early to be out an hour before sunrise. Except for me, that is. So, with my gas station coffee in hand, I get to enjoy this beautiful beach without another soul around. Just me, the waves, and the noseeums aggressively attacking me.
#southcarolinaliving #southcarolina #edistobeach #edistosc #southcarolinanature #bestofthepalmettostate #onlyinsouthcarolina #treesofinstagram #treeporn #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #sclowcountry #southcarolinabeaches #charleston #charlestonsc #ig_naturelovers #ig_southcarolina #viewsofthesouth #charlestonlife
Headed down the road....Edisto Island.  #edisto #sclowcountry #trees #endofday  #beauty #islandsofsc
The shore gently recedes beneath the stunning Pawleys Island Pier. The unique island town, located about 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach and 70 miles north of Charleston, exudes laid-back, beachy vibes. Locals have definitely adopted an island state of mind and encourage visitors to as well. When you go, make sure to relax on the beach, explore the famous sand dunes, or fish in one of the many adjacent creeks.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: We guarantee that you’re going to want to spend a whole day here. We recommend getting to the beach at around 10am.🗓️ Best time of the year: Pawleys Island has the best weather during the spring and early summer months.🏖️ Things to do while there: Pawleys Island Nature Park, Pawleys Island Chapel, Hopsewee Plantation.🐠 Things to visit in the area: Brookgreen Gardens (brookgreen_gardens), take a walking ghost tour, Myrtle Beach (mymyrtlebeach), Harborwalk Marina, South Carolina Maritime Museum (southcarolinamaritimemuseum).🏨 Where to stay: The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn (oceanfrontlitchfieldinn), Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort (litchfieldbeachandgolf), Sea View Inn (seaviewinn), 620 Prince (620prince).Photo by qcphotographer
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Thanks for the tag 📸trbtbone
#magnoliaplantation #southcarolina #southernliving #southernview #southernlife #sclowcountry #scenicviews #charlestonlife #charlestonliving #charlestonsc #coastalsouthcarolina #coastaliving #lifeonthecoast #lifeincharleston #spanishmoss #explorethecoast #exploretheoutdoors #godscreation #getoutside
My favorite sunrise ever......no filter.... #cottoncandysky #cottoncandysunrise #cottoncandycolors #sunrise #softpastels #lowcountrysunrise #lowcountry #hammockcoast #waves #naturespallet #art #seafoam #beachwalks #morningmotivation #getupandshowup #pawleysisland #locallife #shoplocal #supportlocalbusiness #onlyleavefootprints #bestofthepalmettostate #yes_busa #yeshammockcoast #sclowcountry
Built in 1790, The Cuthbert House is a historic mansion turned Bed and Breakfast with stunning water views  in Beaufort, SC
#beaufortcounty #beaufortcountysc #beaufortsc #explorebeaufortsc #explorebeaufortcounty #explorebeaufort #landscapescapture #beautifulscenery #boatsatsunset #marinabeauty #sclowcountry #sclowcountryliving #beautifulsouthcarolina  #discover_carolinas #explorebft  #bestofthepalmettostate #onlyinsouthcarolina #onlyinsouthcarolina❤️#scnaturelovers #southcarolinabest #bestofsouthcarolina #southcarolinacollectives #viewsofthesouth #carolinacollectives #historicmansion #historicbedandbreakfast #bedandbreakfasts #oldsouth #cuthbert #cuthbertmansion
Lowcountry EgretAnalog collage on 5x7 inch watercolor paperI'm back. I enjoyed my winter vacation at the beach on Isle of Palms, SC. It was great spending some quality time with my husband relaxing, reading and walking on the beach. Taking time off from social media was nice, too. I didn't spend much time making art, but did create this collage.Unfortunately, my creative mojo seems to have taken an extended vacation. I have struggled with my art making for the past 4 or 5 days. To those of you who are exchanging art with me, I haven't forgotten, I'm just in a creative dry spell. I hope to get collages made and on their way to you before too much longer.While stuck in this creative mire, I'm switching gears and focusing on some other things. For example, I'm working on my first Studio newsletter - welcoming my email subscribers and sharing news of some of the creative challenges and collaborations I'm planning for 2023. If you want to get all the news sent directly to your inbox, sign up with the link in my bio. Studio News is coming at the end of January.
#greategret #sclowcountry #isleofpalms #wilderness #beachtherapy #analogcollage  #gluetogether #collage #cutandpasteart #paperart #collageaddict #paperscissorsglue #pariscollagecollective #brooklyncollagecollective #edinburghcollagecollective #redcollagevenezuela #arizonacollagecollective #loveanalogcollage1 #worldcollagecommunity #contemporarycollagemagazine #kolajmagazine #nationalcollagesociety #internationalcollageguild #collageartist #collagist #multidisciplinaryartist #creativereusegoddess #communitybuilder #bigjuicycreativelife #outsidetheboxstudio
Reposted from coastaldiscoverymuseum Hilton Head Island has the second highest tidal range on the East Coast, second only to Canada’s Bay of Fundy. The average tidal range here is 7-9 feet between high and low tides.The Salt Marsh is one of our area’s most prominent features, not to mention an essential resource. Most coastal creatures depend partially or even fully on the Salt Marsh for survival as it serves as a nursery, as well as a water filter vital for the functioning of the entire coastal ecosystem.Explore the Lowcountry up close with a visit to the Coastal Discovery Museum and head out into the marsh via the Osprey Outlook floating dock on a self-guided tour or register for the weekly Salt Marsh Discovery program to learn from an expert how and why this particular environment is so important. (843) 689-6767 ext. 223 or coastaldiscovery.org.
#coastaldiscoverymuseum #honeyhorn #hiltonheadisland #saltmarshsaturday #hightide #lowtide #saltmarsh #ospreyoutlook #boardwalk #floatingdock #ecosystem #exploremore #familyfun #familyadventures #communitymuseum #smithsonianaffiliate #sclowcountry #lowcountrylife #visithiltonhead #discoversc
At the beach…lock.latch#lockandlatch #lockandlatchinstalls #windowinstallation #doorinstallation #customhome #newbuild #southcarolina #sclowcountry #architecture #craftmanshipdetail
South Carolina lowcountry
#southcarolina #southcarolinacoast #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #sclowcountry #lifeonthecoast #coastliving #coastalsouthcarolina #saltyair #saltlife #wildlife #wildlifephotography #spanishmoss #sunrisesunset #charleston
You never know what you will find on our beaches! Like this horseshoe crab shell found at Fish Haul Beach on Hilton Head.#thatsmylowcountry #naturallyamazing #sclowcountry #visitsclowcountry #southcarolinabeaches
Spanish moss drapes the live oak trees that are ubiquitous to the Edisto Island area. Did you know that Edisto gets its name from the native Edistow people? The Edistow Native Americans were a sub tribe of the Cusabo indians, a group of Native Americans who lived along the Atlantic coast in South Carolina.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: Stop by mid-morning. That way you can explore the island, grab lunch, and stay for the amazing sunset if you choose.🏖️ Things to do while there: Edisto Environmental Learning Center, Boneyard Beach, Scott Creek Inlet, Big Bay Creek, SeaCow Eatery.☀️ Things to visit in the area: Jungle Road Park, Bay Creek Park, Otter Islands, Spanish Mount Point.📆 Best time of the year to visit: For warmer weather come anywhere from March-August.🏨 Where to stay: Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort (frippislandrsrt), Seabrook Island Club (seabrook_sc), The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort (kiawahresort), Charleston Kiawah Island/Andell Inn (andellinn).Photo by qcphotographer
#atalayacastle #huntingtonbeachstatepark #murrellsinlet #murrellsinletsc#letsmakeplans #discoversc #southcarolina #discover_carolinas #hunningtonbeach #photography #beautiful #moody #history #takemeback #gorgeous #explore #adventure #castle #corridor#huntingtonbeachstateparksc#scstateparks #southcarolinabeaches #optoutside #castles #lowcountrysc #myrtlebeach #sclowcountry #atalaya #coastalstyle #shesellsseashells
How we love a Beaufort sunset!
#beaufortcounty #beaufortcountysc #beaufortsc #explorebeaufortsc #explorebeaufortcounty #explorebeaufort #boardwalk #boardwalkbeauty #landscapescapture #beautifulscenery #boatsatsunset #marinabeauty #sclowcountry #sclowcountryliving #beautifulsouthcarolina  #discover_carolinas #explorebft  #bestofthepalmettostate #onlyinsouthcarolina #onlyinsouthcarolina❤️#scnaturelovers #southcarolinabest #bestofsouthcarolina #southcarolinacollectives #viewsofthesouth #carolinacollectives #bestoftheusa_sunrisesunset2 #raw_sunset #sunsets #sunsetphotography
South Carolina Lowcountry
#southcarolina #southcarolinacoast #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #sclowcountry #lifeonthecoast #coastliving #coastalsouthcarolina #saltyair #saltlife #wildlife #wildlifephotography #sunrisesunset #charleston
"The Beach in Winter Is Still the Beach"
-Melinda MorgensternAt the bottom of this post are the top 6 reasons why we love the beach in winter.*My husband and I love a winter beach getaway! We both needed this time away to press pause and to unwind from the last twelve months and to prepare for a major home project that we have coming up.
We boarded our kitty and drove from central North Carolina to our favorite getaway spot in the lowcountry of South Carolina, at Isle of Palms. We are staying in Wild Dunes (at IOP) for five nights to rest and rejuvenate. Yay!Starting tomorrow (Saturday) until we return on Thursday, we are unplugging and unwinding. No working, no business and no social media. I may even delete my social media apps from my phone so I won't be tempted. When I return home, I will ease back into things and be more mindful of my time and how I use it (in all areas of my life). I hope this time away will help me recenter and come home refreshed and ready for the next steps in my personal art practice and for the new collaborative things I'm planning to share with the collage community at large. I plan to send out my first Studio News email to my subscribers near the end of January. If you would like to receive occasional updates directly in your inbox, and you are not already a subscriber, you can signup with the link in my bio.*Why we love getting away to the beach in winter:
1. There are no crowds anywhere
2. It is so much quieter (and more romantic)
3. You almost have the beach to yourself (which is great for long walks or sitting and reading as you listen to the waves)
4. The local year-round restaurants and shops are uncrowded, so you can mingle with the locals who are more relaxed and friendlier in the off-season
5. It feels way more relaxing
6. The rates for accommodations are WAY less expensive than during the peak summer season (so you can spring for a much nicer place located even closer to the beach).Ten-four. Signing off...
Discover at your own leisure at the coastaldiscoverymuseum 🌳  From century-old buildings with storied pasts, to wooden boardwalks that stretch into the Jarvis Creek salt marsh, there's always something to explore!
Fort Fremont was built in 1899 by the Army Corps of Engineers using local labor on condemned private property on St. Helena Island, across the Beaufort River from the Naval Station. It was designed to play a vital role in the protection of the strategic dry dock and coaling station which remained critical to the Atlantic Fleet during the Spanish American War period. For more information on this and other Beaufort attractions visit  https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/beaufort-port-royal-area/
📸 Carmen Pinckney
#thatsmylowcountry #naturallyamazing #sclowcountry
Quietly, peacefully...sunrise creeps into the inlet!
#murrellsinlet #murrellsinletsc #SC #southcarolina #palmettotrees #SClowcountry #morselanding #sunrisesofinstagram #waterview #marshview #waterreflections #water #bestofthepalmettostate #southcarolinasbest #discover_carolinas #yeshammockcoast #park #naturephotography #ilovesouthcarolina #ilovemurrellsinlet

The South Carolina Lowcountry Guidebook is filled with many things to see and do in the beautiful Lowcountry of South Carolina. Please fill out the information and we will send you a FREE GUIDE BOOK.

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