Lowcountry Tabby Construction

Beaufort and its surrounding sea islands are home to the largest number of tabby structures in America. Early settlers in this coastal region built structures from materials that were readily available. Oyster shells were abundant along the shorelines. Wood was available in the forests. They were both put to good use.

Tabby is a type of early concrete that is made from mixing lime, sand, and oyster shells. The oyster shells were burned and mixed with sand and lime, then poured into forms to create walls and foundations that can still be seen in Beaufort today. Bricks were also formed from tabby and used for all manners of construction.

Beaufort’s sea wall was made from tabby. The exact date of the sea wall is undetermined. It was built to protect the low-lying area from high tides.

Fort Frederick was built by the British in 1730 to protect Beaufort’s Port Royal Sound. It was constructed of tabby. This is the oldest example of tabby in the country.  The fort is preserved as the Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve and can be visited.

Tabby Manse, located on Bay Street is made from tabby walls that are two-feet thick. The Beaufort Arsenal is also made of tabby, but it is protected under layers of stucco. Originally built in 1795, the arsenal was rebuilt in 1852 and renovated in 1934. It is now the Beaufort Visitor Center and Museum.

St Helena’s Episcopal Church cemetery is surrounded by tabby walls. Many of the family plots are surrounded by smaller tabby enclosures. The church was constructed in 1842.

Many of the buildings along Bay Street were constructed using tabby. The foundation of the John Mark Verdier House is one example. Built in 1804, tabby construction can be seen on the first floor. The house is open as a museum. There’s an example of exposed tabby between two buildings in an alley on Bay Street that gives a close-up view of the materials that are combined to create the structure around 1760.

Beaufort County’s Old Sheldon Church Ruins show an example of tabby used as stucco to cover bricks. Built in 1751, the church was burned during the Revolutionary War, rebuilt, then dismantled after the Civil War.

Located on St. Helena Island, the Chapel of Ease is an excellent example of exposed tabby construction. Built in the mid 1700s, the tabby and brick is all that remains of a church that served the families of the island plantations. After the Civil War the church was used to educate freedmen. The church was destroyed by fire in 1886.

Edisto Island’s Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area is the home to the tabby ruins of Bleak Hall Plantation. Three Gothic Revival buildings are all that exist of the once sprawling plantation. A white, wooden ice house was constructed on a tabby foundation. A gardener’s shed and tabby barn also remain. Botany Bay WMA is open to the public.

Daufuskie Island’s Haig Point tabby ruins are among some of the best examples of tabby constructed slave quarters remaining in Beaufort County. Built around 1826, three of the best-preserved tabby walled, single slave dwellings are protected in the Haig Point development.

The Stoney-Baynard Plantation Ruins can be found in Sea Pines Plantation. Ruins of the tabby plantation house and the foundations of two slave cabins can be visited, along with the kitchen chimney. The house was built around 1840 and destroyed by fire in 1867.

All that remains of Fish Hall Plantation is three standing chimneys from slave cabins. This tabby is a little different. It contains clam shells in addition to oyster shells. Fish haul Plantation was built in 1762. The property was captured by Union forces during the Civil War and a portion was given to former c=slaves to develop the town of Mitchelville, the nation’s first freedmen’s village.

Sea Wall – Bay Street between Carteret and New Streets
Ft. Frederick – 601 Old Fort Road, Beaufort
Tabby Manse – Bay Street, Beaufort
Beaufort Arsenal – 713 Craven Street, Beaufort
St. Helena’s Episcopal Church 505 Church Street, Beaufort
John Mark Verdier House – 801 Bay Street, Beaufort
Alley Tabby – 715 Bay Street, Beaufort
Old Sheldon Church Ruins – Old Sheldon Road, Yemassee
St. Helena Chapel of Ease – 17 Lands End Road, St. Helena Island
Bleak Hall Plantation Tabby Ruins – 1066 Botany Bay Rd, Botany Bay WMA, Edisto Island
Haig Point – Daufuskie Island
Stoney-Baynard Plantation Ruins – 87 Plantation Drive, Sea Pines Plantation, Hilton Head Island
Fish Haul Plantation Ruins – 70 Baygall Road, Hilton Head Island

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Beaufort’s Reconstruction Era National Historical Park

Park rangers share their knowledge at the park’s visitor center. Photo by the Post & Courier.

Did you know Beaufort was home to the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park? It is only fitting that it is found in Beaufort, because that is where freedom from slavery began in the south! The Emancipation Proclamation was first read in the South on January 1, 1863, at Camp Saxton, just a stone’s throw away from Beaufort in Port Royal. During the Civil War the US military occupied Beaufort as a command center for east coast operations. Many of the historic homes and churches were used as offices, hospitals, and quarters. Many churches were converted into schools for the newly freed. Some of these homes were bought by former slaves at tax auctions.

Park rangers lead tours at the Penn Center’s Darrah Hall. Photo by Jenny Kendrick.

The Reconstruction Era lasted from 1861 to 1877. During this important time four million newly freed African Americans sought to integrate themselves into a free society. They contributed to the educational, economic, and political life of Beaufort. This process began as the Port Royal Experiment. After the Battle of Port Royal more than 10,000 slaves were left behind when the white population fled the area. Schools were established to leach reading, writing, and other life skills. Many joined the US Army and trained at Camp Saxton, the very place where they heard the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Penn Center grounds are covered in live oak trees. Photo by Brendon Keelan.

The Reconstruction Era National Historical Park is comprised of three main locations, along with three park partners that aid in telling the story of the Port Royal Experiment, which helped formerly enslaved people become self-sufficient. In addition to being a group of historic sites in and around Beaufort, it tells the story of what happened after the Civil War as newly freed African Americans and the nation struggled toward reconciliation. The park consists of historic sites that were instrumental in the Reconstruction Era of Beaufort. Penn Center’s Darrah Hall and Brick Baptist Church on St. Helena Island, Camp Saxton and the Pinckney-Porters Chapel in Port Royal join the Old Beaufort Firehouse to tell the story of Reconstruction.

The Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Visitor Center can be found in the Old Beaufort Firehouse, 706 Craven Street. The visitor center contains displays and artwork that depict the struggle of the formerly enslaved people and their and ascension to citizenship. The center also houses information about the other sites and their importance in the history.

Darrah Hall and the Brick Baptist Church can be found on the grounds of St. Helena Island’s Penn Center. The Penn School was established in 1862 as the first school in the south for former slaves. Quaker and Unitarian missionaries from Pennsylvania founded the school and taught classes. Early classes were held in the Brick Baptist Church, which was built in 1855 by the very slaves that would later learn to read and write within its walls. Careful examination of the bricks reveals handprints from the enslaved artists who formed the bricks from clay.

Darrah Hall image by Charleston Currents.

Darrah Hall is the oldest building on the campus of the Penn Center. It was built by Penn School specifically for community use. It has been a gathering place for the community for over 100 years. This building, along with others on the property represents the development of the center through the 19th and 20th centuries. The hall is used for interpretive purposes by the park, as well as for community events.

Camp Saxton was founded on the site of Fort Frederick, a pre-Revolutionary War fort that was abandoned and absorbed into Smith Plantation. On New Year’s Day in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was read aloud here to 10,000 former slaves. After the Proclamation was read, the 1st South Carolina Volunteers was formed. This all-black regiment trained at Camp Saxton from 1862 to 1863. The site is preserved as the Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve. The tabby fort was originally built by the British in the 1730s. During the Civil War a bridge was built across its walls to serve as a dock to welcome former slaves to the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Pinckney Porter Chapel is a Reconstruction-Era Freedman’s Chapel that was restored and moved to Port Royal’s Naval Heritage Park. The chapel houses temporary exhibits and Camp Saxton programs begin at the site. The chapel is, in part, named for Senator Clemente Pinckney who served as pastor to the church from 1996-1998. Senator Pinckney was gunned down while serving as a pastor for Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church in 2015. Pinckney was a beloved native of Ridgeland and served as a South Carolina state senator for Beaufort County. The chapel is open on Saturday mornings and park rangers are available to answer questions.

Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Visitor Center – 706 Craven Street, Beaufort
Brick Baptist Church – 85 Martin Luther King Drive, St Helena Island
Darrah Hall & Penn Center – 16 Penn Center Cir E, St Helena Island
Camp Saxton – 601 Old Fort Road, Port Royal
Pinckney-Porters Chapel – Naval Heritage Park, Pinckney Street, Port Royal

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Auldbrass Plantation

Auldbrass view toward the pool. Image by Anthony Peres.

Nestled amongst the live oaks and cypress swamps of the Combahee River sits a unique treasure. Hidden from passersby, this lovely jewel is only open for tours one weekend, every other year. The legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed only one plantation during his legendary career. Luckily for us, it sits just outside the town of Yemassee.

Image by CBS Sunday Morning.

“Auldbrass” was established in 1938. Over 4,000 acres from Old Brass, Mount Alexander, Richfield, Old Combahee, and Charlton plantations were combined and given to C. Leigh Stevens (from Michigan) for reorganizing the Savannah River Lumber Company. In 1939 Stevens commissioned Wright to envision and design a self-sufficient, modern plantation for farming, hunting and entertaining. Wright called on his principles of organic architecture to design a complex that would exist in harmony with its surrounding Lowcountry landscape. Wright, not being a fan of the more traditional right angle, designed walls to slope at an 80 degree, to mimic the live oaks on the property. He also looked to the property’s cypress trees for inspiration for exterior siding. Wright named this complex Auldbrass.

Image found on Pinterest.

Initial drawings and plans of the house and complex were finished by 1940. Hexagonal shapes and inward sloping walls, with low lying ceilings were the theme. By 1941 the farm buildings were nearly completed, and the main house was in the beginning stages. Work was halted in 1942 due to World War II and shortages of supplies.

An example of the copper Spanish moss-inspired downspout can be found near the pool.
Image by Ed Forgotson.

Wright’s plans included a low-lying complex of geometric pavilions, outbuildings, stables and kennels. The main house was supplemented with multiple guest cottages and service quarters. Plans also included a swimming pool, laundry, and bath houses for the staff. Decorative motifs inspired by local flora compliment the design. A great example of this can be seen in the down spouts designed to resemble Spanish moss. The downspouts were not realized until the 1980s because WWII caused a shortage of building materials. By 1946 Stevens was ready to resume construction. He moved into the completed caretaker’s cottage to oversee construction. Very little was done between 1946-1948 because Stevens began guest lecturing at Harvard Business School. Frank Lloyd Wright died in 1959, the Stevens followed in 1962. Neither saw the project completed.

Image found on the Island Packet.

Stevens’ daughter Jessica Loring took over ownership of Auldbrass in 1971. She and her husband managed the estate and produced corn and soybeans. They made extensive repairs to the buildings with their profits. They also replaced the roof, upgraded the mechanical systems and eliminated changes made to Wright’s original designs. By this time visitors became curious about the plantation. Jessica and her husband welcomed them in and gave tours. The Lorings also did something very important for the property. They nominated Auldbrass for the National Register of Historic Places. By 1979 the Lorings were ready to sell the property.

Image by Anthony Peres.

The cost of upkeep was more than they were able to accomplish. The Boise Cascade Timber Company purchased the property, except the Old Combahee tract, which they retained for themselves. Westvaco quickly bought the property, selling the buildings and a small tract of land to local hunters. Unfortunately, they could not manage the buildings and they quickly fell into disrepair. Beaufort County Open Land Trust became involved with the property. It was decided to place an easement on the property and sell at a drastically reduced price.

Bluebird Cottage image by Ed Forgotson.

Hollywood producer Joel Silver purchased the property in 1987. Silver had long been a fan of Wright’s architecture. He lives in the Storer House in Los Angeles, which was designed by Wright and built in 1923. Silver enlisted the help of Eric Lloyd Wright, grandson of the designer. Together they set out to restore the buildings on the property and complete Wright’s vision. His plan has four stages: restore all original buildings as designed, rebuild destroyed buildings, complete unbuilt projects, and add structures needed by Silver, mimicking Wright’s style. Silver and his team have spent the last 35 years realizing this dream.

Shades of rust and brown help the structures blend in naturally with their surroundings. The low-lying, rambling main house feels like a hunting lodge, complete with all the trappings of comfort. The symmetry that is so prevalent in traditional plantation homes has been cast aside for this one-story, sprawling home. In fact, all buildings on the property are one level and no single grand drive leads to the house.  

Even the windows join in on the geometric fun! Image by Ed Forgotson.

Visitors to Auldbrass will have to look hard to find a right angle in Wright’s buildings. Staff quarters, barn, guest cottages, and even the pool and hot tub all have an abundance of obtuse and acute angles. While the windows are squared, their panes are not.

Interior image by Anthony Peres.

Geometry is at play in the interior of Auldbrass as well. The wall angles and windowpane designs are much more visible inside. Even the furniture was designed by Wright, with the same design principles. Much of the furniture had to be replaced when Silver restored the plantation, but as luck would have it, the purchase came complete with Wright’s original blueprints for the plantation structures and furniture designs. The home is currently furnished as Wright envisioned it.

Beaufort Open Land Trust image of the livingroom.

There’s only one way visitors can tour this beautiful plantation. Every two years the Beaufort Open Land Trust schedules tours for one weekend. For more information visit BeaufortOpenLandTrust for more information. For more information about other sights to see in the Yemassee area visit YemasseeDrivingTour.

Location: Combahee River, 7 River Road in Yemassee East of Yemassee on River Road, Beaufort County.

A special thank you to Gayle Kovach for suggesting we share a story on this iconic Lowcountry treasure, and for enjoying the Driving Detour Through Yemassee blog.

Even the Auldbrass dock on the Combahee River shares the same design principles. Photo by Carmen Pinckney
Map from Beaufort Open Land Trust tour program.
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Cruise Comes to the Lowcountry

Boat for National Geographic Cruise
Cruise on National Geographic’s Sea Lion. Photo found on nationalgeographic.com.

Along the coastline of the SC Lowcountry are a string of wild and beautiful barrier islands. This wilderness landscape is teaming with unspoiled wetlands, beaches, dunes, and maritime forests. Book passage with the National Geographic Sea Lion to explore the history, parks, and refuges along the Lowcountry coastline.

Live Oaks - national geographic cruise
Canopies of live oaks, dripping with Spanish moss cover the barrier islands of the Lowcountry.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The trip begins in Charleston and sails down the coast to Beaufort and Port Royal. Visit downtown Beaufort, Old Sheldon Church Ruins, the Port Royal Museum and St. Helena’s Penn Center; the site of the first school for freed slaves. The day is capped off with a visit to Lady’s Island Oysters for a tasting of this local delicacy.

St. Phillip's Island - national geographic cruise
St. Phillips Island is a nature lover’s paradise.
Photo by Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The next day will be spent between visits to St. Phillips Island and Edisto Island. St, Phillips Island is an undeveloped treasure that is now part of Hunting Island State Park. It was previously owned and protected by Ted Turner. Hike trails that travel from sand dunes to salt marshes and maritime forests. The island habitat protects migrating warblers, roseate spoonbills, alligators, loggerhead sea turtles, deer, fox squirrels and much more.  

The entrance to Edisto Island’s Botany Bay is at the end of this live oak canopy.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Travel ashore at Edisto Island to see Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area. This spot was once the home of two plantations. Its iconic entrance is covered with a majestic canopy of live oaks. The 4,600-acre site is comprised of unspoiled beach, coastal forests, and historic plantation ruins. It is home to many animals and birds.

South Carolina Lowcountry - national geographic cruise
It’s always a good day for a hike in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The trip winds back up the coast to Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Discover area wildlife and history. Watch for dolphins as you cruise the shore in a Zodiac or hike the trails of the refuge. Don’t forget to take pictures as you cruise past the Cape Romain Lighthouse.

Barrier Islands - national geographic cruise
The waterways surrounding the SC Lowcountry barrier islands are the perfect habitat for wildlife.
Photo found on nationalgeographic.com.

The last day will be spent in the waterways of the Francis Marion National Forest. This black water region is home to old growth bald cypress trees, turtles, birds, sunning reptiles and much more.

Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area - National Geographic Cruise
Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area’s beach is unspoiled and covered in seashells.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Book passage as for this cruise that begins in April 2022. Visit NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC.COM for dates and additional information! For more information about the South Carolina Lowcountry visit SOUTHCAROLINALOWCOUNTRY.COM.

 

 

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Camping in the Lowcountry

Fall is the perfect time for a camping trip to the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Fall temperatures in the South Carolina Lowcountry are perfect for spending time in nature. The cool mornings, mild days and campfire-worthy evenings are ideal for camping.  Spending time outdoors is a wonderful way to escape the grind and recharge the batteries!

Water activities - camping in the lowcountry

Is summer heat too much for you? Do mosquitoes and no-see-ums send you running for the door? Fall is the perfect time for you! Reservations are easier to find after Labor Day when schools are back in session. Temperatures cool, humidity drops, and pesky biting insects begin to disappear.

bike trails - camping in the lowcountry
Load the bikes and head to Pinckney Island to spend the day.
Image by SC Lowcountry Tourism Commission.

Three state parks in the Lowcountry have camping facilities. Private campgrounds are also located across the area. While some are designed as destinations, others are perfect for a short stop during a long haul. Campgrounds located along I-95 are great for using as a hub to visit all the major attractions across the Lowcountry.

canoeing - camping in the lowcountry
Canoe or kayak at Sargent Jasper Park, located beside Camp Lake Jasper in Hardeeville.
Image by SC Lowcountry Tourism Commission.

Beaufort County

Hunting Island State Park is the South Carolina’s most popular state park. The campground is located at the northern end of the island. The campground has 100 campsites with water and electrical hookups, shower and restroom facilities, beach walkways and a playground.

Enjoy the many miles of walking trails that wind throughout the park. Climb the state’s only publicly accessible lighthouse. Ascend the 167 steps for a panoramic view 130 feet above the beach and maritime forest. The park also has a fishing pier and visitors can borrow gear from the Nature Center.

Hunting Island State Park camping reservations must be made for a minimum of two nights.  To make a camping reservation or view current rates, call toll-free 1-866-345-7275, or visit our reservations page by clicking here. Rates vary by season and demand and are subject to change. The campground is pet-friendly, but there are restrictions.
2555 Sea Island Pkwy., Hunting Island, SC 29920

 

Tuc in the Wood Campground and RV Park is located not too far away on St. Helena Island, one of the Lowcountry’s most beautiful islands. The campground has 80 RV and tent sites with water and electrical hookups. There’s also a bathhouse with hot showers and restroom facilities.

Cast your line in the stocked, freshwater fishing pond. Visit nearby Penn Center, Chapel of Ease, and Fort Fremont. Travel 12 miles to Hunting Island State Park or drive to downtown Beaufort. Cable TV hookup and Wi-Fi are available. The campground is also pet-friendly. Make your reservations by calling 843-838-2267. Questions and inquiries can be emailed to tuckinthewood@islc.net

Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina is a luxury RV resort located on the north end of Hilton Head Island. The 200-site waterfront, pet friendly resort offers landscaped sites with concrete pads, excellent dining, top-notch amenities, on-site water sports activities and more. The resort has two swimming pools, hot tubs, sun deck, gazebo, saunas, and tennis courts.

The on-site marina is the perfect spot to book water sports including jet skis, kayaks, paddle boards, dolphin tours and more. Fish on the pier or launch your boat from the ramp. The property also boasts a 5-Star restaurant. Call 843-681-3256 or visit Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina for more information. 43 Jenkins Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC

 

Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort is aluxury camping destination located on the south end of the island. Guests are provided with the ultimate getaway experience. 400 spacious and charming sites are available to accommodate most motorcoach needs, with full hook-ups, cable TV, Wi-Fi, and excellent amenities. The Resort has spots available to rent or own, including scenic lake front sites, private shaded forest sites, and clubhouse sites that place you steps away from the excitement. The resort is located just one mile from beaches, popular restaurants, and unique shops.

The resort offers an array of amenities including a pool, spa, tennis courts, pickleball courts, dog park and full laundry facilities. Between area attractions and resort events, you’ll always have something fun to do during your stay. Call 843-785-7699 or visit Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort for more information. 133 Arrow Road, Hilton Head Island, SC

Colleton County

Edisto Beach State Park has both oceanfront and salt marsh camp sites. There are 112 sites with water and electrical hookups. Tent campers can choose a site with hookups or a more rustic site at the park’s Live Oak Campground. All sites are conveniently located close to public restrooms with hot showers.  The park also has furnished cabins that sit nestled in the woods. The Edisto Beach State Park Campground is pet friendly, but dogs are not allowed in the cabins or cabin area. Dogs must be always kept on a leash. Fishing is allowed along the ocean or salt marsh. Flounder, whiting, spot tail bass and other saltwater fish can be caught in the park. A boat ramp and dock can be found at the park for fishing in Big Bay Creek.

On warm fall days, spend the day at the beach. Walk along the surf to search for seashells and shark’s teeth. Hike, bike or bird watch along the trails, beach, and maritime forest. The trails are comprised of a series of short, mostly level paths that wind through Edisto Island’s maritime forest of live oak, hanging Spanish moss, and palmetto trees. During your walk you may see white-tailed deer, osprey, or alligators, and may even catch a glimpse of the wary bobcats. To make a camping reservation or view current rates, call toll-free 1-866-345-7275 or visit the reservations page by clicking here. Rates vary by season and demand and are subject to change. Camping reservations must be made for a minimum of two nights. 8377 State Cabin Rd, Edisto Island, SC



Colleton State Park is a paddler’s paradise This Lowcountry park sits a short distance from I-95 and connects to Givhan’s Ferry State Park via 23 miles of blackwater river. Colleton State 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. Other amenities at Colleton include an easy nature trail, a campground, picnic shelters and ballfields. The main roads at the park and in the campground are paved.

Each site is packed sand and has individual water and electrical hookups. Some sites accommodate RVs up to 40 feet, others up to 25 feet. The campground is convenient to restrooms with hot showers. To make a camping reservation or view current rates, call toll-free 1-866-345-7275 or visit our reservations page by clicking here. Rates vary by season and demand and are subject to change. Camping reservations must be made for a minimum of two nights. 147 Wayside Lane, Walterboro, SC

If you are a true adventurer and want to get off the grid for a while, grab a canoe from Carolina Heritage Outfitters and paddle to your very own treehouse. Located on the halfway point along a 23-mile canoe trip, the Carolina Heritage Outfitters Treehouses are truly off the beaten path. Camp in style with no electricity. Oil candles and tiki torches light the night.  Use the propane stove or grill to prepare your meals. The only running water you’re going to find here is in the river. Bring a cooler of provisions to put in the furnished kitchen. Bring a sleeping bag to place on the bed. An outhouse is provided for your convenience.

Meet the team in the morning to shuttle upriver. Paddle 13 miles to your treehouse. Each treehouse is constructed of local materials and tucked away along the riverbank. Swim in the river. Hike the woodland trails. Then warm yourself by the fire pit.  After a good night’s rest, paddle the remaining 10 miles to finish off the trip at the outpost. While on the river, be on the lookout for Great blue herons, owls, egrets, wood storks, pileated woodpeckers, wood ducks, wild turkey, deer, muskrats and raccoon. Visit Carolina Heritage Outfitters website or call 843-563-5051 for more information. 1 Livery Lane, St. George, SC

New Green Acres is a full featured campground, able to accommodate the full range of RV dimensions or types. This is a great place to pull in and spend the night while on the way to other adventures. The campground is located on I-95 and has 106 sites with the longest and widest pull-thru sites east of the Mississippi. Water and electrical hook-ups are available, as well as cable and wireless internet.

Cool off in the swimming pool. Take the kids to the playground or play with your furry friend in the dog park. Visit New Green Acres website or call 843-538-3450, 800-474-3450 for more information or to book a stay.
396 Campground Road, Walterboro, SC 29488

Givhan’s Ferry State Park is a natural retreat in the Lowcountry woods. The park sits at the end of the 23-mile long stretch of Edisto River kayaking paradise known as the Edisto River kayak and canoe trail that begins at Colleton State Park. The Edisto River is the longest free-flowing blackwater river in North America. Rent a cabin, bring an RV or tent to this beautiful state park. Full-service camping sites are available with water and electrical hookup. Some sites are hike in only. They are also complete with water and electricity. Grills, fire pits, picnic tables and storage boxes are provided at each site. Clean restrooms with hot showers are centrally located. Hike the trails or bring a kayak and explore the river. 

To make a camping reservation call toll-free 1-866-345-7275 or visit our reservations page by clicking here. Rates vary by season and demand and are subject to change.
Camping reservations must be made for a minimum of two nights. Pets are not allowed in the cabins or the cabin areas. Pets are allowed in most other outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. 746 Givhans Ferry Road, Ridgeville, SC


Jasper County

Come to the Point South KOA. Unwind at this 5 star retreat located conveniently just off I-95, near Savannah, Charleston, Hilton Head and Beaufort.  Visitors have the choice of RV, tent, or cabin sites. Explore the estates, museums, and beaches of the Lowcountry. You may even choose to stay on site and enjoy the many amenities and serene setting. Glamp in a fully stocked deluxe lodge. Some are even crafted from authentic railroad cars!   Enjoy this walk in, walk out experience in place of a hotel. Family fun begins as you check in and check out our activities, like gem mining, backpacks to color, as well as kerchiefs for the pups, a large pool and good old-fashioned fun with tether ball, corn hole, horseshoes, life size chess set and Jenga game at the expanded playground.

There is a large dog walk plus a Kamp K9 for our 4-legged friends. Unwind with a glass of wine from regional wineries. Our newest addition is our own crafted beer from a local brewery. Our own Aria’s Ale is on tap at our full-line Swimming Mermaid Coffee House, which has a full selection of custom roast coffees, latte’s, iced coffees, hot tea and more. Relax and enjoy made-to-order pizza and wings, delivered to your site.  Unwind in our Coffee House & wine bar, where we feature a full line of locally roasted coffees as well as a full array of wines. Book reservations by visiting koa.com. Call 843-726-5733 or 800-562-2948 for more information.


Experience the beauty, relaxation, and the perks of nature at The Oaks at Point South RV Resort. Within 45 minutes of this Lowcountry RV camp, you’ll find attractions like Hilton Head, historic Savannah, Georgia, and the Atlantic Ocean. This campground also boasts a convenient location near Interstate 95, allowing guests to enjoy everything the South Carolina Lowcountry has to offer.

Back at the resort, guests can look forward to an array of activities. Test your hand at mini golf, go for a swim, enjoy fishing, or hit the trails for a hike. Fall activities include Halloween trick or treating and a Thanksgiving potluck. They’re pet friendly as well, so don’t forget your four-legged friends! Call 843-726-5728, or 1-800-388-7788 or visit thousandtrails.com for more information and to book reservations. 1292 Campground Road, Yemassee, SC

Camp Lake Jasper is conveniently located just minutes off of Interstate 95 at Exit 8 in Hardeeville. This brand new resort is convenient to Hilton Head and the historic cities of Bluffton, Beaufort and Savannah. Wake to the sounds of nature beckoning you to explore the park. Hike the pristine trails, paddle the clear waters, play the challenging “Sarge” disc golf course, or simply relax in the lakeside pool and amenity center. Do as much or as little as you like.


Spend the day golfing, shopping, dining, or enjoying the beach and then return for a relaxing night by the campfire. Whether its adventure you seek or escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Camp Lake Jasper is the place for you. Reserve your site today and let the memories begin. 44 Camp Lake Drive, Hardeeville, SC


For more information about the South Carolina Lowcountry visit SouthCarolinaLowcountry.com.

 

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Herd It Here Farm

It all started with a mini horse named Tilly! Then along came Eddie the mini donkey, Cherokee the rescue horse, chickens, goats, and alpacas!

Herd it Here Farm is located in Cottageville, just off Highway 17A. It is a one-of-a-kind educational farm experience. Owners Bill and Sheryl Power established this farm to share their extensive knowledge and love of animals. Visitors get up close and personal as they learn about the unique traits and offerings of each of the farm animals. Activities, workshops, classes, and goat yoga are also in the works.

The tour starts at the barn where Tilly, the mini horse is introduced. She looks like she trotted out of the pages of a fairy tale. She was a birthday present for Sheryl while the couple were living in Pennsylvania. Eddie the mini donkey came along next when he was just a baby. He and Tilly are excellent pasture mates. These two share space with a horse named Cherokee that was found in Louisiana.

The alpacas are just next door on the other side of the barn. Alpacas are raised for their soft, luxurious fleece. They are related to camels and llamas, but they are much smaller. The Herd It Here Farm alpacas are very curious and friendly. They also enjoy a good sprinkle from the water hose on a hot day.

Alpacas are quiet, docile animals. They are safe and pleasant to be around. They each have a very distinct personality. Pearl is very patient and loved being a part of the educational process. Dennis the baby is curious and spunky. He likes to stay close to his mom Lucy. She’s a little shy but likes to pay attention to what’s going on. Valerie is new to the farm but likes to stay close to Pearl. The farm also has two other alpacas, Vickie and Gidget. They were off the property for the day.

Our next stop was to the chicken coop. Fancy chickens roam in their protected space. Silkie chickens have fluffy plumage that is incredibly soft to the touch. They also have five toes, where most other chickens have only four. This breed is very gentle.  Cochins are friendly birds with lots of fluff and feathers. Polish chickens have a great crest of feathers that covers almost the entire head. Houdan chickens have a very distinct poofy crown of feathers. 

The goats are the next stop after a visit with the feathered friends. Pigmy and fainting goats romp and play together in their pen. The pigmy goats ate a snack fed by Bill while we learn about and feed the fainting goats. They don’t actually faint. They have a characteristic that makes them freeze and tumble over when they get scared. Daryl the black and white fainting goat loves to eat treats and give kisses. Chuck the brown fainting goat is a little shy but will hand feed. Molly is almost solid black. She has mesmerizing blue eyes.

The tour ends at the Country Store where alpaca fleece items are on sale. Goats milk lotion and soaps from a neighboring farm are also available, as well as sweetgrass baskets and other goodies. Picnic tables with umbrellas are available for those that bring lunch.

The farm is currently open for tours on Saturdays and select weekdays by appointment only.  Visit the Herd It Here website to schedule a tour or activity. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet all the animals up close and personally, and really learn about them. Tours must be pre-booked and are available at either 10 am, 11:30 am or 1:30 pm.

Herd it Here Farm
541 Sullivan’s Ferry Road
Cottageville, SC
(703)597-4839

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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/.

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.

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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See what our visitors love about the
SOUTH CAROLINA LOWCOUNTRY

Use the #hashtag #sclowcountry to get your image featured!

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.

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
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
A visitor takes a leisurely stroke under a canopy of live oaks draped with Spanish moss in the Palmetto Bluff (palmettobluff) neighborhood of Bluffton, South Carolina. Palmetto Bluff is a picturesque community that sits in the heart of Lowcountry. Nestled along the May River, it’s abundant with beautiful walking trails, historic sites, and stunning views.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: There is no wrong time to visit Palmetto Bluff. However, we highly recommend sticking around for one of their spectacular sunsets.🛶 Things to do while there: Stop by Cole’s for some regionally inspired Southern fare, paddle board, kayak, or canoe along the May River, go saltwater fishing, take a tour at Bluffton Jack's Old Town Tours.🌊 Things to visit in the area: Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, Old Town Bluffton, Bluffton Oyster Factory Park, May River Sandbar, Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center (heywardhouse).📆 Best time of the year to visit: For the best weather, we recommend visiting between March and May or from September to November.🏨 Where to stay: The Montage Palmetto Bluff Resort (montagepalmettobluff) is the only resort in Palmetto Bluff. However, there are plenty of places to stay in the surrounding areas including: Old Town Bluffton Inn (oldtownblufftoninn), The Inn & Club at Harbour Town (theinnandclubatharbourtown), Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (sonestahhi).Photo by jpgriceoz
🔴“Gentle Creek”, 12x12,  oil on canvas. hortonhayesfineart hortonhayesfineartstudio markkelvinhortonstudio #sclowcountry #skyscape #skyporn #charlestonsc #charlestonartist #landscapepainters #landscapeoilpainting #creek #mtpleasantsc #wintermarsh #contemporarypainting #contemporaryart #vasaripaint #artistsandcraftsmansupply #holbeinoils #gamblinoilcolors
Beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry
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Thanks for the tag 📸exodusfoto
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#southcarolina #southcarolinacoast #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #sclowcountry #lifeonthecoast #coastliving #coastalsouthcarolina #saltyair #saltlife #wildlife #wildlifephotography #spanishmoss #sunrisesunset
Headed down the road....Edisto Island.  #edisto #sclowcountry #trees #endofday  #beauty #islandsofsc
🔴“Approaching Showers”, 12x12, oil on canvas.  hortonhayesfineart hortonhayesfineartstudio markkelvinhortonstudio #sclowcountry #charlestonsc #charlestonartist #charlestonartists #tonalism #tonal #marshpainting #mtpleasantsc #hobcawcreek #limitedpalette #contemporarypainting #contemporaryart #skyscape #stormsky
South Carolina lowcountry
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📸jonpuckett
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#southcarolina #southcarolinacoast #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #sclowcountry #lifeonthecoast #coastliving #coastalsouthcarolina #saltyair #saltlife #wildlife #wildlifephotography #spanishmoss #sunrisesunset #charleston
Thankfully done and sold🔴! “Reflections”, 24x18, oil on canvas.  hortonhayesfineart markkelvinhortonstudio hortonhayesfineartstudio #sclowcountry #charlestonsc #skyscape #skylovers #oiloncanvas #mtpleasantsc #lowcountry #southeast #marshpainting #marshpaintings #skylover #kiawahislandsc #contemporarypainting #contemporaryart #limitedpalette #tonalistpainting #tonalistlandscape
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!
Riding into the weekend like...Isn't this live oak tree tunnel beautiful? Live oak, draped in Spanish moss, is emblematic of South Carolina and many of the Southern states. We love these iconic trees, not only for their beauty, but their history as well. The average lifespan of a live oak is 300 years!Photo by qcphotographer
The 🇺🇸Best of the USA🇺🇸 & ⏱💫Best Of The USA Long Exposure ⏱💫
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📸 ~~~~ kristenryanphotography
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Photo selected by: mrstevearnold
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The Garvin-Garvey House is believed to be one of the earliest known freedmen houses still in existence on the May River.The house was restored in 2016 and opened to the public in 2017.📸: circa 1980's by Hank Cram via Garvin Garvey website.#sclowcountry #naturallyamazing #thatsmylowcountry #garvingarveyhouse #blufftonsc #beaufortcountysc #exploresc #exploresouthcarolina
Completed commission, 🔴”Off in the Distance”, 36x48.  hortonhayesfineart markkelvinhortonstudio hortonhayesfineartstudio #sclowcountry #charlestonsc #southcarolina #charlestonartist #landscspe #landscapepainting #contemporaryart #oilpainting #gamblinoilcolors #studiopainting
The resplendence of Mother Nature never ceases to amaze, and this painterly sunset over the May River doesn’t disappoint. We look forward to the days when we can relish views like this one at the MontagePalmettoBluff resort in South Carolina’s picturesque Lowcountry. 📸: montagepalmettobluff.
#southernladymag #armchairtravel #montage #montagepalmettobluff #visitsc #visitsouthcarolina #lowcountrytravel #sclowcountry #thezimmermanagengy #thez #myzlife #southernresorts #travelsouth #southernescapes #southerngetaways #luxuryresorts
What were your weekend views today? #DiscoverSC 📸📍Botany Bay Beach: charlestonshopcurator
By the time the clouds lifted, the fox had already hidden in the dunes.  The wind went out to sea.
The sun rose.
Alone
I wished you were there.
#clouds #natureismedicine #sunrise #skyfire #reflections #coastalcarolina #sclowcountry#discover_carolinas
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.
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“You Are the Morning Sun”
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long night ends. I ask
nothing. I have nothing left
to say to the sun.
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#natureismedicine #haiku
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#waves #wavesfordays #poetrycommunity #poetsofinstagram.
“Summer Skylights”, 30x30,  oil on canvas. #sewe2022 #sewe #hortonhayesfineart #hortonhayesfineartstudio #sclowcountry #skylovers #skypainters #skyporn #skylovers #skypaintings #lowcountry #southeasternpainters #contemporaryart #contemporaryartist #tonalism #tonalistpainter
No filter & it was so beautiful I didn't want to make it fit Instagram! #pawleysislandsc #onlypawleys #pawleys #arrogantlyshabby #eastcoast #coastalcarolina #sclowcountry #lowcountry #borntobeach #somebeachsomewhere #peaceloveandsandyfeet #inmymindimgonetocarolina
Hope you’ve had a beautiful Saturday in South Carolina! #DiscoverSC 📸📍: Botany Bay: donniewhitaker
#southcarolinaliving #southcarolina #edistobeach #edistosc #southcarolinanature #bestofthepalmettostate #onlyinsouthcarolina #treesofinstagram #treeporn #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #sclowcountry #southcarolinabeaches #charleston #charlestonsc #ig_naturelovers #ig_southcarolina #viewsofthesouth #charlestonlife
Some shadowy, Spanish moss covered views for your Monday! Have you ever visited the Chapel of Ease? #DiscoverSC 📸📍Chapel of Ease, Beaufort: summitridgephotos
Pawleys kinda sunrise....Summer 2022
#pawleys #pawleysisland #onlypawleys #sunrise #watercolorsky #yeshammockcoast #southcarolina #SC
#people #beachwalkers #beach #coastalscene #grandstrand #rusticfence #boardwalk #pier #ocean #beach #discover_Carolinas #bestofthepalmettostate #southcarolinasbest #myrtlebeacharea #sclowcountry #footprints #seaoats #sand #nature #people #landscapes #scphotographer

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.