When you reach the end of scenic byway SC Highway 174, you will arrive at Edisto Beach. Edisto, pronounced “EH dis tow”, is one of the most serene beaches found on the South Carolina coast. By water, Edisto Beach is located in St. Helena Sound where the ACE Basin meets the Atlantic Ocean. Travel by land or sea to reach this destination is truly a delightful stroll through nature at its finest. By land, the meandering Highway 174 takes you through and over marshes and rivers under a tranquil canopy of graceful oaks threaded with Spanish moss. By water, the ACE Basin offers abundant wildlife including majestic wood storks, egrets, herons and an American bald eagle or two if you are so lucky. The sea creatures that you may encounter can include dolphins, sea otters, alligators and a variety of fish to delight any angler.
The beach itself is “gently” developed with low-level beach houses situated along 4.5 miles of uncrowded, pristine beach, beside the many tidal creeks and rivers and throughout the interior. Countless families have spent generations of vacations exploring the natural beauty this special place has to offer. With its laid-back lifestyle and quiet, yet breath-taking, natural setting, this sea island destination provides everyone a chance to enjoy the slower pace of days gone by.
Visit the Edisto Chamber’s website at www.EdistoChamber.com or check out the links below.
Attractions on Edisto Beach and Around the Island
Bay Creek Park
3706 Dock Site Rd. This park is owned by the Town of Edisto Beach and is an excellent place to try your hand at fishing or crabbing off the dock. There are open areas for a family picnic or a romantic get together with a spectacular view of the marsh surrounding Big Bay Creek. There is an intreperative center there and on Wednesdays, they have an arts and crafts and farmers market, weather. Bay Creek Park is also a great venue for different festivals during the year. For more information on the park, visit www.TownofEdistoBeach.com or www.EdistoChamber.com.
Botany Bay Plantation
Hwy 174, Edisto Island, (843)953-9300. Botany Bay Plantation, a 4,630-acre tract located on Edisto Island, is now open for public access. The ecologically and historically significant property was privately maintained until recently by former owner, Margaret Pepper. The late Mrs. Pepper preserved the natural integrity of the land and fostered a diverse array of habitats including maritime forests, salt marsh, tidal creeks, freshwater ponds and hammock islands. The tract is now managed by S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a part of the agency’s Wildlife Management Area (WMA) program. DNR’s stewardship of the property will continue Peppers’ customary legacy towards enhancing habitat for all wildlife species while providing public access including compatible educational and recreational opportunities and uses of the land.
Edisto Beach State Park and Interpretive Center
Edisto Beach State Park features trails for hiking and biking that provide a wonderful tour of the park. The park’s environmental education center is a “green” building with exhibits that highlight the natural history of Edisto Island and the surrounding ACE Basin. With the theme “Choosing to Protect Our Coast,” the Edisto Interpretive Center helps promote the wise use of coastal resources. It is headquarters for Edisto Beach State Park’s interpretive programs and curriculum-based field studies, and for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ education and research services.
(843)869-4330 (photo by Wendie Smith)
Edisto Island Museum
8123 Chisolm Plantation Rd., T-Th-S 1-4 pm, Call for Summer hours: (843)869-1954.
Exhibits of sea island plantation life, Civil War & Native American displays.
Admission Fee. www.edistomuseum.com.
Edisto Island Serpentarium
1374 Hwy. 174, Edisto Island (843)869-1171, M-S 10am-6pm May 1-Labor Day. More than 500 reptiles on display. Reptile shows hourly. www.edistoserpentarium.com. The modern indoor facility and beautifully landscaped outdoor gardens house a wide variety of reptiles, mostly those collected by the Clamp brothers and native to the southeastern United States.
Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge
8675 Willtown Rd., Hollywood, www.fws.gov/refuge/ace_basin
Originally built by George Washington Morris in 1828, the plantation house has passed through multiple hands until acquired by US Fish & Wildlife Service in 1992. Today, the house is one of the few antebellum mansions left in the area after the Civil War. Come tour the historical home and rice fields today!
The Plantation Course at Edisto
19 Fairway Dr, Edisto Beach (843)869-1111. The sole golf course on the island enjoys an interesting history dating back to its origin in 1973. Originally known as ‘Oristo’ and later as ‘The Edisto Beach Golf Club’, the course takes pride in its new name…. ‘The Plantation Course at Edisto’. After completing a total renovation of the course in 2006 and moving into our new Pro Shop in May 2007, we can insure that your golfing experience will be enjoyable and memorable. We hope the following preview will be helpful to you in making your plans for a visit to Edisto and The Plantation Course in the near future. http://www.theplantationcourseatedisto.com/