Unplugging in the Lowcountry

Unplug with a South Carolina Vacation in the Lowcountry

Where kids & kids at heart go to unplug & unwind

By Lynn Seldon

Whenever my wife, Cele, and I think of the perfect place for entire families—from grandchildren to grandparents—to unplug and unwind, we think of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

We’ve spent many vacations walking hand in hand along the sandy beaches listening to the ocean waves lap along the shore. We’ve also enjoyed introducing our nieces and nephews and their children to the Lowcountry with South Carolina vacations. Whether it’s combing the beach for shells, climbing lighthouses, or teaching them about the unique flora and fauna, we love seeing the Lowcountry through their eyes. When we’re here, the quiet and simple character of the place makes it easy for us to unwind from the modern stressors of everyday life and focus on the family members and friends who join us. The Lowcountry is a very special place, where connecting with friends and family over a long weekend quickly becomes much more important than connecting to the Internet.

The place

The Lowcountry is what keeps Cele and me planning South Carolina vacations as often as possible. It has left an indelible mark on our souls. And we’d like to think that we are passing that love on to others when we introduce this magical place. Of course, it’s the cool, salt breezes and the wide sandy beaches—but, it’s so much more. It’s also the marsh at sunrise—and sunset—with the perfume of pluff mud in the air and the sound of marsh grass blowing in the salt-laced wind. It’s the briny smell and taste of fresh seafood, whether we’re heading to a waterfront restaurant or fixing something up in the kitchen. Then, there’s the history and the culture that can’t fit inside any classroom. This is our Lowcountry and it’s what we love sharing with kids—and kids at heart.

One of the many beauties of the Lowcountry is that’s it’s so multi-dimensional, making it ideal for multi-generation visits. The slow pace of life here allows for lingering visits and conversation with family and long-time or new-found friends of all ages. This is a place that feels like “home” to everyone almost immediately.

A few of our favorite places and activities to share with others during our South Carolina vacations include: beachcombing and surf fishing at Hunting Island and Edisto Beach, where we love seeing the reactions of family and friends as they adjust to ocean time and life. Hiking, biking, sunsets and more at Lake Warren State Park are some of our favorite lets-get-out-of-the-house activities. And for culture, heading to historic Penn Center is always a treat. Through programs and events, it preserves and presents the history of the Lowcountry and its African-American Gullah heritage on the site of one of the country’s first schools for freed slaves. For Cele and me, watching a nephew check his fishing line or a niece learn about the history of the Gullah culture instead of going online is reason enough to return to the Lowcountry with family and friends as often as possible.

The people

The transformational power of the Lowcountry can certainly be attributed to the place, but it’s also due to the people. We’ve always found area locals to be very friendly, whether we’re in a quaint small town restaurant or café, buying oysters at a bustling seafood shop, antiquing in one-of-a-kind shops in Walterboro, heading out on a kayak tour with a local guide, hand-feeding llamas at the petting zoo at Bee City Honeybee Farm, or visiting the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage in Ridgeland. It’s the kind of place where people say hello with a smile when you pass them in the street—or in a kayak—and it’s this kind of graciousness and hospitality that we hope to pass on to our future generations.

Connecting and bonding with friendly Lowcountry locals—and with each other—is most definitely part of the process of unwinding and living for the moment. Locals live by the tides, instead of what their smartphones give as the time. It’s a Lowcountry lesson we love to follow and share as well.

The power of transformation

Through outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, nature walks, beachcombing and more, we very much enjoy seeing how kids and kids at heart so easily unwind in the Lowcountry when they’re exposed to the transformational power of its places and people. Like an ebbing tide, the stresses and stronghold of modern culture simply evaporate naturally and are replaced with being in the moment—wherever that may be and whoever it may be with in this special place for us and, hopefully, many converts.

The late beloved writer, Pat Conroy, paints a beautiful picture of the area, “To describe our growing up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, I would have to take you to the marsh on a spring day, flush the great blue heron from its silent occupation. Scatter marsh hens as we sink to our knees in mud, open you an oyster with a pocketknife and feed it to you from the shell and say, ‘There. That taste. That’s the taste of my childhood.’”

Lowcountry Food Festivals

“Quite simply, we love Lowcountry food festivals like a blue crab loves a chicken neck.”

Quite simply, we love Lowcountry food festivals like a blue crab loves a chicken neck. All our Lowcountry friends seem to enjoy local fare as much as we do. And all of us jump at any chance to celebrate the region’s food.

From devouring creative shrimp dishes to shucking oysters or simply enjoying fresh ingredients from the land and sea, we never turn down the chance to take a big bite out of a festival focusing on food.

Jasper County SC/GA BBQ Cookoff

Held on an April weekend, the Jasper County SC/GA BBQ Cookoff takes place in Hardeeville on quaint Main Street. The flavorful festival features a competition of the best barbecue teams from South Carolina and Georgia. It’s a South Carolina Barbecue Association-sanctioned event, so competition for those cash prizes is fierce. And with categories including butts and ribs, attendees leave full.

The combination of barbecue, cold beer and live music makes this cook-off an especially popular festival.

Beaufort County Port Royal Soft Shell Crab Festival

Held each year at the height of the area’s soft-shell crab season, the Beaufort County Port Royal Soft Shell Crab Festival is a tasty, fun, and crabby kind of day. It features distinctive soft-shell crab dishes from several local restaurants, plus lots of other food, arts and crafts vendors, entertainment and more.

One of many highlights of the Soft Shell Crab Festival is the Lowcountry and Beaufort Rotary’s Crab Race (a rotary fundraiser). Picture 5,000 adopted rubber “crabs” floating in Battery Creek. Prizes are awarded for the crabs that float past the finish line in top spots. A similar fundraising race organized by Sea Island Rotary is held at the Beaufort Shrimp Festival come October.

Colleton County Rice Festival

In the county seat of Walterboro (known as the “The Front Porch of the Lowcountry”), the Colleton County Rice Festival honors the role that rice and the resulting rice culture has played in Colleton County and across the Lowcountry for more than four centuries. Festival attendees enjoy tasty food, arts and crafts, fireworks, music and other entertainment.

The popular arts and crafts area is central to the festival and includes a wide array of handcrafted options. There’s also a pageant and crowning of Rice Festival Queen, as well as the Rice Festival Parade meandering through downtown, and a 5K race.

Hampton County Watermelon Festival

Started more than 75 years ago and taking place for a week each June, the Hampton County Watermelon Festival is a juicy celebration of all things watermelon. With events throughout the county and at varied locations, picking which events to attend is almost as hard as picking a perfectly ripe watermelon.

The Watermelon Festival Parade (dating back to 1939) is known as being the longest parade in South Carolina—stretching from Varnville to the county seat of Hampton. Remember how we told you there was a lot going on? Here’s what you can choose from: the huge Festival Street Dance; Family Fun Day; Youth Parade; Taste of Hampton County; live entertainment; a carnival; a 5K run/walk; Watermelon Festival Queen, Teen Queen and a court of Belles and Beaus; and so much more. There are even free melon slices at select times at the Courthouse Square Fountain.

Beaufort Shrimp Festival

Each October, the Beaufort Shrimp Festival pays tribute to shrimp and the shrimping culture in the charming town of Beaufort. Activities are primarily held in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Highlights include: a best shrimp dishes contest, shrimp heading and peeling competitions for kids, live entertainment, arts and crafts, a 5K run/walk, and the popular Sea Island Rotary’s Charity Rubber Shrimp Race.

Along with shrimp and lots of other food and beverage options, live music on the waterfront is a big part of the Beaufort Shrimp Festival. A full schedule of shows serves as a lyrical backdrop for the food, shopping and more.

Oyster Roasts

Oyster roasts are a happy tradition throughout the Lowcountry each fall and winter. It’s a rare weekend during this season that there isn’t a roast occurring somewhere in the region. From large fundraisers with bushels of roasted oysters, barbecue and live music to smaller affairs celebrating oysters, a Lowcountry oyster roast is a food-focused festival at its finest. For instance, all-you-can-eat oysters are on the menu on Edisto Island at the Flowers Seafood Annual Oyster Roast.

Take a bite out of some other tasty Lowcountry food festivals

Other tasty food festival options in the Lowcountry abound, including:
Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival (February 18–24, 2019)
Hilton Head Island Food & Wine Festival (March 5–11, 2018)
Taste of Beaufort (May 4–5, 2018)
Bluffton Boiled Peanut Festival (September 22, 2018)
Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival (October 13–21, 2018)

South Carolina Lowcountry – A Beautiful, Wonderful, Historic Place

Naturally Amazing Lowcountry

A Beautiful, Wonderful, Historic Place

In South Carolina’s Lowcountry certain things are just in our nature. A rich history. A warm welcome. And a love of good food, good people, and the great outdoors. We are a land steeped in American history. Traditions. And Gullah culture.

The Lowcountry is a place. A beautiful, wonderful, historic place – but it’s also an experience.  One that is the opposite of expected. And while off the beaten path, it’s just off I95. Truth be told, we know you won’t be able to stay off social media forever, so go ahead and share all these NATURALLY AMAZING places and experiences by posting your best pics, videos and boomerangy things with #naturallyamazinglowcountry and #naturallyamazingstateparks.

Fletcher’s Finds

Just down the Lowcountry road in Yemassee, discover another one-of-a-kind experience at Fletcher’s Finds.  Both a restaurant and antique store, this unassuming café found itself just named the best place for comfort food in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure and Yelp.

George & Pink’s

Blue Heron Trail

So when that road trip calls for a spontaneous detour, throw caution to the coastal wind, and let curiosity be your guide. Take the road less traveled to the splendor and wildlife of the Blue Heron Trail and Nature Center in Ridgeland, SC. The perfect place to wander in the wonder of the great outdoors.

Harold’s Country Club

Follow your taste buds over to Harold’s Country Club. No golf or tennis here, just some of the most mouthwatering Southern cooking you’ll ever taste. Open only Thursday-Saturday, Harold’s attracts the attention of famous visitors, like Hollywood producer Joel Silver, who often stops by when at his Auldbrass Plantation. A few years ago he actually asked Harold to go to the plantation and show Martha Stewart how to really fry a turkey! 

South Carolina State Parks

South Carolina State Parks

Our state parks truly put the great into the outdoors

Maybe taking a distinctly lower and slower road could not only be better, but more interesting. And maybe it’s not even a road at all, but a sandy path, a meandering river, or a step back in time. Welcome to South Carolina’s Lowcountry State Parks. Serene and unexpected, yet fascinating and fun. A land as rich in history and natural beauty, as it is in possibility and hospitality.

Our state parks truly put the great into the outdoors. You don’t have to go far to get far away from the same-old-same-old. So stop checking into Facebook and start checking out four distinctly different and naturally inspiring slices of Lowcountryside.

Truth be told, we know you won’t be able to stay off social media forever, so go ahead and share all these NATURALLY AMAZING places and experiences by posting your best pics, videos and boomerangy things with #naturallyamazinglowcountry and #naturallyamazingstateparks.

Hunting Island

Hunting Island State Park has five miles of pristine sandy shoreline, but it’s far from another beach. It’s a nature and wildlife wonderland. Camp right off the beach. Enjoy surf fishing and fishing in the nearby lagoon. Take in the views of Fripp Inlet from our pier. Climb the only historic lighthouse in South Carolina open to the public for never-ending views of the ocean, beach, and marshland.


Colleton State Park is just off I-95, but it’s miles from middle-of-the-road. In fact, it’s not much of a road at all, but more of a paddler’s paradise. Kayak and canoe along 23 miles of blackwater river with easy access to Givhans Ferry State Park and the Edisto River–one of the longest free-flowing, blackwater rivers in the country.


Edisto Beach State Park is a nature lovers and beach campers dream come to life. It’s one of four oceanfront state parks in South Carolina. It features hiking and biking trails, an environmental center with exhibits that highlight the natural history of Edisto Island and the surrounding ACE Basin–and campsites right along the Edisto Island oceanfront and in the shaded maritime forest.

Lake Warren

Lake Warren State Park has seemingly endless wetlands and woodlands for you to explore. It’s also a boater and fishermen’s fantasy with its 200-acre Lake Warren, and another two-acre fishing pond. If that weren’t enough there are nature trails, picnic facilities, playground and, when you finally call it a day, movie Nights “Under the Stars.”

See what our visitors love about the

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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.

simplysoutherncottage keeps us in awe with each her projects. This bed swing refresh is one of our favorites!
📸: simplysoutherncottage⠀
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Headed down the road....Edisto Island.  #edisto #sclowcountry #trees #endofday  #beauty #islandsofsc
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Sunset sizzle. 🔥#lowcountrysc #lowcountryliving #lowcountry #lowcountrylife #chs #sclowcountry #lowcountrysunset #lowcountryphotographer #creeklife #boatlife #beresfordcreek #scmarsh #saltwatermarsh #lifeonthewater #charlestonsc #chslove #chucktown #socharleston #southcarolina #sc #danielisland #danielislandsc #di #viewsofthesouth #bestofcharleston #coastalliving #clpicks #sltravels
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
Come explore the Beaufort Arsenal, an iconic landmark that has stood the test of time since the 1700s. Located in the heart of downtown Beaufort, South Carolina, this historic site is a testament to the city's rich cultural heritage and architectural legacy. It is a must-visit destination for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to experience the charm and character of this southern city.#thatsmylowcountry #naturallyamazing #sclowcountry #beaufortarsenal #beaufortsc #discoversc #sctourism
“Cypress Sentinel”
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Beacon of hope
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At the beach…lock.latch#lockandlatch #lockandlatchinstalls #windowinstallation #doorinstallation #customhome #newbuild #southcarolina #sclowcountry #architecture #craftmanshipdetail
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!
Built in 1790, The Cuthbert House is a historic mansion turned Bed and Breakfast with stunning water views  in Beaufort, SC
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Come on in. The pool water - and the comfy beds upstairs - are juuuuuust right. 😉​​​​​​​​​
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I ♥️ this picture, and every time I come across it, I get in my feelings. This is a very young me standing barefoot in front of my Papa Franklin’s store (JH Rivers & Sons) on Main Street in Hampton, SC, sucking my thumb, no less. There has been a lot of talk about little ole Hampton recently and in the past few weeks especially. A little community most people had never heard of much less stepped foot in. Well, my roots run deep in Hampton County, going back generations and at the very least more than 130 years! And let me tell you this, just like my mama, my kids, etc. I can say whatever I want about this place, but if you’re not from here, you should probably keep your mouth shut. I’m getting really tired of people who probably couldn’t even point to Hampton on a map talking trash about it and putting our people down. Most of the people in Hampton are some of the most down to earth, genuine, good hearted people you’ll ever meet…black, white, rich, poor…doesn’t matter. Not to mention, being in the heart of the SC lowcountry, it is a beautiful place, too…God’s Country! My heart is filled with pride when I hear someone from Hampton speaking. I would recognize that accent and vernacular anywhere! A lot of these folks are pretty funny too! Additionally, family runs deep here. It seems that some people don’t understand folks standing by their family for better or worse. It doesn’t necessarily mean you always agree with or support what a loved one has done, but you stand in support of the rest of your family as well as those loved ones who have passed on. Also, you shouldn’t demonize an entire family based on the sins of one. Maybe  instead of passing judgement, you should pray for the family…most of us will never know what they are going through. In any event, I am proud of my Hampton County roots and the mostly good people who make up this community.♥️🍉
#hamptoncounty #hamptoncountyproud #sclowcountry #godscountry #familyovereverything #whhsreddevils
Beautiful historic resting place for those before us....these birds have found a piece of heaven to call their own!
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Life’s a party, always be ready to host 🍾.
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Beautiful night on the sunset river cruise with coastalexpeditions_beaufort#southcarolinaliving #southcarolina #southcarolinaphotographer #southcarolinalowcountry #sclowcountry #exploresouthcarolina #visitsouthcarolina #sunsets_captures #summernights #sunsetphotography #summervibes #southcarolinaphotography #beaufortsc #beaufort
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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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