Resort Islands and Lowcountry of South Carolina
Hauntingly beautiful is perhaps the best way to describe the Resort Islands and Lowcountry of South Carolina. Miles of white beaches washed clean by the tide -- free of tracks except those left by a hermit crab or sea turtle, endless marshes alive with the calls of birds and rustling flight, and trees laden with Spanish moss add to its ethereal setting. It is this ambiance that annually draws thousands to Hilton Head Island, the region's most popular world-class resort. Hilton Head's recreational facilities include hundreds of tennis courts and over two dozen championship golf courses, one of which annually hosts the nationally televised golf tournament, The Heritage.
By day the marshes are alive with the calls and rustling flight of birds, and fish leap in the dark clear streams that feed the wetlands. By night, the moon bathes beautiful white sand beaches, a church ruins, moss-bearded palms and live oak groves in slivery light. It is this romantic and haunting ambiance that draws visitors back time and again to the beauty and relaxation found in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
South Carolina Islands: Edisto Island
Evidence indicates that Edisto Island was inhabited by Native Americans at least 4,000 years ago, and is among the older historic settlements in South Carolina. This relaxed island features fantastic restaurants and numerous rental cottages. Edisto Beach State Park is the choice for those guests who want to get back to nature. Stay in well-equipped cabins or in a campsite.
Hunt for shells on the beach or enjoy the views along the salt marsh. Hike to Spanish Mount shell mound, used by Native Americans as much as 4,000 years ago. Many of Edisto Island 's plantation houses are open to the public in October during the Island Tour of Historic Plantations and Churches.
South Carolina Islands: Fripp Island
An ancient hunting ground of the Yamessee Indians, Fripp Island was acquired in Colonial times by swashbuckling English Capt. Johannes Fripp, a hero in battles against the French and Spanish. Just 19 miles east of historic Beaufort, South Carolina, Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort offers guests controlled access to the island, three and one-half miles of uncrowded beach, two championship golf courses, tennis courts, kayaking and oceanfront, marsh and golf view accommodations. A seaside waterpark features a children's pool with alligator slides and giant frog fountain. Great restaurants and a new food court await you. Park your car once you arrive. The favorite mode of transportation on Fripp Island is a golf cart, which you can rent by the day or week.
South Carolina Islands: Hilton Head Island
Discovered by English sea captain William Hilton in 1663, Hilton Head Island boasts some of the most luxurious accommodations in the country. The development of the island began in the 1950s, when Charles Fraser developed Sea Pines Plantation.
The largest sea island between New Jersey and Florida, Hilton Head covers 42 square miles of broad beaches, nine marinas, over two dozen championship golf courses, and more tennis courts than any other resort of its size. Shopping abounds on the island. Hilton Head's four main resort communities of Palmetto Dunes, Port Royal Resort, Sea Pines Plantation, and Shipyard Plantation offer a wide variety of accommodations, including villas, houses, inns, and oceanfront hotels.
While on Hilton Head Island, you may wish to explore the Indian shell ring at Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The ring is believed to have been built around the same time as the great pyramids. Scientists believe that it was intended as a refuse heap, with oysters, clams, and mussel shells, as well as the bones of deer, raccoons, bear, and fish. The ring is approximately 150 feet in diameter and several feet deep, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Explore more than 12 miles of Hilton Head Island's pristine beach, maritime forests and salt marshes. Observe white-tailed deer and more than 125 species of birds. Fish for whiting, spot, bass, and drum. Campsites and cabins are within easy walking distance to the ocean.
South Carolina Islands: Hunting Island
Once used as the hunting preserve for wealthy planters' families, Hunting Island was renowned for hunting parties that lasted several days. The four-mile-long island now serves as a state park. Located near historic Beaufort, Hunting Island State Park is home to dense vegetation and wildlife making it the most natural of the Lowcountry South Carolina Islands. The Hunting Island Lighthouse, built in 1875, is also on the island.
Lowcountry and Resort Islands