A Children’s Hunt for Magical Places in McClellanville

By:Kerry Egan


There isn’t too much excitement going on in McClellanville, SC. And that is exactly why you should go visit.

It isn’t that McClellanville isn’t absolutely beautiful: It is. It isn’t that McClellanville isn’t welcoming: It is that, too. And there are plenty of activities to do, if you’d like to schedule a full day or sightseeing.

But unlike the other coastal places to the north and south of it, McClellanville doesn’t clamor for your attention. The wonder of visiting McClellanville is in its sleepy charm, its unhurried beauty, its deep sense of contentment. It is a historic fishing village, no more and no less. And this is why it’s perfect.

In that way, it’s actually the perfect place to visit with young children. There are no neon signs, no carnival rides, no T-shirt shops to overstimulate little minds. Instead, there is great natural and historic beauty with big and little surprises around every turn. McClellanville is the sort of place you feel like you’re discovering for the first time, a storybook village plunked down in the coast of South Carolina. It’s the sort of place where little children can be explorers of their world, where they can find gnarled old trees that might be the home of fairies, or bronze fishing boots that might have once belonged to a giant stuck on the top of a pole in the harbor. A place that can feel very magical to creative little minds.

So while we don’t want to give away too much of the town's charm—we want you to have that rush of discovery over the little secrets of the place too—we would be remiss if we didn’t point out just a few places where you and your little ones can start looking for the surprising magic of McClellanville.

1. Pinckney Street is the main street in town, with a charming collection of little shops, a fantastic seafood restaurant and a dozen houses that look like something out of a children’s book.

2. Deerhead Oak tree on the corner of Pinckney and Oak streets is more than 1,000 years old, and it looks very much like the King of the Deer got trapped in a tree by an evil wizard.

3. The fleet on Jeremy Creek is a mass of shrimping boats of a dozen colors. Every May, the local clergy bless the boats and the fishermen too.

4. You might be surprised to see a church on this list of magical places for little ones. Ah, that’s because you haven’t seen this church. The Chapel of Ease (yes, that’s it’s real name) can only be described as something from a fairy tale.

5. At the very end of Pinckney Street, you’ll find McClellanville Town Park, a little park with a pirate ship and some great big, mesmerizing old rusted ship parts, a tiny museum, and the water spread out before you, shimmering blue in the sunlight. (Keep an eye out here for those boots that giant left behind.)

6. If all this leaves you hungry, and it will, stop by T.W Graham & Co. for a plateful of seafood from the nearby waters. You might even be able to see a picture of the fish you're eating if you check the restaurant's Facebook page. There's even a little gift cove where the kids can pick up a pirate treasure map. Perfect for planning your next South Carolina adventure!

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