On a recent trip to Charleston, I ventured off the peninsula to visit one of the Lowcountry's prettiest fishing villages. Long known for its thriving shrimping fleet, McClellanville gained newfound notoriety in 1989 when the town was hit by the full brunt of Hurricane Hugo. The Category 4 eye wall passed directly over the village, destroying homes, downing century-old oaks and depositing shrimp boats in front yards.
Despite a massive renovation, McClellanville still maintains its coastal village charm and the live-and-let-live vibe that has attracted artists and writers to the community, including the late Archibald Rutledge, South Carolina's first poet laureate.
Pinckney Street, the main thoroughfare through town, exemplifies the community's slow-paced lifestyle with its handful of specialty shops, restaurants and churches. A sidewalk that runs along the two-lane road will take you from near U.S. 17 all the way to the end of Jeremy Creek where it opens up into an expansive salt marsh.
The narrow pathway is perfect for visitors who want to explore the community by bike. It runs past more than 30 historic homes and landmarks, including the Wade Hampton Graham House, Point Plantation House, McClellanville Methodist Episcopal Church, King Brothers General Store and the McClellanville Watch Tower.
Another Pinckney Street headliner is the famed T.W. Graham & Co. Seafood Restaurant, the oldest business in town. We stopped at this local favorite for some fresh-off-the-boat seafood and a slice of mouthwatering Pawleys Island pie.
You can park at Town Hall at 405 Pinckney St. to begin your ride. Up and back, it's almost four miles. We extended the adventure by veering onto Oak Street to check out the latest catch at Carolina Seafood Market. Their shrimp is to die for!
Located about an hour north of Charleston off U.S. 17, McClellanville was once a coastal retreat for rice and indigo planters from the South Santee region. It overlooks Jeremy Creek and is surrounded by Francis Marion National Forest. For more information or directions to the community, click here or call Town Hall at (843) 887-3712.