Planning Your Time
- Grand Strand Weekend
- South Carolina for Kids
- South Carolina Bar-B-Que
- A Midlands Weekend
- Civil War Adventures
- South Carolina Waterways
- Three Days in Horse Country
- South Carolina for Seafoodies
- South Carolina Kitsch
- Gullah and African American History
- Upstate Weekend
- South Carolina’s Top Ten for Golfers
- South Carolina’s Offbeat Festivals
- Southern Comforts
- Lowcountry Romance
The small-scale and comparative lack of traffic in most of the Lowcountry are its more charming aspects. Don’t let that fool you into thinking you can knock everything out in a day, though. That would defeat the purpose, which is not only to see the sights but to fully enjoy its laidback, slow, and leisurely pace.
The common-sense game plan is to use the centrally located Beaufort as a home base. Not only is it easy to get from there to anywhere else in the area, but there’s also a preponderance of affordable and charming lodging.
Take at least a half-day of leisure to walk all over Beaufort. There’s no need to hurry; just do what the locals do and take everything in its own time. Another full day should go to St. Helena’s Penn Center and on to Hunting Island.
If you’re in the mood for a road trip, dedicate a full day to tour the surrounding area to the north and northeast, with perhaps a jaunt to the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, and a stop at the Old Sheldon Church Ruins in the late afternoon on your way back to Beaufort. If you have extra time, split it between Port Royal and a tour of the historic and military sites of interest on Parris Island.
While the New York accents fly fast and furious on Hilton Head Island, that’s no reason for you to rush. Certainly a casual visitor can do Hilton Head in a day but its natural attractions beg for a more considered sort of enjoyment. Plan on at least a half-day just to enjoy the fine, broad beaches alone. I recommend another half-day to tour the island itself, maybe including a stop at Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte in Sea Pines for a late lunch or dinner.
While most of the marketing materials make scant mention of it, nature-lovers shouldn’t miss the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, gorgeous enough to be a must-see, but small and convenient enough to fully enjoy in a few hours.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition