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South Carolina's Low Country

Low Country photo by Rhonda Thompson - www.rhondathompson.com

South Carolina's Low Country contains the area from Georgetown south to the Savannah River and is made up of 60 barrier islands. The Low Country is home to centuries old live oaks, historic plantations, forgotten rice fields and Gullah communities. It is a region of waterways (the Ashepoo, the Combahee and the Edisto), maritime forest, history and industry. Its laid back atmosphere combined with outdoor fun, touring, shopping, fine dining and historic inns with modern amenities make the towns of the Low Country a favorite for visitors. To hear great Low Country, South Carolina sounds check out Wahoo Creek. This Myrtle Beach live music band plays all your favorites with a Low Country sound that's unique, entertaining, and soul filling.

Beaufort

Just south of Charleston is historic Beaufort, where you can walk its tree lined streets and see its many antebellum mansions. One of these mansions, the 1856 Tidalholm, which has been used in movies like The Big Chill and The Great Santini .

Beaufort's historic district is composed of an 8 block by 14 block grid and has a "Main Street USA" feel. Also of interest is the 7 acre Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park located on the banks of the Beaufort River. The Waterfront contains a sea wall promenade, a public marina, and a number of benches facing the water.

Do you enjoy walking tours? What about horse and buggy tours? In Beaufort, you can take a walking tour in the historic district lead by a knowledgeable costumed guide from the Spirit of Old Beaufort. Or, for a carriage tour, check out Carolina Buggy Tours or the Southern Rose Buggy Tours. As you travel around Beaufort you will see the 1717 Thomas Hepwort House, the Thomas Fuller House (a.k.a . the "Tabby Manse"), the 1813 Milton Maxcy House or the Joseph Johnson House.

After visiting the low country of South Carolina make your way to the Georgia mountains for hiking, fishing, and relaxing. Learn about North Georgia cabin rentals at our Georgia tourism sister site and find other useful GA travel info.

To the east of Beaufort, is the Sea Island Parkway which crosses the Beaufort River to Lady's Island and St. Helena Island where you will find Penn Center - the 50 acre National Historic Site. The Penn Center's mission is to preserve the language, history, and culture of the Gullah people. Other islands making up the Sea Island Parkway are residential Harbor Island, Hunting Island and Fripp Island.

More about Beaufort, SC

Hilton Head

South of Beaufort is Port Royal where you will find exclusive boutiques, restaurants, and a public beach with a wooden boardwalk along the Beaufort River. Continuing south, you will come to what is one of the Low Country's most renowned islands-the 12 mile long, 5 mile wide Hilton Head Island. The island draws approximately 2.5 million visitors per year. It is host to tennis and golf tournaments, shopping complexes and incredible beaches.

Hilton Head's Sea Pines Forest Preserve offers maritime forest and marshland trails which can be enjoyed on foot, by bike or by horseback. Other Hilton Head activities include deep sea fishing, getting close to the water on a small sailboat from one of the area's marinas or climb aboard the Schooner Welcome (schooner.net) where you can take it easy and enjoy the hors d'oeuvres or you can pitch in an help raise the sails or steer the 62 foot wooden ship. If you are interested in looking a dolphin in the eye, the Commander Zodiac (843-671-3344) is just what you are looking for.

Of special interest for families visiting the Low Country is the Coastal Discovery Museum where you can get a hand's on learning experience as you discover the history, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Low Country. The Museum offers educational tours and cruises as well as indoor and outdoor exhibits.

While visiting the Low Country, you will find several opportunities to view the arts. Whether it is classical music or a Pops concert by Beaufort Orchestra or ballet and dance by Beaufort's Byrne Miller Dance Theatre, you are going to have an entertaining evening. In the Hilton Head area, you can see theatrical performance, hear visiting musicians and vocalist, and see dance troupes at the Art Center Coastal Carolina.

Another place worth visiting in the Low Country of South Carolina is Kiawah Island. This natural area is a must see for anyone that loves natural history and the outdoors.

Low Country Photo by Athens wedding photographer Rhonda Thompson
Beaufort House and cannon by Savannah Grandfather
Sunset at Hilton Head photo by Lee Coursey

Read the 2012 Southern Gothic novel from Scott Thompson
Young Men Shall See