Edisto Island offers relaxing activities that greet travelers with serenity and simplicity. It’s a stark contrast from the commercialized larger beach towns.
Although many nearby tourist hotspots are littered with overpriced, prepackaged activities, Edisto seems to have not succumbed to this. It’s a laid-back town, brimming with friendly people. The beaches are beautiful and serene, devoid of tourist traps.
Here are three things to do that will make the trip to Edisto Beach meaningful and unforgettable:
Shell Collecting on Edisto Beach
The amounts of shells along Edisto Beach are amazing. Abalone, scallops, turbans, and cowries are just some of the kinds of shells that are abundant. The variety and sheer beauty of the shells make collecting them a top priority activity while on the beach.
Many people just spend hours walking along the beach and collecting interesting shells. They are excellent mementos to remember a beach trip. Once brought home, they can be cleaned and displayed to enhance the natural beauty of a home. They can also be included in craft activities, such as making jewelry or collages.
Bird Watching and Wildlife in Edisto
Edisto Island is teeming with wildlife. In particular, birds are everywhere. This gives visitors ample opportunity to bird watch. Within minutes of entering the island, cranes are there to greet visitors. There are also woodpeckers, cardinals, and gulls.
It’s quite relaxing just to observe the birds in their natural habitat. Taking pictures is another option. Picking up a good field guide at the Edisto Bookstore is a good way to help identify the many birds that will be spotted.
Spanish Mount Trail
This is a beautiful trail with an interesting historical destination. The trail is 1.7 miles long and covered with intriguing Spanish moss-draped over live oak trees and palmettos. Pinecones and shells are also scattered around this maritime forest. The endpoint is an enormous mound of discarded shells and bones.
This mound is believed to have been used by Native Americans 4,000 years ago and is now a protected area. In this midden, archeologists also found pottery that is among the oldest pottery found along the East Coast. There is a viewing pier, and hiking there is certainly worth the effort.
Edisto Island is a small town, harboring wild places and wildlife that make it a rewarding trip. Visitors can break from the world and refresh themselves as they collect shells, identify birds, and walking trails with historical significance. Activities are plentiful and awaiting on Edisto Beach.
Where Nature and Relaxation Rule along the Atlantic Coast
A premier treasure of South Carolina vacations can be found on Edisto Island. Lying south of Charleston, it’s perfect for a day or multi-day trip.
The natural beauty and terrific weather are just some of the claims little Edisto Island can make. Add in compelling history, welcoming natives, fabulous shopping, and diversity of accommodations and the list are complete. She lies on a strip of land approximately 55 miles in length and close to both the refined gentility of Charleston, South Carolina, and the slow relaxed pace of Beaufort. An easy half-day drive, or less, can be made from Charlotte, Savannah, and Atlanta.
Come by land or sea and be prepared to lose your heart to some of the same charms that captivated early Spanish explorers who named the island – Oristo in the 16th century.
To experience the geological beauty as the conquistadors and subsequent English settlers did head to the nearby ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Named for the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers, and thanks to multiple conservation groups the 350,000-acre site remains one of the eastern United States’ virginal regions. Birders flock here for seasonal views of painted buntings, wooded ducks, and more. Also on the Edisto unit can be found Grove Plantation, the 1828 plantation now on the National Register of Historic Places, and one of the few antebellum mansions still remaining in the area.
Some choose to visit the ACE by canoeing or kayaking. Finding a guide or equipment is easy, and the memories long-lasting.
As in many parts of the south – the arrival of loggerhead turtles is a major summer event and one that requires human cooperation. Residents, on the ocean side, are required to turn off all outside lights as to not confuse the females, which can deposit up to 120 eggs in the sand. The typical nesting season is from May to October.
Seashell seekers discover paradise on almost five miles of the sands and surf along Edisto Beach. Frequent finds are shark’s teeth.
Where horses once tread – Edisto Island is now bike and golf cart crazy. Renting them is a snap as is tooling around the island on them. Just a reminder – only bicycles can ride along the numerous designated paths. Also for those in motorized vehicles – speed limits range from 20mph to 35 mph, which is usual for a town without a single traffic light.
Over one half of a century of low country adventures with snakes can be found at the Edisto Island Serpentarium. Thanks to the efforts of local brothers Heyward and Ted Clamp a large variety of southeastern reptiles can be found in a diversity of natural settings. Be sure to check on the day’s free lectures to further your experience.
The region’s fascinating past can be learned, and appreciated, through a visit to the Edisto Island Museum. See how an entire stewpot of American history from Edistow Native Americans to Spanish pirates, indigo, cotton and rice planters, and forward-thinking educators each left their mark here.
Accommodations can be as charming as the surroundings. B&B’s abound or perhaps a stay at Wyndham Ocean Ridge where golf and tennis facilities are offered are more your taste.
When planning your next southeastern vacation – Edisto Island should be high on your list.