Coastal South Carolina
The Palmetto State offers a plethora of coastal regions that are sure to make anyone happy for a day, a week or a lifetime. Starting from the north you will find Myrtle Beach, which encompasses numerous small towns, miles of family safe beaches and a thriving vacation industry. Charleston, a coastal region with its flair for southern charm and hospitality mixed with the nuances of a thriving city. Then lastly, the true gem of the Carolina coast, the Low Country.
Nowhere on the planet is there a greater concentration of golf courses than Myrtle Beach, which might help explain that this electric coastal city ranks as the #2 Family Destination in the United States with over 12 million visitors annually. Only Orlando with over 21 million visitors can claim more. But it is certainly more than hitting the little white ball around that attracts so many from so far. The Grand Strand stretches for 60 miles and the incomparable beaches are popular destinations for both young and old travelers.
Shagging, which is a popular dance in the south, was invented at a few local popular hang outs in North Myrtle Beach. Dancing with sand in your shoes gave this slow paced shuffling dance it’s pedigree and it is emblematic of the folks who come here to take life a little slower. However, once you leave the beach be prepared for a neon onslaught of sensory overload, as MB has the market on Tee shirt shops, Pancake Houses and Putt Putt McMansions.
Hidden amongst the neon signs are the sleepy waterfront village of Little River (with two Casino boats), the low country feel of Pawleys Island and Litchfield Beach and the enormous shopping and entertainment complexes called Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach and Market Common. One can never run out of something to do in the Myrtle Beach area, which through the decades has become more than a family destination. Today, Myrtle Beach is home to many who liked the area so well for so long, that they decided to stay!
From its ancestral name of Charles Town, this city on the coast has grown to become the iconic reference to the phrase Southern Hospitality. Once the fifth largest city in North America (1690), Charleston owns a unique geographical location that is pieced together by untold bridges. And in 1995, Charleston was recognized as the “best mannered” city in America.
With a war time history that includes stories of many supply ships being attacked by Union soldiers, Charleston is a very proud and reflective community spirited by rich traditions and heritage. But the city is home to several colleges, large industries, a sizeable shipping port and a thriving economy. Many who visit Charleston are drawn by its charm so much though that it calls them to return. And return they do indeed, as the surrounding areas of Mount Pleasant and North Charleston are littered with exciting communities and plantations that cater to young families and retirees.
The Low Country
If you can picture yourself driving down a two lane road with massive Live Oaks twisting towards the sky with a full beard of Spanish Moss reaching towards the sandy floor, then chances are good that you are in the South Carolina Low Country. Oh, and if you smell the Shrimp boiling and feel the gentle ocean breezes, you are definitely in Low Country territory.
The waterfront town of Beaufort is simply picture perfect, so be sure to pack your Kodak if you are headed there. The waterfront combines extensive water and marsh views with an immaculate new family friendly urban park. Also adorning the park are inviting open air restaurants, specialty shops and even an attractive marina, so be sure to plan a full day in Beaufort to take in all the sights.
Further down the road you will find Bluffton, which is quickly becoming a significant player in trying to capture the retirement market. Many plantations have sprouted up out of the lowlands during the past decade and the big attraction is the proximity to Hilton Head. Hilton Head is the grandfather to plantation style living in South Carolina and home to many of the rich and famous. While the beaches are beautiful and serene, public parking and access to the beaches continues to be a conundrum for this coastal region that continues to grow at a healthy pace.
The Low Country is home to many islands such as Fripp Island, Seabrook Island, Kiawah, Edisto Beach, Folly Beach and Sullivan’s Island. Here you will experience a lifestyle like no other as you are removed from the daily hustle and bustle commute you have endured for years to find yourself driving a golf cart on a wide open fairway!