There is a lot to be said about being on the coast of South Carolina. Certainly, being close to the beach provides endless amounts of entertainment and fun. When the weather turns chilly and winter sets in, we start looking for alternative ways to spend our time. There are several fabulous day trips for those of us in and around the Lowcountry that make being in South Carolina worthwhile.
This huge plantation is located off of Highway 61 in West Ashley. The Magnolia Plantation was founded in 1676 by the Drayton family and has been called one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens” by Travel & Leisure Magazine. The extravagant gardens are designed to cooperate with nature with seasonal flowers blooming throughout the year. Birdwatchers will love exploring the plantation, as a huge variety of birds call Magnolia home. Bring the kids to see ducks, geese, deer, pigs, chickens, goats and more at the petting zoo. Visiting the plantation is a wonderful idea for a romantic getaway as well, so consider bringing a picnic and enjoy your loved one at this special location not too far from home.
Located just beyond Pawley’s Island lies another plantation that should be on your To Do List. Multiple award winning Brookgreen Gardens is absolutely stunning and has over 1,400 sculptures created by 350 artists. Wayne Craven, author of “Sculpture in America”, says that it is “unequaled in its size, focus on figurative works, visibility of the sculpture to the visitor, and integration within a garden setting.” Guided tours, boat rides, a butterfly house, and a zoo are available, or you may roam the grounds at your leisure. There is so much to see at Brookgreen! Tickets are good for 7 days.
Love animals? Head to Columbia to Riverbanks Zoo. This two hour trip is worth the drive and will allow you to get closer to nature than youd ever expect. The zoo hosts a wide variety of animals in their natural setting and prides itself on maintaining a healthy environment for all of its inhabitants. Visit the African Plains, Aquarium Reptile Complex, Australian Animals, the famous Birdhouse, Large Mammals, and the Ndoki Forest. Don’t miss the parrot cage where you can hand-feed the birds.There are nine botanical gardens for you to explore which HGTV calls one of the 20 greatest public gardens across America. The hours are from 9-5 and discounts are offered for seniors and military (with ID).
A short 38 min drive from Folly, Seabrook Island has much to offer including pristine beach fronts, tennis courts, an equestrian center, two championship golf courses, as well as a fitness and health club. Enjoy the views of large, moss draped oaks that line Seabrook Island, take advantage of horseback riding along Seabrook’s beaches, or take a scenic kayak tour throughout Seabrook’s waterways. The beach areas of Seabrook Island cover three miles and offer distinct opportunities for all types of fun water activity. Being located off the Atlantic Ocean and snuggled up to the Edisto River, the island’s waterfront options are perfect for more experienced swimmers, young families, or those who simply enjoy the salty air with refreshments at hand. A lovely stroll around the island’s beaches will take you from one of the widest beaches in South Carolina along North Beach, around the Beach Bar located near the tip of North Beach, and up to the serene shores of Pelican Beach. Too cold or rainy? Don’t forget to check out Freshfields Village, lined with boutiques and restaurants.
5. Edisto Beach
If you are looking for a beach town that doesn’t have one stop light, no frills, no clubs and a place just to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, then hop in the car and head a little over an hour to Edisto Beach. Edisto contains two main roads; wherever you are located on the island you will always hear the calming waves against the shore. If you are looking to spend a peaceful day enjoying nature, I highly suggest you check it out. Nature activities on the island include swimming, watersports, boating, golfing, fishing, and bicycling.
If you’re looking for a little more excitement and want to take the kids on an adventure, think about heading to Myrtle Beach. Broadway at the Beach has a little bit of everything for kids of all ages. Exciting rides, educational and fun children’s museums, Ripley’s Aquarium and a host of other attractions will keep you busy during the day. Parents will enjoy the park too, as there are dozens of shops to explore. You’ll have your pick of cuisine also, with restaurants ranging from Chuck & Duck to Yamato. At night, the place transforms into an adult’s fantasy with dancing, comedy, dueling pianos, and live shows. As they say, “The nights always shine at Broadway.”