Edisto Island is well known by South Carolina locals, but a less-frequented vacation destination of visitors from outside the state. It’s a small island located in Colleton County, South Carolina, with a population just over 400. Edisto Island is known for having some of the last remaining family-oriented, pristine beaches on the state’s eastern shore. The island’s beauty and quiet pace makes it a natural escape from the hustle of modern life. But the newly refurbished and modern attractions on the island have also come to provide entertainment for visitors. Edesto Island is a fantastic destination whether you’re looking for a quiet spot on the beach or a memorable island dining experience.
The Edesto River, one of the longest free-flowing blackwater rivers in North America, makes its 206-mile journey to the Atlantic Ocean past the island. St. Pierre, Big Bay and Store Creeks all run through the island and are great for boat tours and fishing. Swimming is popular at Edisto Beach, as well as lounging by the surf. There’s a bike path through most of town, and Edisto is small enough that it’s possible to bike all over the beach and island. The path winds past scenic views as well as shopping venues and restaurants, so you might find yourself hopping off and exploring certain areas on foot. Visitors to Edisto Beach State Park should stop by the Education Learning Center to learn more about the ACE Basin, or take a boat tour to explore the waters in person. The state’s longest system of handicapped-friendly hiking and biking trails, and the tallest palmetto trees along the marshland, are unique aspects of the state park. Edisto Island Serpentarium is also a neat little attraction where guests can examine different types of reptiles up close.
South Carolinians flock to Edisto Island for vacation, but the area is home to a number of great day trip destinations. If you get a hankering for southern sweet tea, take a trip to Wadmalaw Island, about an hour’s drive from Edisto Island. There’s no better place to find good libations than the island with a working tea plantation, estate distillery, boutique winery and vineyards! For first time visitors to South Carolina, Charleston is also a must-see. Think cobblestone streets, pastel antebellum houses and an elegant French Quarter that will take you back several centuries. You won’t just be visiting a different place—you’ll feel like you’re in a different time. With over 1400 historic buildings, mouthwatering cuisine and white sandy beaches, Charleston is an entirely different feel from Edisto Island. Beaufort, South Carolina is a classic beach town about 64 miles from Edisto Island. Among Beaufort’s highlights are the guided excursions around town. You’ll get to choose from among walking tours, history and movie tours, Civil War reconstruction tours and even buggy tours. Pick your own way of experiencing Beaufort for a trip you won’t forget!
Camping is popular at Edisto Beach, made easier with the modern conveniences provided on the campgrounds. There are a number of vacation rentals along the shore, although most are larger homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Wyndham Ocean Ridge Resort is the main hotel on Edisto Island, although there are a few B&Bs and other rentals in the outlying areas.
Driving is the recommended mode of transportation to get into Edisto Island. While there are car services available, rental fees can get pricey. When you’re on the island, you’ll find it easy enough to bike or walk around, though cyclists should remember that bicycles are legally defined as vehicles in South Carolina. This means bicyclists using a public roadway must abide by the same traffic laws as motorists. For air transport, the closest airport near Edisto Island is Charleston International Airport, from where visitors can rent a car or hire a chauffeur service.
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