Fripp Island sits along the Atlantic Coast in South Carolina’s low country, approximately 18 miles east of the inland town and county seat of Beaufort. While this cozy barrier island is small in size, Fripp Island is extremely popular among travelers due to its peaceful atmosphere, as well as the many incredible Fripp Island vacation rentals located just minutes from the shoreline. With miles of sandy beaches, plenty of recreational activities, and historic Beaufort just a short drive away, Fripp Island is a vibrant place to visit with your family and kids of all ages. Check out a few activities to do in the Fripp Island area.

1. Climb the Hunting Island Lighthouse

Among the most popular attractions in the area is the Hunting Island Lighthouse, located just 4 miles south of Fripp Island in Hunting Island State Park. Originally built in 1875, the lighthouse is now a historic landmark that’s open to the public. Climb the impressive 167 steps to get to the top to enjoy the observation deck, where the views of the Atlantic coast and surrounding beaches are truly breathtaking. After your kids have worked up an appetite climbing the stairs, head down to the picnic area at the park and enjoy an outdoor meal.

2. Family Movie Night at the Highway 21 Drive-In

Show your kids what movie nights used to be like by treating them to a good old-fashioned night out at the Highway 21 Drive-In movie theater. Take the scenic 18-mile drive along Sea Island Parkway from the island into Beaufort, then kick back in your car and enjoy a double feature. Movies play year-round, and the theater features four separate screening areas. Stock up on popcorn, hot dogs, and old-fashioned snacks from the concession stand before you settle in for your night of entertainment.

3. Go Horseback Riding on the Beach

For an exciting day of family recreation, sign up for a beach horseback riding excursion with Camelot Farms. This equestrian center sits about 10 miles away from Fripp Island on neighboring Saint Helena Island, and the beach adventure takes place along the coastline of the St. Helena Sound. If you prefer to ride a little more inland, Camelot Farms also offers a plantation ride along its 70-acre farm and through nearby neighborhoods.

4. Visit Fripp Island Nature and Activity Center

Mingle with some of nature’s most beautiful creatures at the Fripp Island Nature and Activity Center, located at the Fripp Resort. The center is open to the public and offers nature and wildlife exhibits, as well as exciting educational programs. Take a guided turtle walk with one of the center’s naturalists, or sign your older kids up for a teen kayaking excursion. Whether you’re strolling the grounds and checking out the animals or partaking in a special guided activity, the center has something for everyone.

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5. Spend the Day at the Beach

Often referred to as one of the most beautiful beaches in all of South Carolina, Fripp Island Beach features 3.5 miles of white sand along the Atlantic Coast. Whether your kids want to splash around in the water and build sandcastles, or you’re up for a little boogie boarding on the waves, there’s plenty to do and see while you soak up the sun and surf. Fill a beach bag with goodies and sunscreen, then head to the shore for some family fun.

6. Take a Carriage Ride Through Historic Beaufort

For a day filled with history and discovery, take the 18-mile trip into Beaufort and sign up for a carriage ride with Southurn Rose Buggy Tours. Breathe in the fresh air as you ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the historic neighborhoods featuring 19th century structures used as locations for movies such as “Forrest Gump” and “The Big Chill.”

7. Go out on a Fishing Charter

Whether you’re an expert fisherman or you’re looking to brush up on a new skill, sign up for a fishing charter. Sea Wolf Charters offers offshore deep sea excursions along the Atlantic Coast, and each trip lasts around 10 hours. Hopefully, you’ll reel in some black sea bass and mahi mahi for a tasty meal at your vacation rental.

8. Take a Skiff Ride and Look for Dolphins

For a thrilling day on the water, rent a skiff boat from Island Excursions and explore the waters of the Atlantic coast, keeping your eyes peeled for strand-feeding dolphins. Strand feeding occurs when a group of dolphins works together to herd shrimp or fish onto the shoreline or sandbars. It’s a spectacular sight, so be sure to have your camera handy.

9. Do a Little Birdwatching

The National Audubon Society named Fripp Island as an important bird area. Look out for an abundance of shorebirds, songbirds, marsh birds, and more throughout the marshes and coastal areas. Wake up early and head down to the marshes to catch a glimpse of chickadees and common loons, then pop over to the shoreline and visit with the egrets and great blue herons.

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