The Lowcountry region of South Carolina is one of four distinct regions in the state. It accounts for approximately a hundred miles of distinct cultures and geography. Even though it follows the coastline, this stretch is a great place to visit in the winter. Fewer crowds, shorter lines, and lower prices are often available.
Georgetown, just a bit south of Myrtle Beach, starts at the northern end of this region that runs to the border with Georgia. In between, you can visit enchanting places, such as Beaufort and Dewees Island. View scenic marshes, boat on winding rivers, and go fishing in estuaries where you can find salt and fresh water. You may come across dolphins, sharks, and shrimp.
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If you’re already in the area to look at various Johns Island real estate during the winter, then you should spend some time in nearby Charleston. Winter isn’t the time to sunbathe on the beach, but the waves constantly crash. Experience solitude and serenity in front of the ocean, or head into the city for oyster shucking and craft beer. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage down cobblestone streets while you savor the sights of colonial architecture and moss-draped sidewalks.
History buffs love visiting Fort Sumter and Patriots Point. At the same time, the public park with the centuries-old Angel Oak Tree is always a great spot for a memorable photo.
Any Lowcountry winter trip must include a stop in Bluffton, where you can enjoy a stunning view of the May River on the high bluffs. The growing culinary mecca and lively arts scene fuel this trendy place, but history is on tap at the Old Town Bluffton Inn boutique. Farm-to-table dining and bountiful seafood are available at several local restaurants, and oysters are often the order of the day most of the winter. Exercise with a walking tour, or ride local waterways on a motor yacht to take in the unique topography.
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Beaufort is another famous place to visit when touring the Lowcountry in the fall or winter. It is a picturesque riverfront community. The downtown area has been marked as a National Historic Landmark. You can walk streets lined with century-old oak trees separating elegant antebellum homes. Despite the historical ambiance, you can enjoy modern treats ranging from smart shops to foodie-favorite bistros. Tour the inside of one of the antebellum homes, ride a bike down the Spanish Moss Trail, or visit the Pat Conroy Literary Center.
Enjoy Winter Fishing on a Guided Tour
Your Lowcountry travel will involve plenty of chances to go marsh fishing. Folly Beach is just 30 minutes from Charleston. You can hop on a charter boat into the marshes and flats. Experienced boat captains can help fishermen of all skill levels land a trophy catch. In colder months, redfish and trout school close to shore. If you can stomach some chop, get on a deep-sea boat that heads straight into the Atlantic for even bigger catches.
Explore the Wetlands
Hunting Island isn’t just one of the many barrier islands along the coast; it’s also a state park. Over a million people visit it yearly. Stroll down 5 miles of serene beaches or head into thousands of acres of maritime forest and marsh. The park’s natural wonders include an ocean inlet and a saltwater lagoon. Eight different trails are your chance to explore South Carolina’s wetlands and witness both marine and land wildlife.
Take a Walk on the Beautiful Lowcountry Beach
For the best beach pictures, head to the Henry Robinson Boardwalk. You can find this along Battery Creek in Port Royal, where the waters flow into the Beaufort River. Stroll down the beautiful boardwalk and climb the observation tower at the end for an elevated view of the surrounding natural wonders. Step off the boardwalk to sink your toes into a sandy beach. Keep your eye out for shark teeth. Ramp access lets you launch kayaks and boats into the river itself.
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Hilton Head Island peaks in popularity during the summer, but the winter’s daily temperatures are still a comfortable average of 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Dogs are banned from the beaches here in the summer heat, but you can bring them all day long during the offseason. Enjoy seasonal oysters and live entertainment in February and March, or take advantage of winter’s later sunrises over the water. If you’re not used to golfing in the winter, hit the local links for public-access greens laid out in a world-class form.
The new year brings with it resolutions for many, and Daufuskie Island has an annual marathon early in the calendar that lets you run all day in a unique environment. This island almost seems frozen in time. Dusty roads connect the scant communities where only a few hundred live year-round. Bring your car by ferry if you don’t mind shelling out a few hundred bucks, or get around by golf cart or bicycle.
Use the Anchor Cities in the Lowcountry
The allure of the Lowcountry is legendary, and it has captivated people from colonial America to current times. Ranging from antebellum architecture to cypress forests, this stretch between Charleston and Savannah is over 100 miles of white-sand beaches, comfort food, and enchanting activities. Start from any of these destinations and plan a long weekend or several days of leisurely travel. Leave plenty of time to savor the local culture and natural settings, and plan on eating well all along the way. Just be careful about what you plan for Sundays, as many businesses around here are closed that day of the week.