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Seaside relaxation on Edisto Island, South Carolina

SmarterTravel

Do you find popular South Carolina vacation destinations such as Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head too crowded? Edisto Island, dubbed “South Carolina’s best-kept secret,” may be the perfect choice for a laid-back beach getaway. Just 45 minutes from Charleston, Edisto Island offers a casual, relaxed atmosphere in the state’s lowcountry.

Edisto Beach State Park is a great choice for an outdoorsy weekend, and visitors can even stay overnight at one of the park’s campgrounds or cabins. The park boasts South Carolina’s longest system of handicapped-friendly hiking and biking trails through the maritime forest of palmetto trees, live oaks, and hanging Spanish moss. A salt marsh within the park permits fishing for flounder and spot tail, and (of course), the beach itself is a draw all summer long. Admission is $4 for adults and $1.50 for kids—a bargain.

In town, visitors can rent bikes to explore the island’s picturesque streets, or spend an afternoon on the water in a kayak or canoe. Fishing charters through the ACE Basin are also available for hire.

Tired of outdoor activities? The island is home to cute souvenir shops and several restaurants, as well as the kid-friendly Edisto Island Serpentarium, a museum that showcases alligators, lizards, turtles, and other reptiles. The Edisto Island Museum, run by the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society, provides an interesting background as well.

For more information, the Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina State Parks website are helpful resources.

Have a recommendation for Edisto Island, or another great getaway within South Carolina? Post your comment below!

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