I bet when most people think of South Carolina they think of Myrtle Beach or maybe Hilton Head if your pockets are a little heavier. When my Brothers and I hear the name South Carolina we think of the Land that God Forgot. Good ol’ Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot.
The yellow footprints. The screaming and yelling. The 4 fingers of death. Charms on a sunny day. The blood, spit, and pain. But in the end, it was all worth it to become a United States Marine.
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But we are not going to talk about Parris Island and all of the goodness that goes on there. However, we are going to talk about the area Parris Island calls home. The Lowcountry.
Lowcountry is made up of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper Counties. Hilton Head Island, Port Royal, St. Helena Island and Hunting Island are some of the more popular locations in South Carolina’s lowcountry.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND
The Lowcountry in South Carolina has miles upon miles of coast land. If it can be done on or near the water, good chances are you will be able to find it here. Fishing, crabbing, boating, jet skiing, sea shell hunting, and so much more.
Hilton Head Island is the most well known location in lowcountry. This is where you will find many of the resorts and hotels. Most of the hotels here are over $150 in the off season and upwards of $300 or more in the busy season.
During my quick trip in Lowcountry I ended up visiting 3 beaches. One afternoon we visited Coligny Beach on Hilton Head Island. This beach was down on the southern end of the Island. Here you will find a nice large beach with plenty of room. You will also find plenty of people. I visited on a Saturday in late August, in the mid afternoon.
I do have to say the area coming up to the beach was very nice as well. Much nicer than locations in Jersey. There was also a wheelchair accessible path that took you down almost to the water. Not sure if the tide was coming or going but the mat couldn’t have been more than 10 or 15 feet from the water line.
The sand here was nothing like the sand at Clearwater Beach, FL. It was that very fine, sink your feet into, kind of sand. You are better off wearing sandals or going barefoot while walking on this sand. If you are anything like me and wear sneakers….. GOOD LUCK. It took a couple days for me to get all the sand out of my shoes.
Coligny Beach has an area near the parking lot where you can rinse off. The restrooms are also located close to the parking lot. One of the best perks of this beach is the WiFi. Now I didn’t get a chance to see how far out it worked but near the restrooms the signal seemed to be pretty good.
HUNTING ISLAND STATE PARK
According to South Carolina State Parks, Hunting Island is the most popular State Park in the State. More than one million people visit this park each year.
When you get here, it’s not hard to see why. The beaches are beautiful. I probably walked about a mile of the 5 miles of beach here.
It’s kind of like the tale of two beaches here. Once very clean and nice. One that looks like an apocalyptic wasteland. Both are stunning and both are a must see.
For those of you on the hunt for the perfect seashell, look no further than here. Grab your bug spray and head on over to the Nature Center. Follow the nature center scenic trail all the way to the beach.
Here you will find some great photo ops and shells all over the place. If you are lucky (unlike me when my buddy and his wife took us here), you can even find sand dollars.
If you do find sand dollars. Make sure they are white or gray. If they are brown in color and feel hairy they CAN NOT be taken. Those are living ones and are protected. Hopefully you will have better luck than we did when we went sand dollar hunting.
So far my friends have either a 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 chance of finding sand dollars when they have taken out of town guest here. So just know that you may not find them. Either way it is still a great time and very beautiful.
Just remember to bring your camera. There are plenty of beautiful things to get a photo of. On this day we tried to get some great sunrise shots. Too bad it was cloudy and we would have missed sunrise by a couple minutes.
Now for the beach where you can do some swimming at is amazing. Fantastic scenery as you are coming up to it. First you will come up to the Hunting Island Lighthouse. It is the ONLY publicly accessible Lighthouse in South Carolina. All you have to do to get an amazing view of the surrounding area is to climb 167 steps.
You will also need to be careful in the months of May through October. Sea Turtles will nest on the beaches here. They are clearly marked so no need to worry about that. Just remember not to touch or go near them.
Hunting Island State Park seems to have it all. Picturesque beaches where you can view amazing sunrises. The best place in Lowcountry to view the setting sun (Marsh Boardwalk). A long fishing pier to fish, crab or just take a walk on.
Movie buffs will want to visit Hunting Island as well. Scenes from the Vietnam War from Forrest Gump were also filmed here. You may remember seeing some of these “jungle” scenes from the movie.
HENRY C. CHAMBERS WATERFRONT PARK
Located along the waterfront in beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina is Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Come enjoy the view of the Beaufort River while walking or sitting along the pathways. If you look to your left you will see Woods Memorial Bridge.
This bridge is part of movie history. Just like Hunting Island State Park, Woods Memorial Bridge was in Forrest Gump. It was the bridge Forrest was running across during his cross country run. You too can reenact that scene by running along side of the bridge.
As you walk around the waterfront park you will find many places to relax and eat. We ended up eating at Panini’s On The Waterfront. I ended up ordering the Fried Shrimp Hoagie. The hoagie wasn’t nothing over the top or too special. It was good but I think I would pass and order something different next time.
The shrimp tasted very fresh. Like it was caught that morning. Probably some of the freshest shrimp I have ever had.
My daughter as you probably guessed order the chicken fingers. It was your average chicken fingers. Nothing special but cooked just right. My buddy and his wife also ordered food. They had some kind of pasta. I forget which one they ordered. But it was just so-so. It was their first time here as well as mine. It was nothing to write home about and probably will visit somewhere else next time.
With many different places to eat in and around Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, I would try somewhere else. If you do decide to check this place out, many reviewers talk about the Brick Oven Pizza. If I do try them out on my next visit I will have to try that.
If you are down in the area waiting for your son/daughter to graduate from Marine Corps Boot Camp. You are in for a treat while you wait. There are plenty of interesting places to visit, eat, and explore.
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