The Edisto Island and Edisto Beach communities have been busy cleaning up since Hurricane Matthew swept through in October, leaving behind a trail of damage caused by major winds, water, and sand. After several weeks of intense recovery, this hidden coastal treasure of the South Carolina Lowcountry is back and as alluring as ever.
Starting with the National Scenic Byway, which boasts beautiful views of the sky, marsh, and beaches, there is much to explore at this scenic coastal island destination. From the Edisto Museum to Botany Bay Planation to the Edisto Beach State Park, residents and visitors can soak up the rich history and local markets or sample the local seafood, play a round of golf, ride a bicycle and explore the trails, take a dolphin cruise, or just enjoy the quiet.
During the winter months, visitors can take advantage of lower rates, shorter stays of less than seven nights, and no crowds. For more information on accommodations, visit www.atwoodvacations.com, www.edistorealty.com, or www.kapplyons.com. The Wyndham Resort also re-opened January 6, though several units are still under renovation.
At Edisto Beach State Park, the day use area is open at the beach, which includes restrooms, grills and picnic tables. The cabins, Live Oak Boat Landing, the Environmental Learning Center, and walking trails at the State Park are also open. The RV campground at the beach remains closed and is not projected to re-open until Sept 2017. Additional information can be found at www.SouthCarolinaParks.com/EdistoBeach.
Edisto has a host of restaurants open and serving, which includes: Ella & Ollies; Whaley’s, which also offers trivia on Wednesdays; Waterfront, with nightly specials; Pressley’s at the Marina; Sea Cow Eatery, which offers breakfast and lunch through spring, and will add dinner in the summer; McConkey’s Jungle Shack, which offers lunch and dinner; and Dockside Bar and Grill. The Coffee Shop on Edisto Beach will reopen in February, serving breakfast, lunch, coffee, and drinks, and will be hosting trivia on Thursday nights.
The driving tour through Botany Bay Plantation, which is part of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Area, is open. This self-guided tour takes you to architectural ruins such as the Fig Island Shell Rings and outbuildings from Bleak Hall Plantation. The causeway walk to the beach was damaged during the hurricane, however, and a re-opening date has not been set.
The Plantation Course at Edisto is also open. Winter golf rates include a $55 green fee for 18 holes with a cart or a three-day pass with a cart for $150. For more information on available golf packages, visit www.theplantationcourseatedisto.com.
Magpie & Company, a vintage and handmade gift store on Edisto Beach, is offering craft classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays at their new store located at114 Jungle Road, Suite J, Edisto Beach. More information is available on the Magpie and Company Facebook page.
The time is ripe for shell seekers and those that enjoy searching for shark’s teeth. The Town of Edisto Beach had previously planned a beach re-nourishment project before the hurricane, and that project is currently underway. Contractors are working in stages to replenish sand lost due to natural erosion and areas impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Residents and visitors are allowed on the beach, but should avoid work zone areas. There are many areas of the beach open, and the re-nourishment project is expected to be completed by May 2017.
Set in a rare, sparsely-developed corner of the world, Edisto, with its vast green spaces, ancient live oaks, wide open marsh views, and quiet, pristine beach, offers a coastal island experience uncommon today among Eastern seaboard communities. Visitors and residents arrive under a live oak canopy via Highway 174, designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a National Scenic Byway. Here, there’s a slower pace of life, coupled with a broad range of year-round recreational activities, all set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. This is the coastal island destination that is said to offer its own “state of mind…any time, any season.” For more information, please call the Edisto Chamber of Commerce at 843-869-3867 or 1-888-333-2781 or visit www.edistochamber.com.