Don't Let Summer Pass Without Visiting These 6 South Carolina Islands
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Beaches aside, there are plenty of ways (in addition to spending a day in the sand and surf) to enjoy South Carolina’s islands. And with so much coastline, a large number of islands are available to explore. Below are some of our favorites with experiences that range from a centuries-old lighthouse to an island filled with monkeys, an island in the middle of the state, and an island destination eatery with some of the best seafood on the coast. How many of these will you be able to visit before summer ends?
1. Hunting Island
South Carolina's most visited state park (Hunting Island State Park) features five miles of pristine beach, a campground, nature center, fishing pier, trails, and a 19th century lighthouse. Additionally, the park has reopened tours to the newly acquired island (St. Phillips Island) that was recently purchased from entertainment mogul, Ted Turner.
There's much to see and do on this huge island. For hours and admission fees, see the official website for
Hunting Island State Park
2. Johns Island
Any first time visit to Johns Island warrants seeing one of the state's most astounding natural wonders. The Angel Oak tree (named for the Angel family who owned the property at one time) is more than just a big, old tree. Sure, it's enormous and you'll be awe-struck by the sheer size, but the Angel Oak has withstood at least 400 years of hurricanes, floods, and more. The staying power of this single tree is inspirational and we like to think, when we visit, that a little bit of the healing power within rubs off on us with each visit.
3. Dreher Island
There's no need to head to the coast to enjoy a little island time in the Palmetto State. Dreher Island State Park is located on the shoreline of beautiful Lake Murray and is comprised of three islands linked together. Lakeside cabins and more than 100 campsites (including 97 suitable for RVs) offer overnight guest accommodations. And for day-use, the park is swimming in activities: picnic areas and shelters, boat ramps, hiking trails, playgrounds, and of course, plenty of ways to enjoy being on (and in!) the water!
Learn more, including hours of operation (which change seasonally) and entrance fee rates from the official website for
Dreher Island State Park
4. Morgan Island (a.k.a. Monkey Island)
Few people know that outside Beaufort there's an island filled with thousands of Rhesus monkeys. It's one of two places in the country where Rhesus monkey colonies are found. Founded as a research facility, the research here stopped long ago, but the monkeys still remain. But don't go on the island. View them only from afar and if you're taking your own boat or kayak, don't have food on the boat or attempt to feed them.
Still, seeing them is an unexpected surprise and entirely entertaining. Learn more in
this previous article
5. Pawleys Island
Possibly the most low-key inhabited island on the South Carolina 187-mile coastline is Pawleys Island. Home to one of the oldest resort islands in the state, Pawleys also sports more then three miles of beaches. The easiest access for day visitors is via the South parking lot. For those wishing to spend more than a day, the historic
(seen here) is a personal favorite.
6. St Helena Island
What’s your favorite island in South Carolina? We’d love to know!
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Hunting Island State Park, 2555 Sea Island Pkwy, St Helena Island, SC 29920, USA
Angel Oak Tree, 3688 Angel Oak Rd, Johns Island, SC 29455, USA
Dreher Island State Park, 3677 State Park Rd, Prosperity, SC 29127, USA
506 Myrtle Ave, Pawleys Island, SC 29585, USA
Fort Fremont Preserve, 1124 Lands End Rd, St Helena Island, SC 29920, USA
846 Sea Island Pkwy, St Helena Island, SC 29920, USA