We’re back in the South; in South Carolina, in an area known as the “Low Country”. We don’t really think of Florida as part of the true “South”. Having lived in Atlanta many years ago, I’m savvy enough to order “Unsweetened Tea” instead of “Iced Tea” while we’re here.
We chose to stay on St. Helena Island in South Carolina, which is right by the town of Beaufort. Beaufort, South Carolina (not to be confused with Beaufort, North Carolina) was one of the filming locations for several movies, including “The Big Chill” and “Bubba Gump”. Hilton Head, our original destination idea, sounded very touristy, and St. Helena Island sounded like a much more laid back place.
The island is home to Penn Center, one of the first schools for the children of freed slaves and also where Martin Luther King drafted his “I have a dream” speech. And much of the rural and agricultural land on the island is still farmed by native residents, many of whom are descended from slaves.
Our campground was located in the woods, with various creeks and short trails by the campsites. One red cardinal who hung out at our campsite discovered himself in our car and RV mirrors and kept “fighting” with himself. We’d hear “whack, whack” and turn around to see him pecking one of the mirrors, nutty bird. But he always flew away when he saw either of us get up to get the camera so we didn’t get a photo. A good area for critters. While at the campground, we got to take Angel on a short trail called the “Bunny Hop Trail” a couple of times. Alas, Angel didn’t find any bunnies.
We spent a nice day in Savannah, a beautiful southern city. It was a quick tour, but we were glad to see this city again. The old town is lovely, with 22 of the original 24 squares still intact. In one of these plazas is where the “Life is like a box of chocolates” scene from “Bubba Gump” was filmed. Some of the architecture reminds me a bit of New Orleans, but it definitely has its own character. And there are many beautiful live oaks covered in Spanish Moss along the streets.
Then, near St. Helena, we discovered Hunting Island, a barrier island which is now a state park. This is considered a semi-tropical island and is very lush with lots of palm trees and tall oaks throughout. And there is a very pretty lagoon that runs into the ocean a few miles down. Another great chance for paddling! So we took Fuego and Caribe down to the lagoon and spent an afternoon paddling.
Which led to another discovery that Hector and I named “Other Wordly Beach”. The beach was littered with driftwood and fallen trees which gave it the other wordly look. We’d never seen anything like it. This is one of the things we love about our journey, discovering unexpected places along the way. This gorgeous little island is definitely one of the nicest discoveries.
We also drove around Beaufort and took a walk around the old town. There are some wonderful examples of antebellum architecture and what I call “Southern mansions” from the 18th century around the town.
The town has lots of restaurants, shops and art galleries and a very scenic waterfront. They are all very proud that a resident of St. Helena Island, Candice Glover, is one of the finalists on American Idol, and there are lots of businesses and other spots throughout the town featuring Candice and wishing her luck.
An interesting, but brief stop on our journey. And some things haven’t changed; I’ve already been called “honey” several times, love it. Being back in the South brings back lots of memories. Oh, and in case I didn’t mention it, I’m not only an Island Girl, but also a Southern Belle.