The Ultimate 4-day Travel Guide to South Carolina’s Lowcountry

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The novelist Pat Conroy as soon as summarized the Lowcountry and its legendary attract—which has captivated everybody from conquistadores and colonists to cultural lions similar to Edgar Allan Poe—as a spot that “can stand up and steal your soul with a second so magical it looks like an exorcism.”

 

At present, the area continues to stay as much as its near-mythical hype, with white-sand seashores, backwoods cypress forests, antebellum structure, and sufficient comfort-food joints in between to fill a lifetime. Its anchor cities, Charleston and Savannah, draw guests from across the globe, and you may simply make a four-day tour in every, and maybe have. But taken collectively, they showcase the most effective of what the Lowcountry has on faucet—and might bookend an adventurous, 100-odd-mile afternoon street journey, stuffed with wild landscapes, offbeat pit stops, good grub, and gone-era allure, for a wholly new southern experience.

Earlier than you go, some native knowledge: Plan a Wednesday by means of Saturday journey, since many Lowcountry companies are closed on Sundays. The seashores, although, are at all times open, together with serene Sullivan’s Island, outdoors Charleston.

Folly Beach, SC, United States
Robert Loe / Getty Photos

Folly Seaside, SC, United States

Day 1: Cruising Charleston

There’s no higher base camp from which to discover Charleston, South Carolina, a peninsula port metropolis based in 1670, than the Dewberry. Positioned on Marion Sq., a 10-acre downtown park, the lodge is a mid-century fashionable jewel in a metropolis greatest recognized for colonial mansions. It occupies a transformed JFK-era authorities constructing with a handsomely restored brick facade, and its spacious, wood-paneled foyer appears to be like straight out of Mad Males. Make sure you snag a piña colada on the Citrus Membership, on the rooftop terrace, the best business perch on the town. And for metropolis cruising, make use of the lodge’s French-style touring bikes to navigate the live-oak and palmetto–laden historic core.

Daps pancakes in Charleston
Daps pancakes in Charleston Courtesy of Daps

 

However first, breakfast. Charleston rises early, and Daps, on Ashley Avenue, is a welcome newcomer to the morning-dining lineup—and never simply because it’s within the rising cultural hub north of the Crosstown; Daps serves up top-of-the-line stacks of pancakes within the South.

For procuring, you possibly can’t beat Oobe Brand, a menswear staple on decrease King Avenue that makes a speciality of basic American cuts (area coats, fisherman sweaters, trim chinos, selvage denim) and is run by a pair of former Clemson College roommates. From there, it’s on to lunch at 167 Raw, a luxe seafood joint whose Nantucket roots combine completely with the recent catch from native waters. The restaurant’s signature lobster roll is one New England import that locals have close to unanimously embraced.

Menswear staple Oobe Brand
Menswear staple Oobe Model Courtesy of Oobe Model 161 King

 

Offset the indulgence with an compulsory spin by means of White Point Garden—on the finish of the Battery, a Civil Struggle defensive seawall—which boasts views of Charleston Harbor. Wander the encompassing neighborhoods, to marvel on the 17th-century mansions and old-school row homes, earlier than rounding out the day at Melfi’s, the pizzeria simply opened by restaurateurs Brooks Reitz and Tim Mink of Leon’s and Little Jack’s fame. Head just a few blocks all the way down to Uptown Social for a nightcap. Together with rotating cocktail specials and native beers, the two-story New York Metropolis offshoot options stay music and a rooftop bar—a rarity downtown.

Day 2:  Fishing + Folly Seaside

After trying out of the Dewberry, gasoline up with brunch bowls at Basic Kitchen, then head all the way down to Folly Seaside, a half-hour outdoors Charleston, for a day on the water with Capt. John Irwin of Fly Right Charters. He’s been fishing the Lowcountry flats and marshes for many years and will help even probably the most novice of fishermen land a critical trophy. The autumn “is right for hooking trout and redfish on the fly,” he says, since each college up close to shore. Fly Proper may have nearly all the pieces you want to hit the water, however swing by Charleston Angler in case you’re seeking to rating a brand new rod or reel, or some meaty saltwater flies.

Odds are you’ll be exhausted and dirty after a day of wrangling reds, however nobody will care at Folly Seaside’s Bowens Island Restaurant, a beachside plywood shack that’s arguably the state’s greatest seafood joint, the place you possibly can grub on crab muffins, fried fish, and recent oysters. Afterward, verify in on the close by Water’s Edge Inn to keep away from rush-hour site visitors out of Charleston towards Savannah within the morning.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Outdated Sheldon Church Ruins Daniela Duncan / Getty Photos

 

Day 3: Pit Stops + Parish Ruins

Take Freeway 17 south towards Georgia. Make your first pit cease in Yemassee, South Carolina, at Caroline Cider Company, to top off on deep-fried peanuts (to be eaten shell and all) and peach cider—two Lowcountry staples. Subsequent, proceed to the close by Old Sheldon Church Ruins, the remnants of a chapel inbuilt 1745, burned throughout the Revolutionary Struggle, and burned once more throughout Sherman’s March to the Sea. Positioned in a grove of Spanish moss–draped oaks, amongst scattered graves, it’s stunning, spooky, and completely price exploring. Then cruise all the way down to Beaufort—a waterfront metropolis recognized for its antebellum mansions and stroll-worthy downtown—and cease by Old Bull Tavern for a drink earlier than ending the day journey.

As soon as in Savannah, verify in at Perry Lane Hotel, a brand-new fashionable retreat within the historic district. There you’ll discover Emporium Kitchen, a meals corridor with regionally sourced fare, and Wayward Bar, an old-school hang-out with Skee-Ball and arcade machines. Earlier than you strive both, although, take a look at Wyld, a dockside eatery with uber-fresh fish and shellfish, or its sister restaurant, El Coyote, a downtown taco spot.

A bike gets a tune-up at Coastal Empire Moto.
A motorcycle will get a tune-up at Coastal Empire Moto. Courtesy of Coastal Empire Moto

Day 4: Savannah Sights + Classic Bikes

Savannah is centered round aristocratic city parks which might be greatest explored by bike. For a handy rental, the Perry Rubber Bike Shop is only a block away from Perry Lane. And, talking of bikes, after getting a set of wheels, swing by Coastal Empire Moto, to see the fantastically restored classic hogs, earlier than heading to the Starland District, a 35-block procuring and hangout hub north of Forsyth Park. And don’t miss V & J Duncan, which shares uncommon books, outdated maps, and different paperbound gems. End the journey at Sorry Charlie’s, an oyster establishment and an excellent metaphor for the Lowcountry basically: lengthy on atmosphere, brief on pretense, and stuffed with journey and shocking flavors for which you’ll return repeatedly.



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