Take back nature with a visit to Edisto

Image by Flickr user mjecker

As spring settles in with longer days and with summer just around the proverbial corner, this quiet coastal island destination in the South Carolina Lowcountry gets set to take in all the natural bounty that abounds during high season here.

Visitors and residents are invited to languish in the warm sunny days and natural beauty with a wide range of activities starting in April.

During the first weekend in April, the Plantation Course will be hosting the 2nd Annual Lowcountry Classic High School Golf Tournament April 1 through April 3.  Twenty teams of young, talented golfers from all over South Carolina will be participating.  The practice round will start after lunch on Friday, and competition will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.  The final round will be held on Sunday at 9:00 a.m., and seating will be available free of charge.

Later in April, local artisans will showcase their wares at the annual Art Guild Spring Show and Sale. Scheduled for Saturday, April 23, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, the event will be held at the Edistonian General Store, located at 406 Highway 174 on Edisto Island.

April closes with the popular Bidding for History Silent Auction, to be held at Brookland Plantation on Saturday, April 30, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  This popular event, in a picturesque setting with sumptuous cuisine to match, is sponsored by the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society.  For additional information, visit www.edistomuseum.org.

May brings the Edisto Day Bazaar, an annual arts and crafts festival. The bazaar will be held on Saturday, May 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lions Club, located on Edisto Beach at 2907 Myrtle Street. This fun-filled event attracts all ages and features local arts and crafts, from trinkets to treasures, and tasty bites too.

That following weekend, the Edisto Island Open Land Trust will host an annual Back to Nature Celebration on Saturday, May 14. Outings that day will include hikes, bird and butterfly walks, creek fishing, and guided shrimp boat tours. The celebration will continue on Sunday, May 15, with the Legacy Live Oak dedication.  Patrick McMillan will be the speaker.  For more information, visit www.edisto.org or call 843-869-7820.

Those longing for a taste of the local catch await the Edisto Beach Fire Department’s annual fish fry, to be held May 28 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the Lions Club, located at 2907 Myrtle Street, Edisto Beach.

June has golfers preparing to take a swing as the Edisto Island Open Land Trust sponsors the annual Tomato Open Golf Tournament. The tourney, which is scheduled for June 25, will be held at the Plantation Course at Edisto, located within the Wyndham Resort across from Big Bay Creek on Edisto Beach.  The festivities will kick-off on June 24 with a tournament party and silent auction. For more information, visit www.theplantationcourseatedisto.com

In addition to these scheduled events, summer brings out the crowds, including nature lovers who flock to Botany Bay Plantation, a wildlife management area set on over 4000 acres of forest, marsh, and beach. Botany Bay Eco Tours offers a variety of eco-tours here, by foot, kayak, or boat. Visitors may also explore this pristine natural area on their own. Hours of operation are from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. during the summer months, excluding Tuesdays. For more information, call 843-869-2998 or visit www.botanybayplantation.com.

Other parts of the island are easily explored via a guided kayak excursion with Edisto Watersports & Tackle. For prices and tour times, visit www.edistowatersports.net or call 843-869-0663.  Additionally, Island Bikes and Outfitters offers guided kayak tours of Edisto’s most secluded estuaries and beaches. More information can be found by calling 843-869-4444 or by visiting www.islandbikesandoutfitters.com.

After a long day at play, some may be enticed by a seat indoors at the Edisto Lions Club, which will be hosting Bingo on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and games begin at 8:00 p.m.  It is recommended that visitors arrive early to get a seat. Fun for all ages, Bingo will begin on June 7 and run through August 17 and will be held at the Lions Club, located on Edisto Beach at 2907 Myrtle Street.

In looking ahead to next year, the annual Ultimate Chef’s Competition will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2012. After the cook-off involving area “celebrity” chefs, an oyster roast and live music will end the day on a high note. The event benefits Learning through Loggerheads, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of loggerhead sea turtles.

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 alike enjoy 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.