A phone call from a friend in London, a gorgeous house on the May River in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, and the MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH FESTIVAL created a hard to pass up invitation for some R&R southern style. With little on the calendar the week before Thanksgiving, I packed my bag and journeyed down south. Two years ago, our clan enjoyed ten days in the Blue Willow Bungalow (a charming Wilson's Landing brand new 3 bedroom rental) so all the below is the best of the best the Lowcountry has to offer. A perfect November 72 degrees inspired a scenic bicycle ride on miles of trails lined with majestic live oak trees covered in Spanish moss. We stopped at Moreland Landing and climbed to the top of an enormous tree house, napped on a hammock swaying in the autumn breeze, and nourished our souls with vistas of fishing boats, dolphins, and diving Great Blue Herons sharing a gorgeous wetland wilderness environment. In a good way, life seems in slow motion in this birth of bbq state. Whether on land or sea, the best way to enjoy South Carolina may just be doing some old-fashioned much of nothing.
For adventurous spirits, however, this eastern seaboard paradise packs a punch. In August, the teenage Yankee boys adrenaline surged as they navigated the 40 acre woodland clay pigeon shooting course. After 18 holes of early morning summer golf, the adults drank River Dog beer and gorged on applewood smoked bacon wrapped wagyu beef hot dogs. Can you say nap time? For those non-gun enthusiasts and Red October golfers (let the fresh water alligators snack on the balls, not your hands), fear not! A leisurely kayak paddle up and down the May River's wetland wilderness, a salt marsh estuary shrimping excursion, or an accessible only by boat guided tour of Daufuskie Island, create opportunities to experience South Carolina Lowcountry living at its finest.
If you can be coaxed off the 20,000 acre sea island property to enjoy a meal, nearby gems include a road trip worthy smokey pit bbq and a $1 million dollar Art Deco renovated Savannah Greyhound bus depot (with a Michelin worthy whole fire roasted sea bass with charred orange, bay leaf and olive oil).
The adorable Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley headlined the music festival in a park surrounded by trees strung together with laundry lines and clothespins securing sweet, spicy, and smoked strips of bacon. These late night dangling snacks provide the perfect accompaniment to flasks of Kentucky bourbon and some good Nashville style country music.
Nothing helps a night of libation excess better than Buffalo's' Sunday biscuit bar. Jalapeño laced cheddar biscuits, sausage gravy, grits (the best you ever had), and cast iron skillet homemade sticky buns work more quickly than Motrin--even faster if you order breakfast with a smoked honey whiskey sour.
The maritime forest and pungent salt water marsh of Palmetto Bluff sanctuary deserves its second-to-none reputation. Find your way to this serene conservancy that perfectly respects the boundary between development and nature--without a doubt, a sense of yearning to return will hit you even before you've left.
RIVER DOG BREWING COMPANY TOUR -- 591 Browns Cove Rd N, Ridgeland, SC 29936
MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH FESTIVAL--Palmetto Bluff, SC
PALMETTO BLUFF SHOOTING CLUB -- Palmetto Bluff, SC
OUTSIDE PALMETTO BLUFF DAUFUSKIE ISLAND HISTORY & ARTISAN TOUR -- 50 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head, SC 29928
OUTSIDE PALMETTO BLUFF KAYAKING & SHRIMPING EXCURSION -- 50 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head, SC 29928