Edisto Island is one of South Carolina's Sea Islands, known for its beautiful beaches, rich wildlife and great food. The island, the main town Edisto Beach and the Edisto River that runs through the island, are named by Edisto Indians, who used the island seasonally for fishing.
Edisto Island is a popular tourist destination, with many of the plantations converted into hotels, inns and restaurants. Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve protects the former Botany Bay Plantation and its many habitats. Edisto Island Museum preserves the island history through many exhibits.
1. Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area
© Dene' Miles/stock.adobe.com
Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area is a nature preserve on Edisto Island, South Carolina, located on the historic Botany Bay Plantation established in 1930. The wildlife area was opened to the public in 2008 and includes a number of historic sites, including three 1840s outbuildings from Bleak Hall Plantation and the prehistoric Fig Island shell rings. The preserve also includes diverse habitats such as 2,500 acres of estuarine and marine wetlands, two miles of beachfront used by endangered loggerhead sea turtles and least terns for nesting, 1,847 acres of upland consisting of mixed pine and hardwood forest and 283 acres of agricultural lands used for dove hunting and as wildlife feeding ground. The 6.5-mile route that runs through the preserve is easily accessible and is perfect for exploring this magnificent area.
1066 Botany Bay Rd, Edisto Island, SC 29438, Phone: 843-869-2713
2. Edisto Island Museum
© Edisto Island Museum
Edisto Island is known for its wonderful beaches, clear creeks and plenty of wildlife, but also for its rich and turbulent history. Native Americans, Spanish pirates, English settlers, rich cotton plantation owners, African slaves and many other people passed through the island and left their traces. The Edisto Island Museum tells their stories. The museum contains artifacts and furnishings from some of the island’s most beautiful cotton plantations, one of the last slave cabins , artifacts from the American civil war and one of the first prints of the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession. There is an exhibit dedicated entirely to the Edisto Indians, a local Native American tribe, with a display of their farm implements.
8123 Chisolm Plantation Rd, Edisto Island, SC 29438, Phone: 843-869-1954
3. Edisto Beach State Park
Edisto Beach State Park is one of South Carolina's four oceanfront state parks and contains abundant Native American history. There are more than four miles of ADA-accessible hiking trails that take visitors to the park’s hammock island, meander through a maritime forest, and lead to the Environmental Learning Center, which houses information about ACEE Basin, the park, and the island. There’s also a great collection of fossils and exhibits. In addition to the biking and hiking trails, Edisto Beach State Park also features campsites in the maritime forest and along the oceanfront, as well as furnished cabins in the woods.
8377 State Cabin Rd, Edisto Island, SC 29438, 843-869-2156
4. McConkey's Jungle Shack, Edisto Island
© McConkey's Jungle Shack
McConkey’s Jungle Shack is a playful, funky eatery on Edisto beach on Edisto Island, South Carolina. It is one of the most popular restaurants on the beach, known for its fun atmosphere, lively outdoor deck and screened porch, delicious fresh seafood and frequent events. Indoor place is covered wall-to-wall with mementos , photos and fun collected items. There is even a fireplace for those rainy days. The menu is extensive and has something for everyone, from burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and wraps to perfect fish and chips and fresh salads. They serve cold beer and wine, but sweet tea is the drink of choice.
108 Jungle Rd, Edisto Island, SC 29438, Phone: 843-869-0097
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5. The Waterfront Restaurant, Edisto Island
© The Waterfront Restaurant
The Waterfront Restaurant is a casual, spacious, very popular restaurant overlooking Big Bay Creek on Edisto Island in South Carolina. Locally owned and operated for generations, the restaurant is known for its fresh seafood and fish. From fish and shrimps to fresh vegetables, everything is supplied by the family. Friendly atmosphere, nautical décor with the entire boat hanging from the ceiling, the view of the tidal creek on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other and delicious homey meals make the Waterfront one of the favorite eateries on Edisto Island. The menu includes such popular favorites as crab cakes, fried calamari, shrimp and grits and surf and turf.
136 Jungle Rd, Edisto Island, SC 29438, Phone: 843-869-1400
6. Edisto Island Serpentarium
The Edisto Island Serpentarium boasts the title of the state’s “first true serpentarium” and is dedicated to the study, preservation, and recognition of the reptile world. The facility provides interesting and educational displays of reptiles native to the region, as well as reptiles from all over the world. In the indoor showroom, both non-venomous and venomous snakes can be seen in habitats painted to look like their natural environments. In the Tropical Atrium, guests search for snakes featuring effective protective coloration. There’s also Alligator Alley and the Green Pond that house alligators of various sizes, along with young alligators in the Nursery.
1374 SC-174, Edisto Island, SC 29438, 843-869-1171
7. Kings Farm Market
© Kings Farm Market
Kings Farm Market is a great place to stop for baked goods, vegetables, and fruit on the way to Edisto Beach. Part of a farm that has been operated by the same family for more than six generations, the market is open from February until December and offers a variety of seasonal produce. From strawberries and asparagus in the spring to watermelon, corn, and zucchini in the summer to cauliflower and pumpkins in the fall, there’s plenty of fresh produce to be found at Kings Farm Market during almost the entire year. There’s also homemade breads, cakes, pies, and more.
2559 Highway 174, Edisto Island, SC 29438, 843-869-3600
8. SeaCow Eatery
© SeaCow Eatery
A local favorite for more than 25 years, SeaCow Eatery, recommended by both Edisto locals and long-time visitors alike. The eater is famous for its breakfast menu that features dishes like Moo Mania, John’s Omelet, and Moo La La French Toast. There’s also a lunch menu of sandwiches and salads, along with a dinner menu of numerous additional entrees and daily specials. In addition to the screened porch and indoor dining room, SeaCow Eatery offers a pet-friendly deck for guests who would like to dine alfresco with their furry family members. The local eatery is open every day of the week.
145 Jungle Rd, Edisto Island, SC 29438, 843-869-3222
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