Edisto Island, a hidden gem among South Carolina‘s Sea Islands, offers a serene escape just an hour south of bustling Charleston. Steeped in history and enveloped by natural beauty, this 68-square-mile haven provides a slower-paced retreat, absent of traffic lights and chain restaurants. Immerse yourself in a rich cultural tapestry as you explore the island’s landscape and learn about its resilient community.
Where to Stay
With no hotels on the island, Edisto embraces the charm of vacation rental homes and condos. Airbnb or Vrbo are your go-to options for a cozy stay. Consider options like the “Relaxing Water View Home” for a family getaway, the “Marshfront Villa in the Trees” for panoramic views, or the serene “Creek Cottage” for an unplugged experience. Larger groups may find beachfront bliss at “Sulla Sabbia” or the modern “Junglelow.”
Best Things to Do
Blend of Beach Bliss and History
Enjoy 4.5 miles of tranquil coastline, perfect for shelling, fossil hunting, and witnessing stunning sunrises. The $8 entrance fee to the state park is a small price for the experience.
Edisto Island Museum and Hutchinson House
Delve into the island’s history at the museum, featuring Gullah culture exhibits. Explore the Hutchinson House, the oldest home of a former slave, undergoing restoration.
Botany Bay Nature Reserve
Traverse the most photographed road on the island leading to a 4,600-acre reserve. Marvel at “Boneyard Beach,” known for sun-bleached fallen trees.
Edisto Island Serpentarium
A family-friendly adventure awaits at the Serpentarium, housing alligators, turtles, snakes, and lizards. Engage in daily feedings and informative presentations.
Explore by Land and Sea
Hike, bike, or take a guided boat tour to fully experience Edisto. Scenic boat tours offer glimpses of the ACE Basin’s beauty.
Best Restaurants Savory Seafood DelightsElla & Ollie’s
Led by Brandon and Katherine Rushing, indulge in local seafood delights like shrimp and grits or she-crab soup.
A smokehouse and raw bar offering a delectable mix of Southern classics, including coconut cake and buffalo blue cheese fried oysters.
Dive into seafood and dive bar delights, from burgers to fried mahi-mahi bites. Enjoy live entertainment and karaoke nights.
Edisto Seafood and Flowers Seafood Company
For a taste of local freshness, buy ocean-fresh shrimp to prepare at home, perhaps in a classic Lowcountry Boil.
The SeaCow Eatery
Begin your day with the island’s best breakfast, featuring mouthwatering options like “Moo La La” French toast and hearty omelets.
Best Time to Visit Fall Tranquility
Fall emerges as the prime season to visit Edisto Island. Mild temperatures, lower rates, and fewer crowds create an ideal setting for outdoor exploration. Attend local events like the Cookin’ on the Creek BBQ Festival and the Edisto Plein Air Paint Out.
How to Get There and Around EdisSLOW Charm
Charleston International Airport (CHS) is a convenient 50-minute drive, and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes away. Navigate the island’s leisurely pace by renting a golf cart or bicycle from Island Bikes and Outfitters or Infinity Cart Rentals.
Experience Edisto Island — where time moves slowly, history runs deep, and Southern hospitality welcomes all who seek tranquility.