007 Luxury Guide
Explore Sea Islands, South Carolina
Sea Island Magic
Consistently rated as one of the top resorts in the world, Sea Island provides luxurious guest experiences at The Cloister, The Lodge, and The Cottages. Sea Island's delightfully varied settings include oceanfront, riverfront, and golf perspectives to suit every taste.
Nestled along the sands of the Atlantic Ocean, Sea Island Resort is surrounded by cool breezes, swaying trees, and nature at its finest. This serene retreat offers an unforgettable Coastal GA resort vacation for guests and their families. And the convenient location attracts guests from around the world. Pack your bags and discover what makes this award-winning property preferred over neighboring Southern GA hotels and resorts. With an equidistant location between Jacksonville and Savannah international airports, Sea Island offers a truly stunning setting.
With 198 miles exposed to the Atlantic Ocean and more than 500,000 acres of coastal marshes, South Carolina is a liquid paradise with deep ties to the sea. Sixteen barrier islands guard the Carolina shore like sentinels of old, protecting the mainland from hurricanes and sever storms.
Before the Civil War, many of the Carolina sea islands featured enormous rice and cotton plantations, leading too much of the islands’ antebellum wealth. Sea Island cotton, in particular, commanded extremely high prices on the market and was widely recognized as the finest American cotton.
A Sea Island Guide:
Daufuskie Island, South Carolina
Daufuskie offers a glimpse of what other sea islands were like before bridges and causeways opened them to development. Most native residents of Daufuskie Island are descendants of freed slaves, who have made their living oystering and fishing for decades. The subject of Pat Conroy’s, The Water Is Wide, Daufuskie Island has a timeless quality and is still accessible only by boat. Daufuskie has, nevertheless, begun to be developed as parts of the island have been transformed into exclusive gated communities.
Edisto Island, South Carolina
Located 50 miles southeast of Charleston on SC 174, Edisto Island is a historic beachfront community that features stately old plantation homes, beach houses atop stilts and ancient oak forests. Named for the agrarian Edisto Indian tribe who once lived on the Island, the first permanent settlers grew indigo during the colonial era and then Sea Island cotton after the American Revolution. During the Civil War, many of the Island’s mansions were vandalized by Union soldiers. Edisto Beach State Park offers two miles of sandy beaches that are considered to be one of the best sites for swimming and shell collecting in the state.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
This boot-shaped Island is the second largest sea island between New York and Florida and is widely considered to be one of the finest resort communities in the U.S. Perhaps the best know of all the sea islands, Hilton Head Island has nearly 35,000 permanent residents and hosts millions of visitors each year. With 12 miles of white sand beaches and unlimited golf and tennis, Hilton Head Island is a vacation heaven with a rich history. Indians hunted and fished on the Island more than 10,000 years ago and two shell mounds still remain today. Named for the English sea captain Sir William Hilton, Hilton Head Island featured successful indigo, rice and sugar plantations in the 1700’s and priced Sea Island cotton before the Civil War. The Island served as a Union base to blockade Southern ports during the Civil War. After the Civil War, the Island was populated primarily by freed slaves who farmed, fished and hunted on the land. A bridge to the mainland was built in 1956, the same year that developer Charles Fraser purchased 19,000 acres on the Island. Through his development of Sea Pines, which intentionally preserved much of the natural beauty of the Island, Hilton Head Island began to gain an international reputation as a resort mecca
Hunting Island, South Carolina
The 5,000 acre Hunting Island State Park remains the Island’s primary attraction. Located 16 miles southeast of Beaufort on US 21, the Island was once used almost exclusively for hunting, first by Indians and later by early colonists. The 136-foot Hunting Island lighthouse offers spectacular views of the park and the surrounding areas. Although the Island has suffered from extensive erosion, it remains one of the most beautiful and most popular state parks in the nation, with winding paths arching through thick palm, oak and palmetto forests.
Hunting Island is South Carolina’s single most popular state park, attracting more than a million human visitors a year.
Also attracted to the semi-tropical barrier island is an array of wildlife, ranging from loggerhead sea turtles to painted buntings, barracudas to sea horses, alligators, pelicans, dolphins and deer, raccoons, Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and even the rare coral snake.
What they all enjoy is five miles of beach, thousands of acres of marsh, tidal creeks and maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon and ocean inlet. Amenities include a fishing pier and some of the state’s most desirable campsites.
Adding to the natural history of the big park is a piece of man-made history: South Carolina’s only publicly accessible historic lighthouse. Dating from the 1870s, the Hunting Island Lighthouse shoots 170 feet into the air, giving those who scale its heights a breathtaking view of the sweeping Lowcountry marshland and the Atlantic Ocean.