Moss covered trees and alligators, shrimp ‘n grits and dolphins – all iconic images found in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Do you know where to stay to see the classic southern architecture? Or what to do to get a glimpse of local wildlife? These southern snapshots will help you in planning your own trip down south to the Lowcountry.
Look and Fall in Love with the Lowcountry of South Carolina
How many of you have seen the movie, The Notebook? I recall watching the film and dreaming about seeing the Lowcountry in real life. A recent trip to South Carolina with Mazda finally fulfilled that bucket list dream. I’m sharing a few of my favorite shots from my time exploring this unique and picturesque area of South Carolina.
The Lowcountry, or “low country,” is an area that runs along the southern coast of South Carolina. It’s known for having strong cultural roots as well as a unique beauty and architecture. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States is Hilton Head Island, which is located in the heart of the South Carolina Lowcountry. My recent trip to the Lowcountry had me exploring via land and sea. Follow along and fall in love.
Montage Palmetto Bluff
My exploration started at the Montage Palmetto Bluff resort. This luxury resort opened just recently and is the first east coast resort for the Montage property brand. It’s located within the 20,000 acre Palmetto Bluff community, and runs the shores of the May River. The area is rich in maritime history, and the architecture is a sight to be seen.
Southern luxury is what you can expect to find at the Montage Palmetto Bluff. I stayed in a double queen room in their Inn (main building), but they also offer a variety of other accommodation options like cottages, guest houses, and village homes. My room in the Inn was very clean and inviting, with a style that was charming and modern without being gaudy or harsh. In my opinion the room was a perfect example of southern luxury.
Activities and Dining
The resort also offers an assortment of activities and dining on site. I wished I had more time to experience more of the resort. I noticed some families enjoying the pool that was on property. And, I wished my girls were with me so we could explore the treehouses that are on property. A kids’ program, called Paintbox, is also offered for guests ages 5 to 12. One evening we were taken on a boat ride along the coast. We even saw a pod of dolphins swimming next to our boat!
For dining, I was able to try the room service offer at the resort. The presentation is very nice, and eating while sitting on your room balcony is certainly a perk. However, I do feel that you’ll need to order far in advance if you want room service, as both of my times were near an hour for delivery. For onsite dining options, I heard from a fellow traveler that breakfast at Jessamine should be a must do. It’s one of the newest Palmetto Bluff restaurants, and features some southern classics with a great view.
Exploring the Lowcountry via Car
We headed out from the Montage to Hilton Head in our sharp Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 is one of my favorites in the Mazda lineup. I love its sleek design, and the bit of extra space and higher ride is what I prefer, especially when exploring. One of my favorite features was the power moonroof which allowed me to capture this shot of the Lowcountry signature moss covered trees.
The Lowcountry has a mix of highways and backroads. We drove along a lot of waterways. With the sun shining down and the music playing from the Bose Surround Sound system, I was having the time of my life cruising South Carolina. One of my favorite ways to explore a new destination is to get out and drive.
Exploring the Lowcountry via Kayak
Our drive led us to the Sea Pines Resort at Hilton Head, where we parked and prepared for our kayaking adventure. Before heading out with H2O sports for our kayaking trip to lunch, we were sure to lather up with some sunscreen. It can be warm kayaking under the hot sun. The water was very smooth and although there was a current that made you work a bit, it was a great adventure that led us to spotting some dolphins in the distance. We also saw a great variety of birds, including a few pelicans diving for fish.
Our kayaking trip led us to the the Salty Dog Cafe, where I would happily return for meal after meal if I found myself in Hilton Head again. I can highly recommend the Big Boss sandwich, which featured pulled pork topped with coleslaw served on a pretzel bun. My mouth is watering just remembering that meal! There’s an indoor dining area, but also outdoor seating, a great choice for families.
Exploring the Lowcountry via Bicycle
For my return to the Sea Pines Resort from the Salty Dog, I turned in my paddle and got ready to pedal. Bicycle rentals are available through the Bicycle Shop at the Sea Pines Resort. They offer children’s bikes, making it ideal for families. The bike trails are paved, and meander through some beautiful nature scenes. Again, the paths we rode along were easy to handle and would be great for families.
One note: we did pass a pond near our path that had an alligator in it. Alligators are a native animal for the region, so it’s always a good idea to keep your eye on your surroundings and your kids if you’re near water.
With only two days to explore the area, it wasn’t near enough time. However, I did fulfill my initial quest of finding myself situated in scenes similar in The Notebook. I can say that the Lowcountry of South Carolina is a unique spot in the United States that should be visited and explored.