The salt-marsh estuaries that entwine the leeward side of this three-mile long island offer some of the area’s best inshore fishing, dolphin watching, and kayaking. A state-maintained park allows visitors to experience the solitude of Capers, but there are no facilities, so campers must bring all provisions, including a permit from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Comprised mostly of a gated community of showcase homes and a resort, the 12-mile long island is the swankest, and one of the largest, of our barrier islands. A golfer’s nirvana, it boasts five award-winning courses, most notably the windswept Ocean Course.
Accessible only by boat, this 64,000-acre preserve located north of town is a naturalist’s haven with more than 16 miles of footpaths weaving across the island. It’s also the largest loggerhead turtle nesting ground outside of Florida, as well as a vibrant rookery for more than 250 species of birds.
A vacation spot long-favored by local families, this sprawling 67-square-mile island is home to working farms, historic plantation homes, and an eclectic group of businesses, including Coot’s Lounge, the Serpentarium, and McConkey’s Jungle Shack, where the kitschy décor (think rubber crabs and plastic pail ketchup holders) is just the sort of vibe you want in a rustic beach café.