Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jack and Amy's Weekend Getaway to
Edisto Island, SC
Thursday, October 17th thru Sunday, October 20th, 2013

 Jack and Amy at Edisto Beach

Edisto Island is one of those places that we have heard good things about, but neither Amy nor I have ever been.  So we decided to plan an extended weekend getaway.  If you are looking for a beach lined with hotels and loads of commercialized tourist attraction, Edisto is not the place for you!  In fact, the Island of Edisto does not have a single hotel or motel.

However, there are plenty or rental properties available.  Most are a bit pricey during the peak Summer months, but in the off-season the rates are quite reasonable, especially if you don't feel the need to be right on the beach.  We rented a two-bedroom condo at the Edisto Marina for just a hair over $100/night.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Since we couldn't check in until 4:00pm, we decided to make a stop at the Columbia Riverbanks Zoo along the way.  (See previous blog post).

We arrived on Edisto Island a little before 4:00, so we made a stop at the Piggly Wiggly (the only grocery store on the Island) to pick up some essentials (aka Beer).  After arriving at our Condo and unpacking we went out for a nice seafood dinner.

We decided to go for a walk along the beach to burn off dinner and catch the sunset which proved to be quite nice!

The Edisto Maria located right next to our Condo also has a nice little restaurant and bar, so we decided to go there for drinks and dessert.  We then took a stroll around the Marina for a little night time photography.

 At the Edisto Marina

Amy and Jack at the Edisto Marina

Full Moon over the Edisto Marina

Friday, October 18th, 2013

One good thing about October is that you don't have to get up real early for a sunrise.  However the 7:30am sunrise was still a bit earlier than Amy wanted to head out, so I was on my own for Sunrise.

 Edisto Beach Sunrise

 Edisto Beach Sunrise

After a nice sunrise I met back up with Amy and we headed off for breakfast.

It turns out that there is only one restaurant on the Island that serves breakfast during the off-season.  Since it was not the greatest breakfast and our Condo had a fully equipped kitchen, we decided to hit the Piggly Wiggly and buy our own breakfast food to cook up the next two mornings.

The highlight of our weekend was Botany Bay Plantation, which was private property until just a few years ago.  Now the 4,687 acre plantation is managed by the SCDNR as a Wildlife Management Heritage Preserve and open to the public on most days!

 Live Oaks along the road through Botany Bay Plantation

All visitors must sign in and agree to the rules upon entering the plantation.  One of the rules is that you can not take any seashells.  Anyone caught taking shells from the preserve can be fined up to $500 per shell!

There is a nice half mile trail that takes you from a small parking area to the unspoiled beach.

 Botany Bay Beach

 Wall of Shells along the Tideline

Botany Bay Beach

 Impressive Shells at Botany Bay Beach

We also decided to do the 6.5 mile driving tour of the Plantation which takes you to many of the highlights.

Salt Marsh

 The Ice House

 Live Oaks alongside the road

We stopped at a place called Picnic Pond which was the first pond I have ever seen that was 100% covered with Green Algae.  At the pond I spotted what at first looked like a log, but on closer inspection it turned out to be an Alligator!

 Alligator in Picnic Pond

Botany Bay Plantation is definitely a must see if you ever make a visit to Edisto Island!  It would even be a worthwhile daytrip if you are visiting other nearby areas!  I definitely plan to make a return visit!

We spent the rest of the day relaxing at the beach, eating dinner, going for another after dinner walk along the beach.
 Not much of a sunset, but still nice

 Edisto Beach

 Edisto Beach

 The Edisto Marina

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

It was raining when I woke up for sunrise.  Since there was no sunrise to be had, I didn't see the need to head to the beach.  Instead I settled for a few soggy and less than spectacular shots around the Marina. 

The Edisto Marina

Fortunately the rain had stopped by the time we finished breakfast.

Our focus for the day would be the Edisto Beach State Park.  Amy and I hiked the 3.4 mile (1.7 mile each way) Spanish Mount Trail. 
Along the Spanish Mount Trail

 Along the Spanish Mount Trail

Compared to Botany Bay Plantation, we were less than impressed with the State Park and the mosquitoes were horrible!   Fortunately we came prepared with plenty of Skeeter Dope (aka bug spray), so we didn't get eaten alive!
The state park does have an "Environmental Learning Center" which turned out to be a nicer than we were anticipating and worth a visit (especially if you already paid the state park entrance fee!).

A completely unplanned coincidence turned out to be that our friends Eric and Anita were also on Edisto Island for a boy scout camping trip with one of their sons.  The annual Edisto Island Fall festival was going on which Amy and Anita really enjoyed.  Eric and the boys did a lot of fishing, but no catching!  I wandered around looking for things to photograph.

My best Seagull shot of the weekend

After dinner we tried for another Sunset, but there was too much cloud cover. 

Not much of a sunset, but the clouds were still cool

While this was planned as an Amy and Jack weekend, it was nice to have friends to hang out with that evening.  Eric and I watched most of the Clemson vs Florida State game while Amy and Anita hung out on the balcony of our Condo chatting the night away.

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

The next morning I got up for another sunrise attempt, but again there was too much cloud cover.  But I still enjoyed my final stroll around the beach before heading on back to Spartanburg.

Edisto Beach
Edisto Beach

It was a very enjoyable weekend away!
The complete set of photos is posted here:

Monday, October 21, 2013

2013-10-17 Columbia Riverbanks Zoo

Columbia Riverbanks Zoo
Columbia, SC
Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Amy and I just got back from an extended weekend getaway to Edisto Island, SC.  On the drive down we decided to make a visit to the Columbia Riverbanks Zoo.

Here are a few photos from our visit

The Complete set of photos is posted here: