Introducing a new content area on the blog…it’s known as Kara’s Take On…and will be her ruminations and ramblings on sights, hikes, eats and such at various areas as we travel around. It will be a regular
Hmmmph says Gunther…we’ll see about that. We love her and all…but her reliability for repetitive things is well…checking the Magic 8 Ball here…don’t count on it. Or as we used to say back when we wuz in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club when looking at depth soundings on charts from the early 1900s…existence doubtful. We’ll see how regular it will be…but maybe it just depends on your definition of regular. Webster would say “arranged in a constant pattern with the same space between individual instances” but Kara marches to her own cadence as ya know so her definition might be just a leeetle different from ours…who knows.
section on the site and isn’t intended to be a comprehensive overview of the area but just those places we went.
Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge – We only hiked a small portion of the refuge, but it was one of the best we’ve visited. The area around Ibis pond was one of the best birding areas ever. It hosts a large egret rookery. There were large numbers of egrets, ibises, blackbirds, and even alligators. Definitely worth a visit! Free admission.
Hunting Island State Park – The weather wasn’t ideal the day we went, breezy and overcast, but we still had a couple of nice small hikes and could have had others if we had the ambition. We didn’t see a lot of wildlife, but the scenery was fantastic. In the Lighthouse area (worth a look in itself – extra admission of $2 if you want to climb), the trail led to a forest of downed trees on the beach in fantastical shapes. We also took the Marsh boardwalk trail. It has potential in the morning/evening to be a good wildlife viewing area as it overlooks salt marsh. Its also said the west facing dock at the end of the trail (less than a mile) is a great place to take in the sunset. There are also a number of other trails in the park going through woodland and bordering a lagoon. Snacks/sodas are available at the Lighthouse gift store and a store at the Campground. Oh yeah…there’s a large beach area for those so inclined. Admission is $5 per adult, less for children and SC seniors.
We didn’t spend much time there, but took a drive through the area. The Houses in the vicinity of downtown are spectacular. Many antebellum homes surrounded by oaks and Spanish Moss. I just oohed and aahed my way though the area. You could easily think you’ve been transported to a previous time. [They were just houses says G.]
Port Royal Sound Maritime Center – This is a recently opened museum that focuses on the historical, environmental, and biological aspects of the Port Royal Sound (a salt water area which is why it is called a sound). There are no fresh water feeds into the area, just tidal flows. The museum is a little minimal, about 3 rooms, a porch, and two docks. So, it doesn’t take much time to go through, but was interesting in its own way. The day we were there, the weather was nice so we sat on the porch for awhile and spotted some dolphins playing near a sailboat. They said they saw them regularly and also a lot of rays are in the area. Admission is free.
Fat Patties – Great place for a casual meal. Mostly Burgers and sandwiches are on the menu. But great Burgers they are! You can construct your own or go with some of their gourmet concoctions. They also have a wide selection of craft beers on tap. We liked the Newcastle Scotch Ale best.
Fillin Station – This place is not for everyone. In fact, don’t bring anyone under 21 there as there are multitudinous signs indicating they cannot enter. It’s a dive bar [Dive as in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives…not dive as in actual diving says G.}. There is a great view of the water and an outdoor seating area, if the weather allows. There’s a pool table with a continuous tournament going on, it seems. The food and value can’t be beat though. Some locals tipped us off to the place while we were at Fat Patties (see above). They have pork chops on Thursday night, Steak on Friday night. We went on Thursday and for $5 each we were given a large plate with two breaded chops each about 8” in diameter, a large portion of Green beans, Mac and cheese, and kernel corn. Honestly, the plate was overflowing. We ate on the leftovers for two lunches and a dinner where we added some leftovers from another meal. The cook/waiter just comes around and asks if you are eating dinner, takes your money (have to have over $10 to charge, so bring cash) and delivers your meal. Bottle beer only. Come early…we got there at 5:15pm and got the next to last place to sit inside (weather wasn’t permitting). The place was packed!
11th Street Dockside – This was a great seafood place, which also had great views of the water. There are two locations: one in Port Royal (where we went) and the other is actually next to the Fillin Station. The food was excellent! We dined on several appetizers: Oysters Rockefeller, hush puppies with honey butter, and a crab cake. We loved all of them. It also was packed (Friday night), so again, arrive early. We found nearly the last spot in the parking lot. Bottle beer only, but we had a craft amber ale called Palmetto (from Charleston) that was excellent. [The beers wuz excellent too says G.]
This is not intended to be a comprehensive look at the area, but a report on those places we actually visited while in the area. I didn’t bother with the details of the places (I’d have to look them all up again), but I figure you all have Google or equivalent, so can look up any you are interested in if you should visit the area. That’s my take on Beaufort, SC!