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8/26/2009 Where Next?: Slow down on Edisto Island
By Liz Mitchell
The ACE Basin, created by the confluence of the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto rivers, is one of the largest preserved estuarine environments in the United States. Boat tours from Edisto offer natural displays of sealife, birds, and forests unlike anything else. The Edisto Beach State Park features a stunning palmetto-lined beach, plus miles of hiking and biking trails with camping and cabin options. For park details, check the South Carolina parks website.
Edisto Beach is only two miles long, where the usual crowds of summer vacationers are still a rarity. It's a popular family destination for South Carolinans who plan reunions, weddings, girlfriend getaways, or fishing trips. Many visitors who discover Edisto decide to stay to escape a busy city or cold climate, and a few native South Carolinans remain to open up family businesses.
Not a single traffic light slows the drive along the beach road. The speed limit is 35 through the whole town, and it's easy to be content ambling along. Besides, there's nowhere to go in a rush except to get to the marina for a boat tour. No neon lights, fast food, or loud nightlife, but plenty of relaxation characterizes any visit here. Rental homes, cottages, and condos run the gamut from traditional to new and modern, with something in every price range.
Local restaurants feed their diners with the daily catch. Stop in a gallery and browse the shops. Choose some local art as a souvenir, and be sure to pick up fresh vegetables from the farmers' stands along the roadside.