Back in the 1970’s, when we drove from Columbia to Edisto Beach, it seemed like this stretch lasted forever. Like we’d entered the Twilight Zone and were doomed to go over the same stretch of road forever.
In my defense, I was a bored teen and we’d been on the road for hours, or so it felt.
It didn’t feel like that this time. I took in all the sights (and the road of course since I didn’t want to have an accident) and stopped at places of interest along the way.
This section of road, from the Mckinley Washington Bridge at Dawhoo Creek to Edisto Beach State Park became a South Carolina scenic byway in 1988. A little over twenty years later, 2009, the seventeen mile segment became a National Scenic Byway. Along the way, the road passes maritime forests, salt marshes and creeks, and historical sites. It pretty much represents the barrier island landscape typical of the southern South Carolina coast.
There’s a lot to see, more than one would imagine for a seventeen mile stretch especially if you want to take a proper look see.
In my day trip, I didn’t get to see all of it. My priority of the day was Botany Bay WMA and that took up most of day. It is well worth lingering over. I stopped at three historic churches, wandered a bit through Edisto Beach, the town, and took in the Intracoastal Waterway from the boat ramp at the bridge. I didn’t get to the state park, but I’ve been before, nor the aquarium or the museum. All of those cost a fee. The State Park is well worth the money, but I had to go home.
If you are able to camp or get a cabin at the state park, please take your time in visiting the places around here.
From SC174 you can visit :
- Botany Bay
- Edisto Beach State Park
- Edisto Beach
- Edisto Island Baptist Church
- Edisto Island Presbyterian Church (oldest congregation in continuous existence in SC)
- Mystery Tree
- Old First Baptist Church
There’s also the Edisto Island Museum and the Serpenterian. Look online for hours and fees.
How to Get There:
From US17, drive south on SC174. It is west of Charleston.
What’s Close By:
- ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge
- Dungannon Heritage Preserve
- Caw Caw Interpretive Center