Desirable Places in Charleston, SC to Escape Life

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By Minta Pavliscsak

Ever have one of “those” days? Sure you have; we all have. The type of day where you just want to be alone and escape life for a bit. Between work, school, family, friends, and the constant connection with technology, places where you can just be alone are difficult to come by.

However, as long as you do not check in on Facebook or Yelp when you get there, you can seclude yourself and escape life if you wish to do so. Turn off your phone, bring a book, magazine, your puppy, a notebook, or simply your own thoughts, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your solitude.

Here are a few of the best hidden places in Charleston to escape life, if only for a few minutes.

Folly Beach: You have a few options here. The best places to go to be alone with your thoughts are as far east as you can go on the island, and as far west as you can go. On the east end you will enjoy a scenic view of Morris Island Lighthouse. The far west end is a bit further of a walk, but totally worth it. The walk there is part of the destination itself.

Charleston Waterfront Park swings at night: There’s not a sound much more soothing than the sound of water, and when accompanied by the feeling of gently swinging back and forth under the moonlight, worries seem to melt away. Bring a comfy sweatshirt, even in summertime as it tends to get a little chilly.

Melton Peter Demetre Park (formally Sunrise Park): If you want a unique view of Charleston and the surrounding areas, here is your spot. Nestled deep within James Island, this is the perfect place to start your day or spend the afternoon in peacefulness.? In the distance you can view the Cooper River Bridge or the church steeples of the peninsula.

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Allan Park

Fishing and Crabbing Dock at James Island County Park: Even if there is someone fishing, they usually just nod to say hi and focus on catching a big one. The dock is large enough for you to have your own spot to yourself. Bring your fishing pole, crab net, or just sit and enjoy the view.

Allan Park: Located just off of Ashley Avenue near Hampton Park, Allan Park is a splendid half acre of tranquility. There is a large fountain in the center and plenty of grass for picnics. There are also benches around the fountain if a blanket is not your thing.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center: Located about sixteen miles from downtown Charleston, Caw Caw Interpretive Center has remained virtually untouched over the years. Once several rice plantations, it is now home to a multitude of wildlife which you can enjoy along over six miles of trails winding throughout swamplands, cypress trees and boardwalks.

Magnolia Cemetery: Not many people think “relaxing” when it comes to cemeteries, but trust us on this one. Magnolia Cemetery is located on the banks of the Cooper River and in our opinion has to be one of the most beautiful places one could spend their resting days. Taking a stroll through this 92 acre stretch of land can give a whole new meaning to “escaping life”.

MUSC Urban Farm:? Right in the heart of the medical district off of Bee Street between Ashley and Courtenay is a safe haven.? In the heart of this square escape is an educational community garden where you will find everything from lemons, to rosemary to sunflowers with free gardening and nature lessons weekly.? Just outside the garden are open grassy areas and benches to relax, have a meal or just daydream.? Also, enclosed in this area are stretching equipment to keep your body physically fit.? This is a true mental and physical realm of health and solitude in the heart of the Charleston peninsula.

 

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Magnolia Cemetery

We know there are more, but we do not want to give away all of the secrets! If you have a favorite spot that you like to go to escape life and would like to share, please comment below.

GALLERY: Hunting Island Lighthouse / State Park – A View from the Top in South Carolina

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Located 20 miles east of Beaufort, lies the scenic natural wonder of the Lowcountry, Hunting Island State Park.? With acres of forest and wildlife, miles of open beachfront, picnic areas, camping options, cabins, a majestic view of the sunset, gift shop and the only lighthouse in the state of South Carolina where you can walk up, Hunting Island State Park offers the total family package.

Fee spoiler alert:? There is an admission of $5.00 a person (unless you have an Annual Palmetto Passport) and $2.00 fee to walk up the Lighthouse

The Lighthouse is 185 steps to the top and 132 feet above sea level with the ability to see up to 40 miles on a clear day and what a view it is.

Come along with us on a virtual trip as we provide you pictures and some fun facts to entice you to pack the car and make a great day or overnight trip.? (P.S. – Waterfront Park in downtown Beaufort is a stunning place to watch the sunrise and sunset).

 

 

The original brick lighthouse was constructed between 1857-1859 on the North end of the Island standing at 95′ tall.

 

In 1861, the lighthouse was destroyed by the Confederates so the Union would not be able to use the light against them.

Stairwell to the top
Stairwell to the top

 

The new lighthouse was build and completed in two years in 1875.? For all the hard work and upkeep of the lighthouse, keepers and assistants earned $500-$700 annually.

 

In 1889, due the ocean water reaching the base of the lighthouse, it was dismantled and moved 1 1/4 miles southwest.? It took only 4 months to rebuild.

 

Reflection of the lighthouse while looking down
Reflection of the lighthouse while looking down

 

View to the North
View to the North

 

 

View straight out to the oceanfront
View straight out to the oceanfront

 

South side view
South side view

 

Lighthouse base view
Lighthouse base view

 

Let us take a walk on the beach together.

 

 

 

Sand Art
Sand Art

 

 

 

 

Keep our parks clean
Keep our parks clean

 

 

Visitors Center Entrance way
Visitors Center Entrance way

 

Bonus:? Sunset in downtown Beaufort, South Carolina

If this doesn’t warm your spirits and get your yearning for the great outdoors, then I don’t know what will.

Make a plan to explore South Carolina and see one of the most beautiful state parks.

 

 

 

 

GALLERY: A Charleston Sunrise for the Ages: Morris Island Lighthouse Presents a Fire in the Sky

By Mark A. Leon

We don’t have bad sunrises in the Lowcountry.? It is one of the many subtle and mesmerizing things that make this place a special home for so many.? Yet, every now and again, something happens.? Like that rare view of a comet or lunar eclipse, we get an occasional sunrise for the ages.? One of those that make you question your vision, because the tapestry of color, sounds and peaceful serenity make for the perfect moment.

When you have the chance to be a part of that, there is no turning back.

These are the moments we live for and the reminders of what a gift life is.

Today was one of those days.

Sit back in your lawn chair and experience this through a photographic recap.? A Charleston sunrise: February 18, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Expose of Morris Island Lighthouse and Beach

“”We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.” – Dwight L. Moody

For National Lighthouse Day, come with us as we celebrate the beauty and history of Morris Island Lighthouse Beach.? This scenic piece of land on the Folly Beach coast has become a figure head of our coastal home.? Ushering in sailors and merchants and welcoming shrimpers home, this perennial escape offers a tranquil place to seek refuge, find clarity and meaning or just appeal to the massive Mother Ocean.? This backdrop for weddings, fishing and picnics has become one of the go to places in the Charleston area.

Enjoy this photographic expose of one of our favorite landmarks

Journey Through Morris Island Lighthouse Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let your light shine free.

Edge of America – A Journey to Morris Island Lighthouse Beach

By Jessica Edwards
By Jessica Edwards

People talk about the edge of the world or a country all of the time. It’s a way to make it sound amazing, this place where something stops existing and becomes something else, something unknown. Well, I’d like to throw a place into the running for the “Edge of America.”
Folly Beach, Charleston has long been known as the party beach in the area, the lower country’s Myrtle: lots of frat boys, screaming families, a higher concentration of drunk people, etc. It’s one of the reasons people go to Folly. It feels like a vacation there. But if you travel, past the washout, you’ll find a secluded stretch of beach, some woods, and few spectators to block your view of the edge of the world, guarded only by the ghost of a lighthouse.
To access this beautiful beach, you have to drive all the way down to the east end of Folly, park, and walk the remaining quarter of a mile along a paved road. Along your walk, you’ll mostly see foliage indigenous to the area, and a graffiti worn cement platform that tells you that you are almost there. Turn the bend, and you finally see the beach access, which consists of a few dozen yards of incredibly hot sand up and over a dune.
Once you’ve reached the beach though, you couldn’t care less about your scalded toes. This is a different place, a quiet one, where there are only a handful of people, some fishing, some relaxing in the sand; maybe even a photographer or two, taking snapshots of the quiet air. No one swims there because of the incredibly strong rip currents and high likelihood of sharks, but it’s safe enough to sit in the surf, to observe the scuttling blue crabs as schools of fish interrogate your legs and toes with small nips.
A pod of pelicans flying overhead draws your eye out of the water to the horizon, towards the Morris Island Lighthouse, standing several hundred feet offshore. The antebellum monolith was decommissioned in the early ‘60s due to a rising shoreline caused by the construction of jetties earlier in the century. It’s an aging monument, one that has a lot of protection around it, mostly locals who sought to insure its place as a permanent fixture of Folly.
One of the aforementioned jetties partitions the beach, adding to its isolated feel. If you don’t mind getting a little scuffed up from the rocks, then they are a wonderful, if slightly hazardous, vantage point from which to observe the shore and ocean, to reflect, or to take a stunning panoramic photograph with your iPhone. I prefer to watch the ocean wash over the boulders in a baptismal wave, hypnotic in their rhythm, soothing in their sound, and cleansing in their purpose.
Despite the beauty of this particular section of beach, it is not a crowded place, for many reasons already stated: it’s quite a hike for the casual beach goer, there is no swimming, dogs aren’t allowed as it is also a nature preserve, etc. Some come to kayak, others go on tours of the lighthouse, and there are almost always a few fishermen. But all in all, this strip of the otherwise heavily populated Folly Beach is empty.
This is part of the beach’s appeal; its loveliness is not imbued with human activity, and it shows. If you went to any other beach that is normally very busy during off season, you can still tell it’s a popular beach. There are signs everywhere: beach houses hugging the shore, bits of paper, cigarette butts, a uniform shore line.
And of course, humanity has left its mark here as well: the lighthouse, the jetty, even giant sandbags in the surf to aid with erosion. But these things are different than cigarette butts and houses. Cigarettes–and all litter, for that matter–are a sign of constant habitation, replenished daily. Houses are lived in or rented, a flurry of feet, caked with stolen sand, march up the wooden steps into the HVAC and on into the shower, where the sand is rinsed down the drain and into the sewers.
But there is no trace of that here. The closest house is a quarter mile behind you. The lighthouse remains, for most of the year, empty, and the jetties have become a part of the shore, with lichen and clams living on the faces of the rocks. The sandbags, perhaps the least romantic addition, have reached a certain spectral elegance as the raggedy bits undulate in the tide. These are abandoned constructions, and nature has had no problem taking them under her wing.
People go to the beach for many reasons whether that is to hang out with friends, to tan, to swim, to picnic, to fish. And you can do most of those things here, but many don’t. Perhaps it is the haunted feeling that places obtain when humanity withdraws. There is a certain discomfort to it, to sit and stare at a ruin, to watch as humanity and nature coalesce into an oddly perfect pairing.
I just know that as I departed, I couldn’t help but snap a few shots on my iPhone. The initial discomfort gave way to something else, and I wanted a picture to remind me that solitude is the key the rejuvenation, and there is solitude a plenty at the Edge of America.

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