Hidden Lowcountry Gems – Part Four
In the previous installments of this blog on hidden gems, I made it clear these locations are not secrets but rather places that even some long-time Charleston residents have yet to find and explore. Here is one more delightful neighborhood and two surprises hidden in plain sight.
Shellring at St. Thomas Island
Do you love the Daniel Island lifestyle but find it is beyond your budget? Shellring offers the same easy, bikeable access to Daniel Island shops, restaurants, grocery and tennis center but, with lower HOA fees and the added benefit of super quick access to I-526. The neighborhood connects to everything Daniel Island offers via bike or golf cart at a significantly lower cost for home ownership. The charming neighborhood pool, Daniel Island schools, and highly walkable streets make this a great family neighborhood.
Beachwalker County Park
The Travel Channel lists the beach at Kiawah as one of the best beaches on the east coast and I couldn’t agree more. The dunes and the sugary white sand make for a relaxing day at the beach. But, even if you are not staying in a pricey beach house behind the gate at Kiawah Island, the south end of the beach is open to the public at Beachwalker County Park. Our county park system in Charleston is excellent and provides a ton of amenities including charcoal grills and picnic tables, restrooms and showers, food concessions, and my mom enjoyed using their beach wheelchair free of charge. Lifeguards are available, as are umbrellas and chairs for rental. Take your dog (on a leash of course) and watch the dolphins and children play in the surf.
The Island Trail at Grimball Gates
Looking to the southwest from the Limehouse Bridge as you travel to Johns Island, you will see a sandy strip running along the Stono River. A glimpse of this bike/ped/golfcart path disappears under the canopy of trees and you might wonder where it leads. It leads through the marsh, tidal creeks, and along the Intracoastal Waterway in a 1.63 mile loop around the island putting the great beauty of the Lowcountry right at your fingertips. The newly refurbished Grimball Gates community dock is a shady stop on the tour where you can watch the dolphins, alligators, and waterfowl that inhabit the environs and coexist with the boaters that navigate the river. Residents often enjoy their happy hour there, or take in a sunset. The trail itself is maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers.