When it comes to beaches, I like privacy. Not gonna lie! I would gladly trade in all the Myrtle Beach tourist trap beaches for a single, secluded, beautiful, untouched, serene beach where I can take my family and enjoy not only the water and the breeze but the silence and seclusion.
In fact, I am almost hesitant to write this article, for I fear that by doing so would expose what I consider one of the last great beaches in South Carolina. And one I consider my go-to beach. This, of course, is the danger of writing a travel blog. The danger of the off chance that someone actually discovers your blog, likes the destination you write about, and then they go and tell everyone they know about it.
But here I am taking the risk. I am taking the risk that by telling you all (my beautiful, and loyal readers) about this place, that my private beach will no longer be so private.
But the place is too beautiful not to share with you!
You see, Botany Bay Plantation is an old plantation teaming with wildlife, plant life, and untouched, unspoiled beaches. So much so that they literally do not permit you to take shells off of the beach. But that’s OK…if you live as close as I do, you can come visit any weekend you want and see them all over again.
To even get there you have to follow along highways (Highway 174) dotted with fields of corn, cotton, strawberry fields, ancient oak trees, seafood stands, and gas stations with BBQ joints inside.
You have to follow a 2 mile dirt road (Botany Bay Rd) with ancient oak trees arching over, transporting you back to a time when motor vehicles weren’t even a dream or twinkle in the eye of its inventor.
Once you get to the end you are greeted by an elderly gentleman or woman who welcomes you to the place, gives you a tag for your mirror, and wishes you a beautiful day on the beach.
You then follow more dirt roads down to the parking area that sits on one side of the marsh lands that you are about to have to trek through to get to the beach.
Once you’ve found a nice shady spot for your car to rest while you enjoy the sun, you make your way through a mile long path way that winds through marsh and a small island that looks like something straight out of Gilligans Island.
And then you walk out on to the beach.
There are palm tress on the beach, and old fallen over trees that have been weathered by hurricanes and waves, and now serve as a shelter from the sun.
The sand is littered with massive conch shells, and crabs, and horseshoe crab shells, and all sorts of other shells of varying sizes…just things washed up on the shore that you’re not allowed to take from the beach (and trust me…the little old lady or man sitting at the entrance of the beach with their umbrella and book aren’t just there catching some rays…they are watching you…oh yes…they are watching you!)
I highly recommend Botany Bay to any fan of history, beaches, serenity, southern culture, nature, and good family friendly environments. In fact, I like this beach so much, here’s how I choose to spend my time when I go there:
For some history on Botany Bay Plantation and visitor information, check out this site HERE!
For directions, check out this site HERE!
And finally…the BRW Travel Rating System!
- Wee Warrior Approved (Family Friendly) – 3 stars – I didn’t give this a perfect score of 5 stars, mostly because the beach requires a mile long hike to get to. If your family is cool with that, and you’ve made sure to pack a wagon or a stroller to get your kids and your stuff out to the beach, then this is 5 stars for you! Otherwise, still family friendly, just a beast to walk to. Also, if you don’t like not having access to a bathroom, and having to pee in the woods, and your kids don’t pee in the ocean, this is going to be a hard trip for any family.
- Throw the Dog a Bone (Dog Friendly) – 0 stars – Dogs are NOT allowed on this beach. Sorry pet people, but Fido will have to stay at home for this trip.
- Your Wallet Thanks You (Cost Conscience) – 5 stars – Entrance to Botany Bay Plantation is 100% free. Of course, they do accept donations as it is managed by volunteers. So, if you liked the place, consider dropping a few bucks to help with keeping the place beautiful.
- The Adventurer Wears Columbia (For the Adventurer) – 3 stars – There’s definitely a little hike to get to the beach. Plenty of nature watching can be had here. The beach is surfable (albeit, small waves). So, there is some adventure that can be had.
- History Buffs Beware (For the History Buff) – 5 stars – This used to be a plantation! It’s rife with history, and dilapidated old buildings to check out. If history is your thing, and you like beaches, its like getting 2 for one!
- Are We There Yet? (Drive Time) – 3 stars – This is about an hour or more from Downtown Charleston, SC. There are definitely closer beaches to Charleston. But the location, the seclusion, and the atmosphere in general are well worth the drive. In my opinion. But if you don’t like driving far for a spot on the beach, then this is probably not the beach for you.
- Foodie Frenzy (For the Food Freak) – 3 stars – There are a few places to eat on Edisto Island. And a place called “The Post Office” which is on the way to Botany Bay, and from what I hear is pretty good (I’ve never eaten there – but it is on my list). Primarily what you will find, though, is seafood. There is a grocery store on Edisto Island. But, if you’re a food freak…this place is definitely not for you. Nothing for miles.
- Scotland Got Nothing On These Greens (For the Golf Enthusiast) – 4 stars – There is actually a golf course on Edisto Island just a few miles from Botany Bay. I’m not a big golfer, and have never played the course, but if you need to get a golf fix in while visiting Botany Bay, it can happen!
- Watch out Instagram (Better have a camera – these places are photo worthy) – 5 stars – This place is a treasure trove of Instagram worthy photographs. I mean…just look at the ones I took above! Be sure to charge your battery before going, because I promise you, it’s going to get a work out!
- Where Teddy Bears Have Their Picnic (No places to eat, better pack a picnic) – 4 stars – Definitely a place to have a picnic. In fact, if you don’t want to picnic on the beach, there are lots of places along the plantation loop that you can stop and throw out a blanket, pull out a fishing rod, do some fishing, and do some picnicking. I definitely recommend packing food though, because, like I said, there’s not a whole lot of food options in the area to choose from if you get hungry. There are gas stations, but ya know…you never know how long those hot dogs have been on the rollers, and their buns are always hard as rocks.