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Geography, Latitude and Attitude: Lowcounty Eco AppealFor Immediate Release, May 2011
GEOGRAPHY, LATITUDE AND ATTITUDE:
THE CHARLESTON AREA HAS ECO APPEAL!
The Lowcounty's innate eco appeal stems from a rare combination of geography, latitude and attitude. The fertile region surrounding the charming Southern town features a string of undeveloped, pristine barrier islands along with more than 90 miles of coastline, making it ripe for exploration.
Pleasant weather and ocean breezes attract water enthusiasts from around the world particularly kite boarders and sailors. In fact, Charleston native and comedian Stephen Colbert recently returned to participate in the Charleston to Bermuda regatta, a biennial sailing event that started nearly two decades ago where yachtsmen are invited to embrace the challenge of the 777-mile course from Charleston harbor to the island of Bermuda.
In homage to Charleston’s strong historical and geographical connection to the water, local restaurants embrace sustainable seafood initiatives and a number of professional guides teach guests to fish responsibly in the area’s tidal creeks and gulfstream waters. Ecological conservation is a widely shared value amongst the community and the Charleston area has served as a model for preservation in many aspects, as they are committed to protecting its historically significant homes, social structures, and cultural offerings. Vast swaths of protected wetlands and a state-of-the-art sea turtle rehabilitation program at the South Carolina Aquarium illustrate this fond respect for nature.
Visitors are encouraged to discover the Charleston area’s eco lifestyle, all that the destination has to offer in terms of outdoor activities – from catching a peek at wildlife in their natural habitat, exploring secluded beaches, thrilling underwater adventures, enjoying the daily catch at an award-winning restaurant committed to environmentally responsible practices and much more.
Below is a sampling of eco experiences available year-round:
• Board the ferry to Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, the 62,000-acre maritime wilderness preserve that includes Bull Island. Here, loggerhead sea turtles, bald eagles, dolphins and a staggering 277 species of birds make their home. Hike the three-mile Boneyard Beach, home to hundreds of oaks, cedars and pines “skeletonized” by the salt and sun. coastalexpeditions.com
• Discover the wonder of a salt marsh ecosystem that can turn young vacationers into budding explorers at the Young Naturalist Kayak Camp, which has continued to introduce children to the beauty of the Lowcountry for more than 16 years. Campers receive kayaking instruction, search for fossils and shark teeth, explore wilderness areas teeming with wildlife, including a variety of bird species, dolphins and much more. coastalexpeditions.com
• Wade through the waters of the Charleston area beaches, characterized by calm waves, picturesque sand dunes and sea oats. Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, Sullivan’s Island, and Seabrook Island are the barrier islands, and those who prefer seclusion can easily find their paradise at one of these beaches.
• Experience the thrill of a fish on the line with Avid Angling Fishing Charters, a professional outfitter specializing in inshore and deep sea fishing charters. Families particularly enjoy the customized trips with a shorter duration and added activities such as crabbing or shark’s teeth hunting. Redfish, Flounder, Tarpon, Mahi-Mahi, Snapper, Grouper and several species of sharks can be found in the Charleston area’s feeder creeks, marshes, barrier island surf, harbor and coastline. avidangling.com
• Sail past the iconic row of colonial mansions lining High Battery aboard the Schooner Pride, a classic 84-ft. tall ship. History buffs will enjoy learning that General Beauregard observed the first shots of the Civil War during the bombardment of Ft. Sumter in 1861 from the piazza of one of those very mansions. Novice sailors can also learn to hoist the mainsheet with U.S. Sailing Certification courses offered by OnDeck Charleston.
• Clip in and conquer the state’s tallest outdoor climbing wall, located amid the 643 acres of meadows and marshland of James Island County Park. The 50-foot wall features more than 4,500 square feet of climbing space and occasionally invites nocturnal climbers to scale the wall by moonlight. www.ccprc.com
• Saddle up for an hour-long guided horseback trail ride through the historic rice fields at Middleton Place Equestrian Center, home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States. Lessons are also available. middletonplace.org
• Go behind-the-scenes at the South Carolina Aquarium, which aids sick and injured sea turtles through its special rescue program at its new state-of-the-art Sea Turtle Hospital. scaquarium.org
• Catch an awe-inspiring glimpse of soaring hawks, falcons, owls, eagles and vultures that fill the sky above the Center for Birds of Prey, a one-of-a-kind avian conservation center. The 150-acre sanctuary brings visitors face-to-face with the majestic wonder of more than 40 species of wild birds. thecenterforbirdsofprey.org
• Sample the local seafood that plays a pivotal role in Lowcountry fare with a myriad of options to enjoy the daily catch. Hank’s Seafood, housed in a former cotton warehouse, recreates the menu and style of a classic 1940s fish house. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from its spot on Folly Beach, Blu serves contemporary coastal cuisine. The owners of Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar love shellfish so much, they fashioned the chandeliers out of oyster shells. The maritime chic interior at Fleet Landing is paired with a great view of the Charleston Harbor. The Charleston Crab House (three locations), Gilligan’s (four locations) and Red’s Ice House (two locations) all offer a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. hanksseafoodrestaurant.com / blufollybeach.com / amenstreet.com / fleetlanding.net / charlestoncrabhouse.com / gilligans.net / redsicehouse.com
The mission of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is to unify and lead the local travel industry in marketing the Charleston area as an individual, meeting, incentive and group destination to both the domestic and international markets. For more information, visit explorecharleston.com