Over the last few weeks we have taken a couple days trips to counties that are not too far from Beaufort. We have traveled through these counties on a number of occasions already, especially Charleston so we looked for some different points of interest that we had not yet experienced.
Point of Interest: Caw Caw Interpretive Center
As many people know, Charleston has LOTS to offer a visitor…horse drawn carriage rides through historic downtown, boat rides to Fort Sumter National Monument, tours of Patriots Point or the South Carolina Aquarium. Not to mention the many festivals throughout the year, and of course the beaches. We wanted to stick with our theme of low cost and “off the beaten path” for our county visit, so we decided to visit Caw Caw Interpretive Center. This park is located off of Hwy 17 on the the south side of the Charleston County making it convenient to Beaufort. I have passed the entrance to the park so many times on my way to and from Charleston so I am glad we finally drove back in and checked it out.
There is an exhibit center where you can learn about the history of the park and see exhibits about the animals that live within the park including alligators, birds, and turtles. The land was once used as rice fields, but now offers many trails to walk and enjoy nature. The camp ranger offered the girls a scavenger hunt which kept them entertained on our 2 mile walk and they received a stamp when they completed the hunt. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch when we arrived and then set off on the board walk and through the salt marshes. While we did not see an alligator on our walk, we did see a bunny which was a highlight for the girls.
Point of Interest: Summerville Sweet Tea Festival
Next stop after Charleston, was a quick ride up the road into Dorchester County. We headed to the town of Summerville which claims to be the birthplace of Sweet Tea and home of the largest Sweet Tea at 2,524 gallons. We were lucky and actually were able to attend the annual Sweet Tea Festival that was taking place within the town square. We were also extra fortunate to be able to have a quick visit with family, Uncle Chris and Aunt Rachel!! We enjoyed the live music and beverages in the town square while the girls enjoyed a watermelon Italian Ice.
I read about the Pickle Festival on the Colleton County website and thought this could be a fun stop for this particular County. Avery really enjoys pickles, so we started to get excited about all the different pickled food to try at the “Pickle Festival”. It actually turned out to be a bit of a hoax since there was no festival going on, but simply the Walterboro Saturday Farmers Market with one guy handing out a pickle to sample. Apparently they try to have “themed” market days to drum up business. Despite being a little let down, we enjoyed this quaint farmers market and our taste of a pickle. We were also able to pick up some interesting pumpkins to start decorating for fall. And course, we loved having Papa with us on this stop!
The Tuskegee Air Monument is also in Colleton County, so we headed to the airport to take a look at this memorial that honors the first black military airmen who spent their final months of combat training at Walterboro Army Airfield. Interestingly, this is also the site of a POW camp during WWII where 250 Germans were brought to work in a lumber mill.
We enjoyed our visits close to home, especially because we had family with us on some of the county stops! We have now officially crossed a milestone with half of the counties marked of the list, only 23 more to complete the state of South Carolina.