My family has been lucky enough to travel a bit this year. We’ve been to Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee and will soon head to Minnesota. Showing the kids the world is always something that’s been important to us and there are so many places within the United States that offer beauty, culture and history. We decided it’s certainly a good place to start inspiring wanderlust.
In June we visited Seabrook Island, South Carolina, a place that I’ve visited with my family throughout my life. My grandmother used to take her children there and then we went several times when I was a child, I took my friends once when I was in college and after our son was stillborn in 2011, my husband and I tried to escape there.
It’s been a place of consistency throughout my life. While more and more people have built homes there, and it’s become a bit more populated than it was when I was in my teens, it’s still one of the sleepier islands in South Carolina when compared to Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach or some of the other popular Carolina beaches. It’s a slower pace and it’s welcome from the hurried life at home.
Taking my kids there now, it occurred to me that it really is the perfect vacation spot for families. Whether you have young children, tweens or teens, this is a place that can you can all spend time together without a lot of distractions and reconnect as a family unit.
Here is why I love it.
It’s not crowded
Unlike a lot of popular beaches along the coasts of the Carolinas, Seabrook is not overly populated. The beaches are private, so you can only be on them if you live on the island or you are vacationing there. It makes it the perfect place to take the kids and not have to worry about them getting lost in the masses of people sun bathing.
The way Seabrook Island is positioned, about half of its beach front faces two other islands and between those there are two there is a reef that breaks up waves. As a parent, this makes me feel better about letting the kids play while I sit in the surf. They, of course, still have their swimmies on or are in floaties once they actually get in, and we are always near, but I feel better about letting them swim there. Unlike other beaches where the waves come straight off the ocean, this part of the beach never sees any overly large waves.
The sand is good for building
The sand on the island is the perfect kind of sand for building sandcastles. Over the years there we have seen some elaborate castles built up and this can provide hours of fun if the kids get tired of the water.
No beach body competitions
There aren’t any overly hard beach bods on the island and you can be comfortable as a mother and a woman in your suit. My husband actually doesn’t like wearing a swim suit either but on Seabrook, it’s not a competition. You’ll see bodies of all types and most of the people on the beach are perfectly, average. This may not feel as important as some of the other points, but it certainly helps me relax a little bit more and isn’t that the whole point of vacation?
The Lowcounty history & culture
Seabrook Island is considered the “Lowcountry” which is a geographic area along South Carolina’s cost that includes the Sea Islands. The term “Low Country” was originally used to described as the portion of the state that is below the Fall Line. The area’s geography is made up of flat, sandy soil and was once known for its agricultural region along South Carolina’s coast where rice and indigo would flourish in the sub-tropical climate. The region’s known for its historic communities and cities as well as it’s natural environment. It’s different culturally in terms of tradition, and even food, then the area in “Up Country.” While some of the things you will see don’t reflect the best points in American history, I always believe it’s important to remember these things and see them with our own eyes so we can teach our children the lessons from the past.
Due to the position of Seabrook Island in the Lowcountry, you’re in proximity to so many of the historic and beautiful plantations that once defined the South. No matter how you feel about that portion of the United States’ history, I believe they’re important to see so children today can gain an appreciation for what life was like. You can find a list of plantations in Charleston County here.
Lowcountry cooking is more similar to the cuisine in New Orleans and Cajun-style cooking. Eating there is a completely different experience than at home. You’ll find everything from seafood, to Southern-style barbecue and more. Some of the dishes we ate included: She-crab soup, shrimp and grits, gumbo, pulled pork with tangy-vinegar barbecue sauce, fried cabbage baked Mac & Cheese, oysters and red beans and rice. As a foodie, I love trying out the new food in different places and seeing how different cultures interpret food. If your kids aren’t as adventurous, most places will have plenty of kid-friendly options too.
Proximity to Charleston
Seabrook Island is located just 25 miles from the city of Charleston. There you can visit the Rainbow Row, the outdoor Market Street Market, Aiken-Rhett House urban Plantation, Magnolia Plantation, Fort Sumter, the USS Yorktown (an aircraft carrier), the USS Laffey (a destroyer), and the USS Clamagore (a submarine), go on any number of walking and horse drawn carriage tours and more. You can find a great list here.
Angel Oak Tree
The Angel Oak is just off Seabrook Island and it is an Oak Tree that is estimated to be 400-500 years old. It stands more than 66 feet tall and measures 28 feet in circumference. From tip to tip the tree is 187 feet and is a must-see. The canopy is about 2,000 feet wide and it provides much needed shade from the South Carolina heat. It’s free to see it too, which is a bonus for families. However, you cannot climb on the tree or sit on it whatsoever.
Whether on Seabrook Island or one of the neighboring islands, the wildlife on land and in the water is amazing. From the tiny crabs on the beach to the dolphins playing off the shoreline and the deer that inhabit Seabrook Island and the alligators found it it’s gold course ponds, you and your kids will be in awe. My kids still say that the highlight of their trip was seeing a baby deer. (Glad we drove across the country for that.)
Sunrise and sunset
Due to the direction of Seabrook Island, you get to see sun rise and sun set. Both are beautiful and intense. We stayed at Pelican Harbor, which is right on the beach, so we were able to see both from our deck overlooking the water. It’s the perfect way to start and end the day.
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This looks like such a great place to visit. South Carolina is not too far from us so I am adding it to our list. It looks like you all had a great time.
That is absolutely my kind of vacation spot! I love the beach and laid back towns.
Good sand castle sand is a must for a great day at the beach. Mix that with no crowds and delicious lobster boil and you really can’t ask for more!
Aww, this brings back so many memories for me! My family used to vacation on Kiawah Island (right next door) almost every year growing up! A couple of our favorite restaurants were on Seabrook Island.
What gorgeous photos! This looks like such a lovely place to take a family vacation.
The beach sounds amazing but I love the picture of the trees! So beautiful. I have never been to south Carolina but it’s definitely on my list for one day!
Wow, this definitely sounds like my kind of beach! Not crowded, good food, and small waves?? Yes, please! I don’t like being in water that I can’t see what’s around me, so I don’t like going in the big waves on the Atlantic Coast. When I’m in Florida, it’s always on the Gulf Coast for that reason. I’ve never actually stayed in SC, only driven through, but this looks like a great place to vacation!
This does sound like the perfect family vacation spot. I am definitely adding this to our travel bucket list. It looks beautiful and I love that it’s a little quieter than some of the other hot spots but offers just as much to see and do. Looks like you had a wonderful time making memories with your family.
I love nature places this Seabrook Island is pefect to spend time to relax and chill thank you for sharing!
What a fun trip. It looks like you had a great time. Such beautiful photos…I definitely want to visit!
I love how it’s so peaceful and not crowded. We need to declutter our minds and this looks like the perfect family vacation place!
The fact that it is not crowded is so much important. And no those stupid beach body competitions. Perfect place for a family trip.
My family is long overdue for a family vacation. I’m torn between this island and another destination. I guess hubby will be the winning vote.
I do not prefer beach resorts that are overcrowded. This one sounds perfect. I love that the waves are smaller for the kids!
Looks like a wonderful place to visit! The beach is beautiful 🙂
We often travel in the off season and when places are least crowded. This looks like the perfect place for us.
You sold me at “It’s not crowded”. I HATE going to a crowded beach. It’s so hard to relax when there are so many people around, all you can hear is a dull roar.
What a cool area. I can definitely see this being a good family vacation destination. The beach alone might be reason enough!
Oh my gosh, what a beautiful place!! And those skies!!! I’d love to visit!
We have family and friends on the East Coast and are always looking for new and exciting getaway locations! I especially love your photos of the beach views.
Wow this is a beautiful place to visit! I really need to look into this as this would be right up oru alley!
I love having a special vacation destination that my family loves as well. It is so fun to frequent each year and see what is new.
What a beautiful beach! I haven’t spent nearly enough time in South Carolina! Dying to visit!
This looks like it was the most incredible vacation! All of your pictures are gorgeous. I’ve been dying to visit Seabrook!
What an awesome trip! Looks like a great place to explore this summer!
This place looks very nice to take. break from city and crowded life. I live my hole life on the island and for me it isn’t interesting being on another island. I can see what this is perfect when you have a family. You have a lot of fun I can see that on photos 😀
What awesome place! I’d really love to take the family because we’ve never been to any southern states. Also, yay on no beach body competitions! Lol
The place looks so serene and not so crowded! It definitely is the perfect family vacay spot!
I’m adding Seabrook Island to our family bucket list. It’s only a short drive for us so it would be the perfect destination.
We love vacations by the water. This looks like a great spot for families and I love beaches that are not busy
We also love taking our girls to visit different areas to learn from it’s culture and experience it’s beauty first hand. Seabrook Island looks amazing and it’s definitely on our list.
I’m headed to busy SC later this Summer and wish I knew about this area before! I’m all for private beaches and smaller waves. I personally don’t believe in visiting planations in the US or Caribbean unless the real history is told – otherwise it just feels wrong to me. But it looks like a great summer holiday spot.
Your 11 reasons are convincing me. I would love to visit this little island for a getaway.
The Island looks beautiful. I’m adding Seabrook Island to our bucket list!
This really interests me because I really don’t like crowded places. So, this is would definitely be a good place to bring familly and just hang out and bond together. Beautiful place! Will definitely add this to our list.