Category Archives: Beach Bytes

Little bits about beach destinations

Quick View of Hunting Island

Can you Climb this Spiral?

Hunting Island Lighthouse by Liz Mitchell

Bet you cannot resist! I surprised myself by completing the adventurous spiral of 167-steps! The view of ocean, beach, marsh, forest and neighboring islands was worth the effort. The historic Hunting Island Lighthouse is one of eight along the South Carolina coast, but the only one which is open.

The original purpose of the lighthouse was to guide vessels along the coast between Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. The first one was destroyed by Union soldiers and replaced in the 1870s. It was taken apart piece by piece and moved a mile from its original site which was damaged by erosion. Since 1933, it has been a beacon for tourists rather than guiding sailors. A dedicated group of energetic volunteers, the Friends of Hunting Island, has renovated buildings within the compound and continues to collect lighthouse artifacts and support the preservation.

The forested beach is somewhat unusual with white sand and interesting remains of serious storm erosion.

Hunting Island Summer Beach by Charlie Mitchell

We love relaxing on this beach anytime whether it’s hot summer beach weather or during cooler days for luxurious walks. It’s clean and safe for family outings, and the historic aspect makes it more than a day at the beach.

Hunting Island Winter by Jane Hickey

Hunting Island takes reservations far in advance for its beach cabins and oceanfront campground, but the beautiful maritime beach welcomes us daily year-round. South Carolina’s most visited state park, attracting more than a million visitors each year, has earned its reputation honestly.

Let us know if you need any help finding Hunting Island in the northern portion of Beaufort County or planning your trip for the coastal visit. Hunting Island was reviewed in our book Hilton Head: A Guide to the South Carolina Lowcountry, but the photos are a better showcase than the book could offer.

This is the first in a short series about Hunting Island. Watch for following post with a visit to the Nature Center at Hunting Island. We also have suggestions of great restaurants enroute to or from Hunting Island.

Life’s A Beach! See the best ones!

Take Your Feet to the Beach

True confessions of a flip flop aficionado: I love flip flops. I’m a fanatic. I’ve loved flip flops since I had the first pair as a child in a mountain town where they were totally inappropriate and rubbed blisters between my toes. I have dozens of pair and still cannot resist new styles, brand names or dollar sales. None are too elaborate to be considered or too cheap to be useful. I wear them every day. Well, at least at home or to the beach, I wear them all the time. I do have real shoes to wear to business meetings, but only if I must. I understand it’s poor etiquette to wear flip flops to the White House or to a formal evening affair, neither of which fits too often with a beach lifestyle anyway.

One year I gave my friends flip flips for holiday gifts, knowing they love beach visits. They surprised me with flip flops too! I realized they had been looking at my feet often to know what I love!

Now, having rolled out the true confession, I implore you to wear flip flips. The point is: Take care of your feet at the beach.

A foot specialist does not recommend flip flops. They don’t provide proper support, and they sometimes require an awkward stepping motion. They might not bend at the correct angle. Still, any semblance of a shoe is protection for the foot. They are better than a barefoot walk to the beach from anywhere.

Pavement is sometimes steaming hot; parking lots or driveways may be gravel; sand at some beaches in the middle of high season is often too hot to touch. Broken glass is an unfortunate find on sidewalks, in parking lots or on the beach. Sea shells wash up on the beach and often have sharp edges. Sand spurs are a type of tiny prickly weed sprinkled in the sand along some of our coast.  We wouldn’t walk on any of this at home without shoes. Why would we walk on it at the beach?  It’s painful and damages our feet.

Your feet take you to the beach, and all too often I lament your lack of flip flops. Please think of the comfort and safety of your feet, and wear flip flops, sandals or shoes to the beach. Then it’s easy to kick them off on the sand when you reach a destination before the water. Anything is better than nothing. Find them for a dollar at almost any store and trash them if you can’t continue to love them at home. You don’t have to be a fan of the footwear to love your own feet.

I’m not a foot specialist, or even a fashion cop, but I know a thing or two about the beach and about a flip flop or two. Life’s a Beach! Live it with good feet!

Life’s a Beach! Live It!

Welcome to the kick-off for our Beach Bytes category. It originated as a series for away.com where you will find some of the early posts about favorite spots.

We live at the beach, vacation on other beaches and love to photograph and review the beach life.

This will cover occasional tips and some great beaches, many of which are small destinations that you are going to love too. A byte is small, so this  series reviews small beach destinations, or else a single item within a major beach.  You might find suggestions on specific planning for your trip.

We will also showcase some of our photographs of beach activities which were covered (with limited visuals) in our two travel books recently published — Myrtle Beach: A Guide to South Carolina’s Grand Strand and Hilton Head: A Guide to the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Funny beach-loving Mitch says, “Life’s a beach; then you marry one.” At least I think he spells it this way!

Come along for Beach Bytes and let me know if you have ideas or questions. I am always open to visiting a different beach.