The pattern is becoming all too familiar for my family. Instead of enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in Ohio with the extended family, my wanderlust coupled with a long weekend got the best of me. Melizza and I wanted to head to the beach for one last Airstream trip to close the season. I had wanted to do a Low Country trip in the Airstream for a while. We love Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. What's not to like about the food and the laid back, authentic southern culture? I had read about Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina on a few Airstream blogs and it is also listed in the National Geographic Guide To The Best State Parks. All reviews were extremely positive. Hunting Island is located on the South Carolina coast near Beaufort and just north of Hilton Head Island. Having grown up traveling to Hilton Head for many summers, this looked like a promising destination.
I convinced the entire family to move our Thanksgiving south in 2011. My sister and her husband drove in from Black Mountain, North Carolina. My brother and his wife as well as my dad and his girlfriend came from Ohio. My nephew Kevin flew down from college in Boston. Now the pressure was on for me. I made myself responsible for Thanksgiving. Everyone stayed in Beaufort except for my sisters family and us. We camped and they stayed at a local bed and breakfast. Thankfully, the weekend was a success and everyone enjoyed some family bonding time together on the beach.
Hunting Island is the anti-Hilton Head. To me, it looked like Hilton Head would have looked before the developers transformed it into a golf and tennis destination. Hunting Island has three miles of natural beaches that are familiar to those who have spent time in the Low Country. The island is sleepy and lush with the familiar palms and oaks with spanish moss that coastal South Carolina is famous for. The island is located close to wetlands and contains an abundance of shrimp, oysters and crabs. We purchased seafood right off the boat at Gay's Seafood on the way in. I enjoyed shucking oysters, catching crabs off the dock, and playing on and exploring the beach with the entire family. The island has a lighthouse and some unique scenery along the beach. There is a section of the beach which contains the remains of trees growing right out of the sand. The campsites were large and private. I would love to return during the warm months.
We had planned for a Thanksgiving at a local restaurant. However, the campground offered a free Thanksgiving lunch hosted by a local pastor. Apparently, this is an annual event in which he fries over twenty turkeys. We all attended this feast alongside the beach. After this traditional meal, we opted to skip the restaurant and just enjoy some local seafood that evening. I was relieved that everyone enjoyed the weekend on Hunting Island which proved that Thanksgiving is really more about being together with family than the meal itself. Next time, we will reserve a little more time for a day trip to Savannah. For this short trip, we didn't want to leave our little slice of paradise.
|Three generations of girls on Hunting Island|
|Lucy with her cousin Ashley|
|My favorite sign|
|Dogs are allowed on the beach!!!|
|Me and the boys atop the lighthouse|
|Crabbing with kids on the pier|
|Ethan brings out the pie|
|Maggie and Pete chilling on the beach|
|Lucy heading to the beach|
|Ethan and cousin Max|
|Grandpa with all the grandchildren|
|Cousin bonding time|
|Lucy and cousin Wyatt|
|Jack building sandcastles|