AN EDISTO STAYCATION: THE WHAT AND WHERE'S

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Edisto is a tremendous part of the South Carolina history.


The island, town, and Edisto River are named after the historic Edistow people, a Native American sub-tribe of the Cusabo Indians, who inhabited the island as well as nearby mainland areas.

(Information from here.)


  Edisto island was filled with a mix of people setting out to thrive, survive and desperate to make it their home. Edisto Island became famous and its plantation owners became wealthy off

crops like cotton. There was often cattle roaming the fields to feed the people on the island as well as to sell to Europeans and to Carribean Plantations. 

Through the Civil War, the island was changing rapidly. Planters on the island had fled and Edisto was wanted by the Confederate forces and they fought for control.

Union forces fought with Confederate forces as slaves set up refugee camps and tried to escape. It was a total mess. Interestingly enough, once things cooled down,

the island was occupied by escaped slaves and plantation owners. To this day, Edisto remains as a beach resort town for a quick getaway for us locals or for people

traveling from other states. However, there are still various private plantations owned to this day on the island. 


 

I have gone to Edisto since my early college days as my friends had a beach house on the island. 

It is the cutest little island because it boasts all these mom and pop stores, restaurants, the beach and history all around you. 

This past weekend, my family and I had wanted to take a staycation so we stayed at a family friend's beach house for a few days. It was the perfect spot for relaxation! 

Check out our mini trip and feel free to share what cool spots in Edisto you like!

 

 

Our Family Friend's beach house is the cutest. It sits perfectly next to these gorgeous oak trees and one block from the beach.

 

 
We got in late so we all went straigh to bed! 
 
The next day, we all jumped up, made breakfast in and set our sights on the sand. Took the golf cart a block over and nestled our chairs into the sand.
 
It was a bit overcast for half the day then a clear stream of sunbeams hit the beach just right and kept us out there for a bit longer. 
 

We then took our golf cart and after showering and cleaning up, we all went to dinner at a historic spot, McConkey's Jungle Shack.
 

 
Reading the menu further, we learned that this adorable casual spot was famous on the island. So famous infact,
 
that we learned that Edisto Beach wasa ctually called McConkey's beach and the main street featured the same name as well. 
 
The name stems from a Canadian family that lived on the island and owned a plantation.
 
The stories from the plantation's history would prove to be a sad and errie one.  To read about the history and hauntingly sad story, click here.  
 
Even with all this rich history, we didn't let it stop us from eating. We left stuffed and happy as can be.
 
We all ordered different things so we could share and try. I had fried shrimp the size of my hand with their homemade chips.
 
There were nachos stacked sky high, pulled pork sandwhich, hushpuppies that'd give Charleston restarunts a run for their money and some yummy salads.
 
 

 
 
Day 2 was spent on the beach again (can you tell we love the beach?). We then drove over to have lunch
 
at the famous Whaley's restaurant. The cutest gas station turned dive bar to exist on the island. Reading further about the restaurant on the menu, we learned quite a bit.
 
Again, ordering fried shrimp (What? Calories don't count on vacation!)
 

We loved their seafood and the history behind the casual joint. It also is "island famous" for having the oldest bartender work there.

 

Funny enough, we turned to leave and the man was sitting at a table near the door. We talked to him for a second and he told us he was not working today because of arthritis in his hands and he was turning 85.

 

Love how beach towns like Edisto always make you feel like you know everyone. 

 

Day 3 was spent on the beach in the morning and then we ventured out to my personal favorite, Botany Bay. 

 

It was an overcast day but hey, I'll take the beach anyway I can get it! 

 

 

Botany Bay is as rich in history as it is beautiful. It was originally The Botany Bay Plantation. It was the mixture of
 
two other Plantations. One was Sea Cloud Plantation and the other was Bleak Hall Plantation.
 
Historically, it was an interesting time to be living. The Plantation ran as a cotton plantation on the island and now stands as a Wildlife and Preservation Management Area.
 
To read more on the history of Botany Bay, click here.  
 
Botany Bay today is known as a gorgeous beach for walks along the shore. It is a small beach featuring dead trees poking directly up out of  the sand as if they were placed there.
 
The driftwood and trees create a gorgeous backdrop for any photos but I find it breathtaking in person.
 
It is also a beach that I do not recommend swimming at. The last few times I was there, I saw a few sharks fins in the water as well as dolphins.
 
It was picturesque! Spend the day out there and see all of the history and beauty it has to offer. 
 
 

(Image from Google/Blogspot)
 
Feel free to let me know what you think, suggest, love about Edisto Island and Botany Bay. Email me any ideas/tips at
jeanne@charlestonmag.com You can also see more images on our Instagram page at @charlestongrit !