Beaufort SC's Road to the Atlantic

Real Estate Agent with (Ballenger Realty) 27941

Sunset, from U.S. Highway 21 on the way from Beaufort, SC to the Atlantic OceanThere are no doubt some spectacular stretches of highway across America.Anyone who has ever traveled on U.S. Highway 21, which will take you from downtown Beaufort to Fripp Island, might agree that this 20-mile stretch is one of the truly fantastic and interesting drives on the East Coast.
On this stretch of road you will pass a fish company, complete with a fleet of shrimp boats which seem to float at roadside.
You will pass through Frogmore on St. Helena Island, where some of the first slaves freed during the Civil War were educated, at nearby, historic Penn Center.
You will pass a shrimp "shack," which you do not want to miss if you can help it.
You will pass through Hunting Island State Park, the most visited in South Carolina's park system.
And, the scenery along the way, is spectacular.
My wife, Jennifer, and I had occasion to make the trip along this stretch of Highway 21 Saturday evening, as we ventured out to Fripp Island for the 70th birthday party of a friend.
It was the first time in over a year that Jennifer and I had a chance to enjoy this ride together. And what a ride it was.
A week ago, while still on Daylight Savings Time, the ride would have been made in broad daylight, and been much less dramatic. But with the return to Standard Time Nov. 2, we were able to enjoy the ride at twilight.
Jennifer and I think the best part of the trip is the last leg, from the eastern edge of St. Helena Island out to Fripp.
As Jennifer and I exited St. Helena Island and the marshes and rivers of the Lowcountry opened up before us, we could look across St. Helena Sound to our left and see the twinkling of lights from the beach-front homes of Edisto Island, so close by water, but almost 80 miles away by land.
Over the Harbor River we went, and onto Harbor Island. Off to the right, we could see tiny headlights through the trees of Hunting Island, as opposing traffic headed towards Beaufort.
With Harbor Island now behind us, we entered the deep forests of Hunting Island. As Highway 21 enters Hunting Island, the road veers hard to the right, so that we were traveling due south for the final few miles of the trip.
At this point, with St. Helena Island now to our right, the westward sky assumed a rich, affecting gold color, creating a perfect exclamation to the trip.
Minutes later, we emerged from the deep foliage of Hunting Island, and were at the gates of Fripp Island.
This drive at this time of day is so gorgeous that I would recommend it to any Lowcountry visitor, whether they had business on Fripp Island or not.
Fripp Island is a gated island, but even without a pass onto the island, an early evening drive from Beaufort to Fripp and then back to Beaufort is an excellent investment of time. This is a chance to glimpse the Lowcountry of Pat Conroy's boyhood, which he details in The Prince of Tides, Beach Music and The Great Santini.
If you don't have any dinner plans, you may want to grab a bite at Johnson Creek Tavern, which overlooks Johnson Creek and Hunting Island. It is one of the best-situated restaurants in Beaufort.
U.S. Highway 21 originally ended at Yemassee, SC, just a short drive up the road from Beaufort. In 1935, the road was extended to it's present southern terminus at Fripp Island, the last stop before the Atlantic Ocean.

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Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Nice to have you back Keith!!!! Great Post. I love the Shrimp Shack.

Nov 09, 2008 11:29 PM #1
Dan Nord
RE/MAX Results - Omaha, NE

Welcome to Active Rain, you've joined an excellent site to receive free marketing, share ideas, and network.  Have fun and enjoy yourself.  Good luck.

Nov 11, 2008 01:55 AM #2
Keith Strawn


Thanks for the welcome. I'm very excited about meeting other professionals like yourself. Have a great day.

Keith Strawn

Nov 11, 2008 02:21 AM #3
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Keith Strawn
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