For the fourth part of The Endless Horizon series, we're joining Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley of Authentic Asheville as they explore Edisto Island in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Shop a collection of the gear they used in the Endless Horizon Collection, and don’t miss their recipe for delicious local shrimp.
We visited Edisto for the first time five years ago. That trip to the beach also happened to be our first camping adventure together, and we've been returning to the same spot each year since then. It's been our unofficial way of reconnecting with one another, using the place as a vehicle for triggering sweet memories and making new ones.
We've been working lots of long days for a while now and decided to force ourselves to pause for a moment. The easy, no-brainer decision on where to go? Edisto, of course.
There are two campgrounds at Edisto, one that faces the Atlantic Ocean and another, where we stayed, that sits next to a salt marsh and is spread out under a layered canopy of subtropical fauna that includes tall palmetto palms and low slung sweeping live oaks. It's lush year-round, and the sites are big. In other words, it was the perfect place to pitch our Land Breeze Pro. 4 tent. As the name suggests, the Land Breeze Pro.4 has numerous design features such as mesh skylights and big picture windows that double as doors, both of which allow for max airflow. (Bonus: the Land Breeze Pro. 4 also did a great job keeping the bugs out, which for this time of year, is critical to enjoying the experience as they are fierce!)
In addition to our tent, Snow Peak's Low Beach Chairs, Renewed Single Action Table Low M, and Renewed Bamboo My Table helped make our space feel cozy and comfortable while the Pile Driver and Hozuki Lantern helped illuminate our evenings and mornings with a soft, warm glow.
As soon as we arrived at the beach, we leaped out of the van and raced down to the water's edge. Something almost childlike (joy?) bubbles up in us as the sea washes over our feet and laps against our ankles. It being mid-August, the sand was hot, and the water was bathtub-warm yet still refreshing. A quick dip cooled us off, and then because the sun was strong, we set up our Penta Tarp for some shade. Its ivory color helped reflect the sun's rays to keep us cool, and its simplicity made the setup quick and easy, which meant more time for dips in the sea and watching pelicans dive into the water for a meal.
Though the beach is the main attraction at Edisto, there are several hiking and biking trails at the State Park, including 4 miles of ADA-accessible trails. Our favorite is the loop that you can pick up right behind the walk-in campsites. In addition to exploring the State Park, you can also explore the rest of the island by bike. There is a five-mile bike route that takes you around the island's perimeter and plenty of neighborhood roads to pedal.
Want to slow your pace down even more? How about a walk through a maritime forest that also traverses a salt marsh? Pick up the Scott Creek Trail (.7 miles) and then link up with the Spanish Mount Trail (1.7 miles) if you'd like to extend your walk. If you're keen on getting out onto the water, you can also put a kayak into Big Bay Creek or even the ocean.
As you may have experienced for yourself, everything tastes better when it's made at camp - especially when the meal is made with locally sourced ingredients. So on the way to camp, we stopped, as usual, at Flower's Seafood Co. and picked up some wild shrimp. They've always got something fresh and local, and we thought it would go with the summer-ripe vegetables we'd brought with us.
Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley are Asheville-based photographers and writers. When they're not at home in the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can find them traveling around in their small camper van. To learn more, visit their blog and portfolio.