The 10 Best Things to Do in McClellanville, United States

October 20, 2017 Leida Jutras

McClellanville is a small fishing town in rural Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 1,023 at the 2010 census. It is situated on the Atlantic coast, on land surrounded by Francis Marion National Forest, and has traditionally derived its livelihood from the Atlantic Ocean and coastal marshes by fishing, shrimping and oystering. McClellanville is part of the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Area.
Restaurants in McClellanville

1. Wambaw Creek Wilderness Canoe Trail

Francis Marion National Forest, McClellanville, SC 29458 +1 843-336-3248
Excellent
80%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 10 reviews

Wambaw Creek Wilderness Canoe Trail

Reviewed By PawleysDude - Pawleys Island SC

Wambaw Creek Wilderness Canoe Trail is part of Francis Marion National Forest, just outside McClellanville SC. The trail runs approximately 5 miles between Still Landing and Echaw Road Landing. Both landings are small but offer parking and easy access points for either kayaks or canoes. This area is an easy drive from both Charleston and Myrtle Beach, and is a wonderful place to see what the SC Lowcountry is really like, away from all the crowds and tourist attractions. A map and directions are available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3796939.pdf

We spent about three hours on a leisurely paddle between the two landings. During that time, we encountered only one other person and were totally free from any human-generated noise other than an occasional airplane flying over. The blackwater creek is surrounded by old-growth cypress and tupelo forests, with frequent opportunities to observe wildlife. It was a cool day, so we only spotted one alligator and no snakes, although I imagine their presence would increase as the weather warms. During warm months, insect repellent would also be a good thing to have along, although we did not encounter any biting insects.

For anyone who enjoys nature and canoeing or kayaking, I highly recommend a visit. Although we paddled our own kayaks, several local outfitters offer guided tours. Wambaw Creek is tidal, so check a tide chart before you go.

2. Hopsewee Plantation

494 Hopsewee Rd, Georgetown, SC 29440-5598 +1 843-546-7891
Excellent
69%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 554 reviews

Hopsewee Plantation

Hopsewee Plantation is an original lowcountry rice plantation on the North Santee Rive built between 1735 and 1740. Birthplace of Thomas Lynch Jr., Hopsewee is one of just 12 remaining birthplaces of Signers of the Declaration of Independence. The home has not been modified from its original design and is furnished with 18th and 19th century antiques. Two original slave cabins remain on the property. The guided tour explores the history of the Patriots and Planters who lived at Hopsewee while you explore the architectural features of the house from Attic to Cellar. Enjoy the hour long tour or just come for lunch in The River Oak Cottage Tearoom with Lowcountry favorites such as Shrimp and Grits, Pulled Pork, Soups and Sandwiches and our Southern Tea service modeled after a British Afternoon Tea.

Reviewed By 007Renee - Charleston, South Carolina

This beautiful tea room is decorated so delicately and brilliantly that my spirit is transformed as soon as I walk in. There are plenty of big windows to see the lovely outdoors and also feel “away” from all the hustle bustle. The food they serve...MoreThanks Renee - we are recommending people make reservations so we have your table ready for you when you come - you can make reservations through our ticketing agent and you can now pre-order our Southern Tea service for a special treat!

3. Boneyard Beach

Lighthouse Rd, Moores Landing, SC 29429
Excellent
94%
Good
3%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 30 reviews

Boneyard Beach

Reviewed By Karen S - Morehead City, North Carolina

This beach is a little hidden gem off the beaten path. I was taken there by charleston photography tours. It is often closed in September/ October due to hunters , but was worth re-scheduling to a Sunday when open to walkers to see this unique awe inspiring beach. So unique and breath taking at sunrise.

4. Hampton Plantation State Historic Site

1950 Rutledge Rd, at edge of Francis Marion National Forest, 16 mi south of Georgetown, Georgetown, SC 29458-9588 +1 843-546-9361
Excellent
52%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 158 reviews

Hampton Plantation State Historic Site

Reviewed By welovedolphins - Atlanta, Georgia

This is an interesting part of colonial architecture as well as history.The Swamp Fox hid out in back of this plantation while .the British dined. Was considered for the film The Patriot. George Washington also visited here and recommended saving an oak tree which still stands today. The staff is small but very informative. Nice variety of items in the gift shop.

5. Buck Hall Recreation Area

Buck Hall Landing Road, McClellanville, SC 29458 +1 843-336-2200
Excellent
37%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 8 reviews

Buck Hall Recreation Area

Reviewed By Terry N - Asheville, North Carolina

Located on the intracoastal waterway roughly 25-miles north of Charleston in the Francis Marion National Forest, this rec. area features a boat ramp and small 15-site campground. My wife and I stayed 7 nights over spring break ($20/night, $10 with Senior Pass, plus reservation fee of $9). Book six months in advance on reserveamerica.com. Overall we enjoyed our stay. Didn't take our fishing gear but there is a short pier on-site (free). Water was pretty turbid with the fast-flowing tide. Not sure the mud, current and oyster bars would make for good swimming. Plenty of hiking in the national forest, also Sewee Environmental and Edu. Center, roughly five miles south is very nice (check for hours of operation on-line). Also would recommend the Center for Birds of Prey and a day-trip over to Bulls Island on Cape Romaine Natl. Wildlife Refuge (via Coastal Expeditions). Campground is largely open and grassy, though there are a number of trees that provide shade on some sites. Sand gnats could be a pain but, hey, that's part of the coastal environment. Since my wife and I like to hike and enjoy nature, this proved a great location. Our only complaint: the restrooms. Probably the worst I have ever seen, moldy, one of the two johns in the mens was inoperable and, as i was given to understand, had been for a long time and was likely to be for some undetermined duration into the future. Cleaning was marginal. Aside from mold, my wife told me the drain on the women's side was so covered in hair that she wondered how the water drained. Some conscientious cleaning, a coat of paint, and a little maintenance would do wonders. As a minor point, the pneumatic closers that would, were they working, cushion the closing of the restroom doors were completely inoperable, so there was a loud slamming anytime anyone came or went. If you have a self-contained camper, plan on using your bath. With that significant aside, a great place, highly recommended.

6. Bulls Island Ferry

Garris Landing, Awendaw, SC
Excellent
89%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 256 reviews

Bulls Island Ferry

Reviewed By Cyndee122 - Savannah, Georgia

Boarding the ferry in the dark we embarked on a starlight-and-moon guided trip towards the island totally minus artificial lights, including the ambient lights of cell phones. Quietness settled over the group as we became one with the natural world of shadows. We were met by two pickup trucks at the dock and jumped into the trailers they towed. Traversing over a dirt road we were put out on a boneyard tree-strewn beach still enmeshed in the indigo-hued night. Waves lapped on the beach as we dispersed seeking the best photo spot to await the impending sunrise. On the horizon an orange cast rose slowly touching the water's edge until the sun appeared in all its brilliance and cameras clicked. The ABSOLUTE BEST pictures! The ABSOLUTE BEST Captain and Guide/Helper! Easily accessible transport with only a couple steps onto the trailer. One note: Restrooms are not available at beach drop-off point. You may want to abstain from too much coffee, or be prepared to liquid fertilize the soil or wait for a couple hours before you are transported back towards restrooms.

7. Washo Reserve

220 Santee Gun Club Rd, McClellanville, SC 29458-9616 +1 843-546-8665
Excellent
51%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Washo Reserve

Reviewed By TomBrody - Berkeley, California

WASHO RESERVE is a natural area that is managed by The Nature Conservancy. The entrance road intersects with Highway 17, and it is a short drive from Charleston, SC.

Washo Reserve includes hiking trails, a huge abundance of "knees" that are part of tupelo gum trees and bald cypress trees, a large lake that contains alligators, and abandoned rice fields that are presently used as the home for alligators and birds. The birds at Washo Reserve include egrets, ospreys, anhingas, night herons, and bald eagles. Regarding animals at Washo Reserve, I only took photographs of the alligators and one photo of a tiny lizard. I found a lizard clinging to the side of a bald cypress tree.

KNEES FROM TUPELO GUM AND BALD CYPRESS TREES. A dirt path leads you into Washo Reserve, and within a minute, one encounters a stream. The stream can be easily crossed on foot, because it is a shallow stream. The stream also has several tiny waterfalls, and the stream contains thousands of these "knees," and they take various elegant shapes. Many of the knees resemble sculptures made out of glass, except that they have a mahagony-reddish color. Some of the knees are naturally draped with vines from which sprout tiny green leaves, creating an elegant piece of natural art. The knees occur in a the shaded areas of Washo Reserve.

ABANDONED RICE FIELDS. To the east of the area with the stream is an open-area part of Washo Reserve, where one finds the abandoned rice fields. The operation of the rice fields is best described in the book, RICE AND SLAVES: ETHNICITY AND THE SLAVE TRADE IN COLONIAL SOUTH CAROLINA, by Daniel Littlefield. Although the title of this book is not particularly inviting, please note that the book provides the following lesson. The lesson is that the owners of the property did not understand the technology of harnessing the tides, and of using coastal areas for rice agriculture. And so, they relied on the immigrants from Senegal and Gambia, who possessed the know-how, regarding rice fields. The lessons from Littlefield's book, enable me to better understand and respect the relics of the rice fields, which are found at Washo Reserve.

EASTERN-MOST PART OF WASHO RESERVE. Beyond the abandoned rice fields, that is, further to the east, one finds a mysterious sort of landscape that is neither land nor sea. Perhaps the best name for it is "marsh."

8. St. James-Santee Parish Episcopal Church

144 Oak St, McClellanville, SC 29458-9746
Excellent
67%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
33%
Poor
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Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

St. James-Santee Parish Episcopal Church

Reviewed By pky_pook - hpt

During our venture to this 1600-something site, we got a tour and then performed some community service both inside and out of this edifice.
Many of the historical features of the building have been maintained, it runs on well water....the 'smell' will definitely transport you back to a simpler time.

9. Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

5821 U.S. 17n, Awendaw, SC +1 843-881-4582
Excellent
89%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 42 reviews

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

Reviewed By EMS_DDI - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Signed on with Coastal Expeditions for a guided tour out to Lighthouse Island, a federal reserve. What a great trip. The only way out is by boat. We left from McCellanville SC.The tour guide explained all about the plants and wildlife on the ride over and back. Very informative. The Ranger in charge of the refuge was along as well as the man who is restoring the lighthouse.Local born legend, Tommy Graham,spend an hour with us before boarding the boat, telling us the history of this lighthouse and others in general. He says the steps with will be restored in the next 2 years. The view from the island and the boat was wonderful, I can't image how much greater it will be from the top of the lighthouse over looking this wilderness almost totally untouched by man, but I plan on going back. 5 stars to the Coastal Expeditions crew, the Park Ranger and Tommy Graham. Their love for this land shines through.

10. Sewee Visitor & Environmental Education Center

5821 N Highway 17, Awendaw, SC 29429-5908 +1 843-928-3368
Excellent
56%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 18 reviews

Sewee Visitor & Environmental Education Center

Reviewed By Terry N - Asheville, North Carolina

Went there on a rainy Saturday morning. Braved the precipitation (Gortex shells were much appreciated) to watch the feeding of the red wolves. Well, we actually got there just after the feeding, but their keeper was still there and told us all about the red wolf and its precarious existence in the region. He was exceedingly knowledgeable and eager to share. I appreciated his dedication and enthusiasm. Inside the center, there are exhibits, some interactive, that are very helpful in understanding the natural history of the area. A short (10 minute?) video was also informative. There is also a small bookstore/gift shop. We picked up some free hiking trail maps and purchased an oversized USGS trail map for that area of the Francis Marion National Forest. The facility is only open 3 or 4 days a week (check online for exact hours) but is modern, clean and educational. The staff was also very helpful. Talked to a young US Fish and Wildlife Service employee who happily shared suggestions for nearby hikes. Happy my tax dollars support this interagency facility. BTW, the restrooms were immaculately clean!

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