American Link | September 21, 2015
City Profile: Kiawah Island
The kids are settled back into school and cooler temperatures are on the move. Yet another summer has come and gone. While you ease into the swing of fall, set a little time aside for a relaxing, nature filled retreat with a great laid back appeal.
Home to ten miles of broad sandy beaches, world class golf courses, lush foliage and flourishing wildlife, this barrier island on the Atlantic coast sits 21 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. Easily accessible by car, Kiawah is clearly up to par for the true outdoor enthusiasts’ low-key, trouble free getaway!
On Kiawah, golf is a way of life. As an East Coast premier golf destination, the island will appease your need for the green with five championship courses. Each impressive course moves in a curvy formation, winding back and forth through wooded interiors, and airy seafronts of the narrow island. Designed by greats like Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye, whose Kiawah Ocean Course is historic for hosting each of the PGA men’s major championships. FYI – Be prepared to share the green with a gator. Golf here is truly loved by all.
Bikes Beckon You
Autumn brings with it perfect temperatures for biking and if you add a virtually endless, un-crowded, pristine beach beneath your wheels, can it get any better? With its firmly compacted sand, Kiawah says no. The beaches here provide an excellent surface for walking and biking. The island deer agree, it’s quite a charming way to enjoy a sunset.
To really get a sense of this island, a car simply won’t do. Its conservation contribution and abundance of wildlife is best seen through the incredibly luscious, wooded bike trail system. For reasonable bicycle rentals head over to Seaside Cycles and get ready to hit the road!
Visualize the most island area at a glance at Marsh Island Park. The views atop the Marsh Island Lookout Tower include the Kiawah River, saltwater marshes and the Mount Pleasant Bridge piers. Grab a bench to relax and enjoy the melodies of nature.
Animal enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Heron Park Nature Center. Take part in programs, exhibits and tours galore including bird, butterfly and alligator walks. If gators aren’t your thing, try the Great Egret Rookery. Watch dozens of these majestic white birds search out their favorite tree branch. Don’t forget to pack the binoculars!
Other activities include fishing (deep-sea charter boats available), shrimping, crabbing, sailing, canoeing, and kayaking. Head over to Beach Walker Park for a stroll along the winding boardwalk.
The island is truly recreational so food choices are limited to the resort, hotels and golf courses. However, they offer a wide range of cuisine types and dining experiences. The Island Golf Resort alone has a dozen restaurants and lounges, including a market and ice cream shop. Whether you choose the catch of the day sushi at The Ocean Room’s Sushi Lounge or salmon and crab filled omelets at the brunch buffet located at Jasmine’s Porch, the Island Resort has you covered quite nicely.
If you’re looking for something beyond the resort or golf course, follow the bridge to St. John’s Island to dine at Rosebank Farms Café. Here you will sink your teeth into some of the juiciest fried chicken and melt-in-your-mouth whipped potatoes accompanied by fresh collar greens in a rich sausage, buttermilk gravy. Finger licking good! While you’re out visit the docks to buy shrimp (just two hours off the boat) from local fisherman on Seabrook Island.
Where to Stay
Inside this gated, private island there are a large summer homes so it is easy to find a beach rental for your stay. Though a bit pricey, it’s worth the added homey feel. The elegant Kiawah Golf Resort and the new stylish, boutique like Andell Inn, by Marriott are excellent hotels choices offering various accommodations from uber extravagant to family friendly, and include restaurants, peaceful beaches, pools, spas and other recreational activities.
Credits // Author: Wendi Wendt