Healthy Eyes Are in Focus at the Eye Center of Charleston

Protect Your Eyes with Help from an Ophthalmologist in McClellanville, SC

If there's one thing that most people can agree on, it's that our human senses are extraordinary. They help us interact with the environment around us every day of our lives. Our brain processes signals from various neurons associated with our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to provide us with a meaningful perception of the world. The truth is, though, that we tend to take our senses for granted unless we experience a malfunction in any of them.

Humans have five senses and the same number of organs to complement those senses: a tongue to taste, a nose to smell, two ears to hear, skin for the sensation of touch, and eyes for sight. Of those senses and organs, our eyes are often considered the most essential, as they enable us to perceive up to 80% of all the impressions we encounter daily.

If other senses like taste or smell stop functioning, our eyes protect us from potential dangers. But they also help provide us with distinctly human memories. Think of all the picture-worthy moments that you have experienced over your lifetime. From seeing your baby smile or walk toward you for the first time to enjoying a memorable movie, it's safe to say that our eyes play an incredibly important role in our daily lives.

It makes sense, then, that we would want to protect our eyes and have them checked regularly to make sure they're healthy and functioning as they should. According to data by Ipsos, however, only 39% of Americans have been to an eye doctor's office in the last year. Fortunately, if you live in the Lowcountry, finding an eye doctor in McClellanville, SC, is easier and more convenient than ever when you visit the professionals at Eye Center of Charleston.

Service Areas

 Eye Surgeon McClellanville, SC

The Eye Center of Charleston Difference

Unlike some eye doctor offices in South Carolina, our team uses the most advanced technology paired with our esteemed clinical and surgical skills to precisely diagnose and treat a wide variety of eye conditions and diseases. We focus on a number of vision conditions, medical conditions, and physician services, including but not limited to:

  • Cataracts
  • Presbyopia
  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Styes
  • Diabetic Eye Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Excisional Biopsies
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Flashes & Floaters

It all starts with an introductory appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors, who will take as much time as needed to get to know you, learn more about your needs, and better understand the symptoms you're experiencing. Once we know the extent of your eye care needs, our doctors will provide you with an effective, efficient diagnosis and plan of action to remediate any issues you're facing.

From nuanced eye surgeries to standard eye exams, we've got you covered. In fact, we offer the latest technology in Varilux Progressives, Transitions, Crizal Anti-Reflective Lenses, Prescription Polarized Sunglasses, and Thin Lightweight Lenses. With a wide selection of frames and sunglasses, you're sure to find the glasses you need in a style you love.

 Eye Doctor McClellanville, SC

What is an Ophthalmologist in McClellanville, SC?

When people think about eye doctors, they often think about professionals who conduct eye exams and prescribe contacts. They don't realize that an ophthalmologist is different than other professionals, like optometrists. So, what is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a vision health professional who plays a specific role in the field of eye care. Along with optometrists and opticians, they are part of a comprehensive eye care team. However, some patients may need clarification on the similar-sounding names of these three types of eye care providers. Each one has unique skills and training for the tasks they perform. You should understand these differences so you can choose the best professional to address your vision needs.

What are the Differences Between Ophthalmologists and Other Eye Care Specialists?

Opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists each have a separate role in the field of eye care.

 Eye Treatment McClellanville, SC

Optometrists

These professionals conduct eye exams, vision tests, and can prescribe corrective lenses that help address and solve eye conditions.

 Eye Surgeon McClellanville, SC

Opticians

Opticians are often labeled "eye doctors," but they focus mostly on filling prescriptions for contact lenses, glasses, and sunglasses. They're also experts at repairing glasses and adjusting frames as needed.

Ophthalmologist McClellanville, SC

Ophthalmologists

These medical doctors treat and diagnose certain eye diseases. However, it's not uncommon for ophthalmologists to provide vision services similar to those of optometrists.

At Eye Center of Charleston, we offer patients all three eye care specialists to provide the most well-rounded, effective eye care services in Charleston and beyond.

Are Optometrists and Ophthalmologists Basically the Same?

While optometrists have a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree and can provide primary vision health care, ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have received approximately three times the education and training.

They can perform all the same services as an optometrist but can also provide treatment, including performing surgeries such as cataract removal, vision correction, and eyelid lifting. Optometrists may detect signs of eye diseases during routine eye exams but are unable to treat them, so they often refer patients to ophthalmologists at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Surgical Specialties at The Eye Center of Charleston

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in McClellanville, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in McClellanville, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

In a young and healthy eye, light passes smoothly through clear ocular structures and is then focused on the retina, the light-sensitive lining inside the eye. The lens, which is a slightly flattened marble-shaped structure, helps to focus the eye. If the lens becomes cloudy, yellow, or limits the amount of light that travels through it, it is known as a cataract. Cataracts can occur at any stage of life, from birth to old age.

Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include the following:

  • Blurry or Dim Vision
  • Lights Are Too Bright
  • Lights Give Off Halo Effect
  • Faded Colors
  • Vision at Night is Poor
  • Vision Distortion

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure in the eye, leading to possible vision loss. Therefore, the primary focus of treatment is to control eye pressure. Early intervention is crucial in preventing severe vision loss. While most patients can avoid severe vision loss with the use of topical eye drops, some require additional treatment.

It should be noted that some patients prefer to have less dependence on eye drops. Along with medical treatment, several safe and effective procedures are available, including laser trabeculoplasty and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. To learn more about these treatment options, talk to your eye doctor at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for sending visual information from your eye to your brain and is essential for good vision. While high pressure in your eye is often associated with optic nerve damage, glaucoma can occur even with normal eye pressure.

Although glaucoma can happen at any age, it is more prevalent in older adults and is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. Unfortunately, many forms of glaucoma produce no warning signs. The effect of the condition is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the later stages of the disease.

That's why it's essential to have regular eye exams that include measuring your eye pressure. Early recognition of glaucoma is a very important part of that process because it can help slow down or prevent vision loss. If you have glaucoma, you will need to undergo treatment or monitoring for the rest of your life.

Some of the most common symptoms of glaucoma include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Eye Pressure & Pain
  • Low, Blurred, or Narrow Vision
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • Nausea
  • Seeing Rainbow-Colored Haloes Around Light Sources

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that appears on the surface of the eye, causing blurry vision. It usually occurs in individuals who have a long history of exposure to sunlight or UV light. Should you need pterygium surgery at The Eye Center of Charleston, you can rest easy knowing that your eye doctor in McClellanville, SC, will be highly trained and experienced in the surgical treatment of pterygia.

Also called surfer's eye, a pterygium is an overgrowth of the conjunctiva, which is a thin and clear membrane on the surface of the eye. It can appear as a fleshy growth and is usually found growing from the inner corner of the eye, close to the nose. However, it can also appear on the outer corner or on both sides of the eye. The condition is not cancerous and does not spread to any other part of the face or body. It can cause redness and irritation in the affected area.

If left untreated, a pterygium can grow across the cornea, which is the transparent 'window' that covers the pupil and iris, further impacting vision. In such cases, surgical treatment may be necessary. However, it's important to note that pterygia may grow back even after successful surgery.

Some symptoms of a pterygium include the following:

  • Itching & Burning
  • Inflammation & Bloodshot Eyes
  • Minor Eye Pain
  • Issues with Blocked Vision

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

If you have diabetes, you may be wondering if the disease can affect your eyes and whether or not an ophthalmologist in McClellanville, SC can help. To provide the best answer, it's important that you understand how diabetes can affect your eyesight.

Diabetes is a condition in which your body fails to properly convert food into energy. This is because your body either cannot produce or does not respond to insulin, which is a hormone responsible for transporting glucose (blood sugar) to the cells in your body. When there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream, it can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves throughout your body, including the eyes.

Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

When we refer to diabetic eye disease, we're talking about a group of eye conditions that stem from diabetes. Those conditions include the following:

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Eyes Everyday

Eye problems can be easily prevented if you adopt some easy-to-follow habits for eye care in your daily routine. Even though these habits are practical and easy to accomplish, many people brush them off - until they have serious eye problems. To maintain good eye health and sharp vision, try incorporating these eye care techniques into your daily routine.

Eye Center of Charleston Pro Tip

Swing by one of our eye clinics to see our selection of fashionable and chic sunglasses. Our licensed opticians keep a number of popular sunglass options available at all times, like Costa, Kate Spade, and Juicy Couture. Protect your eyes and look great at the same time!

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Use Protection from the Sun

It's important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with exposure to sunlight and UV rays. These hazards include an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration, as well as the possibility of cornea sunburn or photokeratitis. To protect your eyes, try wearing sunglasses that have UV protection. If you don't like wearing sunglasses, you can opt for UV-protected eyeglasses or contact lenses instead. You can also try wearing caps, visors, and hats for added protection.

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Try Not to Rub Your Eyes

One of life's little pleasures is rubbing your eyes when you're tired or have had a long day. It may feel good, but we don't recommend doing it. Reason being, your hands come into contact with a great deal of dirt, dust, and bacteria on a daily basis.

Every time you touch or rub your eyes, these harmful particles can be easily transferred to them. If you avoid touching your eyes with your hands, you can better prevent infections and irritations.

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Try the 20-20-20 Rule of Thumb

To keep your eyes in the best shape possible, consider adopting this handy rule. It states that:

  • Look away from your computer screen or TV every 20 minutes and fixate your gaze on something that is 20 feet away.
  • Blink your eyes 20 times in succession. This helps prevent dry eyes.
  • Get up out of your seat or away from your desk every 20 minutes. Then, take 20 steps. Doing so helps you vision and also helps promote healthy blood circulation and posture.

See a Brighter Future with Help from An Eye Doctor in McClellanville, SC

At The Eye Center of Charleston, we're proud to offer a breadth of eye care services under one roof tailored to you and your whole family. From pediatric myopia management and treatment for dry eye to popular eyewear options and complicated eye surgery, we're ready to help. Regardless of the reason why you visit our eye care office, you can have peace of mind knowing that your patient experience will be comfortably curated for you.

Contact our eye care center today to learn more about our practice and to schedule an initial consultation with one of our expert eye doctors.

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Latest News in McClellanville, SC

McClellanville bridge road fixed, no longer trapping roughly 100 residents after Nor'easter damage

MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (WCIV) — UPDATE (12/19/23) - The SCDOT confirmed the bridge has been repaired.One resident sent photos of SCDOT crews working on the road Monday night.Nearly 100 people were trapped Monday after the bridge on the only road into a McClellanville neighborhood collapsed during Sunday's Nor'easter storm.The pedestrian bridge on Old Cemetery Road is currently the only way in and out of the Silver Hill neighborhood after its one road in and out collapsed Sunday due to the historic high tide and heavy r...

MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (WCIV) — UPDATE (12/19/23) - The SCDOT confirmed the bridge has been repaired.

One resident sent photos of SCDOT crews working on the road Monday night.

Nearly 100 people were trapped Monday after the bridge on the only road into a McClellanville neighborhood collapsed during Sunday's Nor'easter storm.

The pedestrian bridge on Old Cemetery Road is currently the only way in and out of the Silver Hill neighborhood after its one road in and out collapsed Sunday due to the historic high tide and heavy rain the storm brought.

To keep the holiday season afloat, one local church is stepping in to help.

People are typically swamped preparing for the holiday season, but this year, some neighbors in McClellanville are seeing an overflow of water instead of packages.

READ MORE: Edisto Beach feels impact of Sunday Nor'easter

"I've never seen rain like that before," Seacoast Church member Joanna McClellan said.

Seacoast Church in McClellanville has become a hub for deliveries since the usual front door drop off is no longer available due to the road collapsing.

"A few of the town members have set up UPS to come here and deliver the packages this morning. We just want to be here for the town and the community. Bottom line," McClellan said.

But the trip to seacoast isn't easy for some.

"The bridge we usually drive over is a normal, small, two-lane bridge that we rely on everyday, and we don't think about it too much," Bryan Jones, who lives in the neighborhood, said.

READ MORE: Residents evacuated after 12+ inches of rainfall in Georgetown County

"I've never seen so much water, but I had no idea it would be bad enough to take the whole road out," Bobby Wilson, another resident, said.

People who live in the community say they are thankful, as this bridge was also underwater during the storm.

"Living on the water is great but it has its perils. Here we are kind of living on an island," Wilson said.

"The tide was going out, but there was so much rain the water was still rising," Patrick Klim said while kayaking.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Charleston Co. ambulance out of service after Nor'easter, no impact on EMS services

The South Carolina Department of Transportation is assessing the damage, and as of Monday evening, there is no timeline for when the road will be fully restored.

In the meantime, residents have found new ways to get around.

"I've got some friends in here who are trapped but a couple of them have four wheel drive and have been able to sneak out different ways," Klim said.

Silver Hill residents say they are just happy everyone is safe, and thankful that Santa uses a sleigh to get around instead of a car.

READ MORE: USS Yorktown shifts due to Nor'easter storm, Patriots Point Museum temporarily closes

"Merry Christmas everyone," Wilson said.

Fight against sand mine in McClellanville continues

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The debate between the people of McClellanville and nearby organizations continues as a developer pushes to bring a sand mine to the rural community.The land at Lofton Road off Highway 17 is empty for now. It sits about 900 feet across from Lofton Road from St. James Santee Elementary and Middle. In 2023, the community mobilized and opposed a special allowance for a sand mine through petitions and public hearings.“So the BZA, the board of zoning appeals, they denied Blessing Investment the...

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The debate between the people of McClellanville and nearby organizations continues as a developer pushes to bring a sand mine to the rural community.

The land at Lofton Road off Highway 17 is empty for now. It sits about 900 feet across from Lofton Road from St. James Santee Elementary and Middle. In 2023, the community mobilized and opposed a special allowance for a sand mine through petitions and public hearings.

“So the BZA, the board of zoning appeals, they denied Blessing Investment their special exemption requests to establish a mine at the Lofton Road site. They didn’t like that decision. And so they appealed that,” Riley Egger with the Coastal Conservation League says.

Blessing Investment is now suing the board over its denial. The Coastal Conservation League and Friends of Coastal South Carolina applied to intervene in the legal case, to continue advocating against the mine. Their intervention was granted, and they will be at the table for the next mediation meeting.

“We’re really happy that we can intervene and be part of this case and reaffirm the decision from the BZA because they made the right call here and really speak up for the McClellanville area,” Egger says.

The concerns about the mine are its impact on the nearby school and wildlife.

“It’s primarily rural and mines are disruptive. There’s going to be trucks coming in constantly throughout the day, and it’s only 900 feet from St. James Santee Elementary Middle School. That’s not appropriate. The community was clear,” Egger says.

Grace Gasper, Executive Director at Friends of Coastal SC says in her conversations with neighbors in McClellanville, they are all in agreement.

“The area and the impacts need to be considered and our main concern over this one is the proximity of the school and the property also adjoins designated Wilderness Area, Little Wambaw Samp Wilderness and the Francis Marion National Forests,” Gasper says.

Gasper and Egger say once a wildlife area is disrupted, it’s changed forever and unable to be perfectly restored.

“The potential ecological impacts to an area that’s designated to be kept pristine and unimpacted by humans, you know, is unknown at this point,” Gasper says.

Gasper highlights again that it’s not just about wildlife habitat, but also the nearby school.

“We’re really concerned about the disruption to the kids during the school day. What that will do to their use of their outside facilities, and also the safety concern that the dump truck traffic having to make U-turns to enter the site on 17 would cause and they would actually have to either use the road that the school traffic uses,” Gasper says.

Charleston County is already home to more than 30 sand mines according to DHEC’s records.

“There are going to be areas where there’s sand and dirt mining and we’re not unilaterally opposed to that. We think the environmental impacts need to be more closely considered, and that’s, you know, honestly a statewide issue,” Gasper says.

Egger agrees, saying the organization is looking into mines across the state level to gauge the current situation.

“The Lofton Mine is a prime example of where mines shouldn’t exist. And there needs to be a broader reform at the state level so that these don’t happen again,” Egger says.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Remembering Hugo: 34 years ago

It has now been 34 years since Hurricane Hugo devastated much of the coast of South Carolina.What You Need To Know Hugo was a Category 4 hurricane with estimated sustained winds up to 140 mph when it came inland during the early morning hours of Sept. 22, 1989, near McClellanville, S.C.Hugo produced a 16-foot ...

It has now been 34 years since Hurricane Hugo devastated much of the coast of South Carolina.

What You Need To Know

Hugo was a Category 4 hurricane with estimated sustained winds up to 140 mph when it came inland during the early morning hours of Sept. 22, 1989, near McClellanville, S.C.

Hugo produced a 16-foot storm surge in McClellanville. A high school in the small coastal town had been selected as a shelter because maps showed it was at an elevation of 20 feet. It was actually just 10 feet above sea level, and six feet of seawater rushed into the school, where around 400 people were seeking shelter.

Eyewitness accounts say people became trapped and climbed on top of tables and chairs to avoid drowning.

Wind gusts up to 108 mph occurred in nearby Charleston, damaging around 80% of roofs in the city. Over 100 buildings in Charleston were severely damaged or destroyed.

Along the North Carolina coast, Hugo damaged at least 25 beachfront homes at Holden Beach and completely washed away seven to eight-foot dunes. The storm also destroyed a 50-foot section of the Carolina Beach pier.

Related Stories

Hugo did not only impact coastal areas. The storm produced hurricane-force winds as it moved over Charlotte.

Wind gusts in the Queen City reached up to 100 mph. Around 85% of the city lost power. Windows from skyscrapers in Uptown were blown out and came crashing down on nearby streets.

Hickory reported a gust of 85 mph.

There were numerous downed trees and widespread power outages across the western Piedmont and Foothills of North Carolina.

Heavy rain led to flash flooding in the northern mountains. Mount Mitchell recorded over 8 inches of rain from the storm.

According to the State Climate Office of North Carolina, seven to 12 deaths were attributed to the storm in North Carolina. That included a 6-month old child in Union County who was sleeping when a tree fell on his home.

Our team of meteorologists dives deep into the science of weather and breaks down timely weather data and information. To view more weather and climate stories, check out our weather blogs section.

Storm washes out bridge in McClellanville stranding dozens, authorities say

MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A bridge in McClellanville washed out amid Sunday’s heavy rains leaving around 100 people isolated, officials said.The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said they were assisting the state’s department of transportation in the Silver Hill community after a bridge on Old Cemetery Road washed out.Rain totals in McClellanville topped 16 inches during Sunday’s storm.Chief Shaun Gadsden with the Charleston County Department of Public Safety says crews responded to the coll...

MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A bridge in McClellanville washed out amid Sunday’s heavy rains leaving around 100 people isolated, officials said.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said they were assisting the state’s department of transportation in the Silver Hill community after a bridge on Old Cemetery Road washed out.

Rain totals in McClellanville topped 16 inches during Sunday’s storm.

Chief Shaun Gadsden with the Charleston County Department of Public Safety says crews responded to the collapse around 9:30 Sunday night. He says they contacted the county’s emergency management division and the State Department of Transportation, who showed up immediately, so they could identify the problem.

Gadsden adds that at least 500 cars pass by Old Cemetery Road per day, which is causing many neighbors in the area to completely re-evaluate.

One of these neighbors is Bobby Wilson, who says he and his wife were supposed to leave for a two-and-a-half-week vacation Monday morning. Now, he says they’re mainly worried about getting their mail, trying to get to work and especially what would happen if one of them were to need medical assistance.

However, they are trying to keep positive.

“Hey, look on the bright side of things,” Wilson said. “It’s Christmas and nobody’s been hurt. So, it’s all good. I hope DOT comes to our rescue sooner than later so we can get out of here.”

Other residents say they had to call off work, couldn’t go to school or had to cancel doctor’s appointments because the only way they can leave is by foot. There is a pedestrian bridge right behind this road that folks say is the only thing keeping them from becoming an island.

“McClellanville is very resilient,” neighbor Bryan Jones said. “We’re a very strong community. There’s always people on the other side of the bridge who are more than willing to help us out... If we had an emergency, they would be more than willing to give us a car or lend us a ride to town. You know, we feel confident and comfortable in that. We’re happy and thankful that we still have water and power and internet.”

Silver Hill residents are not the only ones shocked from the storm. The Town of McClellanville’s mayor, Rutledge Leland, says this storm was hopefully something they will never experience again.

Leland says he thought it was going to be 3 to 4 inches of rain and maybe 40 miles an hour winds, and this just was completely unexpected. He says the town will be providing the funds to create an alternate route and although he did not have a price estimate, he doesn’t think it will be too bad.

“It shouldn’t be a major expense,” Leland said. “Basically, it will amount to putting in some gravel and clearing a little bit of ground up. Making it to be where it is safe to be able to drive. It won’t be a great road, but it will be an access.”

Leland says SCDOT told him it could be about two weeks for the road to be fully repaired.

“That’s the minimum,” Leland said. “They have to wait two weeks before they can start considering to reopen. That’s kind of an old regulation. I’m not sure what it’s based on. We know we’re out for two weeks.”

The South Carolina Department of Transportation sent this statement around 3:45 p.m. on Monday:

SCDOT is working closely with Charleston County and the Town of McClellanville to create temporary access to the Silver Hill neighborhood following a washout at the bridge on Old Cemetery Road in McClellanville. The bridge and approaches are currently being inspected and SCDOT is developing an expedited repair plan to restore the roadway and bridge. Temporary access is expected to be completed and available later today.

Details on the repair timeline will be provided as they become available and we encourage community members to stay tuned to their local broadcasts and the SCDOT website for updates.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

6 Serene Towns in South Carolina for a Weekend Retreat

South Carolina is located in the coastal Southeastern region of the United States and makes for an excellent destination for those seeking a memorable weekend retreat. Framed by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Savannah River...

South Carolina is located in the coastal Southeastern region of the United States and makes for an excellent destination for those seeking a memorable weekend retreat. Framed by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Savannah River to the southwest, “The Palmetto State” (so named for its beautiful official tree) also appeals for its Southern charm, its lush landscapes, as well as its rich and fascinating history.

Another big draw for visitors is the many quaint towns located up and down the state, each offering unique attractions and a slice of tranquillity that’s far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From the delightful historic districts of Pendleton and Abbeville to the plentiful outdoor adventures on offer in places like Travelers Rest and Edisto Beach, with stops at Walhalla and McClellanville along the way, these six serene towns in South Carolina are ideal for a weekend retreat.

More in South CarolinaDiscover 7 of the most picturesque small towns in South Carolina for a weekend retreat.

Pendleton

Handily located just 30 miles southwest of Greenville, the small community of Pendleton often surprises visitors with the scale of its historic district. The entirety of this nearly four-square-mile town was laid out in 1790 with little to no changes since. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Old Town Pendleton is wonderful to explore on foot thanks to its many meticulously preserved 18th and 19th-century buildings.

Just outside Pendleton, the Ashtabula Historic House and Woodburn Historic House provide a deeper dive into the area's rich history and culture. Informative guided tours illuminate the lives of their former inhabitants, from the wealth and elegance of plantation owners to the tragic histories of the enslaved people forced to live and work there. The Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina is another must-visit for its family-friendly hands-on exhibits about the state's farming history. Great places to stay here include the centrally located Inn at Magnolia Hill and the elegant Liberty Hall Bed and Breakfast.

Travelers Rest

Travelers Rest is a great weekend getaway for those wanting to explore the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Just nine miles north of Greenville, fun things to do in Travellers Rest include hitting the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a multi-use pathway that meanders along the scenic Reedy River connecting Travelers Rest to Greenville and which is ideal for cyclists, joggers, and walkers. Sunrift Adventures is located on the trail network and offers outdoor gear and guidance, as well as bike and kayak rentals.

Wildcat Wayside Mountain is another popular destination for hikers, with trails leading to some of the region’s most stunning waterfalls. Cultural experiences worth exploring include Trailblazer Park, an outdoor venue featuring a cultural center and a farmer’s market. A trendy place to stay here is The Station by Compo Hotels, while quality big-brand accommodations are available at Hampton Inn Greenville/Travelers Rest.

Edisto Beach

Those wanting to spend a weekend exploring South Carolina’s beautiful Atlantic Coast couldn’t do much better than visit Edisto Beach. Roughly halfway between Charleston and Hilton Head Island, Edisto Beach State Park is the main attraction here. This natural paradise offers a mix of beaches and shady maritime forests that are as enjoyable for adults as they are for families, with campsites, picnic areas, an environmental center, and an extensive network of hiking and biking trails to explore.

Interested in learning more about local wildlife? Edisto Island Serpentarium is home to a variety of snakes, alligators, and other reptiles native to the region in a safe and educational setting. The Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area is another nature attraction to visit and features over 4,600 acres of untouched beaches, maritime forest, and historic structures to explore. After all that fun in the sun, enjoy a stay at Wyndham Ocean Ridge Marsh Point or Wyndham Ocean Ridge resorts.

Walhalla

Walhalla is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains close to the border with Georgia. Named after the Norse mythological hall of the slain, this historic town was founded by German settlers in 1849 and celebrates this heritage with one of the state’s best Oktoberfests. It’s also home to the Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel, an incomplete railroad tunnel from the 1850s that now serves as a fascinating piece of history… and a cool retreat during warmer months. Nearby Issaqueena Falls is another cool place to visit in Walhalla. Named after a Native American legend, it’s easily accessible and provides a serene spot for picnics and photos.

For history buffs, the Walhalla Graded School was built in 1901 and adds a touch of educational heritage to a visit and now functions as a community center. Come bedtime, check into great places to stay such as Rodeway Inn & Suites (in-town) and The Suites at Hisaw Gap (close to the Stumphouse Tunnel).

Abbeville

Known to historians as the "Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy" for its role during the Civil War, Abbeville provides a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era. Start your weekend adventure in Rainbow Row, a line of brightly colored buildings in Abbeville’s historic district, before heading to the pretty town square. The Abbeville Opera House is another historic landmark that was built in 1904 and is still a popular venue.

Another historic must-visit is the Burt-Stark Mansion, the site of the last meeting of the Confederate War Council. Mansion tours reveal well-preserved architecture and period furnishings that provide a vivid portrayal of life during this tumultuous period in American history. Venture just outside town and you’ll find the Long Cane Scenic Area, a perfect spot for a woodland hike. Here for the weekend? Check out the rates at the boutique-style Belmont Inn by OYO or, if on a tight budget, the no-frills Westbrook Motel.

McClellanville

Last but by no means least, let’s chat about McClellanville. Though small (its population is a tad over 600), this Southern fishing village north of Charleston is home to the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, an essential site for birdwatching, hiking, and exploring that lovely Atlantic Coast environment. The Refuge covers over 66,000 acres, a significant stretch of South Carolina's coast, and is an important habitat for a wide range of wildlife. Nature Adventures Outfitters provides naturalist-guided tours through the refuge, allowing visitors to kayak through marshes and spot local wildlife in their natural habitat.

The Village Museum in McClellanville is another must-visit and tells the story of the village from the perspective of the SeWee Indians through the colonial period and into the rise of the seafood industry. And, of course, it’s a must to sample local Lowcountry seafood at restaurants like T W Graham & Co. When it comes to accommodations, visitors will need to base themselves in larger communities like Georgetown, just 20 minutes to the north, where hotels like Hampton Inn Georgetown-Marina and or Quality Inn & Suites offer good rates and easy access.

The Final Word

For those wanting to get to know South Carolina - and to do so in a tranquil setting - these six serene towns have a lot going for them. From Pendleton's historic charm to Travelers Rest's outdoor adventures, the coastal allure of McClellanville and Edisto Beach, as well as Walhalla's German heritage and Abbeville's Civil War history, each town offers a unique getaway experience that’s bound to please the choosiest of travelers. Whatever your preferences, these six serene towns in South Carolina are ideal for a weekend retreat.

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