Until this past school year, I homeschooled my two children. It was a great thing for us but transitioning to public school was the right choice. Although, one thing I really miss about homeschooling is all the adventures we were able to take. It’s crazy to think that in just a few short days the school year will be finished! I am counting down until we can adventure together again!
Today I’m sharing my favorite places to get out in nature and explore plus a few tips I’ve picked up along the way. And bonus – most of them are free!
I like to have a designated bag that is already packed and ready for any last minute adventure to help make getting ready the morning of a breeze. Since we will be exploring in the summertime, it’s going to be hot and humid! Staying hydrated and a few cold treats are essential. Plus picking up a treat on the way home serves double duty as a little bribery for good behavior. My favorite water bottles to pack are the water tumblers from Stanley. They are insulated to keep the water cool and have a handle on for easy carrying. I also always make sure to have bug spray and sunscreen in our bag since we will be in the elements. Similarly, I am always on the lookout for fireants and snakes so I make sure to pack a little med kit with sting wipes and bandages just in case.
These church ruins are simply breathtaking! It’s the perfect place to bring a picnic and stay a while. My children love looking at grave stones and playing under the oak trees. The church itself is now protected by a wrought iron fence but it doesn’t take away from the beauty of the Church Ruins.
Speaking of church ruins – Colonial Dorchester State Park in Summerville has a gorgeous Church bell tower still standing in what used to be the center of a little town. You can see where the home structures were and explore the oyster shell tabby fort.
Anytime my children want to see a gator, I take them to Caw Caw where we always seem to spot at least one. It has some fun trails through old rice fields and a bridge to walk through the swamp area that my kids have fun on. They love to be on the lookout for reptiles here.
Another beach we love for adventures is the Lighthouse out at Folly Beach. We’ve seen dolphins playing and some of the most beautiful sunsets here. Just be careful of getting in the water where the marsh and the ocean meet as there are some steep drop offs there. It’s also a great part of the beach for fishing as it’s not really a swimming area.
We love going to Botany Bay! It’s a small drive but well worth it. Not only are you greeted by a beautiful oak lined drive, but we always see a ton of wildlife. The driftwood trees are a sight to see! There’s plenty of beautiful shells to admire and collect while you are there but keep in mind it is a preservation and taking items home is not permitted. It’s very popular to decorate the driftwood trees with the shells you find. We even stumbled upon some driftwood teepees on one of our visits. The breeze at the beach helps with the hot summer weather too.
Not only can you learn a lot at Fort Moultrie, but it’s fun for children to use their imagination while they explore. My children love exploring the fort and all the passageways and nooks and crannies there are.
The Angel Oak tree is a favorite of ours! The way the trees branches wind and grow in and out of the ground again is so beautiful to me. It is always so impressive to see every time we visit. I try not to but, every time we visit I can’t help but point out the spot of the tree where it was struck by lightning twice. Can you find it?
I mentioned Charlestowne Landing in my journal about our favorite picnic spots but it is also one of our favorite adventure spots! You could spend all day here exploring. There is a merchant ship you can climb aboard to explore and a fort built out of carved logs. We like to visit the animals in the Animal Forest and the birds by the large pond. There’s so much to explore and so many trails. You can rent bikes or bring your own to help see it all.
I hope you are able to get out and explore the Low Country and all the beauty it has to offer us!
Melissa Charmaine is a natural light photographer based out of Charleston, South Carolina and serves Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Johns Island, James Island, Daniels Island, West Ashley, Summerville, and the surrounding areas. She specializes in Maternity, Newborn, and Family Photography.
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After years of photographing families, I've learned some things you can do to invite the calm and love that is needed to showcase the essence of your family.
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