What Is The Carolina Lowcountry?

Put this dreamy land of live oaks and Spanish moss on your bucket list.

beaufor south carolina port royal island
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Few places in the South have more mystique than South Carolina's Lowcountry. The name itself has an alluring ring to it, even if you have no idea where—or what—it actually is. And like another geographic wonder in its neighboring state, the South Carolina Lowcountry can be as tricky to define as North Carolina's Outer Banks. There's even a Low Country vs. Lowcountry debate.

So What Is The Lowcountry?

Generally, it's defined as four counties: Beaufort, Jasper, Colleton, and Hampton. However, some sources push it farther up to include Charleston and Pawleys Island (we're fine with that), while others take it all the way up to the geological Fall Line that separates the Appalachian Piedmont from the Atlantic Coastal Plain (that's a little too far for us).

The Lowcountry is identified as much by its character as a precise spot on the map. You'll know it when you see it: Saltwater and marshlands thick with cordgrass; live oaks and Spanish moss; sweetgrass baskets and rich Gullah culture; she-crab soup and shrimp and grits and all kinds of seafood deliciousness over rice; raised houses with deep porches and tall shuttered windows; pluff mud and palmettos.

Bounded by the Atlantic on one side and the Savannah River on the other, the Lowcountry is one watery place, and the marshlands and sea islands that buffer the mainland coast from the throes of the Atlantic make for the kind of vistas that will have you taking pictures of everything. On the other hand, there's plenty to do. Hilton Head is on every golfer's bucket list. And then there's Charleston and its nearby islands. Enough said. Except for this: You should go.

Visit The Lowcountry

Whether you're looking to tee off on a carpet of green, spot sea turtles, or chill in a rocking chair on a front porch with watery views to die for, South Carolina has your ideal spot:

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