Featured Secret Beach Spot: Dewees Island

Friday, July 12, 2013

We recently got wind of the best kept secret in South Carolina... Dewees Island. It’s actually close to Charleston, so it’s a must see stop if you’re traveling or vacationing on the beaches there.

Accessible only by boat and private ferry, Dewees has 3 miles of pristine shoreline at the tail end of 60 miles of undeveloped seashore (the largest stretch on the eastern seaboard). “Our home setbacks are triple those of other inhabited islands, resulting in a really remote feel and unspoiled seashore,” explains Judy Drew Fairchild, a South Carolina Master Naturalist who also lives on the island full time.

According to Judy, the most crowded the beach gets is about 4-5 other families, with the exception of Independence Day when you might have up to 25. But what’s perhaps even more intriguing than that, is the importance of sustainability the community promotes. “I live in a solar house with solar hot water, we only keep the seafood we catch that can be eaten in a single meal, we compost our household waste, our roads are all crushed shell (no paving) and we only garden with native plants,” says Judy.

Every day during nesting season, volunteers walk the beach to check for turtle nests, and after one hatches the locals gather at sunset to inventory the nest for any remaining turtles and determine hatch success. Judy is an avid bird counter herself, and says, “I love getting people to connect with the nature around them.” In fact volunteers often monitor bird life, alligators, and other wildlife around the Dewees Islands.

For more information on visiting the Dewees Islands, check out the community blog.