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Wedding & Event Venue Near Hilton Head Island, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Hilton Head Island, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Hilton Head Island, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Hilton Head Island native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

Weddings

 Event Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Hilton Head Island, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Hilton Head Island, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Hilton Head Island's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Hilton Head Island.

 Wedding Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Hilton Head Island?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Hilton Head Island, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

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Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Hilton Head Island, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Hilton Head Island, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.

Decor

When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Hilton Head Island, SC
Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Hilton Head Island, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.

Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Hilton Head Island, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

Latest News in Hilton Head Island, SC

Pluff mud in the SC Lowcountry can be dangerous. Here are 5 things you need to know

Ever gotten stuck in some suspicious-looking sand at a Lowcountry beach before? Chances are, it probably wasn’t just sand.Unique to the Lowcountry, pluff mud is commonly found along salt marshes and occasional beaches.If you’ve ever been to Fish Haul Beach on Hilton Head Island, there’s a good chance you’ve come across it, and it can be dangerous.Pluff mud, also known as “plough mud,” is a dark to light brown, gooey, soft mud and can sometimes be clay-like in appearance and consistency...

Ever gotten stuck in some suspicious-looking sand at a Lowcountry beach before? Chances are, it probably wasn’t just sand.

Unique to the Lowcountry, pluff mud is commonly found along salt marshes and occasional beaches.

If you’ve ever been to Fish Haul Beach on Hilton Head Island, there’s a good chance you’ve come across it, and it can be dangerous.

Pluff mud, also known as “plough mud,” is a dark to light brown, gooey, soft mud and can sometimes be clay-like in appearance and consistency. It’s composed primarily of decaying matter creating a miasma which lines the coast and comprises the floors of Lowcountry salt marshes.

The entirety of our Lowcountry salt marshes’ ecosystem is built off of pluff mud.

Salt marshes occur along a majority of the Southeastern coast. There, the twice-daily tides routinely flood and drain vast low-lying areas just inland from the ocean. In total, South Carolina has about a half-million acres of salt marsh. This is more marshland than any other state along the Atlantic coast, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Considered to be a foundational element for the local salt marshes, pluff mud is what the island is built on, and it is one of the features that makes Hilton Head a barrier island. It has the ability to absorb the energy of ocean-bred storms like a sponge and helps control coastal flooding, according to Outside Hilton Head.

This “mud” is primarily made-up of decaying Spartina grass and other marsh grasses in addition to decomposing animals and other organisms brought in from the ocean and low-lying areas. This is what creates the smell that many visitors, unfamiliar with pluff mud, call putrid or comparable to rotten eggs, while many locals have grown accustomed to the smell and even find it comforting.

Many beginnings and endings of life cycles take place in the salt marsh for the small, and some not so small, animals that call it home.

Pluff mud isn’t itself inherently dangerous, but if someone wades into it too deeply or gets stuck without proper knowledge of how to get out, they may be in serious trouble.

For this reason, pluff mud can be quite dangerous for unsuspecting or curious visitors. Your feet can very quickly sink into the mud. Pluff mud, in how it acts in theory, is closely related to quicksand. Struggling to release yourself from the rapidly sinking hole will only make you sink faster.

Because of this risk, safety and rescue personnel use special shoes, which work similarly to snow shoes, allowing them to safely rescue anyone who may have gotten themselves stuck.

If walking out into pluff mud is absolutely necessary, make sure to wear thick-soled shoes that can be strapped to your feet. Unless tightly laced, the mud will quickly steal any shoes that are not well-fastened.

Oyster shells, lining the coast and seen vastly throughout local marshes, can be hidden, buried under the pluff mud. Stepping on these has the ability to slice through commonly worn shoes such as flip flops, so wearing shoes with more protection is essential. Stepping on oysters barefoot have sent many visitors and locals to nearby hospitals with serious injuries.

In addition to wearing the proper shoes, it is also a good idea to never venture near pluff mud without a partner present or without having a way to contact someone in case of an emergency.

If you happen to find yourself a little more than foot-deep in pluff mud, precautionary steps should be taken to avoid a serious outcome.

When visiting beaches on Hilton Head Island, especially those that face Port Royal sound along the north end in areas such as Fish Haul beach, or other areas which face Broad Creek or Calibogue Sound, avoid areas where the dark-brown or clay-like mud is visible along the marsh grasses or edges of shorelines. Avoiding these areas is the best way to stay safe from potentially sinking into pluff mud.

This story was originally published May 11, 2022 5:00 AM.

Starfish are beaching along the South Carolina shore in large numbers. Here's why

While it’s sometimes hard to tell, in most cases, these starfish are still alive.HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Large quantities of starfish have been seen scattered along Hilton Head Island beaches recently. Although it may look alarming, this is actually a natural event that’s fairly common in the Lowcountry.Users, both locals, and tourists, took to Facebook shocked at their findings along t...

While it’s sometimes hard to tell, in most cases, these starfish are still alive.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Large quantities of starfish have been seen scattered along Hilton Head Island beaches recently. Although it may look alarming, this is actually a natural event that’s fairly common in the Lowcountry.

Users, both locals, and tourists, took to Facebook shocked at their findings along the shores of Hilton Head Island beaches. One user reported finding up to 30 starfish on her morning beach walk and swiftly returned them to the ocean waters.

The numbers of starfish are on a smaller scale than the mass quantities of starfish that have become stranded in previous years. In 2018, over 1,000 starfish washed ashore on Lowcountry beaches, with Hilton Head Island included in those sightings. Roughly 100,000 starfish washed ashore on Fripp Island beaches in 2014.

Typically, in the winter or spring months when the temperatures are cooler in the Lowcountry these starfish, also known as sea stars, are more prone to large-scale strandings from being washed ashore. The reason behind this is that starfish are ectothermic or cold-blooded. This causes them and other small, ectothermic marine animals to lose most of their mobility until they can reach warmer temperatures. Thus, they are at the mercy of the tides. Contrarily, if sea stars reach too warm of temperatures, they will remove their own arms to protect against overheating. They can also do this to evade predators.

Temperatures near Hilton Head have recently seen lows in the upper 50s and low 60s.

Another possible reason they could be stranded is due to a phenomenon called ‘starballing.’ In this case, starfish curl their arms into a ball, allowing them access to faster modes of transportation via strong winds, currents, and tidal conditions. When this occurs, the sea stars can be seen rolling over the seafloor. Some even reach out an arm as if to test the currents.

If starfish are found washed ashore, one shouldn’t automatically assume they are dead.

While it’s sometimes hard to tell, in most cases, these starfish are still alive. Beachgoers who view them from a close distance might even see them slowly crawling along the shore or catch a glimpse of their tubular feet moving.

These tubular feet look almost like moving hairs underneath the arms of a starfish. These ‘feet,’ or small tubular projections, are what make sea stars echinoderms. Other echinoderms with tubular projections on their undersides include sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers.

Even if these feet aren’t seen to be distinguishably moving, beachgoers should still throw them back into the water. They may just be moving slower than can be seen with the naked eye, meaning the sea star is alive and should be rescued when possible.

On Hilton Head Island, it’s illegal to disturb or take home any living beach organism, including starfish and sand dollars. Doing so could result in a $500 fine.

Municipal Code Title 8 Chapter 1 — “Beaches” describes the illegality of causing any physical harm, harassment, or disturbance of any marine fauna on Hilton Head Island.

For a complete list of prohibited beach activities, visit this Hilton Head Island website.

Fripp Island: the Hilton Head alternative, beach resort you’ve probably never heard of

FRIPP ISLAND, South Carolina – You can practically see Hilton Head from the tip of Fripp Island.From the map, I’m pretty sure I could swim between them. But it’s an hour and a half by car. And that’s the way Fripp likes it, cut off from the rest of the tourists in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.There are no grocery stores on Fripp, a 6.5-square-mile private resort off the coast of Beaufort, between Charleston, S.C., and Savan...

FRIPP ISLAND, South Carolina – You can practically see Hilton Head from the tip of Fripp Island.

From the map, I’m pretty sure I could swim between them. But it’s an hour and a half by car. And that’s the way Fripp likes it, cut off from the rest of the tourists in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

There are no grocery stores on Fripp, a 6.5-square-mile private resort off the coast of Beaufort, between Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Georgia. There are no outlet malls, no hotels, no mini golf and no crowds – at least when we rented a house with friends for spring break.

Fewer than 1,000 people live on the island year-round, though the population swells to about 5,000 during the summer months.

Many of those are families on vacation: plunging in the Atlantic Ocean, jumping in the pool, playing tennis, playing golf, bicycling, fishing, paddleboarding, golf carting or just lounging under the shade of palm trees.

Fripp offers a few restaurants. But if you want to paint the town, you can drive 30 minutes west to Beaufort, recently voted best small town in the South by the readers of Southern Living magazine (which generally serves as my travel and daydreaming guide). There you can wander the mansions of the Spanish-moss-draped historic district, a kaleidoscope of charming boutiques on Bay Street and the sun-dappled patios of restaurants along the Beaufort River.

We spent one day in Beaufort, which I had visited eight years ago on a girls weekend. But the rest of our week passed in a golden haze on Fripp.

Why Fripp?

We chose the island simply because of an incredible house we found on Vrbo with a pool, hot tub, waterslide and fire pit. At 12 hours away, the destination was just within the range of a one-day drive, though if you want to fly you can, to the Savannah and Charleston airports. When people asked where we were going, and I said, Fripp, most looked confused. “What?”

The name is not for the perfect abundance of possible puns, many of which grace mailboxes: Fripp Floppin’, Fripp-a-dee-doo-dah and A Long Strange Fripp.

The island is named after Johannes Fripp, a 17th-century swashbuckling privateer or a British sailor who protected the area from Spanish attacks, depending on who you ask. Legend says that pirates hid treasure on the island. But for much of its history the island was used primarily for hunting, as was the appropriately named Hunting Island to the north. Hunting Island is now a 5,000-acre state park, with trails, a beach and an 1875-built lighthouse currently closed for repair.

A bridge from Hunting Island to Fripp was built in 1961. Over the next decade, the Ocean Point Golf Links, racquet club, marina, houses and condos were built, all part of the Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort.

The island remains private and unincorporated, with many of the homes rented directly through the resort itself. You must pass a security gate to enter the island, and to use any amenities, including the two golf courses, four pools, kids’ activities or restaurants, you must buy a $35 club card good for a week, for each family member 13 and older.

But once you’re on Fripp, you may never want to leave the paradise of palm trees, far removed from the everyday world.

This is a place where your calendar is completely free, where your biggest question is beach or pool – and the answer is, both. Where you can set up the Risk board and play all week long. Where there’s no point in packing dressy dangly earrings because you’ll only wear swimsuits and T-shirts anyway.

The island is bigger than I expected, with space to spread out and deer everywhere. But it’s compact enough that you can park your car for the week and travel everywhere on bikes or golf carts.

We mostly stayed put. We stocked up on groceries in Beaufort and cooked dinner every night, sharing kitchen duties so it made clean-up easy. We shared kid-wrangling duties, too, so while the kids hung out with their friends, the parents felt like they actually got a vacation.

We whiled away our days spotting dolphins and an alligator, riding golf carts, picking up shells, swimming and playing football on the sand. We lazed away our evenings cooking dinner, sitting in the hot tub, playing cards and telling stories around the fire.

That’s not to say we had no plans. We shopped and lunched in Beaufort one morning and rented boats. I took a tennis lesson and was absolutely glowing by the end of the hour with compliments and helpful tips. We hit balls on the driving range. We paddleboarded. We boogie-boarded. We visited the Hunting Island lighthouse. And my 9-year-old daughter and I took a surfing lesson through Nalu Paddleboarding, a shop located at the Fripp Marina.

She was a natural who popped up on her first try, even turned around to wave. I was definitely not, but thanks to the patience of our instructor, I did manage to stand up a few times on the board. More importantly, I felt invigorated trying something completely new.

Completely new, completely chill. Frippee-ki-yay!

If you go:

Check Vrbo or Fripp Island Resort to search for houses and condos.

Prices depend on amenities and location, though you can get anywhere on the island easily by bike or golf cart.

During summer months, expect to pay $300 or more a night for a two-bedroom condo.

Houses vary from sleeping four to 16. A 14-person, house, for example, could cost about $600 a night.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

Happy National Shrimp Day! Here’s what to know about South Carolina shrimp

Every year on May 10, National Shrimp Day recognizes America’s favorite bite-sized seafood. If you’re a fan, today’s the day to make your favorite shrimp dish and learn more about how these little crustaceans are involved in South Carolina’s history and ecosystems.The state of South Carolina is home to three different species of commercially edible ...

Every year on May 10, National Shrimp Day recognizes America’s favorite bite-sized seafood. If you’re a fan, today’s the day to make your favorite shrimp dish and learn more about how these little crustaceans are involved in South Carolina’s history and ecosystems.

The state of South Carolina is home to three different species of commercially edible penaeid shrimp, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources: brown shrimp, white shrimp, and pink shrimp. Brown and white shrimp are much more common in the area than pink shrimp. However, all three are edible and taste the same.

Featured in the Academy Award-winning movie Forrest Gump, which was filmed in South Carolina, shrimping, a staple in the Palmetto State, has been popular to local fishermen dating back to before the Civil War and is still just as vibrant today.

Commercial fishing in South Carolina is dominated by shrimpers whose trawlers can reach up to 85 feet in length or more.

These boats can be multipurpose and can be used locally for both shrimping and crabbing as well as for line-fishing and trawling.

Shrimping can be a tedious and at times, dangerous business. Yet, it remains to be a fundamental part of South Carolina life.

The amount of time a shrimp boat stays out during the day ultimately depends on how much the fishermen can catch or if a storm is brewing nearby. Some shrimping boats will only stay out for a few hours, whereas other trawlers could be in one location for several days. If the shrimpers catch large quantities of shrimp during their haul, they will stay out for a longer period as opposed to those who head back to shore sooner if they are not finding any luck.

Most shrimpers trawl within three to four miles of the coast’s shoreline during each of the year’s three commercial shrimping seasons.

Shrimping isn’t as lucrative as it once was a century ago. So, if you’re at a South Carolina restaurant which states “local shrimp sold here,” buying the shrimp helps support the local fishermen who caught them. It also helps guarantee having fresh, locally caught shrimp in your basket the next time you eat out as opposed to internationally caught and frozen shrimp from elsewhere in the world.

As you might have guessed, those brown pellets along the shoreline are shrimp excrement — more specifically, ghost shrimp excrement.

Ghost Shrimp, also known as “glass shrimp” for their transparency, are responsible for the holes beachgoers may find scattered along the shores, as well as the numerous little brown pellets that litter the shoreline.

Ghost shrimp are only about 1 to 3 inches long, so they remain pretty small. However, they can dig burrows up to 6 feet deep with openings that are about the size of a pencil. They spend the majority of their lives burrowing.

Since ghost shrimp don’t like to leave the safety of their burrows, all of their poo gets pushed out of the burrows as they like to keep a tidy home.

The Carolina Ghost Shrimp’s feces can be seen stretching for miles on beaches all along South Carolina’s coast. In fact, the average Carolina Ghost Shrimp can produce an average of 500 fecal pellets a day.

Whether you prefer to celebrate National Shrimp Day by learning more about how shrimp have impacted South Carolina’s culture and ecosystems or celebrate by dining on your favorite fried shrimp basket, bowl of shrimp and grits, or a simple shrimp cocktail, both locals and tourists as well as South Carolina fishermen can benefit. Visit your favorite local restaurant, museum or aquarium this month to celebrate 2022 National Shrimp Day.

7 historic forts and ruins in SC to explore within 50 miles of Hilton Head Island

Usually seen as a tourist destination, Hilton Head Island is rich with history that generally goes overlooked. With forts and ruins dating back to the American Civil War, there is much more to do on the island than grab some sun on one of its many beaches.Whether you’re a long-time local, recent homebuyer or a history-seeking vacationer, here are seven historical landmarks near Hilton Head Island that contain an abundance of history.Located on Hilton Head Island, ...

Usually seen as a tourist destination, Hilton Head Island is rich with history that generally goes overlooked. With forts and ruins dating back to the American Civil War, there is much more to do on the island than grab some sun on one of its many beaches.

Whether you’re a long-time local, recent homebuyer or a history-seeking vacationer, here are seven historical landmarks near Hilton Head Island that contain an abundance of history.

Located on Hilton Head Island, Fort Howell is a pentagon-like structure, molded from the earth. Despite natural erosion and tree growth, this fort is still discernible today and is accessible to the public. This fort was built in 1864 during the American Civil War by the 32nd United States Colored Infantry Regiment from Pennsylvania and the 144th New York Infantry. These Union troops primarily built Fort Howell to defend the nearby freedman’s village, Mitchelville, from approaching Confederate soldiers. Fort Howell has been recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom - Underground Railroad and the Civil War Discovery Trail. This fort is located on the north end of the island off of Beach City Road.

Located on Hilton Head, remnants of the fort it once was, Fort Mitchel remains as a reminder of one of several purposes the island served during the Civil War era. Following the death of Major General Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel, which occurred on Oct. 30, 1862, the fort was named in his honor. This fort is located off of Skull Creek Drive in Hilton Head Plantation.

Located on Saint Helena Island, Fort Fremont was constructed in 1899. Built by the Army Corps of Engineers with the help of local laborers on condemned private property, the fort was designed to play a strategic and important role in the protection of the dry dock and coaling station. These were critical to the Atlantic Fleet during the Spanish-American War period. After the Port Royal Naval Station was moved to Charleston, Fort Fremont was later abandoned. Tours can be taken at the fort to better acknowledge history and learn more information about what took place. The Fort Fremont History Center opened in 2021 and provides further information and a more in-depth look at this fort.

Fort Sherman, which is also located on Hilton Head, was one of a few forts on the island during the American Civil War. This once large fort, crafted from the earth, now has a historical marker to signify its location. The fort consisted of 2 miles of built-up earth, which enclosed a 14-acre area. Fort Sherman was constructed in 1862. It was named after the first Union commander in the area, General Thomas West Sherman.

Fort Walker/Welles, on Hilton Head Island, was another earthwork fort built during the Civil War era. Named and renamed over the years and now a small park in dedication to the fort, the few visible remains can be found near the intersection of Fort Walker Drive and North Port Royal Drive. This fort is listed in The Historical Marker Database.

Though not a fort, the Stoney-Baynard ruins is a sight to see for any history buff scouring the area. Located in what is now called the Sea Pines community on Hilton Head Island, these ruins are immersed in history. Bits of the old home can still be seen today. Allegedly burned down by Confederate arsonists, the mansion’s tabby foundation, a corner wall, and the foundations of other outbuildings are what remain. These ruins are listed on the National Register of Historic Places list.

Originally known as Prince William’s Parish Church, the Old Sheldon Church Ruins are located near Yemassee. This church was built between 1745 and 1753, only to be burned down by the British in 1779 during the Revolutionary War when British Gen. Augustine Prevost, invaded the Lowcountry. In 1826, it was rebuilt until it was burned down again by General Sherman in February 1865 during the American Civil War.

This story was originally published April 12, 2022 5:00 AM.

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