Destination Regency: the Lowcountry Edition

Having your own Regency RV is freedom, independence and luxury. With your world-class Mercedes Sprinter you have the versatility to traverse the wild terrain of the country or pull right into a bustling city and stay awhile. So, here at Regency, we’ve decided to satisfy your thirst for wanderlust and give you a travel guide, complete with off-the-beaten-path tips. All you have to do is hit the road. Our first journey will take us to South Carolina’s Lowcountry!

The Lowcountry is a truly magical corner of the southeast. Home to scenic views, friendly Southern hospitality and mouthwatering Lowcountry cuisine, it’s an ideal getaway for any vanlife adventurer hankering to experience Spring at its most breathtaking.  En route, it’s never a bad idea to soak up the charm of Savannah, Georgia along the way. Another 45 minutes will bring you to the famous golfing greens of Hilton Head Island where you can break out your nine iron or catch some waves at one of the isle’s stunning beaches. Less than an hour from there is the gem of the Lowcountry – Beaufort and Port Royal – where the history of South Carolina reveals itself in one of the southeast’s most charming towns.

Savannah:

Coined, “the hostess city of the South,” Savannah is Georgia’s oldest city and is chock full of history and all the stunning architecture that entails. Highlights include Forsyth Park and the picturesque historic district where founder James Oglethorpe organized the town through 22 beautiful squares that are each centered around a park. Chippewa Square is home to Forrest Gump’s bench where he awaited the bus and told his remarkable tale, but each square has its own unique charm and usually boasts a local musician strumming away to boot. Ideal for a leisurely stroll, Savannah is a wet city, which means you can walk around with the alcoholic beverage of your choice to your heart’s content. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, our personal favorites are:

The Olde Pink House is nestled in the former Habersham mansion where delightful ambiance churns out Lowcountry classics that taste as good as the grand old beauty looks.

Collins Quarter, Aussie-owned, delivers the best brunch in town and achieves a winning mashup of French Bistro with a down-to-earth Lowcountry twist.

Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room has been a Savannah staple since 1943 and always boast a line around the block, but the daily menu of strictly Southern fare proves well worth the wait.

Hilton Head Island:

Renowned for its world-class golf courses, Hilton Head is also home to one of the swankiest RV parks in the country. Hilton Head Motorcoach Resort offers a bevy of luxury with a pool, spa, lounge, exercise room, laundry, luxury bath facilities, dog park, tennis and basketball courts and shuffleboard. The resort can even serve as a spa for your Regency RV as well, providing coach detailing, propane delivery, full hook ups, cable and wifi all within the manicured, gated property.

If you’re looking to hit the greens, this website is a great resource: https://www.hiltonheadisland.org/golf/golf-courses

For hikes and nature walks, we recommend, the Audubon Newhall Preserve and Pinckney Island.

To hit the beach, Coligny Beach is a fan favorite with easy access as well as great shopping and local eats right across the street. Dreissen Beach, tucked off a residential road, is a touch less developed and natural beauty abounds.

Although Hilton Head is loaded with overpriced resort food, there are definitely some treasures that fly under the radar if you know where to look.

Marley’s Shrimp and Burger Shack delivers cheap, delicious eats at its finest with a fun, easy atmosphere.

Vine, in Coligny Plaza, is upscale but far from stuffy. Featuring locally sourced produce on an inventive, ever-changing menu, the food may be the most memorable of your trip and the wine list is the best on the island.

The Jazz Corner is a plush, convivial supper club that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.  The music is always swinging and the food is surf and turf solid. This joint will deliver a night you’ll never forget; just make sure to make reservations in advance.

The True Lowcountry:

Beaufort, Port Royal and the adjacent Sea Islands are bursting at the seams with beauty, history and charming Southern warmth. Spring truly shows off this jewel of the lowcountry in all its glory. The weather is perfect; everywhere you walk, the air smells of jasmine and the gifts of the land and sea are almost all is season – including the divine shellfish. If you’re looking for a place to hook up and stay awhile, there are a few RV parks such as Driftwood, Parris Island (for active duty and retired military) and Tuck in the Wood. However, the most beautiful spot is, by far, the State Park Campgrounds on Hunting Island.

Affordable sites with water, electric and wifi, Hunting Island State Park may not boast the luxurious amenities of Hilton Head, but the raw, untouched beauty of this pristine spot more than speaks for itself. The sprawling, natural beach, used for the filming of Vietnam in Forrest Gump, are unadulterated by development and boast a semi-tropical maritime forest at its most pure. One of very few permanent structures on the island is the must-see historic lighthouse that dates to 1875. Although it’s a little further into town, the drive out is well worth the journey for the beauty and serenity of this special place.

Historic Hunting Island Lighthouse

Sea Islands:

As you drive into St. Helena on your way back into Beaufort from Hunting Island, there’s a fantastic fish monger called Gay Fish Company, which boasts Forrest Gump’s Jenny among its fleet and is a great spot to grab some local seafood to cook over the campfire or in your own Regency RV. Another wonderful spot nearby is the Carolina Cider Company. Besides famous homemade ciders, they feature a wonderful, full-service coffee shop, superb wine selection and delicious sandwiches, pastries and pies.

Beaufort & Port Royal:

Once you reach Beaufort and Port Royal, there’s so much to choose from, it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down. Now that you’ve had a dose of resort life in Hilton Head, it’s time to immerse yourself in small-town Southern charm with all the character you can possibly stand.

To do:

History abounds and a quick stroll around town offers so much to see. A few highlights include the scenic Waterfront Park, the Chapel of Ease Ruins in St. Helena, the Big Chill house, St. Helena’s Anglican Church ( a walled cemetery that dates to pre-revolutionary war) as well as the final resting place of the heroic and legendary Robert Smalls at the Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins – One of the most picturesque spots in all of the Lowcountry, the remains of the church date back to 1865 when it was destroyed during the Civil War. Nestled below a sky of live oaks and dripping Spanish moss, Sheldon Church is one of the most photographed sites in South Carolina.

Festivals!

Beaufort and Port Royal are known for their festivals, which include the Port Royal Oyster Roast, Port Royal’s Shrimp and Grits Festival, the Beaufort Shrimp Festival as well as the famous Water Festival. Next on the docket is the Port Royal Soft Shell Crab Festival, complete with live music, a classic car show and the obligatory yet unforgettable soft shell crab offerings from multiple vendors. So, try to plan your trip around April 20th for the 16th annual Port Royal Soft Shell Crab Festival; it will be a down-home celebration you will not want to miss. D

Dining Out:

Old Bull Tavern, the chic, red brick hole-in-the-wall is our all-time favorite in Beaufort. With gastropub fare to superb steak and even brick oven pizza, the ever-changing menu sources the finest local ingredients and stirs up cocktails worthy of a legendary speakeasy. The owner and his incomparable staff never forget a face or hesitate to welcome a newcomer. Old Bull is truly an inimitable gem!

Saltus is well-done surf and turf in a casual fine dining setting that boasts the best patio in Beaufort with a view over the Beaufort River and its Intracoastal Canal Bridge.

Beaufort Bread Company, a local-owned bakery and café that crafts croissants worthy of a Parisian patisserie, serves up delicious breakfast and lunch that are a local staple. There’s an adorable new location on the main drag in Beaufort, but the original Ladies’ Island location is closer to the campgrounds. Either way, you will not disappointed.

Lowcountry Produce sources most of its fabulous produce from its farm just outside town in Lobeco. The uplifted old bank serves as a charming venue for a joint that serves up extraordinary lowcountry classics for breakfast, brunch and lunch every day of the week.

So, gas up your Regency RV and hit the road! And don’t forget to tell us all about your travels! Cheers, y’all!