Need-to-know info about living there

By Vicki J. Weathers
March 31, 2008
Noah Park

Setting: Edisto is a barrier island in the chain of SeaIslands along the coastlines of South Carolina, Georgia, andFlorida. It's located about 45 miles south of Charleston, SouthCarolina, and a little more than 100 miles north of Savannah,Georgia. Deeply embedded in the Lowcountry, Edisto's rivers andtidal marshes flow into St. Helena Sound and the ACE Basin Reserve.The average high in January is 56 degrees; in July, 89 degrees.August is the wettest month.

Attractions: The island claims 3 miles of beach on theAtlantic. Boaters and fishermen enjoy the ACE Basin Reserve, whichbrims with shrimp, flounder, crabs, oysters, and clams. Therecently built K-5 school was named South Carolina's third-bestelementary school. With a population of around 2,500, the islandhas room to grow.

Drawbacks: With access to only one grocery store and nomajor medical center, islanders must drive to Charleston forsupplies or emergency care. Children in grades 6 through 12 ride abus to Walterboro, about 45 miles away. Most beach houses aresecond homes and become rentals in the summer. The population canswell to 15,000 during tourist season. Island water smells likelime, and residents near the marshes battle mosquitoes.

Your next-door neighbors: Charleston commuters, real estateagents, retirees, a tugboat owner, a chef, shrimpers, a doctor, anda Harley-riding judge.

How you'd spend your free time: Walking the beach, kayakingthrough tidal marshes, bicycling, touring historic islandplantations, visiting a produce stand for locally grown vegetablesand fruit, perusing books at The Edisto Bookstore, eating MissEtta's tomato pie at Main's Market Cafe.

(published May 2008)