Thanksgiving – South Carolina Bound

So once again I am behind in updating the blog. We are preparing to head out on our next camping weekend and I’ve yet to write up the last trip. As we’ve done for the past few years, the CurbCrushers decided to head out of town for Thanksgiving. This year we returned to James Island County Park just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. This was a park that we’d visited in June of 2009 and decided that we wanted to return around Christmas because of the drive through light show that takes place in the park. But first we had to get there.

Hunting Island State Park

On the way to Charleston, we decided to make a stop at Hunting Island State Park just outside Beaufort, SC. The primary reason was to see the lighthouse, but it also broke the trip up nicely. The campground as Hunting Island State Park is an older campground, with tight turns and sites that are not well defined. Erosion is such a problem, that the Atlantic keeps eating away at the sites that are closest to the beach. Apparently the old road (the one in place in the Spring of 2010) is no longer present, since a storm washed it away. Another issue is that in order to fill in some sites, the park folks have dumped sand onto the sites. We saw one poor couple with a 40 foot + diesel pusher dug in up to their rear axles from trying to back into a site. It took the park service calling a tow truck the next morning to get the RV out of site.
Driftwood Forest

There are a number of bike/walking paths on the island. However, be warned that the path between the campground and the lighthouse is hilly and narrow. Lady and Little CurbCrusher were very challenged on the bike trip. At low tide, the beach is wide enough and hard enough that you can easily ride a bike from the campground to the other end of the island. The trip is enjoyable, and the driftwood on the beach is very thick in some places. There is a Nature Center and a Visitor’s Center near the lighthouse, along with cabins at the south end of the island. All of our pictures of Hunting Island are here.

Charleston and James Island County Park

Title Sign

After a couple of days at Hunting Island Sate Park we headed up to Charleston. When we have visited Charleston in June of 2009, we heard a lot about the Festival of Lights that is held at the James Island County Park. We decided then that we wanted to camp in the park during the Festival of Lights, and we weren’t disappointed. The park lights up three miles of roadways in the park with holiday lightscapes that run from the traditional Nativity scene to local attractions like the bridge and the USS Yorktown. In addition, they set up a Santa’s Village area around the splashpad and water park area with gift shops, fair food and interactive light displays you can walk through. We had a wonderful time walking through this area each night we were camping, and it was a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Our pictures of the Festival of Lights can be seen here.

In addition to camping and enjoying the lights, we did partake of some other activities while in Charleston. Little CurbCrusher and I spent a morning at Patriots Point visiting the USS Yorktown and USS Clamagore (Pictures). The Medal Of Honor museum inside the Yorktown was a great part of that visit. Little CurbCrusher decided that she did not want to work in a submarine after seeing the Camagore and walking through it. We also took a quick trip into Charleston to visit the Ft. Sumter visitors center and the Moonpie Store, along with stopping to visit the Angel Oak, the oldest tree east of the Mississippi (Pictures). I continued the tradition of the last two Thanksgivings by running the Charleston Gobble Wobble Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning.

The camping was great. We had a wonderful site that offered a bit of privacy, and our neighbors were friendly and kind. The sites are good sized, with full hookup and wi-fi, so there was really no reason to wait two weeks to post this blog entry. This is really an outstanding county park, and Charleston is lucky to have such a gem located there. (Pictures)

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