Every year we go on a fun family vacation with Chris’ entire family (his parents, three brothers and their families). We either do the mountains or the beach (you can read about previous trips here, here, and here), and this year we went to Edisto Beach, South Carolina—a new-to-us quaint little beach town about an hour outside of Charleston. (P.S. You can also check out my tips for traveling to the beach with babies/kids here.)
Our Trip to Edisto Beach, SC
In years past, we’ve stayed at Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms (which we absolutely love, by the way), but since our family has grown significantly since our last family beach trip—there are now almost 20 of us!—we opted for a place a little farther out. Instead of sharing one large house like we usually do, this time my in-laws got a duplex with 4 bedrooms on each side. Some of our family members’ arrivals were staggered too (one brother left as another arrived), so that helped with the overcrowding issue as well. The place was perfect. And the view of the sunset from our back porch was breathtaking. We saw some of the most beautiful sunsets we had ever seen.
As for Edisto, there isn’t much there, really, but that’s sort of the beauty of it. It’s a quiet, sweet little beach town that happens to be the antithesis of a tourist trap. If you want a peaceful, calm beach vacation, then this is an ideal destination. We did drive into Charleston one day (we couldn’t pass up the chance since it’s one of our favorite cities!). Since there were so many of us (and 10 kids total, including ours), we didn’t venture out much.
All of our boys loved the water. The older boys stayed in the ocean all day jumping over waves and tossing the football with their uncles and cousins, and Jonah alternated between playing in the sand and splashing in the surf.
We pretty much just hung out at the beach most of the time and carried in food or cooked dinner at our beach house, but we did check out Botany Bay, and I highly recommend it!
The beach at Botany Bay is stunning. There are 3 miles of undeveloped beach, complete with stunning dead Oak trees (it’s referred to as “Boneyard Beach”) and gorgeous seashells which you’re not allowed to take. They want the beach to remain as natural as possible.
It appears to be a tradition to place the seashells in the trees, and we even spotted a little shell shrine at one end of the beach.
We also took a driving tour of Botany Bay Plantation. It’s a beautiful wildlife preserve with remnants of its history remaining evident throughout. The old Bleak Hall Plantation Ice House was beautiful. It resembled a tiny church, but as you look from the side it has a bit more of an eerie appearance.
There were beautiful fields of sunflowers too.
We also checked out King’s Farm Market—a cute little place in Edisto Island with delicious treats, fresh produce, and beautiful flowers.
If you’re looking for a quiet little beach town in the Southeast, I highly recommend Edisto!
My Top 5 Must-Have Beach Items
Traveling with kids can be a challenge, but here are my top 5 must-have beach items that came in handy and made life easier during our trip.
This collapsible beach wagon was a lifesaver! I’m so glad we decided to buy one before this trip. It was a must for schlepping all of our gear, and all 3 of our boys were able to ride in it too! Our house was a couple of blocks from the beach, so we got plenty of use out of it. (We bought this one from Amazon.)
My in-laws brought a cabana/beach canopy similar to this and it was wonderful to have. It provided enough shade for the little ones to play under, and it held up much better than our flimsy beach umbrella. (This one from Amazon is very similar and/or may even be the same one we used.)
Mesh Beach Bag
This thing has been on so many beach trips with us! I love it because we can toss all of our beach toys in it and the sand just gets sifted through the mesh rather than accumulating in the bottom of a regular bag. This one from Amazon is under $5! Can’t beat that price.
Beach Chair with Attachable Umbrella
This attachable umbrella was a new purchase this year, and I love it! We actually bought them for our sons’ flag football games because there is no shade at the football field, but we brought them on this trip too and I’m so glad we did.
Small Inflatable Baby Pool
If you have a baby or a toddler, this is a must! We brought this for Jonah and our nephew, and it helped cool them off while they played. This way we didn’t have to constantly take them to the ocean, but they could be nearby while we sat in chairs or on a blanket and we could just use buckets to fill it with a few inches of water. It worked out really well. We bought this one from Target for under $10. We also packed a small foot pump similar to this one to easily inflate the pool.
So tell me, what are your beach must-haves? And what’s your favorite beach town? I’d love to know! You can also check out snapshots of all of my travels on Instagram (username is @erinspainblog), by following my hashtag #erinspaintravels.
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