Running along South Carolina’s coast between the metropolitan areas of Charleston and Myrtle Beach is a rural stretch of land that beckons to a time when things moved a little slower. The Bulls Bay Historic Passage consists of the northern tip of Charleston County which contains the towns of McClellanville and Awendaw.
Bounded by over a quarter of a million acres of Francis Marion National Forest to the west and 22 miles of protected coastline in the Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge to the east, as well as the Santee Coastal Reserve and Santee River delta to the north, this area is buffered from urban growth and development.
Residents choose to live here as a way to get out of the city and back to nature. The history of the area is rich, dating back to the Native American tribe known as the Sewee Indians, from whom many local names such as “Awendaw” derive their roots. The area also witnessed its first European settlers dating back to the 1600’s. French Hugeonots settled along the Santee River and gave rise to rice plantations. The Gullah-Geechee culture is still preserved by the descendants of former slaves. Hopsewee and Hampton Plantations are both open to the public providing visitors a glimpse into the history of the area. McClellanville and Awendaw came about as coastal retreats away from the swampy, mosquito-filled rice fields of the plantations. McClellanville’s Historic District holds many homes dating back to the mid to late 1800’s.
Much of the area’s beauty is drawn from its natural surroundings; the creeks and marsh, the oceans and sunsets, the native palmettos and live oaks draped with Spanish Moss. The diverse ecology spreading from the forests, swamps, marshes, and beaches makes the area a prime destination for bird-watching and photography. An abundance of deer, turkey, and ducks also allow for great hunting opportunities.
Other outdoor activities centering around the waters of the wildlife refuge include boating, world-class fishing, and shelling on the secluded beaches only accessible by boat. The wildlife refuge is a Class 1 Wilderness Area, prized for its pristine water and air purity and is the longest stretch of the protected coastline on the eastern shore of the U.S. Kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding are also great activities to enjoy in the saltwater creeks. They also offer a chance to spot a friendly dolphin or explore the mysterious black waters and swamps where you might encounter an alligator or two.
McClellanville’s Jeremy Creek is a hub for commercial fishing which includes its famous shrimp boat fleet, as well as clammers, oystermen, crabbers, and fishermen. Their bounties can be purchased fresh from the local seafood markets or eaten cooked to perfection from any of the area’s fabulous restaurants. A strong artist community also flourishes in this area rich in inspiration and several boutiques and galleries offer the work of many artists, authors, and craftspeople.
Southern hospitality lives on in the hearts of these communities. Strangers hold open doors, people wave and smile, families get together for Sunday lunches and neighbors catch up with one another over a glass of sweet tea.
Welcome Home to Bulls Bay.
Justin Mattingly843-212-6983 | Justin@MCVL.netSpecializing Exclusively in McClellanville and Awendaw Area Homes & LandView our Bulls Bay Real Estate Guide for an inclusive local market overview & latest listings.