Shares the tough history of the South
The McLeod Plantation was once James Island's most productive Sea Island cotton plantation, a distinction that came on the backs of it's enslaved workers. Today, this historic site that is run by Charleston County Parks tells the stories of those who were enslaved here, spending time not at the main house, but at the string of slave cabins off to the side of the oak allé. Charleston's history is difficult, but it must be shared and McLeod does it thoughtfully and with compassion.
325 Country Club Dr, Charleston, SC
Awe-inspiring live oak that is hundreds of years old
This tree, that is estimated to be around 400 to 500 years old, is a sight to behold. It's longest branch is 187 feet in length and it's many branches create 17,000 square feet of shade. The Angle Oak's years have not all been easy, surviving damage from a number of natural disasters, including Hurricane Hugo in 1989. But it still continues to grow, with the branches sometimes dipping below the ground before reappearing later above the surface. Now owned by the City of Charleston, the tree is free to view and visit.
Classic spot for seafood with a gorgeous view
This waterfront shack has been serving up delicious seafood and great views since the 1940's. While everything is good, you can't go wrong with the steamed oysters or the Frogmore stew. If you aren't hungry, they also have a full bar.
Stono Market and Cafe
Southern restaurant and roadside market
This local grocery on the side of the road is filled with produce and products from their own farm as well as other vendors in the area. If your journey has made you hungry, stop by their Tomato Shed Cafe (which is much more than a simple cafe) that serves up fresh southern food.
Low Tide Brewing
Beautiful, laid back Lowcountry brewery
Grab a seat at a picnic table outside or around one of their fire pits and soak in the scenery while enjoying your beer. Pair that with some food from one of the food trucks they often have on site and you are set for a wonderful afternoon on Johns Island.
Caw Caw Interpretive Center
Trails and interpretive exhibits at a former rice plantation
This wildlife center that is operated by Charleston County Parks has over six miles of trails and elevated boardwalks. Alongside the trails are exhibits that explain the important and difficult history of this piece of land that enslaved Africans used their skills to turn from a cypress swamp into rice fields. It was also an important site during the Stono Rebellion, which was the largest slave uprising in British North America.