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Last updated November 14, 2019

FAVORITE LOCATIONS

Sun City locations:

  • Nature trail

  • Butterfly garden

  • Model sailboat races at Lake Somerset

  • Sports: softball, pickleball, tennis, horseshoe, bocce, croquet, playground

  • Model trains at Modelworkers/Woodworkers Friday mornings

  • Golf course nature tours sign up in Pinckney Hall

 

FOR THE LOCATIONS BELOW, CHECK WEBSITES FOR

CURRENT SIGHTINGS, HOURS & FEES BEFORE GOING

Ace Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve

The ACE Basin is a partnership program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

    A=Ashepoo River Drainage

    C=Combahee River Drainage

    E=Edisto River Drainage

These 3 rivers makeup the entire ACE Basin

 

Alligator Farm, 999 Anastasia Blvd., St Augustine, FL

Large wading birds like Herons, Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks.

 

Bear Island WMA Typically closed November through early Feb 

Bear Island is located in eastern Colleton County approximately 13 miles from U.S. Highway 17 off of Secondary Road S-15-26 (Bennett's Point Road). A green highway sign marks the turn onto Bennett's Point road from Highway 17. Bear Island is 13 miles from Highway 17. Migrating birds, Glossy Ibis, White Pelicans, Bald Eagles, Kingfishers, Roseate Spoonbills, Tundra Swans.

Beidler Forest, 336 Sanctuary Rd, Harleyville, SC 29448

18,000-acre bird and wildlife sanctuary with 1.75-mile raised boardwalk through the Cypress and Tupelo swamp. The world's largest virgin Cypress-Tupelo swamp forest - a pristine ecosystem untouched for millennia. A range of wildlife:  Prothonotary Warblers, Barred Owls, Hawks, Woodpeckers, Bobcats, Fox, Otter.

 

Boone Hall, 1235 Long Point Rd, Mt Pleasant

Slave Street, smoke house, oak alley, antebellum cotton ginhouse, brick manor house.

 

Botany Bay Plantation, Edisto

3,363 acre. Closed Tuesdays. Neotropical songbirds including Painted Buntings and Tanagers. Botany Beach is a wonderful place for sunrise photography.

 

Brookgreen Garden, Murrell’s Inlet

9,127-acre Botanical garden, sculpture garden and zoo with Eagle, Fox, Otter, Hawk Ducks, and butterflies.

 

Callaway Gardens Pine Mountain / LaGrange, GA

Blue Motho Butterfly, birds of prey show. Annual events include steeple chase, hot air balloons, Festival of Lights.

 

Charleston Aquarium

 

Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden, Savannah

The garden is part of the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. It offers educational classes and workshops,  special events and opportunities for visitors to connect with nature. Entrance fee. https://coastalbg.uga.edu

Cumberland Island, St Mary’s, GA

Ferry ride to the Island to see attractions: Dungeness Ruins, Plum Orchard Mansion, First African Baptist Church, ghost beach, wild horses.

 

Cypress Wetlands, 1700 Paris Ave, Port Royal, SC 29935   

Protected wetlands area with walking trails, a boardwalk, an amphitheater & rookery with Herons, Egrets, Ibis, and Anhinga.

 

Darien, GA

Shrimp Boats

Daufuskie Island 

Ferry ride to the island from Hilton Head. Enjoy Gullah history & artisans.

 

Donnelley WMA, 60 miles from Sun City. 

Turn right into the entrance from Hwy 17. Watch for smalls sign across from the I-95 sign.  Sign in at Ranger Station. Migrating birds, Glossy Ibis, White Pelicans, Bald Eagles, Kingfishers, Roseate Spoonbills & Painted Buntings. Several acres planted with sunflowers in summer.

Folley Field Beach, 55 Starfish Dr, Hilton Head Island

Great location for sand dune & sunrise photos.

 

Fort Jackson, Savannah

Oldest Revolutionary War brick fort

 

Fort Pulaski National Monument, US-80, Savannah

 

Gay Fish Company, US 21, East of Frogmore

Large platform just for photographers. Shoot water, marsh, bridge and shrimp boats with either the moon or sunset all in one shot.

 

Greenville

Zoo, Falls Park, Hagood Historic site, bridges, Musgrove Mill Historic site & falls.

 

Harbor Island outside Beaufort, near Hunting Island

Because this is a private 1400-acre barrier island, it is usually an organized field trip. Great for shorebirds. Watch for announcements in the Spring.

 

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Townsend GA 45 miles south of Savannah

Wood Storks, Painted Buntings, various duck species, Glossy Ibis, raptors, owls, woodpeckers, warblers, Night Heron, Kingfisher, Roseate Spoonbill. 

 

Hilton Head Gullah Museum, Georgianna Drive

 

Honey Horn Plantation, Hilton Head

Discovery Museum, sculpture & butterfly garden, boardwalk, festivals

 

Jacksonville, FL 

  • Huguenot Memorial Park: Nesting area for Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls,  Brown Pelicans and Oyster Catchers in late spring and early summer.

  • Jacksonville Zoo, Kingsley Plantation, Little Talbot Island State Park & Fernandina Beach.

  • Great area for night photography at The Landings area on St Johns River.

 

Jarvis Creek Park, Hilton Head

Fishing dock, wetlands walkway

 

Magnolia Plantation, Charleston

Gardens, nature tram, 125 acre rice field boat tour, zoo. There is 30 acre swamp with Night Herons, Prothonotary Warblers, Herons, Bitterns, Bald Eagles, Hawks, Woodpeckers and many song birds.

 

Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, Pooler

 

Mitchelville Beach, Hilton Head

Great place for sunrise photos. Elevated boardwalk above a marsh area. Shore birds & Bald Eagles.

 

Oglethorpe Speedway, Pooler

 

Old Car City, White, GA

34 acres of junkyard with over 4,000 cars. Fee

 

Parris Island Marine Corp Base, Beaufort

 

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, Hilton Head Island  

A 4,053-acre National Wildlife Refuge. Ibis Pond is the main attraction. Walking & biking. Call for tram tour schedules. 

 

Sgt Jasper Park, Red Dam Road, Hardeeville, by Coastal Carolina Hospital

Fishing pond, birding, nature trail, kayaking, disc golf

 

Savannah Botanical Garden

The garden is owned and operated by Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs. The garden includes both formal and naturalistic plantings, a two-acre pond, amphitheater, nature trails, and archaeological exhibit.   https://www.savannahbotanical.org/

 

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, 694 Beech Hill Lane

4 mile driving loop and walking trails on the old dike walls. Bobcats, Otter, Black Skimmers, Owls, Purple Gallinule, Ducks, Raptors, Wading birds, Song birds, Shore birds.

 

Savannah Railroad Museum

 

Smith State Park, Twin City, GA

Approximately 1.5 hours away. Refurbished Parrish Mill and Pond, a combination gristmill, covered bridge and saw mill that straddles a dam in 1880, Cypress and Tupelo trees. Victorian style farmhouses.

South Carolina Back Roads

Old abandoned homes, barns, farm equipment, cotton fields, etc. 

  • BRANCHVILLE: Old Railroad station & museum, vintage houses  

  • BAMBERG: court house, murals, abandoned storefronts, old gas station

  • BLACKVILLE: Old Shamrock Hotel ruins & Healing Springs Artisan Well, Lil's B & B Cottage. Miller's Bread Basket Amish Restaurant 

  • DENMARK: Old Railroad station, old signs, ice cream store

  • COPE: Word Holiness Church, cotton gin, Historically Registered Railroad station, abandoned buildings, old gas station, tiny Town Hall

Tybee Island, GA

  • North beach lighthouse, pier & pavilion, loggerhead turtles.

  • Fall & Spring migrants, including more than 30 species of warblers.

  • Sally Pearce Nature Trails: Painted Bunting, Warblers, Brown Thrashers, Woodpeckers, and the Great Crested Flycatcher.

  • Events: Mardi Gras, St Patrick’s Day Parade, SCAD sand sculpture festival, Pirate Festival, Beach Bum Parade, Christmas Parade.

  • Night photography / Milky Way on the south end of the island.

 

RESOURCES:

    July 2019