Do you have a place that you love to go on vacation time and time and time again? That “PLACE” for me is Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Why? There are MANY reasons but to start with… 1) The Golf …2)The Beaches… 3) The Shopping and 4) The Horses….what more can one ask for?
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Let’s start with The Horses. About seven years ago I wanted to get out of town in the colder, drearier month of February in North Carolina and head South for a change of scenery to show my horse and maybe play a round or two of golf. There was a show that everyone was talking about just south of Charleston, SC, and just outside of Kiawah Island at a show grounds called Mullet Hall Equestrian Center →. I thought…why not? Just a little over 4 hours away….warmer weather and golf in between riding at the show….sounded PERFECT to me!
The show was FANTASTIC and Mullet Hall offers one of the few public equestrian trail systems in the Low Country of South Carolina. I LOVED hitting the trails with my horse when I was done showing. The pristine scenery awaited me as I journeyed through twenty miles of trails winding through southern pines and moss-draped oaks, alongside open meadows and farm fields. These casual, rider-friendly trails are perfect for riders of all ages and abilities. Deuce (my horse) and I also encountered trail walkers enjoying the day with their leashed dogs as well as those just out for a long walk. I LOVED it!! Interested in showing or trail riding AND playing golf? Check out this great Equestrian Center and Park HERE →
Everyone knows I love to shop when I am on vacation….so in between a quick jaunt up to the amazing stores (and restaurants) in Charleston… Kiawah Island offers a great little shopping area called Freshfields Village ….with more than thirty shops, a diverse assortment of restaurants, spa services, and a gorgeous boutique hotel called ANDELL INN → …where we had a wonderful sunset drink at their pool bar. Freshfields Village → has something for everyone. SO…add some shopping to your itinerary!
I must admit as I get older….I want to retreat to the beach for quiet and solitude….not to see a lot of people…but instead to walk, reflect and enjoy nature at it’s finest. For the 12th straight year, the beaches of Kiawah Island have been ranked in the top 10 beaches in America! For me….Kiawah is # 1! I have been there 7 times in the last 7 years! Kiawah Island is ten miles of wide, immaculate, oceanfront beach that invites you to stroll or cycle for hours without interruption.
You can choose to stay at the luxury SANCTUARY HOTEL →
… or at one of the VERY AFFORDABLE beachfront villas like we stayed at (basically about $150 a night per couple…check them out HERE →). All with great views of the amazing beaches. The beaches are PET FRIENDLY, with pups allowed to roam off-leash in the off-season after October 1st and before March 1st. So..bring Fido along for the vacation too! Many of the Villas allow dogs as well!
What I love MOST about the island’s beaches is how wide and FLAT they are…soothing by day, romantic by night (yes we took a moonlight walk one night!)…the beach is complemented by the island’s river, meandering lagoons, pristine marshlands, and maritime forests. Check out this picture of one of my sunrise walks…
And finally…THE GOLF!
Kiawah Island is widely hailed as one of the premier golf destinations on the East Coast. (I am lucky enough to live in the other one, PINEHURST!!) The island features seven award-winning golf courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Fazio, and Pete Dye. The courses snake along the narrow island, moving from the dense wooded interior of the island to the breezy oceanfront. Five of the courses are owned and maintained by Kiawah Island Golf Resort. These include the Ocean Course, Turtle Point, Osprey Point, Oak Point, and Cougar Point. I have played them ALL. Two courses, the River Course and Cassique, are owned and maintained by Kiawah Island Club and are private, but don’t worry…the 5 public/resort courses are VERY challenging and enough to keep you coming back again and again!
Pete Dye designed The Ocean Course → in 1991 and the course has since proved to be one of the toughest on the East Coast. It was home to the1991 Ryder Cup, the 1997 World Cup of Golf, the 2007 Senior PGA Championship, and the 2012 PGA Championship, becoming only the fourth golf course in history to host each of the PGA of America’s men’s major championships. It will again be host to the PGA Championships in 2021 and we have tickets! See you there! The Ocean Course was featured in the 2000 movie The Legend of Bagger Vance, starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron. How cool is that! Check out my video below all about Kiawah Island and featuring THE OCEAN COURSE….you will be just like me….wanting to play it time and time again! I PROMISE…and guess what…it doesn’t get any easier…