Charleston, SC Surrounding Areas, Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach is located roughly 50 miles south of Charleston. It's recorded history begins in 1674 when the Earl of Shaftsbury purchased the area from a tribe of Indians called the Edistow. At first indigo and rice were the cash crops in Edisto, but soon thereafter the growing of cotton took over most of the area's production. It has been said that the Vatican required Edisto Island cotton for all of the Pope's clothing. The cotton era brought much prosperity to the region. Glorious plantation homes were built during this time, and some of them still stand today. Tours are available to see some of these houses and other historic landmarks in Edisto.

After the Civil War, Edisto Island turned into a fishing community. Shrimp and grouper were and still are the most common catch. During the 1920's resort development began. This consisted of simple houses lacking heat and electricity. A hurricane in the 40's destroyed most of these houses and continued development was put on hold until after World War II.

Now Edisto Beach is one of the few remaining natural and uncommercialized beaches left in the Southeast. Fishing is still a very popular pastime, and there are companies that provide fishing charters. Many restaurants have sprung up around the beach, as have a few seafood markets. You'll find that Edisto Beach is a good out of the way destination for a quiet peaceful vacation void of the distractions common in more tourist friendly locations.


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