Where to Float your Boat: Lowcountry Places to Live and Boat

The Lowcountry is full of places to both live and boat.

Story by Lisa Allen

It’s no surprise that an area surrounded by water also is populated with a fleet of boating communities. There are dozens to choose from, some better suited to your personality than others. Here’s a list of the offerings:

Hampton Lake

Hampton Lake doesn’t let its mainland address slow it down when it comes to boating. Its 165-acre freshwater lake includes 7 miles of navigable waterways and 15 miles of shoreline. The lake and approximately 340-acre nature preserve consume more than half of the 900-acre community. Most lakefront homes and lots have backyard boat slips. Doc’s Boathouse offers a variety of watercraft for member use of kayaks, canoes, Carolina Skiffs, Duffy boats and a Sun Tracker. Boats up to 22-feet long with motors up to 25 horsepower can be launched from Doc’s or private docks. Hampton Lake is a consecutive winner of the national Best in American Living Award (BALA) for “Best Community in America” and “Best Community Facility,” among other awards.

Hilton Head Plantation

Hilton Head Plantation covers nearly 4,000 acres that is bounded by the Intracoastal Waterway and Port Royal Sound. The boaters are served by Skull Creek Marina, a full-service marina with immediate access to deep water that can accommodate boats up to 200-feet long.

Long Cove Club

Long Cove Club, a 600-acre community on Broad Creek, features a deep-water marina. It’s up Broad Creek from Calibogue Sound and conveniently located mid-island. Developed in the1980s, the intimate community offers top-rated golf, tennis and boating.

Moss Creek

Moss Creek occupies the last parcel on the mainland before the bridge to Hilton Head. It has an inland feel, but it’s just a short trip to Mackey Creek or Port Royal Sound. The community features Fazio golf courses, boating and fishing, pools, a fully equipped equestrian center and access to nature preserves and leisure trails.

Palmetto Bluff

Bounded by the May, Cooper, and New rivers, Palmetto Bluff features 32 miles of waterfront. Its marina’s name, Wilson Landing, hints of the history of the place. The community includes five-star resort Montage Inn, a town square with shops and restaurants and acres of open space and maritime forests.

Sea Pines Resort

Sea Pines Resort needs little introduction given that it’s featured every year as part of television coverage of the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing. Its red and white lighthouse serves as both the resort’s and Hilton Head’s signature landmark. The Yacht Harbour can accommodate boats from runabouts to 100-foot yachts. The resort’s smaller South Beach Marina offers a variety of rental watercraft and charters. As for Hilton Head yachting scene, Sea Pines was here first.

Shelter Cove Harbour

Shelter Cove Harbour is across from the communities that make up Palmetto Dunes and offers year-round waterfront dining, shopping and entertainment along Broad Creek. The Mediterranean-style village combines shops, restaurants and waterfront activities into one location. Both charter and private boats share the slips. There’s always a lot of activity at Shelter Cove.

Wexford Plantation

Wexford Plantation features a 37-acre inland harbor and is one of two communities on Hilton Head with a consistent 8-foot water level, an important feature because of the island’s 8-foot tides. Voted “Best for Boating” in LINKS magazine 2015 premier properties guide, Wexford’s harbor has direct access to Broad Creek and the Intracoastal Waterway. It features deep canals that enable homeowners to dock boats at their backyards. The community’s harbor is a certified South Carolina Clean Marina and contains 280 boat slips, 138 of which are located behind privately owned homes.

Windmill Harbour

Windmill Harbour is on Calibogue Sound on the northwest tip of Hilton Head. Like Wexford, it also has a lock to eliminate water level fluctuations and currents within the 15-acre, 250-slip harbor, which is well protected from wind. It’s also home to the South Carolina Yacht Club.

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