Re-Defining Adventure — Berkeley County

06/08/2010  | 

Just outside Charleston, SC, Berkeley County, offers visitors a 12,000 year old education. Take a moment to read about all the exciting adventures that await you with a visit to Berkeley County.   

Groups and families especially enjoy the year-round gorgeous weather in Berkeley County. Visitors are able to enjoy the attractions, events, water sports and local culture of this emerging area all 12 months of the year. 

Water and Nature

Known for the natural beauty of its land and water, Berkeley County’s rivers, streams and lakes offer superior canoeing and kayaking adventures. Our infamous “Berkeley Blueways” feature 20 canoeing and kayaking trails. These water trails take visitors through pristine landscapes full of wildlife. During blooming season, wildflowers rich with colors of the rainbow line the banks. Egrets, herons, eagles, fish, turtles and alligators make these waters home. Keep an eye out to catch a glimpse of animals such deer, otters, squirrels, fox and even bobcats along the banks.

For the high-impact adventure seeker, Berkeley County offers world-class waterskiing, jet skiing, sailing, wind surfing, and boating on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion. Visit the Santee Cooper Locks on the Cooper River, an engineering marvel which allows visitors to experience the second largest water lock in the United States, which lowers boats 75 feet from Lake Moultrie to the Cooper River.  The Cooper River is the only known location in South Carolina to offer an underwater history trail. On a calm day, scuba divers flock to see the extraordinary remains of a British War Ship. The Cooper River, known for being a plantation road to Charleston, has also served as a port since the 1700s.

Mepkin Abbey

One of the major draws to Berkeley County is historic Mepkin Abbey. On the bluffs overlooking the scenic Cooper River you’ll find the lovely and serene Mepkin Abbey, home to an active Trappist monastery.  Amongst huge live oak trees, this monastery is located on the land formally owned by Henry Laurens, Congressional Constitutional president. Henry Laurens, a true political patriot, was held prisoner in the Tower of London and finally released after he was exchanged for the infamous British General, Lord Charles Cornwallis. Lord Cornwallis took siege of Charleston, cutting of trade from the port and chasing the elusive “Swamp Fox” General Francis Marion.  The plantation was later owned by publisher and philanthropist Henry R. Luce and his wife Clare Booth Luce. Clare Luce commissioned famous architect Loutrell Briggs to create the magnificent Mepkin Gardens. In 1988, the gardens were renovated through the efforts of Nancy Bryan Luce, wife of Henry Luce III and for whom the gardens are named. Mepkin Abbey hosts several events throughout the year. One of the most popular, “Nativities from Around the World,” is held every November and features 50 different nativities. Mepkin Abbey’s store features the work of local, regional, national and international monastic artisans. And, don’t forget to pick up their popular, not to mention delicious, homemade fruit cake during the holiday season. Groups can visit daily to tour the grounds, enjoy the gardens, attend an authentic trappist monk worship service and take in the breathtaking beauty of Mepkin Abbey. Reservations are required and lunch can be arranged.

Accommodations

Berkeley County has over 21 hotels eager to welcome you. Many of our hotels have received awards and offer a variety of services to ensure your stay in Berkeley County is most comfortable and enjoyable. 

Our year-round visitors and groups come to Berkeley County to enjoy attractions, events, tours, activities on the water, horseback riding, racing on the mountain bike trails, camping, hiking and benefit from the vast historical, environmental and scientific educational experiences. 

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