Beaches and Refuge
McClellanville doesn’t have a traditional sandy beach coastline like people might imagine when they think of nearby destinations like Myrtle Beach. Waterfront homes in McClellanville are bounded by either Jeremy Creek or the Intracoastal Waterway which generally have a marsh bank. Beyond this waterway are several miles of winding creeks and barrier islands protected by the Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge. At the far edge of refuge (15-25 minute boat ride) lie our miles and miles of undisturbed sandy coastline. Here you will find no hotels, no condominiums, not even a single building spotting the dunes and beaches (well except for the pair of lighthouses). Further more there are not even any roads, bridges or ferries accessing these pristine beaches so you’ll need your own boat or the use of a guide. Once out there however you may have entire island to yourself or share it with just a few other like-minded visitors.
The two most commonly visited beaches in the refuge are Sandy Point and “South End”, which is in fact the southern end of lighthouse island, where the two Cape Romain lighthouses are found.
Refuge rules do not allow camping or dogs and you may find some areas restricted during bird breeding and nesting times, which won’t won’t effect your experience.
Beach combing takes on a whole new meaning on a beach that is actually covered in seashells, but visitors are reminded that they can only bring back one bag each.
At the southern end of the Refuge is Bull Island, which can be accessed daily by a ferry ran by Coastal Expeditions, call 843-884-7684 for more information.
For those who do not have access to a boat and still want to feel the sand between their toes, I would suggest the Isle of Palms, just west of Mount Pleasant and 30 minutes to the South of McClellanville, or Pawley’s Island/Surfside/Myrtle Beach area 45 minutes to an hour North of McClellanville.
Swimming is allowed, but not common in Jeremy Creek due to the muddy creek bed and sharp barnacles and oysters that stick to the docks and bottom of the creek. Swimming at the beaches is perfectly acceptable but at your own warning as there are no lifeguards or warning of strong currents.
Watersports such as water skiing, wake boarding, hydrosliding, and tubing are all allowed within the refuge, but fairly uncommon as the winding creeks do not provide a very wide area.
Jet skis are also allowed, just be sure to observe the no-wake zone and travel at idle speeds within Jeremy Creek.
Kayaking and Canoeing in Jeremy Creek and the surroundings waters is an excellent way to get out and enjoy the area.