Lighthouses of the Southern Coast

South Carolina / Georgia
June 26-28, 1998


  This was our next trip we planned. Cover part of Georgia and South Carolina. And that we did. Our hopes were to cover all these lighthouses, and still have time to rest on the beach in Charleston, SC...but it didn't work out like that at all. We completely underestimated the distance between them.

The lighthouses we covered are:

    We Left Raleigh, NC at about 3:00pm and drove straight through to Townsend, GA. We found exit 11 off of I-95 for Eulonia - Sapelo Island, and got off there. We made a left onto 99 and followed it for a little bit (10-15 minutes). You will see a sign for Sapelo Island, make a left and follow this road. You will soon come to the visitors center.  This is were we found out about reservations and scheduling a visit to the island. We would not be able to visit this lighthouse on this trip.

    To schedule a visit to Sapelo Island, follow the link for more info and a few pictures.

    Soon enough, we left the visitor's center, and were back heading South on I-95.  We got off at exit 8. Headed East on Ga 25, then a right onto US 17, then left at FJ Torras Causeway to St. Simons Island. There is a $.35 toll...Once on the island, just follow the signs for the St. Simon's Island Lighthouse. We got there around 9:15, and took some pictures and visited a couple of the little shops on the strip. We ventured back the lighthouse around 10:00am when it opened. There is a minimal admission fee.

    After that, we were back on I-95 heading north towards Savannah, Georgia. We went stright through Savannah towards the coast, our destination: Cockspur Island.  Our first photograph point was Fort Pulaski. Pay the admission, and walk into the fort. The best viewing spot from this point, is the upper wall. I used a 500mm telephoto lens, and that was a somewhat distant shot.

    The next viewing point, and much better I must add, is just off of US80 across the Lazaretto Creek Bridge. Now just over the bridge, make an immediate left at the bottom. There is a small dirt road that cuts in through the trees and leads to a dock. Follow this road to the end, and here will be a very good viewing / photography point. This is where I took most of my pictures. We also happened to notice a boat out in the water with dolphins swimming around it.

    After a few pictures, it was on to Tybee Island. We followed US80 further east. At the island's first caution light, make a left onto Campbell Street. Follow this street up and you will see the lighthouse on the left. There is parking in the big lot across the street from the lighthouse and also on the other side of the lighthouse.

    Once we left Tybee Island, it was off to South Carolina. We jumped back onto I-95 northbound. We got off at US278, and followed that to Hilton Head Island. Once on HHI, you need to follow the signs to the Sea Pines Plantation. This is where you will find the Harbour Town Light. There will be an entrace fee to get onto the grounds.

    Once leaving Hilton Head Island, we headed west on US278, to SC462. Then north on SC462 to east on SC170. This will drop you off at US21. We then followed US21 east to Hunting Island State Park. This is where the Hunting Island Lighthouse is located which was our next light. There is an admission fee to the park, and the tower is open to the public. We, however, arrived too late and it was closed.

    Our next lighthouses were up in the Charleston area. So we took US21 west to US17 north. By now it was getting late and dark. We were pretty tired from all the running during the day. So we arrived in Charleston and most of the hotels were booked up. So we ended up getting the last available room at the Comfort Inn in Mount Pleasant.

    The next morning we got up and checked out of the hotel and headed for Sullivan's Island. Follow SC703 onto Sullivan's Island, then make a right onto Middle Street. Then make a left onto Sta 18 1/2, there you will see the Sullivan's Island Lighthouse. We took several photographs from the street and from the beach.

    Next lighthouse we visited in the Charleston area is Morris Island. It is just across Charleston Bay. Get back on US17 and follow signs for Morris Island / Folly Beach. Take the exit for SC171 and follow that to Folly Beach.  Make a left onto East Ashley Street and follow it to the end. There will be a gate blocking the access to the Coast Guard Station, just park in front of one of the houses, and hike it to the end. Once at the end, you will see the Morris Island Lighthouse sitting in the water. I used a 500mm telephoto lens to get the shots I have.

    Then it was back to Raleigh, North Carolina. Total mileage was about 1200 miles in three days. There were others that we missed while on this trip, I will get back there one day for photos.

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