Our friends have been telling us for years we should head to Fripp Island off the coast of South Carolina for our family vacation. These friends own a home on the small, gated island that measures no more than a mile wide and three miles long. They were right. It was truly one of the most relaxing and magical places we’ve ever visited. Not a flashy, commercial kind of vacation spot, Fripp Island lends itself to a slower pace with ocean breezes and tons of wildlife and water sports.
The mode of transportation on the island is golf cart, almost exclusively. We fished, crabbed, played tennis, golfed, kayaked, shelled, beached and pooled.
There are several tiny, nearly deserted islands all around, connected by the canals that run through the marshy waterways. The beach side is Atlantic Ocean. The whole area is a wildlife refuge where deer, birds of every sort, and dolphin appear everywhere you look. We heard tales of the infamous Monkey Island nearby, where the Rhesus Monkeys are kept isolated on a small federally protected island and used for vaccine research in labs. Our friends showed us pictures from when they passed by in a boat. Fascinating.
My friend took me shelling on a beach where we didn’t see another soul the entire time. We found hundreds of perfect conch shells as long as my foot. I only took a few, because they were so huge and heavy. We also kayaked to another tiny island, called Prichard’s Island, where the driftwood was so magnificent it took my breath away. No wonder Pat Conroy lives on Fripp Island year round. What a wonderful place to find inspiration for his Low Country novels.
There are two golf courses on Fripp, a tennis and beach club, a couple of restaurants and a marina. My favorite thing of all was visiting the local seafood markets for wild Carolina shrimp fresh off the boats. I do love shrimp. Bubba Gump’s got nothing on me.