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My Trip to Fripp – A Family Adventure

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.

I’m surprised at how much my kids and husband enjoyed the trip as well. We didn’t bring any friends this time. I really think this is one for the books.

Stay cool.



  1. Fripp Island sounds like a restful place for vacation, Susan. Twenty years ago, we used to go to Corolla Beach just north of Duck, NC. It was a lot like the island you describe. Herds of wild horses would roam along the beach right in front of you in the early morning. There was only one row of houses along the shore, so the beaches were pretty solitary. I doubt it’s like that today. We may have to explore Fripp Island next summer. Glad you had a good time!

  2. I love those trips where natural beauty overwhelms us and we truly slow down and “vacate” on vacation. Coming back tested and our souls restored instead of harried and grumpy is a real treat.

    So glad you all had a good time.

  3. Jennifer says

    Stumbled upon this post when I was searching the Internet for Fripp Island. Can you tell me the place where you went looking for the shells. We are visiting soon and would love that. Thanks!

      • Cliff says

        I found this post and was interested in the island you visited for finding shells. I would love to take my children. Can you tell me where?

      • Somehow I missed your comment. So sorry. The shelling island can only be reached by boat. It is about twenty minutes away during high tide. I can’t give an exact location by water, but locals would be able to direct you. Best on your vacation!!

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