BringFido's Guide to the South Carolina Lowcountry

Posted by Billy Francis

People and pups flock like gulls to South Carolina’s Lowcountry to relax under Spanish moss-draped live oaks, wander along historic downtown streets and immerse themselves in Gullah-Geechee culture. From recognizable Forrest Gump locations to a palmetto tree “pawradise,” the region is full of mystique and pet-friendly surprises.

Things to Do

“Beach buds!” Photo by BringFido/Trisha

Catch a Frisbee in the crashing waves, play golf with your canine caddy and learn about Lowcountry history with your Labrador for company.

Hang Out on Hilton Head

Hilton Head Island is famous for its pristine golf courses and long stretches of sand, but it’s not just humans and canines who frequent the island. Hilton Head Island Beaches are a nesting area for sea turtles and shore birds, so keep your eyes peeled for wildlife when you walk Fido along the sand. Leashed dogs are welcome on most public beaches during morning and evening hours throughout summer, and without a leash anytime during off-peak season. Let Fido play in the surf at Fish Haul Beach Park and Burkes Beach, two of the most pet-friendly shorelines. If your pup is up for more, keep the adventure going at Chaplin Park Best Friends Dog Park, just a short walk from Burkes Beach.

Go On a Dolphin Discovery

Captain Mark's Dolphin Cruise is a family-owned and operated tour company that welcomes well-behaved, leashed pets on a variety of tours. Join Captain Mark and the crew for a daytime dolphin watch, a sunset cruise or a crabbing adventure. During the voyage, dogs and their owners are free to walk around the boat and enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean.

Meet the Canine Crew

Bring your best friend to Burton Wells Dog Park to splash and dash with Beaufort’s canine community. This popular dog park has two separate sections for small and large pups to play safely, a watering hole at its center, and paved trails surrounding the fenced space for a leashed walk with Fido.

“Walking and wagging under the moss.” Photo by BringFido/Carmen

Take a Lowcountry History Tour

It’s not always easy to find a pet-friendly museum that welcomes dogs indoors. Located just off I-95, Frampton House Visitors Center & Museum welcomes pups to explore the grounds and join you inside the historic building where you can learn more about the region. Before you leave, stop in the gift shop and peruse unique souvenirs and many South Carolina-made items.

Putt Putt with your Pooch

Legendary Golf welcomes pups to join their owners for a round of putt-putt on two beautiful 18-hole courses spread over four shaded acres. Bring your canine caddy along for morale support as you shank your way around the fun courses that feature water hazards, obstacles and more.

“It beats walkin’!” Photo by BringFido/Lauren Barker

Find Fossils with Fido

Edisto Beach State Park is a coastal paradise on a remote sea island rich in Native American history. Take Fido for a leashed stroll on the sand and you’ll discover shells and fossilized shark teeth at every turn. Then, keep walking together along the 4-mile nature trail to marvel at some of the tallest palmetto trees in the whole state. You can even take your canine on a cruise through the Edisto waterways with Botany Bay Ecotours.

Experience the Backcountry of the Lowcountry

The South Carolina Lowcountry is recognized as one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary gives you and your pup a chance to discover some of the varied and beautiful flora and fauna with your own eyes. March with your Maltese on a network of boardwalks and trails, where deer, raccoons, beaver, otters and more are frequently spotted.

Places to Stay

“Paw-metto Bluff, am I right?” Photo by @dogsofpalmettobluff

Stay in a quintessential Lowcountry Airbnb, book a room in a luxury hotel or camp under the stars with your furry best friend.

Say “Hi” to Four-Legged Ambassadors

Maggie and Cauley, the four-legged ambassadors at Montage Palmetto Bluff, will greet your canine companion with a delicious treat at check-in. After settling into a room with a lagoon or forest view, take part in activities like kayaking or SUP or have a spa day together. Then, dine out at one of eight on-site restaurants with pet-friendly patios or order something for Fido from the dog room service menu.

Lowcountry River Views

The South Carolina Lowcountry is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Savannah River on the other. Reserve a stay at this tranquil Savannah River cottage to soak up all the river vibes. This adorable cottage on a raised deck sits on three acres of land, which includes a creek, a deck on the water, a fire pit area and Spanish moss hanging from mature trees. Inside, hardwood floors make for easy cleanup.

Book Boutique Luxury

Located in downtown Beaufort on Port Royal Island, City Loft Hotel is an urban luxury boutique property that caters to travelers with pets. Grab a fresh brew from the on-site City Java & News, then take a stroll into town or walk a block to the water with your best friend. Back at the hotel, relax in a comfortable room on the ground floor with easy access to the outdoor space.

“The life of a porch pooch.” Photo by Airbnb

Cottage and Golf Cart

Just like a real oyster, The Oyster Cottage opens up to reveal a hidden gem inside. This charming home on Daufuskie Island is nestled on a large property that features a 500-year-old live oak and an expansive wraparound porch. Hop on the pet-friendly Daufuskie Island Ferry to reach the island, which is only accessible by boat. Guests are welcome to use the cottage’s golf cart to get around upon arrival. Pups under voice control can roam the unfenced property off-leash.

PAWS Program

Book a relaxing stay at Sonesta Resort Hilton Head with your pampered pooch. Canine guests can enjoy the hotel’s PAWS program, which provides beds, bowls, waterproof mats, and treats at check-in. As soon as Fido is settled in, head outside from your ground-floor room and enjoy the nearby beach for the day.

Share Ocean Sights and Sounds

Located on the sand in Saint Helena Island, the ultimate beach vacation awaits you and your hound at The Tidewatch. With enough room for eight guests, this beachfront retreat will accommodate the whole pack. During your stay, explore the peaceful and secluded northern part of the island, then choose between three wraparound porches to watch the sunset over the water. If you want to see more of the island, venture out to Hunting Island State Park where leashed pups are welcome on the beach.

Nature Awaits

Edisto Beach State Park Campground welcomes dogs and their owners to pitch a tent or park their RV at an oceanfront campsite on a palmetto-lined beach in one of South Carolina’s most beautiful state parks. Before you settle in for the evening, take a nighttime stroll along the moonlit beach. Just remember to keep all lights out for nesting Loggerhead sea turtles!

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

“All for me?” Photo by BringFido/Lauren Barker

Dogs and their owners will find varied menus full of flavorsome dishes and local favorites when they sample the cuisine of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Doggy Dishes

If you’re camping on Edisto Island, be sure to swing by McConky's Jungle Shack to refuel. This popular eatery serves burgers, handhelds, items from the sea, and more. Grab a table on the spacious and covered pet-friendly patio and Fido can sink his teeth into a juicy burger made just for him.

Whine at the Winery

Hidden away from the crowds, Island Winery is a secluded spot that shares its space with hawks, wrens, warblers, sparrows, egrets and other native Lowcountry birds on a small forested wetland preserve. The winery features a shady patio where you and your dog can enjoy a tasting of wine and water together.

“I wish I could read this.” Photo by BringFido/Lynn

Breakfast of Champions

Skillets Cafe & Grill on Hilton Head Island is one of the most popular pet-friendly restaurants in the area. Featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu ranges from omelets to start the day, to fresh seafood and cocktails to wind down the evening. Doggy diners can enjoy the Lucky Dog Menu which includes highlights like Perfect Pooch Pasta, Bugsy’s Best Beef & Barley and Original Beef & Rice.

Bluffton Bites

Known as the “Heart of the Lowcountry,” Bluffton shouldn’t be left off your itinerary. Start your trip with brunch at Old Town Dispensary, or stop in for dinner and listen to live music under the shade of an umbrella and choose from a menu full of tasty treats.

“There’s a menu for me?” Photo by BringFido/Ellis

“Paw-ninis” Treats

Overlooking Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Panini's on the Waterfront features one of Beaufort’s most scenic pet-friendly patios. Diners can listen to live music outside and enjoy Mediterranean-inspired dishes while hearing from locals about the different locations around town where Forrest Gump was filmed. Fido can even select his own meal from the delightful dog menu.

Seafood and Eat It!

Old Oyster Factory makes a bold claim of being Hilton Head Island’s best waterfront dining option, and it’s not hard to see why. Serving up a menu full of seafood delights, the restaurant invites diners on two legs and four to take a seat on the patio for grilled salmon, catfish and other eats from the deep.

Brews with your Water Dog

Your pooch doesn’t have to be a river dog to enjoy this brewery, but it helps! River Dog Brewing Company has made a splash in The Palmetto State’s craft beer scene by offering bold flavors in a variety of brews like Edisto Gold, Nellie’s Red Ale and more. While you drink a beer, your pooch can rehydrate with a bowl of ice-cold water.

What’s your favorite dog-friendly thing to do in the South Carolina Lowcountry? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by Airbnb.