Checking out the Lowcountry

Lowcountry South Carolina has a truly unique culture. The people identify very distinctly with the lowcountry and the Charleston area, while at the same time representing the largest percentage of non “born and raised” transplants. Charleston is definitely a melting pot in the Southern US while maintaining a distinct culture around food, hospitality, and more recently, industry.

Charleston has long been a center of culinary excellence in the South. Some would consider it a bold statement, but Charleston is very similar to New Orleans when it comes to food culture. Another common comparison city to the Charleston area tends to be Savannah. Both of these cities are coastal southern cities. Both are port cities and both share hospitality/tourism as a major industry. Those that have lived in both or have visited them often would tell you that there are many similarities between Charleston and Savannah, but that each has its own unique culture.

Charleston’s geography is one of intersecting coastal rivers and the associated tidal marshes. This carves up the city into sections and smaller cities. Across the Cooper River sits Mount Pleasant, a sister city to Charleston. Mount Pleasant boasts the beautiful Sullivan’s Island, Patriot’s Point Golf Course, near infinite shopping opportunities, and neighborhoods full of old style Charleston homes.

Right across the Ashley River from downtown sits West Ashley. This area of Charleston puts older, mid century homes within walking distance of many local shops and restaurants. The Avondale neighborhood has been highlighted by local publications as one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the lowcountry due to its beautiful homes and convenient proximity to local shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

James Island also sits across the Ashley River/Harbor from downtown Charleston and has a very “beach town” feel. James Island, and by extension, Folly Beach are a relaxed, laid back beach town with neighborhoods that range from small beach style bungalows to large multimillion dollar homes with deep water docks. There is a little bit of everything on James Island, and I would challenge anyone to find a more eccentric beach town on the East Coast than Folly.

As you travel north out of Charleston and up Interstate-26, you find North Charleston and Summerville. This area of the city is breaking out as a leading manufacturing growth center in the state of South Carolina. The upstate is typically knows as the manufacturing center of the state, but recently, Charleston has challenged that with the start of construction on the new Volvo assembly plant and Mercedes Sprinter Van production. The Boeing facility next to the city’s major airport is also a long time major industry player and job creator in town.

Further from downtown Charleston you can find the isolated and upscale beach/golf community of Kiawah Island, John’s Island and Wadmalaw Island (more rural extensions of James Island and West Ashley), and Daniel Island (upscale homes and shops extending north from Mount Pleasant). There are many options for where to live and work within the area and each provides their own personality within the overall culture of the city.

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Places to Kayak in Tampa

We have a total of four parks which act as the launching spots that aid in paddling the rivers that ran through the Tampa area located west of central Florida. The little Manatee River runs up to 40 miles and the Hillsborough River runs down for 54 miles with water moving at a very low pace. In case you are already wondering about the places you can simply kayak, the headache is over as we go through all these places below.

Rainbow springs

It’s a breath taking state park that is located within a half hour drive of Tampa. It makes it easier for one to access the Rainbow River which is said to be at 5.6 mile. The river has clear water that will get you past water banks that are lined with moss but fully covered with cypress. You will be watching out on your way for some wading birds and river otters. Some kayakers will opt to launch their kayaking vessels when still at the campground while others will opt to have it launched county park in KP Hole.

Little Manatee River

The little Manatee River is a state park that gives access to breathtaking Manatee River. It’s situated 25 miles at the South East of Tampa. It’s richly covered with tress as well as thick vegetation. This makes it a very good spot to watch wildlife and have fun as you paddle leisurely. You might see some swallow tail kites that often have their nests within this park. Many at times the kayakers become lucky as they come across otters, alligators and eagles as they paddle.

Alafia River

Alafia River has a state park that is located 10 miles south east side of Tampa. It’s applauded for giving beginners and the more experienced kayakers an equal chance to explore the Alafia river southern fork that cuts through the park. There are other lakes that are situated in the said park and are also very good for kayaking. All these lakes that are within this park have heavy wildlife presence as well as birds. The birds include the turtle and the wading birds.

Hillsborough River

The Hillsborough River gets its access from the Hillsborough River State park and it’s situated approximately 9 miles to the north of Tampa. It has a section of four parks in total and they are all good to launch a kayak. The Sergeant Park towards the Morris Bridge Park section will guarantee you about two hours of paddling and you will likely cover a total of four miles. You can have stop over’s along the way as the picnic tables and restrooms are available to all when you get to Trout Creek. Thanks to