Take an Off-Road Expedition at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

If your idea of a day at the beach is a little more rustic in nature, take a drive about an hour south of Georgetown and discover the wild beauty of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. 


You’re gonna want to put this on your to-do list for 2019. And now is the perfect time of year to make the trek, before it gets too hot.


Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is made up of barrier islands and salt marshes that cover 66,306 acres. Eco-systems include intricate coastal waterways, long sandy beaches, fresh and brackish water impoundments, and a maritime forest.


The refuge stretches about 22 miles south to Bulls Island, which you can visit on a Coastal Expeditions tour. It’s a great way to hear about the history and ecology of the area. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the island, and the captain and crew share their knowledge along the way. It’s also a beautiful ride and passengers have spotted dol-phins, sea turtles, bald eagles, and hundreds of bird species that make their home in Cape Romain.


Be sure to stay a full day in order to enjoy all the activities on the island.


Take a Hike

There are 16 miles of trails throughout the refuge, and seven miles of undeveloped shoreline. 


Get to the Dock Early

The Expedition leaves Garris Landing in Awendaw promptly, so get there 30 minutes early and walk to the end of the pier. The boat departs at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It returns at noon and 4 p.m.


Collect Some Shells

Be sure to bring a bag because the shelling is amazing on the island. Beachcombers have been known to pick up a half dozen complete sand dollars.


See Boneyard Beach

Among the features of Bulls Island is Boneyard Beach, an area where the island’s maritime forest and ocean com-bine forces to create picturesque shoreline trees. This three-mile stretch of beach makes a great picnic spot as well.


Bring Supplies

There’s not any concessions on site, so you need to bring a small backpack with water, lunch, sunblock and insect repellant.


Be Prepared for Gator Sightings

About 1,000 alligators live in the refuge, so it’s not unusual for visitors to see them in their natural setting. Ask the Expedition staff for advice on safe viewing.


It’s a little off the beaten path, but well worth the short drive down from your TideLife Vacation Rentals property.