The cooler temps of autumn make it an ideal time to go exploring off-island. We’ve assembled several fun destinations where you can spend time outside, experience something new, and relax in your favorite flannel and jeans. Appropriate for all ages, these spots are close enough to Kiawah that you could even hit all three on the same day.
Less than a half-hour drive from Timbers Kiawah, find yourself in the presence of greatness, gazing upon one of the oldest living beings this side of the Mississippi River.
Angel Oak has commanded reign over this patch of land for 400 to 500 years. Measuring at 66-28-17,000 (height, trunk circumference, and total area in feet), she is one of the largest of her kind in the world. Live oaks tend to grow wider than they are tall. Many of her limbs are so long and thick they have dug down into the ground and back out to support the weight.
Angel Oak’s timeless beauty inspires photographers, painters, and marriage proposals — all of which you are likely to see when you visit. Surrounded by picnic tables and soothing sounds of South Carolina nature, this is a serene place to share the awe of what’s possible with those you love.
Charleston Tea Garden
Next, keep those grounded happy vibes going as you travel down rustic Maybank Highway toward Rockville on your way to North America’s only working tea plantation, Charleston Tea Garden. Featured in the book, 100 Things to Do in Charleston Before You Die, hundreds of thousands of tea bushes stretch out over 127 acres in this idyllic spot on Wadmalaw Island.
Wadmalaw possesses ideal conditions for the Camellia Sinensis tea plant, harvested to produce 320 varieties of black and green teas here. (Also ideal conditions for the 65,000 visitors from all over the world who visit each year.)
Tour the on-site production factory to see all the equipment and learn how unique flavors are made. If you have time, ask if they are running their guided tour of the grounds, 45 minutes of farmland bliss aboard a comfortable and colorful vintage trolley. After tasting some samples, purchase your favorites to try with the latest goodies Chef Teddy is baking back at the Timbers Kiawah Beach Club.
Finish up at the gift shop, steeped in a tremendous array of tea-related items, including tea-infused body care products from Camille Beckman. Turns out, tea is good for you inside and out.
Deep Water Vineyard
To round out the day, venture across Wadmalaw Island to South Carolina’s only vineyard and winery, Deep Water Vineyard, only 10 minutes from Charleston Tea Garden. This is 50 acres of something-for-everyone: groups of friends, families with young children, couples, solo adventurers — even your leashed pet is welcome.
There’s plenty of space for kids to be kids, including adults who want to feel like kids again. Explore seven miles of trails amongst the vines, garden, and large pond. Play cornhole and swing on the swurfers. Visit with the always-entertaining farm animals (pigs, rabbits, chickens, a goat, even a friendly miniature Brahma cow named Ida Claire). And of course, take part in the wine tastings. They have juice for the littles, no one is left out!
Most of the wine list features the native muscadine grapes grown on site, or a blend thereof. Deep Water offers additional special concoctions from time to time, including strawberry and blueberry wines using fruit from neighboring farms, and even mead.
Saturday afternoons there’s a food truck and live music during the “Weekend Wine Down”. Guests are encouraged to bring picnics, blankets, and lawn chairs anytime of the week so they can truly relax and feel at home. A well-stocked gift shop and to-go wine purchases ensure you won’t leave empty-handed at the end of the day, and that the fun can continue.
Angel Oak Tree, 3688 Angel Oak Rd, Johns Island, SC 29455
Charleston Tea Garden, 6617 Maybank Hwy, Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487
Deep Water Vineyard, 6775 Bears Bluff Rd, Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487