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South Carolina Lowcountry
The Lowcountry (sometimes Low Country or just low country) is a geographic and cultural region along South Carolina's coast, including the Sea Islands

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"Lowcountry" redirects here. For the geographical region in and around the Netherlands, see Low Countries. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) A scenic vista from an observation area at Hunting Island State Park near Beaufort. Such marsh views are emblematic of the Lowcountry and its landscapes.

The Lowcountry (sometimes Low Country or just low country) is a geographic and cultural region along South Carolina's coast, including the Sea Islands. Once known for its slave-based agricultural wealth in rice and indigofera, often referred to as indigo, that flourished in the hot subtropical climate, the Lowcountry today is known for its historic cities and communities, natural environment, cultural heritage, and tourism industry.

  • 1 Geography
  • 2 Architecture
  • 3 Economy
    • 3.1 Tourism
    • 3.2 Trade and retail
    • 3.3 Military
  • 4 Culture
    • 4.1 Food
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

The term "Low Country" originally was all the state below the Fall Line, or the Sandhills which run the width of the state from Aiken County to Chesterfield County. These Sandhills were the ancient sea coast. The area above the Sandhills was known as the Up Country. These areas are not only different in geology and geography, but culturally as well.

There are several variations on the geographic extent of the Lowcountry area. The most commonly accepted definition includes the counties of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper. These four are covered by the Lowcountry Council of Governments, a regional governmental entity charged with regional and transportation planning,[1] and are the ones included in the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism's "Lowcountry and Resort Islands" area.[2] The area includes the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

A larger geographic definition for the Lowcountry often includes Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. Less frequently, the term is applied to Allendale, Georgetown, and Williamsburg counties. Rarely, it is applied to Horry County, home to Myrtle Beach and Conway and more often considered its own region (The Grand Strand) or part of the state's Pee Dee Region. Orangeburg County can be included in the Lowcountry region. (Orangeburg County has a relatively large land area; it can be classified as the Lowcountry, CSRA, and the Midlands.)


One of the most distinctive elements of the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry is the architecture. Lowcountry style home architecture developed in the late 1700s and is still constructed today as the most efficient design for the hot subtropical climate of the southeast United States.

Lowcountry buildings have historically been constructed of timber and set on pilings or had a raised first floor. The raised first floor was a response to the often swampy environment, high water tables, and tropical cyclone flooding. The underfloor space is often screened with lattice and used for storage or a carport. Lowcountry homes typically have broad hipped roofs that extend over deep and large covered front porches accented by columns or pillars, that allow a shady sitting area and are often used as another living space. Large windows are used to allow warm inside air to escape in the cooler evening. Most modern Lowcountry homes feature a central open breezeway through the entire house allowing a cooling breeze to move through the building.[citation needed]


Originally dependent on plantation agriculture based on indigo, rice and cotton, the Lowcountry economy developed other sectors in the 20th century.

Tourism Hilton Head Island is one of the most popular resort destinations in the United States.

Tourism dominates the economy in much of the Lowcountry. Among the attractions are resorts, historic and cultural sites, and natural features, including Hunting Island State Park, Edisto State Park and other local, state, and federally protected or preserved lands and wetlands.

The area offers many destinations for golf, tennis, and beach vacations on Hilton Head Island, Fripp Island, Seabrook Island, Kiawah Island, and the Wild Dunes portion of the Isle of Palms. Hilton Head's Sea Pines Plantation was an early resort in the 1950s. Longstanding seaside communities, including Edisto Beach, Folly Beach, Sullivan's Island, and the Isle of Palms remain popular destinations for visitors and a growing number of permanent residents and second-home owners.

Charleston attracts millions of visitors each year. Beaufort offers cultural activities and sightseeing, while some of the smaller communities in the region have certain cultural activities or amenities that attract thousands of visitors per year. Highway or traveler commercial services are of particular importance to communities in the Lowcountry (including Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Goose Creek, Charleston and Summerville) and along Interstate 95 (including St. George, Walterboro, and Hardeeville).

Trade and retail The Port of Charleston has several shipping terminals.

Much of the Lowcountry's economy revolves around manufacturing, transportation, logistics and other port-related business.

The Port of Charleston, owned and operated by the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA), is one of the ten busiest U.S. ports and handles over $60 billion in goods each year. Major shippers include Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, Evergreen Marine Corporation, COSCO and Hamburg Süd. The SCSPA is building a terminal at the old Naval Base in North Charleston, South Carolina, and has plans to build a new ocean terminal port in southern Jasper County by 2020, in conjunction with the Georgia Ports Authority under a bi-state commission. A port facility in Port Royal closed in 2005.

Major manufacturers in North Charleston include Robert Bosch GmbH (diesel engine components), Cummins (diesel engine components), Marathon Petroleum Company (formally Hess, fuel refining), Kapstone (paper), and Boeing (formerly Vought Industries, aircraft components). In 2009, Boeing created a second assembly facility for its 787 Dreamliner aircraft in North Charleston.[3]

Information technology companies in Charleston and Berkeley Counties include Blackbaud, a software company headquartered in Charleston that employs hundreds of workers at its Daniel Island facility.

North Charleston has the region's largest volume of retail sales. Specialty retail, including arts and crafts, souvenirs, and antiques is big in the historic areas of Charleston, Summerville, Beaufort, Port Royal and Walterboro. The Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. has its local headquarters in Charleston with major warehousing and distribution center located just past Summerville off I-26.

Major shopping complexes in the area include the Citadel Mall in Charleston, the Northwoods Mall, Tanger Factory Outlets and Centre Point in North Charleston and Tanger Factory Outlets in Bluffton, the Mount Pleasant Town Centre in Mount Pleasant, and Shelter Cove Towne Centre on Hilton Head Island.

Major shopping districts in the area include the City Market and King Street in Charleston, Savannah Highway in West Ashley (Charleston suburb), Daniel Island (Charleston suburb), North Charleston, Johnny Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant, Boundary Street and Bay Street in Beaufort, and U.S. 278 in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island.

St. George, Walterboro, Point South, Ridgeland, and Hardeeville provide motorist services along Interstate 95.

Military Marine recruits on the Chosin Range, located at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

Tens of thousands of active duty and reserve military personnel are stationed in and near Lowcountry bases, including Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps facilities. The South Carolina National Guard has several outposts located here as well.

Military facilities in the Lowcountry include the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Goose Creek/Hanahan, the Charleston Air Force Base in North Charleston, and the Naval Weapons Station Charleston in Goose Creek, which includes a Naval Consolidated Brig in Hanahan. A former naval yard was closed in 1995. Facilities in and near Beaufort include the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island, the U.S. Naval Hospital in Port Royal, and the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort.

Culture Grits is one of several staples of Lowcountry cuisine.

The region's culture has Southern, Native American, European, Caribbean, and African roots. Among the more notable are the Gullah influence on St. Helena Island, the early European settlements near Beaufort and Port Royal, and the Caribbean influence on architecture in Charleston.

Charleston and Beaufort have dozens of ante- and postbellum homes, with unique blends and styles of architecture.

The South Carolina Artisans Center is located in Walterboro.

Food Main article: Lowcountry cuisine See also
  • Lower Coastal Plain (Georgia)
  • Midlands of South Carolina
  • Upstate South Carolina
  • Gullah portal
  1. ^ Lowcountry Council of Governments Archived 2015-09-05 at the Wayback Machine. official website.
  2. ^ Tourism Regions (map) at South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism official website.
  3. ^ "Boeing Move Could Spread Across State". The Greenville News. October 29, 2009 – via Newspapers.com..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  • Bopp, Suzanne. "Road Trip: Low Country, South Carolina and Georgia". National Geographic. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
External links
  • The Lowcountry & Resort Islands Tourism Commission
  • v
  • t
  • e
The Lowcountry of South CarolinaCounties
  • Beaufort County
  • Colleton County
  • Hampton County
  • Jasper County
  • Charleston region
Major communities
  • Beaufort
  • Bluffton
  • Estill
  • Hampton
  • Hardeeville
  • Hilton Head Island
  • Port Royal
  • Ridgeland
  • Sun City
  • Walterboro
  • Varnville
  • Yemassee
Sea Islands
  • Callawassie Island
  • Daufuskie Island
  • Edisto Island
  • Fripp Island
  • Harbor Island
  • Hilton Head Island
  • Hunting Island
  • Lady's Island
  • Port Royal Island
  • St. Helena Island
History & culture
  • Historic places
  • Beaufort
    • history of
    • historic district
  • Cuisine
  • Gullah culture
  • Port Royal Experiment
  • Sea Islands Hurricane
Military installations
  • Laurel Bay
  • MCAS Beaufort
  • MCRD Parris Island
  • Beaufort Naval Hospital
Natural areas
  • ACE Basin
  • Pinckney Island NWR
  • Savannah NWR
  • Sea Islands
  • State parks
    • Colleton
    • Hunting Island
    • Lake Warren
Other articles
  • Hargray
  • Sea Pines
  • TCL
  • USC-Beaufort
  • RBC Heritage
  • v
  • t
  • e
 State of South CarolinaColumbia (capital)Regions
  • Atlantic Coastal Plain
  • Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Grand Strand
  • High Hills of Santee
  • Lake Murray Country
  • Lowcountry
  • Metrolina
  • Midlands
  • Ninety-Six District
  • Olde English District
  • Pee Dee
  • Piedmont
  • Sandhills
  • Sea Islands
  • Upstate
Seal of South CarolinaLarger cities
  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Greenville
  • North Charleston
  • Rock Hill
  • Spartanburg
Smaller cities
  • Aiken
  • Anderson
  • Beaufort
  • Bennettsville
  • Camden
  • Cayce
  • Conway
  • Easley
  • Florence
  • Forest Acres
  • Gaffney
  • Georgetown
  • Greenwood
  • Greer
  • Goose Creek
  • Hilton Head Island
  • Isle of Palms
  • Laurens
  • Lexington
  • Mauldin
  • Myrtle Beach
  • North Augusta
  • North Myrtle Beach
  • Orangeburg
  • Simpsonville
  • Summerville
  • Sumter
  • Union
  • Walterboro
  • West Columbia
  • York
  • Abbeville
  • Barnwell
  • Batesburg-Leesville
  • Bluffton
  • Clemson
  • Darlington
  • Dillon
  • Edgefield
  • Fort Mill
  • Fountain Inn
  • Great Falls
  • Hardeeville
  • Irmo
  • Jefferson
  • Kingstree
  • Liberty
  • Marion
  • McCormick
  • Moncks Corner
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Newberry
  • Pageland
  • Pendleton
  • Pickens
  • Seneca
  • Sullivan's Island
  • Travelers Rest
  • Walhalla
  • Westminster
  • Williamston
  • Berea
  • Carolina Forest
  • Dentsville
  • Gantt
  • Garden City
  • Ladson
  • Parker
  • Red Hill
  • Saint Andrews
  • Seven Oaks
  • Socastee
  • Taylors
  • Wade Hampton
  • Abbeville
  • Aiken
  • Allendale
  • Anderson
  • Bamberg
  • Barnwell
  • Beaufort
  • Berkeley
  • Calhoun
  • Charleston
  • Cherokee
  • Chester
  • Chesterfield
  • Clarendon
  • Colleton
  • Darlington
  • Dillon
  • Dorchester
  • Edgefield
  • Fairfield
  • Florence
  • Georgetown
  • Greenville
  • Greenwood
  • Hampton
  • Horry
  • Jasper
  • Kershaw
  • Lancaster
  • Laurens
  • Lee
  • Lexington
  • Marion
  • Marlboro
  • McCormick
  • Newberry
  • Oconee
  • Orangeburg
  • Pickens
  • Richland
  • Saluda
  • Spartanburg
  • Sumter
  • Union
  • Williamsburg
  • York
  • Airports
  • Amusement parks
  • Census areas
  • Colleges and universities
  • Congressional districts
  • Famous people
  • Governors
  • Highways
  • Historic places
  • History
  • Legislature
  • Media
    • Newspapers
    • Radio
    • TV
  • Rivers
  • Shopping malls
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  • Crime
  • Culture
  • Demographics
  • Economy
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  • Sports
  • v
  • t
  • e
Gullah people topics CultureFilm and television
  • Conrack (1974)
  • A House Divided: Denmark Vesey's Rebellion (1982)
  • A Soldier's Story (1984)
  • Glory (1989)
  • Daughters of the Dust (1991)
  • Gullah Gullah Island (1994 - 1998)
  • Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl
  • Vibration Cooking
  • Gullah language
Religion and folklore
  • Afro-American religion
  • Black church
  • Boo Hag
  • Hoodoo
    • Mojo
    • Black cat bone
    • Goofer dust
    • Haint blue
    • Hot foot powder
    • Julia Jackson (Voodoo queen/priestess in the 1940s)
    • John the Conqueror (a folk hero in Hoodoo)
    • Rabbit's foot
    • Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses (syncretism of Christianity and Traditional African religions)
  • Ring shout
Music and culture
  • Charleston red rice (cuisine)
  • Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
  • Kumbaya
  • Michael Row the Boat Ashore
  • Ranky Tanky
  • Robot Hive/Exodus
Related culture
  • African-American culture
  • Culture of Africa
HistoryHistory topics
  • Bilali Document
  • Igbo Landing
  • Port Royal Experiment
  • Stono Rebellion
  • Beaufort, South Carolina
  • Daufuskie Island
  • Eulonia, Georgia
  • Georgia
  • Golden Isles of Georgia
  • Sapelo Island (protected site)
    • Hog Hammock (very important)
  • South Carolina Lowcountry
Related history
  • African-American history
    • Timeline of African-American history
  • Atlantic slave trade
  • History of Angola
  • History of Benin
  • History of Congo
  • History of Ghana
  • History of Guinea-Bissau
  • History of Liberia
  • History of Nigeria
  • Sahel / Senegambia
    • History of Senegal
    • History of the Gambia
  • History of Sierra Leone
    • Bunce Island
  • History of the United States
    • Slavery in the United States
Related ethnic groups
  • African Americans
  • Baga
  • Kongo
  • Fula
  • Igbo
  • Kissi
  • Jola
  • Kpelle
  • Limba
  • Mandinka
  • Mende
  • Susu
  • Temne
  • Vai
  • Wolof
  • Serer
    • Laalaa
    • Ndut
    • Niominka
    • Noon
    • Palor
    • Saafi
  • Toucouleur
Notable figuresNotables with Gullah ancestry
  • Candice Glover
  • Charlamagne tha God
  • Chris Rock
  • Clarence Thomas
  • Denmark Vesey
  • Emory Campbell
  • Gullah Jack
  • James Jamerson
  • Jim Brown
  • Joe Frazier
  • Joseph Rainey
  • Julie Dash
  • Marquetta Goodwine
  • Mary Jackson
  • Michelle Obama
  • Robert Sengstacke Abbott
  • Sam Doyle
  • Tony Rock
  • Trick Daddy
  • Philip Reid
  • Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor
Gullah category Gullah portal

Coordinates: 33°07′34″N 80°00′32″W / 33.1260618°N 80.0087746°W / 33.1260618; -80.0087746



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