Less Traveled 2010

Tracy Pou

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Small Town Spotlight: McClellanville

Posted 1/10/2011 12:20:00 PM

Planning a day trip to the Lowcountry? Be sure to include a stop in McClellanville on your to-do list. The picturesque and sleepy little fishing village is located off U.S. 17 between Charleston and Georgetown.

My family and I recently visited McClellanville during the holiday break. As we drove through the town’s historic district, we noticed dozens of old homes situated on streets lined with majestic oak trees draped with Spanish Moss. One tree in particular, the Deerhead Oak, stood out from the rest. You can't miss it. Deerhead is located on the corner of Pinckney and Oak streets and reaches 67 feet into the air. The tree is believed to more than a thousand years old.

After checking out Deerhead Oak, we drove a short distance to the Carolina Seafood Company, which sits on the banks of Jeremy Creek. The shrimp trawlers lined up on the creek immediately caught our eyes.

Carolina Seafood owner and McClellanville Mayor Rutledge Leland estimates the company pulls in more than a million pounds of shrimp each year. During our visit, we weren't lucky enough to see any seafood being unloaded, but there was plenty of it on hand inside the Carolina Seafood retail market.

Local biologist Kevin Hutchinson, who was shopping there, said he’s drawn to the Carolina Seafood market because of the friendly and family-oriented atmosphere. "It's nice to come to a place where there's nice fresh seafood,'' he said.

Seafood sustains the McClellanville community, providing jobs and some good eating. In fact, most of the town's local restaurants serve delicacies that are fresh out of the water. T.W. Graham & Co., which anchors McClellanville's business district, is a town favorite. The rustic seafood joint serves up a myriad of seafood dishes including local shrimp, oysters and its specialty -- crab balls. The downtown district also is home to a handful of clothing boutiques, studios and other small businesses.

Before leaving town we stopped by McClellanville's Village Museum, which is considered to be one of the best small town museums in the state. The Village Museum tells the town’s story, beginning with the Sewee Native Americans who initially inhabited the area , through the rice planting era and to the growth of the local seafood industry.

So whether you're interested in learning more about the fishing industry, are looking for some of the state's best fresh seafood or just want to get away from it all, McClellanville is the place to be and see. It’s definitely day-trip worthy.