For three centuries, members of the Stewart clan have farmed in Laurens County, a tradition that continues today at Stewart Farms, as three generations of family work to operate the bustling farm and nursery. Seasonal events throughout the year bring visitors to the farm to experience its pastoral setting and taste the products of its fertile soil.
Springtime welcomes the arrival of bright, juicy strawberries, to be picked by visitors or purchased in a gallon bucket to make jam, pies, and sacrifices to prevent the wrath of Strawberry Shortcake. Blackberries crowd trellises in the warmer months, and cantaloupe, corn, tomatoes, squash, and watermelon grow in multitudes throughout the summer. At the end of September, the farm’s 5-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch draws jack-o’-lantern carvers out, and its corn Maize tests the navigational skills of explorers young and old. And in the winter, the farm offers a large selection of farm-grown Christmas poinsettias.
For more than 50 years, Spiritline Cruises’ impressive fleet of yachts has transported passengers through the calm and scenic waters that surround Charleston. Vessels sail across Charleston Harbor and past the Battery during harbor cruises, whereas historic Fort Sumter treks explore the place where the Civil War began and the practice of building forts out of pillows ended. Spiritline Cruises also explores the city at night, with visitors enjoying dinnertime meals on the Spirit of Carolina against a backdrop of twinkling city lights. The ships can also be privately chartered for weddings or special events for groups of up to 300.
The guides at Free Tours by Foot offer their expertise to visitors on free group tours for a simple reason: they love to share their city's history and quirks with others—and if they get a tip from thoroughly entertained tour-goers, all the better. They've curated a handful of tours for about nine cities, including a roundup of public art in New York City's subway system, a colonial jaunt featuring Revolutionary War sites in Boston, and visits to architectural feats in Chicago's Loop and the hospital where the first Chicago-style hot dog was born. Tour guides can also be commissioned for private, fixed-price tours of the same spots.
The salty sea sprays behind Captain Michael’s boat as he veers into the ocean near Hilton Head with his trusty first mate—a great dane named Dozer—by his side. As captain and owner of On the Water Hilton Head, Michael guides kayak trips through Lowcountry salt marshes and tidal creeks, and leads boat trips to view dolphins and seabirds in the waters around Pinckney Island and Port Royal Sound. Michael also runs water-taxi rides, charters fishing trips, and encourages visitors to take to the water themselves with kayak, standup-paddleboard, and jet-ski rentals.
For owners Anita and Wayne Tamme, City Scape Winery represents a dream turned hobby turned full-fledged business. The Tammes only sell their own wine, created in small batches to allow for more customization. In the summer, City Scape offers lighter, sweeter varietals; the winter brings classic, more traditional wines. Oenophiles stopping by the winery can typically sample up to eight of City Scape's wines, or peruse the retail store for its extensive inventory of winemaking supplies, including extracts, flavorings, yeast, and wine kits.
The custom-built Gause Built 26 is an all-water fishing boat, designed to shuttle anglers from foot-deep water to offshore pods of dolphins. Owner and captain Chuck Griffin designed his boat to cater to the varied needs of the fishing community, outfitting it with a tower to spot schools in the distance and allow guests better views. He commands his boat armed with more than 25 years of experience, and he assists guests in snagging an array of fishy specimen such as inshore seatrout, nearshore barracudas, and offshore king mackerel. When not angling or fly-fishing, Captain Chuck glides with guests to the open water in pursuit of frolicking pods of dolphins that may or may not know the secret to holding your breath for a really long time.
The Shoemaker clan has been sailing around the East Coast since the 1600s, making the family as native to South Carolina as the state's alligators and seaside bluffs resembling John C. Calhoun. After inheriting an in-depth aquatic knowledge from his father, who spent 25 years as a commercial fisherman, Captain Chris Shoemaker—a Coast Guard–licensed captain—conveys that love of the water to even more generations by leading fishing, shrimping, and crabbing excursions on his 24-foot Carolina Skiff boat. Collectively known as May River Excursions, Captain Chris and his crew make twice-daily trips to Daufuskie Island, a rustic, historical idyll with a single schoolhouse, dirt roads, and wild bald eagles, armadillos, and alligators that still comprise the island's local constabulary. The guides also lead regular 90-minute tours along the May River in search of ospreys, egrets, and dolphins, always including a history lesson about the country surrounding the towns of Bluffton and Hilton Head.
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