Exploring Francis Marion National Forest

July 17, 2010 – This past Saturday we thought we’d do some exploring.  We began at the Sunflower Cafe.  Tony enjoyed his steak and cheese omelet, and Louisa thought the fried green tomato and crab sandwich was good – though next time she might go with the BLFGT (bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomatoes).  The restaurant itself is like a small town, Southern diner.  Which can be both good and bad.  However, if you want good diner food, with friendly waiters/waitresses and a few local regulars, this is the place.

Red Wolves
Red wolves are protected at Francis Marion NF.

After lunch we drove through Francis Marion National Forest.  Along the way we passed more than a handful, and less than a dozen, people selling woven sweetgrass baskets.  Most of the sellers were in the vicinity of the Boone Hall Plantation farm.  Apparently, making these baskets dates back to the days on the West African coast.  We continued driving until we found the Seewee visitor center.  The employees were very friendly, and suggested we walk the 1 mile nature trail.  The trail goes through a butterfly garden, and then up to a wolf enclosure.  Four red wolves (very endangered) are currently living there.  One of the young males stood up to examine us; he walked a few feet, decided we weren’t too interesting, and went to lay back down.  Of the four wolves, we were able to see three; the final one is apparently quite shy.  We also saw some fun birds, including about six very active and noisy brown-headed nuthatches.

Brown-Headed Nuthatch
Brown-Headed Nuthatch

After the hike, we were more than happy to return to the car and air conditioning.  We did try to hike through one wildlife management area; however, Tony quickly decided to keep driving after he (a) almost walked into a giant spider web, and (b) got swarmed by mosquitoes. So, we continued on to Georgetown, SC.  Due to a traffic accident, we didn’t see the sign for the historic downtown section, but we did drive through some of the business areas.

Yellow Flowers
Yellow flowers near the beach.

By then, we were ready for dinner, so we went back to T.W. Graham’s Seafood Restaurant in McClellanville.  We parked in the dirt on the side of the road, and went inside.  The atmosphere is casual and rustic, and the food is wonderful.  We tried a clam, shrimp, and seafood chowder, blackened scallops and shrimp, blackened ahi tuna, hush puppies and sweet potato fries.  All of the food was fabulous.  However, we’d heard that the Key Lime Pie was as good as the pies down in FL.  We were intrigued.  The filling was similar to the Key Lime Pie that Louisa makes; the graham cracker crust was thick and buttery, and the just-slightly-whipped cream and lime zest were the perfect touch.  Yes, the pie really is as good as some of the pies down in FL.

Oak Tree
Oak trees are plentiful in the Lowcountry.

We finished the evening with a walk on the beach.  There were quite a few jellyfish washed up the shore, so we didn’t go in the water as much as we usually do.  However, we still found a jellyfish-free spot to play in the waves.


Sunflower Cafe on Urbanspoon T W Graham & Co on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Exploring Francis Marion National Forest

  • May 4, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Tony and Louisa,
    Loved your post about wandering around the Francis Marion Forrest and Dinner in my hometown of McClellanville. My wife and I currently livei n TX but have property in McClellanville and will be relocating back there in a couple years. If you are ever in the area again don’t miss the museum in McClellanville and the Shrimp docks. TW GRahams is very good and a hidden secret in McClellanville. Your post says it is Georgetown but accutually in the little fishing village of McClellanville.
    Lee McClellan

  • May 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Hi Lee,

    We’re glad you enjoyed the post, we had a lot of fun exploring your town! Thanks for the tips on a few other great places to check out. 🙂 We know (and you know) TW Grahams is in McClellanville… unfortunately, urbanspoon tends to group a lot of towns into “metro areas” (Georgetown, in this case). Best wishes and safe travels for your move back!

    Tony and Louisa

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