Fripp Island is a gated, resort community outside of Beaufort, South Carolina. The 3,000-acre island is located at the end of a chain of sea islands and offers visitors access to a marina, golf courses, restaurants and 3.5 miles of sandy beaches in South Carolina's lowcountry.
The island is named after Captain Johannes Fripp who helped to protect the Carolina colony from Spanish attacks. Local folklore also marks the island as the spot where pirate Blackbeard hid his treasures and bounty.
Fripp Island Attractions
Hunting Island State Park sees more than 1 million visitors a year and is one of the state's most popular state parks and beach areas. There's an historic lighthouse that's the only one in the state that visitors can climb up and see breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding area from the top. The lagoon is a highly desired fishing spot for guests as is the fishing pier that stretches 1,120 feet into the Fripp Inlet. You can check out the park's nature center where there are exhibits of local wildlife and marine life.
There are two golf courses located on Fripp Island - Ocean Point Golf Links and Ocean Creek. Ocean Point Golf Links is located along the water and 10 of the 18 holes have an ocean view. Ocean Creek has panoramic views of the Great Salt Marsh and freshwater lakes. The wildlife found throughout the golf course includes deer, egrets, blue herons and ospreys.
Water activities are a must for visitors to the island. There are sandy white beaches just waiting to be explored and warm water that's perfect for swimming or boogie boarding. You can go paddle boarding or kayak with a rental from Island Excursions if you're into water sports or simply go for a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Lay out in the sun and catch some rays while the kids play in the water, build sand castles or play a pick-up game of beach volleyball.
For outdoor recreation, rent a golf cart, bicycle or moped to explore all that the island has to offer. You can head to the Fripp Island Marina where you can take offshore charters to go deep sea fishing or stay close to the shore with one of the marina's guides. Head to the Racquet Club or Tennis Club for an afternoon match before venturing out for dinner.
Visitors who really want an adventure should try heading out on a Dolphin Cruise or go kayaking to see strand feeding by the bottlenose dolphins that call the water off Fripp Island home. Strand feeding is where the dolphins will create a giant wave to wash fish up on the shore along the marshes and tidal creeks to capture for food. It's a synchronized motion and one of the most amazing acts of nature you can see in person.
Things to Do
Events: There are several events hosted on Fripp Island and the surrounding communities throughout the year including the Gullah Festival, Heritage Days Celebration at Penn Center, Race 4 Love, the Fall Festival of Houses and Gardens and the Beaufort Shrimp Festival. Perhaps the largest event in the area is the Beaufort Water Festival, a 10-day celebration with live entertainment, a blessing of the shrimp fleet, sports events, crafts, dances and food.
Dining: You'll find one-of-a-kind dishes on Fripp Island ranging from crab soup to lobster pot pie. Bonito Boathouse is local favorites and some of the best seafood you can find in the lowcountry. Try buttermilk fried flounder or the fresh catch of the day. Enjoy a big breakfast or lunch at Ocean Point Grille for a family-friendly meal or take in the beautiful views of Skull Inlet and Pritchard's Island at Willies Wet Bar. Other eateries on the island include The Beach Club, Ocean View Sports Bar, The Sandbar, The Marina Deli, Cabana Club Restaurant, The Food Court and The 19th Hole.
Camp Fripp: This is one for the kids. Camp Fripp is a day camp just for those between the ages of 3 and 12 that's full of activities that include learning about loggerhead sea turtles, dolphin-watching and combing the beach for seashells. Children will also learn about the real pirates from the 1600s who once inhabited the island as well as its first settlers. There's also Kid's Night Out held at the Fripp Island Resort's Activity Center where they'll eat dinner and play camp games and activities.
ARTworks: This non-profit organization on the island allows visitors and residents alike to enjoy programs that will show them what the Fripp Island art community is all about. You can take an adult art class or sign the children up for a class of their own. Galleries highlight special exhibitions each month and include artwork created by children and adults who take classes and local artists. ARTworks also presents events where the community can come together and celebrate the arts. During the summer, the organization plays host to the Beaufort Food Truck Fest featuring a variety of food trucks and other vendors from throughout the region that sell items such as lobster rolls, cupcakes and barbecue.