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Founded in 1783 as a summer retreat for local plantation owners, Walterboro is a historical city in the heart of Colleton County. It’s been nicknamed “The Front Porch of the Lowcountry,” although it’s officially named after two of its earliest settlers, the brothers Paul and Jacob Walter. Walterboro became the county seat of Colleton County in 1817, with a courthouse and jail constructed four years later, and flourished with the arrival of a railroad line in the 1880s connecting the city with Columbia and Charleston.
Today, Walterboro is still clustered with historic homes dating back to its earliest years, making it the ideal place to rent an RV for history buffs. It’s also within proximity to the wildlife refuges along the Atlantic Coast of South Carolina and the charismatic streets of Charleston.
Pick up your travel trailer rental in Walterboro and make the short drive southeast to the Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin National Wildlife Refuge, which protects a wildlife-rich wetland along the South Edisto River. It’s the largest undeveloped estuary on the Atlantic Coast, with rich bottomland hardwoods and freshwater marshes that support myriad birdlife and alligators. Cast a fishing line to see what’s biting or follow one of the walking trails and boardwalks that lead to the refuge’s observation decks to spot neotropical migratory songbirds, deer, foxes, and bald eagles.
A short drive away is the Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, which sprawls across more than 8,000 acres near Green Pond. Once used for rice cultivation, it’s now a popular birdwatching destination, with its historic agricultural systems attracting waterfowl and migratory birds. There’s an 11-mile-long driving tour that accesses some of the area’s best birding spots, with sightings of roseate spoonbills, Eurasian wigeon ducks, and red-cockaded woodpeckers among the highlights.
Walterboro also makes a good base for visiting the Francis Marion National Forest, which lies around 90 minutes' drive to the east near Huger. It’s named after the Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion who was nicknamed the “Swamp Fox,” and encompasses more than 250,000 acres of subtropical coniferous forest. The Francis Marion National Forest is a recreation hub for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, with part of the 425-mile-long Palmetto Trail traversing the park, as well as off-road motorcycling and ATV riding at the Wambaw Cycle Trailhead.
Book a motorhome rental in Walterboro and drive south to the Point South / Yemassee KOA Holiday, an award-winning campground that offers full hookups with up to 50 amp service. Pets are welcome to stay with you, with a large dog run on the property, as well as a swimming pool, pavilion, and Wi-Fi availability.
Or, you can make the short drive north to Eagle's RV Park, a family-friendly campground in Walterboro. There are 33 sites with 20, 30 or 50 amp service, as well as sewer and water hookups, with canoeing and kayaking available just across the road on the Edisto River.
Another local option is New Green Acres RV Park, which nestles in a grove of shady pines and offers just over 100 RV sites. There’s a dog playground where your four-legged friends can run free and also a swimming pool, as well as a laundry facility for catching up on your washing.
Park your RV rental near Walterboro and enjoy a stroll through the Walterboro Historic District, stopping to admire the historic Walterboro Library Society Building. Dating to 1820, it was designed in a Federal style with a Palladian-inspired door and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Also of note is the Old Colleton County Jail, a Gothic Revival landmark constructed of stuccoed brick that was designed by local Charleston architects, Edward C. Jones and Francis D. Lee.
If you’re interested in the history of Walterboro, head to the Colleton County Museum, which details the local cultural and agricultural heritage from prehistoric times to the modern day. It features a permanent display about the native animals of the South Carolina Lowcountry, as well as rotating exhibitions that showcase regional artists. Coincide your visit with the weekly Saturday Colleton Farmers Market where you can pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as local honey and handmade crafts.
Walterboro also makes a good base for exploring the port city of Charleston, which has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1670. You can ride a horse-drawn carriage through the atmospheric, cobblestoned streets of the French Quarter, with pastel-colored antebellum houses lining the way. Shop for fresh produce at the Historic Charleston City Market and tour the mid-19th-century Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, then relax while enjoying the sweeping views from the Waterfront Park.
Walterboro is home to numerous supermarkets where you can stock up on groceries, as well as plenty of eateries for dining out. There are also gas stations if you want to fill up your campervan rental in Walterboro.
Whether you’re visiting Colleton County for its wildlife refuges or historic architecture, book an RV in Walterboro and start exploring.