We love a good getaway trip during the summer and as summer approaches our travel list should begin to grow. Since traveling is becoming more normal as vaccinations increase, it is important that we plan a trip that is filled with experiences, attractions, tasty restaurants, and we could never go wrong with sunny beaches. So, today, I am here to share a quaint and charming town that shouldn’t be left off of your summer travel list!
Hilton Head, South Carolina’s Gullah community is known for their artistry in music, sweetgrass basketry, quilt making, Gullah cuisine, and African-American history. As a place where all are welcome, Hilton Head is filled with beautiful beaches, exceptional restaurants, tons of water sports, and other outdoor activities you want to try this summer. Just less than an hour away from both Savannah, GA and Beaufort, SC, Hilton Head is located in the center of most Lowcountry towns and cities and is the place where many travelers who want to experience the Lowcountry explore.
There is much to do in this part of South Carolina and I am here to provide a Black Southern Gullah Itinerary for your summer trip or next vacation to Hilton Head, South Carolina!
Black Southern Gullah Itinerary
Historic Mitchellville Freedom Park
Mitchelville was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 (as the Fish Haul Archaeological Site), making the site important to preserving and understanding the nation’s difficulties during Reconstruction. HMFP has been formed to act as a steward for the benefit of preserving the rich history of Mitchelville and its connection to local Gullah culture. In 1995, the Town of Hilton Head and the State of South Carolina recognized the historic value of the Mitchelville site and erected the official State historical marker at the corner of Beach City and Fish Haul Roads. This marker has recently been relocated to the entrance of Fish Haul Creek Park, the future Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park site. In that same year, the Chicora Foundation completed their archaeological work at the Fish Haul site
Gullah Heritage Trail Tours
In order to learn all about the Gullah history in Hilton Head, I suggest that the Gullah Heritage Trail Tours should be first on the itinerary. Gullah is a culture brought to Lowcountry places such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. This specific culture thrives because it is popular in the Lowcountry and is preserved in almost every part of the Lowcountry. The Gullah Heritage Trail Tours in Hilton Head is perfect for exploration through this culture and to see Gullah Family Compounds, the plantation Tabby Ruins, First Freedom Village Historic Marker, and Juke Joints; just to name a few.
Gullah Museum of Hilton Head
Founded by Louise Cohen, the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head is known for their collection of Gullah artifacts, history, and traditions of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Be prepared to hear Ms. Cohen telling old tales, singing gospel songs, speaking and teaching the Gullah language, sharing knowledge about plants used for medicine, and more rituals of the Gullah culture.
First African Baptist Church
Organized in 1862 in Mitchellville, the First African Baptist Church, was the first place where free African Americans could worship near Hilton Head Island. The church later moved to the Chaplin community, in 1898, after the Civil War and was renamed Goodwill Baptist Church. Later the church moved to 70 Beach City Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC and now can be visited and worshipped by travelers or Lowcountry natives.
Despite there being much more Gullah heritage locations in Hilton Head, South Carolina, we listed a few that we know you and your family could enjoy while on your weekend summer vacation.16