Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Kiawah Island, SC
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Helping Seniors Make Better-Informed Medicare Decisions
Trying to pick a health insurance plan can be a chore for anyone. For many people, just mentioning the word “open enrollment” sends shivers down the spine. It seems like there’s always a nagging feeling that you’re wasting money, choosing a plan with poor in-network care, or both. One would think that health insurance gets easier as you approach retirement age, but the truth is that picking an initial Medicare coverage plan can be daunting.
Unfortunately, the confusing process of signing up for Medicare causes many seniors to forego healthcare coverage altogether. After all, Medicare enrollment can involve several federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (or SSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (or CMS).
At Senior Care Insurance Services, our passion is guiding seniors through the confusion of Medicare. That way, they can enjoy retirement with peace of mind knowing they are protected and ready for life after 65. We work with dozens of insurance companies, giving our clients the chance to choose a plan that best fits their lifestyle.
We choose to design our senior insurance plans with a focus on optimal benefits structure, lower costs, and personalized service. Some independent insurance agencies see their aging customers as nothing more than a financial transaction waiting to happen. In contrast, we treat each of our clients with respect and dignity as we help them navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. Combined with individualized service, we help older Americans make well-informed decisions about insurance. Whether you’re in need of senior Medicare Supplement Plan insurance in cityname or simply have questions about signing up for Medicare, our team is here to help.
Guiding You Through The Confusion of Medicare!Request a Consultation
What is Medicare?
If you’re approaching the golden years of your life, it’s important you understand what Medicare is if you don’t already.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program reserved for people older than 65 who have worked full-time for at least ten years. The Medicare program is paid for by a combination of worker payroll tax, premiums paid by Medicare enrollees, and the U.S. government.
There are four parts of Medicare:
The amount of money you pay for your health care depends on several factors, including:
At Senior Care Insurance Services, we offer a number of health insurance solutions for seniors. Two of our most used services include Medicare Advantage plan insurance and Medicare supplement plan insurance.
Senior Medicare Supplement Plan Insurance in Kiawah Island
Sometimes called Medigap, the purpose of Medicare Supplement Insurance is to help fill in “gaps” that might not be covered by Original Medicare. You can think of a Medigap policy as a supplement for your Original Medicare benefits.
Private companies like Senior Care Insurance Solutions sell this type of insurance right here in South Carolina. While Original Medicare will pay for much of the cost associated with health care services you need, it may not cover all of your expenses. Generally, Medigap policies do not cover costs stemming from eyeglasses, private-duty nurses, dental care, hearing aids, or long-term care.
Depending on the Medicare Supplement Plan that you choose, it may cover out-of-the-country medical services when you travel abroad. Assuming you have Original Medicare coverage, your policy will cover its share of Medicare-approved health care costs. Once your Original Medicare coverage reaches its limit, your Medigap policy will pay its share of the fees.
Our Medigap policies are drafted to meet your specific needs, and can help cover remaining health care costs such as:
Important Information About Senior Supplement Plan Insurance
To dispel some confusion, you should know that a Medigap policy is not the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan. The latter helps you receive Medicare benefits, while the former supplements the benefits you obtain through your Original Medicare plan. As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:
As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:
- To qualify for a Medigap policy, you must first have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
- Payments on your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan will be made to the private insurance company that you choose, like Senior Care Insurance Services. These payments are made every month and are paid in addition to the monthly payment you make for Medicare Part B.
- If you are the holder of a Medicare Advantage Plan, it is illegal for an insurance company to sell you a senior Medicare Supplement Policy. If you plan on switching back to an Original Medicare plan, you will be able to purchase a Medigap policy.
- If you have health problems as you age, your standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed to be renewable. So long as you pay your monthly premium, your insurance provider cannot cancel your policy.
- Medigap policies only cover one person. If you have a spouse or family member that would like coverage, they must purchase a separate policy.
- You may only buy a Senior Medicare Supplement Plan from an insurance agency that is licensed to sell them in your state. Senior Care Insurance Solutions has been licensed to sell Medigap policies in South Carolina for years. We have helped countless seniors get the Medicare coverage they need and continue to do so to this day.
- In the past, Medigap policies were able to cover costs related to prescription drugs. As of January 1st, 2006, prescription drug coverage is not available on Medicare Supplement Plans. The best way to get coverage for your prescription drugs is to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, often called Part D. Contact our office today to learn more about paying premiums on Medigap and Medicare plans.
Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance in Kiawah Island, SC
A Medicare Advantage Plan is a kind of Medicare health coverage designed to provide seniors with all their Part A and Part B Medicare benefits. Many Medicare Advantage Plans will often include coverage of the following:
In addition, most Medicare Advantage Plans give seniors coverage for their prescription drug needs. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan through Senior Care Insurance Services, your Medicare benefits are covered through your plan and will not be paid for by traditional Medicare.
How Medicare Advantage Plans Work
Sometimes called “MA Plans” or “Part C,” Medicare Advantage Plans are considered an “all in one” solution to Original Medicare. Senior Medicare Advantage Plans are only offered by private companies that are approved, like Senior Care Insurance Services. Seniors who enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan are still on Medicare. However, these individuals enjoy bundled plans that give seniors the benefits of hospital insurance (Medicare Part A), medical insurance (Medicare Part B), and sometimes drug coverage (Part D).
Medicare Advantage Plans are very popular because they cover all Medicare services and make life a little easier for seniors who have trouble understanding the nuances of Medicare.
When you contact Senior Care Insurance Solutions to choose your Medicare Advantage Plan, ask your agent about Medicare prescription drug coverage. Unless you already have drug coverage (Part D), you should seriously consider Part D coverage to help reduce costs associated with prescription drugs. You may also want to consider a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan to help fill gaps in coverage that Original Medicare will not cover.
Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance Rules
Medicare works by paying a set amount of money to the companies that offer senior Medicare Advantage Plan insurance in cityname. That money is used to pay for the care services that you need. Because Medicare Advantage Plans are different, you should expect out-of-pocket costs to vary depending on the plan you choose.
Different plans have different rules for how you receive services, such as:
- If you must go to facilities, suppliers, or doctors that belong to your Advantage Plan for non-urgent and non-emergency care.
- Whether you must get a referral to see a specialized doctor
Companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans must follow strict rules, which are set by Medicare and can change every year.
Paying for Your Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance
How much you pay for your Medicare Advantage Plan varies and depends on a few different factors. In most cases, if you need a kind of medical service, you will need to rely on the doctors and providers in your plan’s service area and network to pay the lowest amounts. In some cases, if you choose to use a service outside of your plan’s network of coverage, you may have to pay out-of-pocket.
We encourage you to contact our office today to learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans, how they work, what your options are, and how often you will have to pay out-of-pocket, if at all.
The Senior Care Insurance Services Commitment
Since our company was founded, we have led the insurance industry by providing our clients with the most valuable, helpful insurance solutions available. We are fully committed to our current and prospective clients by:
- Choosing to focus on personalized, one-on-one service. When you work with our team, know that we will always design your health insurance plan with your best interests in mind.
- Listening to your specific needs.
- Responding to all inquiries and questions promptly and with a friendly attitude.
- Providing you with the best customer service in the senior health insurance industry, whether you have questions or are ready to move forward with a Medicare plan.
Our mission is to help give seniors the best Medicare assistance available so that they may understand the Medicare process and make an informed health coverage decision. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience to assist anyone interested in Medicare. Our personal goal is to become a lifetime resource for our clients and give them greater confidence in choosing their insurance plans.
Latest News in Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island executive chef named 2022 ‘Chef Ambassador’ for South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A Lowcountry chef was named one of South Carolina’s ‘Chef Ambassadors’ during a special ceremony at the Statehouse Wednesday morning.Gov. Henry McMaster was joined by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Hugh Weathers, and South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director Duane Parrish as they appointed three chefs to serve as South Carolina Chef Ambassadors for 2022.These chefs prepare dishes using Certified South Carolina produce, meats and seafood, support local...
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A Lowcountry chef was named one of South Carolina’s ‘Chef Ambassadors’ during a special ceremony at the Statehouse Wednesday morning.
Gov. Henry McMaster was joined by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Hugh Weathers, and South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director Duane Parrish as they appointed three chefs to serve as South Carolina Chef Ambassadors for 2022.
These chefs prepare dishes using Certified South Carolina produce, meats and seafood, support local farmers and highlight the state’s rich food traditions.
“South Carolina Chef Ambassadors do South Carolina a great service by shining a light on our state’s destinations, signature dishes and locally grown foods, and their own incredible talents,” said Gov. McMaster. “We’re proud to have these three great chefs represent our state.”
Among them is Executive Chef John Ondo of The Atlantic Room on Kiawah Island.
Chef Ondo grew up playing in the tidal creeks of the Lowcountry, according to the governor’s office. It’s something he said left an indelible mark on him as he has spent his 20-plus-year culinary career drawing inspiration from the area’s fields and waterways.
It was here in Charleston where Chef Ondo developed long-lasting relationships with local farmers and fishermen. He often stops by to visit and discuss how crops are coming in and to pick up produce that will appear on plates that same night at The Atlantic Room.
“With his wry sense of humor and affable nature, Chef Ondo is a recognizable spokesperson for Lowcountry foodways,” said Gov. McMaster’s office.
Ondo accepted the honor along with fellow Chef Ambassadors, Chris Williams of Roy’s Grille in Lexington, and Haydn Shaak of Restaurant 17 at Hotel Domestique in Travelers Rest.
“Man, had y’all told me all these cameras were gonna be here today I would have brushed my hair,” Ondo joked as he stepped before the podium, just seconds before First Lady Peggy McMaster reached up to brush his hair with her hand.
“This is a huge honor to be able to represent my home state and the hard-working farmers and fishermen and shrimpers, just producers of Carolina products,” he said. “This is a huge honor and I’m happy to be here.”
The governor’s office said the Chef Ambassadors, a program now in its eighth year, will represent South Carolina at food festivals, media events and other forums.
The program was created in 2014 to highlight the state as a top culinary destination. It unites agribusiness and tourism, two of the state’s largest industries, which together contribute tens of billions of dollars to the state’s economy each year and account for hundreds of thousands of jobs statewide, according to Gov. McMaster’s office.
“These three talented Chef Ambassadors honor South Carolina’s diverse culinary heritage and local ingredients,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “Chefs connect with and promote our state’s farmers and help teach us all how to eat fresh, local food in season.”
“Our hospitality industry has been on a rollercoaster ride since March 2020,” said Duane Parrish, Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “From shifting to a to-go model almost overnight, to navigating workforce challenges, to welcoming an influx of visitors as tourism began to rebound – they’ve really seen it all in a very short timeframe. The Chef Ambassador program highlights and celebrates some of the very best of what this resilient and tenacious industry has to offer, and helps showcase just how significant and extraordinary our culinary scene is in the Palmetto State.”
To learn more about the program and past Chef Ambassadors, visit discoversouthcarolina.com/chef-ambassadors.
Watch: Rare right whale mother, calf spotted off of Kiawah Island
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Two North Atlantic right whales were spotted recently off of Kiawah Island, brining the number of sightings of the endangered animal in Lowcountry waters over the past year to 19.JR McCroskey and his group of recreational fisherman saw the whales about 15 miles off of Kiawah Island on Christmas Eve.The sighting was confirmed to News 2 by The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (LMMN).The group first saw the baby come up for air, and couldn’t quite make out what it was.“I see what ...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Two North Atlantic right whales were spotted recently off of Kiawah Island, brining the number of sightings of the endangered animal in Lowcountry waters over the past year to 19.
JR McCroskey and his group of recreational fisherman saw the whales about 15 miles off of Kiawah Island on Christmas Eve.
The sighting was confirmed to News 2 by The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (LMMN).
The group first saw the baby come up for air, and couldn’t quite make out what it was.
“I see what I thought was a piece of debris. As we got closer, I noticed some blowing going on kind of like dolphins do. I thought it might be a manatee,” said McCroskey.
When the mother whale surfaced, they realized what they were seeing.
“When a whale comes up that’s twice the size of the boat you’re in then you know exactly what you’re dealing with,” said McCroskey.
According to the LMMN, right whales are critically endangered, with less than 400 reported worldwide.
The most common dangers to right whales are boat propellers and fishing nets. Laws state that vessels must remain 500 yards away from them for protection.
“As soon as we got a picture of (the mother) and a video of her we pulled back and gave them the space they needed,” said McCroskey.
There are multiple documented incidents of whales being seriously injured after collisions with boats.
Given the dangers posed by humans, right whales tend to stay further offshore.
“While it’s not uncommon for right whales to be offshore this time of the year, it’s extremely rare to spot them because there are about 100 breeding females and they typically stay offshore,” said Lauren Rust, the founder of the LMMN. “Your chances of seeing them are greater offshore on a boat, but unlikely from shore.”
Rust says that the population is declining because there are very few breeding females and they can only reproduce once every three to four years.
“With approximately 100 breeding females, reproducing on different years, we see between zero and 25 new calves a year. But sadly, most years, more adults die than new calves are reproduced putting them in a negative decline,” said Rust. “I suspect we will see their extinction in our lifetime.”
McCroskey says that he wants to make sure people realize that right whales are living and calving in the waters from South Carolina to Florida until April.
“Just spreading the word out to the recreational fisherman that these whales are out there and you need to be conscientious because they can wreck a boat,” said McCroskey.
Movies and TV shows filmed in the Lowcountry you can watch right now
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Did you know the Lowcountry has been the backdrop for several popular movies and tv shows throughout the years?With winter weather expected to impact the area Friday evening, there’s never been a more perfect time to binge!Outer Banks (2020-present)This hit Netflix series follows a group of teens in a treasure hunt in the “Outer Banks” of North Carolina – which was actually set in the Charleston area. Some notable locations to look out for include Shem ...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Did you know the Lowcountry has been the backdrop for several popular movies and tv shows throughout the years?
With winter weather expected to impact the area Friday evening, there’s never been a more perfect time to binge!
Outer Banks (2020-present)
This hit Netflix series follows a group of teens in a treasure hunt in the “Outer Banks” of North Carolina – which was actually set in the Charleston area. Some notable locations to look out for include Shem Creek, the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, Lowndes Grove, and Kiawah Island.
Where to watch: Netflix
The Righteous Gemstones (2019-present)
The second season of the popular HBO dark comedy just dropped on January 9, so there’s still time to catch up on the dysfunctional world-famous televangelist family that is constantly embroiled in scandal. Some notable locations to look out for include Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark, North Charleston Coliseum, Citadel Mall, Berkeley Country Club, and so many more.
Where to watch: HBO and HBO Max with subscription
Southern Charm (2014-present)
Calling all Bravo fans! This reality series follows the lives of young socialites as they navigate everything the Holy City has to offer. While it may not offer the most accurate representation of life in Charleston, it serves up all the drama you’d expect from a Bravo show. Plus, every episode features local restaurants, shops, and small businesses.
Where to watch: Bravo website, Peacock, and Hulu Live TV with subscription
Army Wives (2007-2013)
This hit drama series originally aired on Lifetime and follows the stories of five military spouses living on a fictional South Carolina military base. The Old Charleston Naval Base served as the main backdrop for the show, but a few other spots around Charleston and North Charleston can be seen too.
Where to watch: ABC (free with cable) and Hulu with subscription
The Notebook (2004)
Probably the most well-known movie filmed in the Lowcountry, the Notebook is a whirlwind romance story based on a Nicholas Sparks book that stars Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. Some notable locations to look out for include the American Theater, Cypress Gardens, and the Old Village in Mount Pleasant.
Where to watch: HBO Max and Peacock with subscriptions or rent the movie on Amazon Prime Video.
Dear John (2010)
A story of star-crossed lovers, this movie starring Amanda Seyfriend and Channing Tatum is another based on a Nicholas Sparks book that uses the Lowcountry as its backdrop. The story follows a soldier who falls for a college student while home on leave so you can expect to see the College of Charleston and Citadel campuses make an appearance. Other notable locations to look out for include Bowen’s Island Restaurant, Sullivan’s Island, and the Gaillard Auditorium.
Where to watch: Netflix with subscription or rent the movie on Amazon Prime Video.
Looking for something a little spookier? Try the latest installment in the Halloween movie series in which Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her iconic role and confronts her attempted killer, Michael Myers. There are even some Lowcountry natives who star in the film. Some notable locations to look out for include Military Magnet High School and the houses in Old Windemere neighborhood in West Ashley.
Where to watch: Rent the movie on Amazon Prime Video
The Patriot (2000)
This movie starring Mel Gibson is a two-for-one. Not only was it filmed in the Lowcountry, but it is also based on the true story of “Swamp Fox” Francis Marion. Francis Marion, a Berkeley County native, was a military officer in the Revolutionary War known mainly for his guerilla warfare tactics. Some notable locations to look out for in the movie include Randolph Hall, Botany Bay, and Middleton Place.
Where to watch: Netflix with subscription or for rent on Amazon Prime Video.
Phil Mickelson defied the odds, and his age, to win an epic PGA Championship at Ocean Course
As he jetted home that night from Kiawah Island, Phil Mickelson popped the cork on a favorite vintage and tapped out a message on his phone.“Life is good,” Mickelson wrote, and it was so.Mickelson wrote the golf story of 2021 — and one of the best golf stories of all time — on the wind-swept Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in May. The 50-year-old, who was eight years removed from his last major title, became the oldest major champion in the sport’s history by winning the 103rd PGA Championship on Pet...
As he jetted home that night from Kiawah Island, Phil Mickelson popped the cork on a favorite vintage and tapped out a message on his phone.
“Life is good,” Mickelson wrote, and it was so.
Mickelson wrote the golf story of 2021 — and one of the best golf stories of all time — on the wind-swept Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in May. The 50-year-old, who was eight years removed from his last major title, became the oldest major champion in the sport’s history by winning the 103rd PGA Championship on Pete Dye’s punishing 7,800-yard layout.
The six-time major champion played it cool all week, moving at a deliberate pace with his brother Tim on the bag, and hiding his emotions behind a pair of ever-present shades.
But there was no playing it cool for the thousands of spectators at Kiawah. After a year in which PGA Tour events were sparsely attended due to COVID-19, the floodgates seemed to open at Kiawah, especially when Mickelson emerged as a contender against a field stuffed with younger stars.
Mickelson fans shouted their support during the week, climbing into trees to get a glimpse of their hero and following him in droves.
On championship Sunday, the dam broke as Mickelson marched up the 18th hole toward victory. He and playing partner Brooks Koepka were swallowed up by thousands of delirious fans who flooded the 18th fairway in a memorable scene.
“Certainly one of the moments I’ll cherish my entire life,” he said after the triumph. “I don’t know how to describe the feeling of excitement and fulfillment and accomplishment to do something of this magnitude, when very few people thought that I could.”
Mickelson’s unexpected victory thrilled his competitors, as well.
“It was like the Phil that I remember watching just when I turned pro and it was great to see,” said South African Louis Oosthuizen, who tied for second with Koepka. “I mean, what an achievement to win a major at 50 years old, and he deserves all of that today.”
Phil’s highest finish on the PGA Tour for the rest of 2021 was a tie for 17th, though he won three times on the Champions Tour. The week after the PGA Championship, he missed the cut.
“But, I won the PGA,” he said with a grin. “So …”
Exploring Kiawah Island, South Carolina’s private getaway, where day visitors are welcome (by most, anyway)
KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina – The young man behind the counter at the West Beach pool helped me pick out a bike, handed me a map and told me to have fun.What a contrast to the security attendant I encountered a few moments before, who made me feel like an interloper at the gated entrance to Kiawah Island.I brushed aside her grouchiness and headed out on two wheels, pedaling first through the island’s leafy interior before heading to the beach, where the sand at low tide cuts an incredible coastal path along the At...
KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina – The young man behind the counter at the West Beach pool helped me pick out a bike, handed me a map and told me to have fun.
What a contrast to the security attendant I encountered a few moments before, who made me feel like an interloper at the gated entrance to Kiawah Island.
I brushed aside her grouchiness and headed out on two wheels, pedaling first through the island’s leafy interior before heading to the beach, where the sand at low tide cuts an incredible coastal path along the Atlantic.
Kiawah, the mostly private barrier island about 25 miles south of Charleston, is often included on lists of the world’s most beautiful beaches. For that reason alone, I put the island on the top of my to-do list as I planned a short trip to South Carolina to try out the new Breeze Airways flights out of Akron-Canton Airport.
It’s not the simplest place to visit, however, especially if you’re not spending the night.
There’s one hotel on the island, the tony Sanctuary, a gorgeous, ocean-front AAA five-diamond property with 255 rooms. Rates here run $500 and up during the summer, which was too steep for me.
Instead, I overnighted at a hotel on U.S. 17, a 30-minute drive away, and planned a day trip to the island. Shortly after arrival, however, I wasn’t entirely sure that my plan was a good one.
I had called earlier to make a reservation for the Jasmine Porch, inside the Sanctuary, one of the island’s numerous restaurants. It’s one of several ways that non-guests are encouraged to visit the island, owned primarily by the Kiawah Island Golf Resort and other real estate development companies.
I made it to Kiawah by 10 a.m. on a recent Sunday, told the woman at the gate that I had a restaurant reservation and asked for a map of the island. She told me I wasn’t to linger on the island and wouldn’t give me a map.
“But I’m planning on renting bikes,” I told her. “You’re not allowed to rent bikes,” she told me.
That came as news to the young man at the nearby West Beach pool, who told me I was welcome to rent a bicycle and to pedal anywhere I liked. “Security being security,” he said, and shrugged.
Indeed, non-guests are also welcome to sign up for recreational activities and nature programs, including dolphin encounters, kayak tours, art classes and more.
They’re even allowed to golf – and this island is well known for its spectacular and prestigious courses, including the waterfront Ocean Course, which hosted the 2021 PGA Championship in May. Five courses are open to the public, whether you’re staying on the island or not, including the Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course, Cougar Point, Turtle Point, Osprey Point and Oak Point.
I’m not a golfer, which kept my to-do list simple for my short visit: Explore the island by bike, enjoy a nice meal, check out the beach, maybe witness some wildlife.
I popped into the Nature Center, too, for some air conditioned-relief, where I saw numerous snakes, turtles, a stuffed bobcat and two infant alligators in tanks (the only gators I saw during my visit, despite omnipresent signage warning visitors to stay away from ponds and waterways).
I enjoyed almost all of it – the biking was terrific, with 30 miles of shady, flat, paved paths that rarely intersected with the roadways; and the Southern cuisine at Jasmine Porch was excellent, featuring she-crab soup and crab cakes plus bottomless peach iced tea. The beach, as expected, was absolutely stunning, massive at low tide, flat and perfect for walking, cycling, lounging, even bocce playing.
The attitude of the folks manning the security gates, however, was decidedly unwelcoming. Perhaps purposely so?
Cocktails at the Ocean Course
After we returned our bikes, my husband and I decided to have a drink at the Ryder Cup Bar, at the far east end of the island, overlooking the spectacular 18th hole of the Ocean Course. Our waitress at lunch assured us that the bar was open to the public.
There is a second security gate about midway down the island, which controls access to the eastern half of Kiawah. I told the woman at the gate that we were headed to the Ryder Cup Bar.
She saw the pass from earlier in the day on our car’s dashboard and asked us if we had been to the beach. “Um, yes,” I answered. She then told us that we should not have been on the beach. “If we let everyone on the beach, there wouldn’t be enough room for the people who pay a premium for access,” she said.
That did not seem to be remotely a possibility, given the size of the beach here. But I smiled and nodded.
In a more friendly tone, she said she would make an exception for us, and handed us a pass to proceed to the bar. I thanked her while controlling the urge to roll my eyes.
My husband was put off by her attitude that seemed to suggest we weren’t welcome. I was amused, but also confused.
Other than the security staff, everyone we encountered on the island – vacationers, homeowners, wait staff, shopkeepers – were all wonderful and welcoming. They seemed to want us around.
The drive out to the Ocean Course was stunning, past spectacular, multimillion-dollar-plus properties, along live-oak lined roadways that were draped with Spanish moss.
At the end of the drive: the Ryder Cup Bar, where I very much enjoyed a cocktail called a sweet tea mojito. I sipped my beverage and enjoyed the view.
Thirst (and curiosity) quenched, we made our way back west, toward the only public destination on the island, Kiawah Beachwalker Park, part of the Charleston County Parks system (note: parking here is $15).
While technically all beaches in South Carolina are public, private landowners can (and do) restrict access to those beaches.
Beachwalker park provides public access to Kiawah’s entire 10-mile stretch of sand. Theoretically, a visitor could access the beach here and traverse (by foot or bicycle) the entire stretch of the Kiawah coast.
I wasn’t that ambitious, walking perhaps a mile to the island’s western end, where the Kiawah River joins the ocean. I was hoping to see some dolphins strand feeding, a fascinating practice where the dolphins herd fish onto the sand then launch themselves out of the water to eat. Kiawah, nearby Hilton Head and other low-lying coastal regions are among the handful of places throughout the world where this occurs, typically just before or after low tide.
Alas, I didn’t see any dolphins, but the beach was engaging enough – wide and flat and glorious.
I could have walked longer, but my feet were tired, the sun was setting and my hotel was a half hour drive away.
If you go: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Getting there: Kiawah is about 25 miles southwest of Charleston, an easy drive from the airport or downtown.
Staying overnight: The Sanctuary offers 255 oceanfront rooms, starting at about $500 per night during the summer. Other options include the Andell Inn, part of the Freshfields Village development, just off Kiawah on St. Johns Island.
The island also has hundreds of villas and private homes available to rent via the Kiawah Island Golf Resort or individual owners.
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