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Port Royal Island, South Carolina Real Estate

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Port Royal Island Real Estate Owners Enjoy Intracoastal Waterway

Port Royal Island real estate owners are scarcely aware they are living on an actual island entirely surrounded by salt water and tidal marshes. With 46 square miles, Port Royal Island, South Carolina, is the largest of the Beaufort County sea islands. Only Hilton Head and St. Helena are close in size.

The waters surrounding Port Royal Island are actually inlets and tendrils of the Atlantic Ocean that rise with the tides to meet fresh water streams flowing toward the coast. These waters combine with the marshes to form a coastline of unbelievable beauty that nurtures the beginning of sea life for much of the Atlantic. Their names, starting at 6 o’clock and moving clockwise around the island, are Port Royal Sound, the vast Broad River, the Whale Branch of the Coosaw, the Coosaw River and the Beaufort River.

The Intracoastal Waterway winds through Port Royal Island's waters, which form a playground for all water sports to the immense enjoyment of Port Royal Island real estate owners. Fishermen get a shot at both northern and southern species, including cobia and the mighty tarpon. Boaters find waters for every type of vessel, from a tiny kayak or canoe skimming along a tidal creek to an ocean-going yacht headed for the Gulf Stream.

Port Royal Sound, the second deepest natural harbor on the east coast, first attracted explorers in 1561. For 200 years the Spanish, the French, the British and Native Americans fought over Port Royal Island.

The city of Beaufort is the county seat and a beautiful walk-around small town of restored antebellum mansions and sturdy white cottages.

Smaller than Beaufort, the town of Port Royal is also a walking town and a fishing village, home to a small shrimping fleet and a seafood restaurant where the catch of the day may be the catch of “a few minutes ago.” Artsy shops offer original artistic accents for your Beaufort home and garden.

Mysteries of tidal marsh ecology are unraveled at the low-key Lowcountry Estuarium, the project of a local artist and naturalist. An area along the Beaufort River called “the Sands” is popular among both Port Royal Island real estate owners and Beaufort real estate owners for crabbing, fishing, launching boats and hunting for fossilized sharks’ teeth. The military is a presence on Port Royal Island, and many men and women of service are homeowners of Port Royal Island real estate.

Adjacent to the town of Port Royal is the famous Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. Its Naval Hospital is ranked as one of the best Naval hospitals in the country, and some veterans retire and purchase Beaufort real estate just to be near its services. Another arm of the military is the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, where pilot training takes place.

Recent years have seen the birth of newer neighborhoods in the Port Royal Island real estate market. The gated Picket Fences in Port Royal is a family oriented community featuring resale homes beginning in the mid $100s and custom built homes in the $200s. Wide porches and sidewalks add to the friendly neighborhood feel of the community.

A par three golf course is nearby and the amenities package includes a junior Olympic pool, community deck, walking trails and parks and playgrounds.  Lots begin in the $20,000 range with waterfront premium lots selling for $275,000.

Also gated is Pinckney Retreat, a community of 77 homesites located on a salt marsh of Battery Creek. With a mile-long entrance under the canopy of ancient oak trees, developers retained the property’s 1736 plantation house originally built by a young Frenchman for his wife. Today the house serves as the retreat’s clubhouse complete with a patio, summer kitchen and pool. Port Royal Island real estate owners of Pinckney Retreat enjoy a private pier, marsh breezes and the retreat’s abundant wildlife. Lot choices include pond, lake, and marsh or water view. Homes for sale begin in the high $90s through the high $500s.  //