In 1675 a barrier island 15 miles south of Charleston was purchased from the Kiawah Indians for hatchets, cloth, beads and other supplies by European settlers. As time went on the land was divided into several plantations and purchased by wealthy planters who used the land to grow corn and peas and to raise cattle. Some of the plantations were destroyed over the course of the Revolutionary War and Civil War but were rebuilt shorty after both wars, most notably the Vanderhorst house which was built in 1801 and still stands today.
In 1951, the Vanderhorst family sold Kiawah Island which led to the development of a private, residential beachfront community and golf resort. Today, Kiawah is a well known southern getaway for golf enthusiasts and a top travel destination in U.S. The Kiawah Island Golf Resort features spacious villas, luxurious beachfront homes and 5 award winning golf courses. Opened in 1991, the Ocean Course is Kiawah’s premier golf course and one of the top rated in the world by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. The Ocean Course has held several well known tournaments including the Ryder Cup, World Cup of Golf, and the PGA Championship in 2012.
Kiawah’s residential development has not hindered the island’s natural aesthetics as can be seen by its breathtaking views of the Stono River and surrounding salt marshes, gorgeous beachfront views of the Atlantic Ocean and its picturesque inland sanctuaries where natural wildlife thrives. Bicycle paths stretch across the island making it perfect for a scenic family bike ride and the numerous tidal creeks and rivers make it ideal for kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing. Kiawah Island remains one of the most pristine, yet luxurious destinations in the U.S. thanks to its beautiful surroundings, excellent golf and close proximity to Charleston.
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