Experience Gullah culture in S.C.

Residents of St. Helena Island keep heritage intact with food, crafts and storytelling

Travel

August 06, 2006|By CINDY STACY | CINDY STACY,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE THE South Carolina Lowcountry -- particularly St. Helena Island -- if you want to be immersed in communities of Gullah culture.

Here is where generations of former slaves from West African coastal countries live, keeping their unique Gullah culture intact.

IF YOU GO

PENN CENTER INC.: 843-838-2432, penncenter.com, St. Helena Island, S.C.

DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 95 south to Exit 33 onto U.S. 17 north to U.S. 21 south. Go south through Beaufort to St. Helena Island. At Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, turn right. Drive a half-mile to Penn Center Historic District.

ON THE CALENDAR AT PENN CENTER: Heritage Days Celebration, Nov. 10-13, showcases Gullah heritage, penn center.com.

MUSEUM: York W. Bailey Museum From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. $4 adults, $2 children / seniors. Group rates are $2 per person. The Laura M. Towne Archives and Library is available to researchers by appointment.

GULLAH ARTS AND CRAFTS: Red Piano Too Art Gallery; 870 Sea Island Parkway; 843-838-2241; redpiano too.com; sells folk art, fine art and Gullah arts and crafts.

DINING: Gullah Grub, 877 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island; 843-838-3841; moderately priced food.

RESOURCE: For tourism information, call Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce at 843-986-1102, or call Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at 843-986-5405.

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