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Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

Mattapoisett, MA
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Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

Hi - about 14 women and girls in my family try to get together once a year for a weekend around the third week of May. We are mostly from Massachusetts and it can still be pretty cold up here in May. We have a variety of ages and looking for someplace that has a variety of activities. Shops are a must for some of us and others love the outdoors. A good pool or even waterpark would be good. We've even thought of a dude ranch but that most likely would leave out the shoppers. We also would like to be not too far from an airport.

We are totally open to suggestion - does not have to be South Carolina but we were thinking it might be nicer down there in may than up here. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Sue

Charleston, South...
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1. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

Look into the Charleston area. It has been named the #1 vacation destination in the world by Conde Nast. It offers fantastic dining, great shopping (upscale store to outlet malls), lots of charming and historic spots to visit. 3 local beaches (Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach) all about 20 min from historic downtown. For a wonderful outdoor experience you can go kayaking in the marsh and see dolphins and sea birds up close, no prior experience needed. Walk or run over the bridge over the Cooper River (Ravenel Bridge) great views. Airport is about 30 min or so from downtown.

Go to the Charleston Forum page and look to the right for Top Questions About Charleston ~ this will give you loads of ideas and suggestions.

www.cvb.com

www.kayakcharleston.net

www.nature-tours.com

www.historiccharleston.org

You could also consider Hilton Head Island, lots of golf, tennis and bike riding, some shopping. Does not have as much to offer as Charleston, but many love it for the relaxed beach destination. Approx 2 hours from the Charleston airport.

Not sure there is much offer of horseback riding in either location, maybe someone else can come up with something I am not aware of.

Edited: 03 January 2013, 20:38
Beaufort, South...
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2. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

South Carolina's three so-called "horse country" locations are Aiken, Camden, and Landrum, which are all interior locations at least 2 to 4 hours from the coast. You will find some equestrian activities in some locations in Charleston and Hilton Head Island, as referenced. If you ask me, I would suggest Charleston as well.

If you do consider Hilton Head, the Savannah airport is a closer trip than Charleston's. As for where on HHI, Sea Pines Plantation does have a nice equestrian farm as well as pools and beaches, but not much in the form of water parks. You'd also be close to the historic communities of Savannah and Beaufort, which are easy day trips (or good destinations in their own right).

Edited: 03 January 2013, 21:59
Charleston, South...
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3. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

There is so much liability involved in horseback riding, (ie if someone falls, etc) that in our "sue happy" society, most places no longer offer that type of thing.

Ridgewood, New...
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4. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

Seabrook Island , which is about 40 minutes from Charleston, has it's own stable and offers horse riding. www.discoverseabrook.com/equestrian.php

Charleston, South...
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5. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

Charleston should fill all your needs.

Middleton Equestrian Center, adjacent to Middleton Place, offers guided trail rides.

Stono River Stable on Johns Island has a good bit of land. It has just changed hands so you'll have to contact them to see if they still have trail-ride/ rentals.

You can Google to find webpages for both of these options. Within an hour of Charleston are other public stables. I suggest posting a separate query if this is a serious interest.

Several Charleston County parks have water parks - Palmetto Islands, James Island, and Wannamaker. I don't know if they open before school's out, but the beaches are always open and people will be swimming by mid-May.

Greensboro, North...
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6. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

I've only seen dude raches (with the cowboy stuff) out west. You can go on trail rides at the above mentioned while the shoppers shop.

Edited: 04 January 2013, 00:16
Fayetteville...
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7. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

Seabrook Island is one of the few remaining places on the East Coast where you can still ride a horse on the beach (I recall Amelia Island, FL is another place).

Late last summer, the Equestrian Center at SBI began offering "beginner" beach rides. I do not see it listed on the website, so call and ask if it is still being offered.

A little known fact--you do not have to be staying on SBI to use the Equestrian Center. Of course, you'd be missing out on the serenity of Seabrook:)

Located outside the gate of Seabrook (and Kiawah), you'll find Freshfields Village. It is filled with cute shops, eateries, and a grocery store. It's great when you need a little retail therapy but don't want to go all the way into Charleston.

A weekend might not be long enough to visit the Low country:)

Kiawah Island...
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8. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

OGE, you are brilliant...they could rent a couple of villas or a house through the Resort on Kiawah and have access to the Resort's new waterpark, which just opened in 2012.

kiawahresort.com/recreation/swimming-pools/

As you stated, right next door to the SI Equestrian Center and Freshfields, plus 10 miles of beautiful beach, for a little biking or lazing.

This might fit their bill!!!

Edited: 04 January 2013, 13:05
Kiawah Island...
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9. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

Oh, and the Resort does offer kayak tours, as well. Ralph, mentioned above, is our favorite, but with the short time you are planning to spend on your trip, keeping close by will save time.

Kiawah has 20+ miles of bike trails, in addition to the 10 mile beach.

Edited: 04 January 2013, 13:09
10. Re: Horse riding, shopping, pools - looking for a reunion spot

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