Posted by: underseaencounters | March 18, 2009

road trip & beach reading

This past week I went on vacation with my husband and college-age sons. We couldn’t really afford to fly anywhere so we decided to go on a road trip. We ended up driving through 14 states—from South Carolina to Georgia to Alabama to Tennessee to Ohio, etc. Now home, I’d have to say our favorite place on this trip was Beaufort, South Carolina, and the surrounding lowcountry. Leaving behind dismal March weather in New Jersey, we found ourselves in 80 degree temperatures with:

Spanish moss hanging off live oaks



beautiful marshes


a maritime forest that felt like something from the Jurassic times


and a nearby beach along the Atlantic at Hunting Island State Park (where loggerhead sea turtles nest in the summer)


All in all, a very nice escape!

At a used bookstore in Beaufort, I found a wonderful book called Tideland Treasures by Todd Ballantine. Definitely toss this book in your beach bag if you are going to be anywhere along the Atlantic coast from Ocean City, New Jersey, to Cape Canaveral, Florida (although most of the book is relevant to the Northeast coast as well). Each page is a work of art—-hand-lettered with detailed drawings of various sea creatures. The author explains all sorts of seashore topics in an appealing and accessible style: hermit crabs, tide pool ecology, shore birds, moon snails, starfish, horseshoe crabs, and so on

Take a look inside the book on Amazon:




  1. Thanks for making me even more excited about our upcoming road trip. It includes D.C., Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. We can’t wait to check out Shenandoah Valley and the Great Smoky mountains :).

    Road trips rule.

  2. Hi Deb

    That sounds like a great trip–we’ve been along the shores of VA, MD, and North Carolina–all beautiful! Keep your eye out for whale or dolphin watching trips. We went on a great whale watching trip off Virginia Beach–not sure it’s the right season, but worth a look. The Great Smoky Mountains are on my top ten list of places I want to go to!! Hope you hear some good bluegrass music!

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