Ah, the South Carolina Lowcountry. This blissfully tranquil slice of the American coast where time seems to move a little slower, dictated in some places by a watch that only moves every twelve hours with the tides, is perfect for an active retirement. Its peaceful waters and serene bucolic beauty invite you with every slowly descending sunset to take a deep breath, relax and join mother nature in her unhurried pace.
If that sounds like your thing, you may stop reading right now. If, however, you read the above and already felt itchy to get up and get moving, you’re in luck. The Lowcountry is a wonderland of groups and activities aimed at the active resident who knows that the most relaxing sunset is one you earn after a day spent getting your blood pumping.
If you’re looking to keep active after your move to the Lowcountry, you might try:
Hilton Head Island has the distinction of being a Gold Level Bike Friendly Community as certified by the League of American Bicyclists. Putting it among the top 25 communities in the country for cyclists, this designation also makes Hilton Head the only gold level community in the southeast, and one of only two on the east coast. In short, this is paradise for cyclists and you’ll find plenty of groups to join as you traverse its 60 miles of scenic wonder.
One of the most popular is the Kickin’ Asphalt Bicycle Club, founded in 2006. Their rides, held Saturday mornings, typically range between 15-40 miles at a pace of 12-18 mph. Those looking to take in the area’s beauty at a more relaxed pace can join EZ Riders Bicycle Club, where each ride is usually incorporated into some kind of scenic activity. These social riders usually run 12-16 miles with a pace between 10-12 mph. And for a ride that blends a comfortable pace with lunch and a strong social bond, check out the Chain Gang Bicycle Club.
The island’s famed rec center is an indelible part of the active community, offering everything from tennis, golf and swimming to football, hockey and lacrosse. While their youth programs have helped develop some of the island’s most gifted athletes, the array of programs at the senior center are perfect for those looking to keep active.
A $28 per person, $40 per couple yearly membership to the rec center’s senior center gets you access to a slew of groups activities designed to keep you moving. The center holds a regular “tone and strengthen” fitness class three days a week for a small drop-in fee, and a six-week tai chi & yoga course on Tuesdays for $45. You can even get three free classes at the south end’s Reebok CrossFit center.
Heading off campus you’ll find regular senior center bowling group meetups at Bluffton’s Station 300 as well as a Thursday morning walking group which meets at Jarvis Creek Park. Other sports-oriented activities include golf and tennis groups that meet regularly.