In the modern age of cell phones, satellites and digital doo-hickies, it's difficult to truly get away from it all.
Unless you head to Bull Island, just off the coast of Awendaw and hidden in the heart of the 66,000-acre Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.
The 90-minute drive30-minute ferry ride from the mainland to Bull Island might as well be a thousand-year trip back in time. And in this case, the journey really is part of the destination.
Sunrise on Bull Island's Boneyard Beach — Photo courtesy of Coastal Expeditions
The Island Cat winds through a maze of tidal inlets and islets, where dolphins surface from the food-rich estuaries and orange-billed oystercatchers comb the pluth mud for unsuspecting mollusks. Tour guides take the scenic route and don't mind a detour or pause to make sure passengers get an up-close view at it all en route to Bull Island.
Aside from a few creature comforts for modern humans, the island is as pristine as the time when the Sewee Indians co-existed with the wildlife that still inhabit it today.
The leeward dock is located near an old fort, picnic area and the Dominick House, home of the island's last owners until the federal government preserved the area in 1932.
But the rest of the 1.5-by-6-mile island is the work of Mother Nature and Father Time. Winds and tides constantly reshape the island, but the wildlife has stood the test of time.
The salt marshes are filled with egrets, herons, eagles, hawks and migratory birds that make the island their winter homes. Others stay year-round to feed off the fertile atoll.
The interior of the island features 16 miles of hiking trails and enough freshwater creeks and ponds to support a wide range of flora and fauna, including oak, cedar and palmetto trees and alligators, bobcats and white-tail deer.
In fact, Bull Island was home to a successful red wolf conservation project until 2005, when the offspring were relocated to Alligator River Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.
But it's the ocean that makes Bull Island special. The seven-mile stretch of beach serves as the state's largest loggerhead turtle nesting area and is teeming with a variety of shells, sand dollars, sharks' teeth and starfish - perfect pickings for the pickiest beachcomber.
On the north end of the island rests Boneyard Beach, aptly named for the twisted fallen trees that have been bleached white like bones by the sun and salt water.
Tidal creeks flow through the island, allowing kayakers to paddle to otherwise unreachable areas. A wildlife observation tower gives visitors a bird's-eye view of the island.
If you want to get away from it all, there's nothing like a one-day getaway to Bull Island.