Because of its abundance of both saltwater and freshwater environments and its relatively low human density, the Lowcountry  offers a stunning glimpse into the diversity and majesty of the Southeast’s bird population, both regional and migratory.
Serious birders swear by Hunting Island State Park  (2555 Sea Island Pkwy., 866/345-7275, www.huntingisland.com , daily 6 a.m.–6 p.m., until 9 p.m. DST, $4 adults, $1.50 children), which thanks to its undeveloped state and its spot on key migratory routes makes it a great place to see brown pelicans, loons, herons, falcons, plovers, and egrets of all types. Park naturalists conduct frequent guided walks.
The tall observation tower at Port Royal ’s The Sands, where Battery Creek joins the Beaufort River, is a convenient vantage point from which to see any number of local bird species.
The big, wild ACE Basin  (8675 Willtown Rd., 843/889-3084, www.fws.gov/acebasin , grounds year-round daylight–dark, office Mon.–Fri. 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m.) hosts at least 19 species of waterfowl and 13 species of wading birds.
At the northeast corner of the ACE Basin is the Bear Island Wildlife Management Area (843/844-8957, www.dnr.sc.gov , Mon.–Sat. dawn–dusk Feb.–Oct.), considered one of the best birding spots in South Carolina. To get there, take U.S. 21 north out of Beaufort  to U.S. 17 north. Take a right on Bennett’s Point Road and continue south about 13 miles. The entrance is about a mile on your left after crossing the Ashepoo River.