For most travelers, Hardeeville is known for its plethora of low-budget lodging and garish fireworks stores at the intersection of I-95 and U.S. 17. Truth be told, that’s about all that’s there.
However train buffs will enjoy getting a gander at the rare and excellently-restored Narrow Gauge Locomotive near the intersection of U.S. 17 and Highway 46. Donated by the Argent Lumber Company in 1960, Engine #7 memorializes the role of the timber industry in the area.
Hardeeville is now home to many Latinos who service all the retirement communities sprouting up in the Lowcountry . Long story short, this means if you’re hungry in Hardeeville, go straight to Mi Tierrita (U.S. 17 and I-95, 843/784-5011, $5), an excellent, authentic Mexican restaurant near the I-95/U.S. 17 confluence. It’s pretty beat-up on the inside, but the food is delicious and many steps above the typical watered-down Tex-Mex you find in the Southeast.
If barbecue’s your thing, go on Highway 170A on the “backside” of Hardeeville in the hamlet of Levy to The Pink Pig (3508 South Okatie Hwy., 843/784-3635, www.the-pink-pig.com , Tues.–Wed. and Sat. 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Thurs.–Fri. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–7 p.m., $5–15). They offer three sauces: honey mustard, spicy, and “Gullah.” The place is surprisingly hip, with good music piped-in and a suitably cutesy, kid-friendly décor with plenty of the eponymous rosy porcine figures.