St. Phillips is an undeveloped island off the coast of Beaufort, near Hilton Head. It previously belonged to billionaire Ted Turner, who sold it to the State of South Carolina in 2018 for $4.9 million. It first went on the market in 2014 for $24 million.
There is no bridge to St. Phillips, nor does the island have water or electricity. The 4,682-acre property has just two homes at present, a caretaker’s cottage and Turner’s four-bedroom, four-bathroom vacation residence (seen below). The latter, set four miles inland, features wood paneling and a porch that faces the Atlantic Ocean. The island is protected by a conservation easement, held by the Nature Conservancy, which allows only ten additional structures.
It’s a series of dunes that are thousands of years old, rolling like waves interspersed with canal-like inlets.
Viewed from the air, it looks like a series of long ribs.
St. Phillips is an interior sea island in the process of being washed into a barrier island, its dunes gradually migrating as the seas push in. It’s a living example of the future of the eroding coast, complete with deer, alligators, gray and black fox squirrels, tabby (concrete oyster shell ruins), in among pines and hardwood blanketed with resurrection ferns.
One of South Carolina’s few existing “boneyard beaches” can be found on St. Phillips, which is located five miles from Hunting Island State Park, by boat. It is also near St Helena Island, which is known for its vibrant Gullah culture. The Penn Center, a National Historical Landmark, is located on the site of one of the nation’s first schools for freed slaves.
More Pictures of St. Phillip’s Island