The curious now have a chance to explore Ted Turner’s former private retreat.
But opportunities are limited for now.
S.C. State Parks is offering select tours of St. Phillips Island, the 5,000-acre natural wonderland southeast of St. Helena Island previously owned and used by the media mogul Turner and his family. The state bought the property for $5 million last year and recently announced plans to open the island to visitors.
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The six-hour, ranger-led tours will be Friday and Saturday and again on Nov. 16-17. Tours are $100 per person and limited to 16 people per trip.
As of Monday morning, all that remained were four spots on the Saturday tour, according to the state parks website.
State park officials will assess the initial tours to work out any issues, said S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism spokeswoman Dawn Dawson-House. More tours will likely be offered soon, she said.
After meeting at Hunting Island Nature Center for orientation, visitors will take a boat taxi to St. Phillips from Russ Point Landing. From there, a tram will drive the tour to explore the middle of the island, beach and area around the Turner house.
The property includes a 3,300 square-foot waterfront main house that could eventually be rented to large parties. More buildings could eventually be added — a conservation easement allows up to 10 more dwellings.
Five trail systems traverse ancient dunes, and the island is home to a variety of notable trees and wildlife.