"Eat Sleep Play Beaufort" Highlights Dataw Island Members' Happiness
Dataw Island was recently given a Bliss Award for being the Best South Carolina Community of 2017. It’s no wonder, given the attraction of the Lowcountry and all that Beaufort has to offer – gorgeous surroundings, year-round pleasant weather, a wealth of diversity, cultural attractions…and that intangible thing we call the Magic of the South. Some of us are lucky enough to be Beaufortonians by birthright, growing up fishing and crabbing in our waters, and others were lured by the magic – becoming instantly enchanted with Beaufort’s charm, its history and its people.
Either way, one fact is clear: Locals sure are happy to be here.
Real Estate Scorecard recently recognized local community Dataw Island as one of the happiest communities around. Members of different communities all across the South were surveyed regarding their happiness, and Dataw residents scored a near-perfect 96 out of 100.
To see how it’s possible to be SO. DARN. HAPPY., we spoke with a few of their members to see what they thought.
Here’s what we heard:
Perry and Patty Gesell moved to Dataw Island 16 years ago, and say that they were instantly enchanted when they crossed the bridge to Dataw. “The mere mention of the name conjures images in my mind of an idyllic, secure, gated community accented by picturesque, sweeping inland marshes, an intricate network of tidal creeks and streams, and moss-draped oaks,” Perry muses. “Nature rises and falls here each day with the tides. With so much accessible marshland, some of the best fishing and scenic kayaking can be found in our area and Hunting Island is a treasure in itself. A Lowcountry maritime forest, it’s one of the few remaining undeveloped Sea Islands along the Carolina coast.”
Another member, Peggy Dale, echoed a similar love for the island’s beauty and ambiance, but also points to the unique sense of community and connection that she appreciates. “This island is small enough that personal connections are really possible,” Dale said. “Through all the clubs, sports and committees, you play and work together and ‘everyone knows your name or at least knows your face. After six-plus years living on Dataw, I realize that one if its greatest assets is Dataw’s big heart for reaching out to its own when in need and reaching out in Beaufort and the surrounding lowcountry. There is a compelling desire to volunteer and help out.”
Yet another member, Lee Scott, and her husband, have known for more than a decade that this is where they wanted to be. They had toured the Eastern seaboard to find their ideal destination and “when we arrived on Dataw Island my husband and I both said, ‘This is it!’ Driving onto the island for the first time was memorable. It wasn’t just the flowers and the Spanish moss hanging from the live oak trees, but the whole island was mesmerizing. Although it took us ten years to retire and make the move, it was the right decision.” she said.
“Friends up North ask us how we knew we wanted to move to Dataw Island and we respond by telling them that we loved the ambiance,’ but there is much more. We also liked the proximity of historic Beaufort, we love the military presence and being on the water –all things that remind us of Annapolis, Maryland, where we had lived before.”
Scott also said the very active lifestyle is a huge benefit. “The island has a very active lifestyle. If someone is bored on Dataw Island, then they are just not trying.”
Agreeing with Dale, Scott added, “There is a whole other side to Dataw Island, too. It is the property owner’s activism in, not only our island, but the Beaufort Community that is important. Seems like every event I attend off the Island, I see other Dataw Island neighbors.”
Experts say that staying active, being social, and pursuing your passions are keys to a happy and healthy life…scoring a 96 out of 100 on the happiness scale, we think it’s safe to say that Dataw residents have nailed it.
In closing, Scott offered a piece of advice for others considering a move to Dataw Island: “If someone is looking for a sedate place to live then Dataw Island is not for them. However, if you believe in life after retirement, then Dataw Island is for you!”
The natural beauty and charm of Dataw, combined with an active lifestyle full of large doses of philanthropy, seem to be a winning combination for the happiness quotient for Dataw Island members, but the Bliss Award extends beyond the gates – and is something all of Beaufort should be proud of. Because it speaks volumes of all the treasures that make up our happy slice of the Lowcountry.
Article compliments of “Eat Sleep Play Beaufort”