Carolina Cider Company: Halfway Between Charleston and Savannah

Carolina Cider Company

Carolina Cider Company is a quirky roadside stand, the perfect spot to stretch your legs when traveling between these two great Southern belles.

Carolina Cider Company
Carolina Cider Company

The drive between Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia, is just over two hours, mostly on a divided highway, U.S. Route 17. It’s an easy drive with little to see except miles and miles of trees and grasses.

Heading south, the Carolina Cider Company in Beaufort is one of the few interesting options for stopping midway between the two cities. Friends had told us about the “pie place” along the way but it turned out to be more than that. It’s really a gourmet grocery store.

The huge billboard on the side of the road that warned we were approaching the Carolina Cider Company for a “taste of the low country” didn’t overpromise. (Admittedly, we were confused at first because the sign on the door read Carolina Cherry Company but whatever…they were one and the same.)

The "front porch"
The “front porch”

The building exterior looks like an old-fashioned general store with some high-backed wooden rocking chairs outside and a retro feel reminiscent of road trips from the past.

Even the prices on the old Texaco gas pumps are frozen in time at 42 cents a gallon.

Gas pump frozen in time at Carolina Cider Company
Gas pump frozen in time at Carolina Cider Company

Carolina Cider Company: Grab and Go

Inside, you can grab a cup of coffee with one of the shop’s famous pies, either a tartlet (for one) or a regular-size pie to take home. When we stopped, the fresh homemade pies available for purchase that day included pecan, blueberry, peach, sweet potato, cherry and apple.

Homemade Apple Pie at Carolina Cider Company
Homemade Apple Pie

Another specialty is the peach and cherry ciders, all made with natural flavors and no sugar or preservatives. Having been in the area for several weeks, southern delicacies now seemed more familiar.

Some of the regional food specialties for sale at Carolina Cider include Benne wafers, hushpuppy batter mix, grits, fruit jams and jellies, barbecue sauces, pickled vegetables, Hoppin’ John, and Cajun deep-fried peanuts you can eat with the shells.

Low-country specialties at Carolina Cider Company
Low-country specialties

Low-Country Favorites

Everything is served up with a big dose of Southern hospitality. Both the sales clerk—and open jars with spoons beside them—encourage customers to sample the products.

Although all the foods were regional specialties of the low country, these types of products are akin to the small-batch food delicacies we have found in shops in New York, like Dean & DeLuca or Eataly.

Branding is everything, so some of the syrups at Carolina Cider were tagged as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” and packages of nuts said they were favorites of NBC weatherman Al Roker.

Some of our favorite things
Some of our favorite things
Hush puppy mix at Carolina Cider Company
Hush Puppy mix at Carolina Cider Company
Aromatic Carolina Rice
Aromatic Carolina Rice
Garlic Cheese Grits
Garlic Cheese Grits

One of the many \uvirtues of a road trip is that there are no TSA 3-3-1 rules. Because we could take bottles and liquids home with us, we were able to purchase pretty jars of peach and fig fruit preserves as gifts.

If you miss the turn-off

The Carolina Cider Company surely felt like a one-of-a-kind roadstand.

Until we realized, upon returning to Charleston, that a clone of the Carolina Cider Company was on the other side of the road just in case, someone missed it on the way going.

Of course, we loved our terrific day trip because there were so many things to do in Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia. 


Guess we weren't the only ones on the road from Charleston to Savannah

Guess we weren’t the only ones on the road from Charleston to Savannah

All photo credits: Jerome Levine


Carolina Cider Company, 81 Charleston Highway (Route 17), Yemassee, South Carolina

If Savannah is your final destination, here are some unique places to stay in Savannah GA

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  1. I love unique places, especially those that seem frozen in time! This definitely qualifies. Too funny there’s one on each side of the road! They don’t miss a sale that way.

  2. Totally, I didn’t see that coming! I would have wanted to go to the other side and see if it was exactly the same.

  3. This unique place looks worth stopping at. I love the retro look of the exterior. I am not a cider fan, but that pie looks scrumptious. I also have never tried peach cider – I might like that.

  4. I grew up taking road trips around the U.S. with my parents and just loved being able to pull over on a whim. You’re so right about not having to worry about liquids and security on a car ride too!

  5. What a great looking place. It made me think of the old Stuckey’s signs on I-95 going through the south. Carolina Cider Company looks like a great find.

    1. I thought of Stuckey’s when I first saw this post! I was trying to remember if they were on both sides of an interchange?

  6. Please never post a photo like that apple pie again. I just licked my computer screen and may have damaged it.

    Seriously, looks like a great road trip. I live in South Carolina and planning to get to Savannah later this year, so I’ll definitely stop in.

  7. Irene, this sounds like a great “pit” stop (pun somewhat intended) on the road between Charleston and Savannah. We’re overdue for a road trip, so I need to file this place away somewhere I can retrieve it—-i.e. other than in the deep dark recesses of my aging brain. Is the cider “hard” cider?

  8. I love these charming roadside stores. I really enjoyed your post. Can we expect a story about the shop on the other side of the road?

  9. We’ve stopped there and it’s everything described and more. We purchased a small peach pie and wished we’d purchased more flavors. Delicious! Also purchased a bottle of apple cider and it keeps very well in the refrigerator. The lady at the shop told me it would keep for two months in the fridge. Some pickled okra, fresh honey. All very good.

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