Only In South Carolina
Discover what is new and noteworthy, historic and memorable, and everything in between, only in South Carolina.
With so many great options in South Carolina, it is easy to plan a great vacation or a quick getaway. Discover unique experiences in the Palmetto State, including hidden gem golf courses and regional attractions. No matter your preferences, this state has a destination for you.
Scattered throughout the Palmetto State are 47 State Parks. When traveling in and around, or through, the state, it is always a great idea to see what State Park is close to you, so you can pop in and explore. Recently the South Carolina State Park’s website was completely overhauled, providing more user-friendly navigational tools for park goers. Fully responsive, the site can be accessed and viewed on any mobile phone, device or desktop. Another neat offering at a number of South Carolina’s State Parks are the guided tours, hikes, overlooks, campgrounds, kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, fishing and so much more. Each park has detailed information listed on their section of the new website.
South Carolina is made up of more than 30,000 miles of streams and rivers that make their way through South Carolina’s Upstate around the mountains and into the Midlands. These streams are popular destinations for fly-fishing. While this type of fishing does require some practice and skill, streams are great places for beginners. One of Palmetto State’s top rivers for fishing is the Pee Dee River, which is not only full of catfish and redbreast, but is also a beautiful place to spend a day on the water. It is also home to 14 major reservoirs, which all together cover nearly 370,000 acres. Some of the top lake destinations for fishing include Lake Marion, Lake Thurmond, Lake Moultrie, Lake Jocassee and Lake Murray, just to name a few. Trout, bass, catfish, crappie and shellcrackers can be found in the lakes. So make sure you bring plenty of bait!
Large, mid-sized or on the smaller size, the numerous cities and towns across South Carolina each have their own appeal, charm and allure. Some of the larger, more popular cities in South Carolina include Greenville, in the Upstate, Columbia, in the Midlands – and the state capital – and Hilton Head Island, Charleston and Myrtle Beach along the coast. Greenville’s revitalized Main Street has earned all of the well deserve accolades it has received over the last few years. It was recently named Travel + Leisure’stop places to visit in 2018. From a beautiful riverfront park and walkway, to outdoor seating, unique coffee bars and electric restaurants, Greenville is definitely a jewel of the Upstate. In Columbia, the state’s seat of government, one can find art and culture around every corner. With the Columbia Museum of Art located directly on Main Street and new restaurants popping up nearly every day, this capital city is a thriving Metropolis that is only gaining in popularity.
Food + Drink
Oh, and don’t forget the craft beer scene! One of the largest in the state, Columbia and the surrounding areas, boast a number of breweries with one long awaited one slated to open in an abandoned hangar in the early months of 2018. Finally, exploring the coast is always a favorite among visitors and locals alike. Fun, sun, sand and waves attracts families, couples and friends looking to enjoy South Carolina’s temperate and comfortable Spring, Summer and early Fall climate. From a culinary scene unlike any other in the nation, to activities, water sports, fun concerts and events to boot, there is truly always something to discover along South Carolina’s coast.
In 2014, South Carolina’s then Governor started a culinary and destination initiative that has grown into a thriving program called the South Carolina Chef Ambassadors. The Chef Ambassadors, all working and living in the state, tout their regions and cities. Their restaurants and their outstanding culinary talent is showcased throughout the year at a number of events and programming aimed at highlighting and South Carolina’s abundant locally grown produce; while also getting individuals off the beaten paths to explore cities they may not have heard about. For 2018, the slate of South Carolina Chef Ambassadors includes four talented female chefs hailing from Landrum, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Chefs Sarah McClure, Kiki Cyrus, Michelle Weaver and Heidi Vukov all bring their own unique culinary flare to each dish they create and prepare – something regulars know and have come to love, and hopefully, with this program, now in its fourth year, visitors will discover their masterpieces as well.
Animal lovers can learn about loggerhead sea turtles and support the efforts to rehabilitate sick ones with a trip to the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston. On the aquarium’s main floor, the Sea Turtle Hospital has been expanded to increase its impact on sea turtle conservation and accommodate a record number of sea turtles being brought in for treatment. Visitors can view the day-to-day rehabilitation while learning about these endangered creatures and the program that has successfully treated and released more than 160 back into the wild. Sea lions and seals flip, flop and play in Colombia’s newest attraction: a 250,000-gallon saltwater habitat called Sea Lion Landing at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Choose from several observation posts, including one underwater where the lively creatures swim just inches from observers. An outdoor amphitheater hosts special presentations on the frisky animals who like to show off for guests. The award-winning zoo and botanical gardens are also just steps away from the landing.
Santa Elena, a 16th-century Spanish settlement, was lost to time for more than 300 years. Written accounts proved the colony had existed, but no one knew exactly where it was. That changed in 1979 when a group of archaeologists discovered it hidden under a golf course in the Low Country town of Port Royal. Now, Santa Elena is getting its historical due with a new Santa Elena History Center in downtown Beaufort. Displays and presentations tell the fascinating story of one of the original European settlements in the United States.
From celebrity-owned eateries to a gaming paradise, Broadway at the Beach - one of the most popular destinations in Myrtle Beach - will be adding a few more big names to their directory in 2017. Wahlburgers, owned by the Wahlberg brothers (Mark, Donnie and Paul) is sure to be a blockbuster, while Paula Deen will have people lined up for her famous Southern cuisine. For those who like a little gambling with their meal, the new Dave & Buster’s is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
South Carolina is an awe-inspiring destination for travelers. New landscapes, old buildings, and pretty much everything in between, are all within reach in this breathtaking and alluring state. Eat your weight in vinegary South Carolinian barbeque after spending a day immersing yourself in the vast and bewitching natural parks. March your tootsies down to the sandy shores for a day of therapeutic beach sounds after exploring the wonders of the sea at a top-rated aquarium, there is no wrong way to experience South Carolina. The only wrong one could do, is notexperiencing South Carolina.
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