South Carolina is a Southern charm-infused orchestra of landscapes that performs to perfection year-round.

Creating this concord are world-class white sand beaches and mega golf locations alongside its Atlantic edge, Blue Ridge mountain vistas inland, giant cities that by no means overwhelm and Lowcountry cities that go away you within the highest of spirits.

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South Carolina is primed for a multi-city highway journey with a number of mega interstates and main US roadways zigzagging all through the state. At a minimal, you’ll need to plan a protracted weekend or per week within the Palmetto State to actually dabble in its geographic wonders and heat and undeniably twangy natives.

From the 26,000-acre nationwide park to the museum-clad capital, and a coastal gem of a metropolis that may go away any foodie loosening their belt a notch, these are the very best locations to go to in South Carolina. 

A boardwalk leads the way through dense forest in Congaree National Park
Comply with the elevated boardwalk by way of the huge Congaree Nationwide Park © iStockphoto / Getty Pictures

Congaree Nationwide Park is the very best place for outside adventures

Tucked in the course of South Carolina and roughly 20 miles southeast of Columbia, Congaree National Park is the place individuals come to quietly unwind. This practically 27,000-acre park is a biodiverse spectacle, with towering hardwoods, stringy Spanish moss, a two-plus mile elevated boardwalk and the calm Congaree and Wateree Rivers comprising its panorama.

Central and staffed, Congaree Nationwide Park appeases off-the-grid multi-day campers and people in search of a guided expertise. Every Saturday year-round, rangers and native volunteers lead guided excursions of among the park’s most astonishing experiences, together with turtles the dimensions of a espresso desk, hand-sized spiders and “Champion Timber” that rank among the many largest bushes on earth.

A small group of people play beach volleyball in Myrtle Beach South Carolina
Myrtle Seaside has a lot to maintain all guests occupied © Getty Pictures

Myrtle Seaside is the place to go for a household time out

As quickly as you set foot on Myrtle Beach’s tender sands, you’ll get why it’s thought of the colourful coronary heart of South Carolina’s “Grand Strand” (a 60-mile stretch of seashores alongside the Atlantic). Inside its coastal confines, there’s actually one thing for each member of the family, spanning boardwalk strolls (and maybe a SkyWheel journey?), craft brewery excursions with bocce ball motion at Crooked Hammock Brewery and, after all, limitless days on the seaside.

For a family-friendly outing, Surfside Beach is the right vacation spot, a lot in order that it is domestically often known as Household Seaside. A small unbiased neighborhood with practically 2 miles of ocean frontage, it has mini golf (Journey Falls Golf), the Wild Water & Wheels Water Park and the Surfside Bowling Entertainment Center, ideally suited for wet days. 

Charleston is a prime vacation spot for foodies

“Holy Metropolis” is a godsend for these in search of quintessentially Southern or an internationally infused eating expertise. Its King Road artery and concrete core tantalizes all of the senses, from its mixture of Georgian, colonial, and federal-style buildings to its boutique outlets promoting the native necessities like Southern-inspired hats, bowties and fits to its seemingly limitless array of restaurant choices.

You and yours will need to go to Charleston hungry and if there’s a must-stop restaurant in your itinerary, make a reservation upfront. One to not miss is the central Hotel Bennett and its Gabrielle patio overlooking Marion Square

Octopus with a side of small portions of potatoes, onions and corn. There's a smear of green sauce on the side of the plate. There's a glass of wine, a fork and knife on a white tablecloth.
The octopus is a well-liked dish at Bistronomy by Nico in Charleston © Andrew Cebulka / Bistronomy by Nico

For arguably the very best biscuit on the town, there’s a Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit simply blocks north (order something however get it with pimento cheese). For a refined sit-down expertise off the primary drag, head to Bistronomy by Nico within the city’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial District. You should definitely strive the mussels (served in a kaffir lime broth) or the curry crab soup that may have you ever begging for the recipe.

The place you keep is half the Charleston enjoyable. Central choices span the Roaring Twenties-inspired boutique The Spectator Hotel, the French Quarter Inn with a each day wine and cheese reception and the aptly named waterfront HarbourView Inn

For a quiet retreat with seamless entry to town, e book the Embassy Suites by Charleston Harbor Mt. Pleasant. It has panoramic views of Charleston’s steeple-filled skyline and the close by former Navy plane provider, the USS Yorktown. If you wish to work off all these meals, you may stroll throughout the enduring Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge to get to and from downtown. 

Interior of the Senate Chamber of South Carolina State House in Columbia, with a large US flag hanging down
Colombia is dwelling ot the South Carolina State Home © Getty Pictures

Columbia is the very best place for exploring museums and gardens

Stately buildings and open areas await in South Carolina’s capital metropolis. The place the Saluda and Broad Rivers meet (and, enjoyable reality, the place the Congaree River begins), most of the metropolis’s greatest attracts are on the shores of the rivers, together with the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden and, for disc golf lovers, Granby Park.

On the museum entrance, main attracts embody the South Carolina State Museum, Columbia Museum of Art and the practically 100,000 sq ft EdVenture Children’s Museum.

Columbia is as bustling as a South Carolina city will get with a hybrid of governmental buildings and youthful buzz stemming from the University of South Carolina. Guide a South Carolina State Home tour to make the very best of all worlds.

For those who’re visiting South Carolina within the fall or winter months, catch a College of South Carolina soccer recreation. Put together for optimum pandemonium in the event that they occur to be enjoying in-state rival Clemson.

Visitors to Falls Park linger on Liberty Bridge overlooking the Reedy River waterfalls
Admire the falls earlier than grabbing a espresso in Greenville © Alamy Inventory Picture

Greenville serves the very best espresso in South Carolina

This upstate metropolis offers a rush in so some ways. Tucked within the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll discover Falls Park on the Reedy in its heart, the place the 345-ft Liberty Bridge guides of us above a multifaceted waterfall. 

The encircling parks are dwelling to small gardens, theater festivals and locals stretching out for picnics or taking their canine for a stroll. The vibe makes it among the many greatest romantic and distinctive locations to go to in South Carolina.

From Falls Park, you may maintain the frenzy going simply north alongside Fundamental Road. Amid mom-and-pop eating places and regional chains, the Peace Center Concert Hall and a smattering of resort choices, prioritize a visit to Methodical Coffee for the very best cup of Joe in the entire Palmetto State. 

Born and bred in Greenville, Methodical Espresso has rapidly turn out to be a US specialty espresso heavyweight and has three cafes on the town. Snag a pour-over espresso or chilly brew – don’t put any sugar or milk in it, as a result of will probably be flavorful sufficient with out it.

Florence is a good metropolis with a small-town aptitude

“Magic Metropolis” is dwelling to roughly 40,000 South Carolinians and is the soul of the state’s Pee Dee area. (You’ll see numerous references to Pee Dee plastered alongside interstates – it refers back to the native river in addition to the Pee Dee native tribe).

Downtown Florence’s brick-dotted city core – practically 1.1 sq miles – has skilled a revitalization lately with trendy museums, galleries and public areas taking heart stage.

Primed for a day journey, hit the Florence County Museum with rotating reveals that includes regional artists. Throughout the road is the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, which has an amphitheater, two theaters and common orchestra productions. 

Florence’s SC Pecan Festival held in November is a nationwide draw, attracting 50,000-plus of us eager to strive pecan-infused every thing. 

Greenwood is the right place for a quiet retreat

Greenwood lives as much as its identify, with lush bushes aplenty all through its downtown/Fundamental Road thoroughfare and surrounding areas. Arts and parks are very important to creating a day on this quiet city of 25,000, which is roughly 90 minutes west of Columbia.

The city’s arts hub is the Arts Center of Greenwood, housed within the stately Federal Constructing. Right here you may peruse items by native artists (typically together with creations by college children, adorably). The Heart additionally hosts artwork courses. 

Lake Greenwood State Park is a serious draw for largemouth bass fishers (you want a state license to fish) and campers – there are greater than 100 campsites alongside the lake’s shore.


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