South Carolina has it all. The beautiful beaches, the southern charm of Charleston, the history, and the downhome cuisine are sure to please every visitor. South Carolina is an ideal destination for any traveler, whether it’s your first time or you are rediscovering your old favorite spots. Below we have 10 great places to visit in South Carolina, perfect timing for your summer getaway.
Cities with Southern Charm
Charleston Historic District
Travel back to another time in American history when you visit Charleston’s Historic District. This area has over 1,400 historic structures that are 18th and 19th-century architecture styles. Walk through any of Charleston’s historic neighborhoods (Radcliffeborough, Ansonborough, Cannonborough/Elliotborough, Mazyck-Wraggborough, Harleston Village, Business District, French Quarter, and South of Broad) to get a glance at the ornate southern homes and landmarks. Explore these neighborhoods and much more of Charleston’s southern flavor via a horse and carriage ride through this historic city.
See the State Capital, Columbia
Columbia is the state capital of South Carolina and the state’s largest city. Indulge yourself with military history at Fort Jackson Army base. The Five Points area is the premier shopping destination in Charleston and is packed with many shops and boutiques. One highlight in Columbia is the Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens, which predates the Civil War and has period architecture throughout the grounds.
Hang on the Beach
Play at Myrtle Beach
Many tourists flock to the 60 miles of coastline to relax and swim at beautiful Myrtle Beach every year. For your entertainment needs, visit Broadway at the Beach, the largest entertainment venue in the state. At this venue, guests can shop, play mini-golf, dine and even see a movie. To get a panoramic view of the pristine beach and the surrounding area, ride the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel.
Go Golfing at Hilton Head Island
Those that love to play golf head out to Hilton Head Island to one of the many fabulous golf courses located on this tiny island. At Hilton Head, you can spend a day lying on its gorgeous beach, or bike over one of the several bike paths, or walk the nine miles of public access coastline. You can learn to play tennis at Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, which is considered one of the best tennis schools in the United States. If you wish to spend some time on the water, you can schedule a dolphin-watching tour and spend a day watching these magnificent creatures swim.
See Southern Wildlife at Huntington Beach State Park
If you love to spend your holiday viewing wildlife, be sure to pay a visit to Huntington Beach State Park. While exploring the park you will encounter many wildlife species including loggerhead turtles and alligators. This park is notable because there are over 300 different species of birds found here, and it is considered the best birding location in South Carolina.
Love the Gardens
This plantation and gardens has a vast history dating back to the early 1700s. Opening in 1870, Magnolia Plantation has the distinction of being the country’s oldest public access garden. This last large scale romantic style garden is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.
These gardens are located on the grounds of former rice plantations south of Myrtle Beach. Besides the abundance of plant life, Brookgreen Gardens includes a sculpture garden and the Lowcountry Zoo. Be sure to check out the Live Oak Allee, which consists of trees dating back over 250 years to the plantation days of the site in the early 1700s.
According to TripAdvisor, Middleton Place is the number one attraction in South Carolina. Visitors can stroll on the grounds of on the plantation located on the Banks of the Ashley River. This 65-acre complex includes a museum, restaurant, inn, stables, and stable yard. The landscape here is full of beautiful gardens, terraces, and outdoor garden rooms. Middleton Place also has the distinction of being the oldest landscaped gardens in all of America.
Get Lost in Southern History
See A Civil War Battle Reenactment at Fort Sumter
On April 12, 1861, the Civil War began following the attack on Fort Sumter. Tourists can now view a reenactment of this event presented by National Park Rangers to get a better understanding of Civil War history. Visitors can also see the ruins of the fort and Charleston Harbor. A 90-minute sightseeing boat tour is also available here that travels along the Cooper River to Fort Sumter National Monument.
See some Naval History at Patriots Point
At Patriots Point guests can tour the USS Yorktown and other maritime exhibits at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. The museum also has school and group tours available. A number of events happen year-round at Patriots Point including military ceremonies and food truck day. If you want a hands-on history lesson, come visit Patriots Point.
Any other South Carolina suggestions? Leave them below
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com