Taking a trip down south for the end of summer? We suggest making your way through South Carolina to enjoy all this state has to offer! Beautiful scenery can be found everywhere and the places to explore are endless. Check out our list of ways you can make your trip to South Carolina unlike any other!
While many people know South Carolina for the coastal line or the cities, this state has its fair share of natural getaways. If you’re searching for a place to disconnect, look no further! From swamps and trails to sidewalks and trees, South Carolina’s scenery is bound to surprise you.
Angel Oak on Johns Island
The perfect shady solace awaits you nestled in the middle of Angel Oak Park right outside of Charleston. This 400 year old tree has withstood multiple hurricanes and centuries of history. Legend says that you can see angels of slaves among the low lying branches. Spend an afternoon in the park having a picnic enjoying the greenery or take a visit closer to dusk to see if you can experience the legend coming to life.
Congaree River in Columbia
If you are searching for an adventure that can double as a great exercise, the Congaree River Blue Trail that leaves from Colombia and continues over 53 miles down into Congaree National Park. This is the perfect river for a long canoeing or kayaking trip. Experience nature in a new way while paddling down the serene waters. Our favorite part about this spot? Not many people know about this hidden gem, so you can have the river trail all to yourself!
Falls Park in Greenville
When you think of downtowns, you usually picture large buildings and noisy streets, however that isn’t the case here in Greenville. Just steps away from the city’s center, you can find a beautiful waterfall that has the perfect overlook. This is the right destination if you are looking for an easily accessible nature filled area. We love how versatile this park is! Stop at the lookout for a couple minutes to check out the view or explore the rest of the park later. Either way, you will be surprised by the beauty this city holds!
Palmetto Trail across the State
Running through cities and forests, the Palmetto Trail is one of South Carolina’s largest hiking trails, stretching from the the east coast to the western border of the state. Take a stroll beside the sea or through the sandy lake fronts on one of the many sections this trail has to offer. Some hikes are short and for beginners, while others are strenuous and require experience, so be sure to check out the skill level before embarking on your journey.
Huntington Island State Park in Hunting Island
Huntington Island State Park can give you views like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Trails blaze through miles of marshland and swamps to give you interesting information about the flora and fauna that make their home within the southern marshes of South Carolina. This park is also very focused on fishing. Find certain piers on trails and check the fishing rules. We suggest taking your fishing pole, hiking to an open pier and fishing while enjoying the birds.
Take a picture, it will last longer! South Carolina is full of destinations to be the backdrop of your photos. These are some of the most perfect spots to snap pictures and capture your adventures. Visit these places and go home with memories and a full camera.
Battery in Charleston
During the World War, The Battery was built as protection against attacks form the sea from Charleston to Fort Sumter varying in height. The Charleston strip is known for antebellum style homes that still stand. If you are looking for the perfect southern town by the water feel for you photo, there is no better place than this walkway. Catch the area at sunset to watch the light illuminate the colors in the landscaping!
Table Rock in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Located in the north western part of the state, this less famous mountain lies at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Across a lake you can see a jagged, steep drop off from the crest of a mountain in the distance. Because of its straight edge and stark difference from every other mountain in the area, this specific formation is known as Table Rock. Visitors can snap gorgeous pictures that show the variety of scenery South Carolina can hold or pose with a picture perfect backdrop. We suggest visiting when the leaves start changing to get the full effect of the nature that surrounds you!
While this destination is a little different than our other choices, there is no doubt this location is worth a visit. Most people view Myrtle Beach as a place to relax, unwind and have some fun, however, the area hold endless photo spots that will surprise you. Get a bird’s eye view from one of the near buildings of the pier at dusk. The colors are illuminating and vibrant, bringing summer to life! You can also stroll along the beach and enjoy the water while finding some of the most picturesque hideaways!
Poinsett Bridge in Greenville County
There’s nothing that says “perfect instagram background” more than artsy walls. Poinsett Bridge is believed to be the oldest standing bridge in the state. Historians even believe it was designed by the same man who was the lead architect of the Washington monument. Stand up against the side of the bridge and pose for the right shot to match your aesthetic or have your photographer back up and get the entire arch in the photo! Either way you can’t go wrong with this unique location that has the ability to tie beauty and history together in one picture.
If high class and relaxed beach life is your idea of the perfect getaway, take a trip down to Hilton Head Island. This island is scattered with a variety of photogenic areas that allow you to capture the serenity of your island retreat. Snap some shots down by the docks or feature the gorgeous beaches on your social media stories. With endless places to explore you and the family will never get bored on this vacation.
South Carolina is loaded with a history lesson around every corner. From the origin of the country to the development of agriculture and so much in between, this southern state has hidden historical artifacts and events that most people never even think twice about.
Pelion Peanut Party in Pelion
If you’ve every visited The South, you know there are a few things the Carolinas take pride in. The first one on that list is peanuts. The state produces one of America’s largest crops of this legume from homegrown farmers that have honed in on their skill for years. Traditionally this is a time for the farmers and locals to boil their crop in the special recipe and serve it to eager festival goers. Those who grow it have great pride and those have visited rave about the unique taste. Take a quick turn off the highway to taste this historical treat!
Sweet Tea Festival in Summerville
The second thing South Carolina takes pride in is their sweet tea – you can’t take a trip down without tasting a glass. To commemorate The South’s infamous twist on tea, the city of Summerville throws a festival every year. tourists and locals alike can stroll down the row of vendor booths and experience a tradition that has lasted decades. Since the 1800’s, Summerville has been known for their fairs and festivals. Enjoy true southern hospitality and acceptance at one of these festivals. We suggest buying the festival’s signature sweet tea glass to have as the perfect souvenir of your excursion.
Mepkin Abbey in Berkeley County
While visiting an Abbey with monks may not be on everyone’s travel list, we think you should consider adding it to yours. Far off the beaten path in the middle of woods in South Carolina, you can find the beautiful Mepkin Estate containing the Mepkin Abbey, Gardens and Library. The Abbey is still fully functional, however the estate and gardens are open to the public on a daily basis. Many visitors enjoy exploring the garden area that seems endless, however, we suggest also checking if the library is open the day you will visit. Inside, visitors will find endless amounts of historical documents and art. And if none of those options intrigue you, visit their famous graveyard where many historical figures have been laid to rest.
Old Exchange Custom House and Provost Dungeon
As our favorite destination on this list, this building has the perfect mix of entertainment for the history buff and interest for the adventure seeker. Originally built in 1771, before the American Revolution, this building was operated by the British as an exchange house on the surface. However, when war broke out, the British transformed the basement of this building into a dungeon to keep American prisoners of war captive. After the war ended it was transformed back into an exchange house and event hall hosting George Washington’s dinner parties, the meeting for ratification of the constitution and so many more influential parties that shaped our nation as we know it today. Stop by and take a tour or self guide yourself through the history this area holds.
While Fort Sumpter may be a heavily trafficked tourist destination, crowds begin to wind down at the end of summer and you will have the opportunity to get a genuine feel for what the fort was like back during the Civil War. Historians dub this location as where the Civil War began after growing tensions between The North and The South. Bring the kids along and make this history filled outing worth the trip, everyone is guaranteed to learn something they didn’t know before.
Quick Roadside Stops
If you are just passing through, there are still plenty of stops you can make along the way that maximize the amount of fun and minimize the amount of time. Take a look at our list of fun activities you can do and places you can see just a short trip off main highways.
Peachoid in Gaffney
South Carolina is known for their peaches, but the smaller town of Gaffney takes peach pride to a whole new level. In this town, you will find a water tower that is painted into a perfect peach that overlooks the city. Stop the car, take some funny pictures or just drive by and enjoy the scene from the road. Either way, you are sure to enjoy this sight!
South of the Border in Dillon
Known for the neon lights and iconic billboards that line the side of Interstate 95 north and south of the destination for almost 200 miles, South of the Border is an attraction you will want to take the family to. While most roadtrippers see this destination from the road, not many stop in to explore the place, which is why it made our list! Ride the carnival style rides, search through the shops and enjoy this quaint attraction that is unlike another. The best part? As soon as you are finished, I-95 is right there to continue your journey!
Ghost Tours in Charleston
Charleston is known to be a city of history and artistry. However, legend claims that Angel Oak isn’t the only place that comes a little bit more to life when the sun goes down. If you’re passing through at night and are interested in hearing all the ghost stories and terrifying tales, we suggest signing up for a ghost tour of historic downtown Charleston. Get a dose of haunting history and local lore that is sure to keep you awake for the rest of your drive!
Bee City in Cottageville
With the diminishing bee population becoming a growing concern in today’s society, visit a place where you know bees can be kept safe! Bee City in Cottageville houses a sanctuary for bees and produces their own honey while keeping it raw and fresh. However, the bees aren’t the only attraction here, this destination is a hands on interactive petting zoo complete with just about every animal you could think of. If you are traveling with kids, be sure to check out all the buzz!
Atalaya Castle in Pawley’s Island
This Moorish style castle was originally built in on beach on South Carolina as a winter getaway for a wealthy family. However, when the peak of World War II hit, the family vacated the building and allowed the Army Air Corps to use it as operating grounds. From 1942-1946, the Army used the building to supply more east coast support. After the war, the building was designated as a historical place and the area around it named after the family, Huntington Beach State Park.
We would love to hear your suggestions on places that are worth the visit in South Carolina! If you’ve been to some of these locations, let us know how you enjoyed them! Share your thoughts in the comments below!