Nature and History Meet in the Pendleton District
Located in the northwest corner of the state on I-85, Pendleton is a gem. Hiking to some of the Southeast’s most scenic waterfalls or braving the rapids on the Chattooga River are ideal outdoor adventures. For a more leisurely pace, visit the South Carolina Botanical Gardens and Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum.
Exploring the Upcountry
Hiking, horseback riding, biking and driving the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway are fun ways to discover the Upcountry. With 150 waterfalls, three freshwater lakes and the Chattooga National Wild & Scenic River’s thousands of acres of parks and hundreds of miles of trails, great outdoor adventures await here in northwestern South Carolina. You’ll also find bustling cities and delightful small towns.
Go Back in Time in Old 96
Visit the off-the-beaten-path Old 96 Historic District to find historical importance among abundant natural resources. Revolutionary War stories are discovered at national and state parks. Museums and historic homes are not to be missed. Thousand miles of shoreline are ready for exploring, along with hiking, walking and biking trails.
Olde English Offers History and Thrill Rides
South Carolina experienced more Revolutionary War battles than any other colony. Many were fought within the Olde English District. Monuments and markers, living history sites, reenactments and Kings Mountain National Military Park all tell the story of our nation’s battle for freedom. Carowinds amusement park recently introduced a $50-million expansion featuring Fury 325, the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster.
Capital City & Lake Murray Country
Columbia, the state’s capital city, has a dozen museums, including the SC State Museum and EdVenture Children’s Museum. The Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens features lush botanical gardens and new North American river otter and grizzly bear habitats. The region’s three rivers are a delight for paddlers, with canoeing, kayaking, rafting and tubing. Lake Murray offers the best in bass fishing, sailing, jet skiing and paddle boarding.
Race through Thoroughbred Country
As the name indicates, this South Carolina region has a rich horse tradition and culture. Also discover Civil War battle sites and historic plantation homes. From the Jim Harrison Gallery in Denmark to the Healing Springs near Blackville to the fall Chitlin Strut Festival in Salley, there’s something to see and do in Thoroughbred Country’s small towns.
Hit the Greens or the Lakes in Santee Cooper Country
Exciting fishing, canoeing and kayaking challenges are found on Lakes Marion and Moultrie, two rivers, two canals and a large swamp. The area is no longer a best-kept golf secret with 20 championship layouts. Try a flat-bottom boat tour of Cypress Gardens/Butterfly House & Gardens or the peaceful tranquility of Mepkin Abbey in Berkeley. Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter is a favorite.
Pee Dee Country: From Agriculture to NASCAR
Named for the Pee Dee Indians and easy to reach, this region is served by I-95 and I-20. The South Carolina Cotton Museum and South Carolina Tobacco Museum exemplify the agrarian lifestyle of the region. The famous Darlington Raceway and its “track too tough to tame” is part of the NASCAR tradition. Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum is a must-see.
Relax in the Lowcountry & Resort Islands
Regardless of your interests, this region has something for you. The immaculate beaches of the resort islands give way inland to historic antebellum homes and farmland. The arts are alive at the SC Artisans Center. Whether you parasail off Hilton Head Island, kayak a lush marsh or just relax under a stately live oak with a good book, this is a lifestyle to enjoy.
The Charleston area, with its venerable architecture, magnificent gardens and plantation homes, is a living museum. Blended with more than three hundred years of history are invigorating outdoor recreation, well-known art and music venues and world-class dining options. A carriage ride through the “Holy City” is a great way to begin your Charleston visit. The Gibbs Museum of Art and Charleston Tea Plantation should be on every visitor’s list.
Myrtle Beach & The Grand Strand
Few destinations can claim to have everything, but, with the exception of mountains, the Myrtle Beach area comes close. Centered around 60 miles of wide sandy beaches are outdoor activities from parasailing and fishing to zip lines and boating, kayaking and canoeing. There are dozens of amusements and attractions, including one very large oceanfront Sky Wheel. The evenings come alive with a half-dozen, family-oriented live entertainment theaters.