South Carolina: Sunny Vacation Destinations
By Renan Leahy
Are you torn between spending your next vacation inhaling the fresh, mountain air or relaxing by the sea breeze? Why not have both? South Carolina offers everything for those seeking fun and adventure along with more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Here are my top destinations for people of all ages in this charming Southern state.
Hilton Head Island, Where Nature Embraces You
Hilton Head Island is considered a golfers’ paradise. This eco-friendly island offers dreamy beaches and plenty of outdoor activities. One of the greatest treasures of this place is the native vegetation, which is strongly protected. And the best part is that you can explore those lush green outdoors along more than 95 km of bike trails. You can also go horseback riding, zip lining or experience a variety of water sports.
Urban Beauty in Historic Charleston
In Charleston, the waterfront promenade is the ideal place to admire the beautiful antebellum homes, some of which are open to visitors. There I also found relics from the American Civil War in Battery Park, which happens to be a great place to enjoy a waterfront sunset.
This city deserves to be explored on foot or on one of the many horse-drawn carriages that travel through its historic streets. Shopping in the open-air market and visiting the picturesque Shem Creek Park in the Charleston Harbour are two other local attractions that I highly recommend.
Myrtle Beach and its Coast as Far as the Eye Can See
At vibrant Myrtle Beach on the north coast, you will find 95 km of white sand to relax. The long waterfront boardwalk has bars, restaurants and shops to visit, and the many piers along the coast offer not only shopping and dining options, but also great spots for fishing.
Besides the beaches and water sports, visit places like Brookgreen Gardens, a spectacular blend of a botanical and sculpture garden and zoo, with generous touches of art and history. Also enjoy the two outlet malls, amusement park rides, family-friendly attractions and much more.
The Midlands and Upstate
At the center of the state is the capital city of Columbia, cut by three rivers that invite you to go canoeing. Nearby is Lake Murray, a haven for all types of aquatic activity.
The upstate welcomes visitors with many hiking and biking trails in the cities or in the various state parks. And it's all so amazingly beautiful that you will go on for miles and won’t get tired.
Greenville, for example, is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and combines natural beauty and Southern charm. The one-of-a-kind Liberty Bridge, in Falls Park on the Reedy, is an architectural masterpiece that adds on to the beautiful waterfalls running under it. That is also the starting point of the 28 km Swamp Rabbit Trail, one of the most beautiful trails of the city’s urban area.
There are so many options that you will not have excuses to stay put. Bring your sense of adventure and explore South Carolina!