- South Carolina
Between long stretches of sandy beaches, world class golf courses, beautiful mountains and historical wonders, South Carolina’s charm has won me over.
There is something to explore for everyone, and you'll soon find out why I left South Carolina feeling like I had found my new getaway. Its diverse landscapes make for the perfect vacation, whether you are looking for something relaxing or exciting.
Upscale Boardwalks and Wildlife of Hilton Head Island
The sun had already set when I reached Hilton Head Island. I heard a chorus of quacking and humming wildlife in the river adjacent to the hotel – a teaser of the abundance of nature and animal life in South Carolina.
While making my way to the beach the next morning, I spotted herons proudly perched on a branch. It was early in the day and the beaches of Hilton Head Island couldn’t have been more serene. I walked along manicured boardwalks with palm trees and swinging benches. I saw people practicing yoga and riding bikes right on the clean, white sand in the fresh morning air. After a moment to reflect in the breeze of the vast ocean, I headed out, driving past some of South Carolina’s gorgeous championship golf courses.
Historical Shops and Bluffton Barbeque in Old Town Bluffton
Minutes later I was in Old Town Bluffton. This historic heart of the community had cute colorful shops, a farmers market, a live music listening lounge, and a café serving inventive cold coffee drinks. But it was the barbecue that stole my heart. The chicken at Bluffton Barbeque was melting off the bone, with perfectly spiced seasoning and delicious homemade barbeque sauce. A glass of southern sweet tea with traditional sides of cinnamon-swirled sweet potato casserole and seasonal collard greens topped off this exquisite meal.
Charleston’s Waterfront Parks and World-class Dining
I then drove north along the coast to Charleston, where horse-drawn carriages carried passengers down cobblestone streets to see brightly colored pre-Civil War era mansions on the waterfront Battery Park. Children and adults alike seemed fascinated by the wartime cannons. Later, browsing the high-end shops on King Street, I discovered smoky Charleston honey from a specialty store and ended the day at a world-class restaurant serving southern shrimp and grits.
Just outside Charleston is Boone Hall Plantation, one of the most romantic places I’ve ever been. The rustic pathway with a canopy of Spanish moss draped oak trees took my breath away. I also learned fascinating historical facts in the original slave cabins on the estate. In the plantation gardens, I got to pick unbelievably sweet, ripe strawberries fresh off the vine to snack on en route to my next stop, Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach’s Boardwalk and Outlet Shopping
Pulling into Myrtle Beach, the signature sight is a giant Skywheel showcased among various theme-park style activities on the boardwalk and a plethora of mini-golf courses. The rocking chair on my balcony overlooking the ocean was heavenly. And for my shopping fix, just 10 minutes away were the Tanger Outlets where I found some nice deals on designer clothes.
Small Towns and Big Cities
Moving inland, the state capital, Columbia, has historical museums and art galleries that are not to be missed. Just outside of Columbia is South Carolina’s oldest inland city, Camden, where there are wonderful antique shops, historic homes and a battlefield from the American Revolutionary War. Greenville, even further inland, is a true gem at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. We visited Falls Park on the Reedy River and winded down at some of the 90 pubs and restaurants in the area.
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