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South Carolina


Great Destination:


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Personality Types that Like it Best

Best for the broad group of Mid-Venturers and Centric-Authentics, but others will enjoy its diversity

Did You Know…?

  • South Carolina produces more peaches than Georgia.
  • More than 240 Revolutionary War fights occurred here, more than in any other state.
  • The South Carolina Golf Club was America’s first golf club (1786).
  • The opening shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter (1861).
  • South Carolina has a state dance, called the shag.

For duffers and history lovers

South Carolina is a good fit for those who love golf — in fact, there are more than 300 courses in the state — and those who appreciate fine dining, especially when seafood is involved.

The state also is noted for its geography, from inland mountains and lakes to miles and miles of sandy beaches on the mainland and numerous coastal islands, perfect for resorts and activities of all types.

Finally, as one of the original 13 colonies, South Carolina offers an array of appealing reminders of America’s past — fine attractions for those with history on their minds.
The big resort areas of Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach offer beautiful clean beaches, outstanding food and golf, golf, golf. High-quality restaurants offer a variety of food and atmosphere, and they offer fresh seafood year-round.

The Charleston area receives more plaudits than most other popular destinations and, in particular, draws praise for its historic associations, architecture and genteel southern hospitality. With the historic districts in older cities and plantation homes in the countryside, the state has plenty of American history on display.

Golf is important, especially to those in the middle of the personality scale, and they enjoy the rest of resort life: beaches, tennis, elegant restaurants, warm ocean waters. They like the fact there are plenty of activities for the whole family — very important if one family member is a golf fanatic and the others could care less. As for Charleston, these visitors report how immaculate and charming the city is, and how interesting they find the historic homes and other buildings.

More venturesome travelers can be even bigger golf fiends, but they are also more active. At resorts, they swim, play tennis and volleyball and, when their active day is over, enjoy fine food. Several take jaunts to islands off the coast that offer different cultural experiences.

The least adventurous visitors like South Carolina for the same reasons others do; they just pursue those interests at their own pace. They, like all others, appreciate the friendly people, reasonable prices and a sense that the destination is a safe place. And they like their golf.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Go camping at J. Strom Thurmond Lake. Named after South Carolina’s longtime U.S. senator, it lies on the western border, away from the main tourist areas on the coast. It offers nature programs and all kinds of water and outdoor activities. There are no commercial lodgings, but there is plenty of room for campers.
  • Play tennis and volleyball to your heart’s content.
  • Attend the Chitlin’ Strut festivities in Salley. Events include a chitlin’ strut dance contest plus hog-calling contest to go with a pig-out eating event whose central menu item is, naturally, pig guts (aka chitterlings).
  • Take a cooking class; learn how to excel at real southern cooking.
  • Take a multiday backpacking trip into the woods and mountains of South Carolina, or a multiday guided trip by canoe or kayak.
  • Go whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River or the Chauga River. The Chauga is described as a great choice for the experienced paddler.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Plan a girls’ getaway and immerse yourselves in the region’s foods and wines — and breweries.
  • Sign on for a sport-crabbing adventure on Hilton Head (crabs are brought in but released).
  • Have a lot of laughs at the World Grits Festival in St. George. This event includes a rolling-in-the-grits contest; the winner is the one who gains the most weight (from wearing the stuff not eating it). Also, watch for the corn-shelling, corn-tossing and grits-eating contests.
  • It is not New England, but there is great fall foliage, in the second to fourth weeks of October, in South Carolina’s Upcountry in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills. Drive along the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway, and stop to sample the hiking trails, too.
  • Sample foods traditional to South Carolina, including chitlins, collard greens, grits, okra, sweet potato pie and more.
  • Play golf, of course.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Taste beers made in South Carolina. But first, tour one of the breweries. R.J. Rockers Brewing Company in Spartanburg and Thomas Creek Brewery in Greenville offer tours, but call ahead.
  • Carve out quality beach time at Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach. Pamper yourself at one of the spa resorts, too.
  • Celebrate the peach at the Ridge Peach Festival in Trenton in June, and buy plenty of peach desserts and preserves.  Or, for a different food theme, choose the Gaston Collard Festival, held in September.
  • Pack the tackle. Fishermen will have a good time anywhere in the state.
  • Attend the very popular late-spring Spoleto Festival in Charleston.
  • Enjoy a narrated lunch or dinner cruise at Beaufort. Book your space in advance with the Islander Steamship Company.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult the South Carolina Office of Tourism at