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Places Welcoming You

gs logo Lake Aire RV Park & Campground
Hollywood, South Carolina
gs logo River Bottom Farms Family Campground
Swansea, South Carolina
gs logo Broad River Campground & RV Park
Winnsboro, South Carolina
gs logo The Campground At James Island County Park
Charleston, South Carolina
gs logo Camp Pedro Campground
Dillon, South Carolina

SOUTH CAROLINA

Bring your golf clubs and sense of adventure to a state where the fairways and ocean shores seem to stretch forever. Sample outstanding barbecue and reel in the big ones.

 

Charleston

With its elegant old buildings, some dating back more than two centuries, and its lovely location right on the Atlantic Ocean, historic Charleston is one of the most charming spots in the South. Along with an elegant collection of antebellum, Georgian and Victorian structures, visitors will find great restaurants, clean beaches and natural areas, as well as a variety of fun festivities throughout the year.

Awesome Antebellum

Charleston is chock-full of interesting attractions, from historic antebellum homes to fascinating history museums. The oldest unrestored plantation home in the U.S., Drayton Hall is a great showpiece of Palladian architecture, while the Magnolia Plantation features some of the prettiest gardens in town. The Charleston Museum is one of the most important sites in the region. Here, you’ll find a variety of Revolutionary and Civil War memorabilia, including an armory stocked with a fine selection of old guns and swords. The museum’s Natural History Gallery showcases prehistoric fossils and the Lowcountry History Hall features displays of Native American artifacts from the area.

Angle for Big Trophies

Charleston offers some great inland fishing, with plenty of spots to angle for redfish, trout and flounder. Popular areas include Lake Moultrie and the Cooper River. Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is also a popular spot for fishing, as well as shrimping and crabbing and oysters and clams can be harvested here during the cooler season.

Paddle Power

Kayaking is also popular in the Charleston area, owing largely to the abundance of peaceful salt marshes in the region, and there are plenty of outfitters around town that offer rentals and instruction. By the same token, there are plenty of boat operators offering maritime excursions; if you’re lucky, you might even spot Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.


Regional Recipe

Shrimply Delicious

Coax outstanding flavors from this Palmetto State seafood. Recipe adapted from Woodall’s Favorite Recipes from America’s Campgrounds.

getty images

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pound raw, deveined shrimp
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp minced garlic or onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp oregano

Directions:
Arrange shrimp on a 9-inch buttered pie plate. Sprinkle shrimp with lemon juice. Combine butter, bread crumbs, garlic or onion, and parsley. Broil 3 minutes to brown crumbs. Garnish with parsley and lemon.


Hike Charleston

If you want to get out into nature, you’ll have plenty of chances in the Charleston area. Bulls Island, located in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, boasts two short trails: the mile-long Middens Trail and the two-mile Turkey Walk Trail. If you want to get outside but would prefer a less active adventure, consider a visit to the 1755 Middleton Place House Museum, which features the oldest landscaped garden in the United States. Historical reenactments are big here, with costumed actors showing off old-time crafts and trades, and you’ll find a virtual menagerie here, from cows and chickens to water buffalo and cashmere goats.

History by the Sea

History comes to life in Charleston, and the beautiful city is filled with glorious old buildings, some of which are now museums. These include the Edmondston-Alston, a Greek Revival city mansion filled with antique furniture, and the Aiken-Rhett House, which has changed little since its last refurbishment in 1858. Other beautiful homes worthy of a visit include the Nathaniel Russel House, with its elliptical spiral staircase and gold-leaf molding and the art-filled Calhoun Mansion, which has equally impressive Japanese water gardens in its backyard. Perhaps the most famous historical building is Boone Hall, one of the oldest working plantations in the country; it’s best known for its mile-long driveway that’s flanked with towering oak trees, earning it the moniker, “The Avenue of Oaks.”

Party Time

Charleston puts on no shortage of events throughout the year, most of which offer entertainment for all ages. Food celebrations include the Lowcountry Oyster Festival (the largest oyster fest on Earth), held in January, and the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, featuring around 100 food and wine offerings.

Charleston Chic

In March, Charleston Fashion Week turns Marion Square into a temporary hothouse for fashion, while the Spoleto Festival in late May and early June showcases performing arts across genres. Later in the summer, the MOJA Arts Festival celebrates arts and culture from the African diaspora, with music, theater and dance from Africa and the Caribbean.

History Preserved in Georgetown

North of Charleston along the coast, the city of Georgetown entices history buffs. Georgetown is an old port city of nearly 300 years and looks the part with colonial-style brick buildings and ancient live oaks arching over the streets. Indigo and Carolina Gold rice were its main exports; the Rice Museum is in the Old Market Building on Front Street. Georgetown is the third oldest city in South Carolina, the second oldest in Beaufort. Lowcounty planters built so many gorgeous homes in Beaufort that it was promoted as the “wealthiest town of its size in America.”

Scenic Side Trips

To the east of Charleston lies the vast and fertile Lake Marion, which spans 110,000 acres and five counties. The lake was conceived in the 1940s as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal Rural Electrification project; the Santee River was dammed to provide hydroelectricity to the surrounding areas. Known statewide for its epic fishing opportunities and rich wildlife, the region summons outdoor enthusiasts and budding naturalists regardless of the season. Fringing the lake, Santee State Park and the Santee National Wildlife Refuge offer hiking and biking along myriad trails while public boat ramps allow for on-the-water fun.

Santee State Park

With its dense forests, beaches and swamps braided with scenic trails, the 2,500-acre Santee State Park invites hiking, biking, boating, hunting, wildlife watching and swimming. The park’s longest novice trail (hiking and biking) extends for 7.5-miles and meanders through a mixed pine and hardwood forest draped with Spanish moss and affords signature views of the cypress-fringed lake. From the parking area, the one-mile Sinkhole Pond Trail traverses a varied habitat, including pine forest and swamp, and introduces one of the park’s unique features, a limestone sinkhole pond.

Waterfront Park

Charleston, South Carolina, USA at Waterfront Park.

Nature Trails

Three short nature trails, ablaze with colorful wildflowers in the spring, provide close encounters with the region’s fauna, including buckeye, papaw, deer, rabbits and snakes. Platforms located near the trails and wetland areas allow for prime time viewing of osprey, great blue herons, painted buntings and other songbirds that converge during summer nesting season. Santee is also a popular spot for swimming and paddling. The park’s beaches also provide boating and fishing access.

Santee National Wildlife Refuge

When it comes to biodiversity, the 15,000-acre Santee National Wildlife Refuge packs a punch. Majestic forests of hardwoods and pines interspersed with marsh, wetlands, impoundments and croplands provide sanctuary to many bird, reptile and mammal species. Alligators can be spotted at Alligator Alley.

Dingle Pond Days

At Dingle Pond, a one-mile trail with an observation tower and boardwalk provides sanctuary to several wetland species. The Santee Refuge also throws some archaeological interest into the mix. The Santee Indian mound — a burial or temple mound that dates to 1200-1500 A.D. — ranks as the farthest-eastern known manifestation of Mississippian culture.

Fort Watson

In the Revolutionary War, the British built Fort Watson atop the mound. In 1781, the fort was taken by Marion’s Brigade. This American unit was led by Francis Marion, nicknamed the Swamp Fox.

Big Fish

Any South Carolina angler will tell you that Lake Marion is the place to be. Synonymous with big fish and abundant wildlife, the lake’s shallow swamps and black water ponds provide fertile ground for many species. Lake Marion is the site of several milestones. The state fishing record for largemouth bass was set here (16.2 pounds) and some of the lake’s other famed catches include a 58-pound channel catfish and a 55-pound striped bass.

Reeling It In

Anglers of all persuasions gather at more than 16 boat ramps constructed on the lake and revel in optimum conditions for hooking white perch, crappie, channel catfish, Arkansas blue catfish and bream. If you want to partake, you’ll need to purchase a South Carolina fishing license, which can be obtained in local bait shops and sporting goods stores.

 

Hilton Head Island

From atop the Harbour Town Lighthouse, you can see Hilton Head Island spread out below you, with undulating hills and magnificent beaches bordering the jewel-toned Atlantic. Hilton Head Island is a preeminent getaway, where relaxation comes easy. You can find it in each crash of a wave along the sandy shores. You’ll also find a bounty of recreational opportunities, live entertainment venues and upscale shopping and dining experiences. While today’s Hilton Head Island would be barely recognizable to its early inhabitants, their influence has left a mark in the rich Lowcountry culture that shines through in the history, cuisine, crafts and music. Spent time exploring the legacy left behind by early inhabitants.

Lighthouse on the coast at twilight.

Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA lighthouse on the coast at twilight.

A Picturesque Place to Play

With 24 championship golf courses, Hilton Head Island is a golfing paradise. From greens designed by grand architects to greens with grand views, Hilton Head Island has a course that will wow any golfer. But, if golf isn’t your game, don’t worry. You’ll find premier racquetball, pickleball and tennis courts that will appeal to everyone from new players to advanced pros. Courts and courses aren’t the only thing hidden within Hilton Head Island’s manicured landscapes. Over 50 miles of biking trails crisscross the island.

A Beach for Every Personality

Twelve miles of beaches welcome visitors; each area has an ambiance all its own. Coligny Beach Park is a favorite of families. Small kids will love splashing around in the interactive fountains, while parents relax in the Adirondack chairs. If you have an itch to hit the waves, Folly Field Beach is the place to play. To find your own quiet place in the sands, head to Fish Haul Creek Park or Burkes Beach Access. Wherever you land, you will find watersports to enjoy. Take a slow kayak tour of a harbor, head out for a sunset dolphin cruise, or grab a pole for some deep-sea fishing.

A Walk on the Wild Side

Explore the quiet side of Hilton Head Island with a visit to Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. Take your camera to catch the perfect shot of the migratory birds, alligators and deer that are often spotted in this 4,000-acre preserve. Get your fill of flora and fauna at Sea Pines Forest Preserve, where you can tour fields of wildflowers, seaside marshes and the Shell Ring archeological site.

 

Myrtle Beach

Serving up all-American vacations year after year, Myrtle Beach has become synonymous with summer. Whether it’s hotdogs on the boardwalk at Peaches Corner, a night of putting at one of the town’s 50-plus miniature golf courses or taking in a show at the glitzy Carolina Opry, classic family-friendly activities await around almost every corner. Add 60 miles of stunning beaches, nature hikes and some of the best fishing on the East Coast, and it’s easy to see why the “Grand Strand” is one of the most popular and fun-filled getaways in the country.

Ocean Views

There’s no view quite like the one from SkyWheel, a 187-foot observation wheel that gives riders expansive views of the beachfront and the Atlantic Ocean from climate-controlled gondolas that ascend 20 stories above ground at the ride’s zenith. It’s an unforgettable way to experience South Carolina’s endless coastline from a whole new perspective. If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, try the 1.2-mile-long boardwalk, home to kitschy beach shops, restaurants and amusement. Bracketed by the 14th Ave and 2nd Avenue piers at the northern and southern ends, there are plenty of chances to wander out over the waves for a drink, a bite or some top-notch surf casting alongside the locals. With a festive atmosphere and an endless supply of family-friendly attractions, you’ll never run out of things to do here.

Golf course next to a lake

A lone golfer on this beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina golf course.

Hitting the Links

Myrtle Beach is also known as the golf capital of the world. Home to hundreds of courses ranging from beginner to pro, you’ll be sure to find one that suits your skills and budget. Tee off at links like Caledonia, Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Barefoot Resort and True Blue.

Excite Your Senses

You can’t help but experience sensory overload when you walk along the 1.2-mile-long Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade. From thrilling rides and arcades to live performances and stunning views, this area is guaranteed to wow the entire family. While you’re here, immerse yourself in the weird and wacky at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum and ride the SkyWheel to see the town from a whole new perspective.

More on the Shore

More exciting attractions await at Broadway at the Beach. Challenge the kids to a game of mini golf, make a splash in Myrtle Beach Water Park, strike a pose at Old Tyme Portraits and play with more than 100 interactive exhibits at WonderWorks. Finish your action-packed day by watching Legends in Concert, a celebrity tribute show, or taking a paddleboat ride under the Broadway bridges.

Choosing Charters

With near endless opportunities to swim, sail, paddle and fish throughout the Grand Strand, you’ll be hard-pressed to not spend your day out on the water. The eight fishable piers make ocean fishing easy right in town, but for the chance to land the fish of your dreams, sign up with one of the many charter companies that dot the downtown stretch. For an added bonus, many of the charters double as dolphin-watching vessels, and the playful creatures are known to put on shows for lucky tourists. Paddlers can meander through old rice canals and salt marshes along the Waccamaw River, or take a guided tour of Murrells Inlet, a freshwater fishing haven.

Two-Wheeled Excursions

With spectacular ocean views, biking the shoreline is a stress-free way to explore the natural landscape. Huntington Beach State Park boasts a 26-mile bicycle trail that runs from Murrells Inlet down to Litchfield Beach and passes lagoons and forests along the way. The park’s Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail is a two-mile hiking trail with observation towers for some of the best bird-watching in the state. Myrtle Beach State Park has its own short nature trails through coastal forests and past a small lagoon frequented by birds and wildlife, but the real catch here is the surf casting, which ranks among the best on the East Coast.

Myrtle Entertainment

At Alligator Adventure, alligators of all shapes and sizes lurk in swamps and marshes. Other reptiles can be seen here too, as well as assorted animals. Don’t miss the live shows, especially the alligator feeding, when the hungry reptiles snap their jaws on morself of meat.

For the Kids

Children’s Museum of South Carolina is a perfect way to occupy the under-6 crowd on a rainy day. Kids go crazy for the USS Kidz Afloat (where they can experience what it’s like to be on a real boat), Bubble Mania (where they can be on the inside of a giant bubble), and the Discovery Classroom (which has live animals ranging from the familiar rabbit to the degu, a squirrel from Chile).

Speedy Racing

Travel back to the 11th century for the ultimate in gallant dinner entertainment at the NASCAR SpeedPark which boasts seven tracks, ranging from a 200-foot starter to one with half-scale NASCAR cars. The park allows everyone from rookies to veterans to enjoy the thrill of being behind the wheel. Kids get a special glint in their eyes when they take their first turn around the track, driving all by themselves. Other attractions include bumper boats, mini-golf and an arcade.

A ferris wheel lit up at night near the pier

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA city skyline.

Classic Fun

If an amusement park with an old-fashioned feel sounds like a delightful throwback to simpler times, head to Family Kingdom Amusement Park. Rollercoaster lovers will appreciate the all-wooden coaster, and brave kids will get a thrill from the free-fall sensation of the Slingshot. The classic carousel makes a timeless first merry-go-round experience for small kids, and everyone will love the ocean view from the Ferris wheel. The park takes the “family” in its name seriously, with plenty of rides for young children, like a kiddie coaster and mini bumper cars.

MagiQuest

Imagine making flowers talk, treasure chests open, crystals light up and characters in paintings come to life, all with a computerized (but very wizardy-looking) wand. That’s just what kids do at MagiQuest. The object is to complete quests and adventures, sort of like going on a high-tech treasure hunt. Along the way visitors collect virtual gold pieces by accomplishing tasks and finding treasures. Preschoolers and teens alike, many in medieval costumes, delight in finding clues and solving the puzzles. If your kids are Harry Potter fans, do not skip MagiQuest.

 

The Midlands

In between South Carolina’s mountains and beaches, you’ll find an area known as the Midlands. Don’t overlook this magical mid-state region, where the rolling hills meet rollicking riverways. Columbia, the state capital, is the heart of the Midlands, with a rich history dating to the Colonial days and Civil War Era. Today, South Carolina’s largest city rolls out the welcome mat with family-friendly attractions and natural beauty. Iconic live oak trees and antebellum mansions can be found throughout the region, creating some picture-perfect backdrops for photos.

Ready, Set, Ride!

Through the 1800s, South Carolinians headed to the small town of Aiken, seeking health and relaxation in the sunny, dry climate. Pine trees and natural springs set a beautiful backdrop for outdoor adventures. Horse racing became a part of that recreational allure and today’s visitors can enjoy the same ambiance and activities. Catch the stampede of hooves at the steeplechase or saddle up for a relaxing ride of your own through the Hitchcock Woods, a 2,100-acre urban forest with several beautiful trails.

Make a Splash in the Midlands

The 200-mile Saluda River rolls through the Midlands, providing a variety of adventurous playscapes. Experienced kayakers won’t want to miss the exhilarating rapids found near downtown Columbia, while calmer waters can be enjoyed further out. The Saluda River’s waters flow into Lake Murray, creating a 50,000-acre watersport paradise. Dreher Island State Park, located on the banks of Lake Murray, is a popular spot to play, offering fishing, boating and hiking. Lake Murray is chock full of bass, crappie and perch, making it a prime spot for anglers to reel in a big one. Schedule a lot of time to enjoy the full scope of the area’s fishing possibilities.

Cypress forest and swamp of Congaree National Park

Cypress forest and swamp of Congaree National Park in South Carolina

Cherished Natural Landscapes

One of the best places to experience the Midlands landscapes is at Congaree National Park, which preserves a bottomland forest. The Congaree and Wateree Rivers twist through the old growth woodlands, meandering around massive bald cypress trees. Under the towering canopy of trees, the animals play, including deer, otters, alligators and more. Take your pick of trails to explore on land, or head to the waterways to paddle through the park. The 15-mile Cedar Creek Canoe Trail water trail travels amid some of the tallest trees found east of the Mississippi. Drop a line in the rivers or oxbow lakes.

South of the Border

Stopping by the South of the Border complex to refill gas tanks and stomachs has long been a tradition on this stretch of I-95 in South Carolina near the North Carolina border. Started in 1949 as a small beer garden, South of the Border has grown into a full-fledged entertainment attraction, with dozens of restaurants, shops and attractions. When you catch sight of the 200-foot Sombrero Observation Tower shining brightly above the interstate, you’ll know that it’s time to stop at South of the Border and enjoy one of the most distinctive roadside attractions you’ll ever visit.

A Welcome Stop

Visitors often find South of the Border while traveling Interstate 95. Colorful billboards let you know you’re getting close to this roadside mecca, situated just south of the border with North Carolina. The popular seaside getaway Myrtle Beach is fewer than 100 miles southeast of South of the Border. The farmlands, forests, rivers and marshes of South Carolina’s Pee Dee region characterize the area. After mile upon mile of farmland, South of the Border is a colorful escape. Expect to find hot, muggy weather in the summer, while the winter weather varies greatly. You might step out of your car to find temperatures in the teens or in the ’70s.

State Parks Aplenty

Travelers willing to leave the interstate for a side trip will find some wonderful state parks to explore. On the North Carolina side of the border, Lumber River State Park is a beautiful retreat. Anglers and paddlers will enjoy the waters of the Lumber River. Catch bass, red breast, blue gill, and crappie. Many hiking trails take visitors through the woodlands and wetlands along the waterway. Hunters should set their sights on visiting the Great Pee Dee River Heritage Preserve Wildlife Management Area to bag deer, hogs and an abundance of small game.

Fisherman hand holding pike with bait

Fisherman hand holding pike with bait

Full of Fun

Lots of fun can be had at the South of the Border complex without even leaving the grounds. A trip up the 200-foot Sombrero Observation Tower is truly a must, giving you a sweeping view of the countryside. While the giant Pedro statue isn’t nearly as tall, standing only 100-feet, many epic photos have been taken with Pedro and the surrounding animal statues. Spend time browsing the many themed stores. Families won’t want to miss the Reptile Lagoon, which features the nation’s largest indoors reptile display. See king cobras from Indian and American Diamondback rattlesnakes. Make a day out of your visit to South of the Border by taking in Pedroland Park, a small amusement park offering mini-golf, arcade, a carousel, a Ferris wheel and more. Spend a whole day simply enjoying all the fun and amenities in South of the Border.

Succulent South of the Border

Travelers can take their pick of a number of unique dining options. For a high-end dining experience, check out the Peddler Steakhouse, an unexpected find. Succulent steaks and a colorful salad bar make this a prime choice. The Sombrero Room offers traditional Mexican and American fare for the whole family, while those wanting a quick bite can find it at Pedro’s Hot Tamale. The true star of the show at South of the Border is the Blenheim Ginger Ale. Using a recipe dating back to the 1800s, this ale is brewed on site using water from the Blenheim Mineral Springs about 25 miles to the east. Top your meal at Pedro’s Ice Cream Fiesta, where you can pick from a colorful assortment of hand-scooped ice creams.

Roadside Retreat

Roadside attractions have been an important part of the travel tradition ever since Americans first hopped in their motorized vehicles and began traversing the country’s roadways. South of the Border was born in 1949, at a time when families began to embrace road tripping vacations in greater numbers. In the 70 years since then, this kitschy roadside attraction has continued to evolve, without ever losing its fun personality. Today’s travelers will find many choices for food, gas and entertainment along the interstate, but you probably won’t find a better photo op. Snap a picture with one of the eye-popping statues as you take your pick from giant chickens, towering Pedro or a bus-sized dachshund. Then, take part in the ultimate road trip tradition with a quirky souvenir.

South of the Border Beneficence

Though South of the Border is all about fun, this roadside oasis invites visitors to take part in a more serious tradition. Since the earliest days, the owners have given back to the community by matching visitors’ donations to the Shriners Hospitals. Those who contribute can write their names on a paper sombrero to hang on the ceiling of the Sombrero Restaurant. One of the newest additions to this entertainment complex is the South of the Border MX Motorcross Training Facility, which gives riders the chance to hone their skills. Lovers of high-speed action will find four red clay tracks and several training opportunities to improve at the sport. Periodic racing events are held on-site, providing a roaring good time for spectators.

Doing Dillon

When you’re ready for a break from the bright lights and spicy food of South of the Border, head a few miles south to the town of Dillon. Trains have been passing through Dillon since 1904, and the tiny town still has a turn-of-the-century look and feel. Take some time to wander Historic Downtown Dillon, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Latta Love

In Latta, south of Dillon, history buffs will love the Dillon County Museum. Housed in a restored doctor’s office, the artifacts on display showcase history. Near the museum is the Betha Post Office and General Store (built in 1888) and Vidalia Academy.

Pee Dee Wandering

If you’re hankering for some exercise in the great outdoors, head for Little Pee Dee State Park, located about 12 miles southeast of South of the Border and occupying 835 acres. Hop on the Beaver Pond Nature Trail for an easy 1.3-mile hike, or cycle along paved park biking paths. The black waters of the Little Pee Dee River, which runs along the park’s southern edge, are teeming with bass.

 

Upcountry

The Blue Ridge Mountains of western South Carolina give Upcountry its name, as towering peaks rise above the horizon. Aside from their natural beauty, these undulating hills set the stage for outdoor adventures in the Palmetto State. Small mountain towns transport you back in time, with covered bridges, roadside fruit stands and mom-and-pop cafes. Energetic urban areas also entice, including the region’s largest city, Greenville. The Falls Park on the Reedy is a must-see gathering spot downtown.

Lovely Lake Jocassee

Although you can take your pick from any number of pristine lakes in Upcountry, Lake Jocassee is considered one of the best. Crystal clear spring waters flow from the mountainsides to create this stunningly beautiful 7,600-acre lake. Take a boating tour to see the lakeside waterfalls, cool off in the chilly waters, or go scuba diving for an underwater view. Devils Fork State Park is a perfect basecamp, with boating ramps, nature trails and more.

Cool Off at Lake Keowee

Directly to the north of Jocassee and separated by a small isthmus, Lake Kewoee is equally spectacular. When viewed on a map or from the air, Lake Keowee in northwestern South Carolina is often said to resemble a Christmas tree. Long, narrow and fringed with shoreline that’s frayed with thousands of branching inland coves, the lake is actually a long and deep valley, one which was flooded after the construction of three massive hydroelectric dams over the course of the 1960s and 70s. Standing on the shores of this marvelous manmade gem, it’s easy to see why Lake Keowee is such a popular vacation spot for Palmetto State residents and visitors alike.

Lake or Recreation

Spread across more than 18,000 acres and sporting more than 300 miles of shoreline, the lake is a popular destination for anglers, boaters, kayakers, bird watchers and backcountry hikers. To the north rise the rocky summits of Sassafras Mountain and Pinnacle Mountain — the nearest of the Blue Ridge peaks — creating a stunning alpine backdrop. And the comparatively big city of Greenville is less than an hour’s drive away to the east, meaning the luxury and amenity of world-class dining, shopping and entertainment options remains close at hand.

Table Rock State Park South Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains Landscape

Table Rock State Park South Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains Landscape sunrise morning scenic photography

Historical Insights

Anyone with an ear for history won’t want to miss the Oconee Heritage Center or the Museum of the Cherokee, both located in Walhalla. The first one is housed in a historic tobacco warehouse that was built in 1892. Collections tell the history of Oconee County across a range of narratives, including the arrival of European settlers, the expansion of the railroad and the rise of textile manufacturing. The latter, meanwhile, is only open on Saturdays, and features a small collection of ancient Native American artifacts. Highlights include centuries-old dugout canoes

Big Energy

In Seneca, history buffs will need to pencil in some time at the World of Energy Museum, Lunney Museum and Bell Gallery, as well as spend some time strolling around Ram Cat Alley, a community district which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At the World of Energy Museum, visitors learn the history and science behind the production of hydroelectric power in Oconee County, as well as about the Lake Keowee Dam, Little River Dam and Jocassee Dam.

Pendleton

Pendleton District is a picturesque backdrop for exploration and recreation. Whether it’s a hike to a mountain-fed stream, an outdoor family adventure or an opportunity to learn more about the area’s rich history and culture, you will find it here.

Make a Splash on the Wild Side

The Chattooga National Wild & Scenic River tumbles its way across Upcountry, along the borders of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. It creates one of the best whitewater rivers in the Southeast as it drops 2,600 feet in elevation in a mere 50-mile stretch. Experienced paddlers can find heart-pounding rapids, while guided rafting trips are perfect for novices. Along its rolling pathway, you’ll find a number of spots to wade in the waters. Grab a rod and try your luck at catching some of the plump trout that run in these cascades.

Falls in the Cherokee Foothills

Go Chasing Waterfalls South Carolina’s longest scenic byway winds 118 miles through the Blue Ridge Mountains, creating the ultimate Upcountry road trip. The Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway connects several of the state’s beloved state parks, including Devils Fork, Table Rock and Caesars Head.

 

For More Information

Charleston Area CVB

800-774-0006,

www.explorecharleston.com

Visit Hilton Head Island

800-523-3373

www.hiltonheadisland.org

The Midlands Region

803-734-0124

discoversouthcarolina.com/midlands

Visit Myrtle Beach

800-356-3016

www.visitmyrtlebeach.com

Welcome to Upcountry South Carolina

864-233-2690

Upcountry.com

Lake Marion: Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce

803-435-4405

www.clarendoncounty.com

South of the Border

800-845-6011

www.thesouthoftheborder.com

Discover Lake Keowee

888-348-7388

www.discoverkeowee.com