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South Carolina
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South Carolina Travel Notes

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South Carolina Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


From hidden waterfalls to tucked-away historic sites, South Carolina isn't just a destination, it's an experience that whispers charm and ignites the senses.

About South Carolina

Imagine moss-draped oaks lining charming streets, beaches kissed by emerald waves, and the sweet perfume of tea wafting through historic cities. Welcome to South Carolina.

States neighbouring South Carolina: Georgia and North Carolina.

Travel Map Mapping South Carolina

Map of South Carolina

Map of South Carolina

South Carolina is also known as Palmetto State, after the Sabal Palmetto; South Carolina's official  tree.

The state capital of South Carolina is Columbia.

South Carolina Overview

South Carolina is a state located in the south-eastern region of the United States, bordered by North Carolina to the north, Georgia to the south-west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south-east.

Capital and Major Cities

Columbia is the capital and largest city of South Carolina.

Other major cities include Charleston, North Charleston, and Greenville.


South Carolina has a rich cultural heritage influenced by Native American, African, and European traditions.

The state is known for its southern hospitality, traditional cuisine (including dishes like shrimp and grits, barbecue, and Lowcountry boil), and Gullah-Geechee culture; which originated among descendants of enslaved Africans along the coast.


South Carolina has a diverse economy, with sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, and aerospace playing significant roles.

The state is home to major companies like BMW, Boeing, and Michelin, which have manufacturing facilities in South Carolina.


South Carolina is home to several institutions of higher education, including the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and the College of Charleston.


The state has a varied geography, including coastal plains, forests, and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the north-west.

The climate is generally humid sub-tropical, with hot summers and mild winters.


South Carolina played a significant role in the history of the United States, particularly during the colonial period and the American Civil War.


Politically, South Carolina is considered a conservative state, although there are pockets of liberal influence, particularly in urban areas.

It has historically been a Republican stronghold in presidential elections.

It was one of the original thirteen colonies and was the first state to secede from the Union in 1860; leading to the Civil War.


South Carolina is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches along the Atlantic coast, historic sites, and vibrant culture.

Charleston, in particular, is famous for its well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and rich history.

Myrtle Beach is another major tourist destination, known for its sandy beaches and entertainment options.

Visiting South Carolina

South Carolina offers a blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural diversity; making it a unique and appealing destination for residents and visitors alike.

Whether you're drawn to the rich history of Charleston, the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island, or the vibrant culture of Greenville, South Carolina offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveller.

South Carolina Highlights

Beach Day at Hilton Head Island

Head to Hilton Head Island for a day of sun, sand, and relaxation.

Enjoy miles of pristine beaches, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding.

Explore the island's natural beauty with a bike ride along the miles of scenic trails or a visit to the Coastal Discovery Museum.

Treat yourself to fresh seafood at one of Hilton Head's waterfront restaurants, overlooking the picturesque harbour.


Start your journey in Charleston, one of the most historic cities in the United States.

Explore the cobblestone streets of the historic district, lined with antebellum homes, churches, and quaint shops.

Visit iconic landmarks such as the Battery and White Point Garden, offering stunning views of Charleston Harbour.

Immerse yourself in the Gullah-Geechee culture with a tour of the Charleston City Market or a visit to the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture.

Indulge in Lowcountry cuisine at one of Charleston's renowned restaurants, savouring dishes like shrimp and grits or she-crab soup.

Columbia and Lake Murray

Travel to the state capital, Columbia, for a taste of urban culture and outdoor recreation.

Visit the South Carolina State House and stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds.

Explore the vibrant arts scene in the Congaree Vista district, home to galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

Head to Lake Murray, just outside of Columbia, for boating, fishing, or hiking along the scenic shoreline.

Catch a stunning sunset over the lake before returning to Columbia for dinner and nightlife.

Greenville and the Upcountry

Drive to Greenville in the Upcountry region for a blend of outdoor adventure and urban charm.

Explore Falls Park on the Reedy, a picturesque park in the heart of downtown, featuring waterfalls, gardens, and walking trails.

Stroll along Main Street, lined with shops, restaurants, and public art installations.

Visit the Greenville Zoo or take a scenic drive along the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway for breathtaking mountain views.

Conclude your trip with a meal at one of Greenville's acclaimed restaurants, showcasing the region's culinary creativity.

Plantations and Gardens

Spend a day exploring the plantations and gardens surrounding Charleston.

Visit Boone Hall Plantation, one of America's oldest working plantations, to learn about the history of slavery and plantation life.

Explore the lush gardens of Middleton Place, home to America's oldest landscaped gardens, and take a tour of the historic house museum.

Relax and unwind at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, known for its romantic gardens, wildlife, and iconic plantation house.


Originally named Charles Town, in honour of England's Charles II, the community was first founded at Albemarle Point in 1670.

The settlement was moved to its present peninsular location in 1680, and became America's major slave trading port.

Later a flourishing cosmopolitan centre of luxury and culture, the name was shortened to Charleston in 1783.

Soon after, the state capital was moved inland from Charleston to Columbia and the port declined dramatically; with the city relying almost solely on cotton.

The Charleston area, with its historical houses and interesting past, is now a popular tourist attraction.

There are many organised tours that help you to discover the charm and character of Charleston, if going it by foot is not for you.

The trolley cars add atmosphere to the narrow streets, and you can even see the city by water.

Fort Sumter

The April 12th attack on Charleston harbour's Fort Sumter, in 1861, marked the start of the American Civil War.

Boats ferry tourists from the city marina and Patriots Point to see the pockmarked garrison's walls.

Getting Around Charleston

The Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority (CARTA) connects Charleston-area transit riders to work, school, healthcare, tourist attractions, and the airport.


The capital of South Carolina sits on the inner edge of the Coastal Plain, or the fall line, in the middle of the state.

Map of Columbia

Map of Columbia, South Carolina

When General Sherman came through the state in early 1865, his forces burnt much of what would have been of interest to Columbia's tourists.

The State House is less than a hundred years old, and many visitors head to the University of Southern Carolina's Horseshoe to get a taste of history.

Visit Columbia

Experience Columbia SC is the official Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau tourism website for Columbia, South Carolina.

African American History Tours

Since its establishment in 1786, Columbia has included a population of free Blacks, enslaved Africans, and African Americans whose labour, skills, and vision have been integral in the city’s physical, spiritual, and social evolution.

Historic Columbia is offering a combined tour of both the Mann-Simons Site and the Modjeska Monteith Simkins House to learn more about Black history in Columbia.

Columbia Museum of Art

The Columbia Museum of Art, houses Italian Renaissance paintings from the Samuel H. Kress collection.

Around South Carolina

South Carolina is named after Charles I and Charles II of England, and can be divided into three major regions: the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont Plateau, and the Blue Ridge.

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860.

The state stretches north-west from the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains. In colonial times the Coastal Plain was known as the low country.

South Carolina is relatively humid, except in the higher regions of the Blue Ridge. The Savannah, South Carolina's third major river, forms most of the southern border with Georgia.

Discover South Carolina

From the mist-capped ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the sunny beaches of the Grand Strand, South Carolina is rich in natural beauty and endless recreation in the great outdoors.

Wander through America's oldest landscaped garden, take a swing at more than 330 golf courses, search for shells on pristine beaches, or kayak through undisturbed marshland.

South Carolina State Parks

With more than 90,000 acres of protected lands stretching from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the sand dunes of the Atlantic Ocean, South Carolina state parks protect some of the most inviting natural, cultural and recreational destinations in the country.

Discover stunning forested mountains and towering waterfalls, blackwater rivers and scenic inland lakes, white sand beaches and ancient inland shores, treasured American historic sites and priceless cultural treasures.

South Carolina Trails

South Carolina offers hundreds of scenic trails and walking paths. Explore the fascinating history, rich culture, and geographical diversity of South Carolina.

South Carolina Resorts

The Grand Strand is 60 miles of beaches, villages and restaurants catering to tourists.

Kiawah Island

Escape to Charleston's luxurious resort islands and explore the beauty of South Carolina's sea coast.

Myrtle Beach

Almost synonymous with Spring Break, this part of the Grand Strand can get lobster-packed with rollicking students drowning in pitchers of Bud.

The Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is the only officially recognised marketing organization for the Myrtle Beach Area, known as the Grand Strand.

Hilton Head Island

Located a mile from the mainland and eight nautical miles from Savannah, Georgia, Hilton Head Island has more than twelve miles of beach, twenty two championship golf courses, 225 tennis courts, and fifty miles of bike paths.

Hilton Head Island:
Golfers paradise in two words, although there are other ways to get close to nature.

Hilton Head Rentals:
Description of rental prices and types of accommodations available on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Although there are eleven distinct areas on Hilton Head, vacation rentals are predominately found in five main areas: Sea Pines, Forest Beach, ShipyardPalmetto Dunes, and Mid Island.

HHI Direct Rentals:
All the Hilton Head vacation rentals recommended are meticulously maintained, and truly are some of the island’s best homes and villas.

Visiting Hilton Head Island:
The 2.5 million travellers who arrive annually on Hilton Head Island can find an infinite variety of activities and reasons for visiting — and just as many reasons for not leaving.

Outside Hilton Head Island

Located just across the bridge from Hilton Head Island, Bluffton is a quaint, charming town that offers a fascinating window into South Carolina's past. Antebellum homes, historic churches and unique shops line the moss-shaded streets of Bluffton's downtown historic district, offering a fine taste of Low-country living.

Freeport Marina:
You arrive at Freeport Marina, located on the historic Cooper River Landing of Daufuskie Island, by boat; as the inhabitants have for hundreds of years.

Off The Beaten Path in Hilton Head Island:
A sample of activities on Hilton Head Island not usually found in travel guides. If you grow tired of enjoying the 12 miles of beach, five star restaurants and world class shopping the following suggestions may help you find alternative activities.

Historical South Carolina

South Carolina has many sites commemorating the War of Independence and American Civil War.

Victories over the British are commemorated in the Cowpens National Battlefield and Kings Mountain National Military Park, both near Gaffney.

Ninety Six National Historic Site, near Greenwood, is where Nathanael Greene led a siege against the English.

Historic Camden:
Restoration helps to picture the past. This recreated town of the late helps you to visualise life in the 18th to early 19th century.

South Carolina Travel Guides

The Carolinas & Georgia (Full-Color Travel Guide) Insight Guides USA The South (Travel Guide)

South Carolina Travel Guides - Maps.

About South Carolina - South Carolina Weather:
Find out more about South Carolina before you travel there.

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