South Carolina: A time-warp of quiet, oak-lined streets and raucous silvery beaches


Take a minute to describe your perfect day. We're willing to bet every last thing you listed can be found in South Carolina. If your solace can only be found high up in the mountains then venture to the bluest and largest of lakes, Lake Jocassee. If your happiness depends on crashing waves and amusement parks then stay put in the Southeast's most famous and raucous beach town, Myrtle Beach. Or if you’re looking for more of an island getaway then try Hilton Head, Kiawah or Seabrooke.

East to west, South Carolina’s landscape is a gorgeous climb: it starts with glinting Atlantic beaches, rises up to the Piedmont, and then settles high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's simply a stunning place. We weren't the first to figure that out though. Notable socialites such as the Goodyears and the Vanderbilts realized the potential of SC long ago. They partied hard and indulged in all the beautiful weather this green land has to offer.

Author Pat Conroy is just as enamored with South Carolina. He pens his love often and we know why. The lush south is full of Spanish moss-draped cypress and gum trees. It exists in a time-warp of quiet, oak-lined streets and beaches where kids learn to "pick a blue crab clean.” Small-town charm like this endures all across this state—and with a history that dates back to pre-revolutionary war that's saying a lot.

Then there are bigger cities like Columbia—the graceful capital with brilliant botanical gardens, history-rich state museums, and the 50,000-acre playground known as Lake Murray. If you want something with a little more shoreline, go coastal, all the way to Charleston. This city’s history is as captivating as its silvery sands. It has been burnt, buried, and marched on, plus weathered many-a-storm. Still, it has graciously incorporated its battle-torn past (think Civil War) into its tourist-treasure present. Visit South Carolina for a uniquely rich experience.

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