- South Carolina
With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, South Carolina is a paradise for vacationers.
Thanks to more than 400 kilometers along the coast, South Carolina is a top destination for beach lovers and water sports fanatics. There is something for everyone here: pretty beaches, enchanting state parks, golf courses and all kinds of attractions and entertainment.
If you’re looking for lots of activities with a dreamy view of the ocean, you’ll find it along South Carolina’s charming coast. Located in the northeast, Myrtle Beach has fabulous attractions everywhere you look. Broadway at the Beach, in the heart of Myrtle Beach, offers a variety of attractions for both children and adults. Explore Wonderworks, an interactive science museum. Go zip lining, visit Ripley's Aquarium, and enjoy waterfront dining. Look up, because you don’t want to miss the SkyWheel, a 57-meter-tall Ferris wheel that delivers panoramic views of the oceanfront and city. At night, the attraction emits a spectacular light display.
Myrtle Beach also offers more than 100 great golf courses and a myriad of water sports. For a more leisurely pace, simply walk or jog along the oceanfront boardwalk. Stop for lunch at local favorite restaurant called ART Burger Sushi Bar, where they serve tasty culinary creations.
Besides the beaches and water sports, families can visit Brookgreen Gardens, a spectacular blend of a botanical and sculpture garden and zoo, with generous touches of art and history.
If you like shopping, do not miss a visit to Tanger Outlets, where you can buy name-brand clothes at great prices.
South of Myrtle Beach, let the charming city of Charleston put a spell on you. Charleston, the oldest city in the state, is home to historic plantations and pre-Civil War homes, known as antebellum houses, as well as top golf courses and restaurants, fun water sports on the beach, and reedy marshes and creeks.
There are several beautiful islands and beaches to explore. Take a day trip to Bull Island, an untouched piece of paradise accessible only by ferry. Folly Beach, the closest beach to Charleston, offers a lighthouse, a fishing pier and laid-back beaches. For a more active seaside experience, try body surfing, beach volleyball or a fishing charter along the 11 kilometers of sand at Isle of Palms. Kiawah Island is great place for a luxury resort or golfing experience near Charleston, while Seabrook Island offers resort vacations at a peaceful nature retreat.
In Charleston, explore streets paved with cobblestones. Horse-drawn carriage rides and walking tours take your through beautiful gardens and historic antebellum houses on Rainbow Row. Go shopping at the Charleston City Market and visit the picturesque Shem Creek Park in the Charleston Harbor.
At Battery Park, explore Fort Sumter, the famous place where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. Drive through long and beautiful boulevards lined with ancient oaks to pay a visit to Middletown Place Plantation to see historic buildings, a stable, and beautiful gardens and ponds. Enjoy fantastic meals of typical lowcountry dishes such as shrimp and grits, fried pimento cheese, tater tots and tasty bacon.
Just outside Charleston, you can explore one of the United States' oldest working plantations and the nation's most photographed, Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens. The corridor of live oaks that lead to the plantation house make it one of the most picturesque places you will ever see.
Hilton Head Island
Another beautiful coastal city is Hilton Head Island, popular for its boating, tennis, fishing, polo and golf. Hilton Head Island is known for its world-class golf at the famous Harbour Town Golf Links, which hosts South Carolina’s PGA Tour golf event, the RBC Heritage.
Hilton Head also has 160 kilometers of bike trails, so put pedal to pavement and explore. For a little more adventure, try out the ZipLine Hilton Head at Broad Creek Marina.
For relaxing activities, keep it simple with a day on the beach. Go running, horseback riding or bike riding on the white-sand beaches and watch dolphins play in the ocean. Enjoy a walk through the wilderness at Sea Pines Forest Preserve, a nature preserve with raised boardwalks through wild swamps. From birds to dolphins, wildlife is abundant on Hilton Head.
The island is rich in the cultural influences of the Gullah Geechee people, descendants of slaves who worked on the former plantations. Today, you can learn about this fascinating history at the Gullah Little House Museum or at the Mitchelville Freedom Park in the north part of the island.
At Harbour Town check out shopping, dining, entertainment and activities. Watch a fabulous sunset from the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse.