The top things to do in South Carolina

Stunning shorelines and dreamy marshes dot South Carolina’s idyllic Atlantic coastline. But there is a great deal extra to working experience in the Palmetto Condition, named for the trees that grew to become a symbol of liberty simply because of their potential to absorb the pressure of British cannonballs during the 1776 battle at Fort Moultrie.

Glimpse beyond showstopping places such as Charleston and Myrtle Beach front and you can get pleasure from dozens of concealed gems and character escapes in the point out.  From legendary gardens to jaw-dropping sunsets and motion-packed thrill rides, here are the most effective things to do to include to your itinerary the subsequent time you check out South Carolina.

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Snap a picture in entrance of the big peach

Much more than 30 styles of peaches are developed across South Carolina, and the peach is the state’s formal fruit. Peaches grew to become these a staple that in 1981, a huge 135ft h2o tower beside I-85 South in the city of Gaffney – just 45-minutes south of Charlotte, NC – was remodeled to glance like a large peach.

It really is develop into a tradition to snap a photograph of the legendary Peachoid you can get closest to the peach through exits 90 to 92, together the Cherokee Hills Scenic Freeway. 

Baskets of peaches from South Carolina on sale at a local farmer's market
You’ll see peaches for sale all over the place in South Carolina in the summertime © Meryl Russo / iStockphoto / Getty Visuals

Acquire the complete relatives fruit selecting

Folks from around and far travel to York County, South Carolina – just throughout the border from the southern conclusion of Charlotte – to commit an entire working day buying new fruit on some of the county’s long-recognized spouse and children-owned farms.

Bush-N-Vine has been growing a fine assortment of new fruits and veggies considering that 1979, and members of the general public are invited to choose their personal develop.

The most preferred choosing crops are strawberries (from tumble until eventually early July) and blueberries (commencing in mid-Might). Though you are there, pop into the farm’s country retailer for a freshly produced strawberry gentle provide ice cream or a raspberry blendie (a blend of ice product and raspberry-flavored iced slushy).

Also glimpse out for stalls and suppliers providing freshly picked peaches across the state from June to September.

See each and every species of swan at the state’s longest-running pageant

This calendar year marks the 80th anniversary of the state’s Iris Festival in the city of Sumter, situated 45 miles from Columbia, SC. This a few-working day function, generally held above the Memorial Day weekend, capabilities about 120 species of Japanese iris expanding together the banks of the Swan Lake Iris Gardens.

The park is also the only location in the United States exactly where you can see all eight of the recognised species of swans. Community suppliers and artisans established up in the course of the backyard, but given that the park is deemed a hen sanctuary, animals are not authorized on the grounds.

Colorful mass of hot air balloons in the air in South Carolina
Colorful incredibly hot air balloons fill the skies just about every year for the Aiken Incredibly hot Air Balloon Fest © EPG_EuroPhotoGraphics / Shutterstock

Take pleasure in special views of South Carolina from higher than at the Aiken Incredibly hot Air Balloon Fest

Just under 20 miles from the city of Augusta, Ga, Aiken is the fourth-largest county in the condition, and every single year in late April, locals head out to the Western Carolina Fairgrounds to take part in the area’s two-working day warm air balloon competition.

This family-pleasant day of entertaining capabilities reside audio, a kid’s zone with rides and online games, regional foodstuff suppliers, and the possibility to tick off a bucket-listing-worthy expertise – riding in a tethered sizzling air balloon. The showstopper is the evening display, the place dozens of larger-than-life balloons get to the skies for a spectacle as opposed to any other. 

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Enjoy a romantic couples’ boat experience at Cypress Gardens

Head about an hour north of Charleston to check out out backdrops from one particular of the most intimate films of current yrs – The Notebook, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.

The cult film, based mostly on the novel by Nicholas Parks, was filmed at many spots in the state’s Low Region, including Cypress Gardens. Get your important other and row across the identical lake wherever Noah took Allie through their psychological reunion.

Found in the town of Moncks Corner, the gardens are dwelling to cypress and Tupelo trees that line a dim but gorgeous swamp. There are guided and self-guided boat excursions throughout the swamplands retain an eye out for the birds, turtles and alligators that live in the waters.

A father and daughter riding a bike on the sand at Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Kiawah Island is an special address, but the sands at Beachwalker Park are open up to all © Ash Lindsey Photography / Getty Photos

Stay like a star for a day on Kiawah Island – South Carolina’s most effective-held mystery

One of South Carolina’s wealthiest and most exceptional zip codes, Kiawah Island is a paradisaical escape, just 40-minutes southwest of Charleston’s hectic neighborhoods.

Even though outsiders can’t freely travel all around the island – you can find a guard station at the key entrance examining renters’ and residents’ passes – the public are welcome to go to the sandy shore at Beachwalker Park. Bring your seashore chairs or blanket, and pack a picnic-model lunch for a day-very long island getaway. There’s a lifeguard on obligation everyday and animals are welcome.

Get your adrenaline pumping at South Carolina’s biggest topic park

Even though it technically straddles the border involving North Carolina and South Carolina, Carowinds is a ought to for the whole family. Positioned off exit 90 on I-77, this 407-acre theme park provides several hours of thrills for all ages, from coasters to drinking water slides.

Occur for more than-the-prime, funfair-influenced bites like funnel cakes loaded with whipped cream, strawberries and ice cream, and additional than 55 adrenaline-pumping rides, like the Fury 325 coaster and an full set of rides and experiences particularly geared toward more youthful youngsters.

The park is also house to Carolina Harbor, the major drinking water park in North and South Carolina. When you’ve had adequate of adrenaline-pumping thrills, sit down for a themed show or appear back for Halloween when the park transforms into “Scarowinds” with a assortment of harvest-themed and haunted sights.

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Tour just one of Martin Luther King Jr’s favourite stops

The historic Penn Middle on St Helena Island is 1 of lots of places that influenced Dr Martin Luther King Jr to create his well-known I Have a Desire speech. The civil rights leader is claimed to have frequented the Penn Centre at the very least 5 occasions.

Dotted with far more than 25 properties and buildings, this 50-acre property features an in-depth glimpse at the triumphs and struggles faced by the area’s Gullah people on the journey from enslavement to flexibility. It is the site of Penn Faculty – just one of the to start with instructional facilities in the American South to give official education to previously enslaved folks.

Located an hour and a half southwest of Charleston in Beaufort, the centre gives guided tours and an on-site museum and customer centre.

South Carolina past the seashores