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10 Best Things to Do in South Carolina

Suny Errot

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The “Palmetto State” is where you can get picturesque views, revisit history, and enjoy the subtropical beaches. But since the beaches are overrated, here are the best things to do in South Carolina if you’re looking for something more:

1. Wander the Gardens at Middleton Place Plantation

Middleton Place Plantation South Carolina
Source: Middleton Place Plantation

Find tranquility in the gardens. See history come alive. Explore the working stable yards. Go back in time to the House Museum. The Middleton Place Plantation doesn’t run short of amazing places you can visit and learn from. This was once the home of Arthur Middleton, a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence. You can check out the garden paths which are more than a quarter millennium old. There is also the “Beyond the Fields” tour which introduces the guests to the lives lived by the enslaved Africans and African Americans who worked in plantations during the old days. After you’re done exploring the plantation, you can grab a bite at the Middleton Place Restaurant, and take a relaxing sleep at The Inn.

2. Explore the Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens Child with Horns
Source: Brookgreen Gardens | 123rf/Andrew F. Kazmierski

The Brooklyn Gardens is known as the cultural center of the community and a must-visit Myrtle Beach attraction. It is a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve that offers more than just beautiful landscaping. The 682-hectare park also features walking trails, a zoo, and some historical sites. The kids will surely enjoy playing detective as they learn about art, history, and nature through exhibits and educational adventures.

The Daily General Admission Tickets are good for 7 consecutive days, so this is not just worth your visit, but also not too expensive.

  • Children 3 and under – Free
  • Children 4-12 – $10
  • Adults 13-64 – $18
  • Seniors 65 & Over – $16

3. Have an Amazing Underwater Experience at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

Glass Bottom Boat Adventure Ripley's Aquarium
Source: Glass Bottom Boat Adventure at Ripley’s Aquarium | Vacation Soup

Plan your visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach and enjoy a hands-on encounter with stingrays, horseshoe crabs, and jellies. There are also 10,000 exotic sea creatures in the exhibits enough to keep you fascinated.

What to try:

  • Glass Bottom Boat Adventure. Venture into the heart of the shark tank and see if you are brave enough to see the sharp-toothed predators up close! The Dangerous Reef is the home of over 8,500 aquatic animals of more than 75 different species.
  • Stingray Experience. Swim with the spotted eagle rays and spotted eagle rays! Who knows, you might find a friend and even get a kiss from one of them!

4. Go Back in Time at Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter National Monument
Source: Fort Sumter National Monument | Afar

This site sits on an artificial island and is recognized as the location of the first engagement of the American Civil War between the union and Confederate forces in 1861. At the heart of the Civil War were issues of state rights versus federal authority and slavery. The Fort Sumter National Monument is a powerful symbol for both the South and the North as it remains a memorial to all the people who fought for it.

5. Take Your Family to the Family Kingdom Amusement Park

Family Kingdom Amusement Park
Source: Family Kingdom Amusement Park

This seaside amusement park in Myrtle Beach is conveniently located on Ocean Boulevard. It proudly features more than 38 exciting rides, including the interactive Jump Around Dune Buggies, Twist ‘n Shout coaster, Log Flume, and the Slingshot Drop Zone. The amusement park will surely give you miles of smiles and oodles of fun! If you get tired (or dizzy) because of the rides, you can go to the arcade, enjoy the ocean view, float in the lazy river, or get some refreshments.

6. See the Angel Oak Tree

Angel Oak Tree Charleston
Source: Angel Oak Tree | Pierre Leclerc

Have you ever seen a live oak that’s about 400 to 500 years old? If not, then it is indeed one of the best things to do in South Carolina! See the Angel Oak Tree up close and be in awe of the 66.5-ft. tall beauty that will humble you. Some may contend that it is more than 1,000 years old, but more people believe that the conservative estimates are more likely to be true. You’ll pass by a little dirt road before reaching the Angel Oak tree, but it is such an amazing sight that you’ll agree it’s worth the drive.

Visitors are not permitted to sit, climb, or stand on the tree.

7. Walk the Ravenel Bridge

Ravenel Bridge
Source: Ravenel Bridge | Bridge Run

The Ravenel Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. Its modern design is as beautiful as the scenic view of the river, marinas, and parks on either side of the structure. The estimated walking time for the Ravenel Bridge is less than an hour if you’re going to one side, and about two hours if the round trip. The walking site is 2.5 miles from one side to the other. Stop in the middle to enjoy the view of being so high above the water. The scenic route above the Charleston Harbor is definitely impressive.

8. See the Sunset From Lake Murray Dam

Lake Murray Dam
Source: Lake Murray Dam | Flickr/V-rider

If you want to watch the golden hour, watching from the Lake Murray Dam is what you should consider. Lake Murray is a 48,000-acre reservoir built for hydroelectric power. Many visitors frequent its paved trails and paddleboard experience. Take a stroll over the Lake Murray Dam and wait for the beautiful sunset to grace the skies.

9. Explore the Past and Present at South Carolina State House

South Carolina State House Architecture
Source: South Carolina State House | Flickr/TranceMist

Won’t you agree that exploring the most majestic and ornate government building in the United States is one of the best things to do in South Carolina? We thought so. The building’s architectural and historic features are made more marvelous by its artistic carvings, big dome, grand staircase, and columns! One will say that the place is truly original in appearance. Not to mention, it is the living monument to the state’s rich history.

Tour Schedule:

  • Tours are offered every half hour (from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) when the legislature is in session
  • Tours can also be availed on Saturdays, except on the Saturdays after Thanksgiving and Christmas (State House Tour times: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.)

10. Visit America’s Favorite Highway Oasis, ‘South of the Border’

South of the Border
Source: South of the Border | Jimvid

If Ed Sheeran and Camila Cabello were to ask you to come South of the Border, will you join them? For one, we know you’d be screaming a solid YES given that it’s the two artists asking you to tag along. But you should know that this place is a must-visit, whether you go with a celebrity or your regular friends. South of the Border has been the famous landmark of the southeast for nearly 70 years, which is located on Interstate 95 (I-95), US Highway 301 (US 301) and US 501 in Dillon.

Why is it called South of the Border?

It is literally just south of the border between North Carolina and South Carolina and was the halfway point to Florida from New York back in the days. The faux-Mexican style area also has restaurants, gas stations, a video arcade, and even a small amusement park you can visit! Just find Pedro (South of the Border’s mascot), which is the caricature of the Mexican Bandido.

What do you think is the best activity?

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