A romantic stroll on Myrtle Beach
Hikers taking in scenic views from the overlook at Caesars Head State Park
Beachfront greens at Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course
Rooftop dining at the Vendue Inn in Charleston
The signature suspension bridge at Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville
Couple riding bikes on the beach in Hilton Head Island
A peaceful moment among the trees at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet
A classic Lowcountry boil during the Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival
Shopping at the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island
Variations on shrimp and grits, a must-have dish in Charleston
- The Palmetto State
Discover South Carolina, a feast of Southern food, history and charm
Tales of the South
No matter where you go in the state, South Carolina is steeped in U.S. history. It was at Fort Sumter near Charleston where the first shots of the American Civil War rang out in April of 1861. Go antique shopping and sightseeing in Camden, the oldest inland city in the state where a Revolutionary War battle took place in 1780. History buffs will also love exploring picturesque Charleston, founded in 1670 – voted the #1 City in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure for five years running and the #1 City in the World in 2016. Also along the coast, learn the history and culture of the Gullah, descendants of African slaves who have historically inhabited the Lowcountry and developed a distinct culture and language still preserved today.
Food, Glorious Food
You can’t visit South Carolina without an appetite. Enjoy just-caught seafood at a waterfront restaurant, which are plentiful in a state with the ocean at its doorstep along with dozens of lakes and rivers. Join the locals at a classic Lowcountry boil, consisting of a generous mix of shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn boiled to perfection and served in a heap right on the table. Help yourself! Don’t forget about the barbecue: There are four different types of sauces to try – vinegar and pepper, mustard, light tomato and heavy tomato – at more than 200 barbecue restaurants throughout the state.
Golf and Beaches for Days
Bring your best clubs, because South Carolina is a year-round golf destination and home to more than 350 courses. You’re sure to find a course no matter when and where you visit, but the state’s top-ranked greens are generally concentrated along the coast. Notably, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is one of only four courses in the country to have hosted every major PGA event and is consistently rated one of the top courses in the world.
If your idea of a perfect vacation is less “sand trap” and more “sandcastle,” South Carolina offers 301 kilometers of picture-perfect coastline. Families tend to congregate in Hilton Head Island. Its plethora of bike trails and relaxing white-sand beaches are two of many reasons it’s been voted Travel + Leisure’s top island in the contiguous USA five times in six years. Myrtle Beach is another family-favorite, complete with affordable beachfront resorts and boardwalk amusements. More low-key beachgoers can check out Isle of Palms, Folly Beach and Kiawah Island.