Ask a Local: South Carolina Transcript
I’m the island’s number one fan. Hilton Head Island is so incredibly unique because it is, of course, an island: 12 miles long, 55 square miles. We have so much natural foliage, so many trees, so much natural beauty that is here. So, if you come here and you expect to just see a long road down a couple palm trees, you’re going to be very pleasantly surprised.
There are lots of ways to enjoy a day on the water here. You can rent a paddleboard or a kayak out of any one of our marinas. You can parasail. You can rent a boat and just hang out on the Calibogue Sound for the day.
Hilton Head Island has more than 50 miles of bike paths that traverse the island, and you can get pretty much so anywhere: restaurants, the beach, to your condo.
There are so many things to do. As an adult, you maybe wanna have great dinners, go out dancing, relax on the beach. But even for children, there’s a pirate’s island cruise that you can take, where you actually out in the middle of the Calibogue Sound, searching for treasure. That’s mostly for the kids and those of us who are kids at heart.
Maybe you like kind of a more fun beach scene? I would recommend going to Coligny, grabbing a cocktail at the tiki hut, live music all day long, meet some new friends.
You want a quiet, relaxing day, and there’s a lot of that to be had. Just sit under an umbrella, pull out a great book and enjoy.
We have 24 golf courses here on little Hilton Head Island. We have it for you to be able to grab the clubs and come play.
You’re gonna want to bring your appetite because we have a big plate of anything fried or grilled that comes from the water. Or maybe you want a plate of barbecue.
At Honey Horn Coastal Discovery Museum, it’s just a beautiful place to take in Hilton Head history. It has tours and nature walks. It just makes for a great day.
Harbour Town is a must-visit. It has shops and restaurants. It’s just a unique place to take great photos with your family, sit in a rocking chair, have a scoop of ice cream – all in the shadow of multimillion dollar yachts. The lighthouse here at Harbour Town is iconic. It is not a functioning lighthouse; although, it does have a walking museum as you go up the steps. You can go to the very top and take lots of great pictures of the surrounding areas.
One thing every visitor does when they come here is come to the 18th green, find the lighthouse behind you, and then take the iconic picture of you holding up the lighthouse with your hands.
Greenville, South Carolina, has a natural feature that’s a very rare thing among American cities. What city has a splendid waterfall 10 or 12 yards from Main Street in downtown? Without a doubt, they need to visit Falls Park. The Liberty Bridge that’s suspended over the waterfall – it is beautiful and memorable experience to stand out on that swinging bridge, which is arched away from the waterfall, and get that grand view.
And there is no better example of Southern hospitality than Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville greets its visitors with open arms and goes out of its way to try to make sure that your visit to Greenville is a memorable experience.
It is very laid-back, particularly in the evenings. There are sidewalk cafes with folks out having dinner right adjacent to the street on the sidewalk. You’ll see other folks just strolling along the sidewalk. And by the way, here in the South, we don’t walk down the sidewalk, we stroll down the avenue.
One of my favorite retail stores in downtown Greenville is Mast General Store. It’s a nostalgic trip back in time to when every town in North America had a general merchandise store.
If you could stay here for a week, you could go to a different restaurant every night and never go to the same place. My recommendation would be Soby’s. It was one of the first restaurants to introduce Greenville to this New Southern Cuisine, and it’s one of the community’s favorite restaurants. To make a menu recommendation, I really like the crab cakes. They’re made with Atlantic, hand-picked blue crab lump meat, seared in a pan just to the point where they are golden-crust on both sides.
We have quite a number of state parks that are within a 30- or 40-minute drive of downtown Greenville. Table Rock State Park, for example, where we are today, has cabins that are available for rental, a swimming lake and an entire network of hiking trails.
Sassafras Mountain is the highest peak in South Carolina. Our new observation tower gets you up to an elevation where you get these really sweeping, 360-degree, panoramic views. You can see four states from there.
At Caesars Head State Park, one of our higher elevations up above 3,000 feet, their hiking trail up there goes to Raven Cliff Falls, one of the most dramatic waterfalls along the southern Blue Ridge Mountains.
If you’re going to be visiting anywhere in the South, there’s one word you need to learn: y’all. It’s the mark of a true Southerner. If you need directions or you need help with something, you listen for somebody saying, “Y’all come on over here.” That’s a local, and they’d be glad to help you.
Nora Hembree Battle:
The Myrtle Beach area is often called the Grand Strand by locals, and that’s because it makes up 60 miles of picture-perfect coastline right here along the South Carolina coast. So, in theory, you could get out on the beach and walk for 60 miles without having to get off.
But we also have lakes, we have rivers, we have saltwater estuaries and marshes that are really interesting and fun to explore. We have kid-friendly attractions and events throughout the year. The feeling that we want you to be with family and creating those memories here on the beach is something that’s really special.
I would absolutely recommend they spend time along the downtown Myrtle Beach Boardwalk area. It is over 1.2 miles long now and there are a ton of attractions to see, restaurants to eat in, shops to buy a souvenir in. It offers a glimpse of sort of your classic American family beach vacation.
So, another hub of busy activity is Broadway at the Beach. They have mini golf courses, a WonderWorks, another Ferris wheel, amusement parks rides. There’s a lot do to there and explore. It’s fun to do with kids. It’s wide, it’s open. It’s very family-friendly.
Check out Brookgreen Gardens. It has the largest collection of outdoor American figurative sculpture in the world, and beyond that, has a low country zoo, a ton of flora and fauna to see, and it’s set on the grounds of nine former rice plantations.
Something you definitely won’t find in a travel guide is a recommendation to wake up early before sunrise at least one day on your stay. Our sunrises are beautiful here in the Myrtle Beach area, and that time of day also offers you the chance to find the seashells you might not otherwise find and see some dolphins swimming in the ocean.
There are lots of crazy things to do here: Myrtle Beach Speedway, where you can ride in a NASCAR, or the SkyWheel, where you can take a ride on a glass-enclosed gondola over the ocean. The SkyWheel here is very iconic to our shoreline. You can see it right back there, and it is an exhilarating ride. To see that from above with a bird’s-eye view is very memorable.
So, Murrells Inlet is definitely one of our area’s hidden gems. It’s often called the seafood capital of South Carolina. There are great restaurants and bars. It’s nice to be able to have the scenic view of the marsh while you’re dancing to live music or having some oysters with friends.
Welcome to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. You’re going to love it here.
It’s always perfect; it’s always sunny in Charleston. If not, just wait 10 minutes.
It’s so easy to get around Charleston. I prefer the best way, to walk or rent a bicycle. I love the cobblestone roads of Charleston. I love the old churches. I love walking through the small streets.
The ultimate selfie in Charleston has got to be on Lower King Street in the shopping district. How the streets are a little smaller, a little tighter, and you can see everything.
King Street is the spine of Charleston. It’s so vibrant, from our great shopping to our restaurant and bar scene. From the great quality of chefs to the great hospitality, to actually walk around the city to the great bars and restaurants and try an appetizer here, an appetizer there. You just meet the people and experience it all that our food and beverage industry provides here.
Palmetto Brewing Company is Charleston. You know, it’s one of the original microbreweries here in Charleston, and it’s got all the great flavors that we all love.
You have to go see Charleston on a carriage tour. Everything slows down, and the tour guides show a different side of Charleston in each tour they give you.
Charleston is called the “Holy City” because of over 100 church steeples lining the skyline. Did you know that a building can’t be as tall as the largest church steeple in town? So, it makes it a small village.
The Charleston City Market is the quintessential tourist destination in town. And when guests come to town, it’s a first stop. When visiting the market, you have to go down and see our sweetgrass baskets that they handmake right in front of you. It’s a great souvenir to take back with you.
Battery Park is just historic to me. It’s one of the most breathtaking spots in Charleston, right on where the Ashley and Cooper River meet.
Shem Creek is a dining restaurant destination, but it’s also a great place to grab a kayak, grab a paddleboard, and explore Charleston.
Charleston is so unique because the history and the culture, and it all comes together in this beautiful setting.