Skip to main content
The SkyWheel at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Anton Fresco
1 of 8
Pier at  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Anton Fresco
2 of 8
Promenade stroll along the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Anton Fresco
3 of 8
Golfing in South Carolina
Anton Fresco
4 of 8
Scenic beach view on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Anton Fresco
5 of 8
Beachfront bicycling in Hilton Head, South Carolina
Anton Fresco
6 of 8
Historic Georgian houses on Rainbown Row on East Bay Street in Charleston, South Carolina
Anton Fresco
7 of 8
Relaxing in the pool at Market Pavilion Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina
Anton Fresco
8 of 8
  • States:
    South Carolina

What made me smile from the moment I started to land in South Carolina was the sheer amount of expansive green I could see below me.

There have been very few US states I have visited that can rival that of the English countryside, but South Carolina is one. I was lucky to visit numerous state parks, gardens and golf courses on my trip, as well as beautiful beaches, marshes, and historic homes and buildings. I also ate delicious food at top fine-dining restaurants and sampled local favorites such as shrimp and grits and boiled peanuts.

Natural Wonders Along the Ocean

On Hilton Head Island, the locals are committed to sustainable living. No neon billboards hinder your view of the sky. Loggerhead sea turtles are protected by the residents turning their beach lights off at night during nesting season. From shore birds to dolphins, wildlife is abundant here. Hilton Head Island also offers championship golf courses, including the Harbour Town Golf Links, home to the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage golf tournament. While you’re here, you must ride a bicycle along the beach and enjoy the serenity. For a little more adventure, try ZipLine Hilton Head at Broad Creek Marina.

In Charleston, take advantage of the walking tours through beautiful gardens and plantations, enjoy exquisite food in award-winning restaurants, or visit a museum or art gallery, and that’s just for starters. You can also walk along The Battery or take a romantic carriage ride through the city to view the historic Antebellum houses. For a more rugged adventure, kayak and paddleboard through the Lowcountry waterways, or stroll along the promenade overlooking the marsh land at sunset.

Myrtle Beach is a family-friendly favorite with dolphin-watching tours, fishing, parasailing and other exciting water sports. Walk or jog along the nearly 2-kilometer-long oceanfront boardwalk and stop to take a ride on the famous SkyWheel. While here, I visited the Myrtle Beach Speedway and got to drive in a real NASCAR stock car, an incredibly fun experience where I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face.

Boats lined up at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island

Boats lined up at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island
View more

Outdoor Adventure Beyond the Coast

It’s not just South Carolina’s beach destinations offering amazing thrills and sights for nature lovers. Near the state capital of Columbia, Lake Murray covers 202 square kilometers and is a boating favorite. I enjoyed several hours of fun jumping off the boat and soaking up the sun.

Near Greenville, a bustling city in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, you can hike or bike ride along the tr