South Carolina may not rank on many people's must-visit lists, and that's hard to believe, considering how much beauty and culture there is to be found here. One does not need a niche interest to feel the historical and cultural significance of these sites, dating back to the American Revolution, the Civil War, and World War II. 

    The state is also neither too far north nor south, allowing all sorts of natural beauty to flourish. This is more than evident in the many national and state parks. Come for a week or two, and you'll see: South Carolina has far more to offer than you thought.


    What are the best things to do in South Carolina? 

    1

    Charleston City Market in Charleston, South Carolina

    One of the oldest public markets in America

    Found right in the historic downtown area, this 2-century-old market covering 4 blocks is a fun place to explore and soak up some Charleston city charm. There’s a day market that opens daily as well as night markets that run on Fridays and Saturdays from April through December.

    Some 300 vendors set up in the market’s open-air sections and Great Hall, with many bars and restaurants sprinkled throughout. There’s a good range of local arts and crafts for sale including sweetgrass basketry made by local Gullah people.

    ที่ตั้ง: 73 North Market Street, Suite A, Charleston, South Carolina 29401, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm (Great Hall open till 6 pm)

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    ภาพโดย Richard Hedrick (CC BY-SA 4.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    2

    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

    Non-stop fun and action along the The Grand Strand

    Myrtle Beach is a coveted holiday destination on the Atlantic coast, but savvy travellers can still enjoy the best of this tourist beach town on the cheap. That said, on a budget you will most likely want to avoid the peak season months of June to September. During peak season hotel prices can balloon well above budget range. To make your pennies stretch further, head to Myrtle Beach in spring or late autumn. The beach along this part of South Carolina stretches for 100 km, and you can enjoy wide stretches of it to yourself. For peak season stays on the cheap, you could also consider camping. 

    Myrtle Beach has an amazing range of amusement parks, games arcades, shopping malls, and markets - so you certainly won’t be bored. Head to the towering Sky Wheel to find your bearings. This fully-fledged beach resort is tailor-made for visitors. Read more

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    3

    Huntington Beach State Park

    A paradise for nature lovers and birdwatchers

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    At Huntington Beach State Park, there’s little chance you’ll run out of things to do. Unspoilt and wide open, the coastal preserve is a sweeping Grand Strand beach with more than 10 sq km of sand and semi-tropical maritime forest to explore. Revel in seaside camping, enjoy surf-fishing or try to spot more than 300 species of birds.

    In addition to its pristine beach and 4 scenic nature trails, the park boasts picnic facilities, a beachside gift shop and the picturesque 1930s-era Moorish Atalaya Castle open to visitors. Bring along some cash for the park admission fee.

    ที่ตั้ง: Georgetown County, SC 29576, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 6 am to 6 pm

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    4

    Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Columbia

    A splendid wilderness of 2,000 creatures

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    Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to an array of animals you never knew existed. Elephants and lions from Africa dwell here, as do lemurs and wallabies from Australia and tapirs from Southeast Asia.

    The keepers pride themselves not only on the good quality of life for the animals but also on the stunning set pieces and exhibits found throughout. A visit here is nothing short of an adventure. Zoos tend to be great activities for the kids, but Riverbanks Zoo is one which will surely enthral the whole family.

    ที่ตั้ง: 500 Wildlife Pkwy, Columbia, SC 29210, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    โทร: +1 803-779-8717

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    5

    Falls Park on the Reedy

    The only downtown with a waterfall

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    Falls Park on the Reedy is one spot that makes Greenville such a special town. Where else does ‘downtown’ mean not just avenues and spots for culture and nightlife, but also a beautiful park? It is a breath of fresh air to have a green area blended with a city centre.

    Falls Park offers much to explore across its bridges and among its waterfalls, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch one of the many festivals and concerts hosted there. Come for a late lunch; you won't have to waste any time getting to a hiking spot. A good one starts just outside the restaurant.

    ที่ตั้ง: 601 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 7 am to 9 pm

    โทร: +1 864-467-4350

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    6

    Fort Sumter National Monument

    The battle site that defined history

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    Fort Sumter should be your first spot for American Civil War history, if only because it was the site of the first major battle. A conflict that raged for 36 hours, Fort Sumter was the spark that ignited national tensions and boiled over into full-blown civil war.

    The tour guides will have much more to reveal about this historic moment. Take a scenic ferry ride to reach the fort. Its troubled yet passionate history seems to suffuse the very air around it.

    ที่ตั้ง: Fort Sumter, South Carolina 29412, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 8.30 am to 5 pm

    โทร: +1 843-883-3123

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    ภาพโดย Methaz (CC BY-SA 3.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    7

    Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

    Stand upon the American ships of the second Great War

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    Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum lets you see, up close, the vessels in which America fought its wars from WWII onward. Take a self-guided tour and wander an aircraft carrier at your own pace – there's even a submarine and a destroyer to explore.

    No film can make you understand the experience of a soldier the way inhabiting the actual spaces of war can. You will feel just what that means as you squeeze through the tight corridors of these labyrinthine ships. Make sure to set aside a lot of time for this one.

    ที่ตั้ง: 40 Patriots Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 9 am to 6.30 pm

    โทร: +1 843-884-2727

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    ภาพโดย Ron Cogswell (CC BY 2.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    8

    Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

    A house that has witnessed the whole of American history

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    Magnolia Plantation and Gardens mentions the gardens in its name for a reason. This 464-acre property is a breathtaking display of natural colour in hundreds of various forms.

    Wander towards the swampy part and you might even see alligators. Go to the zoo exhibit for the chance to pet one! Several tours can be taken, including ones which delve into the plantation's history as it dates back to the American Revolution. The tragedy of slavery can be better understood with a visit to this historic house, as well. With so much to do, you would do well to spend an entire day here.

    ที่ตั้ง: 3550 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm

    โทร: +1 843-571-1266

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    9

    South Carolina Aquarium

    Marvel at tropical fish, sharks, and turtles

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    Embark on a chartered fishing tour at Charleston Harbor, and you’ll catch a glimpse of a fascinating array of underwater sea creatures, however, if you’re with the family and want to stay out of the heat, you might also consider heading to the South Carolina Aquarium. A short walk from other visit-worthy museums such as Fort Sumter and the International African American Museum, there’s plenty of attractions in the area to keep the family occupied.

    Inside the Aquarium, you’ll see otherworldly invertebrates, sharks, and a vast array of colourful fish. The kids can pet rays and visit the sea turtle hospital. There are also lots of interactive exhibitions and a 4D cinema show with vibrating seats and water spray effects.

    ที่ตั้ง: 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    โทร: +1 843-577-3474

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    ภาพโดย ProfReader (CC BY-SA 3.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    10

    Brookgreen Gardens

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    Covering more than 9,000 acres, Brookgreen Gardens offer a serene retreat with flower-laden manicured gardens, figurative sculptures by American artists, reflecting pools and fountains. Wander through the Live Oak alley in the shade of the big moss-laden trees planted in the 1700s. 

    Take a guided tour to learn about the history of this former rice plantation and the Gullah African slaves who toiled there, or simply walk the scenic trails on your own. Through the summer months the gardens are host to several music and theatre performances. Admission is around $14, with discounts for children and seniors. 

    ที่ตั้ง: 1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 9.30 am to 5 pm

    โทร: +1 843 235 6000

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    11

    Rainbow Row

    Come visit the neighbourhood of your dreams

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    Rainbow Row may very well steal the top prize for the most colourful neighbourhood in America. The line of historic Georgian row houses creates a display somewhere between pastel and neon, standing as a modest and informal monument to the do-anything mentality of American culture.

    Some of the houses date back to the 18th century, while others were renovated or rebuilt in the 20th century. This makes the overall design a fascinating pastiche of colonial and modern. Palm trees line the street, making the scene look more West Coast than East, adding to the allure. It’s surely one of the great Instagram-worthy spots you’ll find in Charleston.

    ที่ตั้ง: 83 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA

    เปิด: 24/7

    โทร: +1 803-528-8317

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    12

    Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens

    A house awash in American history

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    Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens could compete for the most epic driveway in the world. Oak trees older than the Civil War line the road leading to the property, their magnificent boughs making the entrance tunnel-like. The grounds themselves are even more extraordinary, as they have been producing crops non-stop for over 3 centuries.

    Take tours to see the interior of the house as well as of the slave housing. You may feel, during your time here, like you’ve seen this place before – if you've seen Gone With the Wind or Forrest Gump, you'd be right. Come for the scenery and stay for the history.

    ที่ตั้ง: 1235 Long Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464, USA

    เปิด: Tuesday–Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    โทร: +1 843-884-4371

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    13

    South Carolina State Museum

    Where the borders of the imagination fall away

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    South Carolina State Museum is a place where dreams are formed and wonders are realised. Several larger-than-life exhibits can be seen here, including a digital dome planetarium and 4D interactive theatre. The Sherlock Holmes Experience is a 2-3 hour escape room experience where you must find clues in Sherlock's study to solve the mystery – great for both kids and adults.

    This museum not only exercises the brain but also the body; you will have to walk literal miles to see it all. Set aside a whole day and wear good shoes to make the most of your visit.

    ที่ตั้ง: 301 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA

    เปิด: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    โทร: +1 803-898-4921

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    ภาพโดย Akhenaton06 (CC BY-SA 3.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    14

    Caesars Head State Park

    You don't need to travel further west to see mountains

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    Caesars Head State Park offers one of the most stunning views the East Coast has to offer. One does not need to venture to New Zealand to see scenery fit for Middle Earth, like rolling green landscapes climbing up majestic mountains in the distance. The view extends so far that you can see North Carolina in one direction and Georgia in the other.

    There are hikes and trails to take, but those with limited time can still make it to the best view after a short walk. A longer visit is recommended, though, especially for the opportunity to see the Devil's Kitchen, a unique natural formation of pathways through rock.

    ที่ตั้ง: 8155 Geer Hwy, Cleveland, SC 29635, USA

    เปิด: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    โทร: +1 864-836-6115

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    15

    Congaree National Park

    Canoe your way through a breathtaking East Coast forest

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    Congaree National Park is exactly what a national park should be: untouched, old-growth scenery explorable by unobtrusive paths. A boardwalk cuts through the landscape of trees, keeping humans off the ground and allowing the ecosystem to flourish with minimal interference.

    It's a way to see natural beauty in a way you might not have considered. One path is the Congaree River itself. This park allows you to see the sights by canoe in blissful silence. Got more than a day to kill? Consider staying the night at one of the designated campgrounds.

    ที่ตั้ง: 100 National Park Rd, Hopkins, SC 29061, USA

    เปิด: 24/7

    โทร: +1 803-776-4396

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    Benjamin Gorman | นักเขียนประจำ

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