South Carolina
Air, Hotel & Car

South Carolina

"Nothing could be finer than to be in South Carolina"

Barefoot Landing © South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
North Myrtle Beach is famed for its youth-oriented nightlife while the southern part has a more family-style atmosphere.

Come to South Carolina for the climate, beaches, low prices, and golf. Stay to sample the hospitality and cuisine. American readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine rate Charleston in the top ten US travel destinations year after year.

South Carolina was visited by the Spanish in 1566 and settled by the English in 1670. The English settlement spawned the city of Charleston. The American Civil War began at Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor. The Fort is open to visitors.

Charleston is home of the Spoleto Festival

Picturesque Charleston has 73 pre-Revolutionary buildings, and 136 other buildings from the late 18th century. More than 600 buildings erected before the 1840s still stand. Charleston is the home of the spring Spoleto Festival. This premiere American arts festival features over 120 performances including opera, jazz, theater, dance, symphonic and chamber music.

Charleston's airport has regular connections with New York, Orlando, Chicago, and other major US cities. Rental car drivers will be delighted by South Carolina's low gasoline prices.

Try the famous "southern cooking"

Golf © South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Myrtle Beach claims to be the Golf capital of the World.

In Charleston, sample the low-country "calabash" style seafood and the southern style cooking. The food is heavy on spices, often fried, and unique to the area. Try southern biscuits and calabash shrimp. Charleston is also an excellent place to shop in open-air markets for regional craft items. Many famous US chain stores have discount outlets in the area, and retail prices tend to be lower than in the north and west.

South Carolina is a "mini-bottle" state. Liquor is served from pre-measured bottles in bars and restaurants. If you want to buy a bottle of spirits, look for a store decorated with big red dots. Liquor stores in South Carolina are not allowed to advertise, but they are allowed to paint big red dots all over their buildings. Beer (usually lager) and wine are available in grocery stores.

Beaches surround Charleston

Many beaches circle this seaport city. Folly Beach, fifteen minutes by car from downtown Charleston, is one of the most popular surfing destinations in South Carolina. Folly Beach also has a beautiful bird sanctuary where you might even spot a Bald Eagle. The Isle of Palms is a luxury resort area with costly hotels and well kept golf courses. Kiawah Island, 21 minutes drive from Charleston has a ten-mile stretch of continuous white sand beach. It is ideal for nature lovers, as miles of bike and hiking trails run through marshland and forests filled with magnolias, pines, and oaks.

Farther off coast, Hilton Head Island is famed for being one of the best resort islands in the Continental USA. Hilton Head is an expensive destination; interested visitors would do well to check with a travel agent for specially priced package holidays.

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Don't miss the spectacular Magnolia Gardens

As early as 1900, Magnolia Gardens near Charleston was noted in the Baedeker Guide as a must-see for international visitors. Magnolia Gardens includes a tropical garden, a 125-acre waterfowl refuge, and other theme areas. Middleton Place, right next door, is America's oldest formal landscaped garden.

Northwest of Charleston, Cypress Garden is a swamp-garden with paths going through nearly 200 acres of marsh and swampland. Farther up the coast is Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell's Inlet, also known as "Restaurant City." The town has over fifty seafood restaurants. It is the best place for seafood lovers to try an American all-you-can-eat style restaurant.

Deep-sea fishing is popular in this area. Tour operators offer half-day and full-day fishing trips to the Gulf Stream year round.

Myrtle Beach is on the Grand Strand

The Grand Strand is a 60-mile stretch of white sand beach along the South Carolina coast. Many resort towns including well-known Myrtle Beach line the Grand Strand. North Myrtle Beach is famed for its youth-oriented nightlife while the southern part has a more family-style atmosphere. Myrtle Beach Airport connects with most major US destinations.

Charleston © SC Dept.of Tourism
Picturesque Charleston has 73 pre-Revolutionary buildings, and 136 other buildings from the late 18th century.

Entertainment options range from theme theaters presenting extravagant musical shows to standard seaside activities. Myrtle Beach has an old-fashioned amusement park and Pavilion. Many state-of-the-art entertainment facilities including a combined skating rink/aquarium and a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum of oddities offer a lot to see and do.

This is the Golf Capitol of the World

Myrtle Beach claims to be the Golf capital of the World. An average winter temperature in the fifties Fahrenheit promotes year round play on over 100 golf courses. Bargain hunting golfers should consider Myrtle Beach in the winter months. During the off-season for the surf-and-sun crowd, many hotels offer specially priced golf packages including green fees, hotel rooms, and gourmet dinners.

Serious shoppers can rummage through stores from morning to night. In addition to outlet malls, the area is famed for its unique boutiques offering a variety of specialty merchandise. The Grand Strand's hotel choices range from budget basics to splendid resorts catering to your every whim. Commercial campgrounds are plentiful.

Forty-eight state parks are scattered throughout South Carolina. Many of them have campgrounds and cabins. To reserve a cabin or a campground space or for more information about South Carolina, contact:

International Tourism Office
   SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
   1205 Pendleton Street
   Columbia, South Carolina 29201

   UK Representative
   Travel & Tourism Marketing
   33 Market Place
   Herts SG5 1DY
   United Kingdom
   Phone: 011-44-1462-458-028

   European Representative
   South Carolina Tourism Office
   Siemensstrasse 9
   63263 Neu-Isenburg
   Phone: (49) 6102 722 752

Written by: Diane Goldberg
Top Photo Credit: © South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Photo Description: Many beaches circle this seaport city.