12 Must-See South Carolina Destinations

1. Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area

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If you want to see the South Carolina coast the way the original settlers did, take a step back in time at Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve on Edisto Island. The 4,600-acre preserve includes almost three miles of undeveloped, breathtaking beachfront that you’ll never forget.

 

2. Brookgreen Gardens

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Everyday, Brookgreen offers a selection of tours, programs, and exhibits for all ages. You may stroll through the gardens on a guided tour or explore these beautiful spaces on your own. Each season, new exhibitions and special events make Brookgreen Gardens…Ever Changing. Simply Amazing.

 

3. Myrtle Beach

 

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When you’re here, the beach is your playground with over 60 miles of sand, sun and sparkling Atlantic Ocean. And while a trip to our beach is a must when visiting the Myrtle Beach area, the fun extends beyond our shores to over thousands of area activities and attractions.

 

4. Congaree National Park

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You have the opportunity to experience the natural wonders of Congaree National Park on foot or on water. With over 25 miles of hiking trails and 2.4 miles of boardwalk, there are many ways to explore the Congaree Wilderness.

 

5. The USS Yorktown at Patriot’s Point

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In 1958, YORKTOWN was designated an anti-submarine aircraft carrier (CVS), and would later earn 5 battle stars for service off Vietnam (1965-1968). The ship also recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts and capsule (December 1968).

 

6. Hilton Head Island

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Hilton Head Island may only be 12 miles by 5 miles wide, but you’ll find everything you need here for the ultimate Island retreat. Enjoy days basking in the sun, sand and surf of some of the best beaches in the country.

 

7. Caesars Head State Park

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One of the most popular trails at Caesars Head is the two-mile Raven Cliff Falls trail. This hiking trail leads to 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls, where a suspension bridge offers one of the two publicly accessible overlooks to the falls as they plunge deep into the mountain cove below.

 

8. Old Sheldon Church Ruins

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The Old Sheldon Church, formerly known as the Prince William Parish Church, has had a tumultuous and eventful history. From its first service in 1757 to its present peaceful setting, the church has followed the travails of our region’s history.

 

9. Swan Lake Iris Gardens

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The beautiful black waters of Swan Lake form the setting for the spectacular Iris Gardens. The lake is dotted with colorful islands, and wildlife is abundant. The only public park in the United States to feature all eight swan species, Swan Lake Iris Gardens is also home to some of the nation’s most intensive plantings of Japanese iris, which bloom yearly in mid to late May and last until the beginning of June.

 

10. Fort Sumter National Monument

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Decades of growing strife between North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.

 

11. Angel Oak Tree

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The Angel Oak Tree is thought to be one of the oldest living things in the country. The Angel Oak Tree is estimated to be in excess of 400-500 years old, stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet (1,600 m2). From tip to tip Its longest branch distance is 187 ft.  There is considerable debate about the age of the Angel Oak.

 

12. Hunting Island State Park

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Of all the lighthouses in South Carolina, the Hunting Island Lighthouse is the only one in the state that is publicly accessible. From the top of one of the most distinctive lighthouses in South Carolina, guests can stand 130 feet above the ground to take in the breathtaking, panoramic view of the Atlantic Coast and surrounding maritime forest.