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Making travel plans? Consider S.C.

on Wednesday, 09 May 2018. Posted in Columns, Opinions

By: Brenda Harrison

Weather is improving, summer is coming so now is a good time to start planning a vacation or weekend getaway. You don’t have to go far – there is lots to do and see right here in our own state.

VacationIdea has developed a list of the 25 Best Places to Visit in South Carolina. Here’s their list:

Myrtle Beach offers fun and sun in the ocean, plenty to do, and plenty to eat.

Charleston, our oldest city, is a showcase of history, Southern cuisine, culture and arts, a beautiful harbor and nearby beaches.

Greenville offers artsy attractions, educational experiences and outdoor activities.

Columbia, the Capital City, has a variety of family activities, including museums, restaurants and historic places.

Spartanburg offers a wealth of cultural and outdoor activities, including historic walking tours and the Spartanburg Music Trail.

Aiken is best known for its equestrial culture, but is also home to the largest urban forest in the country.

Kiawah Island, a peaceful barrier island off the S.C. coast, combines the beach life with golfing.

Beaufort offers an urban oasis with its Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

Hunting Island State Park, just 16 miles from Beaufort, is a popular beach-front getaway destination. Simply relax on the pristine three-mile beach or explore the abundant wildlife-watching opportunities provided by the lagoon.

The Hunting Island Lighthouse in Hunting Island State Park offers visitors a chance to combine a little history with a great day on the beach. The lighthouse was de-activated in 1933 and is the only lighthouse in the state open to the public.

Hilton Head Island promises laid-back summer vacations with several beaches and a pristine coastline to explore, hiking, and nature-watching.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve on Hilton Head Island is a great place to escape the glitzy island resorts and spend time communing with nature.

Georgetown with its small town charm, offers loads of history with five museums, quaint shops and galleries and lots of eateries featuring ocean-fresh seafood.

Florence makes the list with its Veterans Park, Florence County Museum, War Between the State Museum, Francis Marion University Performing Art Center and the Florence Little Theatre. Outdoor options include a hiking trail system, canopy walk, canoe launch and Discovery Center at Lynches River County Park.

Rock Hill is where you can take a gentle stroll in Glencairn Garden or Fountain Park, or get more energetic along the Piedmont Medical Center Trail and the Carolina Thread Trail. Cycling enthusiasts can try the Rock Hill Outdoor Center, while paddlers can explore the Catawba River by canoe or kayak.

North Charleston offers visitors an interesting mix of unusual museums, a thriving arts and culture scene, and the convenience of being close to all the historic attractions of Charleston. History buffs can see a recovered 1864 submarine and learn about the pivotal role it played at the H.L. Hunley Museum.

Huntington Beach State Park is an ideal coastal getaway for campers, birdwatchers, fishermen, and nature lovers.

Caesars Head State Park on the dramatic Blue Ridge Escarpment offers some of the best hiking in the state through the 11,000-acre forested Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. Want to venture further afield? Try backpacking and sleep trailside under the stars at 18 primitive backcountry campsites.

Congaree State Park, 20 miles outside Columbia, is one of the only places in the country where you can see a large tract of old-growth hardwood forest sustained by the floodplains of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers.

Falls Park on the Reedy, situated in downtown Greenville’s Historic West End, provides an urban oasis, outdoor and cultural attractions and beautiful gardens.

Clemson, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with its parks, rivers, waterfalls, and lakes, provides countless opportunities to get back to nature. If you love history, you can tour several historic homesteads.

The Angel Oak Tree located on John’s Island, 12 miles outside Charleston, is believed to be 400 to 500 years old.

Litchfield Beach on the Pawley’s Island section of the Grand Strand is arguably one of the best beaches in South Carolina. Here you can escape the crowds and find an unspoiled wide sandy beach perfect for walking, sunbathing, and swimming.

The Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, is a place walkers, runners, cyclists, and skaters can all enjoy some outdoor exercise along the nearly 20-mile trail that links Greenville and Travelers Rest. A large section of the trail follows the course of the Reedy River providing great scenery.