Beaches, Mountains, Cities: Oh My!
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Get To Know South Carolina
South Carolina is a beautiful little piece of southern quaintness and coastal excellence, with landscapes that vary from sandy beaches to rugged mountains. Outdoor adventure, historic city dwellings, and beachfront relaxation are all possibilities for the lucky folks who travel to the beautiful state of South Carolina. Let’s learn more about what makes South Carolina well worth your visit when planning your next bus adventure.
There's no shortage of things to do in South Carolina.
A Brief History of South Carolina
South Carolina was originally settled by the English in 1670, eventually going on to become the eighth state to ratify the U.S. constitution. From its early beginnings as a state, South Carolina’s economy was largely based on agriculture due to the area’s abundance of fertile soil. Today, the economy has shifted towards tourism, as millions of people flock to the picturesque coastline each year. South Carolina is also home to a handful of iconic American musicians, such as James Brown and Dizzy Gillespie.
Must See List
- Carolina Heritage Outfitters‘ 3 treehouses off Edisto River
- ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge
- Improve your golf game at Hilton Head Island
- Dip your toes in the surf and sand at Myrtle Beach
- Feast on eye candy at North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum
- Learn about 18th-century living at Georgetown’s Kaminski House Museum
- Charleston Historic District
- Fort Sumter National Monument
- Caesars Head State Park
- Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
- Charleston City Market
- Charleston Tea Garden
- The Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden
- Yogi Bear Honey Fried Chicken
Top Cities To Visit in South Carolina
With its heart at the fall line of the Congaree River, manifested by the confluence of the Broad River and the Saluda River, Columbia, South Carolina lies right in the middle of the state. The city of 135,000 people hosts a wealth of art and science museums, botanical gardens and zoos to explore. Lovely strolls can be taken at Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park, perfect for people watching and meditating upon the rushing waters. The local foodie culture is delicious and rewarding. And history buffs will have plenty to explore from the city’s founding in 1786 to the Civil War period and into the modern era.
The city of Charleston should be high on your list of places to visit in South Carolina. This beautiful port city is the oldest and largest in the state, situated on scenic Charleston Harbor. When your bus rolls into the city, you’ll be met with a quaint atmosphere that contrasts against a thriving metropolis. Explore the city down its cobblestone streets, occasionally being passed up by horse-drawn carriages. Delight in the 18th century-styled architecture of the pastel-colored houses that sit aplenty throughout the city. The French Quarter and Battery districts offer the best of Charleston’s antiquated beauty. In these neighborhoods, find yourself perusing the Waterfront Park, with views that overlook the Charleston Harbor. If you’re in the mood to spend a little money, indulge yourself in some shopping along Historic King Street, where antique stores, fashion boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants can be found in abundance. The culinary scene in Charleston is coming up fast, with many great eateries to try — anywhere from lowkey “hipster” joints to award-winning fine dining. Grab a bite to eat at Parcel 32, a popular brunch spot in Charleston. If you’re looking for the perfect place to dine on “date night,” head to Bourbon and Bubbles, a luxurious restaurant and bar with a lusty, dark atmosphere and delicious small plates and cocktails. For some upbeat fun for yourself or your family, take a trip to the South Carolina Aquarium, made famous for its giant 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank. Or head to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, featuring a lush garden that dates back before the Revolutionary War as well as train and boat tours.
Another must-visit destination while on your bus trip to South Carolina is without a doubt the city of Myrtle Beach. Located on the Atlantic Coast, Myrtle Beach is known as the hub of what’s called the Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of breathtaking beaches. Sit back, dig your toes in the sand and enjoy the smell of the ocean. When you get your fix of sand and sun, take a walk down the boardwalk that follows along the beachfront and offers arcades, shops, and eateries. Make sure to spend some time at Broadway at the Beach, a massive outdoor entertainment area with ample shopping, restaurants, and attractions for people of all ages. Some of the attractions include Myrtle Waves Water Park, Ripley’s Aquarium, Hard Rock Café, and the Broadway Cinema. Broadway at the Beach also offers many bars and clubs that come alive at night, so if you’re looking for an exciting night on the town, this is your place to go.
Dallying along a length of the Edisto River, the lush city of Orangeburg, South Carolina lives up to its nickname of “The Garden City.” With roots dating back to the early 18th century, there is a sense of history with over 30 landmarks in town listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And then there is the wonderful outdoor scenery from wandering the Edisto Memorial Gardens to kayaking in Congaree National Park. There are two historically black colleges here as well as theater and even a world-class golf course. Exploring Orangeburg is a relaxing proposition filled with discovery and the chance to decompress in a warm, inviting atmosphere.
The town of Summerville, South Carolina may be near the metropolis of Charleston, but its country feel leaves that big city vibe behind. Deeply steeped in history, there are plenty of homes and former plantations to visit and explore. Outdoor spaces like the Azalea Park and Sculpture Garden, Middleton Place and the Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail are great places to get a feel for the area while enjoying lovely trees and flowers. Foodies will be happy to find wonderful farmer’s markets, local restaurants, and a craft brew scene. There’s also shopping with a great antique scene and even theater and music to enjoy.
Living in the shadow of nearby Augusta, Georgia, it is refreshing to encounter the more laid back yet equally enticing feel of Aiken, South Carolina. The city’s thriving downtown is a major draw for shoppers and foodies alike. There are historical sites, museums, art galleries, and even a planetarium. Several destinations feature the area’s long tradition of breeding and racing thoroughbreds, with plenty of events offering the opportunity to watch these majestic animals in action. If you’re looking for an outdoor retreat, try canoeing at Aiken State Park, go horseback riding at Hitchcock Woods or perhaps hike the many trails at Henderson Heritage Preserve.
A Look at Culture in South Carolina
South Carolina is a state with heavy ties to southern culture and antebellum charm. From the Blueridge Mountains to its beaches along the Atlantic coast, the varying landscapes create a diverse collection of cultures and people. Classic country cooking makes a strong showing throughout the state, with a heavy inclusion of fresh seafood closer to the coast, where southern culture blends beautifully with an easy-going beach atmosphere.
When to Go
The best time to take your bus trip to South Carolina is from March to May or from September to November when the weather is mild and comfortable. Summers in South Carolina verge on stifling, so unless you plan on spending the majority of your time in the water, keep that in mind. If you’re attempting to be budget-conscious during your trip, visit during the late fall or early winter months when hotel prices are at their cheapest.
Take an Unforgettable Trip to South Carolina
The pristine beaches, rugged mountains, and southern metropolises are ready for you to explore, so what are you waiting for? Purchase your bus tickets and start planning your trip today!