South Carolina

Relatively small, South Carolina is probably best known for it's coast, BBQ, and plantations. I didn't realize that most of the plantations, mansions, and gardens are located here as opposed to say Georgia or North Carolina. I'm sure they exist in those states as well, of course. The coastal towns are quite pleasant with some nature stops around.

My Favorites

1. Greenville

Falls Park

Highlights: Restaurants, shops, dinning, tiny houses
Suggest Staying: 1-2 days
Stay Around: Greer (Lake Walk Tiny Home Community)
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An up and coming area for hipsters, hippies, and tiny house enthusiasts. It’s similar to Asheville, NC with a mix of nature and solid dining. This small town ranks up their with the potential to eventually be like a Portland. I heard about this place in several articles highlighting rising trendy neighborhoods to visit before they explode. Certainly not a big city by any stretch, but bigger than you might expect and growing.

See & Do

  • Falls Park on the Reedy. Waterfall through the center of downtown. View from the suspension bridge.
  • Linky Stone Park. Encourages creativity and discovery.
  • Table Mountain. Great hiking and great view of the “table” rock.
  • Paris Mountain. Lake area, picnicking.
  • Lake Walk Tiny Home Community. If you’re interested in staying for a visit or interested in buying. Lovely place that’s actually a real tiny home community. Located in Greer.

2. Charleston

Magnolia Gardens

Highlights: City market, beach, plantations
Suggest Staying: 1-3 days
Stay Around: Outside Downtown or Sullivan’s Island
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I’ve heard many people rave about Charleston, although never anything specific. I had been wanting to visit for quite some time, but in the end found it to be quite underwhelming for me personally. It felt like a fairly typical East Coast beach town, but with southern charm. Kind of like Savannah, but more upscale, fancier people, and less soulful. I did not experience any nightlife, so that might be part of the rave. As I said, lots of people like it here.

See & Do

  • Historic City Market. Food and souvenirs.
  • Waterfront Park. Nice stroll through the trees along the water.
  • Rainbow Row. Brightly colored painted houses.
  • The Battery. Lookout point.
  • Sullivan’s Island. Beach town just over the bridge.
  • Fort Sumter. Famous in the Civil War. Accessible by boat.
  • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Although it’s a bit weird visiting a plantation knowing how they were used back in the early days of the U.S. with slavery and all, this place is absolutely beautiful and well kept. A nice stroll takes you through the magnificent gardens along ponds and lakes. You may even see peacocks, turtles, alligators, or even snakes. We saw a medium sized alligator chilling in the pond and I also saw a pretty sizeable snake slither by right in front of me.
  • Drayton Hall. Another nearby plantation. We just drove by.

Food & Drink

  • Hyman’s Seafood. Famous seafood restaurant.


  • Parking. For such a small downtown (comparatively), parking is pretty awful and I’m not sure about the public transportation situation. Be prepared to drive through traffic and leave your car in a lot.

Other Considerations

Hilton Head

I visited Hilton Head a couple times with my family when I was a kid. Fond memories in Harbour Town visiting the lighthouse, eating ice cream, riding bikes, playing golf, and daily afternoon rain showers at 2:30pm. Check out the famous Salty Dog Cafe. I also went back for senior week in college between the week of finals and graduation. Most people made it back for graduation and were at least physically present. And who knew there was nightlife. I remember days on the beach and nights of frozen drinks and tiny shooter bottles. At the time at least bars were stocked with the tiny shooter bottles you get on airplanes instead of handles you typically see at bars everywhere else in the world.

Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park

Swamp forest free to visit for a short stopover if you need a break driving through the state. The boardwalk takes you through the swamp in a loop and you’ll get to see some interesting terrain, tall cypress trees, and pygmy trees in additional to some wildlife. Be warned the spring/summer brings nasty mosquitoes and deer flies, whose bites sounds quite painful like horse flies. If you wear bug repellent and/or long sleeves it’s no problem though.

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