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The Top Things to Do in South Carolina

From shrimps and grits and the Civil War to Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach


Overhead view of Charleston, South Carolina, USA

There are oh so many things to do in South Carolina. Cobbled streets meander through the centre of South Carolina’s shining diamond, Charleston, a symbol of the city’s charm and old-world feel. Here, you’ll find no end of museums (until you’ve visited them all and reach their end, that is), with crumbling old buildings serving as reminders of the fascinating Civil War history that consumes the city. Outside Charleston, you’ll find all manner of islands and golden sandy beaches that help to make the complete holiday. Step inland to the countryside and explore former plantations for a true sense of the tumultuous history in these parts, before mulling it over in one of the scenic parks. And you can trust this guidance, because here at Plum Guide, we love nothing more than giving you the expert advice you need to enjoy a memorable holiday. So without further ado, here is our guide to spending your time in South Carolina.

Visit Charleston’s historic district

If you’re looking for things to do in South Carolina, climb aboard a horse and carriage and trot your way through the historic centre of Charleston. Snap photos of the 19th-century edifices lining the streets, and admire the various churches that give us a glimpse of the antebellum south that existed before the Civil War. Among the highlights here are the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House. Rummage through the galleries of the Old Exchange Building, and learn about the history in the Old Slave Mart Museum.

Southern Breeze, Plum Guide home in South Carolina, USA

Southern Breeze, Plum Guide home in South Carolina, USA

Spend the day on Hilton Head Island

Sandy strands are draped across the eastern side of South Carolina. Just outside the heart of Charleston lies the Folly Beach, with its enormous pier and impressive views. Outside the city, you’ll find a variety of landmasses, including Hilton Head Island. Here, you can relax on the soft, golden sand of the Coligny Beach Park. Visit the Coastal Discovery Museum to find out about the natural and cultural history of the region, and practice your swing at Sea Pines Resort.

Grand Designs, Plum Guide home in South Carolina, USA

Grand Designs, Plum Guide home in South Carolina, USA

Explore the plantations

Staying with the theme of history and slavery, it may interest you to take a tour of the plantations where slaves were forced to work. Among the most famous is the Magnolia Plantation Gardens, which began as a working plantation in the early 1700s. Its owner kept, at one time, 235 enslaved people. Drayton Hall and the Boone Hall Plantation are also among the most well-known plantations open for tours in the states. Many of the plantations have exhibits devoted to the enslaved people who had to live here, with films about African-American history.

Ancient Oaks, Plum Guide home in South Carolina, USA

Ancient Oaks, Plum Guide home in South Carolina, USA

Get to grips with the area's history

South Carolina was a key player in the Civil War. Head down to Fort Sumter just outside of Charleston to imagine the state as it was back in the 19th century. Take a boat out to the island to see the ruins of the fort up close. For more things to do in South Carolina, try the Patriots Point and climb aboard the USS Yorktown, which was constructed back in 1943. It served in World War II, and got five battle stars in Vietnam.

Pardon My French, Plum Guide home in South Carolina, USA

Pardon My French, Plum Guide home in South Carolina, USA

Take refuge in the parks

With its hot summer weather, South Carolina is a perfect spot for relaxing in the park. In Charleston, you’ve got the playground of James Island County Park, or Brittlebank Park. Fountains adorn Allan Park, while the Colonial Lake is an idyllic picnic spot. For something a little wilder, bring your binoculars down to Huntington Beach State Park, where you’ll find 300 difference species of bird. Watch out for the alligators in the lake, and spot the endangered loggerhead turtles.

Savour the Southern cuisine

Don’t eat that turtle - remember, it’s endangered. Instead, check out some of the culinary delights in a state famed for its catfish stew, shrimp and grits and oyster roast. In Charleston, you’ll find exclusive restaurants, such as the Circa 1886 Restaurant and 82 Queen. Other top eateries in the state include the Melting Pot Myrtle Beach and the Jazz Corner.

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