Take your pick of outdoor recreation activities in South Carolina. This balmy southern state has got it all, from 280 miles of stunning coastline to dozens of state parks which are ideal for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and other inland fun. Some of America’s finest golfing is here, with top-ranked public courses like Old South Golf Links. With temperatures that rarely drop below 60°F, South Carolina can be enjoyed all year round.
This state is also awash in historical sites that make great complements to the beautiful natural scenery. From coastal Charleston to the Old South charm of Beaufort, there are lots of ways to incorporate the plantation era, the US Civil War, or even the Revolutionary War into your itinerary.
The highlight of South Carolina is its beaches. Strung along 280 miles of warm Atlantic coast, there are dozens to choose from in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. If it’s a posh holiday you’re after, try the world-class Hilton Head or exclusive Fripp Island. Families prefer the carnival atmosphere of Myrtle Beach and Folly Beach, while solitude abounds at Edisto Beach.
Several of America’s most impressive golf courses add another welcome dimension to a trip here. There are genuine legends like Hilton Head’s Harbor Town and top-ranked public courses such as Old South Golf Links among the 368 courses in the state. Many courses along the coast, including the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, are open to visitors. Get a copy of the South Carolina Golf Guide for all the details.
Most of South Carolina is flat, which makes it ideal for biking. The Grand Strand coastal region is particularly nice with its miles of paved seafront paths and hard-pack sand. Bike rental shops are easy to find around Hilton Head or go with an outfitter such as Carolina Tailwinds or Black Bear Adventures for a multi-day tour that combines historic towns with natural attractions.
An amazing way to experience the countryside of South Carolina is on the back of a horse. This state has a long tradition of equestrian sport, which is concentrated in the picturesque Aiken County. Take your pick of country stables for a horseback ride, from Black Horse Run near Greenville to Wampee Stables at Myrtle Beach.
There is no shortage of rivers and lakes in South Carolina if you enjoy getting out on the water. The Chattooga River is one of the best for canoeing and white-water rafting, while Lake Jocassee is considered one of America’s most beautiful lakes. There are marinas at most lakes that rent boats and rafting outfitters everywhere there’s a river running. Try Calm Water Kayak Tours or Blackwater Adventures to get you on some amazing rivers.
Families have a lot to work with here as well. There are great amusement parks like Carowinds with its full array of roller coasters and rides, as well as specific attractions like NASCAR Speedpark at Myrtle Beach. Hilton Head is another superb destination for families, with dolphin-watching cruises and kid-friendly activities at every beachside resort here.