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Travel the USA (Visit South Carolina)

South Carolina

It is the unique goal of travel adventurers to visit all fifty states in America. To boost this objective, each week we shall explore one state. Alphabetically, the 40th to visit is none other than South Carolina, abbreviated SC. Regardless of the order in which you explore them, The Palmetto State is totally fantastic!

Visit state # 40 – SC

State MottoDum Spiro Spero (While I breathe, I hope)
State FlowerThe yellow jessamine
State BirdCarolina wren/wild turkey
State GemAmethyst
State CapitalColumbia
Famous FoodsBoiled peanuts, pimento cheese, BBQ, collard greens, sweet tea, She-crab soup, biscuits, deviled eggs, peaches, fried seafood, oysters, pecans, grits, meat ‘n three, okra, cornbread, shrimp & grits, Carolina gold rice, sweet potatoes, chow-chow, and more.

South Carolina is a state in the coastal Southeastern region of the United States. Shaped roughly like a triangle, the state is bordered by North Carolina to the north, Georgia to the south and west, and the Atlantic Ocean eastward. The state is basically divided into three main regions. The Blue Ridge Mountain Province reaches across northwestern South Carolina and includes Sassafras Mountain, the state’s highest point. The Piedmont Province runs southeastward from the mountains to the midlands of the state and covers roughly a third of the state. The Atlantic Coastal Plain is the third region and extends west from the ocean and covers the remaining two-thirds of the state. The coastline features sandy beaches to include the well-known Myrtle Beach.

South Carolina was one of the thirteen colonies that first formed the United States. The land was inhabited by native Americans, including the Cherokees and the Catawba, when Spanish and French explorers arrived in the area in the 16th century. The first European attempts at settlement failed, but, in 1670, a permanent English settlement was established near present day Charleston.  The area was named in honor of King Charles I of England who first formed the English colony, with Carolus being Latin for Charles. The land was divided in 1710 into South Carolina and North Carolina. Charleston grew into a port city and became a center of commerce and culture. Per South Carolina State Library, more Revolutionary War battles and skirmishes were fought in South Carolina than any other state. South Carolina ratified the United States Constitution in 1788, becoming the eighth state to enter the union. Dissatisfied over free trade restrictions and the call to abolish slavery, South Carolina seceded from the union in 1860 and was the first of the southern states to do so.

South Carolina’s Fort Sumter plays an important role in history. When confederate troops fired upon the  Charleston Harbor fort in 1861, the nation plunged into Civil War. Today, Fort Sumter stands as a visitable National monument. It’s origin dates to the War of 1812 when the British invaded Washington by the sea. It was still incomplete when the Battle of Fort Sumter began during the Civil War. The fort is only accessible by the concession-operated tour boat. Enjoy the boat ride, listen to informative presentations, and witness artifacts that bring history to life.

A visit to the vibrant city of Charleston should not be missed. The city is continually rated the number one best place to visit in the Carolinas and made National Geographic’s top destinations for 2023. Charleston is filled with a wide variety of wonderful accommodations, fabulous restaurants, intriguing shops, rich museums, lush gardens and more. Whether you hop on a horse carriage ride, browse shops on King Street, stroll along Waterfront Park, or walk the quaint and quiet streets to absorb the charm of Charleston’s historical homes, activities abound at this must-see destination.

There are seven national parks, including Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park, in South Carolina that receive over 1.6 million visitors annually. South Carolina National Parks include two national heritage areas, one national trail managed by the Park Service, 1,531 National Register of Historic Places Listings, and 76 National Historic Landmarks. Congaree National Park is known for its biodiversity and features the largest intake expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. Waters from the Congaree and Wateree Rivers sweep through the floodplain to carry nutrients and sediments throughout the ecosystem to support the growth of national and state champion trees.

A visit to the state’s capital city, Columbia, should include a family visit to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, showcasing a botanical garden rich in plants from around the world. Adventurers will delight in exploring Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park which features miles of paved running trails with lots of green space. South Carolina State Museum, located on multiple floors of the first electric cotton mill in the area, is great for history buffs. The South Carolina State House, considered the epicenter of Columbia’s turbulent history regarding the Confederacy and segregation, offers guided tours of this historical site. Columbia’s Museum of Art is a must-see for all who enjoy an intimate museum experience with relevant temporary exhibits and diverse collections of art. Throughout the state, there is much beauty to be seen, history to be absorbed, and valuable lessons to be learned, so don’t miss your trip to beloved South Carolina.


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