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South Carolina is a state located between North Carolina in the north and Georgia to the south and west. Open on its east side to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean for over 180 miles, this state is a real jewel once you get to visit it and experience its amazing natural, as well as man-made historical places. The capital of the state is Columbia while the largest city is Charleston, and from Charleston to Greenville, you can listen to many stories about the region, the people who inhabited the land and their actions.
Being one of the first states which wanted independence from Great Britain, and later this conflict escalating in the revolutionary war, about one-third of combat skirmishes with the British happened in South Carolina alone. Because of this fact, you will find many stories and narratives about this period of history in many museums. And better than that, you can even see the structures dating from that period and now acting as a time machine which has the power to take you back to that era! You can also see more about the history surrounding the Civil War as it started first right here, in Charleston – the city poses as a first battleground between the Union and the Confederate forces.
1. Charleston Old South Carriage Historic Tour
What better way to experience the vast history Charleston, the largest city in the state, has to offer than this? Simply get in a horse-pulled carriage, and explore the picturesque neighborhoods in a comfortable carriage. And on the plus side, you can even get a first-hand glimpse into how the horses are kept and even pet them a bit!
Address: 14 Anson Street, Charleston, SC 29401
Open hours: Mar-Dec 9 AM – 5 PM DST (4pm EST); Jan–Feb 10 AM – 4 PM
Price: Adults – $26; Children (4-11) – $16; Infants (3 and under) – Free
2. Schooner Sailing Cruise
Another great way to explore South Carolina is by the sea – this experience can simply shift your perspective a bit. The tour usually lasts two hours, and each trip is unique in its own way. You can choose whether you would like to sail with the dolphins, enjoy a sunset and the sun’s shimmering reflection while it peaks behind the horizon, or even sail under a pale moonlight. So, you might as well just sit back, relax, and let the waters carry you while you explore this side of South Carolina!
Address: Aquarium Wharf, 360, Concord St. Charleston, SC 29401
Open hours: 9 AM – 5 PM
Price: DOLPHIN SAILS: Adults – $42, Children – $30. SUNSET SAILS: Adults – $54, Children – $40. MOONLIGHT SAILS: Adults – $40
3. Morris Island Lighthouse Tour
If you wish to completely immerse yourself in the surroundings, local history and the wildlife which inhabits the shores of South Carolina, then this tour is a must for you! Located on Morris Island, just outside Charleston. It is peculiar that it seems that the lighthouse floats on water, however, when they erected it, it was some 1200 feet from the shore!
Address: Folly Beach, South Carolina 20412
Open hours: 9 AM – 5 PM
4. Ripley’s Aquarium
When we are talking about marine wildlife, if you really want to get close and examine them (through the glass or in person if you wish), then this place should be planned in the trip! You can observe the many species, learn a thing or two about them, and even sleep beneath a glass tunnel while the sharks are swimming above you!
Address: 1110 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Open hours: depends on the nature of your visit
Price: Adults – $29.99; Children (6-11) – $19.99; Children (2-5) – $9.99
5. Greenville Segway Tour
A great way to explore Greenville, a city where nature and urban areas are mixed uniquely and beautifully, is by renting a Segway and simply riding through the city while visiting many unique and fun places. You can visit historical places, parks and even go on a haunted tour!
Address: 233 North Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Open hours: 9 AM – 6 PM
Price: $60 – $70
6. South Carolina Aquarium
The South Carolina Aquarium is a great place to visit, as it is home to over 5 thousand animals, most of which are native to the area where the aquarium is located. So, if you want to learn more about the wildlife of South Carolina, this place is bound to provide a lot of interesting information and give you a unique experience!
Address: 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401
Open hours: 9 AM – 4 PM
Price: Adults (13+) – $29.95; Children (3-12) – $22.95; Toddlers – free
7. Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor
You should definitely pay a visit to this amazing monument as this is the place where the Civil War started. Shelled by Confederate troops, the Union did not want to leave their positions peacefully. When you arrive on the site, you can almost reconstruct the whole conflict that started here. It is a must-visit place when you are traveling or staying in South Carolina!
Open hours: 24/7
Price: Adults – $22; Seniors/Military personnel – $20; Children – $14; Children under 3 – free
8. South Carolina State Museum
Located in downtown Columbia, this museum has a lot to offer. Four floors are featuring a lot of exhibits, a digital dome planetarium, and even its own cinema which offers 4D experience! Being the largest and most comprehensive museum in the state, it should certainly be paid a visit.
Address: 301 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201
Open hours: 10 AM – 5 PM
Price: Adults – $8.95; Seniors – $7.95; Children – $6.95; Infants under 2: free
9. Dupont Planetarium
An amazing facility which gives you the possibility to explore the night sky and hear about what you are looking at. You can come here and have a peek at the stars, and learn about how much we know about space today. A great place to go to enjoy a starry night sky.
Address: 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801
Open hours: 6 PM – 9 PM
Price: Adults – $6.50; Seniors – $5.50; Students – $2 or $4.50
10. The Grand Strand
The Grand Strand is a name for around 60 miles of beautiful, sandy beach located in Myrtle Beach, touching the Atlantic Ocean. It is an amazing experience, just like a scene from the movies – a wide and long beach, with the city rising in the back, and you are lying on the beach, relaxing and enjoying the afternoon sun accompanied by a slight breeze to cool you off. It simply is one of the better ways to experience the Atlantic Ocean!