Being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, South Carolina has coastal regions that feature natural beauty and are perfect destinations for different kinds of travelers.
One of the major tourist spots that you might want to check out is located along the area referred to as the Grand Strand, a coastal region along the South Atlantic. Myrtle Beach is popularly known for its lovely beaches, its wide array of golf links and the many excellent restaurants and shopping outlets. It is a favorite spot for families, simply because it offers numerous activities that every family member will surely enjoy. Aside from spending some quality time together at the beach, visitors can also enjoy Broadway at the Beach. It is a major destination, offering visitors 350 acres of shopping center with its dining and entertainment shops. Kids will definitely love Ripley’s Aquarium that features a massive 85,000 square foot aquarium of colorful undersea creatures including sharks, jellies, octopus and many more. They can also reach out and touch some gentle rays as they glide through the water. There are also theaters that provide variety shows and other entertainment exhibitions such as the Palace Theater, which is well-known for its show that presents acrobats, contortionists and other performers. Carolina Opry Theater is another popular venue for shows that attract many guests.
At the northern end of the Grand Strand strip is North Myrtle Beach. The resort city is home to the famous Barefoot Landing, a huge shopping complex just like Broadway at the Beach. On the other end of Myrtle Beach is Surfside Beach, another family-friendly seaside town. Just south of Surfside Beach is the Garden City or sometimes called Garden City Beach. One of its main attractions is the Kingfisher Pier or simply the Pier where people can walk some 600 ft. stretch that ends in a bar. You can also go fishing or visit the tackle shop, the arcade or simply have your breakfast at the Pier Café. Another part of the Grand Strand is the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina”, Murrells Inlet. A former fishing village, it has developed into another popular tourist spot and retirement location. Following the famous Murrells Inlet Marshwalk will lead you not only to the many superb seafood restaurants but also gives you a glimpse of a pristine salt marsh while taking this 1.5 mile long walk. You can also visit some historical landmarks such as the Atalaya Castle, a residence built by Archer M. Huntington for his wife who was suffering from tuberculosis during those times; Murrells Inlet Historic District which is home to a collection of old buildings and houses; and the Archeological Sites of Richmond Hill Plantation.
The Town of Pawleys Island lies on the southern end of the Grand Strand. Aside from enjoying the public beach at the southern tip of the island, there are many activities you will greatly have fun doing while in this area. For example, with its various world-class golf courses and the famous Hammock Shops, experience golfing and shopping like never before.
Another coastal region in South Carolina is the Golden Corner. One of its main tourist destinations is Hilton Head Island. A well-known golfer’s haven, it also offers a wide range of options for sports enthusiasts such as tennis, volleyball, polo and others. The island hosts different sporting events all throughout the year. Another experience you must try is following trails along the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. This will enable you to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as a moonlight hayride, storytelling around a campfire and boat tours for alligator and bird-watching. And do not forget to have a glance at the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse, the island’s symbol. The water surrounding Hilton Head Island is teeming with different marine life such as the bottlenose dolphin, stingray and loggerhead sea turtle.
Beaufort is another city included in the Golden Corner Region. Here you can find the most visited state park in South Carolina, the Hunting Island State Park. With its five-mile expanse of natural and pristine beauty and varied wildlife, it is no wonder that the park draws a remarkable number of visitors who love camping, hiking, biking and other outdoor activities. Aside from the beachfront, the Hunting Island Lighthouse is another point of exploration. It is open to the public, and visitors are allowed to climb the tower and have a look at the stunning views of the park.
The oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston, is another place you should add to your list of places to visit. Known for its antebellum architecture and plantation landscape, visiting this friendly city is like visiting the past. There are numerous historical sites and museums you can choose from such as the Calhoun Mansion, the Charleston Museum, the Exchange and Provost, Gibbes Museum of Art and many more.