One of this great country’s states which is well worth a visit is the southern belle which is South Carolina. Buzzing with life, an extremely rich history and beautiful landscape, this warm state is the perfect destination for any traveler.
South Carolina, while colonized in the 1600s, shows signs of life from a much earlier period, one going back over forty thousand years. In fact, when the first Europeans landed in the state, there were a number of distinct Native American tribes living in the area, the two biggest tribes being the Cherokee and the Catawba. The Apalachee, Yuchi and Yamasee were also present, but in smaller populations.
While the Spanish were the first to explore the land in the 1500s, it was the English who gave the state its name. South Carolina, and its sister state North Carolina, are named after the King who founded the Province of Carolina, the English King Charles I – Carolus being Latin for Charles. The largest city in South Carolina is called Charleston and has a population larger than the state’s capital, Columbia.
South Carolina has a rich geography – so much so, the state can be divided into three distinct geographical areas: the Atlantic coastal area, the Piedmont and the mountainous area – the famous Blue Ridge Mountains. The coastal area is a large one, making up the majority of the state, and the coastline itself spans almost 180 miles. There are a number of natural features in this area of the state such as salt marshes, natural ports – for example, Georgetown and Charlestown – and Carolina bays.
Charlestown, the old capital, is the perfect place for those visitors wanting to be immersed in history. Traveling to Charlestown is like taking a step back in time. Houses are painted in pretty pastel colors, and one can still visit plantations and Fort Sumter – where the Civil War began way back when. A few miles north of Charlestown, take the time to tee off at one of the numerous golf courses, and relax at Myrtle Beach.
Upstate, home to the Piedmont and the mountains, it is a completely different story. The land here is craggy and stony, and not as fertile as the coastal area. However, a lot of the land has been reforested to feed the thriving pine wood industry.
The buzzing metropolitan city of Greenville is one of the main features of the upstate area. Travelers looking for a bite to eat or hoping to get some shopping done while on vacation should definitely visit the up-and-coming city.
While you are there, make sure you get to sample the local cuisine. The southern states are famed for their delicious soul food, and in Greenville you can find with barbecued meats, fresh seafood and shellfish, and wash it all down with an ice-cold glass of sweet tea.
After getting to South Carolina, a good option to see the sights and do as the locals do, would be to hire a car. Prices vary a lot throughout the state, with some as low as $17 per day, rising to $35 and above, depending on the class, make, model and pick-up location. Visitors are encouraged to book in advance, especially for high-demand locations like Charleston. Hertz, Thrifty, Dollar, and Alamo are some of the vehicle hire services operating out of the state.
* Disclaimer: Prices displayed may not reflect today's rates.