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Come on Down to South Carolina
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.
Mountains and Sea
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.
- Kia Rio or similar (economy class) – $28/day
- Nissan Note or similar (compact class) – $29/day
- Hyundai Elantra or similar (intermediate class) – $30/day
- Volkswagen Jetta or similar (standard class) – $31/day
- Ford Fusion or similar (fullsize class) – $32/day
Tips and Regulations
- Assume that most of the regulations will be similar to in your home state, so make sure you carry your valid driver’s license with you at all times.
- The blood alcohol legal limit is 0.08, so it’s best for the driver to abstain from drinking at all.
- The driver and all the passengers in the car must be wearing a seatbelt while the car is in motion and child passengers have to be in a child safety restraint while in the car.
- South Carolina has 4 distinct speeding zones which have specified speed limits. On interstate highways and freeways, the limit is set at 70 miles per hour. On other types of highways, the limit is lowered to 60 miles per hour. The limit is at its lowest in urban areas, where 30 miles per hour is the maximum. Urban means any place while is built up and includes streets, buildings, schools and houses. South Carolina is a warm state with a sub-tropical climate, so it’s a nice place to go on vacation in the spring and fall, when your own state may be a bit on the chilly side. Be warned that June through November is the season when hurricanes and cyclones are most likely to hit.