With breathtaking mountain views to the north, isolated beaches to the east, and delightful towns scattered in between, South Carolina just has it all. The usual road trip starts with the Palmetto state, a strong start with the cultural capital of Greenville, and then heading south to discover scenic waterfalls, cozy bed-and-breakfasts, southern history, equestrian traditions, and fresh seafood. That’s what everyone should expect, but here is how to ensure you’re enjoying your trip even better.
#1. Travelers Rest (Locally Known as TR)
Years ago, Travelers Rest was exactly what the name suggested – travelers used to stop along the way to rest. Located just outside of Greenville, South Caroline, the place made a comeback in 2009 with the opening of the Swamp Rabbit bike trail.
Cyclists would need a place to grab a bite before turning back to Greenville, and this is how TR became a culinary destination of its own.
#2. Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway
Having TR as a base, exploring hundreds of waterfalls, bridges, state parks, and rustic mountain towns is more than convenient. For those visiting in the fall, a little over a 100-mile drive is necessary through the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway as it’s exceptionally beautiful during this time of the year.
#3. Visiting Columbia, South Carolina
While it’s the capital of South Carolina, the city of Columbia has a small and cozy downtown, filled with culture and history. It’s pedestrian-friendly and all the museums and art galleries are reachable by foot. Taking a guided walking tour around historic mansions and gardens with educational nonprofit Historic Columbia is a great option for first-timers.
#4. Lake Murray
Laky Murray is the go-to weekend escape for many central South Carolina locals. Renting a villa or camping in a tent is a great way to experience the place and maybe spent some time at Dreher Island State Park.
#5. Hilton Head Island
There isn’t a possibly better way to end your South Carolina trip at its southernmost family-friendly beach town. Cycling is the best way to explore the island, but renting a car or a motorcycle for those who aren’t into this is a great option as well.