From the historic city of Charleston to the fun water parks of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a state full of incredible places to explore. From plantation gardens to Fort Sumter, there are plenty of attractions to keep you busy. You can take a guided tour of several historic homes, such as the Aiken-Rhett house and the Nathaniel Russell house from 1808. Both house valuable collections of fine and decorative arts. One of the most popular things to do in South Carolina in summer is to retire to the miles of pristine sand that line the Myrtle Beach shoreline.
As attractive as the beaches themselves are the many traditional coastal pleasures to choose from. The Carolina Opry offers musical shows, and the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel takes visitors for a 10-minute walk along the beach and the boardwalk. Whether you like fishing or not, you'll also want to add Apache Pier to your list of places to visit in Myrtle Beach. At about 1,200 feet long, it is the longest wooden pier on the East Coast and is a popular fishing spot.
For those who just want to explore it in its entirety, grab a fresh fish sandwich from Croakers and enjoy the spectacular views of Myrtle Beach. Live music is offered every night in summer, and there's a fun games room for children to enjoy. Boone Hall Plantation in the vicinity of Mount Pleasant is one of the oldest plantations in the country that still functions as a working farm, and is best known for its picturesque three-quarter mile avenue of oak trees. In the ornamental details inside Drayton Hall, which is the oldest unrestored plantation house in the United States that is open to the public, there is an unusual glimpse of original 18th century craftsmanship. In addition to showing how the owners and their families lived, these plantations now include exhibits, tours and programs about the lives of enslaved people who made the plantation lifestyle possible during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Magnolia's Cabin Project preserves former slave homes that serve as the center point for a 45-minute program on African-American history, which highlights not only the lives of enslaved people, but also their subsequent role in maintaining and preserving the estate's magnificent gardens.
The Boone Hall presents a live performance of the unique Gullah culture developed by African slaves, where the descendants of the Gullah people tell the story of this culture through narration of stories and songs. The attack on Fort Sumter, the federal fort that guarded the port of Charleston, by Confederate forces on April 12, 1861, started the American Civil War. The excellent performances of national park rangers vividly bring those events to life and prepare ground for a better understanding of Civil War history. More recently, in 1968, USS Yorktown drew worldwide attention for recovering astronauts from Apollo 8.The ship retired to Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in 1975, joining submarines and other maritime exhibits that can be visited. Just 30 minutes' drive south of Columbia, Congaree National Park covers more than 26,000 acres and is a popular destination for those who enjoy outdoors in South Carolina. This incredibly picturesque area is home to highest concentration of tall and ancient forests in United States and is also one of country's main wilderness areas with more than half park considered pristine habitat that is home to abundant wildlife.
With more than 300 different species of birds found in park, Huntington Beach is considered best birdwatching spot in South Carolina. Many educational exhibits are practical making museum especially attractive to young visitors. Museum also has interactive 4-D science theater, planetarium and ever-changing list of special exhibits. Located on more than 9,000 acres of former rice plantations south of Myrtle Beach, Brookgreen Gardens combines sculpture garden, Lowcountry Zoo and wildlife preserve with multiple ecosystems. The sculpture is displayed in whole series of themed gardens including Kitchen Garden, Palmetto Garden and children's garden. There is also terraced garden full of perennials, roses and flowering shrubs.
The Live Oak Allée with 250-year-old trees dates back to days of plantations in early 18th century. The gardens and three galleries display more than 2000 works by 430 artists making it largest and most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture in country. Every December they are transformed into magical world of colored lights during Night of Thousand Candles. The numerous artificial reefs are unique to state's waters with more than 40 located off its 3,000 miles tidal shoreline built with scrap metal including discarded equipment barges concrete bridges military vehicles underwater structures create habitat for variety marine species. Three coastal areas are especially conducive to fishing with ocean near Myrtle Beach having 18 artificial reefs eight fishing docks including Apache Pier longest wooden fishing pier on East Coast. As if joys kangaroos koalas weren't enough Riverbanks Zoo Garden home to more than 2000 animals representing more than 350 species two-acre African Plains exhibition reproduces African savannah where you can see giraffes ostriches zebras along with African lions baboons their own separate natural habitats. Art lovers traveling South Carolina should be sure include Columbia Museum Art their travel itinerary consisting more than 25 galleries that exhibit regional national international works art delightful way spend few hours. From historic city Charleston fun water parks Myrtle Beach there no shortage incredible places visit South Carolina With 60 miles wide beaches fine sand you your family will spend hours baking sun building sandcastles next seashore making memories last lifetime.