South Carolina Waterways
- Grand Strand Weekend
- South Carolina for Kids
- South Carolina Bar-B-Que
- A Midlands Weekend
- Civil War Adventures
- South Carolina Waterways
- Three Days in Horse Country
- South Carolina for Seafoodies
- South Carolina Kitsch
- Gullah and African American History
- Upstate Weekend
- South Carolina’s Top Ten for Golfers
- South Carolina’s Offbeat Festivals
- Southern Comforts
- Lowcountry Romance
South Carolina packs a lot of habitat into a small area. Here’s a green-focused trip from the beach to the mountains.
From your base in Beaufort, spend the day kayaking the inlet at Hunting Island State Park, where portions of Forrest Gump were filmed. Then enjoy the scenic beach itself, concluding with a view from the top of the lighthouse.
Begin with a stop at the Ernest W. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge and see how the old rice paddies have been used as a migratory bird haven. Then head to Charleston and visit the South Carolina Aquarium to learn more about the entire state’s vibrant, water-oriented ecosystem. Rest in luxury at a swank Charleston B&B tonight.
After your big Lowcountry breakfast head a short ways north to the Sewee Visitor Center at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and see their family of rare red wolves. Then stop by Hobcaw Barony and take a guided kayak tour of the excellently preserved marsh there. Stay in cute little Conway and dine on the Riverwalk along the blackwater Waccamaw tonight.
Head into the Midlands, first making a brief but educational stop at the well-preserved Carolina Bay at the Woods Bay State Natural Area near Florence, right off I-95. Before hitting Columbia for the night, visit the stunning Congaree National Park and its old-growth cypress swamp right outside of the state’s capital city.
Head to the Upstate and choose between camping or a cabin at Devil’s Fork State Park (161 Holcombe Cir., 864/944-2639, www.southcarolinaparks.com), which provides the only public access to beautiful Lake Jocasee at the base of the Blue Ridge. The folks at Jocasee Outdoor Center (516 Jocassee Lake Rd., Salem, 864/944-9016, www.jocaseeoutdoorcenter.com) will hook you up with a fishing boat rental so you can enjoy a peaceful day of angling on Lake Jocasee. If fishing isn’t your bag, take a drive to several scenic waterfalls in the area.
Today’s the day for hiking at your choice of Table Rock State Park (158 E. Ellison Ln., 864/878-9813, www.southcarolinaparks.com) in the Mountain Bridge Natural Wilderness Area (8155 Geer Hwy., 864/836-6115, www.southcarolinaparks.com) or on the Foothills Trail along the Blue Ridge Escarpment.
Conclude your trip with a bang by taking the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway (SC 11) over to the wild and scenic Chattooga River (www.rivers.gov/wsr-chattooga.html) for an equally wild and scenic day of more whitewater rafting.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition