There is so much to see in South Carolina that sometimes it can be a daunting task to figure out where to start. From the beautiful mountains in the north to the marshlands and beaches in the south, there is so much to cover and if you don’t know what you are looking for you could definitely miss something worth seeing. These 15 amazing day trips will let you pick and choose what you would like to see and with so many choices, I’m sure you will find one or two that will make you want to get in your car.
1. Cruisin' the ACE Basin Day Trip
You can do the east side or the west side. Both start at US17. Both will take you over, around, and through the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers. The beautiful scenery will take your breath away from the miles of marshland to the native wildlife. Summer only gets better with a trip like this! For more information on these two day trips please visit: http://www.acebasin.net/
2. Walhalla to Whitewater Falls
Is there anyone who doesn't love the mountains? I didn't think so and the best thing about the mountains of South Carolina is that they are never too far away. You start in Walhalla, SC and work your way to Whitewater Falls. This day trip will take you 75 miles through mountains, forests, rivers, waterfalls, and gorges. It is a wonderful time to pack a picnic basket and soak up the sereneness that surrounds you.
3. Branchville, SC to Orangeburg, SC
They are only a 20 minutes from each other and each have a wealth of sights to see. Branchville is the oldest railroad junction in the world and if you visit on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday you can have dinner at The Eatery which is a restaurant next to the museum. A great way to start the trip. From Branchville you head to Orangeburg and spend the day touring the historic downtown and don't forget about Edisto Gardens. A very beautiful spot to stretch your legs and take in fresh air as well as the gorgeous sights.
4. Visit historic Camden, SC
Camden is our state's oldest inland town. It was founded in 1732 and established by a decree from King George II. If you choose this trip be sure to take in the Kershaw-Cornwallis House, the Camden Clock Tower, the Robert Mills Courthouse, and the Goodale State Park. There are over 60 buildings listed on its National Historic District!
5. Camp Romain National Wildlife Refuge
This wildlife refuge is over 66,000 acres of avian sanctuary, 2 lighthouses, and the famous Boneyard Beach! There are 277 species of bird and it is home to the Loggerhead Turtle. It is only accessible by boat, but you can take the ferry across and spend the day.
6. From Awendaw to Biggins Church Ruins
Start in Awendaw, SC and visit the Center for Birds of Prey. You can drive from there on this 48 mile trip to Biggins Church Ruins. There are so many things to see along the way. There are historic sites, lazy rivers, and so much more.
7. Spend the day in our Capital
Take in the amazing art installations around the city, window shop and take in lunch in the Vista neighborhood, and go hunting for dinosaurs in the Columbia Museum!
8. Lake Moultrie Loop: Pinopolis to Diversion Canal
Take in Lake Moultrie, Bonneau Beach, Pinopolis, Old Santee Canal, General Francis Burial Site, and Diversion Canal.
9. Visit Georgetown, SC
Nestled between Charleston and Myrtle Beach is Georgetown, SC. However, it is not just a stop over. Georgetown is busting at the seams with history and, in fact, was once among the richest cities in America! Make sure you stroll along the Harborwalk, visit the historic district, and don't forget to snap a picture of the Champion Oak. What a nice way to spend a day.
10. Putt around Parris Island, SC
The history begins here in 1562 with the French, moves on to the Spanish, and ends with the Marines! Parris Island is more than just a place where Marines train. It is an island with considerable history and beauty. There are monuments to take in as well as the beautiful scenery and a museum. Make sure you take in the walking trail while breathing in that sweet salt air.
11. Move on the Midlands: Newberry Loop
This loop will take you 110 miles from beginning to end. You will see the charm of the South in quaint towns, beautiful old churches, rivers, and forest. Be sure to take in the Newberry Opera House, downtown Newberry, and the Sumter National Forest.
12. Woods Bay to Cheraw, SC
This one is a little longer time wise and will take you around 115 miles from point to point. You will see beautiful fields of peaches and cotton blooming gloriously in riotous color. You will can stop at the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, Sugarloaf Mountain, or dip your feet into the cool waters of Lynches River. Spring through early autumn is the best time for this trip so you see nature at its finest!
13. Charleston to Francis Beidler Forest
Starting in Charleston at Drayton Hall this trip will take you 70 miles through the beautiful plantations of Charleston including Magnolia Plantation.
14. Sassafras Mountain
It is the 29th highest point in the United States and although that doesn't sound like a lot, in the grand scheme of things we should be very proud! The top is not well marked and hard to find, but it is definitely there. It would be great to stand at the exact mark on the mountain and take a picture.
15. Take a jaunt from Jones Gap to Keowee-Toxaway
An 80 mile trip that will take you up and down the Blue Ridge Escarpment that the Cherokee called the "Blue Wall". The trip will take you to some of the most spectacular views you have ever seen including waterfalls! Definitely a day trip that is going on my list!
And to think that this is only a handful of the day trips that you could take in South Carolina! You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to start at the beginning and work my way to the end! What about you?