As 2015 comes to a close there’s no doubt we’re all contemplating our big list of new years resolutions. Of course we all have health and happiness in mind. But, let’s also add “more adventure” to the list.
In 2016, let’s get out and see more of this incredible state we live in. Here are some things to add to the “adventure column” on your list of 2016 New Year’s Resolutions.
The Wild Encounters Tour at Myrtle Beach Safari is a guided walk through a fifty acre preserve, just 17 miles South of Barefoot Landing, where you'll meet tigers, wolves, leopards, chimpanzees, orangutans, and other endangered species, many of them up-close and un-caged. Professional photographers will accompany you to catch those perfect shots on video and film. Get up close and personal with the big cats and you're sure to fall in love.
2. Muster up the courage to try your first oyster.
Oyster roasts are a culinary tradition in South Carolina. Wait til one of the coldest weekends in February and seek one out. Or, make plans now to attend the Sullivan's Island Fire & Rescue Oyster Roast - an annual fundraiser for the Sullivans Island Fire & Rescue Squad. 5:00PM-7:00PM Saturday, February 6, 2016.
3. Go see a first-rate concert at the Newberry Opera House.
Singer, songwriter, television host and South Carolinian Edwin McCain is playing there on Jan. 15th, 2016. Still not convinced? How about Arlo Guthrie on January 27th, rap icon Flavor Flav on April 22nd or The Kingston Trio on April 24th?
4. Catch your own blue crabs on Edisto Island.
5. Or attend the World Famous Blue Crab Festival in Little River and get them served up hot!
And why not? This event has been awarded the Best Annual Event/Festival on the Grand Strand by readers of the Sun News newspaper for the past six years in a row. Tons of food, entertainment, arts/crafts vendors and a children's area make this event one of the best in the region.
6. Go camping at Devils Fork State Park on Lake Jocassee.
Devil's Fork State Park is located in the Upstate. The tent sites here are right on the edge of the lake.
suggests campsite #T13 is the best site to snag because it's perched on a knoll at the edge of the lake. Hang your hammock and sleep under the stars.
7. Dance an Irish Jig at the annual "St. Patricks Day on Main" event in Rock Hill.
Old Town Rock Hill is a vibrant, always active community. This annual street fair features live music, food, vendors and tons of fun for the whole family. Look out Savannah - you now have serious competition on St. Patty's Day.
8. Splurge for a weekend at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. Live in absolute, full-on luxury for a few days.
If you live in the mountains, then splurge for a weekend at the coast! Bask in the sun as you sit by their beachfront pool sipping cool beverages from the poolside bar. Take a break from all this leisure business to take a moonlit walk on the gorgeous beach.
9. Or go all-out and spend the weekend at the historic Poinsett Hotel, a Westin property in downtown Greenville.
If you live on the coast, then plan a weekend in the mountains. Greenville is a perfect spot with plenty of stuff to do within walking distance of The Poinsett. You can start with visiting Falls Park on the Reedy, only a few steps from the front doors of the hotel.
10. Have a mouth watering steak at The Oak Table in Columbia.
Pop over to Columbia and treat yourself to a steak like you've never had before. Located at the corner of Gervais and Main, The Oak Table is steps away from our state's Capital. Oh, and don't worry about the parking. They have complimentary valet parking from 6:00 p.m. until closing.
Typically one of Charleston's more affordable festivals, SEWE has something to offer all ages. This three-day event in February showcases both domestic and wild animals through art, sport and performance. If you have anything leopard print or zebra stripe this is the place to wear it!
14. Take a hike on a passage of the Palmetto Trail.
The Palmetto Trail is a series of converted old railway lines that have been transformed into hiking/cycling trails. The conversions began in 1994 with a goal of having one contiguous 500-mile trail meandering across the Palmetto State starting at Wahalla in Oconee County and ending at Awendaw in Charleston County. At the moment, 350 miles of trail are completed in sections called "passages."
15. Head to the foothills to see fall colors at the Fall For Greenville Festival the 2nd weekend in October.
What better place to experience the change of season than in the hills of your home state? If the leaves aren't predicted to be changing yet in Greenville, then seek higher ground and find a cabin. Plan a weekend. You deserve it.
16. Make plans to attend Birdfest in Panola, SC.
Even though the name is "Birdfest," this event has nothing to do with birds. In fact, their logo has a horse on it. This 2-day festival got started when 3 friends decided to get some bluegrass bands together at their hunting lodge near Panola, SC. The rest is history. This small event is rapidly growing with thousands showing up for great Bluegrass and a weekend of food, fellowship and fun.
17. Go see the largest collection of religious art in the Western Hemisphere at Bob Jones University.
Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery in Greenville, SC.
at HERITAGE GREEN; Buncombe Street - Greenville, SC 29601
and at BOB JONES UNIVERSITY; 1700 Wade Hampton Blvd. - Greenville, SC 29614
BONUS ACTIVITY: Go watch a balloon launch at the Balloons Over Anderson hot air balloon festival.
Around 30 balloons usually take part in this annual event the second weekend in October in Anderson. If you're especially brave you can even take a ride in one.
Chances are you’ve already done at least some of these – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do them again, right? Let’s get out there and make 2016 the year of adventure in the Palmetto State.
Do you have other places you’re going to add to your bucket list? Feel free to share them in the Facebook comments section. Oh, and
Happy New Year, South Carolina!