Symbolic places and things come in many forms. From the largest natural attraction to the most remote beach and a city park that visitors flock to all year round, some places in the Palmetto State are so well known that every true South Carolinian should recognize them. Whether you’ve been here all your life of just moved to the Palmetto State, test your recollection and recognition of some of the state’s most iconic places below.
1. Pretty Place Chapel - Cleveland
Sit and reflect in possibly the most peaceful — and well known outdoor chapel in the state. Officially named the Fred W. Symmes Chapel, the outdoor covered venue dishes up unparalleled peaceful views of mountains and valleys. But if you head here in person you'll need to call in advance, as the chapel property is often closed for special events, like weddings.
2. Angel Oak - Angel Oak Park, Charleston
Considered the oldest live Oak tree east of the Mississippi, the Angel Oak has a trunk circumference in excess of 28 feet. Her longest branch is nearly two-thirds of the length of a football field and she casts a shadow that covers more than 17,000 square feet. While numbers are impressive, there's nothing like seeing the real thing. The Angel Oak is located in a park just south of historic Charleston. The park is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
3. Harbor Town Lighthouse - Hilton Head Island
It's ironic that the most iconic and recognizable lighthouse in South Carolina is more of a prop than an actual navigational light for sea-going vessels. Visitors to Hilton Head still love climbing the 90-foot tower to get a peek at the view from the spacious observation deck at the top. Even though it doesn't serve the sea, the light does serve to help local recreational vessels with navigation within the surrounding waters.
4. Table Rock - Table Rock State Park, Pickens
Visible for miles and miles, Table Rock protrudes high above the horizon like a giant tooth. Native Americans are responsible for the 'table rock' moniker this landmark assumed. They believed the Gods dined high up on top of this natural wonder, and used it as a table. In the 1930s the CCC developed what is now Table Rock State Park. Pack a picnic lunch, hike the near four miles to the top, and then you can dine from that table too.
5. Campbells Covered Bridge - Landrum
South Carolina has one remaining public covered bridge from days gone by, and it's amazing! Built in 1909 and closed to traffic just a mere 30 or so years ago, the structure is 38 feet long and 12 feet wide. Located within a park with the bridge as the main attraction, this SC icon is worth the trip all the way across the state just to marvel at the engineering feat accomplished at the turn of the century.
6. The view from Jumping Off Rock - Pickens
Even if you haven't traveled over Horsepasture Road to get to the Jumping Off Rock overlook in Pickens County, you're likely to at least be very familiar with the view from the most iconic spot to admire the Jocassee Gorges from high above. Beautiful any time of year, this view rivals any ocean views found along the coast.
7. Lake Jocassee - northwest South Carolina
South Carolina's 'Grand Canyon' is almost too beautiful for words. Of all the gorgeous lakes found in the Palmetto State, when you're on the water in this one there's no mistaking where you are, as you're surrounded by vertical drops and steep sloping mountain ranges in every direction you look.
8. Forty Acre Rock - Kershaw
Not quite forty acres, this massive spectacle does cover nearly 14 acres with granite. It's easy to see why this ecologically diverse rock outcropping has been designated a National Natural Landmark. The entire preserve plays host to waterfalls, waterslides, caves — and during wet winters and springs, the indentions on the top of the rock fill with water and plant life rarely found anywhere in the Southeast.
9. South Carolina State House - Columbia
Most true South Carolinians may remember a certain field trip to see the state Capitol in middle school. Even if they didn't make the trip, the building symbolizes democracy in our state, and has since construction began on this majestic building ten years prior to the start of the Civil War. After many topsy-turvy turns along the way, including dismantling the structure after the original architect was accused of fraud, the work was completed in 1907.
10. Falls Park on the Reedy - Greenville
Dubbed the prettiest city park in all of South Carolina (by us!), Falls Park on the Reedy is located in historic downtown Greenville. You'll love the curved Liberty Bridge, where you can stand towering above a massive waterfall that spans the entire width of the Reedy River. Beautiful in all seasons, Falls Park is especially colorful in the fall and fragrant in the spring.
11. Myrtle Beach
No other beach in South Carolina delivers big on the same grand scale as this beach along the Grand Strand. When the SkyWheel opened in 2011, it was the first of its kind in the U.S. It's ironically on the perfect scale, at 20 stories high, to fit in nicely with the neighboring tall hotels and resorts lining front beach.
12. Botany Bay Road - Edisto Island
Tree tunnels can be found in several places in South Carolina, but none of them are as stunning as this one atop a dirt and sand covered road that leads through a plantation to the lonliest, most deserted beach in South Carolina.
13. Botany Bay Beach - Edisto Island
South Carolina's most remote beach that's accessible without a boat, is a strikingly beautiful old boneyard of trees that have fallen below the high tide mark. After a stunning drive through a tunnel of trees, visitors then must trek by foot for more than half a mile to get to this lonesome spot to take in the breathtaking beauty.
Do you consider yourself a true South Carolinian and do you believe you have to be born here to be ‘true?’