When you think of South Carolina, if you’re like me, you think of high adventure and all the places you’ve yet to discover. But there are some not-so-hidden places that are adventure-worthy as well. From high tea on a pre-American Revolution plantation to posing with a gigantic faux gorilla for a quirky family photo, the 13 attractions below fit the notion of finding adventurous things to do in not-so-hidden places. Take a look below to see what interests you:
1. Rose Hill Mansion - Bluffton
Take an exclusive (only offered once per day) tour of an antebellum plantation home that predates the Civil War. You'll love the period staircase that wraps around the main entrance as well as the attention to every little detail from architectural elements to decor. Currently the plantation only offers one (limited-capacity) tour per day Monday through Friday so it's imperative that you make a reservation before you go. Call (843)757-6046.
2. Gaffney Outlet Marketplace - Gaffney
In a state bolstered so heavily by tourism dollars it's understandable why we have so many outlet malls dotting the landscape. And while this particular outlet has all the usual stores you'll find at the others (Ralph Lauren, Coach, Nike, Loft and so on...). THIS outlet has one store the others don't: a
Pottery Barn Outlet with aisles and aisles of outlet store priced lovely items and you'll want to take one of each home with you. Enough said, right? Gaffney Outlet Marketplace is located at 1 Factory Shops Blvd., Gaffney, SC 29341.
3. Fort Sumter - Charleston
The first shots of the Civil War were fired from nearby Fort Johnson upon this very spot at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. In the 1860s, 70 TONS of granite was brought in from New England to build up the sandbar upon which this National Monument now rests. Hop on a short ferry ride over to wander freely around this attraction hiding in plain sight just off the coast of Charleston.
4. BMW Factory Museum (Zentrum) - Spartanburg
Factory tours at BMW in Spartanburg are rumored to be available again as early as Spring 2018, but in the meantime Beamers can bask in the glory of the past and present of the automobile at the SC factory's museum, Zentrum. From the Isetta to the i8, you'll get your BMW fix at this auto museum - and then you can hit the gift shop for some exclusive BMW gear. Zentrum is located at 1400 SC-101, Greer, SC 29651, and open Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
5. Palmetto Peddlers Antiques Mall - Florence
Currently ranked on TripAdvisor as #2 among the things to do in Florence (right behind visiting Veterans Park), the Palmetto Peddler Antiques Mall lives up to all the hype with thousands of square feet of... stuff. Your bargain-basement, deal-seeking, treasure-hunting self will love a trip to what just may be the largest antique mall in the Palmetto State. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m and Sunday 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Find this "hidden treasure" at 2295 Hoffmeyer Rd., Florence, SC 29501.
6. 25 Drive In Auto Theatre - Greenwood
Take a nostalgic step back in time to see a movie the old fashioned way. Open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night (rain or shine), the 25 Drive In dishes up movies on a screen twice the size of most roadside billboards and has a popular concessions menu that's actually quite affordable. The 25 Drive In is located at 3109 U.S. 25 Business, Greenwood, SC 29646.
7. Chattooga Belle Farm - Long Creek
This working farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains has so much to see and do that you'll be amazed. Visit the bistro for a delicious lunch, or enjoy a tasting of the wines made with the grapes grown on the farm. After that, take a quiet stroll through the orchards and breathe in the fresh air and breathtaking scenery. Then head to the gift shop (open seasonally from May through the holidays) for something special to take home. They're located at 454 Damascus Church Rd., Long Creek, SC 29658.
8. Sea Lion Landing - Columbia
Last summer, Riverbanks Zoo added a new exhibit touted by some as the best in the country. The all new Sea Lion Landing features above and underwater viewing of the zoo's new family members as they swim around in a mega 250,000 gallon salt water enclosure. See it for yourself to get the full effect. It's at Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden, 500 Wildlife Pkwy., Columbia, SC 29210.
9. Diamond Hill Mine - Abbeville
Dig up a real hidden gem at the Diamond Hill Gem mine. This small three-acre mine is loaded with quartz crystals, and with a daily mining fee you can literally keep up to a truckload of whatever you find for that one fee. Diamond Hill Mine is located at 50-99 Diamond Mine Rd., Abbeville, SC 29620.
10. Goodale State Park - Camden
This state park may have the most photographed stand of water covered trees in the Palmetto State. But Goodale has much more to offer than just juice for your Instagram gallery. Discover the state's best kept secret blue trail hiding in plain sight as you paddle your way through three miles of the gorgeous soggy bottom cypress trees in this state park. The park is located at 650 State Rd. S-28-331, Camden, SC 29020.
11. Hollywood Wax Museum - Myrtle Beach
Pose with the whole family for what could be the perfect Christmas card photo. Not into selfies with faux apes or celebs? You'll find plenty more to entertain you in this MB favorite, including the maddening Hannah's Maze of Mirrors. Good luck with that one! Hollywood Wax Museum is located at 1808 21st Ave. N, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
12. Hopsewee Plantation - Georgetown
Take a tour and then have lunch at Hopsewee Plantation, built a little more than 40 years before the American Revolution. Tours are offered on the hour Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. Lunch and tea is served on
real china Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Reservations for lunch and tea are recommended. The plantation is located at 494 Hopsewee Rd., Georgetown, SC 29440.
13. Liberty Bridge
If you've never crossed Liberty Bridge then no trip to Greenville would be complete without doing so. Spanning 345 feet in an arched pedestrian path, Liberty provides an unparalleled view of the river-wide falls of Reedy River. You'll find the bridge at the foot of South Main Street towering high above the urban oasis known as Falls Park on the Reedy.
Discovering new experiences and places to explore is always so much fun. How many of these will you be heading out to in the near future?