To be frank, there are so many fascinating facts about South Carolina that it was hard to pick just a few. The history of this beautiful place reaches as far back as 1663 when it was colonized by the English. (You could reach back further, but let’s not anger the history books.) Within that time, so many things have come to be and so many things have been lost. Let’s not forget:
1. The Hottest Pepper
Right here in South Carolina, we have the world's hottest pepper! Grown in Fort Mill, SC, it can peak to over 2 million on the Scoville Scale.
2. Our Very Own Watermelon ( Bradford Watermelon)
This delicious watermelon was and is cultivated right here in South Carolina. Now, Nat Bradford is carrying on the century-old tradition.
3. The Oldest Living Organism East Of The Mississippi
I imagine that there is no one left in South Carolina who hasn't seen or heard of the Angel Oak of John's Island (just outside of Charleston, SC). This awe-inspiring tree is the oldest living organism east of the Mississippi at 1500 years old!
4. Our Very Own Sundial
Donated to Barnwell, SC by Captain Joseph D. Allen in 1858. It is the only one in the country like it and has kept perfect time for more than 150 years!
5. Birthplace Of Barbecue
Many other states try to lay claim to this honor, but it has been known that barbecue has been made here since the Spanish shook hands with the local Native Americans.
6. North America's Oldest Bottomland Hardwood Forest
Where the Congaree and Wateree rivers join hands is the oldest bottomland hardwood forest in North America! That's quite some accomplishment for South Carolina!
7. Our Very Own Revolving Rooftop Restaurant
Found at the top of the 18 story Capstone Building in Columbia, The Top restaurant is the only revolving restaurant found in South Carolina! It offers 360-degree views of the Columbia landscape.
8. First Building Of Books
South Carolina has the distinction of being the first to establish a library in 1698. Who says we aren't well-educated?
9. World's Largest Ginkgo Farm
Found in Sumter, SC, you will find 12 million of these trees or roughly 2.5 square miles!
10. An African Village
Want to visit a whole different world? Look no further than your own back yard. Found in Sheldon, SC, you will find the African village, Oyotunji. It is said that when you step through their gates you are no longer on American soil. They do welcome visitors and if you call ahead they will let you know the best dates to come and visit.
11. Golf Capital Of The World
South Carolina and specifically, Myrtle Beach, is known as the golf capital of the world.
12. Healing Springs
Located in Blackville, SC, you will find sacred land; land that has the distinction of being deeded to God. People come from all over to partake in the water that flows from the artesian wells in hopes that the legendary healing properties will cure them or keep them well. I'm not sure if it works or not, but I remember going many times as a child and my mom gathering milk jugs full of the sweet water. I remember it being the best tasting water I had ever had and to this day, I still think it is the best water I have ever had.
13. Our Own Monkey Island
Not known to many people, South Carolina's Morgan Island is home to a population of Rhesus monkeys. Note this island is highly guarded and not open to the general population.
14. Birthplace Of Sweet Tea
Have you ever wondered where or how sweet tea came about? Summerville, SC is known to be the birthplace of sweet tea, that wonderful southern concoction we love so well. They even have a "Sweet Tea Trail" that you can follow to see the origins for yourself.
15. A Huge Coffee Pot
On Hwy. 301, a little outside of Orangeburg, sits one huge coffee pot! Fred and Emily Griffen opened this little diner in 1950-1951. I remember my mom driving me past it when I was little and always thinking that that it was so much bigger than what it really is. If it were real, this coffee pot could hold 330 gallons of hot brew. Much to my surprise, I recently discovered that the little diner had been restored to its full glory!
16. Second Biggest Producer of Peaches
That's right. You heard it right here and now you can definitely tell everyone who thinks otherwise. South Carolina grows more peaches than Georgia and is only second to California in production. Now you can proudly check out a peach festival as South Carolina has quite a few of them.