South Carolina: Outdoor Adventures from Mountains to Sea
By Manuela Mezzadri
From the very first moment, my vacation in South Carolina was an unforgettable adventure. The Palmetto State is rich in history, beautiful Colonial houses, monuments and plantations. And with its sandy beaches overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the golf courses, world-renowned national parks and a pleasant climate all year round, it also offers countless opportunities for outdoor activities for all tastes. Whether you trek the mountains in the west or wade in the waters of the coast, I think you’ll fall in love with South Carolina.
Outdoor Fun Inland …
Adventure and water sports abound throughout the state. Thanks to the mild weather, outdoor activities can in fact be enjoyed all year. Rent a boat, go wild on a Jet Ski, swim or fish in the large lakes set in historic woods and protected areas. A few minutes from Columbia, the state capital, we find Lake Murray, which offers beautiful scenery and stunning nature.
Adrenaline junkies can be carried along by the currents of the Chattooga River while whitewater rafting. Enjoy the incredible emotion of riding rapids and small waterfalls, surrounded by breathtaking nature.
South Carolina’s state parks, including Paris Mountain State Park, are ideal destinations for mountain bike lovers and hikers, with trails and routes of varying levels of difficulty through the woods, lakes and mountains. Or you can discover surprising corners of lush vegetation in urban areas of historic cities like Greenville.
If you love cars and speed, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a unique driving experience at the BMW Performance Center in Greer where qualified instructors will help you test and improve your driving skills and make you feel like a professional driver!
… and on the Coast!
My journey continued in the famous towns that make up the coast. Many water sports for all levels and tastes are available, from stand-up paddle boarding, to fishing on the high seas, to parasailing to kayaking. During my kayak trip, I had a unique and unexpected encounter: I found myself paddling with a pair of curious and playful dolphins. Extraordinary!
If you’d rather view the water from dry land, you'll be spoiled for choice. Revitalize with a round of golf on Hilton Head Island, a small but beautiful island considered one of the top U.S. destinations. Or treat yourself to an unforgettable view from the SkyWheel, the huge Ferris wheel in Myrtle Beach, or even a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through the historic district of Charleston, a town that is a wonderful example of the history and culture of the South. And if you're feeling more adventurous, go zip lining over the fabulous beaches, forests and lakes.
I fell in love with this state that perfectly combines past and present, nature and sports. South Carolina is the perfect destination for family vacations, romantic getaways and outdoor adventure lovers. I cannot wait to go back!