South Carolina is a sunny southern state of the US with a lot to offer in terms of activities, leisure and history...
With a long and well-documented history, from its role in the American Revolution to the Civil War, South Carolina is home to more than 1,200 historic sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, making it a great state for an educational holiday.
In addition, the state is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, providing excellent coastal beach resorts that are popular with tourists.
From American Civil War battle sites to museums dedicated to the War for Independence, the stunning Gibbes Museum of Art, historic churches and even preserved plantations and houses dedicated to sharing the dark history of slave-era America, South Carolina has a wealth of historical content to offer to visitors. One of the best places to go for insight into South Carolina's role in the North-South divide during the Civil War is the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center, which details through extensive exhibitions the strife of the civil conflict and how tensions erupted into battle at Fort Sumter itself.
For those interested in historical gardens, Middleton Place is a great place to start, being home to America's oldest landscaped gardens. This National Historic Landmark is spread across 65 acres of beautiful sculpted gardens, as well as a museum dedicated to the house, restaurant and inn for those who want to stay a little longer.
The authentic Plantation Stableyards give historical insight into 18th- and 19th-century plantation life and are still home to livestock that would have been kept on the estate during those periods. Alternatively, a more modern approach to landscaping can be found at Brookgreen Gardens, located just south of Myrtle Beach. Designed in 1931, the gardens are mapped to reflect a spread-winged butterfly and are also host to their very own zoo.
If you prefer to see nature untamed, Sandhills may have more appeal. This strip of ancient beach dunes is home to a number of endangered and protected species, including varieties of squirrels, frogs, snakes and tortoises. Not far away from this preserved site are the Sandhills golf courses, providing some of the best golfing in the US.
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You’ll need a connecting flight to reach South Carolina directly from the UK, and there’s plenty of choice on offer for the destination...
Charleston is the major gateway to the state, although you’ll find connecting flights to several of the other airports on offer via hub airports.
United will get you there via its hubs in New York, Houston and Chicago, US Airways flies via Philadelphia and Charlotte, American via Miami and Delta operates through Atlanta.
Each of these airlines also flies from Manchester, Edinburgh and in some cases Belfast, Glasgow and Birmingham to allow for easy regional departures.
Landing at one of South Carolina’s airports puts you within easy reach of anywhere in this fine eastern seaboard state...
The best route for visitors from all over the world to come see this fantastic state is via Charleston International Airport (CHS). The airport accepts international and domestic flights and there are taxis, shuttles and rental cars available for transport between the airport and other parts of the state, including the Downtown Charleston, West Ashley and James Island areas.
Charleston International Airport is a 20-minute drive north-west of the city of Charleston. Flights to Charleston also land you about an hour and half’s drive from the state capital, Columbia. Columbia has its own airport – Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) which, although used as a cargo hub, also handles a selection of internal US flights to South Carolina.
Flights to Myrtle Beach are also possible, and Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) is well connected to US and Canadian cities for onward air travel.
Following your flight to South Carolina, you’ll find each airport has excellent onward ground transportation facilities, including shuttle services, buses, taxis and car hire.
The beauty of visiting a state that has written so many pages in the history book of America is that there’s no shortage of accommodation...
Hotels, motels, guest houses, resorts and private houses for rent are in abundance in South Carolina.
Charleston is a good option if you want to be close to the sea, and here you’ll come across plenty of hotels spanning all budgets. This is also a good area to find a resort or private holiday home.
You’ll find a healthy choice of hotels in the state capital of Columbia, with a vast array spread right across the city and accommodating every taste and budget. Look to the city centre, though, if you want a view over one of Columbia’s rivers.
Myrtle Beach, which is about 95 miles up the coast from Charleston, is also well served by hotels. A collection of independent boutique-style hotels sits shoulder-to-shoulder with some well-known names. Here, you’ll also find the seafront is dotted with a string of resorts and spa hotels offering a dash of luxury.
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