South Carolina offers views, fun and food all wrapped into a diverse setting that makes it a highly desirable place to live.
South Carolina: picturesque mountain vistas, gorgeous coastlines and everything in between – business is good in the Palmetto State, but livin’ is even better. The state has made a name for itself as a highly desirable place to live that offers culture, arts, cuisine, history and outstanding outdoor recreation.
Part of that desirability comes from the state’s four distinct seasons that offer recreational and cultural experiences throughout the year that give residents and visitors unique tastes and experiences.
Mild winters and warm summers make getting outdoors a year-round venture in South Carolina. One activity that attracts people of all ages is golfing at one of the more than 350 greens that are spread throughout the state. Courses offer varying views and playing fields from marshes and beaches near the coastline to mountains and valleys inland.
The state is so great for golf, in fact, that it hosts the annual RBC Heritage PGA Tour at Harbour Town Golf Links on the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, ranked as a 100 Best Golf Course in GolfDigest. Other courses that share that rank in the area include The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, May River Golf Club, The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, and the Caledonia Golf and Fish Club.
“We’re always striving to grow the game and get it to the next level in South Carolina. It’s becoming a very popular sport with both young and older adults,” says Biff Lathrop, the SC Golf Association’s Senior Director. “South Carolina offers offers so many courses and we work with members of the golf association with over 300 events a year.”
Flavors to Savor
The South is renowned for its barbecue, spicy foods, and fried food – whether spiced, battered or dipped – and South Carolina has a taste of it all. With food and music festivals, sauces, culinary delights and craft breweries, the state is a foodie’s paradise.
In upstate South Carolina, the Fall for Greenville Festival brings in locals and visitors to Greenville for the annual food and music festival every October. The event features 40 restaurants and local artists to reveal delectable tastings of more than 250 cuisines that prepare tastings of more than 250 delectable food offerings. The beer garden usually feature at least six different breweries and wine is available is well. The event attracts foods across the U.S. for its tasty treats and the entertainment.
“We sold tickets in 10 states last year,” says Lindsey Young, board chair for the nonprofit Fall for Greenville. “We kick the event off with a concert on a Friday and go through the weekend. It’s an atmosphere for everyone – families, foodies, music lovers.”
Other notable food festivals to enjoy in South Carolina include the Little River Shrimpfest in Little River to the South Carolina Peach Festival in Gaffney to the Pecan Festival in Florence to the Butts and Bluegrass BBQ Festival in Clover South Carolina.
For more tastes of South Carolina, one doesn’t have to look far to try some state staples. The South Carolina BBQ Trail features more than 235 barbecue eateries that dish up the state’s unique barbecue sauces – mustard, vinegar and pepper, light tomato, and heavy tomato. Craft breweries have found a niche with 36 breweries sprung across the state, producing 80,155 barrels per year, according to the Brewers Association.
Seasons For Adventure
Outside of the golf courses and cities is a park system that has year-round activities for any level of enthusiast. South Carolina’s parks include 47 state parks, 9 national parks, historic sites and plenty of trails for adventure seekers to explore. Popular spots include Table Rock Mountain for hiking and Hunting Island’s iconic lighthouse near Hilton Head Island.
“There’s a state park within an hour of any community in the state,” says Phil Gaines, director of State Park Service. “The parks offer the resources for people to disconnect and recharge their batteries with these protected natural and historical parks and homes.”
And every season in South Carolina offers something new to do at the parks. In spring at Landsford Canal Park, visitors can see the Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies bloom on the banks of the Catawba River atLily Fest. The end of summer beckons the Roseate Spoonbill bird on the coast at Huntington Beach, while fall is the time to gaze at the colorful foliage in the mountains – the state has one of the longest leaf seasons in the nation. And finally, the winter months are perfect to get out and hike the trails with less bugs and cooler weather – and there’s no shortage of trails that feature waterfalls in the cold season.
“They are places to explore and reconnect with friends and family,” says Gaines. “When you have that green infrastructure added into the state, it really makes for a rounded quality of life in South Carolina.”