Known for its sandy beaches, islands, and historical coastal cities, South Carolina is home to a variety of attractions for outdoor adventurers and history buffs. Charleston is often voted as the number #1 city in the U.S. with its historic Southern Charm and coastal culture. Take in the scenic view at Caesars Head, where a 400-million-year-old granite outcropping looks over the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The Wingington Overlook on the Oscar Wingington Scenic Byway between SC 107 and 103 offers views of the waters of Lake Jocassee and the 2,000-foot “Blue Wall.” The list of parks in South Carolina include 7 national parks, 2 national heritage areas, a national trail, and 76 national natural landmarks. State parks include sandy beaches, forests, and historical attractions. History buffs can also find over 1,500 places on the National Register of Historic Places.
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National Parks & Historic Sites
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
1254 Long Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
Charles Pinckney was a principal author and a signer of the United States Constitution. This remnant of his coastal plantation is preserved to tell the story of a “founding father,” his life of public service, the lives of enslaved African Americans on South Carolina Lowcountry plantations and their influences on Charles Pinckney.
Congaree National Park
100 National Park Rd, Hopkins, SC 29061
Astonishing biodiversity exists in Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. Waters from the Congaree and Wateree Rivers sweep through the floodplain, carrying nutrients and sediments that nourish and rejuvenate this ecosystem and support the growth of national and state champion trees.
Cowpens National Battlefield
4001 Chesnee Hwy, Gaffney, SC 29341
“…our success was complete…” — Daniel Morgan to Nathanael Greene, January 19, 1781, A pasturing area at the time of the battle, this Revolutionary War site commemorates the place where Daniel Morgan and his army turned the flanks of Banastre Tarleton’s British army. This classic military tactic, known as a double envelopment, was one of only a few in history.
Fort Sumter National Monument
Charleston Harbor, SC; Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina 29412
Decades of growing political tension around the issue of slavery between North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.
Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
2817 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455
Designated by Congress in 2006, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor extends from Wilmington, North Carolina in the north to Jacksonville, Florida in the south. It is home to one of America’s most unique cultures, a tradition first shaped by captive Africans brought to the southern United States from West Africa and continued in later generations by their descendants.
Kings Mountain National Military Park
2625 Park Rd, Blacksburg, SC 29702
Thomas Jefferson called it “The turn of the tide of success.” The battle of Kings Mountain fought October 7th, 1780, was an important American victory during the Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major patriot victory to occur after the British invasion of Charleston, SC in May 1780. The park preserves the site of this important battle.
Ninety Six National Historic Site
1103 SC-248, Ninety Six, SC 29666
Settlers struggled against the harsh backcountry to survive. Cherokee Indians hunted and fought to keep their land. Two towns and a trading post were formed then abandoned to the elements. And two Revolutionary War battles claimed over 100 lives. Come to discover the 18th-century history of South Carolina.
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
NC, SC, TN, VA; 2635 Park Rd, Blacksburg, SC 29702
Stretching 330 miles through four states (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina) the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. Follow the campaign by utilizing a Commemorative Motor Route which uses existing state highways marked with the distinctive trail logo, or 87 miles of walkable pathways.
Reconstruction Era National Monument
Penn Center Cir W, St Helena Island, SC 29920
The Reconstruction era,1861-1898 the historic period in which the United States grappled with the question of how to integrate millions of newly freed African Americans into social, political, economic, and labor systems, was a time of significant transformation. The people, places, and events in Beaufort County, South Carolina, reflect on the most important issues of this tumultuous time period.
South Carolina National Heritage Corridor
Designated in 1996, the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor is committed to promoting and preserving the cultural, natural and historic resources of the state. The corridor stretches across 17 counties from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean.
For more attractions, visit Discover South Carolina.
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