As you enter South Carolina from the northwest, you are met with spectacular views and miles of forest. The Blue Ridge Mountain region is home to places like Jocassee Gorges, which mirrors the high rocks and vertical drops that you find in western states. It’s nothing short of an outdoor recreation mecca, with incredible fishing, boating, paddling and rock climbing.
At more than 300-feet deep in some places, the cold-water lake is fed by refreshing mountain streams. On South Carolina's hot summer days, it’s a revitalizing getaway. A giant community of brown trout, rainbows and smallmouth bass provides ample opportunity for anglers to get lost in days and weeks of adventure.
Near the state's center, Sumter National Forest, at almost 400,000 acres, is an area of rolling hills and timber. Each step takes you along towering longleaf pines with their enormous pine cones. Streams throughout the forests provide a thriving habitat for whitetail deer, black bear and waterfowl. The most popular waterfowl to hunt here is the wood duck. Decoys, waders, calls and a good retriever are all part of the investment that is usually rewarded with plenty of shooting, stories and memories made with family and friends.
Moving toward the coast, the Ace Basin National Wildlife Refuge is the convergence of the Adhepoo, Combahee, and Edisto rivers. The basin runs along more than half of South Carolina's coast. A network of tidal creeks, wetlands, swamps and marshes are a habitat for waterfowl, shellfish, fresh and saltwater fish and more. The basin has special regulations and seasons, but it's available for amazing fishing and hunting opportunities. It's a shining example of everything the state offers passionate outdoorsmen and women.
South Carolina's Atlantic Ocean coastline is dusted with sandy beaches and fresh seafood right off the boat. In this deep southern state, shrimp is the king of all seafood dishes. In Charleston and surrounding areas, shrimp served with creamy grits are the meal of choice. In Myrtle Beach it’s a shrimp po'boy sandwich.
Places like Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach offer tourist vacation retreats on the water, but for more solitude, drive highway US 17 in the offseason and find a quiet beach where you can enjoy sand and saltwater with only a few beach combers scattered about.
South Carolina's coast is protected from the Atlantic by 16 barrier islands. Wadmalaw Island is home to Charleston Tea Gardens, the only tea garden in North America. Thousands upon thousands of tea bushes stretch as far as you can see.
An hour from Charleston, Bear Island is an undeveloped island with 50 species of seabirds, rice patties and wetlands. Kayak or hike past old plantation houses and beautiful ocean views in South Carolina's sunshine and steady sea breezes.
A place of low rolling mountains, big forests, seaside retreats and diverse wildlife, South Carolina’s landscape is nothing shy of a Southern masterpiece.