According to Coastal Living's 2013 list of America's Happiest Seaside Towns, Beaufort took the top spot. It's also a great place to visit, as the second-oldest city in South Carolina is famous for its antebellum architecture, Southern hospitality and 5,000-acre Hunting Island State Park.
The Oldest Living Thing East of the Rockies is near Charleston
Charleston is one of the country's most charming historic cities, and it's also home to what many believe to be the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi. The Angel Oak Tree on John's Island (just 12 miles from the city) looks straight out of a fairy tale and is believed to be more than 1,500 years old.
You Can Visit NC's Waterfalls on a Day Trip from the Upstate
Nature lovers will find dozens of beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout Upcountry South Carolina and in the southwestern portion of North Carolina, many within an easy day-trip distance of Greenville. Drive northwest for just a little over an hour, and you'll find yourself in Transylvania County, the Land of Waterfalls.
Speaking of waterfalls, you don't even have to leave Greenville to see them. Downtown's Falls Park on the Reedy serves as the city's green oasis, with an award-winning pedestrian bridge over it. It's all part of an award-winning downtown which is no longer a well-kept secret.
South Carolina is the Largest Peach Producer East of the Mississippi
We bet you didn't know that South Carolina produces more peaches than Georgia and is second only to California for production in the United States. The city of Johnston, SC is even known as the "Peach Capital of the World." If you're around during the summer, you can get your fill at the South Carolina Peach Festival.
...and lunch...and dinner. If you're heading out for a low country brunch, you're just as likely to see shrimp on the breakfast menu as eggs and bacon. In the morning, it's typically served as shrimp and grits, but you'll find nearly a dozen different shrimp dishes in the Carolinas.
South Carolina is made for cyclists, with miles upon miles of beautiful back country roads and mountain trails. Nearly every city has a biking club or association, making it easy to find the best trails and itineraries. Greenville, with its Swamp Rabbit Trail, has been home to many USA Pro Cycling events. Native son George Hincapie recently purchased a rural chateau being designed for cycling vacations in the upstate.
Move over Scottsdale and Palm Springs; South Carolina's coastal retreat of Myrtle Beach is the "Golf Capital of the World" with more than 100 courses and over 4 million rounds played. In the unlikely event that you can't find what you're looking for here, you'll find a whopping 368 courses in the state as a whole.
Congaree National Park Has the Largest Old Growth Floodplain Forest in North America
For a look at one of the nation's most unique ecosystems, spend a day or two hiking in South Carolina's Congaree National Park, home of the largest old growth floodplain forest on the continent. Take a boat ride along Cedar Creek to spot some local wildlife, like river otters, deer, bobcats and woodpeckers.