In honor of me having achieved my goal of visiting all 50 US States, each day for the next 50 days, I will post a picture of somewhere I have visited in each state and write a paragraph or two about my experience. There is so much to see in every one of them, so I am just selecting one of my best memories.
Like two family members with the same last name but having vastly different personalities, North Carolina and South Carolina share a similar past but have evolved quite differently. When the charter was given, King Charles I, who named the colony after himself (Carolus is Latin for Charles) granted territory which currently covers both states. In time, the regions developed in unique ways. The northern part had a topography similar to Virginia and began cultivating tobacco. The southern portion receives more precipitation, and the land was more adaptable to growing cotton and rice. Eventually, the disparate agrarian styles and economy that it created, came to a breaking point and in 1729 the colony was divided into North and South Carolina.
Many antebellum plantations can be found in South Carolina such as the Milford Plantation near Pinewood.
These distinctions still continue to this day. North Carolina has seen economic growth due to expansion in the banking and tech sectors, while South Carolina has experienced much slower growth. Politically North Carolina is much more progressive and is considered a “swing state” in presidential elections while South Carolina is one of the most reliably Republican States in the entire nation.
As far as a traveler is concerned, you really would be hard pressed to find another state more indicative of the “Old South” than South Carolina. The state has beautiful mansions with massive trees with moss hanging down. Charleston and the surrounding area have has some of best preserved antebellum architecture in Dixie. Some of America’s premier golf courses can be found at Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head.
The excursion I would most recommend most would be touring Charleston’s alluring old town, the Angel Oak tree on John’s Island, and Fort Sumpter Charleston Harbor. Then spending time at the “Redneck Riviera” exploring Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, and one of the nation’s best statue gardens at Brookhaven Gardens.
Charleston’s old town has some beautiful colonial and Antebellum homes and churches it is very pedestrian friendly and somewhere you will definitely want to have your camera on the ready. Near Charleston on John’s Island is the Angel tree. It is believed to be the oldest tree in the United States East of the Mississippi River. The tree is over sixty feet tall and nearly as wide.
The American Civil War officially started here at Fort Sumpter when Confederate Forces opened fire on the federal garrison here. South Carolina was the first state to leave the union, and to this day the war is still a sensitive subject for many here.
One of the most enjoyable places to visit for me is Brookhaven Gardens near Myrtle Beach. The Gardens have one of the largest statuary displays in the country. As anyone who has followed the blog for a while might now, I really love me some statuary art.
South Carolina offers a rich history, beautiful scenery both man-made and natural and that hospitality the south has become known for. The state is an essential component on any southern American itinerary.