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What to see in South Carolina
South Carolina conjures images of antebellum plantation houses, scents of jasmine and notions honeysuckle floating over long stretches of sun-drenched coastline. It's in many ways an ornamental state, thanks to a heritage of elegant British architecture from a time of aristocratic colonial rule.
The turbulent history of slavery and civil war adds an edge to this otherwise entrancing rural state. Yet travellers embrace this aspect, educating themselves with trips to restored plantations, battlefields, and museums promising rich sightseeing fodder.
Although Columbia is the capital and largest city of South Carolina, famously atmospheric Charleston is the most popular travel hub of the state. It invites visitors to step back centuries, with horse-drawn carriages one of the most popular forms of touristic transport.
Alongside this old-fashioned cultural powerhouse, the coastal resorts of glitzy Myrtle Beach offer a different sort of holiday fun, with water sports, outlet malls, amusement parks, and arcades warring for attention with the lovely beaches.
Most of South Carolina's popular attractions sit along the coast and the majority of visitors don't explore further inland. But for those looking to get off the tourist track, the interior promises dramatic mountains, mysterious swamps, rolling farmlands, and sleepy old towns, best explored by hiring a car and allowing yourself to get a bit lost.
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