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8 Off-The-Beaten-Path Fun Things To Do in South Carolina

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Off Beaten Path South Carolina

Whether you call South Carolina home or you’ll be passing through this interesting state at some point, there are quite a few cool and fun spots you can stop and visit.

The South Carolina Railroad Museum

Photo Credit: South Carolina Railroad Museum

At the South Carolina Railroad Museum you can board the Rockton, Rion & Western, the greatest scenic train ride available in the state for a ride with a beautiful full and some history. Located in Winnsboro, the train museum offers several special events throughout the year like train rides with Santa in December and a BBQ Dinner Train ride in the summer. There are also several stationary train cars that the train lover in your family can explore. A ride in the caboose will cost around $12!

Horseback Waterfall Tour

Photo Credit: Horseback Waterfall Tour

This is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. You can make arrangements for the Horseback Waterfall Tour out of Pickens, SC on their website. You will be amazed and delighted to tour South Carolina’s incredible waterfalls on horseback. Because you will be so close to the border, you will also see waterfalls just over the state line in North Carolina, too! A photographer is along every ride to capture those moments too. This is the only horseback waterfall tour in South Carolina. It books up way in advance, so reservations are a must. Must be age 10 and over to ride.

Historic Pickens, SC is also a really neat spot and one of the most unique towns in the state. You can spend a day just exploring around the area. Pickens is the kind of place you want to raise a family and it includes and is surrounded by a variety of fun things to do. Make a day of it.

Bull Island

Photo Credit: BullIsland.org

A deserted island you can only reach by ferry/boat! Wow! Bull Island is part of the 66,000+ acre Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, and is the biggest island in the wildlife refuge. Because the island is truly deserted, if you plan to spend the day, you’ll need to bring everything you need for the day. Other than a bathroom, you won’t find any other amenities like restaurants or a place to buy a cold beverage. Whatever you do – don’t forget to bring your camera!

Canopy Walk at Lynches River County Park

Photo Credit: Lynches River County Park

Take a walk on a raised boardwalk that takes you through the treetops at the county park. You will cross over more than one swinging bridge! The park is located at 5094 County Park Rd, Coward, SC. This amazing and fun county park offers 676 acres of outdoor activities, including the canopy walk. Parts of the walk are suspended more than 50 feet about the ground. Because it’s located in a county park, there is no fee for enjoying the experience. Other popular activities at the park include canoeing, camping, nature trails, Splash Pad, picnicking, geocaching, and a visit to the Environmental Discovery Center.

Hollywild Animal Park

Photo Credit: Hollywild Animal Sanctuary

Located in Hampton, SC, you can take a safari tour through this unique animal park in the upstate, or drive your own car through and feed the animals by hand through the window. The park is home to more than 500 animals, most of whom roam freely around the property. There are also one or two “different” animals in this sanctuary. The regular admission fee includes a half hour safari ride through the property.

Photo Credit: Hollywild Animal Sanctuary

Note: I have learned recently that Hollywild did not open to the public this year. I assume it may be due to damage from Hurricane Matthew that hit most of South Carolina at the end of 2016. Fingers crossed the animal park/sanctuary is o.k. and will be open again soon.

Old City Jail, Charleston

Photo Credit: Bulldog Tours

This creepy abandoned jail in Charleston has reportedly seen more than 14,000 deaths, and is known as one of the most haunted spots in the state. You can take a nighttime ghost tour at the old jail located on Magazine Street in Charleston. It was actively used as a jail from 1802 until 1939. It is believed that the jail housed some of the last of the pirates that scourged the area in the 1800’s, as well as many Civil War prisoners of war. In 2011 the Ghost Adventurers team from the popular series on the Travel Channel spent the night in the Old Jail with the mission of meeting one or two of the current “residents.” The tour company that runs the tours of the haunted old city jail is Bulldog Tours. They often receive photos submitted from guests that capture something . . . or someone!

Photo Credit: Bulldog Tours

Brookgreen Gardens

Photo Credit: Brookgreen Gardens

Located in Murrells Inlet (my home town!) Brookgreen Gardens is full of beautiful gardens, statuary, fountains, butterfly garden, and more! It is definitely one of those spots you can visit over and over again. The old Brookgreen Plantation (now Brookgreen Gardens) gets thousands and thousands of visitors each year who frequent it not only for the tree-lined walkways that adjoin each of the more than 1,400 works of art displayed here, but also for the eco tours and a zoo. The Native Wildlife Zoo at Brookgreen Gardens is the only accredited zoo on the coast of the Carolinas. There are many special events held throughout the year that make Brookgreen Gardens even more special!

Happy Cow Creamery

Photo Credit: Happy Cow Creamery

Everybody loves chocolate milk! Take a tour of this chocolate milk factory in South Carolina and you will be surprised and delighted! They do make more than chocolate milk which you’ll learn on a tour of the factory where you will  get to meet the cows behind the magical process! Located in Pelzer, SC, the tour involves a picturesque ride through parts of this 100-acre farm to see the cows while they graze or in the process of being milked. The best part – you’ll get to sample some too! Tours must be scheduled in advance by emailing hcctours@yahoo.com. Tours may not be available in excessive heat conditions during the summer or otherwise inclement weather at any time of the year. Cost: $8.00 for ages 3 and over.

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