What is South Carolina known for?
South Carolina is known for its beaches, golf courses, and major cities. South Carolina is famous for its role in the American Civil War and for its musical and cultural heritage. South Carolina is known also for being the only place in America where tea is grown.
South Carolina has, over the past several years, grown in popularity. Whether vacationing or relocating, people have been drawn to the Palmetto State. What are the reasons for this? In this article, we’ll take a look at why this state in the southeastern United States is so central to many people’s bucket lists.
- What is South Carolina Known For? These 25 Things!
- 1. Charleston, South Carolina
- 2. Musical Heritage
- 3. The Charleston Museum
- 4. The Charleston Tea Plantation
- 5. Columbia, South Carolina
- 6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- 7. Golf Courses
- 8. The Dunes
- 9. The Civil War
- 10. Fort Sumter
- 11. Southern Food
- 12. The World’s Hottest Pepper
- 13. The Palmetto State
- 14. The South Carolina State Flag
- 15. The Tastier Peach State
- 16. The Split with North Carolina
- 17. Carowinds Amusement Park
- 18. James Brown
- 19. Hilton Head Island
- 20. St. Helena Island
- 21. Morgan Island
- 22. The First Senator Elected by a Write-in Vote
- 23. Rock Hill, South Carolina
- 24. The Blue Ridge Mountains
- 25. Congaree National Park
- FAQs About Famous South Carolina Things
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What is South Carolina Known For? These 25 Things!
1. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston often ranks among the most beautiful cities in America. Other cities wow visitors with their towering skylines and cutting-edge architecture. Historic Charleston, however, charms its visitors with a more traditional take. Antebellum architecture and cobblestone streets give the city’s historic districts an especially old-time, refined feeling.
Charleston’s smaller population, only about 150,000 makes for fewer crowds, too. Nearby North Charleston adds another 110,000, making the area the most populous in the state. Nonetheless, life moves at a much more relaxed pace.
2. Musical Heritage
Charleston, South Carolina is known for its rich culture. It is a popular tourist destination for music lovers. The city has many live music venues for many different genres. Charleston also gave rise to the dance of the same name.
The rest of the state shares this heritage. South Carolina has a rich history of traditional spirituals, bluegrass, country, and more. Such famous musicians as Darius Rucker, Dizzy Gillespie, and James Brown (more on him later) are from South Carolina.
3. The Charleston Museum
Founded in 1773, the Charleston Museum labels itself “America’s first museum.” It first opened its doors to the public in 1824. The museum features exhibits on local and natural history and wildlife habitat preservation.
4. The Charleston Tea Plantation
Another chapter in the state’s history began in the late 1700s. A French botanist brought tea plants to the new world and sold them to an American plantation owner. At first, several farms grew tea. Only one, on Wadmalaw Island, proved suitable for sustainable crops of tea.
Today, the Charleston Tea Garden, as the site is known now, is the only place in America where tea is grown. The Bigelow Tea Company owns the Charleston Tea Garden, hosting tasting events. The garden also rents spaces for private and corporate events
5. Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is the state capital of South Carolina. The South Carolina State House is known for its copper dome, and the building is the second to stand on the site. Union General William T. Sherman’s troops burned the original State House during the burning of Columbia in 1865.
Columbia, and the surrounding area, are one of the few places in America that has synchronous fireflies–fireflies that light up at the same time. What better way to end a busy day of exploring Columbia than sipping on some sweet tea and watching the fireflies?
6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The city of Myrtle Beach ranks as one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Carolina. Miles of white sand beaches and a warm subtropical climate along with almost 2000 restaurants make Myrtle Beach one of the most visited places in America. In fact, Myrtle Beach receives more than 20 million visitors a year!
7. Golf Courses
Another thing that draws crowds of visitors to Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and the surrounding area are its nearly 100 golf courses! No wonder people call Myrtle Beach the “Golf Capital of the World.” With over 50 miniature golf courses, it claims the title of capital for miniature golf as well.
8. The Dunes
One of the most prestigious places to golf in Myrtle Beach is at “The Dunes Club,” also known as “The Dunes Golf and Beach Club.” Over the years, the club hosted such events as the PGA Senior Tour and the USGA Women’s Open.
In addition to “the links,” the club has tennis courts, a swimming pool, and beach access. There are also facilities for hosting and catering special events.
❓ Trivia Time: Most people don’t associate golf with epic landscapes. A certain golf course in North Dakota is known for doing just that, though.
9. The Civil War
Another thing that South Carolina is known for is its role in the American Civil War. South Carolina was one of the most adamant advocates for secession in the years leading up to the war. South Carolina also saw some of the first events that sparked the war. The most notable of these was the battle at Fort Sumter.
10. Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter sits on an artificial island in Charleston harbor and saw the first battle of the Civil War on April 12, 1861. After this battle, the Confederacy seized control of the fort. A second battle occurred here on September 8, 1863, in which the Union forces failed to retake the fort from the Confederates.
At the end of the war, a symbolic celebration took place at Fort Sumter, but the assassination of President Lincoln on the same evening far overshadowed the event in subsequent history.
11. Southern Food
South Carolina, being a good southern state, knows what makes good eating. Lowcountry boil, a local specialty, combines shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes into one hearty boiled dish.
South Carolina is also famous for the oyster roast. Oysters are covered with a wet burlap sack and roasted in a kettle (or on a grill) and served with cocktail sauce. No true South Carolina meal would be complete, though, without the classic Southern staple beverage–sweet tea.
❓ Trivia Time: What states are considered “The South?”
12. The World’s Hottest Pepper
Chili pepper botanist Ed Currie cultivated the Carolina Reaper, which holds the record for the hottest pepper in the world. The Carolina Reaper came about as a crossbreed between two different peppers, one from St. Vincent, and the other from Pakistan. The pepper now features in hot sauce, snacks, and other foods both in South Carolina and outside the state.
13. The Palmetto State
Historically speaking, a much gentler plant won fame for the state long before the Carolina Reaper–the palmetto tree. This tree grows throughout the southern United States, but especially the Atlantic coastal plain, which includes South Carolina.
The tree won the admiration of South Carolinians for its beauty and its resilience to the salt spray and hurricanes of the Atlantic Ocean. The Palmetto is also the official state tree of South Carolina.
14. The South Carolina State Flag
One of the first places most people recognize the palmetto tree is the state flag of South Carolina. The flag’s first inspiration came from the heroic defense of Sullivan’s Island by Colonel William Moultrie during the Revolutionary War. The palmetto tree was added at the outset of the Civil War as a tribute to Moultrie, whose fortress was made from palmetto tree logs.
15. The Tastier Peach State
South Carolina shares a border with Georgia. It also shares a rivalry over who has the best peaches. Georgia proudly labels itself “The Peach State.” South Carolinians, however, contest that the peaches grown on their side of the line are of significantly higher quality.
❓ Trivia Time: Other than peaches, what is Georgia known for?
16. The Split with North Carolina
Long before the Civil War, even before the Revolutionary War, North and South Carolina were one colony, one of the original British colonies. The name Carolina derives from King Charles I of England, who originally granted the land of the present-day Carolinas to colonists. Carol is another form of the name Charles.
17. Carowinds Amusement Park
The two sundered states reunited in this unique amusement park. Carowinds straddles the state border between North and South Carolina. The northern portion of the park belongs to Charlotte, North Carolina. Fort Mill, South Carolina includes the southern section.
Concert venues, roller coasters, and rides of all kinds make up the attractions at this amusement park. Carowinds also features a water park which, although located inland, replicates the feel of the classic Carolinian coastline.
❓ Trivia Time: What is North Carolina known for?
18. James Brown
“The Godfather of Soul” came from South Carolina to the world stage. Brown was born in South Carolina, but moved to Georgia, and later New York, as a child. He demonstrated remarkable musical talent from a young age and, in time, rose to become the revolutionary figure in rhythm and blues music that he is remembered as to this day.
19. Hilton Head Island
Along with its mainland beaches, South Carolina offers visitors many exquisite islands. Hilton Head Island in Beaufort County is one of the finest. In addition to charming accommodations and attractions, the island has a fascinating history.
One unique aspect of that history is the Gullah people, escaped African slaves who fled to the island after it was captured by Union forces. Due to relative isolation, their language and culture preserved more aspects of African culture than other African-American groups elsewhere in the American south (or north for that matter).
20. St. Helena Island
South Carolina’s St. Helena Island (not to be confused with Napoleon’s place of exile) is also a historic home of the Gullah. St. Helena may be a better place to visit for those interested in Gullah culture and history, being less touristy than Hilton Head. The town of Frogmore offers galleries and shops to see local art as well as restaurants to try hearty Gullah cuisine.
21. Morgan Island
Only a small group of scientists working for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources stay for more than a visit. The scientists monitor and research the monkeys of Morgan Island as well as other local plant and animal species.
22. The First Senator Elected by a Write-in Vote
Strom Thurmond had the distinction of being the first U.S. senator elected by write-in vote. Back in 1954, the serving senator passed away during his term. His party selected a candidate to replace him, but voters were not pleased with seeming to have no say in the matter.
Strom Thurmond campaigned for the senatorial seat, capitalizing on the public outrage over the seeming overstep of the democratic process. Thurmond carried 63% of the vote, winning the election as a write-in candidate.
23. Rock Hill, South Carolina
This city of just under 75,000 people offers a more leisurely pace of life than its larger counterparts on the coastline. It may not have dozens of golf courses or miles of sandy beaches, but it nonetheless manifests plenty of South Carolina charm.
The city has 31 parks and miles of walking and biking trails, a historic downtown area, and the surrounding area provides ideal locations for fishing and camping. One of the city’s nicknames, “Football City USA” derives from its contribution of 21 players to the NFL. Not bad for a small, out-of-the-way city!
24. The Blue Ridge Mountains
Further inland, South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains form the Palmetto State’s contribution to the Appalachian Mountains. One of the most popular places to visit is known as The Escarpment, where the terrain changes drastically in elevation. Here one also finds Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina’s highest point, standing at 3,554’.
❓ Trivia Time: What states do the Appalachian Mountains go through?
25. Congaree National Park
The oldest bottomland hardwood forest in America stands in South Carolina’s Congaree National Park. Visitors can enjoy kayaking the rivers in the park as well as hiking and primitive camping in its vast backcountry. Congaree National Park is one of the least visited of America’s national parks, but for those that do visit it, that may add to the charm.
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FAQs About Famous South Carolina Things
What famous people are from South Carolina?
Singer James Brown, heavyweight boxer Joe Frazier, and comedian Chris Rock are from South Carolina.
What are 3 things that make South Carolina famous?
South Carolina is famous for its beautiful beaches, historic districts, and numerous golf courses.
Now you don’t have to wonder “what South Carolina is known for” anymore!
These are some of the many things South Carolina is famous for. We hope you’ve learned some new things about the Palmetto State!