Across the State - Recreation


South Carolina’s geography is defined by the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean – from higher elevations ranging between 1,000 feet to 3,500 feet in the foothills, to sub-tropical conditions along 200 miles of Atlantic coast. With such a diverse topography and a temperate climate, South Carolina is perfect for year-round outdoor activities.

In fact, with more than 300 challenging golf courses, golfers can play 365 days a year. From the mountains of the Upstate to the beaches of the Lowcountry, South Carolina is a natural place to play golf, which has been a part of the state’s history for more than 200 years; the country’s first golf course was built in the Charleston area. 

Hiking, camping, and backpacking opportunities abound in South Carolina . Dozens of state and national forests and parks, along with wildlife refuges and preserves, are located throughout South Carolina , offering unique experiences for outdoor enthusiasts. The temperate climate also supports year-round natural beauty found at such places as

Middleton Place
near Charleston, the home of ’s oldest formal gardens, and Brookgreen Gardens near Murrells Inlet, the world’s largest collection of outdoor sculptures nestled among 2,000 species of plants.

For those who want to experience South Carolina by bike, the state offers plenty of enjoyable trails that vary in intensity. Mountain bike trails range in topography from the rugged upstate to the flatter area of the coast.

In addition, South Carolina's 400-mile Palmetto Trail spans the state from the northwest mountains to the seacoast village of McClellanville , north of Charleston . When complete, the trail will offer users the chance to experience the dozens of habitats and ecosystems that comprise our great state.

South Carolina ’s water resources offer recreational activities from kayaking and rafting on whitewater rivers; to fishing and boating on lakes; to blue water sailing and deep-sea fishing. In addition to the Atlantic coast, 830 square miles of the state are covered by water, including ten major rivers and three main lakes. Lakes Marion, Moultrie, and Murray together encompass 221,000 acres of water surface and are all man-made lakes built to furnish hydroelectric power plants. Lake Murray , located in the center of the state, boasts the second largest earthen dam in the world.