State of South Carolina: attractions, history, interesting facts, cities

State of South Carolina, also known as the Palmetto State, annually attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists. The hot sun, warm Gulf Stream, and sandy beaches create an illusion of paradise on earth. Only the colonial architecture reminds us that it was here that the first shots of the fratricidal war between the North and the South were fired, so beautifully described by Margaret Mitchell in the two-volume novel “Gone with the Wind.”

Majestic plantations and cotton fields convey the atmosphere of that era: they are both a historical value and a silent reproach to stubborn Southerners who were unwilling to grant freedom to slaves. It was also here that the infamous Ku Klux Klan began its activities.

Today, South Carolina, like any other corner of America, guarantees equal rights to all citizens regardless of skin color or other distinguishing features. Over time, the ideas of democratization prevailed over conservatism. There is no trace left of past cruelty, and the state’s residents greet guests as hospitable hosts with open, welcoming smiles.

Brief information about the state:

  • Abbreviation: SC
  • Capital: Columbia, administrative center of Richland County (≈ 133.3 thousand people)
  • Largest city: Charleston (≈ 135 thousand people)
  • State area: 82,931 km² (ranks 40th in the US)
  • State population: 5,277,830 (data as of 2021)
  • Minimum wage in South Carolina, as in Utah, is $7.25 per hour (2021)
  • Official website: sc.gov

Attractions:

The most visited place in the state of South Carolina is rightfully Charleston – the largest and oldest city in the region. It was once the slave capital of America, as the main trading points for live goods were located here. Every corner of Charleston can tell something about the past, surprise with beautiful landscapes, create a romantic atmosphere, and entice with museum exhibits.

Special attention deserves the state’s only national park, Congaree. Essentially, it is a piece of relic forest untouched by human activity, preserved in its pristine form to this day. It is located just 30 km from Columbia, making it very convenient to access. Boardwalks are laid throughout the reserve for comfortable walking tours. Additionally, visitors can explore the wilderness by boating or canoeing along the river. Camping is also permitted in Congaree National Park.

Sabal palms
Sabal palms

One cannot visit South Carolina without visiting the town of Myrtle Beach. It is a unique place created specifically for tourists’ entertainment: with water parks, theme centers, golf courses, and many other tourist attractions. However, the most valuable feature of the coastline is the sabal palms, which symbolize the state.

History of the “Palmetto State”

Much of South Carolina’s unique vibrancy is due to past mistakes. The echoes of the past resonate particularly brightly in South Carolina. Here, the Yamasee and Cusabo tribes, inhabiting the Atlantic coast and the lands near the Savannah River before the arrival of colonizers, are still remembered. The waves of expeditions that followed after Europeans discovered the New World are not forgotten either.

But a special place in the collective memory is reserved for the momentous and generous gift from the English monarch Charles II, who granted eight of his lords land in 1663. In 1663, the king presented his subjects with nothing less than land grants for both North and South Carolina. Just seven years later, from a tent city of settlers, the wooden town of Charles-Town emerged in the south. The future city had to be hastily constructed due to the threat of Spanish attacks. However, it did not last long there. In 1680, a decision was made to rebuild the city in a more convenient location, near the Cooper and Ashley Rivers.

In 1729, the country was divided into North and South, laying the groundwork for the struggle for independence from the British crown, for the right to elect their own senators. This led to the formation of the American province of South Carolina, and later the 8th state of the USA.

Interesting Facts about South Carolina:

1. South Carolina has a Slave Museum, vividly depicting the dark side of local history. Interestingly, it is located in an auction house where powerless African Americans were sold.

2. Snow is a very rare natural phenomenon in South Carolina, although the thermometer can drop below 0°C during the cold period. Typically, if precipitation occurs in winter at below freezing temperatures, it falls in the form of hail.

Tornado
Tornado

3. South Carolina experiences up to 14 tornadoes per year. Some of them have quite significant destructive power.

4. This state is considered the birthplace of barbecue.

5. Apparently, they take predictions very seriously there because before laying out cards or looking at coffee grounds, a fortune teller must obtain a license from local authorities, otherwise, they will be fined.

6. Riverbanks Zoo, located in the state of dwarf palms, is one of the largest in the country. For a long time, research was conducted there, which helped reveal an interesting fact: giraffes can talk, but only among themselves. They are not mute, as previously thought.

7. One of the oldest trees on the planet, a Virginia oak, is growing in South Carolina. Its age will soon surpass the 500-year mark.

8. There is a law in the state protecting a maiden’s honor. The essence of it is that males over 16 years old cannot seduce girls by giving them knowingly false promises of marriage. Such an offense is considered a crime and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 1 year.

9. If you order a dish from the chef in South Carolina, there is a high probability that the guest will receive shrimp and grits.

10.*Sundays can be boring there because all the state’s nightclubs are closed on weekends.

Celebrities from South Carolina:

Darius Rucker: The lead singer of the Grammy-winning band Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius Rucker, hails from Charleston, South Carolina. He later pursued a successful solo country music career.

Stephen Colbert: The comedian, television host, and political commentator Stephen Colbert was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. He’s known for hosting “The Colbert Report” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

-Kristen Wiig: Actress and comedian Kristen Wiig, known for her work on “Saturday Night Live” and films like “Bridesmaids” and “Ghostbusters,” was born in Canandaigua, New York, but spent her early years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and later moved to Rochester, New York.

Thomas Gibson: Actor Thomas Gibson, best known for his roles in the television series “Dharma & Greg” and “Criminal Minds,” was born in Charleston, South Carolina.

Major Cities in South Carolina:

On the map of South Carolina, there are 269 populated places with the suffixes “-city” or “-town.” In addition to Charleston and Columbia mentioned earlier, the top positions in this list are occupied by:

  • North Charleston – 110.9 thousand people
  • Mount Pleasant – 84.2 thousand people
  • Rock Hill – 73 thousand people
  • Greenville – 68.2 thousand people
  • Summerville – 49.3 thousand people
  • Goose Creek – 42 thousand people

The outsider in terms of permanent population is the settlement named Jenkinsville, where only 43 people live.

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