A Dozen Reasons to Visit South Carolina State Parks in the Off-Season

By:Lynn and Cele Seldon

Date:9/9/2016

While any time is a great time to visit one or more of South Carolina’s 47 varied state parks, we’ve found that visiting in the off-season—from fall to spring—has many advantages. Here are a dozen reasons:


Fewer People: Once the kids are (thankfully) back in school, South Carolina’s State Parks are simply less crowded. Sure, fall colors leaf peeping can mean some crowds in certain state parks, but that’s generally limited to weekends.


Cooler Temperatures: As the thermometer drops, it’s the perfect time to take a chill pill with outdoors activities. Plus, there’s the added benefit of less pesky mosquitoes and other bugs, warm campfires, and a hot cuppa’ joe with a view.


Lower Prices: Along with a drop in the temperature, the prices for cabins and campgrounds at most state parks tend to fall as well.


Easier Cabin Availability: Come for a night, a weekend, or a week. Many state parks drop week-long booking restrictions that may apply in summer.


Easier Weekend Getaways: Now that school’s back in session and weekdays are committed to the classroom and other school activities, the convenience of South Carolina State Parks makes them ideal for multi-generational weekend getaways from fall to spring.


It’s Perfect Timing for Retirees: The off-season is ideal for retirees with time on their hands and South Carolina State Parks on their minds.


Color My World: From fabulous fall colors to endless winter views and wondrous wildflowers come spring, South Carolina’s State Parks show their true colors in the off-season.


Falling for Waterfalls: With typically higher water levels and less leaves blocking the views, late-fall, winter, and early-spring can make for some of the best state park waterfall viewing.


Unique Activities and Special Events: The off-season in state parks means different activities are on the schedule, including the Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival at Huntington Beach State Park, Hawk Watch (hawk migration) at Caesars Head State Park, Animal Signs Scavenger Hunts at Paris Mountain State Park, Fall Color Walks at many of the parks, and much more.


First-Day Hikes: Dozens of South Carolina’s state parks hold organized hikes of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty on the first day of the year—pointing participants in the right direction of an active and healthy lifestyle for the new year.


Packages: Those with special interests will find several special packages offered at state parks. For instance, Watercolor Journaling (October 18-20, 2016) at Poinsett State Park features two nights in a cabin, watercolor journaling instruction, and all supplies. Or the Lakes and Locks Tour (October 11-12, 2016) at Santee State Park includes two nights in a cabin and a boat tour of the locks on Lake Moultrie.


“Home” for the Holidays: For those in the know, South Carolina’s State Parks can make for ideal “homes” for the holidays, thanks to an array of cabins and villas that are ideal for the entire family at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and more.


Given all of these reasons, we love sending others to South Carolina’s State Parks in the off-season. Plus, with the 13-month advance booking program, it’s easy to plan an off-season adventure.

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