South Carolina: Great shopping
South Carolina offers great shopping for international travellers: from factory outlets and designer labels to galleries and shops filled with local, one-of-a-kind treasures. Outlet centres are located throughout the state, offering visitors great bargains on clothing, shoes, furniture, home goods and more.
Some local creations include one-of-a-kind baskets made from sweet grass, a tradition brought by Africans to the Lowcountry in coastal South Carolina. At the City Market in Charleston, you can watch women make the baskets by twisting the reed grass through their fingers and weaving it into a beautiful shape. In Pawleys Island, which is between Charleston and Myrtle Beach, you can take home one of the island’s world-famous hammocks.
The town of Walterboro, between Charleston and Hilton Head Island, is a colony settled by craftsmen. The SC Artisan Centre is located there, and you can see artists working on all sorts of unique gifts.
In Edgefield, you can find examples of the state’s famous old Edgefield pottery. This craft has its roots in the 18th century and was created by African-Americans as they had done in their native land. You can learn more at a museum and see demonstrations.
The Greenville-Spartanburg area is the industrial centre of the state, with dozens of factory outlets and textile mills. Downtown Greenville also is filled with beautiful shops and restaurants for visitors to enjoy.
In the Upcountry mountains, travel the Cherokee Foothills Scenic highway and find local crafts, antique shops, food delicacies and more. The area is famous for growing peaches and apples, so be sure to try them.
There are factory outlets in areas across the state and four large centres are sprinkled along the coast in Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Hilton Head Island. There is also a centre in Gaffney, near the Upcountry. You can indulge yourself at designer centres for Coach, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Brooks Brothers and many others that offer goods at a fraction of the normal price.
Myrtle Beach also has three large shopping and entertainment areas – Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing and the Coastal Grande Mall. Each offers great shopping, dining and entertainment. Hilton Head Island and Charleston also offer many one-of-a-kind shopping opportunities.
There are large and small farmers’ markets across the state, filled with local delicacies, gifts and crafts. The state Farmers’ Market in Columbia also has a restaurant and cooking demonstrations. Most smaller markets sell their own creations, from preserves, jams and cider to hand-made crafts.
Many smaller cities have beautiful tree-lined commercial centres with welcoming shops. One not to miss is Aiken, the centre of South Carolina’s horse country and home to steeplechases and polo matches. The city centre has upscale shops filled with fashionable items.
South Carolina’s small towns are great places to shop for antiques, arts and crafts. Many of these towns have festivals throughout the year and artists bring their wares to sell in the town square. South Carolina takes pride in the talent of its residents and a locally made art object will be a treasure to take home.