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12 Must-Dos to Put on Your South Carolina Bucket List

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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With popular destinations like Charleston and Myrtle Beach and its diversity of settings from the mountains to the coast, South Carolina offers an endless array of fun and exciting things to do on your vacation.

Think you’ve hit all the highlights? You’ll need to check off everything on this South Carolina bucket list:


The top of Table Rock offers a romantic backdrop for a selfie.

1 - Take a selfie on Table Rock. Climb South Carolina’s most iconic natural attraction and commemorate it with a photograph from the top of the 3,100-foot-high granite dome. The challenging 3.4-mile uphill hike offers fantastic views of the surrounding wilderness.


Watch a NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway.

2 - Watch a NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway. Billed as “The Track Too Tough to Tame,” this NASCAR legend features a unique egg-shaped design that has proved challenging for even the most experienced professional drivers. Catch the action during one of the many races held annually on the course.


Go skydiving in Chester.

3 - Go skydiving in Chester. Fulfill this bucket list classic at Skydive Carolina. Safely harnessed to a skydiving instructor, you’ll plunge 14,000 feet from a single-engine airplane traveling 100 miles an hour and experience the exhilaration of free falling for 55 seconds.


Learn how to master high-speed turns at the BMW Performance Driving School near Spartanburg. Photo courtesy of

4 - Drive like a pro. Sign up for a session at the BMW Performance Center and take a Beemer out for a spin on the challenging Autocross course. Under the supervision of a professional driver, you’ll have the chance to put the power, speed and handling of a BMW M440i coupe or M3 Competition sports sedan to the test.


Wave to your friends from the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse.

5 - Wave to your friends from the Harbour Town Lighthouse. Walk the 114 steps to the top of Hilton Head Island’s famed red-and-white striped landmark and stream a greeting to the folks back home in real time on the lighthouse webcam.


Take the plunge on the Fury 325 roller coaster in Carowinds.

6 - Ride Fury 325 at Carowinds. The tallest, fastest, longest giga coaster in North America, Fury 325 will drop you from a height of 325 feet, lifting you out of your seat as you make the white-knuckle plunge. If that’s not enough to get your adrenaline flowing, the 3.25-minute ride also features a 190-foot tall barrel turn and a high-speed S-curve where you’ll reach speeds of up to 95 mph.


Raft one of the most exciting sections of the National Wild & Scenic Chattooga River.

7 - Raft the Chattooga. Renowned for its starring role in the adventure thriller, “Deliverance,” the National Wild and Scenic Chattooga River is both breathtaking and heart stopping. Wildwater Rafting offers guided trips through the pristine river gorge, boasting class 4 and 5 rapids with names like Corkscrew, 7 Foot Falls and Sock-em Dog.


Indulge in some of Rodney Scott's famous whole hog barbecue.

8 - Chow down on extraordinary barbecue. As the birthplace of barbecue, South Carolina has no shortage of exceptional pitmasters happily smoking up delicious, mouth-watering pork in every corner of the state. None is more admired than Rodney Scott, named the 2018 James Beard Best Chef: Southeast. You’ll find his award-winning cuisine at Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ on Charleston’s King Street, a fitting location for the undisputed king of ‘cue.


Watch a spectuacular sunrise on Folly Beach or at one of South Carolina's other beach towns.

9 - Catch a sunrise on the beach. From Hilton Head Island to North Myrtle Beach, the South Carolina coast offers hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches to catch the first rays of sun as they break over the Atlantic. Set your alarm and experience the magic of a new day.


Stroll across Charleston's stunning Arthur Ravenel Bridge.

10 - Walk across the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. At 2.7 miles, this marvel of engineering is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere. The main span features two 600-foot diamond-shaped towers and a deck 200 feet above Charleston Harbor’s shipping channel. Savor the view!


Take a spin on Myrtle Beach's SkyWheel.

11 - Take a spin on the SkyWheel in Myrtle Beach. What has become this beach town’s signature attraction, the 15-story oceanfront Ferris wheel is one of the tallest on the East Coast, offering a fantastic view of the Grand Strand and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a slow, peaceful ride even babies will enjoy. 


Experience one of college football's great entrances -- the Clemson Tigers running down The Hill at Memorial Stadium.

12 - Cheer with South Carolina college football fans.  You haven’t truly experienced fall in South Carolina until you’ve attended a University of South Carolina or Clemson football game. The Clemson Tigers’ famed charge down the hill into Death Valley stadium was once described by former CBS announcer Brent Musburger as “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football.” At USC, Gamecock fans show their excitement by waving white towels to the electronic music of “Sandstorm.” Win or lose, games are always an event whenever these two teams take the field.


Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.