In South Carolina, you don’t have to venture far from the well-worn path to uncover hidden gems and surprising finds. See these major interstate routes with fresh eyes when you take some time to pull over for secret gardens, artisan galleries and foodie favorites all along the way.
133 miles I-85: South to North
These twists and turns reveal the unexpected, from a collection of pristine dream cars to a living history farm.
The crown jewel of Fair Play’s Lake Hartwell State Park is, of course, the lake. Drop in a fishing line, picnic on the shoreline or follow the 1-mile Nature Trail for water views and birding.
Make a pit stop at Split Creek Farm in Anderson for award-winning goat milk fudge and to see friendly farm animals.
Wish you were making this road trip in a gleaming dream car? Keep fantasizing at the BMW Zentrum in Greer, with perfectly restored classics, rare models and cutting-edge technology exhibits. Or get behind the wheel on the open track at the BMW Performance Driving School.
Take a quick detour in Gaffney to drive the Auto Loop Road at Cowpens National Battlefield. The 3.8-mile route circles the 1781 battlefield and includes wayside exhibits.
Outdoor adventure and fast-paced thrills await on this interstate journey.
On the South Carolina– North Carolina border, kick off your road trip at Carowinds, where you can shriek with delight with more than 60 rides, attractions, and live stage shows.
Stop for grilled pita sandwiches and juicy burgers—plus locally made snacks for the drive—at The Peach Stand in Fort Mill.
Stroll Rock Hill’s Riverwalk and the 3.35-mile paved Piedmont Medical Center Trail that meanders along the peaceful Catawba River.
Landsford Canal State Park is also located along the Catawba River and features the largest known stand of rocky shoals spider lilies (in bloom May and June), which you can see from the 1.5-mile Canal Trail.
Want to get off road? Rent an ATV or dirt bike at Carolina Adventure World in Winnsboro and blast your way through 100 miles of trails in varying skill levels.
Also in Winnsboro, peruse the railroad cabooses, diesel engines, exhibits and model trains at The South Carolina Railroad Museum, then hop aboard a vintage passenger car for a scenic ride.
If you’re visiting in early spring, indulge in the sweet pleasure of a sun-warmed strawberry picked fresh from the fields at the you-pick Cottle Strawberry Farm in Hopkins.
172 miles I-20: West to East
On this trip, you’ll find yourself immersed in South Carolina’s scenic beauty, whether on a golf course or a historic battlefield.
At The Traces Golf Club in Florence, play a round of golf on the 27-hole course or hit the driving range, and then grab a burger with crinkle-cut fries at Shanker’s Grill.
207 miles I-95: North to South
No-frills barbecue joints, eclectic shopping and beautiful parks dot the map on this road trip.
Stop at Shuler’s Bar-B-Que in Latta to pile your plate with all-you-can-eat pulled pork, smoky ribs and country-style sides.
Stretch your legs and enjoy a moment of serenity amid native flowers at Marion’s Amazing Grace Park, dedicated to the memory of Reverend Senator Clementa Pinckney.
Go on a treasure hunt amid an ever-changing collection of antiques, vintage clothing, rare vinyl and collectibles at Palmetto Peddlers antiques mall in Florence.
Load up on fried chicken and tomato pie at the buffet-style Lone Star BBQ & Mercantile in Santee and pick up a knickknack in the gift shop.
Stroll along easy nature trails at Santee State Park in Santee and stay overnight in a rondette-style cabin on Lake Marion.
Peruse the works of 300- plus local artisans housed in a restored Victorian cottage at the South Carolina Artisans Center in Walterboro. You might even catch a craft demonstration or live performance.
Stop in Yemassee for travel information at the Frampton Plantation House, an 1868 farmhouse serving as the Lowcountry Visitor’s Center and Museum. 8 Explore the boardwalk, nature trails and disc golf course at Sergeant Jasper Park in Hardeeville.