For the past two and a half years, my family and I have explored South Carolina. We've spent days at baseball parks, amusement parks and water parks. We've strolled along boardwalks that line salt marshes, hug mountain streams and wind through swamps.
We've eaten goat cheese fudge, foot-long hotdogs, oysters, barbecue and some the best fried chicken you'll find anywhere.
And we've had a great time doing it all.
Below are four of our favorite excursions over the past couple years. (And you should know it was extremely hard to limit this list.)
Hilton Head Island
Our summer weekend on Hilton Head Island topped my boys' list of our favorite destinations. Aside from the hours we spent swimming, bicycling and kayaking around the island, the highlight was spending a few hours dolphin watching with the Island Explorer. Perfect weather, perfect guide, amazing wildlife and unbeatable scenery.
Exploring downtown Greenville on foot for a weekend was a great way to see the thriving Upcountry city, which has had a remarkable turnaround in the past few decades. Our walk through Falls Park on the Reedy and our night at the Greenville Drive baseball game were not to be missed. (And I think the visit to downtown Greenville is at least partly responsible for my son's college choice of Furman University.)
Visiting three Grand Strand waterparks in one day might have been the most ambitious -- and exhausting -- day-trip during my two-plus years as an Insider. But it was also one of the most fun. We even found time to stop for a hotdog at Peaches Corner, a joint on Ocean Boulevard that will always have a place in my Myrtle Beach memory bank.
Bicycling through downtown Beaufort with a guide on a quiet Sunday made for an unforgettable morning. That same weekend, we strolled along the grounds of the Penn Center, the site of one of the country's first schools for freed slaves. We got a history lesson from docent Robert Middleton, who once was a student at the school. A weekend to remember.