South Carolina doesn't hibernate in the winter, and neither should you. Whether you're looking to satisfy your appetite, learn something new or keep up with your exercise resolutions for the year, February in the Palmetto State is full of one-of-a-kind adventures for you.
Many will gather on Hilton Head Island over the month to participate in the island's Gullah Celebration, which cover many aspects the Gullah people. Activities for the month include art exhibitions and sales, a music series, tours and vendors offering traditional Gullah cuisine.
Antique dealers and enthusiasts will gather for the 18th Annual Antiques in the Heart of Aiken Show & Sale, which will benefit the Aiken Center for the Arts. This affair will feature merchandise from various origins and will include everything from furniture to garden decor. The three-day event kicks off with a Cocktails and Collectors preview party on Feb. 2, which will give attendees the chance to meet the dealers and get a first look at available items up for purchase. There will be lectures on both Friday and Saturday morning before the show, and food will be available throughout.
Runners will compete on Hilton Head Island in the annual marathon, half marathon and 8k races. This event is the perfect opportunity to not only get in some exercise this weekend but also take in the beautiful views Hilton Head has to offer. Participants will receive T-shirts and finishers get medals. Some of the proceeds will be given to various local charities. The races will be followed by a party that will include prizes, live music, a children's fun run, food and refreshments, including a craft beer garden with more than 30 different beers. Explore Hilton Head from the course and follow up a strong finish with some celebratory fun. Get more information about the races here.
Get a head start on St. Patrick's Day by checking out the Lowcountry Irish Fest in Mount Pleasant. The festival explores the Lowcountry's Irish roots and offers a look into its history. Attendees can keep their Irish exploration going after the event by entering a raffle to win a trip for two to Ireland. There will be plenty of live music as well as numerous cultural dances. Grab a plate of delicious Irish eats and enjoy a weekend full of all things Irish.
The four-day Beaufort International Film Festival highlights various new filmmakers on a global scale, with awards given to winning films in different categories. The 11th annual festival offers a wide variety of features, including workshops, a symposium, a table read and more. Learn more information about the film festival and schedule here.
Downtown Charleston will be flooded with thousands of people who are wild about nature as they attend the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. The event will have everything from art and sporting demonstrations to expert discussions and information on conservation. There also will be a number of activities geared toward the exhibit's younger attendees as well. This is the largest event of its kind in the country, making it a can't-miss for any fan of the outdoors. Learn more here.
Come to Columbia and raise a glass at the ninth annual World Beer Festival. The SC State Fairgrounds will be full as brew buffs sample more than 200 different beers from around the world. The festival also will include a garden that will specifically highlight beers from South Carolina as well as informative sessions and seminars for those hoping to expand their drink knowledge. There will be plenty of music from live performances and a silent disco. Participants also have the option of buying an additional ticket for a cheese and beer pairing demonstration from a number of experts. Find more information and buy tickets here.
One thing is for sure, the Lowcountry knows seafood. The Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival is happening later this month and offers various activities throughout the week. From instructed boating trips for those curious about what it takes to catch your own seafood dinner to culinary classes being led by incredible chefs, the week is sure to provide tasty experiences for festival attendees. The week will end with a huge event complete with savory seafood and live music.
If you enjoy live music, good beer, Southern food staples and friendly competition, then you can't miss the eighth Annual Bands, Brews & BBQ. Held in Port Royal, the event benefits Friends of Caroline Hospice. For the first time, the weekend will begin with a two-minute wing eating contest, and if you think you're up for the challenge, you can purchase a contest entry online. Stop back by on Saturday to feast on delicious barbecue as cooking teams compete for the best butt. Saturday also will feature a number of live performances. Bring your family with you for this weekend full of fun. Find more event information here.