South Carolina: Lowcountry to Upstate Adventures
South Carolina is known for its charming coastal towns, historic plantations and vibrant cities, the Palmetto State offers a captivating blend of Southern hospitality and modern allure. From the picturesque shores of Myrtle Beach to the historic streets of Charleston, South Carolina's geography encompasses a range of landscapes, including sandy beaches, lush marshlands and rolling hills. As one of the original thirteen colonies, South Carolina's history is deeply intertwined with the fabric of the nation, from its pivotal role in the American Revolutionary War to its complex legacy of antebellum plantations. South Carolina's culinary scene is a showcase of Lowcountry and Southern cuisine, highlighting dishes like shrimp and grits, Hoppin' John, and she-crab soup. From the picturesque cobblestone streets of Charleston's historic district to the sprawling plantations that dot the landscape, the state offers a glimpse into the past while embracing the present.
South Carolina Quick Facts
South Carolina became the eighth state of the United States on May 23, 1788. There are now 271 towns and cities in South Carolina, with the smallest city (Smyrna) having a population of only 45. The capital city of South Carolina is Columbia and the largest city is Charleston with a population of 137,041. The state nickname of South Carolina is the "Palmetto State," due to the prevalence of palmetto trees in the state. The city of Charleston is renowned for its well-preserved historic district, cobblestone streets, and antebellum architecture. South Carolina's history includes a complex legacy of plantation agriculture, particularly rice and indigo cultivation, which contributed to the state's economic growth. With a coastline stretching along the Atlantic Ocean, South Carolina offers popular beach destinations, including Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island and Folly Beach. South Carolina is known for its Southern cuisine, including dishes like shrimp and grits, barbecue, and traditional Lowcountry favorites. This historic site in Charleston Harbor was the location of the first shots fired in the American Civil War. Records show that golf started in South Carolina back in 1743, when a shipment of golf equipment arrived in Charleston. The official state beverage is sweet tea, the state snack is the boiled peanut and the official state vegetable is collard greens. South Carolina is the 40th largest state by land area and the 23rd largest state by population. South Carolina is shaped like a triangle. Famous people born in South Carolina include Darius Rucker, James Brown, Aziz Ansari, Chadwick Boseman, Andi MacDowell, Debra Messing, Viola Davis, Joe Frazier and Jesse Jackson.
The History of South Carolina
Long before European settlers arrived, South Carolina was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Catawba and Yemassee. The first European settlers arrived in the 16th century, with Spanish and French explorers making early claims to the area. In 1670, the English established the colony of Carolina, which would eventually split into North and South Carolina. South Carolina's economy was driven by rice and indigo plantations, which required extensive labor. Enslaved Africans played a significant role in this economy, and their cultural influences left an indelible mark on the state's history. South Carolina played a vital role in the fight for American independence. The state was the site of key battles, including the Battle of Sullivan's Island, where the palmetto-log fort withstood British attacks. In 1788, South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the United States Constitution, contributing to the formation of the federal government. In the 1830s, South Carolina's resistance to federal tariffs led to the Nullification Crisis. The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in 1861. South Carolina's secession from the Union marked a significant turning point that led to the conflict. The 20th century saw South Carolina grapple with issues of civil rights and racial segregation. The state played a role in the Civil Rights Movement, with events like the Orangeburg Massacre and integration struggles. South Carolina has transformed into a diverse state with a strong economy, educational institutions, and a blend of industries, including tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture.
The Geography of South Carolina
South Carolina is bordered by only 2 states, North Carolina and Georgia. The state's coastline stretches for about 187 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. This coastal region is known as the "Lowcountry," characterized by tidal marshes, estuaries, and barrier islands. Charleston, one of the state's major cities, is located along this coastline. South Carolina is home to numerous barrier islands that protect the mainland from ocean surges. Moving inland, the state transitions into the Piedmont region, characterized by rolling hills and fertile plains. Major cities like Columbia and Greenville are located in this area. The Piedmont also includes the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwest corner of the state. South Carolina's portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains is part of the larger Appalachian Mountain range. The state is crisscrossed by numerous rivers, including the Savannah, Pee Dee, Santee, and Edisto Rivers. The state's fertile soil and diverse geography support a range of agricultural activities, including the cultivation of crops like cotton, soybeans, and peaches.
South Carolina Relocation Guide
South Carolina is known for its tourism and there are lots of cities built around that idea. But it is also a fantastic location if you are considering relocating. When you look at a map of South Carolina, you will see that it has beach communities to the far east, a lively center of the state with history and lakes, and a growing upstate that is not too far from the mountains. Most of the events and attractions can be found around the larger South Carolina cities of Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Greenville, along with the best hotels and restaurants, too.
One of the things that sets South Carolina apart from much of the country is its relatively low cost of living. People can afford large homes on lots of land in South Carolina for prices less than what a person might pay for a 3-bedroom apartment in a major city. There are many schools, both public and private, to service the needs of kids. Right now, the South Carolina economy is struggling a bit, unemployment rates are up somewhat, especially in many of the rural areas. The major cities aren't struggling as much, but people in outlying areas are having some trouble.
Crime in some cities in South Carolina is a concern, as the state does have crime rates that are about 35% higher than the national average. Crime is more rampant in larger South Carolina cities like Charleston and Columbia, but smaller cities like Mauldin and many others are very safe.