Travel

10 Road trip-worthy South Carolina destinations and attractions that won't break the bank

Caesars Head State Park offers some of the best views of nature in the state.

Photo courtesy of Discover South Carolina

There's a lot of wide open America to fall in love with between your home and your destination. Taking the long way or the road less traveled isn't a bad thing. It can lead to new adventures that end up as fond memories.

Almost as important as the destination itself is the vehicle you choose to road trip in. Click here to see AutomotiveMap's picks for best road trip SUV and here to see the best road trip cars. Click here to see AutomotiveMap's advice for planning the perfect road trip.

The next time you're planning a road trip to South Carolina, consider the following destinations, which are not on the usual tourist roster.

Swamp Rabbit Trail

Reedy Falls Park Greenville SC

Photo courtesy of Discover South Carolina

The Swamp Rabbit Trail features 22 miles of greenway path for cycling, walking, and running. It winds along the Reedy River from Travelers Rest to Greenville, South Carolina via an old railroad corridor. While some parts of the trail are rural, one of the best gems of the path is its span along Reedy Falls Park in downtown Greenville. In addition to recreation, there are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops that serve as a good destination for your recreation adventure.

Lake Murray

South Carolina's Lake Murray offers recreation and relaxation. In-town, enjoy antiques shopping to exploring history, to eating your way through all the Souther cuisine and barbecue you can handle. Head out on the lake to enjoy boating, fishing, rowing, paddle boarding, and more. Accommodations surrounding the centrally located lake aren't pricey compared to what you'll find in South Carolina's other tourist areas.

Huntington Beach State Park

Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach State Park\u200b

Photo courtesy of South Carolina State Parks

Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet is one of the grandest of the Grand Strand state parks. It is home to Atalaya, the former winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, 173 campsites, over 300 species of birds, and three miles of beaches. There is an admission fee to enter the park and a separate fee to tour Atalaya.

Hopsewee Plantation

Hopsewee Plantation was built 40 years before the America Revolution. It was one of the most important rice plantations in the South and the birthplace of Thomas Lynch, Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The main house still stands and is used as a private residence, however, tours are offered, as are basket weaving classes and dining.

South Carolina State House

South Carolina State House Columbia

Photo courtesy of Discover South Carolina

Free and self-guided tours are available of the Greek Revival-style South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina during typical business hours, Monday through Friday. Arrangements for guided tours can be arranged in advance. Before you go, check out the State House's tour brochure here for more info. You can also take a virtual tour here.

Cypress Gardens

Cypress Gardens is full of things to do. There are 3.5 miles of hiking trails, swamp boat rides (extra $5.00/person), a reptile center called the Swamparium, butterfly house, and wildlife galore (be on the lookout for alligators) at the Monocks Corner attraction. A long list of movies have been shot at the location including "The Patriot" (2000) and "Cold Mountain" (2003).

Supernatural Walking Tour of Charleston

Downtown Charleston

Photo courtesy of Discover South Carolina

It's always fun to tour a new place, or learn more about a town you love by seeing it from a whole new perspective. A ghost tour will tick both of those boxes. Charleston is chock full of hundreds of years of history, just waiting to be explored as part of this 90-minute walking tour, which begins and ends at Marion Square.

The Avian Conservation Center & Center for Birds of Prey

Awendaw is home to The Avian Conservation Center & Center for Birds of Prey, an attraction that wins praise from wildlife activists as well as visitors. There are 50 species represented at the Center including eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, kites, and vultures. Visitors can partake in a guided tour and flight demonstration, a two-hour event that costs an additional $18/person. In the autumn they also offer an owl discovery program in the evening.

Caesars Head State Park

Caesars Head State Park

Photo courtesy of Discover South Carolina

The Blue Ride Mountains in northwest South Carolina give visitors a visual feast for thier eyes delivering sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, lakes, and vast swaths of trees that extends into Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. Caesars Head State Park features over 60 miles of hiking trails, including one that take visitors across a suspension bridge that goes above Raven Cliff Falls (the tallest water fall in South Carolina). There are 18 primitive campsites. The park is part of a natural migratory path for hawks three months of the year along the Atlantic Flyway.

Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum

Reconnect with your youth at the Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum. There are over 25 pinball museums at the attraction, where visitors pay a $12 flat rate for the ability to play for a full hour on any of the machines. To gain entry, you must buy your tickets online ahead of time. The museum limits the number of tickets to help alleviate overcrowding.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Cadillac will give the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing carbon fiber seats.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac continues to tease its long-awaited Blackwing sedans. The company is using the Blackwing monknier to designate their top-performing models of the CT4 and CT5.

Those models will also wear the "V' designation and be given the full name Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing. They will both be 2022 model year vehicles.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing testing This CT5-V Blackwing was spotted testing at Virginia International Raceway, Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has slowly been leaking out details of the models, even as the market moves away from sedan sales. We know now know that Cadillac CT-5 Blackwing will feature racing inspired seats. According to the automaker, "The carbon fiber seat back will feature a precision book-matched design and laser-etched V-Series logo. The seats will also include other customer-centric innovations and features that will be announced at a later date."

Cadillac also confirmed that the model is a limited edition.

We already have seen a picture of the cars' interior. That photo showed a new performance steering wheel that is crafted with leather and cut-and-sewn stitching. It features a 12 o'clock red racing stripe, carbon fiber trim, and a V-Series emblem. That emblem is designed to envoke nostalgia for Cadillac's championship-winning heritage on the track. Cadillac has designed the wheel with driver ergonomics as a priority.

The new models will feature V-Mode and a Performance Traction Management system that can be accessed on the left- and right-hand side of the wheel, respectively.

Additional buttons on the steering wheel are more typical to the General Motors lineup. They feature heated steering wheel, follow distance, cruise control, phone call/Bluetooth, and volume controls.

Each V-Series Blackwing model will feature a specially tuned chassis, vehicle control technologies, and engines. The models will be offered with a manual transmission.

The CT5-V Blackwing will be available starting in summer 2021. Expect pricing to be around the $60,000 mark.

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Jeep is adding the 2021 Cherokee Limited Lux to its lineup this year.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
The Cherokee Latitude is the base grade model and the Cherokee Latitude Plus is one step up from that. For 2021, Jeep is offering the Cherokee Latitude Lux. Think of it as Latitude Plus+. It takes many of the desirable features Jeep offers and combines them with a wallet-friendly price tag.

"The new 2021 Cherokee Latitude LUX truly enhances the Jeep lineup and is a direct reflection of what our customers want and value the most in their vehicle – everyday practicality, exceptional comfort, with outstanding ride and handling characteristics," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. "As the most capable midsize sport-utility vehicle, the Jeep Cherokee continues to offer consumers the ultimate blend of all-weather 4x4 capability and even more standard amenities at an incredible value."

2021 Jeep Cherokee Limited Lux The model features a roster of desirable features.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Latitude Lux sits in the compact SUV's stable between the mid-grade Latitude Plus and Limited trim levels. Latitude is the company's base model and Trailhawk tops out the Cherokee lineup.

It is powered by Jeep's 3.2-liter V6 engine that is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It delivers 29 mpg on the highway and has best-in-class towing capability (4,500 pounds). Buyers can choose to change to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

It features a roster of premium features including Nappa leather seats, power front seats with power lumbar adjuster, heated front seats, premium-wrapped heated steering wheel, remote start, windshield wiper deicer, and the latest Uconnect system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Additionally, the model is eligible to have the Comfort and Convenience Group (security alarm, power liftgate, auto-dimming rearview mirror, air conditioning with dual-zone automatic temperature control, universal garage door opener, 115-volt power outlet, 8.4-in. touchscreen radio, and seven-inch driver information display) added on. The available Sun and Sound Group includes a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and nine-speaker Alpine sound system. Jeep's Trailer Tow Group package is available only on 4x4 models and includes heavy-duty engine cooling, transmission auxiliary oil cooler, Class III hitch receiver, four- and seven-pin trailer-tow wiring harness, and full-size spare tire.

Each Cherokee Latitude Lux comes with a long list of standard safety features including full-speed forward collision warning with active braking, LED lighting, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning with assist, a rearview camera with grid lines, and rain-sensing wipers.

The new model has a starting MSRP of $30,145 for the 4x2 model and the 4x4 comes in at $31,645. There is an added $1,495 destination fee on each model. The Cherokee Latitude Lux is on sale now.

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