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


The Rolls-Royce Dusk in Tokyo collection features unique accents.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Nearly every aesthetic aspect of a Rolls-Royce can be customized. From traditional leather choices to intricate inlays, vapor blasted titanium, and million-stitch embroidery, the options for owners from the Bespoke side of the brand are nearly endless.

"The Bespoke Collective scaled new heights of greatness in 2020 – that they did so against the backdrop of numerous, unprecedented constraints and challenges makes their accomplishments even more impressive," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "Never before have we seen such levels of Bespoke detailing in each commission, demonstrating that Rolls-Royce clients around the world have sought solace in creativity – commissioning introspective items of luxury that will stand the test of time to become lasting and poignant legacies."

Here, AutomotiveMap takes a closer look at some of the most intricate designs that the luxury automaker crafted in 2020. Click here to see their hits list from 2019.

Dusk in Tokyo

Rolls-Royce Dusk in Tokyo interior

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The 'Dusk in Tokyo Collection' is comprised of a Phantom, Wraith, Dawn, and Cullinan that celebrate the life and culture of Japan's capital city. Each model features a z complex, multi-faceted white paint, eponymously named 'Dusk in Tokyo', that is reminiscent of high-rise glass and concrete buildings bathed in the warm light of early dusk. The paint contains aluminum and mica flakes that create subtle tones in low light.

The Black Leather interior, punctuated by Rose Gold Bespoke Audio grilles and on Phantom, the fascia's Rose Gold clock case, is meant as a contrast, just as the long shadows of the city's call buildings cast on the ground below them.

At the cars' face is the Spirit of Ecstasy, presented in Rose Gold for the first time in Japan, representing the setting of the sun.

The Steed Phantom Extended

Rolls-Royce Phantom Steed Extended

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

This horse-themed Phantom features complex bespoke embroidery that embellishes the interior rear doors. The design was developed from a sketch presented to the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design Collective, by a Chinese client with a very clear vision.

Neon Nights Color Trilogy

Rolls-Royce Neon Nights Trilogy

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The new Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective collection featured a limited run of four of each color Dawn, Wraith, and Cullinan models. Each is colored with a hue inspired by the natural world. Read more about these models here.

Phantom 'Iridescent Opulence'

Rolls Royce Iridescent Opulemnce

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

This Phantom includes artwork that originally debuted as a concept in 2017. It was created in partnership with a Swiss materials specialist with the result being a gallery that houses over 3,000 sustainably sourced iridescent tail feathers. These feathers have been hand-sewn in to the open pore fabric. A Mother of Pearl casing surrounds the clock at the heart of the Gallery while bespoke embroidery at the rear waterfall and silver inlays on the picnic tables complete the design.

Wraith 'Inspired by Earth'

Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by Earth

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Earth gave the design team the inspiration for this solar system-themed Wraith. The one-of-a-kind model was showcased earlier this year here on AutomotiveMap.

Wraith Kryptos Collection

Rolls-Royce Wraith Kryptos Collection Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Wraith Kryptos Collection comes complete with its own cipher that is concealed in the cars' bespoke detailing. Just 50 models were commissioned as part of the series. AutomotiveMap took a closer look at the vehicles here earlier this year.

The Mahlangu Phantom

Rolls-Royce The Mahlangu Phantom

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

A South African client commissioned the bespoke model to display a highly personal work of art from globally celebrated South African artist, Dr Esther Mahlangu. Dr Mahlangu, a national icon in Africa from the Ndebele region, was the first artist to create an artwork in this way and the motor car was named 'The Mahlangu Phantom' in her honor. Positioned front and centre in the Phantom's interior, the one-of-a-kind commission is a striking display.

Cullinan Spirt of Russia Collection

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Spirit of Russia

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Four Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUVs were created and dedicated to Russian mountains: Elbrus, Krasnaya Polyana, Golden Mountains, and Klyuchevskaya Sopka. The exteriors of the models are painted Iced Black Diamond, Iced Gunmetal Steel, Midnight Sapphire Blue and Premiere Silver - colors chosen because they are reminiscent of the frosty peaks. Inside each, a map of Russia is on the starlight headliner while mountain peaks are embroidered on the headrests. The engraved sill plates of each car bear an inscription naming the mountain region that inspired its design, as well as the height of the highest peak in each region.

Dawn Silver Bullet Collection

Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection features an ultra-metallic paint job and unique aero cowling. Click here to read more about the car.

Sportive Collection

Rolls-Royce Sportive Collection

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

A Collection of two Black Badge Dawns and nine Black Badge Wraiths were commissioned for the United Arab Emirates. The group features bold color combinations and technical fibers that intertwine to create vibrancy. Each has a hand-painted coastline. They also features woven-leather door panniers and engraved bespoke audio frets.

Arctic White and Hotspur Red Phantom

Rolls-Royce Hotspur Phantom

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

An Arctic White exterior paint job with a double pinstripe in Hotspur Red is just the beginning of this model. The red continues inside where the lambswool floor mats, privacy curtains, and luggage compartment are completed in the color. The 'Lakeshore Aurora' Gallery is designed and created by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective.

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The Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition pays homage to vintage aircraft.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

In the aftermath of World War I, company founder Ettore Bugatti showcased the first three vehicles made by the company that bore his name. They were race cars and Bugatti found itself at the pinnacle of the sport very quickly.

By 1930, the company would begin its relationship with the aerospace industry, first with the Bugatti 100P, which never actually flew due to World War II, but served as the inspiration for a number of patents that are filed by the company. The plane went into storage as the Second World War kicked off and Mr. Bugatti would never again work on it during his lifetime.

Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Bugatti is honoring its racing and aviation past with a new series of Chiron Sport models dubbed "Les Légendes du Ciel". The drivers who piloted the Bugattis to success in the early 1900s were often time multitalented with resumes declaring them flying aces, daredevils, and technically skilled pilots.

"Bugatti has had close associations with aviation since the company was established more than 110 years ago. Many successful Bugatti racing drivers, such as Albert Divo, Robert Benoist and Bartolomeo 'Meo' Costantini, flew for the French Air Force, the French aviator legend Roland Garros privately drove a Bugatti Type 18 to be as fast on the road as in the air," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "It is therefore almost an obligation for us today to pay tribute to the legends of that time and dedicate a special edition to them."

Each of the new models features a special, matte gray "Gris Serpent" paint job, which is inspired by the exterior color of aircrafts from the 1920s. The color extends front to rear with high-contrast, which gloss stripe running up the center. The front wings are adorned with the "Les Légendes du Ciel" logo. The "Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge" tricolor decorates the front area of the side sills made of exposed black carbon fiber.

At the front is Bugatti's traditional horseshoe radiator grille, finished in gloss black. The grille mesh is made of laser-cut and deep-drawn aluminum, and constructed in a dynamic pattern that that is repeated on the car's leather seats. Entry lights project the edition logo on the ground at entry while "Les Légendes du Ciel" logo on the middle console inlays.

Bugatti has covered the engine with black exposed carbon fiber with contrasting white lettering. The material continues at the back where black exposed carbon fibre and a black-coated exhaust trim cover made of 3D printed, high-temperature-resistant Inconel dominate.

The car's interior is almost entirely upholstered in leather. The leather's light brown color was chosen to be reminiscent of the natural leather in early aircrafts. On the door panels there is a hand-sketched racing scene between the Nieuport 17 aircraft and a Bugatti Type 13.

The new Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition is limited to 20 vehicles. Every model is independently numbered and costs $3.5 million.

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