35 Things You Need To Know About South Carolina Before You Move ThereThere Are just so many things about the The Palmetto State, but we had to stop somewhere, right?
1. Clemson v. South Carolina Is A Rivalry Of Historic Proportions
Also known as The Battle of the Palmetto State, the rivalry between the Clemson Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks goes way, way back—and the rivalry is not entirely about college football. USC and Clemson have been bitter rivals since the 1880s due to political tensions regarding post-Civil War reconstruction. But today, it’s all about the football. And everyone in South Carolina has chosen a side! Perhaps equally important, no one would miss the tailgate! The tailgate attracts thousands of rowdy fans each year and is almost as fun as attending the game itself.
2. Folks In South Carolina Really Know How To Shag
And not the kind of shagging that Austin Powers was talking about… The 'Carolina Shag' is a partner dance born in South Carolina. This mixture of the jitterbug and swing dancing is a lot of fun and not too hard to learn—especially since South Carolinians practically learn it before they learn to walk.
3. Everyone In South Carolina Is Practically An Amphibian
There are so many different ways to enjoy all types of water in South Carolina—there are swimming holes, creeks, lakes, and of course, the ocean. You can kayak saltwater creeks and marshes (where you can see dolphins if you’re lucky!), go jet skiing in the ocean or on the lake, or swim freely in any number of South Carolina’s swimming holes. Check out Shem Creek, Clark Sound, Lake Jocasse, or Folly Beach.
4. Hot Sauce. On. Everything.
Everyone knows Texas Pete is great, but there’s also a ton of local hot sauces to enjoy in South Carolina, like Carolina Sauce Company, Palmetto Pepper Potions, and PuckerButt, who carries the famous Smoking Ed's Carolina Reaper, which has set the new Guinness world record for hottest hot sauce in the world. Also, beware: there’s ghost chili sauce in many a recipe in SC. This pepper acts the way it sounds…like a ghost, creeping up on you. Definitely the most intense “aftertaste” around.
5. This Is The Birthplace Of Sweet Tea And Southern Hospitality
Summerville, South Carolina is often known as the birthplace of sweet tea. As many know, all tea in South Carolina is “sweet” (unsweetened tea is not even an option!) But no one does sweet tea like Summerville. Sidenote: Summerville is so sweet that it’s also known as the birthplace of Southern hospitality! All those “Yes ma’ams,” “Yes, sirs,” “bless your hearts,” “pleases” and “thank yous” were also born in Summerville in addition to sweet tea!
6. And Try Some Sweet Tea For Grown Folks, Too
Having your first sip of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka is a South Carolina right of passage. What better way to celebrate, well, anything, than with shots of Firefly?
7. Oh. My. Dear. Lord. South Carolinian Hush Puppies
Don’t feel badly if the first time you encounter hush puppies, you eat over a hundred in one sitting. Who could blame you? These deep fried corn batter snacks are a huge part of why living in South Carolina is so amazing. Like some seafood with your hush puppies? Try the hush puppies at Charleston Crab House—they’re some of the best in all of South Carolina.
8. Nothing Says South Carolina Like Trees Draped In Spanish Moss
Something that almost every South Carolinian will find themselves missing when traveling outside of South Carolina is Spanish moss. The Spanish moss is everywhere you look in the Palmetto State and when a true South Carolinian sees it, they’re instantly reminded of all things home.
9. Be Prepared To Get Very Picky About Blue Crab
Blue Crabs are a South Carolina favorite. These delicious little shellfish are perfect for a true South Carolina crab pickin’, which is exactly what it sounds like, a pile of delicious blue crabs is placed in front of you for you to pick at and enjoy!
10. There’s Nothing South Carolinians Love More Than Napping In Hammocks
Many believe that the standard for the classic American hammock was actually set in South Carolina on Pawleys Island. So, obliviously, many argue that the best hammocks in the country are the original Pawleys Island rope hammocks. This probably explains why so many South Carolinians love lounging in hammocks in backyards, on beaches, on porches, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of.
11. Homemade Biscuits. All Day. Everyday.
There’s no doubt about it, South Carolinian biscuits are the best in the world. And, obviously, homemade biscuits are clearly the best. So, if you’re looking for some authentic, made-with-love, South Carolina biscuits, you better head to Poogan’s Porch in Charleston. You’ll enjoy every buttery and delicious bite.
12. You Will Want To Put SC's Famous Mustard-based BBQ Sauce On Everything
While South Carolina enjoys a plethora of different kinds of BBQ sauce, they’re most known for their mustard-based BBQ sauces (compared to the vinegar-based BBQ sauces of North Carolina). And what better way to enjoy your BBQ sauce than smothering it on everything in sight? Trust me, you’ll never taste a better BBQ pulled pork in your life than the one you have in South Carolina.
13. South Carolinians Can Be Very Explosive About Their Country
Everyone knows South Carolina is the best place to be on Fourth of July. In addition the many large firework shows that take place on beaches and in parks, pretty much everyone, everywhere has their own, private fireworks show. Fireworks are legal in South Carolina, so people go big or go home when it comes to private shows. You basically learn how to shoot off a firework at the age of 3 in South Carolina, so don’t worry about safety—everyone in the Palmetto State is a fireworks pro.
14. Rocking Chairs On Front Porches Will Become Your New Best Friends
Let’s face it, South Carolina front porches are epic. Sometimes they wrap around the an entire house, sometimes the porches are built on two or even three stories of the home, and they’re always filled with comfy places to sit and relax. Most South Carolinians, however, prefer the rocking chair: there’s nothing in the world as soothing as a Carolina front porch, complete with a rocking chair and some sweet tea.
15. Don’t Feed The Gators…No, Seriously. Just Don’t
Ever seen signs in parks telling you not to feed the birds? Yeah, well South Carolina has their own version of this: “Don’t feed the gators.” Sure, we should assume this means we shouldn’t throw crumbs at gators. But this nifty little sign is also there to remind you not to let yourself be what the gator feeds on! South Carolina’s warm temperatures and wetlands make for an excellent climate for gators, which is probably why 100,000 alligators call the Palmetto State home. So, seriously, watch your back!
16. There’s Nothing Shrimpy About South Carolina's Love Of Shrimp and Grits
While all things grits are amazing, South Carolinians have a special place in their hearts for the traditional southern dish of shrimp and grits. The best place to get them? Boulevard Diner in Mount Pleasant. You’ll thank me later!
17. You’ve Never Really Seen A Sunrises Until You See One In South Carolina
As if the biscuits alone weren’t worth getting out of bed early for, South Carolina also has the best sunrises in America. Don’t believe me? Wait until you see a sunrise at Botany Bay Sunrise in Edisto Island. This is, by far, one of the most unique—and gorgeous—places to start your morning.
18. Prepare Yourself For Cookouts Every Weekend... And Most Weekdays
There’s nothing South Carolinians like more than cookouts. South Carolinian cookout secret? Wrap your corn in bacon, cover it in tinfoil, then put it on the grill…your arteries might regret it, but your taste buds won’t. No better way to turn your vegetables into pure deliciousness…
19. Celebrate Southern Music At A South Carolina Bluegrass Festival
South Carolina is filled with amazing bluegrass festivals that take place year-round. Try the Edisto Island Mostly Bluegrass Festival on Edisto Island if you want to experience the bluegrass scene in SC.
20. Sit Under A Giant Angel Oak Tree At John’s Island
John’s Island is the largest island in South Carolina and the fourth largest island on the east coast. Ripe with history, wildlife, gardens, marshes, trails, and, of course, beaches, this island is one of the best places to visit in SC. The island is also especially known for its giant oak trees. Go to the Angel Oak Park and see what’s believed to be the oldest—and most beautiful—tree east of the Mississippi.
21. Touch The South Carolina Sky On The Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel
Yes, the SkyWheel is super touristy. But it’s also super fun—especially if you enjoy heights! You’ll get a beautiful view of all of Myrtle Beach. My advice: go at night on a full moon! It’s more thrilling, and the city lights are beautiful against the backdrop of the rolling ocean and full moon.
22. Head To Fort Sumter For A Blast To The Past
South Carolina is chock full of Civil War History. Come see for yourself by visiting Fort Sumter at Charleston Harbor. It’s best is best known as the site upon which the shots that started the American Civil War were fired, at the Battle of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861
23. Commune With Nature With An Aquatic Adventure In The Low-Country Marshes
The low-country marshes in South Carolina are not only gorgeous, but also a lot of fun. You can paddle board, kayak or canoe through the marshes and enjoy the simplicity and quiet of nature.
24. Palmettos. Palmetto’s Everywhere
The Palmetto State is pretty obsessed with the palmetto. Not only is it on the state flag, but it’s also on pretty much everything else you can think of. Wine glasses, beer koozies, towels, umbrellas, clothing, bumper stickers…No other state in the world is as proud of its state tree!
25. And If You Want To Get Up Close And Personal With Some Palmettos, Head To Hunting Island State Park
Hunting Island State Park is a 5,000-acre, secluded tropical island 15 miles east of Beaufort. Enjoy the nature trails, visit the lighthouse, or camp out on the beach under the stars. Regardless, you’ll enjoy this striking island getaway.
26. Jones Gap Is A Great Place To Catch Some Fish With Your Best Friends
Located in Marietta, Jones Gap is the perfect place for trout fishing and camping. It’s a gorgeous state park with plenty of places to hike, camp, and explore. Whatever you catch during the day, you can cook at your campsite at night.
27. Just thinking About Southerly Makes Folks In South Carolina’s Mouths Water
If you’re looking for a delicious Southern breakfast, you NEED to go to Southerly. While the restaurant is fairly new, it’s quickly gaining popularity, even winning Open Table’s 2014 Diner of the Year award. This restaurant raises Southern comfort food to the next level of awesome: homemade sticky buns, fried chicken and waffles, potato hash with melted cheese, duck confit hash, grits, delicious pancakes topped with fresh, and amazing fried green tomatoes "cackalacky," which are smothered with cheddar, topped with country ham, scrambled eggs, and cackalacky hollandaise!
28. Get Used To The Saying “Bless your heart” And Other Southern Niceties
South Carolinians are taught their manners before they’re taught anything else (well, maybe with the exception of shag dancing…) So when you move here you’ll learn quickly learn the phrase, “Bless your heart!”
29. Visiting The Battery In Charleston Is Good For The Soul
The Battery in Charleston is one of the most beautiful spots in South Carolina. There are breathtaking views of the ocean, surrounded by colorful southern mansions with winding front porches, Spanish moss, palm trees, walking and bike paths, and benches for resting.
30. South Carolina Has The Most Picturesque Gardens In The World
It’s true. South Carolina has amazing gardens. Magnolia Plantation is home to some of the most quintessential Southern gardens in South Carolina. It’s a perfect place to look for hidden bridges, pick flowers, and explore the ponds and streams. Tip: Visit during the annual butterfly release. Too far from Magnolia? South Carolina Botanical Gardens is also a great spot to visit if you’re looking for a garden fix. Located on Clemson University’s campus, this garden has nature trails, pathways, ponds, streams, woodlands, and—of course—some gorgeous flowers.
31. South Carolina Has Oyster Roasts Like You Would Not Believe
If South Carolina can do anything, its roast oysters! The state is full of oyster festivals for you to enjoy—try heading to the South Carolina Oyster Festival in Columbia, which attracts hundreds of visitors each year.
32. Blow Your Taste Buds’ Minds At The South Carolina Festival of Discovery
What’s more South Carolina than BBQ and Blues? Head to the South Carolina Festival of Discovery and discover the taste of real Carolina Barbeque, black kettle hash and the unique music sound of traditional Blues. Plus: funnel cake. Oh my God, funnel cake.
33. South Carolinians Always Brake For Boiled Peanuts On The Side Of The Road
To outsiders, it may seem strange that South Carolinians boil peanuts. And it may seem even stranger that these boiled peanuts are sold on the side of the road. But the minute you try a boiled peanut, you’ll completely understand why these babies need to be roadside at all times. Boiled peanuts are a true South Carolina treasure.
34. Take Up A Sweet New Hobby: Weaving Baskets Out Of Sweetgrass
Sweetgrass basket weaving in Charleston, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant is a local tradition. Today, you can learn to make them yourself or purchase the unique baskets at farmers markets in the area.
35. Visit One Of The Highest Tree Canopies In The World At Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park preserves the largest forest of old growth bottomland hardwood left in the United States. This 26,546-acre national park is home to some of the tallest trees on the East Coast and form one of the highest temperate deciduous forest canopies remaining in the world. This is a unique and gorgeous park that should not be missed! South Carolina is a state that should be explored to its fullest—there are trees and mountains, oceans and lakes, marshes and creeks, grits and fried green tomatoes, biscuits and sweet tea, front porches and hammocks…Trust me. It won’t take long to fall in love with this exciting state.
What do you love about living in South Carolina? Leave a comment and let us know!