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South Carolina has three, loosly defined coastal areas: the Grand Strand, the Charleston area, and the Lowcountry. Sometimes, the Charleston area is grouped with the Lowcountry due to the similar physical and cultural geography of the regions. Listed below is a brief description of these regions, along with specific places or destinations that may interest you based on your own interests:
The Grand Stand is by far the most popular tourist destination in the state, attracting up to 10 million visitors a year who are attracted to its award-winning beaches, dozens of golf courses, and amusement opportunities ranging from kid-friendly to adult-only. Throw in excellent restaurants, great shopping, and a couple of surprises here and there, and the Grand Strand may have your number. If nature is your primary interest, then you may want to consider looking elsewhere on the coast, though Brookgreen Gardens is quite beautiful.
The area is anchored by Myrtle Beach, where much of the lodging, shopping, dining, and amusement opportunties are located. In recent years though, additional development has also occurred up and down the coast, stretching from North Myrtle Beach through Georgetown. Other communities in the region include Atlantic Beach, Briarcliffe Acres, Surfside Beach, Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island, DeBourdieu (deb-i-due), Georgetown, and Conway.
The Lowcountry is one of the nation's most beautiful natural areas. The region has several attractive resort developments along the Atlantic shore and the inland waterways. Golf, tennis, and natural excursions like kayaking and dolphin watching are extremely popular. The region is also renowned for its unqiue Gullah culture and its outstanding local cuisine, served in some of the state's best restaurants. Choose this area if you want to relax and stay away from high-rises and big parties. Do not choose this area if you are looking for bountiful beach-side amusements, boardwalks, and a significant nightlife scene.
There are two communities that anchor this region - Hilton Head Island, a world-renowned resort community, and Beaufort, one of the nation's most historic and charming small towns. Other towns and places include: Bluffton, Hardeeville, Ridgeland, Yemassee, Walterboro, Parris Island, Port Royal, St. Helena Island, Hunting Island State Park, Fripp Island, Harbor Island, and Daufuskie Island.
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