Touring South Carolina
A leisurely drive through the small towns and villages in the region provides an enjoyable way to while away an afternoon. Nearby towns include Dillon, Mullins, Marion, Bennettsville, Darlington, Hartsville, and Florence.
There are a wide variety of museums in the area with displays ranging from house museums to Revolutionary War artifacts, turn of the 20th Century farming, and small-town life.
- Dillon House Museum, The Dillon County Court House, Pages Mill Pond, and Bear Swamp Baptist Church
- South Carolina Tobacco Museum
- South Carolina Cotton Museum
- Hartsville Museum
- Marlboro County Museums
- Florence Museum of Art, Science, and History
- War Between the States Museum, Florence Stockade, and National Cemetery
South Carolina is known for its temperate climate and long growing season. Spring and fall are wonderful times to visit many of the gardens in the area.
- Brookgreen Gardens, on the way to Charleston or as a day trip, Brookgreen is a must-see. America’s first public sculpture garden, it was created in 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington on the site of an eighteenth-century rice plantation. The collection has 1200 works spanning the entire period of American sculpture from the early 1800s to the present. Over 50 acres of gardens and landscape settings create an extraordinarily beautiful combination of art and nature.
- Kalmia Gardens in Hartsville, developed in the 1930s on the site of the early 19th-century plantation of Captain Thomas Hart for whom Hartsville is named. Kalmia is owned and operated by Coker College for the enjoyment of the public.
- Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter covers 45 acres and has a magnificent collection of eight varieties of live swans from North and South America, Europe, England, Asia, and Australia. The Iris Gardens cover 150 acres with 25 varieties of Japanese or Kaempferi iris in an incredible rainbow of colors blooming from mid-May through June.
- Fryar’s Topiary Garden in Bishopville includes three acres of sculpted plants by self-taught garden artist, Pearl Fryer. A complete organic garden, it includes exotic, dynamic, and awe-inspiring creations.
“The Track too Tough to Tame” is the birthplace of modern-day NASCAR racing. Today the number one spectator sport has its roots in Darlington. The once a year Mother’s Day weekend race is attended by in excess of 75,000. During the rest of the year, you can visit the extensive Darlington Raceway museum or arrange for a special driving experience at the track.
Each of the small towns has at least one antique shop and some have several shops where you can often find that perfect collectible or gift. Most shops are closed on Sunday and Monday with hours starting at 10 am on other days. Many dealers from larger cities are often found shopping at these stores to stock their own shops.