All fifty states in the USA are unique in their own way. While the world seems very familiar with places like Florida, Texas, and New York, there are some states in North America that get completely overlooked.
One of those states is South Carolina. This may be because it shares a border with another similar state, North Carolina, or because it isn’t too familiar with holidaymakers. Either way, there is a lot you probably do not know about South Carolina. As such, here are a few things you may need to know.
It Has A Monkey Colony
Monkeys are often native to parts of Africa or Asia. That is why you might be surprised that there is a monkey colony in South Carolina. In 1979, over one thousand rhesus monkeys were shipped to Morgan Island as part of a research project. The project ended decades ago, and the monkey population has now expanded to include over four thousand of the same species of monkey. Since then, the island has gained the nickname of Monkey Island but is not open to visitors. There are boats that will take you near the island for a photo opportunity, but there is no guarantee that the rhesus monkeys will approach the shore.
It Is Worth Discovering by Car
Driving in South Carolina offers a picturesque journey through charming cities and stunning landscapes. Starting in the coastal gem of Charleston, with its historic architecture and vibrant culture, you can cruise along the scenic Highway 17 towards the enchanting town of Beaufort, known for its antebellum mansions and waterfront charm. Continuing west, the rolling hills of Greenville beckon with its thriving downtown scene and outdoor adventures in nearby Falls Park. Traveling south, the Lowcountry beauty of Hilton Head Island allures with pristine beaches and world-class golf courses.
Drivers can receive a learner’s permit at fifteen and a half, and you are legally required to have car insurance in South Carolina. You can head to The Hartford to research South Carolina policies for car insurance, and drivers from out of state will need an out-of-state driver’s license. These types of licenses will be valid for around ninety days.
First Barbecue Ever
While there is no way to confirm this historical fact, it is largely believed that the barbecue was first used in South Carolina. What most Americans consider the traditional method of barbecuing was started by smoking pig meat in South Carolina by the Native Americans.
Trees can often live for hundreds of years. As such, there are many places that consider themselves the home of the world’s oldest tree. One of those places happens to be Charleston in South Carolina.
The Angel Oak is found on Johns Island and is said to be over five-hundred years old. This one tree takes up over one hundred and eighty-seven feet, and you can visit the site of the famous tree for free.
Purple Martin Migration at Lake Murray
Each year, South Carolina witnesses an incredible natural phenomenon known as the Purple Martin migration. These migratory birds travel thousands of miles from Brazil to North America and make a stopover in Bomb Island, located in Lake Murray, in South Carolina. The island becomes home to millions of these birds, creating a breathtaking spectacle for bird enthusiasts.
It Has a State Dance
South Carolina is the only state in the United States that has an official state dance. In 2000, the Carolina Shag, a lively and rhythmic dance that originated along the beaches of Myrtle Beach, was designated as the state dance. It reflects the vibrant beach culture of the state.
South Carolina was a prominent center for rice cultivation during the colonial era. The wetland areas of the state, particularly in the Lowcountry, provided ideal conditions for growing rice. The expertise in rice cultivation was brought to South Carolina by enslaved Africans, who played a significant role in the state’s agricultural history.
The rice fields of South Carolina formed the economic backbone of the region, with Charleston emerging as a major hub for rice export. However, the industry declined after the Civil War due to labor shortages and the devastating effects of hurricanes on the rice fields. Today, remnants of the once-thriving rice plantations can still be found in the Lowcountry, serving as a reminder of South Carolina’s rich agricultural heritage.
It is Known as the Peach Capital of the South
South Carolina is recognized as the “Peach Capital of the South” due to its significant peach production. The state’s warm climate and fertile soil provide optimal conditions for growing juicy and delicious peaches, making them a favorite summertime treat.
To conclude, South Carolina is a place brimming with life. The state holds a trove of lesser-known facts that add depth to its historical, cultural, and natural tapestry. The historic streets of Charleston, with its cobblestone roads and antebellum architecture, offer a glimpse into the state’s past, while the natural beauty of its lakes and beaches provide awe-inspiring encounters with the outdoors. As you dive into the culture the state, keep an eye out for all of the details that make it special: from its authentic accent to its vibrant beach dances, this is a destination that will create waves of nostalgia.