A humid subtropical climate was observed along the Atlantic coastline, but further north, the state areas are comparatively less humid. The average daytime temperature ranges between 86-93 °F, which is hot, and the overnight temperatures vary between 70-74°F in the coastline and 66-73 °F in the inland. Winter temperatures largely vary. The coastal areas experience a temperature of 60 °F (16 °C) during daytime and overnight temperature of 40°F (5-8 °C). Snowfall is very uncommon in South Carolina with the coastal areas receiving an average of 2.5cm and sometimes not a recordable amount of snow. The interior parts receive an average of 15.24cm of snow annually. Freezing rains are more common than the snowfall.
The state is occasionally affected by tropical cyclones and the time period from June 1 to November 30 is considered “Hurricane Season.” The state was hit by two memorable category 4 hurricanes, named Hazel and Hugo, in the years 1954 and 1989 respectively. The state averages around 50 days of thunderstorm every year and less vulnerable to tornadoes than the farther south which averages to 14 tornadoes annually. Some of the remarkable tornadoes are noted on September 6-7, 2004, August 16, 1994, March 28, 1984, and April 30, 1924.
On September 7, 2004, 43 tornadoes touched down, setting a new one day record. These tornadoes caused widespread damage in the area causing over $1.7 million dollars in damages. On August 16, 1994, there was an outbreak of 22 tornadoes that were confirmed. One tornado hit the Town of Lexington’s central business district which incurred over $50 million in damage.
On March 28, 1984, eleven tornadoes touched down from Anderson County all the way through Marlboro County. The damages were estimated at $100 million. This was the second highest loss of life from these horrific tornadoes.
The highest tornado death toll in South Carolina’s history occurred on April 30, 1924 when two tornadoes struck. The paths of both were unusually long each covering over 100 miles. These caused death to 77 people, injured 778 and destroyed over 450 homes. Many of the other buildings had several million dollars in damages. “The Horrell Hill Tornado”, was the more destructive of these two.
Earthquakes are common in South Carolina. The worst earth quake was on August 31, 1886, at 9:51 pm in Charleston and was estimated to have a magnitude of 7.6. This was felt over two and a half million square miles, i.e. from Cuba to New York and from Bermuda to the Mississippi River. This is was worst earthquake the eastern shore had experienced. And after twenty seven years, the union county earthquake on Jan 1, 1913, at 1:28 PM has a magnitude of 5.5. This incurred a minimal loss when compared to 1,886 earthquakes. According to a recent study, it was found that South Carolina has a history of five large paleo-earthquakes in the past 5,000 years. These kinds of earthquakes cause the liquid mass in the earth’s crust move to the surface which causes an extensive damage to the existing facilities and property.
South Carolina State Parks preserve and protect their historic and natural attractions. These are the gateways to natural and re-creational destinations and also among the best attractions and tourist spots in the country. They protect the natural scenic beauty and wonders in the form of wildlife habitats in mountain and coastal forests throughout the state. Besides this, the state is also well-known for bird-watching, nature study, photography, fishing, water rafting. Lots of fun can be found for the entire family within these local and national parks found throughout the state. A few of them are described below:
Congaree National Park is one of the largest, remnants of the old-grown floodplain forest in the continent. It also holds a wide variety of canoe tours, talks and presentations throughout the year. There are many other popular activities include backpacking, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. It is also designated as Wilderness Area, International Biosphere Area, and as a National Natural Landmark.
Jones Gap State Park includes the Middle Saluda River, which is the state’s first scenic known river. There are many activities that can be done such as trout fishing, water rafting, trailside camping etc. It also includes few portions of Cleveland Fish Hatchery. Aiken State Natural Park is spread out around the Aiken Lake. This place would be of great choice for a family camping.
Andrew Jackson State Park is about 360-acre, and is established in 1952 and named under the South Carolina’s president Andrew Jackson. This park also offers everything from hiking, fishing and camping. T he main attraction is the bronze statue of Andrew Jackson. It also includes a schoolhouse and a little amphitheater.
Chester State Park is located in a town named Chester, and is about 523 acres. This state park also includes a lake which is about 160 acre and is one of the largest. It is established in 1930’s and is built by Civilian Conversation Corps. Community building, archery range and placid setting are few of the attractions to this state park. This is also famous for fishing, canoeing and kayaking.
Devils Fork State Park is one of the largest in South Carolina, which is about 622 acres. It is established in 1990, and located in the northwestern part of South Carolina. Like all the parks, it also offers activities like fishing, kayaking and canoeing. Apart from these, it is also well-known for rainbow, brown trout, bream and catfish. This park also includes walk-ramps. There are also many small water-falls which is a major attraction.
Hunting Island State Park is also one of the largest which is about 5,000 acres. It is well-known for its 19th century light house and is one the most visited place in South Carolina. This is established in 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. This supports a huge wildlife including deer, alligators, raccoons and hundreds of species of birds. There is also a center located in this Island State Park which provides general information to the visitors about the island and its history.
South Carolina, with shoreline of 200 miles, attracts water sport lovers and has America’s best family beaches. Recreation in the natural areas include camping, biking, hiking, hunting, fishing and exploring some plantations of South Carolina. Plantations are one of the most popular South Carolina attractions and are a great way to experience some of the history of the state. Botanical gardens and antique furniture characterize most of the southern plantations. The Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach are the most popular choices for the visitors. Myrtle Beach is made for family fun and is a perfect place to hang out with the family. The cities of Charleston and Columbia attract tourists where they can a find a piece of South Carolina’s history. The golf courses and the tennis courts along the shore in the Hilton head are a perfect place to relax on a holiday. The mountains in the northwest are great for camping, hiking and horseback riding. Stretching 60 miles from little river to Georgetown, South Carolina’s grand strand was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.
South Carolina hosts a number of festivals almost all the year. Every year in the months of May and June, The city of Charleston puts on one of the biggest South Carolina attractions called Spoleto Festival, inspired by a festival in the town of Spoleto in Italy which features operas, dances and musical performances and more.
Every April on the island of Hilton head, the PGA Tour heads to the Harbor Town Golf Links at the Sea Pines Plantation for a weekend golf tournament. Visitors participate in the game, and the winners are awarded. The Spring Fling in the month of May in the town of Spartanburg is a favorite craft festival in South Carolina. It is marked by beautiful spring flowers in full bloom through the park near the Community Center where the festival takes place. The MOJA festival is celebrated in the city of Charleston every October showing African-American heritage in South Carolina.
The Patriots point along the shores of Charleston bay is one of the largest naval and maritime museums in the United States. These museums exhibit South Carolina’s history about wars and revolutions. The collection includes firearms, photographs, flags, edges weapons, clothing, currency, letters, newspapers and other items from military. The Greenville Zoo, Greenville, and the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia are fun places for children. The Riverbanks Zoo is South Carolina’s largest zoo and one of the first to join the trend of creating natural habitats for zoo animals. They also take an active role in the protection of endangered species. More than 2,000 animals are housed in a natural habitat which creates a bars free environment with water, moats and light. The Botanical garden which extends over an area of seventy acres exhibits both native and exotic plant species which attracts the visitors and obviously nature lovers.
South Carolina is a nice place for historical shopping. There are a number of local craftsmen who grab your attention with their sweet grass baskets made the old fashioned way.
South Carolina was first invaded by the Spanish in 1556 and later conquered by the British. The province of Carolina was named after Charles I of England by his son Charles II on March 24, 1663 and was rewarded to his eight faithful noble men who helped him to restore monarchy in English, Scottish and Irish empires. These people are called the proprietors. The province of Carolina was divided into the North and the South in the year 1712, but remained under the same group of people. In 1729, upon the complete division of the province, North and South Carolina became the royal colonies of the British.
On advent of the British, the first permanent colony was established in the year 1670, at Albemarle Point under William Sayle. A fundamental constitution was written to govern the state in the year 1669 but was never ratified. The main power vested in the hands of the proprietors and the governors and there is a relatively weak assembly elected by the people. They made Charles town, which is now Charleston their capital and their center for culture.
The Native Americans and Africans were made their slaves and worked on the plantations set up by wealthy colonists, while many of the free men cultivated the land granted by the proprietors. A number of Europeans migrated to the colony between 1730 and 1740 and settled in the middle and uplands.
In 1776, a revolution for independence broke out and an independent government of South Carolina was setup. Although the British failed to seize Charleston in the American Revolution in 1776, they besieged it in 1780. Columbia was chosen as the new capital. The federal constitution was ratified in 1788 and the royal charter was replaced with a state charter.
After the civil war, on Lincoln’s election as the next president to the United States, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. During the American Revolution, a number of wars were fought in South Carolina. Some of them are Battle of Cowpens, Battle of Kings Mountain, Yamasee War and Queen Anne’s War. The battle of Cowpens took place in the year 1781 in which the Americans re-conquered South Carolina from the British. The battle of Kings Mountain, 1780 was a decisive victory of the American revolutionary war. South Carolina has a remarkable place in the American Revolution.
Slavery prevailed until 1860’s and the plantation owners imported African workers to cultivate rice and Indigo. Slave owners have major control over the state and occupied majority of the seats in the state legislature. Majority of the population in South Carolina is black and so the lower house is majority of black. But the Democratic Party restricted primarily to whites, even though the majority of people were black in the state.
South Carolina is famous for lakes and covers about 683 total square miles. These lakes attract a large number of tourists in particular seasons and many of them also provide hydro-electric power. Some of the famous and largest lakes are described below:
Lake Strom Thurmond is one of the south-eastern largest and the most recreational lake. There is a dam built here by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers as a part of the flood control, hydro power and navigation project. The main purpose is for recreation, water supply, fish and wildlife management. This is a man-made lake and is created by J. Strom Thurmond, located on the Savannah River. The surface area is about 71,100 acres.
Lake Hartwell is a reservoir between Georgina and South Carolina. This is also a man made and is created by Hartwell Dam and is also located in the Savannah River. Its surface area is about 56,000 acres and of a depth 185 ft. It is well-known for its activities such as fishing water skiing and boating. This supports a large variety of species such as the bream, catfish, walleye, and largemouth bass.
Russell Lake is also a reservoir and is constructed by Richard B. Russell on the Savannah River. This is about 26,650 acres. The borders are Elbert Country, Georgia and Abbeville and Anderson countries in South Carolina. This is being prohibited from private use of the lake’s shoreline by the Corps of Engineers, as of which the shoreline of the lake is almost undeveloped.
Lake Murray is also a reservoir in South Carolina and is approximately 50,000 acres. This is mainly used in providing hydroelectric power in the state of South Carolina. This is mainly fed by the river named Saluda. It is named after the project’s chief William S. Murray. Apart from providing power it is also well known for recreational attractions, with fishing and boating as the popular activities.
Lake Keowee is also a reservoir between the Keowee and Little River Dam. It impounds both the Keowee and the Little River. This is mainly used as cooling water for nuclear reactors located at the Oconee Nuclear Generating Station which is a part of Duke Energy Corporation. This generates of about 158MW power. The lake is about 18,372 acres. This is one of the purest and clear lakes in North America. This also supports activities such as boating, fishing, kayaking, sailing and swimming.
Lake Wylie is a reservoir between South Carolina and North Carolina. This is about 13,400 acres in size. This is impounded the Catawba River. This is also utilized in providing hydro-electric power. This also supports activities like boating fishing, skiing etc. This is famous mainly for its scenic beauty. Throughout the year it is colorful with a variety of flowers round the lake. It also supports a large variety of water life. A lot of tourists are attracted towards the beauty in fall season. The lakes shoreline stretches from the Mountain Island Dam through the Duke Power.