For the past two and a half years, my family and I have explored South Carolina. We've spent days at baseball parks, amusement parks and water parks. We've strolled along boardwalks that line saltmarshes, hug mountain streams and wind through swamps.
We've eaten goat cheese fudge, foot-long hotdogs, oysters, barbecue and some the best fried chicken you'll find anywhere.
And we've had a great time doing it all.
This is my final post as the Family Travel Insider. With my oldest son heading to college next month and the youngest now in possession of a driver's permit, it's time for some different adventures.
In saying goodbye, I thought I'd list just four of our favorite excursions over the past couple years. (And you should know it was extremely hard to limit this list.)
Our summer weekend on Hilton Head Island
topped my boys' list of our favorite destinations. Aside from the hours we spent swimming, bicycling and kayaking around the island, the highlight was spending a few hours dolphin watching with the Island Explorer
. Perfect weather, perfect guide, amazing wildlife and unbeatable scenery.
Exploring downtown Greenville on foot
for a weekend was a great way to see the thriving Upcountry
city -- which has had a remarkable turnaround in the past few decades. Our walk through the downtown park on the Reedy River and our night at the Greenville Drive baseball game were not to be missed. (And I think the visit to downtown Greenville
is at least partly responsible for my son's college choice of Furman University
Visiting three Grand Strand waterparks in one day
might have been the most ambitious -- and exhausting -- day-trip during my two-plus years as an Insider. But it was also one of the most fun. We even found time to stop for a hotdog at Peaches Corner
, a joint on Ocean Boulevard that will always have a place in my Myrtle Beach
Bicycling through downtown Beaufort on a quiet Sunday
, with history-lover Maurice Ungaro as our guide, made for an unforgettable morning. That same weekend, we strolled along the grounds of the Penn Center
, the site of one of the country's first schools for freed slaves. We got a history lesson from docent Robert Middleton, who once was a student at the school. A weekend to remember.
Thanks for letting me tell you about our journeys each week. And a special thank you to all of the readers who emailed, asking questions about your South Carolina vacation plans. It was a pleasure helping you get ready for your trip to our state. I hope you had as much fun visiting as we did exploring our backyard.