Experience South Carolina in all its beauty and diversity. Climb aboard the "Best Friend of Charleston" train. Stroll along a boardwalk at the beach diorama. Thrill to the accomplishments of South Carolina astronauts. Learn how a South Carolinian invented the laser. Enjoy culture at its best in the spacious Lipscomb Art Gallery. This interactive "people's museum" offers exhibits and programs in art, history, natural history, science and technology. Hands-on exhibits are featured throughout its four-story 1890s building, which housed the world's first all-electric textile mill. Families with young children can learn and play together in the Stringer Discovery Center. The museum store, the Cotton Mill Exchange, offers merchandise in all price ranges. You'll find perfect gifts and mementos of your visit to the Palmetto State, and scrumptious snacks in the Crescent Cafe, such as the museum's fresh, on-site made fudge in a variety of flavors. State school groups tour free with advance arrangements. COMING IN SPRING 2014: WINDOWS TO NEW WORLDS, the museum's $23.5 million, 70,000 square-foot remodeling and expansion, will add a state-of-the-art observatory, 55-foot digital dome planetarium and theater, and the state's largest 4D theater to what is already the largest, most comprehensive museum in the Southeast. While the museum will remain open all through the expansion, the cafe and a few exhibits will be temporarily closed because of construction. Changing exhibits, weekend programs and signature events will continue, however, so bring the family and friends for a visit and don't miss "South Carolina Under One Roof!"