See, Touch and Smell the Beauty of South Carolina
Welcome to South Carolina Smiling Faces. Beautiful Places! The most exciting way to see South Carolina is through the flowering faunas and exploding colors of the state's many gardens. Each garden has a unique feature and history. From swans to giraffes to six foot frogs, your group will find a hidden treasure with each visit that will result in a blastin' good time in South Carolina! Whatever your route into the state, a garden is nearby along with fabulous eateries, some of the nation's most exciting entertainment attractions and a wealth of history dating back 300 years.
Day 1 - Rock Hill/Greenville/Spartanburg
- Your South Carolina Garden Tour will begin at noon at Glencairn Garden * (suggested tour length 45 min.) in Rock Hill. Azaleas aren't the only stars in Glencairn Garden. This magnificent azalea garden is also the home of 'Glenn the Frog.'
- Depart Rock Hill late afternoon for an overnight in the Greenville/Spartanburg area.
Day 2 - Clemson/Greenwood/Newberry
- Begin your day at the South Carolina Botanical Garden * (suggested tour length 2 hrs.) at Clemson University. This garden is home to over 2,200 varieties of ornamental plants covering 270 acres. While there, visit the Fran Hanson Discovery Center and pick up a book on gardening or other attractions in the area. Walk next door to the Geology Museum at the Botanical Gardens. Learn about the fossils that are found just beneath our feet.
- Your next stop will be the George W. Park Seed and Trial Gardens * (suggested tour length 1-2 hrs.) in Greenwood. Park Seed Company is the largest family owned mail-order seed company in the world. Enjoy lunch in downtown Greenwood at many of the local favorite spots.
- Carter & Holmes Orchids in Newberry (suggested tour length 1 hr.) has been welcoming guests for more than 50 years to view and purchase beautiful orchids. Visit all 18 greenhouses.
- Your home tonight will be Columbia... South Carolina's capital city.
Day 3 - Columbia/Hartsville/Sumter
- Rise with the animals this morning and begin at the Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens (suggested tour length for zoo and gardens 3 hrs.).
- Take a leisurely stroll through the Zoo before boarding the tram for the Botanical Garden. If you like, enjoy lunch at The Garden Café in the Botanical Gardens then onto more blastin' good times.
- On the way, we will make a stop at Fryer's Topiary Garden (suggested tour length 1 hr.) in Bishopville. This garden features magnificently sculpted plants in fantastic designs.
- Located on the bluffs of Black Creek, Kalmia Garden of Coker College (suggested tour length 1 hr.)is a must for tree, shrub and flower enthusiasts. Enjoy the quiet beauty of nature as you explore the walking trails.
- A perfect ending to the perfect day is Swan Lake Iris Gardens, home of seven species of swans,* (suggested tour length 1-2 hrs.) known for its extensive plantings of Japanese Iris.
- Let's spend another night in Columbia and enjoy an evening at one of the area's fine eateries.
Day 4 - Aiken/Orangeburg/Moncks Corner
- We will get an early start this morning for Hopeland Gardens and Thoroughbred Hall of Fame in Aiken * (suggested tour length 1.5 hrs.).
- After a trip to Healing Springs and lunch in Blackville we will venture onto more buds and blooms. While in Blackville, drop by the Rivers, Rails and Crossroads Museum and pick up something unique to the area in their Gift Shop.
- Edisto Memorial Gardens * (suggested tour length 1-2 hrs.) in Orangeburg is All-American Rose Selections Display Garden.
- You are invited to explore Cypress Gardens (suggested tour length 1.5 hrs.) in the traditional manner, from the flat-bottom boat!
- Optional home for the night is Moncks Corner or Historic Charleston.
Day 5 - Charleston
- This morning's visit will introduce you to Magnolia Plantation and its Gardens (suggested tour length 2-3 hrs.), America's most unique formal garden and wildlife preserve with the oldest Camillas in the United States.
- Middleton Place (suggested tour length 2-3 hrs.) is an 18th-century plantation that showcases America's Oldest Landscaped Gardens with gracefully contoured terraces and butterfly lakes.
- This evening in Charleston you can choose many menus to suit your taste and top off the night with your choice of the areas entertainment.
Day 6 - Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand Area
- Before departing the next morning, we will visit the Charleston downtown market area and make time for shopping! Our final destination in the Palmetto State is the Myrtle Beach Area.
- For a quiet change of pace, Brookgreen Gardens (suggested tour length 2 hrs.) is a showplace of art and nature with more than 500 of America's finest 19th and 20th century sculptures and more that 2,000 species of plants.
- Choose from the many entertainment theatres, themed restaurants, boat tours or shopping venues.
Note: (*) denotes free admission