COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 2, 2021) - Now that the weather is warming, entertainment activities are picking back up, and the pollen is subsiding, it's time to dust off those suitcases and start planning your getaway to discover something new. This is National Travel and Tourism Week 2021 (May 2-8, 2021), and we'd be remise if we didn't mention how the quality of life assets of the Central SC Region is part of brings - and keeps - people and companies to the heart of South Carolina.
Each of our Region's member counties and city hosts a unique array of communities that offer a eclectic mix of attractions, entertainment and dining experiences that will have you coming back for more. If you're thinking about a day trip, weekend getaway, staycation, or maybe even relocating to the Region, your schedule will only be empty if you let it be.
Nestled just outside of our state's capital city and centermost point, Calhoun County is perfect for stepping away from the hustle-and-bustle and taking in a refreshing breathe of bucolic beauty to rejuvenate your spirit. But don't be fooled by this county's relaxed energy. While you may not be bombarded by the steady hums and honks of packed urban cities, the abundance of outdoor activities in Calhoun will keep you busy in the water, on the trails and among the fauna.
If you're looking for a place to be in the middle of it all, the City of Columbia is where you want to be. Quite literally. Columbia is geographically located in the center of South Carolina, which makes it the perfect destination for finding a little bit of everything that makes our Region and SC special. Enticing people of all ages and tastes with its wide range of outdoor trails and parks, nationally- and locally-acclaimed museums and attractions, and worldly dining experiences, Columbia emanates a palpable vibe that's hard to resist.
Clarendon County is home to popular bicycle producer Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA), a seemingly perfect fit for this outdoorsman's paradise. Brimming with lush natural beauty, cyclists, wildlife explorers, and adventurers can get their fill trekking through pristine landscapes. For those looking to dip their toes into something a little more cooling, Clarendon is bordered along its southwestern edge by one of the largest lakes in the United States - Lake Marion - covering 110,000 acres and known for its big fish and diverse wildlife.
The people of Fairfield County know a good thing when they see it. Honored historic attractions and features speak to the rich and beloved past of this county located in the northern part of our Region. You can take a ride through history at the South Carolina Railroad Museum and tour ageless architecture that's hundreds of years old in the Winnsboro Historic District. When it comes to "good eats," Fairfield residents get competitive with their bar-b-que in a battle for bragging rights that's just as enticing as the food itself!
Kershaw County possesses some unique claims to fame that may surprise you. The small town of Boykin has produced some big things, like the state's official dog breed, the Boykin Spaniel, and a surprising quirky annual Christmas parade that attracts tens of thousands of people from nearby communities. The county's historic city of Camden is the oldest inland city of South Carolina. Here, you can be immersed in its "classic Carolina" lifestyle while dining at one of the many delicious eateries, shopping at its charming boutiques, or taking in a horse race on historic steeplechase grounds.
You'll find southern living at its finest in Lexington County where the flavors and flare of the local lifestyle will help you create lasting memories. This suburban oasis has been expanding over the past few years with a burgeoning arts scene and breweries on tap to whet your whistle. Lexington's allure sparkles along the shoreline of the Jewel of South Carolina where you can cruise the evening away, and it brings you closer to nature at its nationally top-ranked 170-acre zoo popular for its wildlife and lush gardens.
Life is an experience when in Newberry County. This picturesque community emanates small-town charm and easy living, but the relaxed atmosphere is complimented by a spread of exciting sights and sounds. The county buzzes with entertainment venues, tourist destinations and dining experiences that will keep your plate full. At the center of it all, the City of Newberry earns its nickname "The City of Friendly Folks" for good reason. The people here will welcome you with a level of southern hospitality that's earned this community Travel Channel's title of "Most Charming Small Towns in America".
As the largest county by landmass in our Region, there's much to do and much to see in Orangeburg County. Visit during the spring to take in one of the Southeastern Tourism Society's top 20 events - the Festival of Roses. During the summer and fall, paddle your way through an old cypress forest, camp under the stars and reel in a catfish at the Santee State Park, or take to one of the many local golf courses for a day on the greens. As cooler weather moves in for the winter months, light up your night with drive or walk through the Children's Garden Christmas Walk, a long-running tradition that dazzles spirits during the holiday season.
Richland County is where people and experiences converge. The county hosts an idyllic and tranquil natural respite among city life with three major rivers, walking and cycling trails, and greenspaces to gather. A melting pot of culture and community, Richland is home to numerous educational and discovery museums, celebrates local creativity streetside with markets and art displays, and is the epicenter for many cultural celebrations and festivals. When you're ready to wind down for the day, you can enjoy a sunset view from one of the many rooftop restaurants and bars dotting the city skyline.
There's even more to enjoy in the communities of the Central SC Region. Take our quiz and test your knowledge on some of the local attractions!
And, learn more about each of our valued members that make the heart of SC a great place to visit, live and work. Visit their pages and check out their "Five Fun Facts" videos to learn more about the lifestyle and industries you'll find in their communities: CALHOUN | CITY OF COLUMBIA | CLARENDON | FAIRFIELD | KERSHAW | LEXINGTON | NEWBERRY | ORANGEBURG | RICHLAND