Marion is a beautiful Victorian small southern town with small shops, friendly people, antiques, good restaurants, and old homes. Walking tours are scenic, downtown is easily accessible from The Grove, and the innkeepers are eager to acquaint you with this lovely old town. The town square features a Robert Mills Courthouse and a statue of General Francis Marion of Revolutionary War fame. The Marion County Museum, housed in an old school building, is an interesting stop and is located on a street which shows many of the old Victorian homes. For more information about Marion, please visit theswampfox.com.
Mullins, about nine miles from Marion, is home to the South Carolina Tobacco Museum. The Museum’s curator is a fountain of information about the area and its local shops and wonderful places to eat lunch and dinner.
Darlington Raceway, home of the Darlington 500, offers NASCAR fans thrills and chills as their favorite drivers race around the oval track which is too tough to tame.
The South Carolina Cotton Museum is located in Bishopville, a small agricultural-based town. Visit their website for hours of operation. Also located on the outskirts of Bishopville, conveniently off of I-20, is Fryar’s Topiary Garden, a beautiful example of unusual topiaries created by Pearl Fryar, who is self taught in his art.
Florence has good shopping and fine dining. The Columns, located between Marion and Florence, hosts a Civil War re-enactment of the Skirmish at Gamble’s Hotel each March. The Columns is a mid-nineteenth century plantation famous for the columns encircling the plantation house. Call 843.669.6730 for tour and battle information.
The Lumber, Little Pee Dee, and Great Pee Dee Rivers provide scenic flat water canoeing and kayaking experiences. Betwixt the Rivers offers several packages available for length of trip, meals, etc.
Myrtle Beach offers an ever growing lineup of fun and new attractions. Market Commons, the new heart of downtown Myrtle Beach, offers great shopping and fine dining from Ann Taylor to P. F. Chang's China Bistro. Visit Coastal Grand Mall, the largest mall in South Carolina with nearly 1 million square feet of retail space. Complete your shopping spree at the Tanger Outlets and Broadway at the Beach with over 350 acres of shops, restaurants, night life and attractions. Don't forget to play a round of golf at one of Myrtle Beach's many famous golf courses.
Located about an hour from The Grove, Brookgreen Gardens is home to flora, fauna and sculpture which are all highlighted in their native habitats on the backwaters of the Waccamaw River. Directly across Highway 17 from Brookgreen Gardens is Huntington Beach State Park, where you may visit an unspoiled beach, walk the nature trail over the marsh, and see Atalaya Castle, summer home of the Huntingtons, who established Brookgreen Gardens.
Georgetown, located on the banks of Winyah Bay, is an old historic seaport town and home to the Rice Museum. This museum tells the history of the rice culture on the plantation, and offers a house tour. For a look at “town” living visit Georgetown.
A beautiful old town situated on the banks of the Waccamaw River, Conway has a wonderful walking trail, boutique shopping and antique shops, coupled with a river walk, kayaking at Conway Kayak, and fine restaurants. The trail brochure can be secured at the Chamber of Commerce at the foot of the Main Street Bridge.
Hartsville'smuseum, housed in the old post office, depicts the rich history and growth of this quaint college town. Also located in Hartsville is Kalmia Gardens, which can be toured by appointment and has no admission fee.
Sumter, named for Revolutionary War hero Thomas Sumter, is home to beautiful Sumter Lake Iris Garden, where swans grace the lake around the garden. The Sumter County Museum is also located here and you can search for upcoming events.