Web sites help plan family vacation to Palmetto state

Sunday, May 19, 2002

Spend a couple of days sunning on the Grand Strand at Myrtle Beach, tour scenic Southern towns, or polish your golf game on a variety of courses. You can even paddle a canoe in South Carolina, the Palmetto State.

Learn more by exploring a few Web sites set up to ease your travel planning.

Before you head out to the state's beaches and scenic countryside, get organized in Charleston. The Convention & Visitors Bureau -- www.charlestoncvb.com/ -- promises a city of gas lights, southern breezes and cobblestone streets. Click on Recreation or Historic Sites to search for things to do and places to see, including historic mansions.

For more on the city, the National Park Service -- www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/charleston/ -- has a registry of historic sites, with a map you can use to set up your personal tour.

While you're in Charleston, visit Fort Sumter --www.nps.gov/fosu/index.htm -- where the first battle of the Civil War took place.

Just south of Charleston, tour the Lowcountry region -- /www.southcarolinalowcountry.com/ -- and its concentration of beaches, small towns and outdoor attractions including the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. You'll find links to information on Hilton Head and Edisto islands, the historic town of Beaufort, and the Marine Corps' Parris Island.

Visits to the coast

Up the coast, visit Myrtle Beach Live -- www.myrtlebeachlive.com/ -- to learn about the Grand Strand beach, and the resort city's fishing piers, sailing, live theaters and restaurants.

The Isle of Pines -- www.isle-of-palms.sc.us/ -- is less than 20 minutes from Charleston. Information on more beaches is available from Connections -- www.segetaway.com/ -- including Fripp and Harbor islands.

At the far side of the state from the beaches, visit South Carolina's Upcountry -- www.upcountry-sc.org/ -- the hill country in the state's far northwestern corner. Parts of this Web site might be out of date, but it can still tell you about places to go and things to do, including hiking, fishing and camping.

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