A leisurely drive through the small towns and villages in the region provides an enjoyable way to while away an afternoon.  Nearby towns include Dillon, Mullins, Marion, Bennettsville, Darlington, Hartsville and Florence.

There are a wide variety of Museums in the area with displays ranging from house museums to Revolutionary War artifacts, turn of the 20th Century farmingmuseum and small town life.

South Carolina is known for its temperate climate and long growing season.  Spring and fall are wonderful times to visit many of the gardens in the area.

  • Brookgreen Gardens, on the way to Charleston or as a day trip, Brookgreen is a must see.  America’s first public sculpture garden, it was created ingardens 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington on the site of an eighteenth century rice plantation.  The collection has 1200 works spanning the entire period of American sculpture from the early 1800s to the present.  Over 50 acres of gardens and landscape settings creates an extraordinarily beautiful combination of art and nature.  www.brookgreen.org
  • Kalmia Gardens in Hartsville.  Developed in the 1930’s on the site of the early 19th century plantation of Captain Thomas Hart for whom Hartsville is named. Kalmia is owned and operated by Coker College for the enjoyment of the public.  www.coker.edu/kalmia
  • Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter. The lake covers 45 acres and has a magnificent collection of eight varieties of live swans from North and South America, Europe, England, Asia and Australia.  The Iris Gardens cover 150 acres with 25 varieties of Japanese or Kaempferi iris in an incredible rainbow of colors blooming from mid May through June.
    www.sumter-sc.com/VisitingUs/SwanLake.aspx
  • Frayer’s Topiary Garden in Bishopville.  Three acres of sculpted plants by self taught garden artist, Pearl Fryer.  A complete organic garden it includes exotic, dynamic and awe inspiring creations. www.fryarstopiaries.com

Darlington RacewayDarlington Raceway in Darlington.  “The Track too Tough to Tame” is the birthplace of modern day NASCAR racing.  Today the number one spectator sport has its roots in Darlington.  The once a year Mother’s Day weekend race is attended by in excess of 75,000.  During the rest of the year you can visit the extensive race car museum or arrange for a special driving experience at the track. www.darlingtonraceway.com

 

science southScience South: ScienceSouth on Jeffries Creek is now open to inspire, educate and entertain you.  The science pavillion, located near Freedom Florence, offers families the opportunity to do real science in our minds-on, hands-on workshops.  www.sciencesouth.org

 

antiquesAntiquing: Each of the small towns has at least one antique shop and some have several shops where you can often find that perfect collectable or gift.  Most shops are closed on Sunday and Monday with hours starting at 10 am on other days.  Many dealers from larger cities are often found shopping at these stores to stock their own shops.