A romantic weekend is just a short drive away

Mix moonlight, magnolias, white beaches and soaring mountains with classic cuisine, historic sites and places to find new adventures, and you’re just skimming the surface of what South Carolina has to offer those looking for romance.

The state boasts a range of travel options, from quick weekend getaways in quaint little towns to leisurely summer stretches at one of its many resorts.

If there’s one thing that makes a trip to South Carolina ideal for Atlantans, it’s the proximity: The waterfront destinations are about five hours; inland attractions are as close as two.

And let’s not forget the food: The heart of Lowcountry cooking is here, along with an array of dining destinations that capitalize on the fresh seafood and local flavors. Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights not to be missed:

Beaufort

The town where Sherman stopped on his way home from that famous sojourn to the sea lies in the heart of the Lowcountry’s plantation culture. The white-columned Oaks mansion, built in 1855, is a reminder of that once prosperous era, but like many of the surviving mansions, it now plays host to tours, guests and events. The flat terrain is ideal for biking to the local landmarks, such as the Waterfront Park, a favorite spot for watching sunsets and the site of May’s Taste of Beaufort and October’s Shrimp Festival. On nearby St. Helena Island is the 50-acre Penn Center, a school for freed slaves that became one of the first African-American landmark districts in the country. The center’s museum and annual Heritage Days in November celebrate its rich history. The island also is home to many Gullah residents, descendants of west Africans who have maintained their culture, language and cuisine. Parris Island on the southern edge of the city is famous for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, and the Marine museum is free to visitors. A wealth of culinary history takes the spotlight at chef-driven kitchens and casual gastropubs specializing in the local flavors of shrimp and grits, she-crab soup and classic fish boils.

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