91 Interesting Facts About South Carolina

Last updated on November 24th, 2023

62. Charles Townes from Greenville in South Carolina invented the helpful MASER in 1954. The invention improved space research and was used to amplify radio signals.

63. Without the Greenville, South Carolina inventor Gerald Barber, we wouldn’t have had the freefall amusement ride. He invented it in the 1980s, but that was not his only invention.

64. George Washington Murray improved the first cotton chopper in 1894. He was born on a farm near Rembent in Sumter County, South Carolina.

65. Inventors Rundell and Simmons from Charleston, South Carolina, received a patent to mass-produce imitation mineral water. It was later used in soda fountains.

Carolina Reaper Chili Pepper
Carolina Reaper Chili Pepper. Image credit – https://www.thechili.life/

66. South Carolina is home to the hottest pepper on the Scoville scale: the Carolina Reaper, which is considered to be the hottest chili pepper in the world. The Carolina Reaper has a heat level that is equivalent to police-grade pepper spray, which is quite strong.

67. A mixture of mineral water and Jamaican ginger was used to create Blenheim Ginger Ale in 1903. May and Matheson opened the Blenheim Bottling Company in South Carolina.

68. Myrtle Beach in South Carolina has some 50 golf courses and as a result, it is called the “miniature golf capital of the world.” According to some estimate, the beach draws some 15 million tourists every year. In 2007, the Guinness World Record for the tallest sand castle was awarded to Myrtle Beach.

Constructed in 1870 as the US courthouse and post office.
Columbia City Hall, constructed in 1870 as the US courthouse and post office. Interesting facts about South Carolina. Image credit – Jimmy Emerson, DVM

69. The Columbia City Hall in Columbia is the second oldest government building in the capital city. It was built in 1870. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

70. At nearly 200 feet, the SkyWheel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is the tallest in the eastern parts of the US. It is fitted with about a million LED lights.

71 – 91 facts about South Carolina

71. Ridgeway Police Station used to be the world’s smallest police station prior to its conversion into a tourist information booth. The station was small enough to hold one wooden desk, a filing cabinet, a phone, and a wood stove that kept policemen warm. It served the community from the 1940s until 1990.

Poinsett Bridge near Highland, SC
Poinsett Bridge near Highland, SC. Image credit – Peter Ciro

72. Poinsett Bridge is the oldest bridge in South Carolina. The bridge was built in 1820 and it is no longer in use. However, the structure stands intact to this day.

73. Out of all the bridges in the state of South Carolina, only one covered bridge remains: Campbell’s Covered Bridge, built in 1909. The bridge is located in Gowensville, off Hwy 14.

74. You can find the mysterious Sea Pines Shell Ring on Hilton Head Island. Also known as the ‘Indian Shell Ring,’ it is believed to be a ceremonial site of Native Americans.

75. The State’s annual Arts Festival, known as Spoleto, is amongst the largest anywhere in the entire country. It is spread over a 17 day period and takes place in the Charleston, which is South Carolina’s biggest city.

Peachoid - a giant water tank in Gaffney, South Carolina.
Peachoid – a giant water tank in Gaffney, South Carolina. Image credit – anokarina

76. Peachoid is a giant water tank in Gaffney built to honor the state’s fine peach crops. The water tower can hold one million U.S. gallons of water. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks for travellers along I-85 between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina.

77. The widest street in the state is Assembly Street in Downtown Columbia, South Carolina. It was intentionally designed that wide by the city planners.

78. A UFO Welcome Center is ready to accept alien visitors in Bowman, South Carolina. This is a personal project of resident Jody Pendarvis who started building this center in 1994. The Welcome Center consists of a big saucer-shaped structure fitted with a bed, satellite TV, AC, a toilet, and shower. The center is intended to make extra terrestrial visitors feel welcome, and there is even an air conditioner inside the center in case aliens were to visit during the summer months.

79. In Columbia, South Carolina, you will find the world’s largest Eddie from EdVenture. It is about 40 feet high and weighs no less than 17.5 tons.

80. More than 75 people contributed their talents to the creation of the world’s largest fire hydrant in Columbia, South Carolina. It has been there since 1999.

Cowpens National Battlefield Park
Cowpens National Battlefield Park. Photo © Zrfphoto

81. The Cowpens Depot Museum was built out of donations made by crewmen and local citizens who donated memorabilia and historical artifacts from WWII naval history. Notable items include uniforms, equipment, and war artifacts donated by crewmen of the USS Cowpens.

82. You will find a museum with the largest teapot collection inside the world’s largest teapot. It is in Downtown Elloree, South Carolina.

83. Riverbanks Zoo is one of the most impressive zoos and botanical gardens in the country. It is home to 2000 animals and interactive exhibits and consistently ranks among the top-rated zoos and botanical gardens on Trip Advisor.

84. South Carolina is known for its beautiful beaches and availability of ample fishing opportunities. This attracts millions of tourists to the state.

Healing Springs Historic Marker
Healing Springs Historic Marker. Image credit – Immy Emerson, DVM

85. God’s Acre Healing Spring: this spring is believed to provide healing benefits to bathers. Located behind Healing Springs Baptist Church, the spring is also unique in that it is the only spring that has been officially deeded to God.

86. In South Carolina, you will find the second oldest mountain in the world, the Blue Ridge Mountains. They were formed more than 400 million years ago.

87. The tallest mountain in the state is the Sassafras Mountain, which stands an immense 3563 feet. The peak of the mountains in bordering states like North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee are much taller. However, Sassafras Mountain is located on the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains, which many curious tourists visit on a regular basis. Though Sassafras Mountain is quite a challenging hike, determined hikers will often hike to the top so they can enjoy a stunning 360-degree view of the area.

88. Coarse sand covers the tops of the gently rolling Sand hills of South Carolina. It is believed that oceans from ancient times created the sandy hills.

89. South Carolina is usually divided into two broad regions. The Up Country and the Low Country. South Carolina has as many as 34 tidal and barrier islands. Most of the state sits below sea level, and the area is referred to as ‘Low County.’

90. The Duncan Park Baseball Stadium in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is the oldest in the state. It opened in 1926 and was added as a historic place to the National Registry in 2016.

91. The South Carolina Golf Club was founded in 1786 in Charleston, signaling the birth of American golf. The founders were Scottish businessmen who played their first round of golf at a public park called Harleston Green. The South Carolina Golf Club is now known as the Country Club of Charleston. 

Sports in South Carolina

There are no professional sports teams in the state of South Carolina, although the state does “share” the NFL team the Carolina Panthers with the state of North Carolina. It is questionable as to whether South Carolina will ever get its own professional sports team, whether it’s with the NBA, NFL, MLB, or something else.

Althea Gibson, half-length portrait
Althea Gibson, half-length portrait, holding tennis racquet.

Althea Gibson became the first African American to play and win Wimbledon. She won the women’s singles and doubles at Wimbledon in 1957, and won the U.S. Open in 1958.

Famous baseball player ‘Shoeless Joe Jackson,’ was a native of South Carolina. He was born and raised in Greenville and became one of the greatest professional baseball players.

The state of South Carolina is home to many popular celebrities, such as Bill Murray, who co-owns a local minor league baseball team, “The RiverDogs,” “Darius Rucker, Stephen Colbert, and Reese Witherspoon.

Former United States president, Andrew Jackson, was born in “the backwoods” of South Carolina, just outside North Carolina, in 1757.

The comic book artist Dave Cockrum spent most of his life in Belton, South Carolina. Because of him, we have the X-Men and other characters.

Food facts about South Carolina

Native from Charleston, South Carolina, is the velvety she-crab soup. It is made from female Atlantic blue crab because it is sweeter than males.

An iconic Lowcountry dish, Beaufort stew is a one-pot stew of shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausage. It is also known as Frogmore stew although frogs are not included in the list of ingredients. Beaufort stew is a popular outdoor summer dish best enjoyed in groups.

A simple South Carolina staple is chicken bog. It is a whole chicken cooked until tender, then deboned, and rice is added to absorb the sauce.

One of South Carolina’s best dishes is Gullah red rice. This African dish has become one of the staples of South Carolina, with different recipes available.

Facts about the largest cities in South Carolina

Charleston has a coastal location and is confirmed as the oldest city in the State, with some amazing historical architecture throughout. It was founded as far back as 1670 and was actually named after King Charles II of England.

Columbia is located in central South Carolina and is the state capital. It owes its name to the 15th century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. Fort Jackson, the United States largest Army base for combat training, has its home here.

North Charleston is the third city in the state with a population of over 100,000. It has a strong industrial influence on the economy thanks in a large part to the presence of Boeing in a massive complex, which provides high employment.

Mount Pleasant covers an area of just over 50,000 square miles, but as a consequence of its positioning on two rivers: the Wando and the Cooper; together with Shem Creek, plus significant marshland, 7.5 square miles of it is actually water.

Rock Hill is one of the most picturesque cities in the state, with an established reputation for outdoor activities. It has many spacious parks, plenty of hiking routes and its spot on the River Catawba lends itself to its calm and relaxed feel.

Greenville is South Carolina’s star attraction. The wonderful Liberty Bridge, the Reedy River Falls, perfectly manicured gardens in sprawling green spaces, together with a touch of history in the form of ruined mills, make this a hugely popular city to visit.

Goose Creek is thought to have gained its peculiar name from the shape made by the curves at its location in the Cooper River tributary, which resembled that of a goose’s neck. Early settlers were of European origin and there remains an identifiable influence throughout the city.

Hilton Head Island is very much a destination for a day out near, or on the water. Dolphin-watching is very popular as is a host of activities such as: kayaking, water-skiing and paddle-boarding. Warm currents make it an all year round pleasant location.

Sumter has a population of less than 40,000, but has developed significantly from its early origins when it was a simple small cotton plantation village. Nowadays it is regarded more as an industrial city, although cotton does still play a key role in its economy.

About the state flag of South Carolina

Flag of South Carolina.
Flag of South Carolina. Image in Public Domain. 

South Carolina’s legislature adopted their state flag on January 26, 1861 after the state seceded from the Union. The flag has a blue background and features a white crescent in the upper left corner and a white palmetto in the center. The palmetto was originally golden in color and surrounded by a white oval but this was changed to white and the oval omitted two days after the flag was adopted.

The origins of the flag go back to 1775 when anti-British forces first raised a blue flag that had a white crescent in the left corner at a fort in Charleston Harbor. After taking the fort they needed a symbol to signal to other patriots who they were.

This original design of the flag is said to have been created by the leader of the fort, Colonel William Moultrie, and is based on the blue color of the uniforms and the white crescent badges that were worn by his men guarding the fort. In his memoirs he states that this was the first uniquely American flag to be used in South Carolina.

The fort Moultrie’s men were protecting was built using palmetto logs which caused the cannon balls fired by the British to bounce off without causing any damage. Because of this the palmetto was not only adopted as the state symbol but was also used as a feature of subsequent state flag designs.

Various versions of the flag containing palmettos were used in the early 19th century and became particularly widespread in 1861 when South Carolina left the Union. There are examples of flag designs of the time featuring palmettos in their natural color, some containing stars and of flags colored red that featured a silhouette of the palmetto in white. Many of these were hand-painted and were used by troops, on ships and appeared on public buildings.

State symbols and quick facts about South Carolina

State AbbreviationSC
State CapitalColumbia
Largest CityCharleston
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 32,020 sq miles; Land Only: 30,110 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2023 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodMay 23, 1788
State rank by population23rd
State rank by date of formation8th
State rank by area40th
Number of Counties46
DemonymSouth Carolinian
Bordering StatesGeorgia, North Carolina
Official LanguageEnglish
Highest PointSassafras Mountain
3,560 ft (1,085 m)
Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean
Sea level
Mean elevation350 feet above sea level
Length 260 miles (420 km)
Width200 miles (320 km)
GovernorHenry McMaster (R)
Lieutenant GovernorPamela Evette (R)
Electoral Votes9
State MottoDum spiro spero Animis opibusque parati (While I breathe, I hope Ready in soul and resource)
State NicknamePalmetto State
% Water6
Nobel Prize WinnersCharles H. Townes (Physics, 1964)
Joseph L. Goldstein (Physiology or Medicine, 1985)
Robert F. Furchgott (Physiology or Medicine, 1998)
Famous peopleHarry Carson (Pro Football player)
Jim Rice (Baseball player)
Katrina McClain (Basketball player)
Jessica Stroup (Actress)
Lee Brice (Singer)
U.S. President Born in South Carolina1. Andrew Jackson.
State Flag

Flag of South Carolina

State seal

Seal of South Carolina.svg

State coat of arms

South Carolina state coat of arms (illustrated, 1876).jpg

ReptileLoggerhead Sea Turtle

A loggerhead sea turtle in an aquarium tank swims overhead.  The underside is visible.

AnimalWhite-tailed Deer

White-tailed deer.jpg

State FossilColumbian Mammoth

Columbian Mammoth
State fishStriped Bass

Morone saxatilis SI2.jpg

State BirdCarolina Wren

Carolina Wren1.jpg


Amethyst. Magaliesburg, South Africa.jpg

State FlowerYellow Jessamine

State TreeSabal Palmetto


Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
AmphibianSpotted Salamander

Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
State DogBoykin Spaniel

Jeepers (Boykin Spaniel)
State SpiderCarolina Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis).JPG

State ShellLettered Olive

Oliva sayana 02.JPG

Game birdWild Turkey


State fruitPeach

Illustration Prunus persica0.jpg

State heritage work animalMule


State InsectCarolina Mantid

Stagmomantis carolina Kaldari 05 cropped.jpg

State marine mammalBottlenose dolphin

Tursiops truncatus 01.jpg

State GrassSorghastrum nutans

Sorghastrum nutans Tennessee.jpg

Longitude78° 32′ W to 83° 21′ W
Latitude32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone
Area Codes803, 843, 864
Table last updatedDecember 21, 2023