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If you aren’t afraid of heights, check out the one-of-a-kind Liberty Bridge at Falls Park on the Reedy. It’s a pedestrian suspension bridge that offers killer views of a waterfall, public art, and gorgeous gardens. / Image courtesy of Visit Greenville // Published: 6.24.20

When You're Ready for a Safe Summer Road Trip, Check Out Greenville

Who could use a vacation in the near future? The sand, the surf, the cocktails, the food, the fun? When you’re ready to travel again and in need of a break from Cincinnati (even though we rule), plan a road trip to South Carolina.

Fantastic Nature Spots

Greenville, South Carolina is just about a six-and-a-half-hour drive from Cincinnati, and it's the perfect first stop on your tour. Tucked into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it offers acres and acres of gorgeous nature to hike, bike, and drive through (and it's great for social distancing). If you love being outdoors, you’ll have a great time at one of Greenville’s seven state parks. With scenic views, stunning waterfalls, and swimming holes aplenty, Greenville’s parks are a sure bet for fun. One great option is to visit Caesar’s Head State Park, and stop at the Overlook—you can see three states (South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia) from here.

If you dig the historical details, make sure you check out Campbell’s Covered Bridge, the last of its kind in South Carolina. If hiking is your thing, make sure you do a few miles on the Prisma Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail. It’s 22 miles long and has received multiple awards, including honors from Fodor’s Travel and USA Today. If you aren’t afraid of heights, check out the one-of-a-kind Liberty Bridge at Falls Park on the Reedy. It’s a pedestrian suspension bridge that offers killer views of a waterfall, public art, and gorgeous gardens.

Lodging & Dining Aplenty

Greenville offers lots of great hotels and inns to stay, including the boutique Hotel Domestique. If you like a more rustic style of stay, the Red Horse Inn offers private cottages. And with more than 140 restaurants, there is plenty of outdoor dining to sample. Zagat called Greenville the “#1 Under-the-Radar Southern Food Destination”; Esquire named it the “Next Big Food City of the South”; and Southern Living says it’s one of “The South’s Tastiest Towns.” Make sure you bring your stretchy pants!

The Island Life

When you’re ready to hit the road again, drive on down to Daufuskie Island (just off the coast of Hilton Head). Well, stop driving when you see the water (don’t pull a Michael Scott!)—the island can only be reached by ferry, water taxi, or private jet. It has a population of just under 400 and is a secluded refuge from all the hustle and bustle. Again, great for social distancing. Once you’re there, you can get around by bike or electric golf cart. The island is a nature-lover’s dream. You can see bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead turtles, and Marsh Tacky horses, who’ve lived on the island for more than 500 years.

If golf is your thing, the Rees Jones Signature championship golf course is ready for you. With seven tee boxes and greens that have ocean views, even if your game isn’t so great, the scenery will be. You can also rent a kayak or take a private horseback ride to explore the island and its waterways.

Ever slept in a lighthouse? Here’s your chance. The 1873 Lighthouse at Haig Point features a 40-foot tower, a luxurious fireplace, clawfoot bathtub, and a rocking chair-lined porch with stunning views of the Calibogue Sound. Private homes are also available for rent within Haig Point.

Wellness & Relaxation

When you’ve had enough of this beautiful island (who are we kidding? We’re ready to move there!) and if you’re feeling the weight of all that great vacation food and relaxation, get back in your car and head over to Hilton Head Health. It’s an all-inclusive wellness resort featuring private villas, small-group classes on meditation, yoga, and fitness as well as healthy (yet totally delicious) meals.

You can continue to enjoy the outdoors here on miles of walking paths through 800 acres of moss-draped oak trees and lagoons, full of Lowcountry wildlife. You can take a walk on the beach (no vacation is really complete without one) or an outdoor pool class. You can also paddleboard or kayak through Hilton Head’s many scenic inlets. It’s the perfect place to stretch your legs before the drive back home to Cincinnati.

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Check out the gallery above to see these beautiful locations. Bags packed? Plan your trip here, here, and here.