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JUL-AUG 2017

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22 J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 7 S T A T E o f M I N D S outh Carolina's coastal area boasts some of the most popular vacation destinations on the Eastern Seaboard, but there's more to the Palmetto State than the ocean and the low country. In the northwestern part of the state, the mountainous landscape makes for great outdoor activity and hides a few surpris- ing group experiences. And Columbia, the capital city in the center of the state, is a hub of cultural activity. MOUNTAINS: BLUE RIDGE AND BMWS In the northwest corner of South Carolina, Greenville combines its mountainous surroundings with a hip urban environment and progressive outlook. Visitors can get their fill of mountain beauty at the Blue Ridge Escarpment, the area where the Blue Ridge Mountains descend toward the Piedmont of eastern South Carolina. e escarpment is home to more than 300 species of wildlife and 50 waterfalls. e best place to visit the escarpment near Greenville is Table Rock Mountain, part of the 11,000-acre Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. e Reedy River runs through Greenville's Historic West End, and in 2004, the city built the beautiful Falls Park around the stretch of the river in the urban area. e park serves as an oasis in the city and is used for public art dis- plays and as a jumping-off point for river exploration. It's no surprise that there's lots of outdoor activity to en- joy in Spartanburg, a town about 30 miles east of Greenville. But what may be surprising is that it is also home to the Per- formance Center, a one-of-a-kind BMW plant that manufac- tures more than 300,000 cars a year. Groups can tour the adjacent BMW museum called Zentrum. BY BRIAN JEWELL SOUTH CAROLINA ENTICES WITH HOSPITALITY AND RESPLENDENT BEAUTY a culture of charm Courtesy Charleston Culinary Tours Charleston Culinary Tours highlight the history and gastronomy of the city.

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