The Latest From Carolina Traveler

This week, we're delving into some of the top summer destinations across the Carolinas for 2024! Whether you're a local looking for new adventures or a visitor seeking the best experiences, we've curated a guide to help you make the most of this vibrant season in the South.

This summer, embark on a journey with us as we highlight some of the region's most enticing spots. From the exhilarating water parks to serene lakes and cultural festivals steeped in tradition, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

🌊 Don't miss out on our exclusive offers and exciting updates! Act fast as your last chance to enter to win four free tickets to the thrilling Charleston Aqua Park draws near. Imagine a day filled with laughter and splashes in the heart of Charleston – an experience not to be missed!

🌅 Dive into the pristine waters of Lake Keowee, ranked as the #7 lake in the Carolinas for its breathtaking views and myriad of water activities. Whether you're into boating, fishing, or simply relaxing on the shore, Lake Keowee promises an unforgettable summer escape.

🛣️ Immerse yourself in Scottish heritage at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, where ancient traditions come alive amidst the stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Experience the thrill of Highland sports, mesmerizing bagpipe performances, and the camaraderie of clan gatherings.

💦 Get ready for non-stop fun at the Beaufort Water Festival, where you can indulge in water sports, live music, delicious cuisine, and dazzling fireworks over the Beaufort River. It's an event that captures the essence of Southern hospitality and coastal charm.

🏖️  Sign up now to become a Carolina Traveler VIP subscriber and get first dibs on family-friendly fun, hidden gem summer destinations, and seasonal itineraries in NC and SC.

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, we're always giving away tickets and prizes to Carolina VIP subscribers and members of our Carolina Traveler Facebook group.

Person rappeling at The Gorge Zipline Adventure

You'll drop a total of 1100 feet+ over the course of 11 ziplines and 3 rappels!

2024 Summer Destinations

Our upcoming 2024 Thrill-seekers issue features more thrill-seeking attractions than ever before! Print subscribers can expect the issue to arrive at their doorstep within the next few weeks, while we'll be uploading digital content shortly. Now's the perfect time to subscribe to Carolina Traveler, as we're preparing to run THREE GIVEAWAYS to some of our favorite summer thrills (including The Gorge Zipline, featured in the image above!).

Sneak Peek: Discover some of our top summer destinations featured in the 2024 Thrill-Seekers issue.

Charleston Aqua Park

Take on the gigantic floating inflatable obstacle course or the challenging ninja warrior ropes course!

Enter Daily Through July 14 to Win 4 Free Tickets to Charleston Aqua Park

It's your last chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Charleston Aqua Park in Johns Island, SC! Enter daily for your chance to experience this fantastic water adventure.

Johns Island is one of our favorite summer destinations for a day trip or weekend getaway. Known for its picturesque landscapes, historic sites, and Southern charm, the island offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Don’t miss the Angel Oak Tree, a centuries-old marvel, and enjoy fresh seafood at the local eateries.

At Charleston Aqua Park, thrill-seekers of all ages can enjoy an array of exciting attractions. The park features a giant inflatable obstacle course on the water, paddleboarding, wakeboarding, and more. It’s a paradise for water enthusiasts looking for fun and excitement in the sun.

Enter our giveaway daily for a chance to win and make unforgettable summer destinations memories with your family at Charleston Aqua Park. Discover the charm of Johns Island and enjoy an action-packed adventure at one of the area's top attractions!

Lake Keowee is on the list of top summer destinations

Party Cove Falls is one of the best places to chill out on Lake Keowee.

The Best Lakes in the Carolinas: #7 Lake Keowee

Lake Keowee, located in South Carolina, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and recreational opportunities, making it a popular destination for summer fun. Its clear, deep waters span approximately 18,500 acres and are surrounded by scenic landscapes, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

In summertime, Lake Keowee beckons visitors with a variety of activities. Boating enthusiasts can explore the expansive lake, enjoying leisurely cruises or adventurous water skiing and tubing sessions. Fishing is another favorite pastime, with the lake known for its abundance of bass, crappie, and catfish. Several public access points and marinas provide convenient launching spots for boats and watercraft.

Swimming and sunbathing are popular along the lake's numerous sandy beaches and designated swimming areas. Picnicking and camping facilities offer opportunities for family gatherings and overnight stays, allowing visitors to immerse themselves fully in the lake's tranquil surroundings.

Local tips for enjoying Lake Keowee include exploring the scenic hiking trails that wind through nearby forests, offering stunning views of the water and surrounding mountains. Additionally, the lake's proximity to charming towns like Seneca and Clemson provides opportunities to explore local shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

For those seeking serene summer destinations or an action-packed adventure, Lake Keowee's natural beauty and recreational offerings make it a quintessential summer destination in South Carolina. Whether you're looking to relax by the water, engage in water sports, or explore the area's natural wonders, Lake Keowee promises a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Discover #10  Lake Jocassee SC

Discover #9 Lake Nantahala NC

Discover #8 Lake Norman NC

Kids participating in the Highland Games tug-of-war

Get in touch with your ancestors by participating in a grueling tug-of-war match!

The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games: What's the Draw?

The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, held annually in North Carolina, have deep roots in celebrating Scottish heritage and culture dating back to their inception in 1956. Originally conceived by Agnes MacRae Morton, the event began as a small gathering to promote Scottish traditions among local residents and has since evolved into one of the largest Highland Games gatherings in the United States. Each year, the Games attract thousands of participants and spectators to MacRae Meadows near Linville, nestled amidst the majestic peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In 2024, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games promise an exhilarating schedule of events that highlight various aspects of Scottish culture. The festivities run July 11-14, typically kicking off with a stirring opening ceremony featuring the presentation of clan banners, followed by competitive athletic events such as caber tossing, hammer throwing, and the stone put. These events showcase the strength and skill integral to Highland sports. Bagpipe and drum competitions resonate throughout the event, accompanied by Highland dancing exhibitions that captivate audiences with their intricate footwork and traditional attire.

Moreover, the Games feature clan gatherings where Scottish clans from across the country gather to celebrate their heritage, share genealogical information, and foster a sense of camaraderie. Cultural exhibits and demonstrations offer insights into Scottish history, cuisine, and crafts, enriching the experience for attendees. The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games not only celebrate Scottish pride but also serve as a platform for cultural exchange and community bonding amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Discover more things to do near Grandfather Mountain

Concert at the Beaufort Water Festival SC

The Beaufort Water Festival is one of the best summer destinations for enjoying live music.

Load Your Waterguns for the Beaufort Water Festival!

The Beaufort Water Festival, a beloved tradition in Beaufort, South Carolina, traces its roots back to 1956 when it was first organized to celebrate the city's rich maritime heritage and community spirit. Over the years, the festival has grown into a week-long extravaganza of festivities held annually in mid-summer. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park and the Beaufort River, the festival attracts locals and visitors alike with its vibrant mix of events.

In 2024, the Beaufort Water Festival promises an exciting schedule of activities designed to appeal to a diverse audience. Running July 12-21, the week kicks off with an opening ceremony followed by days filled with boat races, including the popular raft races that test participants' creativity and teamwork. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy competitive events like water skiing, paddle boarding, and fishing tournaments, while music lovers can groove to live performances ranging from local bands to nationally recognized artists. The arts and crafts market offers a chance to explore handmade goods and local artwork, complemented by delicious offerings from food vendors showcasing Lowcountry cuisine.

This festival is ideal for people who appreciate summer destinations infused with local culture and Southern charm. Families will find plenty of kid-friendly activities, while adventure seekers can participate in water sports competitions. Those interested in arts and crafts can explore unique handmade items, and music enthusiasts can enjoy diverse performances in a scenic outdoor setting. With its rich history, variety of events, and picturesque location, the Beaufort Water Festival promises a memorable experience for everyone seeking to immerse themselves in the vibrant spirit of coastal South Carolina.

Get first dibs on free tickets, top-secret summer destinations, and other travel opportunities when you sign up now to become a Carolina Traveler VIP subscriber! We're regularly giving away tickets and prize packages to Carolina VIP subscribers and members of our Carolina Traveler Facebook group.

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