Now That's Cool

It’s summertime and it’s heating up! Temperatures have hovered in the triple digits and I think my thermometer is stuck in the 100s. So what do you do when it gets this hot? You go somewhere cool! And I’m suggesting a South Carolina State Park.

While I can’t guarantee that the temperature at our parks will be a whole lot different than it is where you are now, I can promise some “cool” activities. Let’s start on the coast. Ah, there is nothing like an ocean breeze to cool things off! And you’ve got to admit, a walk on the beach and a dip in the ocean are pretty refreshing ways to cool down.

As we move inland, why not do something really cool – like take part in an archeological program at Colonial Dorchester? Just walking the grounds and observing remnants of the trading town that flourished from 1697 through the Revolutionary War is an adventure. It’s right on the Ashley River and just inland from Charleston. What’s amazing is that all that history – told by the amazing artifacts that can be seen with the naked eye – is right under your feet. Now that’s cool!

And then there’s the water. Nobody has water like South Carolina State Parks. From a paddle down the Edisto or Catawba River, there’s nothing like crisp, flowing water to cool you off.

Not into paddling? How about waterskiing on one of the state’s major lakes? And of course there’s always the ultimate cool down – a dip in the swimming lakes at Table Rock, Oconee or Paris Mountain, or dipping your toes in the Middle Saluda River at Jones Gap. Whichever you choose, you’re choosing something very cool!

But it’s still South Carolina in August and that means it’s hot. What I love most about riding through a park in the summertime are the sights, sounds and smells that define what our state park experience is all about. The sight of park guests enjoying their visit and making memories that will last a lifetime. The sounds of laughter and conversation that echo throughout the park. The smells that let you know you are in your state park – from hamburgers and hot dogs and bacon being cooked over charcoals to the unmistakable smell of smoke from a cozy campfire. A campfire in the South Carolina summertime, you ask? You bet! After all, you’ve got to have a campfire to make smores and illuminate the smiling faces of family and friends new and old as you share tales of today and plans for tomorrow. Sitting by the campfire in the middle of August in a South Carolina State Park? That’s about as cool as it gets!

See you in the parks!

Phil