Our South Carolina Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 563 miles, and drove for 12 hours and 48 minutes during our week in South Carolina while avoiding highways.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Road Side Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USATtour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in South Carolina over the past week.

Famous Person: Shoeless Joe Jackson

Famous Food: Charleston Grits

Roadside Attraction: World’s Largest Fire Hydrant, Angel Oak Tree

State Capitol/Museum: Columbia

National Park: Fort Moultrie

Historic Location: Fort Sumter

Can't miss attraction: Myrtle Beach

Made in the USA tour: Charleston Tea Plantation

Please view our previous blog posts for further explanations of our experiences in South Carolina over the past week.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $139.00

$ 2.11 gal. in Greenville, SC was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.23 gal. in Charleston,SC was highest price paid.


Gas was fairly cheap throughout the state.

Groceries: $173.00

Walmart $91.00

Costco $69.00

Earth Fare $13.00


We bought a lot of groceries on South Carolina

Dining out $106.00

Starbucks $7.00 (Tea x3 in exchange for free WIFI)

Wood Fire Pizza $70.00 (Treated our Cousin's to lunch)

Moe's Southwest Grill $17.00 (Unbudgeted but yummy!

Costco Pizza $4.00 (Average pizza on the go)

Costco Pizza $4.00 (Average pizza on the go)

Costco Pizza $4.00 (Average pizza on the go)


We did well in this category

Entertainment: $2.00

Redbox $2.00 (Movies x1)


We did great in this category again!

Lodging: $ 77.00

Walmart $0.00 (Slept in parking lot x4 nights)

Cousin's Home $0.00 (Slept in Summerville home x2 nights

Hotel $77.00 (Hotel to celebrate our Anniversary)


We did great in this category

Miscellaneous: $5.00

Parking $5.00


We did great in this category

South Carolina Expenses Grand Total: $ 502.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

Is South Carolina Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate: 8

“The state’s major cities of Charleston, Greenville, and Columbia to a lesser extent were experiencing explosive economic expansion to the likes of which we had not previously seen anywhere else in the US. Everywhere we looked construction was occurring! It is not surprising the state’s unemployment rate is 20% lower than the national average.”

Lori: 8

“Agricultural, textile goods, chemical, paper products, machinery, automobiles, and tourism all create a well-diversified state economy. Boeing, BMW, Domtar, Denny’s, Hitachi, Michelin, are among the large corporations calling South Carolina home. However, South Carolina’s median household income is $49,501 raking 43rd in the nation. Apparently, the corporations are the ones benefiting from the economic growth and the not the state’s residents.”

Economy score: 8

Cost of Living:

Nate: 5

“South Carolina has a 7% income tax, and a sales tax as high as 7% after local Surcharges, OUCH! On the bright side, the state has the 6th lowest property tax in the US!”

Lori: 5

“Compared to the national average, the gas is 10% cheaper, the food is 5% higher, and the housing is 25% cheaper in South Carolina! Unfortunately, the days of cheap housing are coming to an end as a housing shortage from economic expansion is driving up the prices of homes in and around the state’s major cities”

Cost of living score: 5

Quality of life:

Nate: 3

“South Carolina has a 5.02 violent crime rate 25% higher than the national average. According to a 2016 report by USA News on public safety for each state, South Carolina ranks 44th in the nation! Not good! Most disturbing, the violent crime is not just in and around major cities, but instead occurs throughout the state. Totally unacceptable!”

Lori: 5

“South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate, a history of occasional hurricanes, averages 14 tornadoes a year, and the state is at risk for earthquakes. Aside from natural disasters, South Carolina ranks 7th in the nation for the best temperature, weather and sun.”

Quality of life score: 4


Nate: 2

“From woman’s rights, to gay rights to racial equality, South Carolina is the most socially regressive society of any state we have encountered thus far. However, the Confederate flag no longer flies at the statehouse, Nikki Haley was elected as the state's 1st female Governor, and same sex marriage was legalized all in the past decade. Social change occurs very slowly in the state, but at least it is occurring!”

Lori: 6

“South Carolinian’s enjoy activities such as shopping, dining out, going to the beach, crafts, golf, baseball, BBQ and going to church.”

Culture Score: 4


Nate: 6

“Although the state's roadways were well maintained, they were in desperate need of expansion especially in and around the major cities. However, we did see road construction underway throughout the state. My overall impression of South Carolina was it is state in transition, and struggling to catch up.”

Lori: 6

“Goods and services are readily available in and around the state’s major cities, which were conveniently located 2 hours drive from each other. Outside of the state’s major cities, rural South Carolina appears to be economically suffering.

Environment Score: 6

The verdict is in:

The final score for South Carolina was 5.4, and it will NOT be our new home. Nate already used his wild card, and Lori chose not to use her wild card on this state.

Below are the current standings:

Colorado 9.2

Michigan 8.3

Oregon 8.2

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

Texas 7.3 (NATE’S WILD CARD)

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Washington 6.9

Virginia 6.6

Wyoming 6.5

Arizona 6.5

Pennsylvania 6.5

Florida 6.2

Idaho 6.1

West Virginia 6.0

California 5.9

Nevada 5.8

Nebraska 5.7

South Carolina 5.4

Utah 5.0

Kentucky 4.9

Wisconsin 4.5

New Mexico 4.5

Louisiana 4.3

Minnesota 4.2

Montana 4.1

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Illinois 1.9