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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone from South Carolina?

My husband and I are thinking that it might be nice to move to a warmer climate. After searching the southern states, the lake murrayy area of south carolina looks appealing (our requirements are lakefront house and a bigger city within 40-50 minutes or so preferably and lake murray fits that).

If anyone could provide their thoughts about this area that would be appreciated. I havent been to columbia, sc area before so I dont know how the restaurant/shopping scene is or the availability of outdoor activities like bike trails, hiking trails...etc.

Alternatively...anyone have suggestions of other lakes anywhere in the southern US we should look into?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 02:59 PM
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I've lived in the south all my life and absolutely love it here. The people are fantastic and the weather is terrific. If you haven't spent the summer down here, I highly recommend a visit in July or August before committing to a year round home here.

Fall, spring are gorgeous and winter will be a walk in the park for you. However, the humidity that comes with the heat in the summer would be an adjustment you would make for the months of May through September. I can take 100 degree temps, but the humidity sucks the life out of you and I worry that you wouldn't enjoy being outside in Columbia area during the summer. Even just an hour north here in the Charlotte metro area, we have slightly more moderate temps that make a big difference. We enjoy being outside most months of the year.

Columbia is a nice town with the university right in the downtown area, I have friends who have lived on Lake Murray and love it. I'm not super familiar with trails etc, you might check out South Carolina State Parks on the internet for more info. I know there are plenty, just not sure exactly what they offer. Columbia is far enough south that you wouldn't have snow like you would in the Charlotte area (once or twice a year) or even Atlanta. I would suggest that if you head down this way to look around that you also check out the area around Clemson, SC - Lake Hartwell and also Lake Norman in the Charlotte area. These areas are terrific and you are close enough to make trips to the mountains (Blue Ridge/Smokies) or the beach (Charleston, SC, Hilton Head and Carolina Beach, Wilmington etc.

North of Atlanta is also beautiful country. South Carolina is much better for taxes than some of the others, you might look into that also. Good luck - what a fun project!


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 03:07 PM
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I'll second that the Lake Hartwell area is really nice, and the Upstate of South Carolina (Clemson area) does tend to be a bit better in the summer than the rest of the state. The lakes are gorgeous around here, and the mountains close enough for hiking. Greenville is a great city, with a lot to offer, and is only ~30-40 minutes from Lake Hartwell.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info nolefan & hunter's mom! I'll look into the other lakes you mentioned.

Yeah we will definitely be visiting before any final decisions are made. We are thinking about renting a vacation home on lake murray for a week this summer to get a feel for the area and the humidity/heat combination and maybe check out other areas in the state. It actually does get pretty muggy up here, but our temps of course are lower so it's a bit more bearable. I'm thinking though, that even if there are 3 or 4 months where it's better to stay inside than do a lot of physical activity outside...that pretty much covers winter here, haha, and at least it's warm and we can wakeboard/go swimming (my husband is really into wakeboarding...part of why we want to move to an area that doesn't freeze the lakes...plus SC doesn't require a 3rd person as a spotter when towing a wakeboarding/skiier like WI does...so yay!).

We have a couple years before it would be good to move, but that gives us lots of time to plan. The main thing is finding out where we want to go and then talking to our employer about it. We want to stay with the company we are at as they treat their employees very well so we'd rather stay here than change jobs. Since it's a large company and we are in IT they do allow good employees to move wherever and work remotely in some cases, but we don't want to bring it up until we are sure we want to go somewhere.

Last edited by Ada's Mom; 12-21-2012 at 03:45 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 08:59 PM
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We live in the Clemson, SC area.
The Lake Hartwell (which I think I once read has almost 1000 miles of shoreline) lake levels vary enormously depending on rainfall/drought (Corps of Engineers/Duke Energy adjust lake levels) so you might buy lakefront property and then end up with a boat dock sitting high and dry. Right next door to Hartwell is Lake Keowee which is in (Seneca/Oconee County area) and is not affected like Hartwell (then just north of Keowee there is also Lake Jocassee which is just off Hwy 11, an incredibly scenic route, There you have the Nature Conservancy protected area Jocassee Gorges). These three lakes are all just minutes driving time apart from each other-check out a map.
All of the northwestern (upstate) SC area has very mild fall, winter, spring as the previous poster mentioned. I wouldn't go so far as to say May through Sept is awful (in terms of heat and humidity-I am from southern California so I am as opposed to heat and humidity as anyone). We have found if we can leave for one month during the worst of the summer, then we can manage dealing with the rest of it (we like to camp at Mt Pisgah, NC, or we also like to rent a house in Beech Mtn,NC-both places are at or above 5000 ft so summer temps rarely exceed the upper 70s). Are you retired so you could "get away" in the summers?
I think the Columbia area is (geographically) hideous compared to upstate SC-unless flat and boring appeals to you . Columbia is also about 5-10 degrees hotter in the summer than the upstate most days.
Upstate SC is in what is called "the Piedmont" (foot of the mountains) so there are lots of waterfalls. It is also riddled with places you can bike and hike (as is NC).
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