Old South Carolina Gems: Part II

South Carolina has been part of the rich and sometimes turbulent history of the United States since its first European exploration in 1540. General stores throughout the state stand as a testament to days gone by and remind us of life before strip malls and department stores. Find out more about South Carolina history as you step back in time at these local gems:


Located in Bluffton and known simply as "The Store," this Lowcountry market sits minutes from the beautiful beaches of Hilton Head Island. What started as a general store in the walkable town of Bluffton has become a local favorite for antiques, accessories, artwork and other treasures. Spend the rest of your day in historic Bluffton enjoying fishing, shopping, historic churches and unique restaurants. 


Initially known as the T.P. Wood Store in Tigerville, the Tigerville General Store opened its doors to the public in 1881. Before becoming the community's corner store, the ancient building housed the local post office and a Masonic lodge. Purchased by local North Greenville State University in the last few years, the store has been restored to stock basic groceries for students, a Papa John's Pizzaria and study space with Wi-Fi. 


Bailey's Store on Edisto Island has served as various establishments from a restaurant to a grocery store and even a gin house. Initially located at Edingsville Beach Resort, Bailey's is believed to be the only antebellum commercial building still standing on Edisto Island after the other Edingsville buildings were swept into the sea during an 1893 hurricane. Today, Bailey's is home to a seafood restaurant, gift shop, art gallery and a sweet shop. 


Located in a squat brick building adjacent to an authentic cotton gin, Vallentines Gin & Store has been a part of the tiny town of Cope since 1911. Vallentines sits at the center of Cope's activities, and while no longer an operating store, you can visit Vallentines for a ginning demonstration and a tour through the shop. With a population under 200, you can't find a town much smaller than this one. 

Before your road trip, visit your local AAA Car Care location for all of your car maintenance needs, including battery checks. Visit your local AAA travel agent to help make your trip planning easy with hotel discounts, reservations, and TripTiks, AAA's exclusive travel planner. You can easily manage your AAA membership online or call 1-866-593-8626 while on the road.

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