Capital City/Lake Murray Country–An Outdoor Lover’s Paradise

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Zipl line over Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens

Witness a one-of-a-kind bird-watching phenomenon, zip line above a nationally recognized zoo and cruise along the sparkling waters of the Jewel of South Carolina in Capital City/Lake Murray Country

Love the outdoors? Then you will love a trip to Capital City/Lake Murray Country, South Carolina. The beautiful Midlands region is conveniently located off Interstates I-77, I-26 and I-20 in the central part of the Palmetto state. From a bird watching phenomenon you won’t see anywhere else, to dozens of gorgeously challenging golf courses to water sports for all, this stunning Southern destination is nature’s wonderland.

Fly high on Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s zip line tour. Challenge yourself to the ultimate adventure while whizzing through the seven treetop courses, crossing a rickety bridge and zooming 1,000 feet above the Saluda River. The canopy tour also gives riders a scenic view of the more than 170 acres of the zoo’s exotic animal-filled grounds and botanical gardens. For the ultimate contest, take the moonlight zip from March through October. Prices range from $40- $80, book tickets here:

Slow down and watch the fireflies light up the night sky at Congaree National Park. Unlike the sporadic blinking you may be used to seeing in your backyard, here thousands of lightning bugs simultaneously light up the park making for a remarkable sight. This wonder is so special; there are only three other known places in the United States that experience this type of magical light show. This awe-inspiring spectacle typically takes place in May and June. For more information, go to

Continue the outdoor venture by sleeping under the stars. Pitch a tent, bring an RV or even reserve a cabin at Dreher Island State Park. The park is a three island natural escape that spans 12 miles of Lake Murray’s shore. With two lakefront camping areas, campers have scenic views and easy access to the water. There are also five lakeside villas offering cozy accommodations. Enjoy all the convenience of home, yet feel like you’re a world away in these quaint waterfront cabins. To make reservations call 1-866-345-PARK.

Take time to explore the 50,000 acres of Lake Murray’s sparkling waters. Grab a board and oar and catch the views while paddleboarding the gemstone lake. California Republic can get you up and gliding in no time with a variety of rentals. Never paddleboarded? No worries! The experienced staff offers lessons for beginners.

Anchors aweigh! Sail the day away with Lanier Sailing Academy. This team of experts will have you setting sail with their comprehensive lessons. You can also rent a vessel of your own. The Academy pairs guests with the perfect boat to fit their abilities. Take a sunset sail with your special someone or cruise with friends and family. Call (803) 317-9070 for availability and an initial review of your sailing skills. 

Set a leisurely pace by kicking back and dropping a line. Lake Murray is home to some of the best striped and large-mouth bass fishing in the South. Want to reel one in, but have limited fishing experience? Fish with local guide Michael Murphy. Through a Fisheries Biology degree from Purdue University and vast tournament experience, Murphy offers a wealth of knowledge. If you have a bass fishing trip planned to Lake Murray or are just looking to have fun, Murphy will accelerate your fishing success. All drinks, life jackets, gas and fish provided. Fishing equipment can be provided on request. Call (803) 567-5263 to make a reservation.

On warm summer nights, the Purple Martins take flight. Each summer the skies over Lunch Island on Lake Murray come to life as the Purple Martins arrive for their vacation. It is estimated that more than one million birds venture here to roost on the island. Watch the Purple Martins take over the sunset filled skies from the end of June to the beginning of August. For a close up of this phenomenon, rent a boat from Lake Murray Boat Club and drive to the middle of Lake Murray. You can also climb aboard the Southern Patriot Tour Boat for dinner and a front row seat as these amazing birds circle the cotton-candy skies. Check out Lake Murray Boat Club for the perfect boat rental or call (803) 749-8594 to schedule a dinner tour.

Head for dry land and tee up at your choice of 33 champion golf courses. The natural beauty of the Midlands creates a variety of stunning and challenging courses. The best part–you can hit the links year-round! If you happen to be coveted badge holders of the Masters Tournament, Capital City/Lake Murray Country is only 70 miles from The Augusta National and is the perfect place to stay and play. Want to hit up multiple courses during the stay? Golf packages are available. Call 888-501-0954 or email for a variety of golf package options.

Between natural wildlife displays, a plethora of water sports and coveted golf courses, Capital City/Lake Murray Country is the outdoor lover’s dream escape. Come here once and see firsthand why this natural paradise is one that has guests returning again and again.