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South Carolina

South Carolina became the eighth state admitted to the U.S. on May 23, 1788. Its capital is Columbia, in the middle of the state, while its largest city is the Colonial-era Charleston downstate. South Carolina is particularly known for its Atlantic coastline and accompanying beach towns, though also contains a stretch of the Piedmont as well as a handful of Blue Ridge mountain peaks far upstate. Other major cities in the state include Myrtle Beach, Florence, Sumter, Greenville-Spartanburg and Beaufort. Portions of the metropolitan areas of Charlotte, North Carolina and Augusta, Georgia are also within South Carolina.

State attractions include the Grand Strand beaches of the state's northeast, which extend into North Carolina; Patriots Point and the Boone Hall plantation in Mount Pleasant; the college campuses of Clemson and the University of South Carolina; and Hilton Head Island in the far south. In addition to its beaches, South Carolina has important industries in golfing, cotton and textiles.

South Carolina's major Interstate highway corridors are Interstates 20, 26, 77, 85 and 95. I-20 runs east-west from the Savannah River to an end at Florence, while I-26 likewise ends just short of Charleston and I-77 in the Columbia area. I-85 is the main thoroughfare through Greenville-Spartanburg, while I-95 is a mainly rural route through the state. I-26, I-77 and I-85 have a combined four auxiliary routes within the state. In addition, both Interstates 73 and 74 will eventually reach the Myrtle Beach area in the future, and there have been occasional talks of I-20 being extended further through the state and to Wilmington, North Carolina. There are also two business Interstates: I-20 Business in Florence and I-526 Business in Mount Pleasant, just east of Charleston.

Among South Carolina's U.S. routes, U.S. Route 1 runs southwest-to-northeast through the middle of the state from Georgia through the Columbia area, and exiting into North Carolina amid the Sandhills. U.S. routes 76 and 78 are east-west corridors through the state, the latter ending in Charleston. U.S. Route 17 is the state's main coastal highway, emerging from Savannah, Georgia and directly serving Charleston and Myrtle Beach. U.S. Route 52, beginning in Goose Creek north of Charleston, runs due north through Florence and Darlington, kickstarting a journey that brings it all the way to North Dakota. U.S. routes 15 and 29 largely parallel I-95 and I-85, the former having an additional business route in U.S. Route 301. Auxiliary routes aside from 301 include U.S. Route 176 (an I-26 feeder), 278 to Hilton Head, 378, 501, 601 and 701, the latter three all ending at various points within the state.

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