Things to Do in Santee

If you love golf, fishing and the great outdoors, then Santee, South Carolina should be on your short list of places to go for vacation


Santee’s public golf courses have great rates; it's easy to find a guide for your fishing trip; and Santee State Park is a great place for the whole family to get closer to nature. And when your fun-filled day is winding down and dinnertime is drawing closer, one of Santee's restaurants is sure to satisfy your hunger with some delicious down-home country cooking.

Tee Off at Lake Marion Golf Course

Conveniently located only 2 miles from town, Lake Marion Golf Course allows you to enjoy a round of golf on a beautiful course that has several lakes and a fairway lined with pine trees. Although there are nearly 50 sand bunkers to work around, a golf pro is available for lessons and pointers; you can also practice on the driving range before you head out on the course itself. The green fees include a golf cart and are quite reasonable, even on the weekends. Rental golf clubs are available if you’ve left your sticks at home, and conveniently, you can book your tee times online.

Casting for Catfish

Whether you are an experienced fisherman or will be baiting a hook for the very first time, the Santee Cooper Lakes Catfishnfool Fishing Guide Service will help you to have a good day filled with fishing fun in the sun! The service has some of the most affordable charter rates in town—children 16 and under and fish for free—and if you don't catch a fish, you don't pay. This is an experience the whole family can enjoy together, and if anyone is skilled—or lucky—enough to catch a 45-lb. or over fish, the next trip is free. The Catfishnfool will let you in on all of his secrets about how to catch catfish, bream and crappie, and depending on how long you’d like to be out on the lake, you can hire him for either a half-day trip or all-day trip. Any participants over the age of 15 will need a nonresident fishing license; these reasonably priced licenses are valid for 14 days and can be obtained either online at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources or in person at one of their offices.

Nature Trails and Treasure Hunting

Santee State Park is an ideal place for the whole family to spend a day in the great outdoors, and is conveniently located only a few miles northwest of town. The park fronts Lake Marion, which is the largest lake in the entire state and is referred to as South Carolina’s inland sea! Needless to say, among the fun activities than can be enjoyed at the park are swimming, boating—rental boats are available, and fishing. Other pursuits include birdwatching, hiking and mountain biking on the Limestone, Oak Pinolly and Sinkhole Pond nature trails. You can even try your hand at geocaching, which is a sort of treasure hunting that uses GPS to track down items. Once you've found the hidden container, you sign the log and then take something out of the box and replace it with something new for the next treasure hunter.

Southern Cooking and Old-Fashioned Ice Cream

Country charm abounds at the Lone Star Barbecue and Mercantile, as does home-style Southern cooking. The all-you-can-eat buffet features everything from spicy barbecue to shrimp and grits, and when you’ve had your fill, you can browse for unique items at the old country store that's right next door, then head out back and take a selfie in front of the old whiskey still and outhouse. Captains Quarters is the place to go for fresh seafood, including catfish, stuffed grouper, shrimp and scallops. It may be a bit difficult to decide which of the 47 flavors you’d like to have at Smith's Ice Cream Bar and Bakery (9039 Old Number 6 Highway, Santee), so why not just have three scoops in that cup or cone of yours? That way, you’ll only have 44 flavors left to try! And while you’re there, you may as well pick up some cinnamon rolls, peach strudel and jalapeno cheese bread. Mmmmm!

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