The Coolest Underground Attractions in South Carolina

South Carolina boasts abundant natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Yet, beyond its surface allure, lies a world of captivating underground wonders waiting to be explored. Journey with us as we uncover some of the most enthralling underground attractions this state has to offer.

Cathedral Caverns State Park

In the northern reaches of McDowell County, just shy of the South Carolina border, lies Cathedral Caverns State Park. Home to one of the nation’s most breathtaking caves, it boasts an entrance a colossal 126 feet wide and 25 feet high. Venture inside to marvel at a stunning array of stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstones. Witness the awe-inspiring sight of the world’s largest stalagmite, towering at 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference. Guided tours offer a glimpse into this subterranean realm, while hiking trails, picnic spots, and a quaint gift shop complete the above-ground experience. Whether camping within the park or lodging nearby, Cathedral Caverns State Park promises an unforgettable adventure for nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike.

Stumphouse Tunnel

Nestled in Walhalla, South Carolina, Stumphouse Tunnel stands as a testament to a bygone era. Constructed in the 1850s for a railroad venture that never came to fruition, this historic tunnel spans 1,617 feet through solid blue granite. Today, it beckons curious visitors to explore its cool, dimly lit corridors and unravel tales of its past. Legends whisper of ghostly apparitions haunting its depths, from restless workers to lovelorn spirits. Some even believe in its purported healing properties, particularly for respiratory ailments. Regardless of belief, a journey through Stumphouse Tunnel promises an intriguing glimpse into South Carolina’s history and folklore.

Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden

In Bishopville, South Carolina, lies the enchanting Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden, a living masterpiece crafted from over 300 meticulously sculpted plants. Conceived by the self-taught artist Pearl Fryar in the 1980s, this botanical wonderland showcases ordinary flora transformed into whimsical shapes, animals, and even words. Fryar’s creative vision extends beyond vegetation, incorporating metal sculptures, found objects, and vibrant colors into his eclectic landscape. More than a mere garden, it symbolizes Fryar’s passion, creativity, and the triumph of hope over adversity. Open to the public, a visit to Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden offers a journey into the imagination of a true visionary.

Gullah Tours

Discover the vibrant tapestry of Gullah culture with Gullah Tours, a captivating exploration of South Carolina’s rich heritage. Led by native Gullah speaker and licensed guide Alphonso Brown, these tours illuminate the legacy of enslaved Africans who shaped the Lowcountry’s distinct language, traditions, and identity. From historic landmarks like the Old Slave Mart to cultural hubs like Emanuel AME Church, each stop offers insights into the Gullah people’s enduring influence. Through engaging storytelling, music, and humor, Brown brings this often-overlooked history to life, providing an immersive and enlightening experience for visitors.


Beneath South Carolina’s surface lies a world of wonder and intrigue, waiting to be discovered. Whether delving into natural marvels, exploring historical relics, admiring artistic ingenuity, or immersing in cultural heritage, these underground attractions offer a glimpse into the state’s rich tapestry. So, next time you find yourself in South Carolina, venture below ground and uncover the secrets that lie beneath.

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