Relaxation Nation: Santee, South Carolina

It doesn’t get much better than the state of South Carolina when it comes to finding a relaxing getaway.

Now, one of the hidden gems of South Carolina is putting itself out there as an affordable resort destination and than means it’s to our advantage to book now for the spring, summer and fall. It’s be beautiful lakeside town of Santee, South Carolina.

With a population of fewer than 900, Santee has remained true to its Southern roots dating back more than a half century, and upon closer review you will discover that Santee has been quite busy lately making subtle but tasteful changes with the times.

Begin with the new exit off I-95 with access to Santee that is going to open in 2016. There are high-powered Tesla charging hook-ups at Clark’s Inn & Restaurant, a new Conference Center, a 17,752-foot, state-of-the-art facility with three breakout rooms can host up to 1,200 people. The YMCA-run Santee Recreation Center and Waterpark, which opened last year, features an aquatics center with an 80,000-gallon pool separated into three sections for all ages, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer and bocce fields and recreation pavilions — along with a thrilling, 300-foot slide that starts about 100 feet in the air and takes you on a tube down through the three loops.

Looking to play some great golf in an undisturbed environment and stay close to course? Check out the fully-equipped villas overlooking the beautiful Lake Marion Golf Course, situated alongside Santee National’s fairways or rising high above the big waters on Lake Marion’s north shore. Lake Marion has 24 villas available with 10 more currently under construction. “Santee is growing,” said Brock Hannay, Santee National’s office manager. “Everyone here has a vision.”

Within a mile of town, there are three outstanding courses that don’t cost a small fortune to play — a trinity has become sacred ground for golfers from all over North America.

Santee Cooper Country Club, designed by George Cobb and opened in 1967, is the oldest of the three courses and arguably the venue you should never leave off any Santee itinerary, due to its prime positioning on Lake Marion. Set among majestic pines, this classic challenge winds its way from an opening tee shot over water, through a series of scenic dogleg holes, with elevated greens and featuring some of the best par 3s in the region.  The best closing hole in Santee is unquestionably the par-4 No. 18 that provides a panoramic view of Lake Marion from its elevated green.

Lake Marion Golf Club, which opened in 1978, is Santee Cooper’s sister course and features outstanding, Miniverde greens. Architect Eddie Riccoboni designed the traditional layout with tree-lined fairways, bordering lakes and dotted by 47 sand bunkers that will test your golf course navigational skills. Santee Cooper and Lake Marion are part of the Santee Cooper Resort.

Another popular golf course on the menu at Santee is the Porter Gibson-routed Santee National Golf Club, which opened in 1989 and underwent a renovation in 2005. This 6,858-yard offering is positioned in a truly natural setting filled with mossy live oaks is a more wide-open layout than Santee Cooper CC and beautiful Lake Marion.

There are five other reasonably priced gems within 20 minutes of Santee and another 10 courses within 40 minutes.

Santee is Southern hospitality at its best. Santee is a “people place.” Behind golf counters, inside restaurants, hotels and on the streets you find friendly faces and welcoming hosts offering good old-fashioned Southern hospitality. When you go to the Oasis Bar and Grill, you might meet the owner Dennis, and he might buy a drink. It’s all part of the Santee charm. Coasters is a Santee must-visit for golfers, where the Jack Daniels steak will rival most cuts of meat along the east coast, while the fish and prime rib at Captain Kirk’s is equally tasty. During the season, Clark’s Inn & Restaurant — which celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2016 — will serve 350-plus people a night.

Find more info at www.SanteeTourism.com. Specific golf packages are available at www.GolfSantee.com, www.SanteeCooperGolf.com and www.ClarksInnandRestaurant.com, where you can charge your Tesla or electric car at the Supercharge hook-up in as little time as it takes to grab lunch or dinner at the finest dining establishment in town.

Relax in Santee, South Carolina
Relax in Santee, South Carolina
Condos in Santee, South Carolina
Condos in Santee, South Carolina