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Your guide to Santee Cooper Country

February 02, 2015   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper Lakes

If you ever get the urge to pack up and "head to Santee" for day trip, weekend or week-long vacation, one basic question might come to mind: How to begin planning a trip to enjoy the many recreational opportunities on lakes Marion and Moultrie?

You're in luck because if you don't know already about it, there's a tremendous resource available that offers a lot about the five counties (Berkeley, Calhoun, Clarendon, Orangeburg, Sumter) surrounding the lakes. It's the Santee Cooper Counties Promotion Commission, one of 11 regional tourism commissions statewide. They're commonly known as "Santee Cooper Country."

Every year they publish the "Santee Cooper Country Visitors' Guide," and the 54-page 2015 version was recently released in booklet form (free) or online at It's packed with information including 45 destinations or businesses on or near the Santee Cooper Lakes.

Topics include fishing, golfing, hunting, dining, accommodations, marinas, navigating the lakes, etc. A recent addition is two pages featuring the GPS coordinates of fish attractors and boat ramps. Besides all that, there's a real estate section that would appeal to anyone considering the lakes as a retirement destination — as many have.

Headquartered in Santee, S.C., Santee Cooper Country has been around since 1968. You're welcome to drop by for a visit. At 9302 Old S.C. Highway 6, about a mile east of Santee, it's not far from Santee State Park. There you'll find brochures and items for sale such as waterproof fishing maps, hats and Santee Cooper Country front license plates. The friendly staff welcomes questions. Hours are daily, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They are closed Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day. The telephone number is 803-854-2131.