SkyWheel at Myrtle Beach: The seaside Ferris wheel is billed as only the second such attraction in North America. It will have 42 gondolas; as the wheel turns, youll eventually be 200 feet above sea level able to see roughly 25 miles up the coast to the North Carolina border.
It takes about three minutes to complete a revolution. Each ride will take eight to 12 minutes, given loading time and occupancy (each glass-enclosed gondola can hold up to six passengers).
The attraction is fitted with 1 million LED lights for after-dark display. Cost: $12; $8 for kids. (www.skywheelusa.com)
A tower for Tarzan: The 943-acre Palmetto Islands County Park in Mount Pleasant is nature- and family-oriented, with bike paths, picnic sites and grills. As the setting has a tropical look, so does the parks 50-foot observation tower, whose roof looks monsoon-resistant. (It survived Hurricane Hugo.) Park admission: $1. (www.ccprc.com)
Sights at Sea Pines: Hilton Head harbor holds a 90-foot tower that, in 1970, was the first privately-built lighthouse in America since the 1800s. Climb the Harbour Town Lighthouse to enjoy a view of Hilton Head Island. The landings on your climb serve as a museum that tells the history of the area.
Harbour Town is within Sea Pines resort; there is a $5 per-vehicle fee at the gate to enter; $3.50 to then climb lighthouse. (www.harbourtownlighthouse.com)
Historic light: Hunting Island State Park has the states only publicly accessible historic lighthouse. Built in the 1870s, it has a white bottom and black top. Climb to its top (132.5 feet) for a great view of the Lowcountry terrain and the Atlantic. Park admission: $5; $3 for kids; $2 to climb the lighthouse. (www.southcarolinaparks.com)
Four-deck treatment: In Port Royal, follow Sands Beach Road to the architect-designed four-level observation tower, where you can see the marshes of Battery Creek ... and often see dolphins in the waters. The tower is open dawn to dusk; theres no admission fee. Theres a free public beach there, too. (www.portroyal.org)