CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Right now gas prices in South Carolina are the cheapest in the nation at $2.98 a gallon. Thanks to reduced gas costs, AAA of the Carolinas expects a 5% increase in travel this Independence Day over last year.
Hundreds of people flocked to check out downtown Charleston and shop at the City Market.
"More people are enjoying this time of the year. It's fun. Even with Fourth of July in the middle of the week, we anticipate it being pretty busy at the beginning of this week and next weekend as well," Paul Silva Gallery associate Lisa Fuller said.
Businesses are anticipating some hot sales this Independence Day.
"Being in the ice cream business, I hope that we're booming. I hope there's a lot of people traveling," Wholly Cow co-owner Jose Perey said.
Travel experts from AAA say people are expected to include Thursday and Friday as part of their July Fourth holiday. Travelers say Charleston was their top destination to show their patriotism and enjoy the attractions.
"We started coming here about 10 years ago and we just picked a place on the map, we love the place. We come back every couple years," James Pilson said.
"It's hot. People are wonderful and we're having a great time. It's a great place. We found a really nice hotel," visitor from New York, Sherry Huffman said.
AAA says more than a million people are expected to drive to their destination this holiday. People who hit the road already say gas prices weren't bad.
"As we came further south, you guys are very lucky. Cheaper by 15 to 20 cents a gallon compared to New York," visitor from New York, Caroline Pizzugo said.
If you are out driving this July 4th, state troopers are warning you to designate a driver. They will be out in full force with checkpoints throughout the Lowcountry.
"When a holiday falls mid-week, we see motorists traveling both weekends – before and after the holiday," said Cpl. Bob Beres. "That is why troopers will be out in larger numbers throughout the week, joining other law enforcement agencies for saturations and public safety checkpoints to keep motorists safe."
Charleston and Berkeley Counties::
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Safety Checkpoint- 2300 hrs. Sangaree Pkwy (Berkeley County)
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Safety Checkpoint-1000 hrs. Ward Ave (Charleston County)
Safety Checkpoint -2200 hrs. I-26 west 219 Exit (Charleston County)
Friday, July 6, 2012
Safety Checkpoint-0900 hrs. Edgebrook at Myers (Berkeley)
Safety Checkpoint-2300 hrs. I-26 west 194 Exit Ramp (Berkeley County)
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Safety Checkpoint-1000 hrs. Gleason Dr. (Berkeley County)
Safety Checkpoint-2300 hrs. S.C. 402 at 402 (Berkeley County)
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Safety Checkpoint-2200 hrs. Treeland Drive (Berkeley County)
Colleton and Dorchester Counties
Safety Checkpoints - 1400 Quail Dr. and Mt. Carmel Rd. (Colleton)
Safety Checkpoints – 2300 Old Orangeburg & Mallard Rd. (Dorchester)
Wednesday July 4, 2012
Safety Checkpoints – 1400 Peurifoy Rd. Near S.C. 64 (Colleton)
Safety Checkpoints – 2100 Patriot Blvd. (Dorchester)
Friday July 6, 2012
Safety Checkpoints – 1500 S.C. 61 Springtown (Colleton)
Safety Checkpoints – 1900 McDaniel Town Rd. & Pierce Rd. (Colleton)
Saturday July 7, 2012
Safety Checkpoints – 1400 Sidney's Rd. at Stokes Bridge (Colleton)
Safety Checkpoints – 0100 Central Ave. at Embassy (Dorchester)
Sunday July 8, 2012
Safety Checkpoints – 1400 U.S. 15 near Canady's Edisto River Landing (Colleton)
Safety Checkpoints – 1900 Old Beech Hill Rd And S.C. 61 (Dorchester)