The Ashley River National Scenic Byway, an 11-mile stretch of roadway that passes historic plantations and churches, could receive $25,000 from a federal program.

The byway sits in the running for money from "This Place Matters," a program from the National Trust of Historic Preservation. If it wins, the byway and the S.C. National Heritage Corridor intend to use the prize toward promotion and conservation efforts.

The byway flows past Drayton Hall, Middleton Place, Magnolia Planation and Gardens, Old St. Andrews Parish Church, Springfield Baptist Church and Fort Bull Confederate Earthworks.

An online vote will determine the winner. Visit to vote.

An app for that

The Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest in Harleyville offers a smart phone guide application.

Available to download for free on iTunes, the boardwalk-specific program covers every stop in the guidebook, plus the spaces in between. It also shares information about the flora and fauna visitors might encounter along the way.

Holiday roads

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AAA Carolinas forecast a nearly 8 percent increase in Labor Day travel for S.C. residents, thanks to lower gas prices this year.

Palmetto State gas prices average $2.43 per gallon of regular unleaded, down 13 cents from this summer's peak and down 18 cents from Memorial Day weekend, says the travel club. Prices come in highest in Charleston.

AAA expects about 452,000 South Carolinians to travel during the long weekend ending today. The travel club estimated that 32,000 more people would vacation more than 50 miles away from home. Air travel also should rise more than 2 percent, despite pricier flights this year, says AAA.

The numbers did not take into account any effects from Hurricane Earl, which skirted the coast late last week.

Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or