South Carolina is undoubtedly a gem of the south and the entire country. It’s a great place for tourists to visit, and there are so many wonderful cities, towns, and beach communities that it’s tough to narrow it down and decide which one to go to.
Some people find a place in South Carolina they love so much it becomes their go-to travel destination year after year.
While there are certainly plenty of options, the following are some of the top travel destinations in South Carolina.
Myrtle Beach is a great tourist destination in South Carolina that offers something for everyone, including all ages. There are attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium, theme parks, shopping, dining and of course the beach.
The area is known as the Grand Strand thanks to the miles and miles of wide, sandy beach set on the picturesque Atlantic Ocean.
Myrtle Beach has a bit of a retro feeling, as it came to prominence as a premier tourist destination in the 1950s and 60s. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and the Skywheel Ferris Wheel help reinforce this atmosphere.
It’s easy to see why families often return to Myrtle Beach many years over.
Charleston is historic on a whole other level than other cities in South Carolina—in fact, it’s the oldest city in the state.
Charleston has beautiful historic homes, and you can stroll along the waterfront Battery to see some of them.
There are cobblestone streets and preserved plantation homes like Magnolia Plantations and Gardens.
One of the best parts of visiting Charleston? The food.
The city has a thriving culinary scene often considered one of the best in the country.
You can find traditional southern and Lowcountry fare, but also French-inspired food, and modern twists and classic dishes.
Charleston has nightlife, golfing, and it’s close to the beach as well so it would be difficult to ever get your fill of the city.
Hilton Head is very close to the border of South Carolina and Georgia, near Savannah.
Hilton Head itself is on a barrier island spanning 12 miles, and it’s one of the least developed tourist-centric areas in the state—much less so than Myrtle Beach. For example, while there are plenty of condo buildings in Myrtle Beach, you won’t see that in Hilton Head.
Hilton Head is one of the top golfing destinations in the world, and it’s popular for cycling thanks to the many bike lanes, and paths found all over.
Tennis is popular in Hilton Head as is snorkeling and of course just enjoying the beaches.
There’s a nice, slow pace of life to enjoy if you visit Hilton Head.
Caesars Head State Park
While many of the tourist destinations in South Carolina are on the coast, there is more to the state. For example, consider visiting Caesars Head State Park, which is in Cleveland, in the South Carolina Upstate.
The state park includes the Hawk Watch program every fall, where you can go and see migrating raptors. There is the Blue Ridge Escarpment offering astounding views, and you can enjoy more than 11,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain Forest. It is also considered one of the best RV campgrounds in NC.
One of the most popular trails in the park takes you to Raven Cliff Falls, with a suspension bridge and publicly accessible overlooks so you can get a birds-eye view of the 420-foot falls.
Beaufort is considered part of what is called the Sea Islands. You can get a glimpse of Antebellum history in Beaufort.
This low country area features live oak trees draped in moss, and it was founded in 1512.
Many people take walking tours of the area to see the homes from the Civil War era, and you can also learn more about the unique Gullah heritage.
Other options for things to do in Beaufort include fishing charters, kayaking, and biking.
Greenville is a more modern city than most of the other places you’ll likely want to visit in South Carolina. It integrates elements of the New and Old South.
There are a lot of cultural venues in Greenville, such as the Greenville County Museum of Art and the Peace Center Theater.
There’s also the Falls Park on the Reedy, which is a park with a waterfall located centrally in the city. Greenville is home a growing food scene, there is nightlife, and you’re also close to the mountains if you like hiking and outdoor activities.
If you visit in the fall, you can enjoy the culinary Fall for Greenville food festival.