Deciding what to do in South Carolina will be your biggest challenge. The Palmetto State is full of history and classical architecture. The beach is a great getaway from for the entire family, while Charleston and Greenville have the best dining and nightlife in the state. Myrtle Beach has a myriad of activities like water parks and golf courses.
When you visit Charleston expect Southern charm, picturesque churches and historic townhomes. At night Charleston looks very bit the Antebellum-style port city while the daytime resembles an 18th-century postcard. Just outside Charleston you can find magnolia-filled gardens as horse-drawn carriages take passengers through the city’s Historic District. Charleston is actually nicknamed the “City of Churches” so be sure to check out the architectural marvels such as the Circular Congregational Church. Open-air markets, wide boulevards and Atlantic boardwalks are at every turn here. Taste Southern delicacies and fresh seafood in one of the many fine-dining establishments and don't miss the pastel-colored homes on Rainbow Row. The Gibbes Museum of Art resides at the Beaux Arts palace and boasts the region’s best art collection for culture lovers.
Visitors often flock to South Carolina just to spend time at Myrtle Beach. The coastal city enjoys warm temperatures and miles of beaches. About 14 million visitors head to Myrtle Beach every year in the spring, summer and fall months. In addition to being a relaxing beach destination, Myrtle Beach has an extensive number of golf courses and amusement parks. If you want to enjoy a theatrical performance, you can check out productions at The Carolina Opry. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is regarded as one of the top piers in the nation, complete with a Ferris wheel and fishing spots.
Fort Sumter National Monument:
Take a stroll through history at the legendary Fort Sumter. As the location of the first shots fired during the Civil War, Fort Sumter is a popular South Carolina attraction. Hop on a boat and embark on a tour of the fort where you can learn about the soldiers, battles and skirmishes of the American Civil War.
Things to do
Whether you are toting the kids along or want to enjoy a secluded romantic getaway, everyone can enjoy some rest and relaxation in the sand in South Carolina. Surfside Beach is popular for surfing, boating and fishing and even has a nearby water park. If you want to explore a lighthouse, head to the romantic Hunting Island Beach.
If you have never golfed before, your vacation to South Carolina is the perfect stepping stone. Several national golf tournaments are held in South Carolina, so this is your chance to experience the impressive grounds of professionals. The state has an astonishing 360 championship golf courses with stunning views from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northern regions to the rivers, lakes and beaches in the southern regions of the state. One of the most prized golf courses is Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head.
If you love scenic hikes, waterfalls and days spent exploring flora and fauna, there are 47 state parks in South Carolina waiting for you. You can climb sand dunes or visit the Blue Ridge Mountains for one of the most picturesque trails in the country. Popular activities in the parks include bird-watching, photography, fishing and whitewater rafting.
Shopping and dining
If you'd like to dedicate a few days on your vacation to shopping, South Carolina has an abundance of boutiques and open-air markets for you. The Market Common features traditional mall-style shopping in Myrtle Beach. Charleston has high-end designer retail stores, but also plenty of flea markets that are popular with visitors and locals alike. You can even pick up souvenirs for your home at one of the many antique and art stores scattered all over the Palmetto State.
Get ready for the best Southern comfort food in the country! Expect to find gullah cuisine, burgers and fresh seafood. Enjoy fine Italian dining at Mercato in Charleston where the European-style bar features live jazz music every night. Circa 1886 boasts the best Southern food in Charleston, with a wine list featuring 280 varietals for guests. Pepper’s Porch in Bluffton has the best bacon-wrapped scallops, deviled eggs and fried green tomatoes. The Green Room in Greenville is known for their hit brunch menu which includes crab cakes and a killer meatloaf.
If you are looking for a fun night out on the town, Greenville, Columbia and Charleston have some of the best bars in the state. Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria is a favorite in Greenville, while Bar None is popular with the locals in Columbia. The Pavillion Rooftop Bar in Charleston has a breathtaking view of the city.
Still need help planning your getaway? Check out our list of the
top things to do in South Carolina
. For more specific planning tips, check out our list of
things to do in Myrtle Beach with teenagers