The 7 finest locations to go to in South Carolina: from sandy shores to outdoorsy adventures

South Carolina is a Southern charm-infused orchestra of landscapes that performs to perfection year-round.

Creating this concord are world-class white sand seashores and mega golf locations alongside its Atlantic edge, Blue Ridge mountain vistas inland, massive cities that by no means overwhelm and Lowcountry cities that depart you within the highest of spirits.

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South Carolina is primed for a multi-city highway journey with a number of mega interstates and main US roadways zigzagging all through the state. At a minimal, you’ll wish to plan an extended weekend or every week within the Palmetto State to actually dabble in its geographic wonders and heat and undeniably twangy natives.

From the 26,000-acre nationwide park to the museum-clad capital, and a coastal gem of a metropolis that can depart any foodie loosening their belt a notch, these are the very best locations to go to in South Carolina. 

Comply with the elevated boardwalk via the huge Congaree Nationwide Park © iStockphoto / Getty Pictures

Congaree Nationwide Park is the very best place for outside adventures

Tucked in the midst of South Carolina and roughly 20 miles southeast of Columbia, Congaree Nationwide Park is the place individuals come to quietly unwind. This practically 27,000-acre park is a biodiverse spectacle, with towering hardwoods, stringy Spanish moss, a two-plus mile elevated boardwalk and the calm Congaree and Wateree Rivers comprising its panorama.

Central and staffed, Congaree Nationwide Park appeases off-the-grid multi-day campers and people looking for a guided expertise. Every Saturday year-round, rangers and native volunteers lead guided excursions of a number of the park’s most astonishing experiences, together with turtles the scale of a espresso desk, hand-sized spiders and “Champion Timber” that rank among the many largest bushes on earth.

A small group of people play beach volleyball in Myrtle Beach South Carolina
Myrtle Seaside has lots to maintain all guests occupied © Getty Pictures

Myrtle Seaside is the place to go for a household day trip

As quickly as you set foot on Myrtle Seaside’s gentle sands, you’ll get why it’s thought-about the colourful coronary heart of South Carolina’s “Grand Strand” (a 60-mile stretch of seashores alongside the Atlantic). Inside its coastal confines, there’s really one thing for each member of the family, spanning boardwalk strolls (and maybe a SkyWheel experience?), craft brewery excursions with bocce ball motion at Crooked Hammock Brewery and, in fact, countless days on the seaside.

For a family-friendly outing, Surfside Beach is the right vacation spot, a lot in order that it is domestically generally known as Household Seaside. A small impartial neighborhood with practically 2 miles of ocean frontage, it has mini golf (Journey Falls Golf), the Wild Water & Wheels Water Park and the Surfside Bowling Entertainment Center, superb for wet days. 

Charleston is a high vacation spot for foodies

“Holy Metropolis” is a godsend for these looking for quintessentially Southern or an internationally infused eating expertise. Its King Avenue artery and concrete core tantalizes all of the senses, from its mixture of Georgian, colonial, and federal-style buildings to its boutique retailers promoting the native necessities like Southern-inspired hats, bowties and fits to its seemingly countless array of restaurant choices.

You and yours will wish to go to Charleston hungry and if there’s a must-stop restaurant in your itinerary, make a reservation prematurely. One to not miss is the central Hotel Bennett and its Gabrielle patio overlooking Marion Sq.. 

Octopus with a side of small portions of potatoes, onions and corn. There's a smear of green sauce on the side of the plate. There's a glass of wine, a fork and knife on a white tablecloth.
The octopus is a well-liked dish at Bistronomy by Nico in Charleston © Andrew Cebulka / Bistronomy by Nico

For arguably the very best biscuit on the town, there’s a Callie’s Scorching Little Biscuit simply blocks north (order something however get it with pimento cheese). For a refined sit-down expertise off the principle drag, head to Bistronomy by Nico within the city’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial District. You should definitely strive the mussels (served in a kaffir lime broth) or the curry crab soup that can have you ever begging for the recipe.

The place you keep is half the Charleston enjoyable. Central choices span the Roaring Twenties-inspired boutique The Spectator Lodge, the French Quarter Inn with a day by day wine and cheese reception and the aptly named waterfront HarbourView Inn

For a quiet retreat with seamless entry to the town, guide the Embassy Suites by Charleston Harbor Mt. Pleasant. It has panoramic views of Charleston’s steeple-filled skyline and the close by former Navy plane service, the USS Yorktown. If you wish to work off all these meals, you may stroll throughout the long-lasting Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge to get to and from downtown. 

Interior of the Senate Chamber of South Carolina State House in Columbia, with a large US flag hanging down
Colombia is residence ot the South Carolina State Home © Getty Pictures

Columbia is the very best place for exploring museums and gardens

Stately buildings and open areas await in South Carolina’s capital metropolis. The place the Saluda and Broad Rivers meet (and, enjoyable truth, the place the Congaree River begins), most of the metropolis’s largest attracts are on the shores of the rivers, together with the Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard and, for disc golf lovers, Granby Park.

On the museum entrance, main attracts embody the South Carolina State Museum, Columbia Museum of Artwork and the practically 100,000 sq ft EdVenture Children’s Museum.

Columbia is as bustling as a South Carolina city will get with a hybrid of governmental buildings and youthful buzz stemming from the University of South Carolina. Ebook a South Carolina State Home tour to make the very best of all worlds.

For those who’re visiting South Carolina within the fall or winter months, catch a College of South Carolina soccer recreation. Put together for max pandemonium in the event that they occur to be enjoying in-state rival Clemson.

Visitors to Falls Park linger on Liberty Bridge overlooking the Reedy River waterfalls
Admire the falls earlier than grabbing a espresso in Greenville © Alamy Inventory Photograph

Greenville serves the very best espresso in South Carolina

This upstate metropolis gives a rush in so some ways. Tucked within the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll discover Falls Park on the Reedy in its heart, the place the 345-ft Liberty Bridge guides of us above a multifaceted waterfall. 

The encompassing parks are residence to small gardens, theater festivals and locals stretching out for picnics or taking their canine for a stroll. The vibe makes it among the many finest romantic and distinctive locations to go to in South Carolina.

From Falls Park, you may preserve the frenzy going simply north alongside Foremost Avenue. Amid mom-and-pop eating places and regional chains, the Peace Heart Live performance Corridor and a smattering of lodge choices, prioritize a visit to Methodical Espresso for the very best cup of Joe in all the Palmetto State. 

Born and bred in Greenville, Methodical Espresso has rapidly turn out to be a US specialty espresso heavyweight and has three cafes on the town. Snag a pour-over espresso or chilly brew – don’t put any sugar or milk in it, as a result of it is going to be flavorful sufficient with out it.

Florence is a superb metropolis with a small-town aptitude

“Magic Metropolis” is residence to roughly 40,000 South Carolinians and is the soul of the state’s Pee Dee area. (You’ll see numerous references to Pee Dee plastered alongside interstates – it refers back to the native river in addition to the Pee Dee native tribe).

Downtown Florence’s brick-dotted city core – practically 1.1 sq miles – has skilled a revitalization lately with trendy museums, galleries and public areas taking heart stage.

Primed for a day journey, hit the Florence County Museum with rotating displays that includes regional artists. Throughout the road is the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, which has an amphitheater, two theaters and common orchestra productions. 

Florence’s SC Pecan Festival held in November is a nationwide draw, attracting 50,000-plus of us desirous to strive pecan-infused all the pieces. 

Greenwood is the right place for a quiet retreat

Greenwood lives as much as its identify, with lush bushes aplenty all through its downtown/Foremost Avenue thoroughfare and surrounding areas. Arts and parks are important to creating a day on this quiet city of 25,000, which is roughly 90 minutes west of Columbia.

The city’s arts hub is the Arts Center of Greenwood, housed within the stately Federal Constructing. Right here you may peruse items by native artists (typically together with creations by college children, adorably). The Heart additionally hosts artwork courses. 

Lake Greenwood State Park is a significant draw for largemouth bass fishers (you want a state license to fish) and campers – there are greater than 100 campsites alongside the lake’s shore.