Considering a trip to SC this year? Here are some of the most beautiful places in South Carolina to visit. These breathtaking views and attractions are sure to leave you awestruck.
Welcome to our little corner of the internet, a place where we reveal the most beautiful places in South Carolina. A hidden gem of the American southeast, South Carolina truly is a treasure chest of scenic landscapes, historic architecture, and rich culture waiting to be explored.
Whether you’re in search of the best places to visit in South Carolina for some beachside relaxation, or eager to trek through the state’s enchanting wilderness, this guide has you covered. South Carolina also boasts a vibrant collection of most beautiful cities, from the historic beauty of Charleston to the seaside serenity of Hilton Head Island.
In this guide, we’ll explore unique places to visit in South Carolina. This includes charming cities, beautiful state parks, and everything in between.
Ready to journey through the pretty places in South Carolina? Let’s dive in!
Eager to delve into the most beautiful spots in South Carolina? As mentioned earlier, there’s something for everyone in this charming Southeastern state. So continue reading to unveil the astonishing landscapes of South Carolina. Are you seeking picturesque cityscapes and rich cultural experiences? Or perhaps you’re after a peaceful retreat in the heart of nature?
Whatever your plans may be, South Carolina is ready to cater to your desires. Here are the top locations in SC you ought to know about:
Charleston is undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in South Carolina, seeping in southern charm and brimming with historic character. Here, cobblestone streets meet antebellum houses and horse-drawn carriages, transporting you back in time. Exploring the historic district is like stepping into a page of an American history book. This makes Charleston a must-see in South Carolina for history buffs and culture enthusiasts.
The Rainbow Row is a series of thirteen brightly-colored historic homes. It is a favorite among visitors and a prime spot for photographers. Walking along the Battery, a landmark defensive seawall and promenade, you’ll be met with breathtaking views of Charleston Harbor.
Visiting South Carolina without a trip to Charleston would be incomplete. Be sure to spend a leisurely afternoon in the city’s beautiful parks, like the Waterfront Park with its iconic Pineapple Fountain, or explore the hidden alleys draped in Spanish moss.
From the enchanting Magnolia Plantation Gardens to the hallowed halls of the Charleston Museum, this city is undoubtedly one of the best places in South Carolina to immerse oneself in the depth and beauty of the state’s history and culture.
2. Myrtle Beach
Known as the hub of the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach is a quintessential stop in any South Carolina tour. If you’re looking for the best places to visit in South Carolina for a family vacation or a weekend getaway, Myrtle Beach should definitely be on your list.
The city offers 60 miles of sandy beaches, perfect for sunbathing, building sandcastles, or diving into the refreshing Atlantic waves. Beyond the beach, you’ll find an abundance of attractions such as the SkyWheel. This is one of the tallest Ferris wheels in America, offering a spectacular view of the city and ocean.
The famous Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is a must-see in South Carolina. Lined with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues, it’s a vibrant spot to spend an evening. For a touch of nature, venture into Myrtle Beach State Park and enjoy fishing, bird watching, or hiking trails.
Whether you’re into high-octane watersports, golfing at one of the city’s 100 golf courses, or exploring the marine life at Ripley’s Aquarium, Myrtle Beach offers something for every kind of traveler. This makes it a beautiful place and one of the prettiest places in South Carolina.
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville is a charming city that artfully blends urban sophistication with outdoor adventure. This makes it one of the most beautiful places in South Carolina.
The beating heart of Greenville is the stunning Falls Park on the Reedy. It is an oasis of tranquility in the city center. This is a must-see in South Carolina, with its breathtaking waterfalls, scenic gardens, and the unique Liberty Bridge. Venture a little farther into the city to find vibrant street art, eclectic restaurants, and the Peace Center for Performing Arts.
If you’re an avid hiker, there are plenty of trails to be discovered on the outskirts of the city, such as the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a popular 22-mile multi-use greenway. Greenville is also home to the Greenville Zoo and the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, making it a great place for family visits.
Visiting South Carolina without experiencing Greenville’s combination of scenic beauty and cultural richness would indeed be a missed opportunity. This burgeoning city truly is one of the best places in South Carolina. It is perfect for those seeking a balance between city life and nature exploration.
Known for its historic charm and breathtaking natural landscapes, Beaufort is a beautiful place in South Carolina that you can’t afford to miss. As the second oldest city in the state, Beaufort offers a rich, fascinating history captured in its well-preserved antebellum architecture.
The Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park is a staple in any Beaufort visit. Stroll along the scenic pathways and take in the picturesque views of the Beaufort River. Hunting Island State Park, just a short drive away, is a must-see in South Carolina. It features a historic lighthouse, a sprawling beach, and a lush maritime forest, perfect for hiking, swimming, and wildlife viewing.
Downtown Beaufort, with its array of local shops, galleries, and eateries, is full of southern charm. Take a horse-drawn carriage tour to truly soak in the city’s historic district, lined with majestic live oaks draped in Spanish moss.
For movie enthusiasts, Beaufort’s cinematic history – being the filming location of classics like “Forrest Gump” – adds an extra layer of charm. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or just looking for a quaint town to relax in, Beaufort encapsulates many of the beautiful places of South Carolina.
5. Hilton Head Island
An idyllic paradise for beach lovers, golf enthusiasts, and nature seekers, Hilton Head Island is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in SC. This Lowcountry resort town offers 12 miles of pristine sandy beaches, world-class golf courses, and a thriving wildlife habitat.
Coligny Beach Park is a must-see in South Carolina, with its inviting white sands and crystal-clear waters. Meanwhile, the Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a treasure for those who wish to explore the island’s diverse flora and fauna on foot or by horseback.
For a dose of history and culture, visit the Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum, or take a stroll through the Honey Horn Plantation. The island is also well known for its vibrant food scene, offering the freshest seafood and local Lowcountry cuisine.
From biking along the picturesque pathways to dolphin-watching cruises, Hilton Head Island offers an enchanting mix of relaxation and adventure, marking it as one of the prettiest places in South Carolina.
As the state’s capital and largest city, Columbia holds a unique blend of urban hustle and natural beauty. This easily makes it one of the most beautiful cities in South Carolina. A hub for history, art, and culture, Columbia is packed with opportunities to delve into the state’s past and vibrant arts scene.
The South Carolina State House, with its grand architecture and beautiful grounds, is a must-see in South Carolina. The Columbia Museum of Art and the South Carolina State Museum are both fantastic places to appreciate art and learn more about the state’s history and culture.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offers an opportunity to enjoy both wildlife and beautiful botanical gardens, while the Congaree National Park—a short drive from the city center—is perfect for hiking, birdwatching, and canoeing.
Visiting South Carolina without experiencing the charms of Columbia would be incomplete. The city’s blend of southern hospitality, rich history, and stunning natural landscapes make it one of the best places in South Carolina.
7. Folly Beach
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Fondly known as “The Edge of America,” Folly Beach is a coastal gem that perfectly captures the laid-back, beachside spirit of the beautiful places in South Carolina. It’s a favorite among surfers, anglers, and those who simply love the sand and surf.
Folly Beach’s pier is a must-see in South Carolina, extending an impressive 1,045 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a great place for fishing, bird-watching, or just enjoying a stunning sunrise or sunset. The Morris Island Lighthouse, although no longer operational, is a picturesque landmark that adds charm to the beachscape.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the salt marshes on a kayak or paddleboard, while wildlife lovers can spot loggerhead turtles, dolphins, and a variety of bird species. Beachside eateries offer mouth-watering seafood, making for a delicious end to a day on the beach.
Whether you’re catching a wave, exploring the local shops, or just lounging on the sandy shores, Folly Beach is a vibrant and beautiful place in South Carolina that invites you to relax and unwind.
8. Caesars Head State Park
For those looking to escape into nature, Caesars Head State Park is truly one of the most beautiful places in South Carolina. Located in the northern part of the state, the park is a part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. This offers stunning views and a plethora of outdoor activities.
One of the must-see in South Carolina features of the park is the scenic overlook at the granite gneiss outcropping that gives the park its name. From this vantage point, visitors can appreciate breathtaking panoramic views of the South Carolina mountain region and the lush valley below.
The park’s myriad of hiking trails lead visitors to a variety of natural wonders. It includes the awe-inspiring 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls. During the fall migration season, the park becomes a hotspot for hawk watching.
If you’re a seasoned hiker, an avid birdwatcher, or a nature enthusiast looking for a peaceful retreat, Caesars Head State Park encapsulates the wild and unspoiled beauty of South Carolina’s beautiful places.
9. Kiawah Island
A haven of natural beauty and southern hospitality, Kiawah Island is a luxury resort community that ranks high among the prettiest places in South Carolina. With its pristine beaches, verdant landscapes, and world-class golf courses, it’s a true paradise for vacationers.
The ten miles of unspoiled beach offer a serene setting for relaxation, while the clear coastal waters are perfect for a refreshing swim. The island is also a golfer’s dream, boasting five championship golf courses, including the famous Ocean Course.
For nature lovers, Kiawah Island is home to abundant wildlife, from alligators and deer to various bird species. The island’s extensive network of biking and hiking trails allow for exploration of the scenic landscapes. This makes it a unique place to visit in South Carolina.
Whether it’s a peaceful beach retreat, a golfing getaway, or a family vacation filled with outdoor activities, Kiawah Island offers a tranquil escape among the beautiful places in South Carolina.
10. Pawleys Island
Epitomizing the laid-back, Lowcountry lifestyle, Pawleys Island is one of the oldest and most beautiful places in SC. This quiet seaside town is steeped in history and natural beauty. It is the perfect place to unwind and step back in time.
Known for its signature rope hammocks, unspoiled beaches, and historic landmarks, Pawleys Island offers a unique charm that sets it apart from other coastal towns. The historic district, with its 18th-century homes and churches, is a must-see in South Carolina for history buffs.
Visitors can enjoy crabbing in the creek, bird watching, or just relaxing on the sandy beaches. For golf enthusiasts, Pawleys Island is just a short drive from some of the finest golf courses in the Grand Strand area.
Visiting the serene and enchanting Pawleys Island is like stepping into a bygone era. This makes it one of the pretty places in South Carolina. It is truly where you can escape the hustle and bustle of modern life.
11. Edisto Island
Steeped in natural beauty and rich history, Edisto Island is one of the most scenic places in South Carolina. Unspoiled by commercialization, the island offers serene beaches, lush marshlands, and a tranquil atmosphere that’s perfect for a relaxing getaway.
Edisto Beach, with its wide sandy shores and gentle waves, is a dreamy destination for sunbathing, swimming, or simply enjoying the peaceful scenery. For history enthusiasts, the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society Museum provides fascinating insights into the island’s past.
The island is also a treasure trove of natural wonders. The Edisto Island Serpentarium houses a range of reptiles. While the Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve offers stunning seascapes and diverse wildlife.
If it’s soaking up the sun on the beach, delving into local history, or exploring nature’s beauty, a visit to Edisto Island is a journey to one of the beautiful places of South Carolina that captivates every visitor.
12. Hunting Island State Park
Considered one of the most beautiful places in South Carolina, Hunting Island State Park offers an unforgettable outdoor experience. This semi-tropical barrier island captivates with its lush maritime forests, unspoiled beaches, and diverse wildlife.
One of the must-see in South Carolina is the historic Hunting Island Lighthouse. It is the only publicly accessible lighthouse in the state. Climbing its 167 steps rewards visitors with panoramic views of the surrounding Lowcountry and the Atlantic Ocean.
The park’s sandy beach, stretching for five miles, is a haven for sunbathers and swimmers. For nature enthusiasts, the Nature Center provides a fascinating look at the local ecology. While the lagoon and maritime forest are perfect spots for birdwatching.
Whether you’re up for a beach day, a hiking adventure, or wildlife spotting, Hunting Island State Park is a unique place to visit in South Carolina and a testament to the state’s natural beauty.
Keen to broaden your understanding of the most picturesque places in South Carolina? Here are some frequently asked questions I receive about the top South Carolina attractions and activities.
What is the best time to visit South Carolina?
While South Carolina is a year-round destination, the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) seasons offer the most pleasant weather for exploring the most beautiful places in SC. The state’s beaches are especially inviting in the summer.
What is the most visited place in South Carolina?
One of the most visited places in South Carolina is Myrtle Beach. Known for its 60-mile string of beaches, popular boardwalk, family-friendly attractions, and vibrant nightlife, Myrtle Beach draws millions of tourists each year.
Visitors to Myrtle Beach can enjoy a variety of activities, from relaxing on the sandy shores to exploring the numerous amusement and water parks. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, opened in 2010, offers shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, all along a beautiful oceanfront view. Golf enthusiasts will find plenty of courses to choose from, as Myrtle Beach is famous for its golfing opportunities.
Other attractions in the area include Ripley’s Aquarium, the SkyWheel (one of the tallest Ferris wheels in North America), Broadway at the Beach (a large shopping and entertainment complex), and various music and theater venues that provide live entertainment.
With its blend of natural beauty and man-made attractions, Myrtle Beach has something to offer for travelers of all ages, making it a top destination in South Carolina and the entire Southeastern United States.
Are these places in South Carolina family-friendly?
Yes, these places to visit in South Carolina offer activities that cater to all age groups, making them ideal for family trips. From picturesque beaches and historical sites to state parks and bustling cities, there’s something for everyone in South Carolina.
What outdoor activities can be enjoyed in South Carolina?
South Carolina is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go hiking in the state parks, surfing at Folly Beach, fishing at Hilton Head Island, or kayaking at Edisto Island. The state’s diverse landscapes offer a wide range of outdoor activities.
How many days do I need to visit these places in South Carolina?
To truly appreciate the most beautiful cities and places in South Carolina, it’s recommended to spend at least a week. However, you could spend more time exploring and relaxing at each location.
What is beautiful about South Carolina?
South Carolina’s beauty lies in its stunning landscapes, charming towns, and rich history. From the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and breathtaking coastal vistas to the elegant antebellum architecture and vibrant arts scene, there’s a unique beauty at every turn when visiting South Carolina.
What is the most beautiful SC town?
While beauty is subjective and each town in South Carolina has its unique charm, many visitors find Charleston to be particularly enchanting. With its well-preserved historic district, stunning waterfront views, and vibrant culinary scene, Charleston embodies much of what makes South Carolina so beautiful.
Is South Carolina a beautiful place?
Yes, South Carolina is known for its beautiful landscapes and diverse geography, which attract visitors from all over the world. Here are some of the aspects that contribute to South Carolina’s beauty:
- Coastal areas: South Carolina’s coastline, with its sandy beaches and charming islands like Hilton Head and Kiawah, offers picturesque ocean views. Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular destinations. Moreover, the historic city of Charleston provides stunning waterfront views and well-preserved architecture.
- Mountains: The state’s northwestern corner is home to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here you’ll find scenic hiking trails, waterfalls, and outdoor activities like whitewater rafting and rock climbing.
- Lakes and rivers: South Carolina’s rivers and lakes are beautiful in their own right. They offer recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, and kayaking. Lake Murray and Lake Jocassee are notable examples.
- Historic towns and cities: Cities like Charleston, Beaufort, and Georgetown retain much of their historic charm, with cobblestone streets, antebellum architecture, and vibrant gardens.
- Wildlife and natural preserves: South Carolina is rich in biodiversity, with numerous state parks and wildlife refuges. Congaree National Park contains the largest tract of old-growth floodplain forest in North America.
- Plantations and gardens: The state’s history is preserved in its plantation homes and gardens. This includes Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, which are known for their beauty and historical significance.
- Cultural festivals: South Carolina hosts numerous cultural festivals that celebrate the state’s rich history, art, food, and music. The Gullah Geechee culture, in particular, is celebrated for its unique traditions and contributions to the state’s identity.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Beautiful Places in South Carolina
From the charming streets of Charleston to the enchanting landscapes of Hunting Island State Park, the most beautiful places in South Carolina offer a diverse range of experiences that appeal to every type of traveler. If you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a beach bum, or a city explorer, you’ll find a place in South Carolina that speaks to your heart.
Each destination has a unique charm and beauty, making South Carolina an unforgettable place to visit. With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, and welcoming Southern hospitality, it’s no surprise that South Carolina consistently ranks among the best places to visit in the U.S.
Now that you’re armed with this list of the most beautiful places in South Carolina, it’s time to pack your bags. Start planning your own adventure in this captivating Southern state. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, you’re sure to find it in South Carolina. After all, beauty is not just seen, but experienced—and South Carolina is waiting to provide that unforgettable experience.