Looking for some of the best things to do in South Carolina? You have come to the right place!
From stunning waterfalls to the Sky Wheel in Myrtle Beach (and even a few haunted places for the bravest traveller), there are plenty of places to visit in South Carolina.
Whether you're visiting family and looking to kick back and relax or you've packed your hiking gear and are ready for an adventure, there are plenty of South Carolina activities to try.
If you're heading to the Palmetto State, we've put together a South Carolina bucket list to help you explore this historic state! We wanted to make sure you didn't miss out on the best this state has to offer.
Just a word of warning: some of these must-see spots are scattered across the state, so be prepared to hop in the car for a few day trips, and be sure to pack your favorite snacks for the trip.
Here is our list of things to do in South Carolina!
Issaqueena Falls Photography
South Carolina has no shortage of stunning natural attractions. From national parks to game reserves, this state has a lot to offer, and Issaqueena Falls is no exception.
One of the most beautiful places to visit in South Carolina, the falls are located near Walhalla, about an hour west of Greenville. Visitors can park at Stumphouse Tunnel Park (be sure to have $5 cash for the entrance fee drop box) and hike the 0.5 km to see this 100-foot waterfall.
Visiting Issaqueena Falls and the pre-Civil War rail tunnels is one of the best things to do in South Carolina with kids.
If you want to go after waterfalls, this is the state for you! Be sure to check out ourguide to the best waterfalls in south carolina.
Stroll through Charleston's historic district
one of the funniestthings to do in charlestonis to take a walk or a guided carriage tour through the Historic Center of the city. With over 1,400 historic homes that have graced the city since 1670, there's plenty to admire.
If you take a walking tour of the area, you may have the opportunity to visit some of these stately homes. We recommend visiting the Aiken-Rhett House. Here, the lives of enslaved people are central to the tour of the house. These are the people who were the backbone of life in the beautiful home.
Exploring the historic district is the perfect activity if you're spending aweekend in Charleston!There are also many greatplaces to stay in charleston!
Explore the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
There are a lot ofThings to do in Hilton Head, but one of the most unique can be visiting the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge.
With over 4,000 acres of protected land, it's a great place for the avid birding enthusiast (or beginner). Over 250 different species of birds have been spotted here! If going in the summer, keep an eye out for the painter's multicolored rouge, an endangered species.
Visitors can take a moment to escape the hustle and bustle of Hilton Head and explore 22 kilometers of peaceful hiking and biking trails through the refuge's salt marshes and maritime forests.
It's a great place for unique South Carolina tours!
Visit the South Carolina State Museum
A visit to the South Carolina State Museum is one of the must-sees.things to do in colombia🇧🇷 Since opening in 1988, the largest museum in the state has hosted temporary and permanent thematic exhibitions on four floors.
Visitors can also catch a screening in its 4D theater (with vibrating seats and blasts of air). Admire the skies from the observatory or sit down to watch a show at the planetarium.
Luckily, the exhibits you'll want to see are on permanent display! Be sure to see the megalodon shark sculpture and a full-size replica of the first locomotive built in the United States. Don't miss out on one of the best things to do in South Carolina for adults and kids alike.
Meet Angel Oak
Fantasy nerds might think there's not much waiting for them in the Palmetto State, but they're wrong!
That issouthern hidden gemon Johns Island is one of the most exclusive placesplaces to visit in south carolina🇧🇷 You'll definitely feel like you've stepped into a fairy tale!
Angel Oak is estimated to be between 400 and 500 years old and has survived many hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Its largest branch stretches nearly 200 feet!
Don't miss the supernatural South Carolina attraction that awaits you to slip into a Middle-earth fantasy.
Caminhada no Table Rock State Park
A must-have on anyone's South Carolina bucket list, Table Rock State Park offers visitors some of the most breathtaking views during the fall season. The oranges and yellows of the changing foliage and the crisp fall air are sure to take your breath away.
For a truly breathtaking view, head to the Foothills Trail or the Pinnacle Mountain Trail for the best leaf viewing the park has to offer.
The park manager recommends a hike to Carrick Creek Falls if this is your first visit for a dip in the wading pool below the falls in warmer months.
Find ghosts on Santa Elena Island
Visitors looking for something more spooky to enjoy during theOutono da Carolina do Sulmonths I was supposed to take a trip to the island of Saint Helena.
This is one of South Carolina's most unique tourist attractions. The Chapel of Ease makes for a spooky afternoon of ghost tours.
The abandoned church is enough to make anyone's hair stand on end, but keep an eye out for the eerie whispered prayers carried on the wind and the sight of a lady dressed in white strolling among the tombstones with a child in her arms. Can you say scary?
Visite o Charleston Tea Garden
As the only tea plantation in North America, this unique SC attraction should be on everyone's list of the best things to do in South Carolina.
Take a guided tram tour of the garden and visit the greenhouse to learn how they grow over 320 varieties of tea on 127 acres of land.
While on the island, you can also stop by Angel Tree and Deep Water Vineyard for an afternoon of wine tasting at South Carolina's only national winery. This is definitely one of the best things to do in South Carolina.
Admire the Georgetown Lighthouse
Although the building is not open to the public, the Georgetown Lighthouse is a must-see South Carolina tourist attraction.
The ancient landmark is only accessible by boat, making it the perfect daytime activity if you're looking for things to do in South Carolina with kids.
There are a few local boat tour companies that will take you out on the water for a tour around the 85-foot tall tower which has stood in the same spot since the late 1790's.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to ride a 40-foot shaded pontoon, here's your chance to find out!
Explore Congaree National Park
If you're a nature lover and looking to do some serious hiking, make South Carolina's only national park the focus of your trip.
Whether you're looking to spend a few nights camping in the great outdoors or just take a quick day trip and explore the state's wildlife, Congaree is one of the most fun things to do in South Carolina.
You can stay more than a day to see most of the park's 11,000 hectares before moving on to your next destination. With so much to do, from bird watching to kayaking, it's worth sticking around to explore!
For a special treat, you can visit the state park in May for the annual Firefly festival!
Shop at Palmetto Peddlers Antique Mall
Spend an afternoon in Florence? This 38,000 square foot treasure is one of South Carolina's must-sees!
Shoppers will be able to find anything from original antiques, unique furniture and jewelry to funky vintage oil paintings of cute and mischievous cats.
The mall is conveniently open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm, with limited hours on Sundays. It's a great daytime activity for anyone looking to see the quirky side of South Carolina.
Palmetto Peddlers also make a great stop during the hot summer months, the temperature is always low to keep the treats intact.
Drive the Cherokee Foothills Byway
For the wandering traveller, we recommend getting in the car and driving the idyllic Cherokee Foothills Byways. You'll enjoy some of the best sightseeing South Carolina has to offer!
Start your day in Walhalla, a charming little town, then head up Sassafras Mountain. Be sure to stop at some of the scenic views along the way.
Next, stop at Campbells Covered Bridge, which is an idyllic sight in autumn. Finally, end the day in Strawberry Hill USA to enjoy some fresh local produce at this massive farm.
If you are looking for other trips to discover the beautiful state, check out ourSouth Carolina fun trips to your bucket list.
Pass by the Citadel
other coolthings to do in charlestonis to go through the Citadel, which is a public higher military college that has been operating in the city since 1842.
The building was recently rebuilt in 2004, complete with spiral staircases on each side, turrets and a guardroom. Like the Angel Tree, the Citadel will make you feel like you've stepped into a fairy tale.
The building is only accessible to students and staff, but the castle-like facade is worth a stop if you have some time in town.
Take a look at our roundup of other southern castles in this roundup ofFairy Tale Castles in the Southern US You Must Visit🇧🇷 Maybe it's time to go castle hunting this summer!
ride the wheel of heaven
The Sky Wheel in Myrtle Beach has been a huge draw for visitors for over ten years. Celebrate a decade of fun with a ride on this 200-foot-tall attraction in South Carolina. You'll also want to check out our list ofMyrtle Beach's Best Beaches!
If you're looking for one of the cool things to do in South Carolina at night, plan your trip for the night when you can see the boardwalk lit up below you.
Be sure to buy tickets in advance on the official Sky Wheel website to guarantee a ride on one of the city's hottest attractions.
We recommend spending some time by the waves or walking the Myrtle Beach boardwalk for delicious vacation food and drinks (always a great time for a margarita) before sitting back and marveling at the city from the sky.
Don't forget to check out some of the others.Best things to do in Myrtle Beachduring your visit!
Comer en Yogi Bear Honey Fried Chicken
The only surviving survivor of what was once a successful chain across South Carolina, this nostalgic bastion of a bygone era serves up some of the best fried chicken in the entire country. Take a trip to Hartsville, South Carolina and enjoy a Yogi Bear Picnic Basket.
The menu still has many of the original offerings like the Boo Boo Basket, Beehive and Jellystone Box of Chicken.
You'll know you're in the right place when you're greeted by a giant Yogi Bear neon sign on the side of the road! It is definitely one of the most unique attractions in South Carolina!
Mountain Bridge Desert Hike
If you're in South Carolina during the fall, you'll definitely want to stop by the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. The views you can enjoy give the phrase "sightseeing South Carolina" a whole new definition.
Hike to Jones Gap Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the entire state. Keep an eye out for white-tailed deer.
You can also stop at Caesars Head to get a color-coded trail map and choose one based on your group's preferences.
With over 11,000 acres of beautiful hardwood forests, streams, waterfalls and wildlife, any hike or stop will have plenty to offer. This is truly one ofThe Best Weekend Getaways in South Carolina!
Visit the Gullah Museum
One of the most special places to visit in South Carolina is the Gullah Museum. Its collection of buildings preserves and interprets the Gullah culture that existed in Hilton Head before 1965 and is unique to the Lowcountry South.
It was founded by Louise Miller Cohen, a native islander, who is a direct descendant of the cabin's original owner. She is known for giving tours and helping visitors learn what life was like on the island before a bridge was built to the mainland in 1956.
Visitors should note that the museum is closed on public holidays.
Stroll through Brookgreen Gardens
Built on the site of four rice paddies, this sculpture garden collects and preserves original artwork by American sculpture.
With 9,100 acres and plenty of trails to follow, visitors won't be surprised to learn that there are nearly 1,400 original works of art to admire.
Open every day from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. m. at 5:00 pm, these impressive gardens are divided into three main areas with a free shuttle service that takes visitors from one to the other.
Want to hear good news? Tickets are valid for 7 consecutive days!
Play a round at Ocean Course Golf Kiawah Island
You may not know it, but South Carolina is a well-known golf destination!
Add a day in the green to your South Carolina bucket list and you'll quickly understand why. Blue skies and calm weather really do create the perfect setting for golf.
The state has many golf courses to choose from, but Ocean Course Golf Kiawah Island might be the most special. With its holes next to the sea, the views of your game will be unforgettable.
Be sure to bring your A game because the beauty of the course is only matched by its difficulty. The sea breeze is no joke! This is truly one ofSouth Carolina's Best Beach Towns!
Volte no tempo no Middleton Place
This mansion is one of the most beautiful attractions in South Carolina! From its red brick exterior to its stable acres and courtyards, the picturesque scenes shared with visitors do not detract from its true history.
As one of the great houses of the past, Middleton Place retells history as accurately as possible and, unlike many Southern stately homes, includes experiences and realities that many would rather ignore.
That's why we encourage you to visit and step back in time to learn not only about the family that lived in the house, but also about the slaves who made life in Middleton Place possible.
Everyone who works at Middleton Place agrees that they want to share “an essential American experience with a mission” with visitors.
Get spooked at the ruins of Old Sheldon Church
If you want to explore one of the bestsouthern haunted places, head to the ruins of Old Sheldon Church.
Built in the mid-1700s, these ruins were once the beautiful Prince William Parrish Church. It didn't take long for it to be burned down during the Revolutionary War. The church was eventually rebuilt only to be destroyed again during the Civil War.
With such a sordid history, it makes sense that haunting legends now mark this spot. Strange sounds were recorded and a ghost was seen crying over a child's grave.
Despite its dark past, this is a great South Carolina attraction for photography. The tall oak trees are covered in Spanish moss, which adds to the spooky atmosphere.
This is certainly one of the most interesting places in South Carolina!
Find peace at Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens is one of the best places to visit in South Carolina for nature lovers and movie buffs alike. This 170-acre preserve is a beautiful place to become one with nature.
Glide through the swamp in a canoe as you admire bald cypress trees and look for alligators and turtles in the water. This is a fantastic area for birding too.
Visit the swamp to learn about the native reptiles, fish and amphibians found in the swamp. The Butterfly House is a large greenhouse with flowers, birds, butterflies and more.
Interestingly, many TV shows and movies have been filmed here, includingThe PatriotyThe notebook.
Island hopping near Charleston
there are many beautifulislands in south carolinaand two of the best are outside Charleston. If you're looking for a day trip to the beach in the south, this is where you should go!
Sullivan's Island offers many tourist attractions as well as a beautiful 2.5 mile long beach. After relaxing on the sand, check out the island's many lighthouses and historic sites, including Fort Sumter National Historic Park and Fort Moultrie.
The Isle of Palms is located adjacent to Sullivan's Island and is a great place to enjoy luxurious and delicious dining. The island is full of resorts, golf courses and some of the bestCharleston area restaurants.
This is one of the bestbeaches near charleston🇧🇷 It has a beautiful pier and plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas for rent. Have fun swimming and building sandcastles.
Acampamento no Huntington Beach State Park
If you want to visit another of the bestsouth carolina beachesSo pack up the kids, pack a picnic and head to Huntington Beach State Park.
There are three miles of beaches perfect for a family vacation orromantic getaway in the south🇧🇷 Walk the trails to the freshwater lake where you can see alligators.
Visit the Nature Center to learn about the park's flora and fauna. Bird watching is also very popular here. Over 300 bird species have been recorded!
History buffs will want to visit the historic Castle of Atalaya. This Moorish-style house was the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington.
If you want to stay longer in this beautiful area, the park has a large campground with over 170 sites. You will be able to feel the sea breeze while you fall asleep.
Check out Falls Park in Reedy
Falls Park on the Reedy is one of the bestThings to do in Greenville, South Carolina🇧🇷 This 32-acre urban green space is one of the best free things to do with kids in South Carolina.
You will have a lot of fun walking the trails. Enjoy views of the gardens, sculptures and the Reedy River with its waterfalls. Cross the Liberty Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge, for the best vantage point of Reedy River Falls.
The park also hosts the annual Upstate Shakespeare Festival. Watching a play in the park is a great date night idea.
Other nearby South Carolina attractions include the Peace Center Concert Hall, the Children's Museum of the Upstate and beautiful downtown Greenville.
And there you have it, our latest South Carolina bucket list! From stunning leaf viewing opportunities to world-class golf courses, South Carolina has something to offer any traveler.
You really could spend a lifetime exploring the Palmetto State; so if you need a place to start, these are the best things to do in South Carolina!
Consult our list ofBest Airbnbs in South Carolinato some of the most unique places to stay as you explore the state!
We promise that South Carolina will not let you down!
What is the number 1 attraction in South Carolina? ›
Fort Sumter National Monument
The monument is located in Charleston, SC, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in American history. There are so many rare artifacts and stories to be told at this historic site.
South Carolina is known for its beaches, golf courses, and historic districts. It ranks 40th in size and the 23rd in population. Its most influential cities are Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg and Florence.How can I have fun in South Carolina? ›
- Charleston Historic District.
- Myrtle Beach.
- Magnolia Plantation and Gardens — Charleston.
- South Carolina State Museum — Columbia.
- Greenville Zoo.
- Caesars Head State Park — Cleveland.
- White Point Garden — Charleston.
- Riverbanks Zoo And Garden — Columbia.
Shrimp & Grits
Undoubtedly one of South Carolina's most iconic dishes, shrimp and grits, once a budget-friendly Lowcountry staple, has become a menu darling across the state.
Dubbed the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach is easily the most well-known beach destination in South Carolina.