Things to Do in South Carolina: Exploring the Palmetto State


South Carolina, a gem of the Southeastern United States, offers history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture. Unravel the top activities and attractions, perfect for adventure seekers, history enthusiasts, and foodies alike.

Things to Do in South Carolina: Unraveling the Wonders

Stroll Through Historic Charleston

  • Wander cobblestone streets lined with antebellum architecture, immersing yourself in the charm of the city’s past.
  • Visit the iconic Battery and White Point Gardens, offering picturesque views of the harbor and lush greenery.
  • Explore historic landmarks like Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired, and Charleston City Market, a bustling hub of local artisans and vendors.
  • Delight in horse-drawn carriage tours that take you on a journey through the city’s rich history and fascinating stories.
  • Enjoy waterfront dining at renowned restaurants, where you can savor delectable seafood while overlooking the Charleston Harbor.

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Explore the Magnificent Myrtle Beach

  • Bask in the sun on miles of pristine coastline, where soft sands meet the warm Atlantic waters.
  • Engage in beach activities like swimming, beachcombing, and building sandcastles with the whole family.
  • Embark on a thrilling adventure with water sports like parasailing, jet skiing, and banana boat rides.
  • Experience the lively atmosphere of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, lined with arcades, souvenir shops, and entertainment venues.
  • Visit Family Kingdom Amusement Park, a family-friendly attraction with thrilling rides and a scenic oceanfront water park.

Embrace Nature at Hilton Head Island

  • Discover picturesque landscapes and engaging outdoor activities in this tranquil paradise.
  • Engage in golfing at world-class courses, where stunning views complement your game.
  • Explore the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, home to diverse wildlife and ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss.
  • Relax on the island’s beautiful beaches, soaking in the sun and savoring the serene atmosphere.
  • Enjoy biking along scenic paths that wind through the island’s natural beauty, including beachfront trails.

Discover History at Fort Sumter National Monument

  • Take a ferry ride to Fort Sumter, a pivotal site where the American Civil War began.
  • Explore the historic fort, where informative exhibits and artifacts offer insights into the war’s significance.
  • Enjoy stunning views of Charleston Harbor from the fort’s vantage points.
  • Engage in guided tours led by knowledgeable park rangers, who bring history to life with captivating narratives.
  • Capture memorable photographs of the Fort Sumter Flag, a symbol of American history and resilience.

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Wander Through Brookgreen Gardens

  • Marvel at intricate sculptures displayed amidst lush gardens, creating a harmonious blend of art and nature.
  • Explore the Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve, where you can encounter native animals and birds.
  • Enjoy boat rides along the picturesque creek, offering a unique perspective of the gardens’ beauty.
  • Attend seasonal events and exhibits, such as the Nights of a Thousand Candles, transforming the gardens into a magical wonderland.
  • Participate in art workshops and educational programs to engage with the vibrant art community.

Savor the Flavors of Southern Cuisine

  • Indulge in iconic Southern dishes like shrimp and grits, a comforting and flavorful staple.
  • Delight in she-crab soup, a rich and creamy delicacy infused with delicate crab flavors.
  • Relish the smoky and tender taste of Southern barbecue, cooked to perfection with secret family recipes.
  • Enjoy fried chicken, a crispy and savory classic that embodies the heart of Southern comfort food.
  • Experience Southern hospitality at local eateries, where warm smiles and friendly service enhance your culinary journey.

Experience the Charm of Beaufort

  • Stroll through the Historic District, adorned with well-preserved antebellum homes and enchanting Spanish moss-draped oak trees.
  • Discover the captivating history and architecture of Beaufort with guided walking tours.
  • Enjoy scenic boat tours along the rivers, providing a unique perspective of the town’s history.
  • Visit Penn Center, a significant cultural and educational center for African American history and Gullah Geechee heritage.
  • Experience local arts and culture through galleries, theaters, and charming boutique shops.
Experience the Charm of Beaufort
Experience the Charm of Beaufort

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Enjoy Water Activities at Lake Murray

  • Engage in fishing, where the lake’s abundant species offer a rewarding experience for anglers.
  • Enjoy boating on the tranquil waters, perfect for a leisurely day out with family and friends.
  • Experience kayaking and paddleboarding, embracing the serenity of the lake’s natural surroundings.
  • Witness stunning sunsets over Lake Murray, creating a picturesque backdrop for a romantic evening.
  • Take a relaxing lake cruise, where you can savor the beauty of the lake’s shoreline and landscapes.

Step Back in Time at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

  • Explore one of the oldest plantations in the South, preserving its rich history and cultural heritage.
  • Admire the stunning gardens, including the famous camellia collection, offering vibrant blooms.
  • Take a guided tour of the plantation house, filled with antique furnishings and intriguing stories.
  • Discover the beauty of the Audubon Swamp Garden, home to diverse wildlife and unique flora.
  • Attend special events and programs, such as the Plantation Days Festival, celebrating the plantation’s heritage.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Marvel at the Caesars Head State Park

  • Enjoy breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Piedmont region from overlooks.
  • Embark on a hiking adventure through well-maintained trails, catering to different skill levels.
  • Experience the beauty of Raven Cliff Falls, a stunning 400-foot waterfall cascading into the valley.
  • Encounter diverse plant and animal species while hiking, creating a rewarding nature experience.
  • Capture scenic photographs of the landscape, featuring striking rock formations and lush greenery.
Marvel at the Caesars Head State Park
Marvel at the Caesars Head State Park

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Discover the Hidden Gem: Congaree National Park

  • Venture into untouched wilderness, characterized by ancient trees and diverse ecosystems.
  • Hike along boardwalk trails, providing easy access to the park’s unique landscapes.
  • Paddle along the tranquil Congaree River, offering a serene and immersive nature experience.
  • Observe diverse wildlife, including birds, deer, and even the elusive bobcat, in their natural habitat.
  • Participate in ranger-led programs, offering educational insights into the park’s ecology and conservation efforts.

Get Adventurous at Table Rock State Park

  • Engage in hiking and rock climbing adventures, offering breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Discover diverse flora and fauna while exploring the park’s well-marked trails.
  • Enjoy birdwatching opportunities, as the park is home to numerous bird species.
  • Relax by the clear waters of Lake Pinnacle, providing a serene setting for picnics and fishing.
  • Camp amidst nature’s beauty, enjoying a memorable experience under the stars.

Immerse in History at Middleton Place

  • Explore America’s oldest landscaped gardens, boasting an exquisite collection of native and unfamiliar flora.
  • Tour the historic plantation house, filled with fascinating artifacts and stories of the past.
  • Visit Eliza’s House, offering insights into the lives of enslaved people on the plantation.
  • Engage in demonstrations at the Stableyards, showcasing traditional crafts and activities.
  • Attend seasonal events like the Sheep Shearing and Wool Days, adding to the immersive historical experience.

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Unwind at Hunting Island State Park

  • Escape to the tranquility of pristine nature, with untouched beaches and maritime forests.
  • Explore the nature trails, offering opportunities to observe diverse bird species and wildlife.
  • Climb the iconic Hunting Island Lighthouse, providing panoramic ocean views from the top.
  • Enjoy beachcombing and collecting unique shells along the shoreline.
  • Experience a sense of solitude and serenity amidst the unspoiled beauty of the park.

Dive into Marine Life at Ripley’s Aquarium

  • Walk through mesmerizing underwater tunnels, surrounded by colorful marine life.
  • Get up close with fascinating sea creatures during interactive exhibits and touch tanks.
  • Attend educational programs and animal feedings to learn about marine conservation.
  • Experience the thrill of the Dangerous Reef exhibit, featuring sharks and other predators.
  • Capture unforgettable moments through the aquarium’s photography experiences.
Dive into Marine Life at Ripley's Aquarium

Explore Historic Georgetown

  • Stroll through the Georgetown Historic District, home to charming architecture and historic sites.
  • Visit the Rice Museum, offering insights into the region’s rice plantation heritage.
  • Take a scenic boat tour along the rivers, witnessing the town’s history and natural beauty.
  • Engage in art and cultural experiences at the Georgetown County Museum and the Kaminski House Museum.
  • Attend local festivals and events that celebrate the town’s vibrant arts and culture.
Explore Historic Georgetown
Explore Historic Georgetown

Experience Southern Elegance at Aiken

  • Attend horse races and equestrian events, showcasing Aiken’s rich equestrian culture.
  • Explore the enchanting Hitchcock Woods, one of the largest urban forests in the United States.
  • Appreciate the historic architecture of downtown Aiken, featuring charming boutiques and cafes.
  • Participate in guided tours and carriage rides to learn about the town’s illustrious past.
  • Enjoy outdoor concerts and art festivals that showcase Aiken’s vibrant cultural scene.

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Embark on a Culinary Tour in Columbia

  • Enjoy a diverse culinary experience with restaurants offering international cuisines.
  • Discover the vibrant food truck scene, serving up unique and delicious dishes.
  • Indulge in Southern delicacies like pimento cheese, a beloved regional favorite.
  • Sample farm-to-table dining at local eateries, emphasizing fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
  • Engage in food tours that highlight Columbia’s culinary gems and hidden treasures.

Discover Unique Art at the Columbia Museum of Art

  • Immerse yourself in a remarkable collection of European and American art.
  • Attend art workshops and exhibitions that celebrate diverse artistic expressions.
  • Engage with local artists and their creative processes during gallery visits.
  • Learn about the history and significance of different art movements through curated exhibits.
  • Experience the vibrant art scene through special events and interactive installations.

Soak in the Beauty of Lake Jocassee

  • Enjoy tranquility amidst the Appalachian Mountains and crystal-clear waters.
  • Engage in water activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.
  • Explore the scenic waterfalls and hiking trails surrounding the lake.
  • Relax by the lakeside, listening to the soothing sounds of nature.
  • Experience the awe-inspiring stargazing opportunities on clear nights.

Experience the Festivals of South Carolina

  • Attend the renowned Spoleto Festival USA, celebrating performing arts and cultural diversity.
  • Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the South Carolina State Fair, offering rides, games, and live entertainment.
  • Delight in the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, showcasing the region’s culinary excellence.
  • Experience the Gullah Geechee Heritage Festival, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Gullah Geechee people.
  • Attend the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival, featuring screenings of independent films from around the world.

Relive History at Fort Moultrie

  • Explore the historic exhibits and scenic views of Charleston Harbor.
  • Learn about the fort’s role during the American Revolution and the Civil War.
  • Engage in guided tours that narrate the stories of the fort’s defenders.
  • Visit the onsite museum, showcasing artifacts and memorabilia from different eras.
  • Attend special events and reenactments that bring history to life.

Unravel Nature’s Wonders at Falls Park

  • Discover a serene oasis with waterfalls, gardens, and walking paths.
  • Enjoy leisurely strolls and picnics along the Reedy River.
  • Marvel at the Liberty Bridge, is a stunning architectural masterpiece offering breathtaking views.
  • Engage in outdoor yoga classes and wellness activities amidst the natural beauty.
  • Experience the Gardens of the Piedmont, showcasing native plants and flowers.

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Discover the Rich Heritage of Gullah Geechee Culture

  • Experience a unique Afri_can/Ameri_can culture that has preserved its traditions and language.
  • Learn about the history and customs of the Gullah Geechee people at cultural centers and events.
  • Enjoy traditional storytelling, music, and dance performances that showcase the culture’s vibrancy.
  • Discover Gullah Geechee cuisine, which highlights the use of fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients.
  • Participate in workshops and craft demonstrations to appreciate the artistry of the Gullah Geechee community.

Engage in Water Sports at Lake Marion

  • Enjoy fishing on the lake’s abundant waters, known for its bass and catfish.
  • Embark on boat excursions, providing opportunities to explore the lake’s diverse shoreline.
  • Try water skiing and tubing for thrilling adventures on the water.
  • Experience kayaking and canoeing, perfect for exploring the lake’s secluded coves and inlets.
  • Relax and appreciate the serenity of Lake Marion’s natural surroundings.

FAQs about Things to Do in South Carolina

Q: When is the best time to visit South Carolina?

A: The best time to visit South Carolina is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and the state showcases its natural beauty.

Q: Are there any famous golf courses in South Carolina?

A: Yes, South Carolina is home to many world-renowned golf courses, including Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head and Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

Q: What are some family-friendly activities in South Carolina?

A: Families can enjoy attractions like Myrtle Beach’s Family Kingdom Amusement Park, and the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, and explore the interactive exhibits at EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia.

Q: Can you recommend some must-try dishes in South Carolina?

A: Absolutely! Don’t miss trying dishes like Hoppin’ John, She-Crab Soup, Frogmore Stew, and a variety of delicious barbecue styles.

Q: Is South Carolina a good destination for nature enthusiasts?

A: Yes, nature enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to explore the state’s diverse landscapes, including its national parks, state parks, and beautiful beaches.

Q: What cultural events should I attend in South Carolina?

A: Cultural events like the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and the South Carolina State Fair are worth attending for a taste of the state’s arts and culture.


South Carolina, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, offers an incredible array of things to do for

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