10 Must-See Travel Destinations In South Carolina

If you are a travel buff, you may have already visited South Carolina. And it must surely be in your bucket list if you haven’t already checked it out. It is a wonderful place to travel to because there is so much that you can see and do here. Whether you are interested in history and culture or simply love beach holidays, the state will have awesome options for you. It houses national parks and zoos for nature loves as well. Also, it is just right for solo travelers as well as those vacationing with the family. When it comes to listing the must-see travel destinations in South Carolina, you will have several options. Here are the top ten hand-picked for you. 

South Carolina plantations 

Perhaps the most famous destination in the state is the Southern plantations, which are more than 2000 in number. Some of the famous ones are Magnolia Plantation, Middleton Place, Boone Hall Plantation and Drayton Hall. Once operated using slave labor, they stand as great historical and cultural landmarks. No tourist who visits the state should miss them. The best part is that they are easily accessible as many of them lie near the famous coastal cities such as Charleston and Myrtle Beach. 

South Carolina State Museum

If history, art, and culture fascinate you, the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia is a place that you cannot miss while visiting the state. Amazingly, the great museum has exhibits covering science and technology as well. These exhibits occupy four floors, making it the largest museum in the state. Besides the large collection of art exhibits, the South Carolina State Museum also features a science theatre and a planetarium. 

Dupont Planetarium

One of the most wonderful offerings of the state is the Dupont Planetarium. The planetarium is situated at the University of South Carolina in Aiken and dates back to 1995. It has a 30-foot dome which displays projected images, while you can explore the night sky as well. Since seating here is limited, it is better to make reservations in advance before you drop in. 

Greenville Zoo

Next on the list of the favorite destinations in South Carolina is the Greenville Zoo, which is home to the exotic and native wildlife species. You can see elephants, leopards, giraffes and giant tortoises in the zoo. If your children are traveling along, they would absolutely love the place. The admission to the zoo is reasonably priced and there are special discounts for groups. You can explore a family program and even book an overnight stay at the zoo. 

Myrtle Beach

South Carolina is famous for its natural beauty and Myrtle Beach is a place that you should absolutely visit. Besides its beautiful coastline and pristine sands, the destination has much more to offer. You can explore this list of top things to do in the city while you holiday here. The most popular among these is Broadway at the Beach, which also happens to be the largest entertainment and shopping venue in the state. Don’t miss the rides and slides at the Myrtle Waves Water Park. 

Hilton Head Island

Another amazing destination for beach buffs is Hilton Head Island, a low-country beach town that offers easy relaxation and has smaller crowds as compared to Myrtle Beach. The town has some beautiful bicycling trails and offers myriad activities such as dining, shopping, and golf courses. The Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is located in close vicinity and has some rare species for wildlife enthusiasts.

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

South Carolina is a haven for wildlife lovers and Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is another place that you must have on your checklist. The zoo is home to more than 2000 animals that represent as many as 350 species. The two-acre African Plains house African loins, baboons, giraffes, ostriches, and zebras. You can witness species such as Siberian tigers, Komodo dragons, gorillas, elephants, meerkats in the sanctuary area of the Ndoki Forest. The zoo also has a botanical garden and ziplines.


If you want to experience the culture of small towns in South Carolina, do check out the quaint little town called Georgetown. The third oldest city in the state, Georgetown is located along the scenic Pee-Dee River and offers a lot for people who want a relaxing holiday. You can enjoy the scenic river walks and check out the beautiful historic neighborhoods. The place is also one of the favorite shopping destinations in the state. 

Caesars Head State Park

One of the most majestic destinations in South Carolina is the Caesars Head State Park, which has offers much more than the magnificent views it is famous for. You can explore the Raven Cliff Falls Trail, which leads to the tallest waterfall in the state. Or you can try the Jones Gap Trail, which takes you to a series of swimming holes. The park is also an adventure lover’s delight as you can go camping, hiking, fishing or bird-watching here.


Check out the historic city of Charleston, which happens to be amongst the oldest major cities in the country. It has thousands of historic homes, churches, and other buildings lining its streets. You can take a walking tour of the city or enjoy a carriage ride to get a peek into the city’s history. The 1808 Nathaniel Russell House and the Aiken-Rhett House are the must-visit historic homes where you can see some priceless collections of fine arts.

Now that you know the best places to see in South Carolina, you will be able to plan your trip better. Since there is much that the state has to offer, you can pick the places to see on the basis of your interests. Hang out on the beaches if you just want a relaxing holiday or walk down the historic little towns if you want to know the state’s rich culture better. You have plenty of options if you love nature and wildlife. Just make a list of top destinations for yourself and you can surely have a great holiday! 


  • Mary Gardner

    I really enjoy visiting South Carolina and have been to a few of these places. I have not been to any of the Plantations or the Planetarium so I will add those to my must visit list for next time. Thanks for the recommendations.

  • Dana Rodriguez

    I live in SC on a plantation that has a wedding hall that overlooks a huge pond. Lot’s of people get married here as well private parties (birthday etc) We had a helicopter in the Spring last Spring the groom arrived it. Blew stuff all over our yard LOL! We face the pond on a hill and can watch from our screened in porch. Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is one of my favorite places to visit here. It is maybe 10 miles from me and they do a lot of fun things like the upcoming Boo In The Zoo. Edisto Island is a great place to visit if you don’t care for the touristy Myrtle Beach. We rented a beautiful house on the beach there about 4 years ago and it was heavenly. Plus the seafood is caught right there. 🙂 Nice list!

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