10 Best Things To Do in South Carolina

There's a reason that South Carolina is one of the best places to visit in USA. People all over the country are drawn to the unspoiled forests, fresh seafood, warm, sunny climate and beautiful beaches in South Carolina. With more than 360 golf courses in South Carolina, you could tee off from a different course nearly every day of the year!

Awesome Sunset in South CarolinaAwesome Sunset in South Carolina!

If you're interested in visiting the Palmetto State or even considering making it your new home, grab your hat, prescription sunglasses, and some comfortable clothes, and check out a few of the best things to do in South Carolina:

1. Visit the Myrtle Beach

With 60 miles of beautiful beaches stretching from Little River on the North Carolina border to Winyah Bay in Georgetown, you'll never run out of things to do or sights to see. Head south of touristy Myrtle Beach to pay a visit to the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet for some killer seafood or to Brookgreen Gardens for a stroll through its 350 acres of sculptures, flowers, and Spanish moss-draped trees.

2. Charleston

Swaddled in old-world charm, the magnetism of Charleston’s beauty is hard to resist. Thankfully, there’s more driving this thriving port town than its picturesque townhouses and brick-paved walkways. Dripping with Southern hospitality while packing a culinary haymaker heavy enough to compete with the US’ most celebrated contenders, Charleston’s multi-faceted allure sways even the most Northerly visitors.

Of course, its affluence came at a cost. The fingerprints of slavery seen on the bricks that built the city tell of Charleston’s central role in one of mankind’s greatest atrocities. Brushed under the carpet for years, the city is now wrestling with its demons, offering a sobering element in a visit to an otherwise glittering city.

Welcome to Charleston. Although Charleston’s popularity is stretching further across the country, it’s never been a secret in the South. For that reason, you should plan ahead. Book hotels early to avoid eye-watering rates and get your name on a table ASAP to ensure your belly is full of the best the city offers.

Brace for chaos if you book during a holiday, festival, or event weekend. If you’re brave enough to face the crowds, book way in advance. Charleston isn’t big by any means, and its age means downtown isn’t the most car-friendly spot. Parking is scarce, and the spots you do find will cost you a pretty penny. Make things easy for yourself and find a hotel close to the action and explore by foot or bicycle.

You’ll need it to walk off the crab anyway. It’s the South. You should know to expect hot and sticky summer months. Dress light and anticipate getting a little sweaty. What you might not expect is sudden flooding. Charleston is perfectly placed on the water to function as a port city. Unfortunately, sudden heavy rainfall combined with high tides and a close proximity to sea level means the city experiences minor floods as many as forty times a year.

If you’re driving, be ready to deal with some inclement road conditions, and it might be worth wearing flip-flops. Charleston is one of the most historically significant cities in the United States, and not taking some time to learn about its storied past is an opportunity missed.

Sites like Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, offer an exciting glimpse into the US’ most defining conflict. Paired with the Charleston Museum, visitors can place the city’s significance in the US’ in a much clearer context. Until recently, Charleston’s role in the slave trade was uncomfortably brushed aside despite hundreds of thousands happily visiting the plantations where people were once property.

Now, many tours have started to paint an understanding of life through the eyes of slaves, whose blood, sweat, and tears allowed the city to thrive, and the misattributed legacies they left in the form of food, music, art, and culture. If you decide to get a glimpse into life on the plantations, be sure to do so ethically by choosing a site like McLeod Plantation.

Make sure to take some time to hear what has been a forgotten story, running parallel to the city's aesthetic splendor. And look out for the International African American Museum. One of the purest joys of Charleston is simply exploring it. Its postcard-perfect streets, paved with brick, lined with Spanish moss, and walled in by a rainbow of colonial townhouses, are an idyllic setting for a morning or evening stroll.

After ogling at the homes on show, the waterfront beckons and the original colonial wall. If you’re not feeling like walking, grab an open-top bike taxi. For a great starting point, the Two Sisters host a fantastic walking tour. For another perspective, hop on a water-taxi and learn about the city forming, the battles in its waters, and even tales of pirates pillaging the nearby towns.

If you're more of a shopper, King Street offers yet another avenue of exploration in the form of boutique stores. You can hang out in one of the many bars and restaurants after a long session of retail therapy. Charleston is a beautiful city. Charleston’s coastline might be even more attractive.

Many Southern visitors to Charleston are only town-bound in the evening, choosing to spend the best part of the day on one of the many outstanding beaches or even out on the water. For a family-friendly spot, Isle of Palms is an excellent option. Its six miles of sandy beaches have been drawing visitors for generations. It’s just one of the many barrier islands found along the Charleston coastline.

Grabbing a kayak and exploring the expansive marshlands makes for an exciting afternoon for the more adventurous. You can do it yourself or join a tour if you’re not so confident. Be prepared for dolphin spotting and bird watching while you learn about the issues facing this fascinating ecosystem.

If there’s one thing Charleston knows, it’s hospitality. Visitors are consistently spoilt for choice when planning a trip here. And with so many repeat visitors, the best ones fill up fast. From homely converted townhouses to modern luxury masterpieces, Charleston truly has it all. Food has fast become a primary reason to visit Charleston.

For a comparatively small city, it boasts enough high-end eateries to be mentioned in the great foodie cities of the country and even the world. Southern classics, glorious seafood, and a mash of cuisines curated from West Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean combine to make for the most unexpected culinary landscape in the Southern States.

While we’ve given you our favorite spots below, make sure to go searching for the best shrimp n’ grits and oysters before dedicating some time to Gullah food — the cuisine developed by freed slaves from West Africa.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort delivers an incredible experience in the lap of luxury. With five different world-class courses to choose from - each offering visitors breathtaking views - you'll be hard-pressed to find a better location on the continent to play a game.

Watch a NASCAR Race. Head to Darlington Raceway, known as 'The Lady in Black,' to witness one of the South's most revered pastimes.

What is Charleston and what does this city of South Carolina have in store for you? It is impossible to leave here without eating a classic sugar free pancake. Among the things to do in Charleston, Rainbow Road is the street of 16 houses painted pastel. As if that was not enough, Charleston has other streets to drop in and fill your instagram with beautiful photos.

The weather in Charleston is practically pleasant all year round, especially in the spring. Leaving Charleston without seeing the Pineapple fountain is like going and not knowing anything about its colonial history. The Kiawah island is another option, an island of jetties, kilometric beaches and Polly Pocket mansions.

The southern city, the second most populous of South Carolina in the United States, has practically everything to make your Instagram overflow with joy. This important port city also boasts the first museum in the United States and its famous Arthur Ravenel Bridge, the longest bridge in North America.

It is no wonder that Conde Nast Traveler named it the best small city to visit in the United States. By the way, Charleston was also the scene of another great love movie, Gone with the Wind.

3. Show Some Clemson Pride

If you're visiting in season, you must experience a college football game in the South. Wear some orange and cheer on the Tigers, who have become one of the dominant forces in college football in recent years.

4. Ride a Horse-Drawn Carriage near Angel Oak

Drink in the Southern charm of Charleston's antebellum mansions at the Battery while you listen to the clop-clop-clop of hoofbeats and your tour guide's narration. Visit the Angel Oak and snap a photo in front of the iconic Pineapple Gates House, and take full advantage of Charleston's many fine eating establishments.

5. Tour the Intracoastal Waterway

Rent a pontoon boat or a couple of kayaks for a leisurely afternoon float down the Intracoastal. Make sure you bring a pair of binoculars (and your prescription safety glasses) to spot wildlife like ospreys, egrets, turtles, or alligators.

6. Hike and Camp in the Caesars Head State Park

Visit Caesars Head State Park in the upcountry and walk the suspension bridges and forest trails, witness cascading waterfalls, and peer out over spectacular mountain vistas. Watch for the annual hawk migration in the fall or the vast number of migratory birds that pass through the Appalachians in the spring.

Discover the Gullah Culture. Between the low country of Hilton Head and Charlestown, visit historical sites and museums of the sea islands celebrating the Gullah people of West Africa. Don't miss experiencing a traditional Gulla barbeque of slow-roasted pork that rivals the best American barbeques our country has to offer.

7. Visit Congaree National Park

And here we have Congaree National Park which protects the bottomland hardwood forest. Congaree National Park is a very nice park to visit although it can be exceptionally hot there during the summer months. Because of the river and wetlands, it can also have a lot of mosquitoes in the summer. They even have a mosquito meter on site.

But the hikes there are wonderful and the river is great if you kayak or canoe. Start with the Boardwalk Loop Trail. It will provide a nice overview of the park and the river. Congaree National Park, outside of Colombia, has many hiking trails meandering through its 20,000 acres of pristine forests, along with places to camp, canoe, kayak, and fish.

8. Brush Up on Your History in Fort Sumter

Tour the grounds of Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, and Fort Moultrie, both of which are part of the National Historic Parks of South Carolina.

9. Stroll along the Dreher Island State Park

Not only is it a leisure place to sail or fish, but it also has Dreher Island State Park. Among things to do in Columbia, in the rivers, canoeing is practiced or just walk or ride a bicycle. On the northeast, the Broad River, which rises in southwestern North Carolina, flows into the Columbia and flows southeast until it joins the Saluda River to form the Congaree River.

The city of Columbia could say that it does not have a river. It has three rivers! At the height of the downtown, converge the Saluda and Broad rivers to give origin to the Congaree river. Stroll along the Three Rivers Greenway that runs between the confluence of the three rivers and the Columbia Channel. The Saluda River reaches Columbia from the east and flows here from Lake Murray.

10. Santee State Park

The Congaree River together with the Wateree River form Lake Marion on the eastern bank of which is the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. This lake through a canal supplies Lake Moultrie, from which rises the Cooper River, to the east of which is the extensive Francis Marion National Forest. And finally, this river empties into the Atlantic Ocean north of the city of Charleston, where you can taste the delicious Lowcountry cuisine.

This list represents only few of the many amazing excursions, events, and sites to visit, so you won't want to limit yourself to just one trip! Whether it's for a holiday vacation or the rest of your life, South Carolina is one of our country's prime destinations for fun in the sun. If your upcoming trip warrants a new pair of prescription sunglasses, visit Marvel Optics to find the pair that works best for you.

Kalyan Panja