Top 16 Things You HAVE To Do In SC

top things to do in sc

South Carolina is a beautiful state full of diverse attractions and activities that can make any trip an adventure. From the sandy beaches along the coast to the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s something for everyone in South Carolina. Whether you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway or a longer vacation, here are some tips on what to do in South Carolina.


No visit to South Carolina would be complete without spending some time in Charleston. This charming city is brimming with historical sites, top-notch restaurants, and plenty of things to keep visitors busy. Tourists can explore the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier at Patriots Point, take a stroll through the lush gardens at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, or tour one of the many art galleries that line King Street. If you have time, enjoy a leisurely dinner cruise on the harbor or stroll along Waterfront Park for stunning views of the downtown skyline.


South Carolina’s coastline offers visitors miles and miles of pristine beaches along its Atlantic shoreline. The Grand Strand stretches from Little River all the way to Georgetown and is filled with resorts, golf courses, and delightful beach towns like Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, and Kiawah Island. Visitors can swim in the warm waters off the shore or head out deep sea fishing for tuna, wahoo, and marlin. For those who prefer more land-based activities, there are plenty of hiking trails through salt marshes and maritime forests, as well as dunes perfect for sandboarding or four-wheeling throughout these coastal areas.

Blue Ridge Mountains

Those who want a more rugged outdoor experience away from the hustle and bustle of city life may want to venture into South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains region, where they can hike through cascading waterfalls or take part in mountain sports such as whitewater rafting or kayaking down one of its many rivers surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Visitors can also explore quaint mountain towns like Cashiers or Highlands offering local shops and eateries serving up delicious Southern cuisine as well as camping spots beneath starry night skies perfect for stargazing away from bright city lights.

Outdoor Adventures

South Carolina is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing hike or a thrilling canoe adventure, there are plenty of options available. The Congaree National Park is perfect for nature lovers who want to explore one of the largest old-growth forests in North America. Or take a trip up into the Blue Ridge Mountains, where you can enjoy breathtaking views while camping or fishing in Lake Jocassee or Lake Keowee. And don’t forget about the many rivers throughout the state that offer great opportunities for kayaking or tubing down rapids.

Historical Sites

Fort Sumter National Monument is one of the most popular historical sites in South Carolina. Located just off Charleston Harbor, this Civil War site commemorates the beginning of hostilities between North and South in 1861 when Confederate troops fired on Union troops housed within Fort Sumter’s walls. Other noteworthy historical sites include Cowpens National Battlefield near Spartanburg, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens near Charleston, Old Slave Mart Museum also located near Charleston, and Historic Brattonsville near Rock Hill – each offering unique insights into what life was like in pre-Civil War era South Carolina.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is another popular beach destination in South Carolina. This island offers twelve miles of shoreline along Calibogue Sound and Port Royal Sound, which makes it an ideal spot for kayaking, fishing, or just relaxing on a sunny day. The island also features plenty of restaurants and shops that are perfect for exploring after a long day in the sun. And don’t forget about Harbour Town Lighthouse – its unique striped appearance makes it an iconic landmark in Hilton Head Island’s skyline!

Explore Charleston Harbor

Charleston Harbor is an iconic landmark in South Carolina that is both beautiful and full of history. Take a boat tour around the harbor and see Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began, or explore Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, which features a number of naval vessels from different eras. There are also many restaurants and shops located along the harbor, so you can spend an entire day just exploring this amazing part of South Carolina.

Experience Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park is located near Columbia and offers over 26,000 acres of wilderness full of hiking trails and boardwalks through old-growth hardwood forests where you can see wildflowers blooming in springtime as well as alligators basking in the sun during summer months. This park is truly breathtakingly beautiful and definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a unique experience while visiting South Carolina.

Experience Some Southern Culture

No trip to South Carolina would be complete without experiencing some southern culture. Visit Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, where you can learn about animals from around the world while exploring lush gardens and picturesque trails. For more culture, attend one of Columbia’s many festivals or take a tour through one of its many museums, such as the Columbia Museum Of Art or EdVenture Children’s Museum. You can also spend an afternoon tasting your way through Columbia’s craft breweries before ending your night at Music Farm—an iconic live music venue located in downtown Columbia since 1994!

Take a Drive Along The Grand Strand

The Grand Strand refers to sixty miles of stunning coastline that stretches from Georgetown County to North Myrtle Beach along Highway 17 (also known as Ocean Boulevard). Along this stretch, you will find some of South Carolina’s best beaches, such as Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island – perfect for sunbathing, swimming and surfing! Plus, there are plenty of other attractions, such as amusement parks and miniature golf courses, that make this drive even more enjoyable.

Visit Table Rock State Park

Table Rock State Park in South Carolina is a stunningly beautiful location with plenty of activities and attractions for visitors. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Table Rock State Park offers breathtaking views and endless opportunities for exploration. There are hiking trails that range from easy to challenging, as well as rivers for kayaking, fishing, and swimming. The park also has an amphitheater where visitors can enjoy concerts and events throughout the year.

Camping is available at two campgrounds: Pinnacle Mountain’s Cherokee and Cedar Creek areas. The Pine Mountain Trail even includes nine fascinating waterfalls that are perfect for viewing! With its stunning natural beauty, Table Rock State Park is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Discover Edisto Beach State Park’s Untouched Barrier Island Habitat

Edisto Beach State Park in South Carolina is a beach lover’s paradise. With miles of white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, visitors are sure to find the perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, or surfing. During the summer months, enjoy a variety of activities, from fishing tournaments, and sea turtle research walks to live entertainment. Edisto Beach State Park is also home to a wide variety of wildlife that can be seen during bird watching or nature hikes throughout the park.

The natural beauty of the area makes it an ideal destination for hiking, biking, kayaking, and camping. In addition to the pristine beaches and stunning views, visitors at Edisto Beach State Park will appreciate the nearby attractions, including shopping, restaurants, golf courses, and more. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an active vacation full of adventure—Edisto Beach State Park has something for everyone!

Visit The Angel Oak Tree

The Angel Oak Tree is a centuries-old live oak tree located in Johns Island, South Carolina. Famous for its massive branches and majestic canopy, the tree has been a prominent feature of the area since the 1600s. The enormous magnolia tree is estimated to be at least 400 years old and stands 65 feet tall with a circumference of 28 feet. The Angel Oak Tree is renowned as one of the oldest living things east of the Mississippi River and continues to stand strong today despite its advanced age. Visitors come from all around to witness this stunning piece of nature’s beauty.

This amazing tree even inspired an interactive learning center called the Angel Oak Learning Center, which houses educational exhibits about the history and environment of Johns Island. From picnics in its shade to admiring its beautiful branches, spending time at the Angel Oak Tree is sure to leave visitors enamored with its splendor!

Go Fishing In Santee Cooper Lakes

Situated in South Carolina, the Santee Cooper Lakes have long been a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts. This expansive lake system boasts an array of fish species and varying terrain that make it ideal for anglers of all ages and skill levels. The lakes are connected to one another by the Santee River, making them well-known for its bass fishing opportunities. Whether you’re after largemouth bass or catfish, there are plenty of spots around the lakes where you can find success.

In addition to traditional angling methods such as fishing from the banks or renting a boat, several guided tours are also available that provide insight into the best tactics and techniques to reel in your catch. With over 45 kinds of fish found in these waters and plenty of areas to explore, the Santee Cooper Lakes are sure to keep fishermen busy throughout the year!

Take A Historical Tour of Fort Sumter

Visiting Fort Sumter is an experience you won’t soon forget. Located in Charleston, South Carolina, Fort Sumter is a National Monument that lies within the harbor of Charleston and has stood since 1861. An integral part of the Civil War, it serves as a reminder of the bravery and courage of those who fought and died there. Today, visitors can tour the fort to learn about its history or take part in ranger-led programs that explore its significance in American history.

During your visit, you’ll be able to take guided tours of the grounds and learn about artifacts from the Civil War, such as cannons, shells, and other military equipment. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something interesting to do on your next trip to Charleston, Fort Sumter is an experience not to be missed!

Check out the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site

Located in Summerville, South Carolina, the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site is an incredible destination for those interested in American history and early colonial life. Established in 1669 as a fortified town along the Ashley River, the site is home to ruins from an old tabby fort and earthworks, which served as a major trading hub for planters of that time. Today, visitors can explore these ruins and view historical artifacts such as cannonballs and pottery fragments found on the property. Additionally, you can tour some of the area’s churches which were constructed during this period, as well as take part in ranger-led programs that bring to life some of the stories from colonial times. Whether you want to learn more about early American settlement or simply enjoy a peaceful day outdoors surrounded by nature’s beauty – Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site should definitely be on your list!

FAQs About South Carolina

Is there anything fun to do in SC?

Yes! South Carolina has plenty of fun activities and attractions to explore. Whether you’re interested in history or nature or just want to have a good time, you can find something that suits your interests here. There are beautiful beaches, charming Southern towns and cities, historic tours and plantations, art galleries and museums, and outdoor activities like kayaking.

What is the coolest thing in SC?

That’s a tough question! There are so many things to experience in South Carolina, but some of the most popular attractions are Fort Sumter National Monument, Congaree National Park, Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort, The Adventure Park at Sandhill, and Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there is something for everyone in South Carolina!

Do I need a car to get around SC?

No, you do not necessarily need a car to get around South Carolina. While having your own transportation is certainly helpful when visiting the state, there are other ways to explore all that it has to offer. You can take advantage of public transportation options such as Greyhound buses, Amtrak trains, and Megabus services. You can also find car rentals and ride-sharing services in many cities across South Carolina.

What is the best time to visit SC?

The best time to visit South Carolina depends on what you’re looking for out of your trip. For outdoor activities and beach trips, late spring and early summer are great times to visit. For cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, fall is the perfect time to explore South Carolina. Winters can be quite cold in some parts of the state, but many cities have plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay!

Are there any national parks in SC?

Yes! South Carolina is home to several national parks, including Congaree National Park, Fort Sumter National Monument, Santee National Wildlife Refuge, and Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Each of these amazing parks offers something different for visitors to explore, from wildlife viewing and hiking trails to camping and swimming spots. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful weekend away or an exciting adventure, South Carolina’s national parks have something for everyone.

Are there any festivals or events in SC?

Absolutely! South Carolina hosts several festivals and events throughout the year that are sure to entertain. There are music and art festivals, food and wine events, cultural celebrations, and even a Renaissance Fair. No matter what your interests may be, you can find an event to suit them in South Carolina.

Where can I go shopping in SC?

South Carolina is home to many great shopping destinations, from outdoor malls and boutique stores to historic antiquing spots. Some of the most popular places for shopping include Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Charleston City Market, Five Points Shopping Center in Columbia, and The Commons at Cooper River in Mt. Pleasant. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir or just want to browse, South Carolina has something for everyone!

Can I find good food in SC?

Yes! Foodies will be glad to know that there are plenty of delicious restaurants across the state. You can sample some of the locally-sourced seafood, take a culinary tour of the Lowcountry or get your fill of Southern-style cooking. For something truly unique, be sure to check out some of South Carolina’s food trucks which serve up everything from tacos and burgers to ice cream and more!

No matter what you’re looking for, there is something for everyone in South Carolina — from outdoor activities like kayaking and fishing to shopping and dining. Whether you’re in search of an adventure or a relaxing getaway, you can find it in the Palmetto State!


Whether you want beach time relaxation or an adventure exploring nature trails or historical sites, South Carolina has something for everyone! With so much variety available in this southern state, it’s no wonder why so many people flock here each year for their vacations… But don’t take our word for it – come experience all that South Carolina has to offer yourself! Trust us – once you do, you’ll never want leave!

Recent Posts