20 Best Small Towns in South Carolina To Explore

Small Towns in South Carolina

South Carolina, also known as the Palmetto State, is home to many charming small towns that are worth exploring. From historic districts to beautiful coastal communities, these towns offer a glimpse into the rich history and Southern hospitality of the state.

Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or simply a slower pace of life, South Carolina is a small town for everyone. In this blog, we will explore 20 of the best small towns in South Carolina that offer unique attractions, beautiful scenery, and a warm welcome to visitors.

1. Bluffton

Bluffton
Bluffton

Bluffton, located just inland from Hilton Head Island, is a small town with a big personality. Its historic district, known as Old Town, is a charming area filled with antebellum homes, oak-lined streets, and art galleries.

One of the main attractions in Bluffton is the May River, which offers opportunities for kayaking, fishing, and boating. Visitors can take a stroll along the riverbanks and soak in the beautiful scenery.

Bluffton is also known for its local cuisine, with many restaurants serving up fresh seafood and Lowcountry favorites. The town hosts several annual festivals, including the popular Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival, where visitors can enjoy local art, live music, and of course, delicious seafood.

2. Georgetown

Georgetown
Georgetown

Georgetown, a historic port city located on the coast of South Carolina, offers the quintessential Southern living experience. The town is known for its beautiful historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and charming shops and restaurants. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along the waterfront, explore the historic district, or take a boat tour of the marshes and rivers that surround the town.

Georgetown is also a great place to indulge in fresh seafood, with many local restaurants serving up the catch of the day. The town is also home to several annual festivals and events, including the Wooden Boat Show and the Georgetown County Fair, which showcase the local culture and heritage.

3. Folly Beach

Folly Beach
Folly Beach

Folly Beach, located just a short drive from Charleston, is a charming barrier island town known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere. The town offers miles of pristine shoreline, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.

Visitors can also enjoy activities such as surfing, fishing, and kayaking, or simply relax and soak up the Southern hospitality.

Folly Beach is home to a vibrant local arts scene, with galleries and studios showcasing the work of talented artists. The town also hosts several fun events throughout the year, including the Folly Gras Festival and the Sea & Sand Festival, where visitors can enjoy live music, local art, and delicious food.

4. Landrum

Landrum
Landrum

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Landrum is a small town with big charm. It is known for its antique shops, delightful small-town atmosphere, and scenic beauty. Visitors can explore the historic downtown area, browse through the unique antique shops, or stop by one of the local eateries for a taste of the region’s flavors.

Landrum is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for horseback riding, hiking, and exploring the natural beauty of the area. Whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend getaway or a place to unwind and connect with nature, Landrum is the perfect destination.

5. York

York
York

York, a historic town located in the upstate region of South Carolina, is a hidden gem that offers a mix of history, southern charm, and small-town hospitality. Visitors can explore the town’s historic sites, such as the York County Courthouse, which dates back to 1824, or take a stroll along Main Street, lined with shops, eateries, and historic buildings.

The town offers a glimpse into the past, with its well-preserved architecture and old-world charm. York is also home to several annual events, including the Summerfest Festival and the Western York County Art Walk, where visitors can enjoy local art, live music, and delicious cuisine.

6. McClellanville

McClellanville
McClellanville

Located on the coastal plain of South Carolina, McClellanville is a small town brimming with history and charm. The town is known for its historic buildings, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its Southern living atmosphere.

Visitors can take a stroll through the town’s picturesque streets, lined with historic homes, visit the local art galleries, or explore the nearby Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, which offers opportunities for kayaking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

McClellanville is also known for its annual events, including the Lowcountry Shrimp Festival and the McClellanville Arts Council Art Walk, where visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy the hospitality of the town.

7. Walhalla

Walhalla
Walhalla

Walhalla, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a small town with a rich history and natural beauty. The town is known for the Stumphouse Tunnel, a historic site that was an ambitious railroad tunnel project, now a popular tourist attraction.

Visitors can also hike to the beautiful Issaqueena Falls, located just outside of town, or explore the natural wonders of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. Walhalla has a strong German heritage, which is still evident in the town’s architecture, festivals, and local cuisine. The town offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and small-town charm.

8. Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a world-class destination known for its beautiful beaches, golf courses, and luxurious resorts. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway or an active outdoor adventure, Hilton Head Island has something for everyone.

Visitors can soak up the sun on the island’s pristine beaches, enjoy water activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding, or tee off at one of the island’s championship golf courses.

Hilton Head Island also boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with a range of dining options from casual beachfront eateries to gourmet restaurants. With its natural beauty, Southern hospitality, and endless recreational opportunities, Hilton Head Island is truly a paradise in the Palmetto State.

9. Abbeville

Abbeville
Abbeville

Abbeville, located in the upstate region of South Carolina, is a small town with a rich history and southern hospitality. The town’s historic district is home to beautiful architecture, including the Abbeville Opera House, which dates back to the late 19th century.

Visitors can take a walking tour of the historic district, visit the local shops and restaurants, or catch a show at the opera house. Abbeville is also known for its warm hospitality, with friendly locals who are always ready to welcome visitors with a smile. The town offers a peaceful and charming atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing getaway.

10. Cope

Cope
Cope

Cope, a tiny town located in Orangeburg County is a hidden gem that offers rural charm and Southern living at its best. With a population of less than 80 people and covering just a few square miles, Cope exudes a sense of tranquility and simplicity.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the town’s slower pace of life, enjoy the beautiful countryside, or visit the nearby Congaree National Park, known for its stunning hardwood forests and diverse wildlife. Cope is the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life, where they can truly experience the beauty of the South Carolina countryside.

11. Newberry, SC

Newberry, SC
Newberry, SC

Newberry, SC, located in the midlands of the state, is a small town that offers a blend of historic sites, local eateries, and Southern living. The town is home to the beautiful Newberry Opera House, a historic landmark that hosts live performances and events throughout the year.

Visitors can take a stroll through the town’s historic downtown area, which boasts beautiful architecture and local shops, or indulge in the flavors of the region at one of the many local eateries. Newberry offers a taste of the slower pace of life and the warm hospitality of the South, making it a perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation.

12. Hartsville, SC

Hartsville, SC
Hartsville, SC

Hartsville, SC, located in the Pee Dee region of the state, is a small town with a vibrant arts scene, historic district, and beautiful parks. The town is home to Coker College, which brings a lively atmosphere and cultural events to the area.

Visitors can explore the town’s historic district, which features beautiful architecture and boutique shops, or take a stroll through the picturesque travelers’ rest, a park that offers walking trails and a natural playground.

Hartsville is also known for its annual events, including the Sculpture Celebration and the Black Creek Arts Council Arts and Crafts Festival, where visitors can enjoy local art, music, and great food.

13. Clemson, SC

Clemson, SC
Clemson, SC

Clemson, SC, home to Clemson University, is a small town nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those who appreciate natural beauty.

Visitors can explore the town’s beautiful architecture, take a stroll through the historic campus of Clemson University, or enjoy the great outdoors at Lake Hartwell, a popular spot for fishing, boating, and water sports.

Clemson offers a mix of small-town charm, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences, making it a great place to visit for families, nature lovers, and sports fans alike.

14. Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island, located just south of Charleston, is a barrier island paradise known for its beautiful beaches, world-class golf courses, and luxury resorts. The island offers a serene and picturesque setting, with miles of pristine shoreline, dunes, and marshes.

Golf enthusiasts can tee off at one of the island’s championship courses, which have hosted major tournaments, including the Ryder Cup.

Kiawah Island also boasts beautiful architecture, with upscale homes and luxury resorts that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation, a golf getaway, or simply a place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the Lowcountry, Kiawah Island is the perfect destination.

15. Laurens

Laurens
Laurens

Laurens, located in the upstate region of South Carolina, is a small town with a charming historic square, filled with shops, eateries, and historic buildings. The town exudes southern charm, with tree-lined streets and beautiful architecture.

Visitors can explore the town’s antique stores, which offer a treasure trove of unique finds, or take a stroll through the historic district, where they can admire the well-preserved buildings and immerse themselves in the town’s history.

Laurens is also the county seat of Laurens County, which offers beautiful natural scenery, historic sites, and a range of outdoor recreational opportunities, making it a great destination for nature lovers and history buffs.

16. Pendleton

Pendleton
Pendleton

Pendleton, a historic town located in the northwest corner of the state, is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the past with its well-preserved architecture, antebellum mansions, and historic sites.

Visitors can take a walking tour of the town, which showcases the local history, or explore the Pendleton District, known for its local artisans and craftspeople.

The town hosts several events throughout the year, including the Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee, where visitors can enjoy local art, live music, and delicious food. Pendleton’s small-town charm, historic significance, and local art scene make it a perfect destination for those seeking a unique and authentic South Carolina experience.

17. Edgefield

Edgefield
Edgefield

Edgefield, located in the western part of the state, is a small town with a long history. The town is known for its rich pottery tradition, which dates back centuries and is still practiced today. Visitors can explore local pottery shops, where they can witness the art form firsthand and even try their hand at creating their masterpieces.

Edgefield is also home to several historic sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Old Edgefield District Courthouse, which played a significant role during the Civil War. The town’s historic district, with its well-preserved buildings, offers a charming glimpse into the past, and the local shops and eateries add to the town’s southern hospitality and old-world charm.

18. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms
Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms, located just outside of Charleston, is a beach town paradise known for its beautiful shoreline, family-friendly beaches, and the exclusive Wild Dunes Resort.

The island offers miles of pristine beachfront, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of water activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and boat rentals.

The island is also home to the Wild Dunes Resort, which offers upscale accommodations, golf courses, and a spa, making it an ideal destination for those looking for a luxurious beach getaway. Whether you’re planning a family vacation or a romantic escape, Isle of Palms has something for everyone.

19. McConnells

McConnells
McConnells

McConnells, located in York County, is a small town that takes pride in its historic preservation and rural charm. The town is home to the Brattonsville Historic District, a living history museum that showcases the life of the area’s early settlers.

Visitors can explore the historic buildings, interact with costumed interpreters, and learn about the region’s history and heritage. McConnells is also a close-knit community, where southern hospitality shines through.

The town hosts several events throughout the year, including the Southern Revolutionary War Reenactment, where visitors can experience life during the Revolutionary War era. Whether you’re interested in history, looking for a peaceful retreat, or simply wanting to experience small-town Southern living, McConnells has something to offer.

20. Walterboro

Walterboro
Walterboro

Walterboro, located in the heart of the Lowcountry, is a small town known for its South Carolina artesian wells, historic district, and antique shops. Visitors can explore the town’s historic district, which features beautiful architecture, charming shops, and local restaurants.

Walterboro is also home to the South Carolina Artisan Center, where visitors can view and purchase handmade crafts and art from local artists.

The town’s antique shops offer a treasure trove of unique finds, perfect for those looking to add a piece of history to their collection. Walterboro hosts several events throughout the year, including the Rice Festival, where visitors can enjoy live music, food, and local art.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-see attractions in the small town of Beaufort, SC?

The best small towns in South Carolina, Some must-see attractions in Beaufort, SC include the Beaufort History Museum, the John Mark Verdier House, and the popular Spanish Moss Trail. Don’t miss Hunting Island State Park, known for its lighthouse and beautiful beach. Enjoy water activities and delicious Lowcountry cuisine too.

What makes the small town of Bluffton, SC a unique destination for visitors?

Bluffton, SC stands out as a unique destination for visitors with its charming historic district, lined with antebellum homes and oak-lined streets. Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in kayaking, fishing, and biking along the picturesque May River. The town’s thriving arts community and annual events like the May River Shrimp Festival add to its charm.

What are some outdoor activities to enjoy in the charming town of Greenville, SC?

The best small towns in South Carolina, Explore the charming town of Greenville, SC with a range of outdoor activities. Spend your day biking and walking along the popular Swamp Rabbit Trail. Enjoy scenic views and picnic areas at Falls Park on the Reedy River. For more adventure, head to Paris Mountain State Park with its hiking trails, swimming spots, and camping opportunities.

What are some hidden gems to discover in the historic town of Charleston, SC?

The best small towns in South Carolina, Discover the hidden gems of Charleston, SC, and immerse yourself in its historic charm. Walk along Rainbow Row, admire the stunning views at the Battery and White Point Gardens, explore the elegant Nathaniel Russell House Museum, and get lost in the charming streets of the French Quarter.

Conclusion

The best small towns in South Carolina are home to many charming small towns that are worth exploring. From the historic streets of Charleston to the beautiful beaches of Folly Beach, each town has its unique attractions and atmosphere.

Whether you’re looking for history, outdoor activities, or just a relaxing getaway, there’s something for everyone in these small towns.

Be sure to visit Beaufort for its must-see attractions, experience the uniqueness of Bluffton, enjoy outdoor activities in Greenville, and discover hidden gems in Charleston. Have you visited any of these small towns in South Carolina? Leave a comment below and share your experiences!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *