South Carolina Dreaming: The Ultimate Guide to Your Carolina Getaway

Discover Lake Jocassee

Lake Jocassee, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina, stands out as one of the state’s most magnificent lakes. Renowned for its stunningly clear and deep waters, Lake Jocassee spans over 7,500 acres and reaches depths of up to 300 feet. It offers exceptional opportunities for activities such as boating, kayaking, scuba diving, and fishing, with the lake being home to several species of trout and bass. The picturesque setting of Lake Jocassee, combined with its tranquil and unspoiled natural beauty, makes it not only the best lake in South Carolina but also a true gem for nature lovers and adventurers alike.


Best time to visit
Best places to visit

Top 3 Facts about South Carolina


Largest Gullah Community

South Carolina has the largest population of Gullah, a community of African Americans in the Lowcountry region who have preserved much of their African linguistic and cultural heritage.


Major Military Training Center

Fort Jackson in Columbia is the U.S. Army’s largest basic training facility, training more than half of the Army’s basic combat training load and 60% of women entering the Army each year.


Unique Natural Features

The state is home to unique natural features, including Congaree National Park, which boasts some of the tallest trees in the Eastern United States, and the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering stunning landscapes and numerous outdoor activities.


Must See Attractions

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Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Historical attraction

The plantation dates back to 1676 and is renowned for its breathtaking gardens, historic house, and extensive grounds that showcase Southern plantation life and horticultural beauty.

Brookgreen Gardens

Nature & Parks

This is a unique cultural and botanical institution, featuring an expansive sculpture garden with over 2,000 works, landscapes, and the Lowcountry Zoo, all set within the historic grounds of a former rice plantation.

Congaree National Park

Nature & Parks

Congaree National Park, located in South Carolina, is a pristine wilderness characterized by its ancient bald cypress and tupelo trees, providing a haven for diverse flora and fauna in a floodplain environment.

Where to Sleep

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Lakes to Discover

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1. Lake Murray

14 Miles

With over 50,000 acres, Lake Murray is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and water recreation, surrounded by islands and coves.

2. Lake Marion

54 Miles

As one of the largest lakes in the state, the lake offers ample opportunities for fishing and a diverse shoreline.

3. Lake Greenwood

74 Miles

A popular destination in the Piedmont region, this lake is prized for its fishing, golf courses along its shores, and peaceful atmosphere.

4. Lake Wylie

85 Miles

On the border, Lake Wylie is a vibrant lake community known for its recreational amenities and lakeside living.

5. Lake Bowen

107 Miles

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this lake offers an escape for fishing, boating, and the natural beauty of the region.

6. Lake Keowee

137 Miles

Known for its clear waters and mountainous backdrop, Lake Keowee is a scenic reservoir in the Upstate, providing a serene escape.

7. Lake Jocassee

144 Miles

Lake Jocassee is known for its crystal-clear waters, surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

8. Lake Hartwell

160 Miles

Straddling the Georgian border, Lake Hartwell is a massive reservoir offering a variety of water activities, from fishing to water sports.

Annual Events and Festivals

Friday, May 24 – Sunday, June 9, 2024

Spoleto Festival USA

Spoleto Festival USA, held annually in Charleston is one of America’s premier performing arts festivals. Since its inception in 1977, the festival has been celebrated for its eclectic and innovative lineup, showcasing a diverse range of performances that include opera, theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music. The festival was founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti to mirror the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy, aiming to bring together renowned artists and emerging performers from around the globe.

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Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 21, 2024

Beaufort Water Festival

The Beaufort Water Festival has become a beloved tradition, drawing locals and visitors alike to revel in a plethora of aquatic and land-based festivities. Boasting a vibrant array of events, from thrilling water sports competitions to dazzling boat parades, the festival captures the essence of coastal living. Live music performances, arts and crafts showcases, and delectable seafood offerings further enhance the festive atmosphere.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Lexington County Peach Festival

The Lexington County Peach Festival, a delightful celebration held annually on July 4th in Gilbert, South Carolina, is a vibrant tribute to the region’s bountiful peach harvest and the spirit of independence. This charming festival captures the essence of Southern hospitality and agricultural pride, bringing together locals and visitors to revel in a day of family-friendly activities. From a lively peach parade featuring colorful floats to live music performances and an abundance of delectable peach-themed treats, the festival offers a sensory delight for attendees.

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Top Hiking Trails

Table Rock Trail

391 Table Rock State Park Rd, Pickens, South Carolina 29671

This challenging trail, stretching approximately 3.6 miles one way, ascends steadily to the summit of Table Rock Mountain, presenting hikers with a rigorous yet rewarding journey. As trekkers climb, they are enveloped in a lush woodland canopy, encountering a variety of native plants and wildlife, as well as crossing clear, cool mountain streams. The trail’s charm lies in its combination of natural beauty and the physical challenge it presents.

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Boardwalk Loop Trail

100 National Park Rd, Hopkins, South Carolina 29061

The Boardwalk Loop Trail in Congaree National Park, South Carolina, is a captivating journey through one of the most unique ecosystems in the United States. Spanning approximately 2.4 miles, this easy, flat trail is accessible to visitors of all ages and skill levels, making it a family-friendly adventure. The boardwalk meanders through a mesmerizing floodplain forest, showcasing a rich biodiversity, including towering bald cypress and tupelo trees, some adorned with Spanish moss that adds to the area’s mystique. This trail offers an intimate view of the park’s primeval beauty, leading visitors through a landscape that feels both ancient and alive.

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Rainbow Falls Trail

303 Jones Gap Rd, Marietta, South Carolina 29661

Rainbow Falls Trail, located in Jones Gap State Park within South Carolina’s Upstate region, is a captivating pathway that beckons hikers with promises of natural beauty and the allure of a majestic waterfall. Spanning approximately 2.4 miles, this moderately challenging trail winds through a lush forest adorned with rhododendrons, ferns, and towering hardwoods, creating a serene and verdant atmosphere. The trail’s highlight is undoubtedly Rainbow Falls, a stunning cascade plunging about 100 feet into a pristine pool below. The trail demands a moderate level of fitness, featuring some steep sections and rocky terrain, making it both a rewarding and invigorating adventure for nature enthusiasts.

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Best Golf Courses

Kiawah Island Golf Resort

1 Sanctuary Beach Dr, Kiawah Island, South Carolina 29455

This world-class resort boasts 5 expertly designed championship golf courses, including the famous Ocean Course, known for hosting major tournaments like the PGA Championship. Each course offers a unique challenge, set against the stunning backdrop of Kiawah Island’s natural beauty, with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, marshes, and lush maritime forests.

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The Dunes Golf & Beach Club

9000 N Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29572

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, situated in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, stands as a testament to the rich golfing tradition of the area. This prestigious club, known for its classic Robert Trent Jones-designed course, has been a jewel in the crown of Myrtle Beach since its inception in 1948. Renowned for its challenging layout, the course meanders through mature coastal woodland, with perfectly manicured fairways and greens that complement the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. The 13th hole, famously known as “Waterloo,” is particularly notable for its intricate design, incorporating Lake Singleton into play.

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Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

369 Caledonia Dr, Pawleys Island, south carolina 29585

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is a captivating blend of history, natural beauty, and exceptional golfing. Nestled in a former rice plantation, this course, designed by the acclaimed Mike Strantz, offers a unique golfing experience that harmonizes with the picturesque Lowcountry setting. The course is renowned for its awe-inspiring oak-lined fairways, blooming flowers, and tranquil water features, which create a tranquil and visually stunning environment. Each hole is crafted to provide both a challenge to seasoned golfers and an enjoyable experience for beginners, with the 18th hole being a standout for its dramatic approach over water.

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Water Sports

Island Time Charters

Dolphin Tours

South Carolina, with its picturesque coastline and abundant marine life, is a prime location for dolphin tours, offering visitors an enchanting experience to observe these intelligent and playful creatures in their natural habitat. Island Time Charters specializes in intimate and educational tours, ensuring a personal and memorable experience. Their knowledgeable captains share insights about the local ecosystem and dolphin behavior, enhancing the appreciation of these marine mammals. Tours often navigate through the calm, sheltered waters around Hilton Head, allowing for excellent viewing opportunities.

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Coastal Expeditions


Kayaking in South Carolina is a splendid way to explore the state’s diverse waterways, from tranquil rivers to scenic coastal marshes. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature, observe local wildlife, and create lasting memories on the water. Coastal Expeditions, with locations in Charleston, Isle of Palms, and Shem Creek, Coastal Expeditions offers a variety of kayaking experiences suitable for all skill levels. Their guided tours are led by knowledgeable naturalists who share insights into the local ecosystem, wildlife, and cultural history.

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Tailwalker Charters


Fishing in South Carolina is a cherished pastime, thanks to the state’s abundant waterways and diverse marine ecosystems. For those seeking an exceptional angling experience, Tailwalker Charters stands out as a premier guide service. Based in Charleston, they offer expertly guided fishing trips that cater to both seasoned anglers and beginners.

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Resorts to Explore

Island Vista Resort

6000 N Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577

The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

Family friendly, Recreational
20 Patriots Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, South Carolina 29464

The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort

Ocean front, Recreational
Two Grasslawn Ave, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928

Tips on Vacationing to South Carolina

Enjoy the Lowcountry Cuisine

South Carolina’s Lowcountry cuisine is a treat. Be sure to try local specialties like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and Lowcountry boil. And don’t forget to sample the famous South Carolina barbecue.

Plan Ahead for Accommodations

Especially during peak seasons, accommodations in popular areas like Charleston and Myrtle Beach can fill up quickly. Book well in advance to secure your preferred lodging.

Explore Small Towns

Beyond the major tourist spots, South Carolina’s small towns offer charming experiences, unique shops, and local eateries. Towns like Beaufort, Bluffton, and Georgetown are worth a visit.

Explore the Coast

The South Carolina coast is famous for its beautiful beaches. Places like Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, and the Charleston area offer fantastic beach experiences, along with excellent dining and entertainment.

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Jet Skiing

South Carolina offers unique vacation experiences. Enjoy serene views of Lake Keowee or indulge in the modern luxury of Greenville and Spartanburg. 

Visit popular attractions like the Pitt St Bridge and various shops, restaurants, and fitness venues. Your vacation rental will have essential amenities like air conditioning, WiFi, cable TV, and parking. Look out for rentals with balconies or terraces for picturesque views. Your South Carolina adventure awaits!

Top Vacation Rentals Destinations

Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is a popular vacation destination, offering various vacation rentals that cater to different preferences and budgets. Whether you prefer an oceanfront condo or a cozy cottage, you can find something to suit your needs. Vacation rentals in Myrtle Beach offer convenient access to the beach, as well as attractions and entertainment options in the area.

Hilton Head
Hilton Head Island is a beautiful and peaceful vacation destination known for its unspoiled beaches, verdant landscapes, and top-notch golf courses. Vacation rentals in Hilton Head include luxurious villas and cozy homes so that you can have a comfortable stay. If you want to be close to the ocean, you can choose a beachfront property, while rentals near the golf courses are perfect for those who love golfing.

Charleston has history, a vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine. If you are looking for a getaway that is full of charm and character, a traditional home in Charleston would be a great option. These rentals include historic homes, modern apartments, and cozy cottages close to the city’s major attractions. Staying here, you will have the opportunity to explore the city’s cobblestone streets, visit its historic sites, and dine at one of the many excellent restaurants that it has to offer.

Columbia is the capital of South Carolina and an excellent destination for history, adventure, and food enthusiasts. The city offers a variety of vacation rentals ranging from modern apartments to charming classic homes. You can stay near popular attractions such as the South Carolina State Museum, the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, or the vibrant Five Points neighborhood for an unforgettable experience.

North Myrtle Beach
North Myrtle Beach is the better choice for a relaxing beach vacation with your loved ones. Compared to Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach offers a more laid-back atmosphere, making it perfect for those who seek a peaceful retreat. During your stay, remember to check out local parks, dining options, and golf courses to make the most of your trip.

Types of Vacation Rentals in South Carolina

You can find spacious vacation homes and condos that provide ample room for everyone to relax comfortably. Villas and beachfront homes are excellent options if you’re looking for a fun and scenic stay by the beach. Here are some popular choices for families:

– Condos: Well-appointed condos with multiple bedrooms and living areas provide the perfect space for families to unwind.
– Beachfront Homes: Enjoy direct access to the beach and stunning views from your rental.
– Cottage: Cozy cottages offer a peaceful retreat for families looking to slow down the pace of life.

For those seeking a more upscale experience, South Carolina has a vast selection of luxury vacation rentals, including high-end villas and beachfront homes. These properties feature top-of-the-line amenities and outstanding views, ensuring a memorable stay. 

– Villas: Elegant villas provide a refined living space, often boasting private pools, landscaped gardens, and stunning interiors.
– Beautiful Condos: Contemporary condos with stylish décor offering a balance of luxury and convenience.
– Beachfront Homes: Spacious luxury beachfront homes provide the ultimate seaside experience with lavish amenities and panoramic ocean views.

South Carolina has plenty of pet-friendly vacation rentals. Whether it’s a cozy cottage or a roomy condo, you and your beloved pets can enjoy a fantastic vacation together. Look for rentals that explicitly mention pet-friendliness and abide by any rules or restrictions set by the property owner.

Experiences around Vacation Rentals

Water Experiences
What’s a beach getaway without some water adventures? Many South Carolina vacation rentals offer ocean views and easy access to the beach. Make the most of your time by the water by trying out different activities like kayaking, swimming, or simply soaking up the sun by the outdoor pool.

Some rentals even feature indoor/outdoor pools, perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring. Remember to explore the coastline, where you can find prime spots for sea kayaking or paddleboarding. Your beach experience in South Carolina will surely be a memorable one.

Golfing Experiences
If you are a golfer, you’ll love South Carolina because it is home to some of the best golf courses in the world. Many vacation rentals are conveniently located near golf courses so you can indulge in a round or two during your stay.

Courses are available for golfers of all skill levels, ranging from beginner-friendly greens to challenging championship courses. Nothing quite says a relaxing vacation like spending a day on the golf course, surrounded by incredible views.

Wildlife Experiences
Nature lovers, get excited! South Carolina’s diverse landscape offers unique opportunities to explore the local wildlife. From the comfort of your vacation rental, you can venture into nearby natural habitats, such as marshes, forests, and coastal areas, where you’ll encounter a variety of species.

Some potential activities to consider during your vacation are birdwatching, hiking, or even joining a guided wildlife tour. With so many ways to observe and appreciate South Carolina’s wildlife, you’ll undoubtedly make lasting memories in the great outdoors.

When to Visit South Carolina

South Carolina is an incredible destination for vacation rentals, with its beautiful beaches, charming cities, and outdoor activities. But when is the best time to visit? Let’s look at the perks of visiting during different seasons and find the perfect time for your getaway.

Winter Stays
If you prefer a quieter and more peaceful vacation, then winter might be the ideal choice for you. South Carolina experiences mild temperatures during the winter months, rarely dropping below freezing. This can be an excellent time to explore historic cities such as Charleston and the stunning plantations in the area. The cooler weather also makes outdoor activities like hiking and biking much more comfortable. However, do prepare for some cold nights, so pack a few warm and cozy layers to ensure that you stay warm.

Spring Stays
Spring is widely considered the ideal season to visit South Carolina. The weather from March through May is pleasantly mild and sunny, providing a perfect opportunity to explore the beaches and attend outdoor events such as the Myrtle Beach Bike Week. Spring also brings blooming flowers and beautiful gardens, so have your camera ready to capture the stunning scenery. Keep in mind that this is a popular time for vacations, so it’s recommended to book your vacation rental in advance to secure your stay.

Fall Stays
Visiting South Carolina during the fall season, which runs from September through October, is a great option. The temperature during these months is pleasant, and the fall foliage is fantastic, making it an excellent time for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Additionally, fall is a less crowded time, allowing you to enjoy a more relaxed vacation and explore the sights at your own pace. However, it is essential to note that hurricane season is in effect until November in the area, so it is wise to keep an eye on the weather forecast for potential storms.

Unique Features of South Carolina Vacation Rentals

South Carolina vacation rentals offer unique features and amenities, making your stay enjoyable and comfortable.

Amenities to Look For

When selecting a vacation rental in South Carolina, it’s essential to consider the amenities included. Many rentals offer a variety of amenities that cater to your specific needs, from indoor comforts to outdoor adventures:

– Fully stocked kitchens: Prepare meals at your convenience and save on dining expenses
– Balcony or private balcony: Take in the incredible views while enjoying your morning coffee or an evening cocktail
– Washer/dryer: Save time and reduce packing with on-site laundry facilities
– High-speed internet: Stay connected with family and friends during your vacation
– Parking: Ensure a safe and convenient place to park your vehicle

Views from Vacation Rentals

One of the main perks of choosing a South Carolina vacation rental is the incredible views you’ll have access to. Here are some examples of the breathtaking views you can enjoy:

Ocean views: Wake up to the sound of crashing waves and take in the sight of pristine beaches from your rental
Lake views: Relax and unwind while gazing at the calm waters of a beautiful lake
Mountain views: Admire the rugged beauty of the great outdoors from the comfort of your rental

Make sure to prioritize which views are most important to you when selecting your vacation rental.

By carefully considering the amenities and views offered by South Carolina vacation rentals, you can find the perfect stay for an unforgettable getaway.

Exploring South Carolina from Your Vacation Rental

Are you excited to explore the charm of South Carolina? Your vacation rental is the perfect home base to discover the Palmetto State’s stunning coastlines, historic sites, and thrilling waterways. It doesn’t matter who you’re traveling with, be it family, friends, or a romantic partner. South Carolina has something for everyone.

Imagine waking up in your vacation rental and spending the day at one of the many pristine beaches. Folly Beach is a great option, where you can build sandcastles with the kids, take a leisurely swim along the gorgeous coastline, and explore world-class restaurants for some delicious local cuisine.

As you stroll through charming towns like Charleston’s cobblestone streets, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. History lovers in your group will adore the wealth of historic sites waiting to be uncovered. Venture further inland to the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains for stunning vistas, peaceful hikes, and the chance to reconnect with nature.

For a romantic getaway, South Carolina is the perfect destination. Envisage late-night strolls along the shore, intimate dinners at cozy eateries, and discovering the coast’s near-shore islands via kayak. The possibilities are endless, and your vacation rental is just the beginning.

Every trip to South Carolina is complete with exploring the waterways and wetlands. Delight in an unforgettable adventure as you kayak, boat, or paddleboard through the breathtaking landscapes teeming with wildlife.

In short, your South Carolina vacation rental offers endless opportunities to savor the natural beauty, experience exciting adventures, and immerse yourself in history and culture. So gear up, head out, and let the adventure unfold!

Frequently Asked Questions about South Carolina

Scenic drives include the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway through the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Savannah River Scenic Byway, and the drive through the Lowcountry along Highway 17.

South Carolina has many excellent locations for vacation rentals. The most popular areas include Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Charleston, and the Greenville-Spartanburg region. Each area offers a unique experience for travelers, whether looking for beachfront retreats, historic charm, or modern city amenities.

To find ample group accommodations in South Carolina, you can use websites like Lake, Rent By Owner, Vacasa, or other popular vacation rental platforms. Make sure to use filters for properties that accommodate large groups, as well as specific amenities and features you might need. Keep in mind that booking early can help ensure you find a property that best fits your group’s needs.

There are numerous oceanfront rental options with pools in South Carolina. For instance, Marriott’s Oceanwatch at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach offers an apartment that sleeps eight, with a king-sized bed, two queen-sized beds, and a queen sofa. Another option is the Sand Castle Beach Retreat, which boasts a saltwater heated pool near Center St.

To find beach houses for sale in South Carolina, you can consult local real estate agents or websites that specialize in beach property listings. As with any real estate purchase, it’s essential to research the market, compare prices, and consult with professionals to help make an informed decision.

Some of the best websites for vacation rental options in South Carolina include Rent By Owner, Vacasa, and Airbnb. These websites offer various rental types, including houses, apartments, bed and breakfasts, and even unique stays like treehouses and cabins. Read reviews, compare prices, and consider the amenities to find the best rental.

Yes, you can book a last-minute stay in Hilton Head, although availability may be limited. Websites such as Lake, VRBO, Airbnb, and often offer last-minute deals on rentals. However, it’s essential to know that booking last minute may result in higher costs or fewer options. It’s always best to plan when possible to secure a suitable rental for your vacation.

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