South Carolina is one of the most lush and gorgeous states to visit in America. If finding places beyond the usual tourist spots is on the agenda, it doesn’t get any better than this treasured southern state.
There are many off-the-beaten-path locations that will please the entire family. Secret gems abound throughout the “Palmetto State” that are truly lovely to see.
Here are 10 of the most fun places, and outside of the ordinary, to visit in South Carolina for 2023.
Botany Bay’s Boneyard Beach
On Botany Bay is one of South Carolina’s most famous “Boneyard Beaches.” This is a calm spot along the coastline with beautiful driftwood lying around that looks like nature’s perfect works of art. These are unspoiled stretches of beach, which are ideal for those who want a more quiet beach experience that isn’t so touristy. Relax all day in a beach chair, while the waves quietly lap the shoreline.
Edisto River Tubing
Located in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina near the coast is the Edisto River. This is a popular place to go tubing. Rent a tube for the day from one of the river outposts. It’s a blackwater river that is one of the longest in the United States. Take a few hours, grab a cooler, and get lazy coasting down the Edisto with the whole family.
The Dorchester Ghost Town
For fans of spooky places, the Dorchester Ghost Town is a fantastic visit. It’s located on the Ashley River in the town of Dorchester, throughout an expanse of nature that’s around 325 acres. There is so much to explore among the Spanish Moss with 18th century tombstones, a historic fort, and the famous St. George Bell Tower to name just a few of the main gothic attractions.
Folly Beach in Charleston
Folly Beach is a great place to spend the day jumping through the waves of this exciting beach town. Surf, bask in the sun, or take a kayak out into the water to get your fill of sand and sun. Don’t miss the 1000-foot pier or the gift shops with seashell souvenirs along the beach after you eat some of the best crab in the world at the Crab Shack restaurant.
The Palmetto Trail
Along Charleston’s intercoastal is the Palmetto Trail. With over 500 miles of gorgeous nature to explore, this is a trail that goes all the way to the Oconee County mountains. Take a bike, go on foot for a long hike, or just spend some time with a picnic basket near a waterfall, to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature in this beautiful place.
The Kazoo Museum in Beaufort
Located in Beaufort, South Carolina which is a town on Port Royal Island is the Kazoo Museum. Yes, that’s right, it’s an entire museum devoted to this quirky musical instrument. There are all kinds of kazoos to see, as well as, a factory tour that shows how the kazoo is made from start to finish. It’s definitely a memorable trip, especially with a stop at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream on the way there for a double-scoop cone or sundae.
The Button Museum
Another funky museum to see is dedicated to the simple button. The Button Museum is located in the small town of Bishopville. There are all kinds of displays featuring the buttons of Dalton Stevens, who was even a guest on David Letterman’s show back in the 90s, talking about his obsession with his button collection. There are other things in town to do as well, including the beautiful Pearl Fryer Topiary Garden or the Carolina Paintball Park.
EdVenture Children’s Museum
There is nothing better than an outing that makes the kids smile from ear to ear. The EdVenture Children’s Museum is truly one of those places. As an interactive museum located in Columbia, South Carolina, it has over 300 exhibits to bring out the kid in everyone. With over 92,000 square feet of fun featuring a cooking lab, flight exhibit, and a climbing gym, this is a location that can’t be missed for families.
Old Sheldon Church Ruins
The Old Sheldon Church Ruins, located in Yemassee, South Carolina, are a hauntingly beautiful and historic site. This picturesque ruin is what remains of Prince William’s Parish Church, built between 1745 and 1753, making it one of the oldest structures of its kind in South Carolina. Though it has suffered fires and wars, its towering columns and weathered walls still stand as a testament to colonial American architecture. Surrounded by moss-draped oak trees and an aura of serene decay, it’s a place that captivates visitors with its rich history and enduring elegance.
Congaree Swamp National Monument
With 26,000 acres to explore in the Congaree Swamp National Monument, nature lovers will rejoice in this location that is in Hopkins, South Carolina. Be prepared to see some wildlife in the form of armadillos, gators, and wildcats. For campers, there is primitive camping here for an overnight adventure that can’t be missed. This is especially true when catching all the action from the fireflies that buzz around the area in the summertime lighting up the night sky.