Must-see attractions in South Carolina

  • The Georgian-style mansion at the historical McLeod plantation.

    McLeod Plantation


    Opened to the public in 2015, this James Island plantation offers an honest and frankly devastating account of the lives of the enslaved and later …

  • Historic Aiken-Rhett House in Charleston, South Carolina.

    Aiken-Rhett House


    The only surviving urban town-house complex, this 1820 abode gives a fascinating glimpse into antebellum life on a 45-minute self-guided audio tour. The…

  • Two 15 inch 50,000-pound Rodman canons (on the sides), the largest guns used in the Civil War, are on display at the Fort Sumter site in Charleston, South Carolina.

    Guardians of Charleston Harbor


    The first shots of the Civil War rang out at Fort Sumter, on a pentagon-shaped island in the harbor. A Confederate stronghold, this fort was shelled to…

  • Angel Oak tree on St. Johns Island near Charleston, SC.

    Angel Oak Tree


    Some folks reckon this Southern live oak tree is 1500 years old (others says it's 400 to 500 years old). Whatever the case, it's one of the oldest living…

  • Old Slave Mart Museum


    Formerly called Ryan's Mart, this building once housed an open-air market that auctioned African American men, women and children in the mid-1800s, the…

  • Skeleton trees on Boneyard Beach, Bulls Island, South Carolina.

    Bulls Island


    Part of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, this pristine barrier island offers a haunting 'boneyard beach' (pines and myrtles poke out of the sand,…

  • Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville, South Carolina.

    Falls Park on the Reedy


    In the epicenter of downtown Greenville, this stunning 32-acre oasis is a joy to wander. Be sure to cross the park's Liberty Bridge, a modern wonder…

  • Brookgreen Gardens in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

    Brookgreen Gardens

    South Carolina

    These magical gardens, 16 miles south of Myrtle Beach on Hwy 17S, are home to the largest collection of American sculpture in the country, set amid more…

  • Fort Moultrie


    This layered fort encapsulates the history of US coastal defense spanning nearly 200 years and four wars. Aspects of the fort have been restored to help…

  • Heyward-Washington House


    As the name hints, this 1772 Georgian-style town house is kind of a big deal because George Washington rented it for a week, and visitors can stand in…

  • Table Rock State Park

    South Carolina

    The Upcountry's marquee natural attraction is Table Rock Mountain, a 3124ft-high mountain with a striking granite face. The 7.2-mile round-trip hike to…

  • Daufuskie Island


    For those looking for an escape just a touch less discovered than Hilton Head Island, this idyllic island offers a sublime day trip and a window into the…

  • Charleston, SC - February 2 2020: The Plantation home at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens; Shutterstock ID 1661611987; your: Bridget Brown; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI Image Update

    Magnolia Plantation


    This 500-acre plantation, which has been owned by the Drayton family since 1676, is a veritable theme park. Enjoy a tram tour, a petting zoo and a guided…

  • A boardwalk through the swamps of Congaree National Park during the fall.

    Congaree National Park

    South Carolina

    Inky-black water, dyed with tannic acid leached from decaying plant matter. Bone-white cypress stumps like the femurs of long-dead giants. Spanish moss as…

  • Drayton Hall in South Carolina.

    Drayton Hall


    This 1738 Palladian brick mansion is the country's oldest preserved plantation house open to the public. Yep, it's older than the nation. Drayton Hall was…

  • Sheep grazing at Middleton Place.

    Middleton Place


    Designed in 1741, this plantation's vast gardens are the oldest in the US. Countless slaves spent years terracing the land and digging the precise…

  • The Grove Plantation in ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina.

    ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge


    Formerly occupied by large rice plantations, this area fell out of use after the Civil War and was bought up by sportsmen who turned it into a hunting…

  • Hunting Island State Park.

    Hunting Island State Park


    Lush and inviting Hunting Island State Park impresses visitors with acres of spooky maritime forest, tidal lagoons and a bone-white beach littered with…

  • Boone Hall Plantation and gardens.

    Boone Hall Plantation


    Just 11 miles from downtown Charleston on Hwy 17N, Boone Hall Plantation is famous for its magical Avenue of Oaks, planted by Thomas Boone in 1743. Boone…

  • The Charleston Tea Plantation Factory.

    Charleston Tea Garden


    There's only one large-scale, working tea plantation in the US, folks, and this is it. A trolley tour takes visitors around the property, offering plenty…

  • Illuminated Liberty Bridge in Falls Park downtown Greenville South Carolina on a starry night.

    Liberty Bridge


    Do not leave Greenville without a stroll across this dazzling, modern bridge, suspended and curving over the Reedy River Falls. The silvery 345ft-long…

  • Promenade of the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park located south of Bay Street in the Historic District of downtown Beaufort, South Carolina.

    Henry C Chambers Waterfront Park


    Overlooking the bay, this iconic downtown anchor is flanked by dining options, shops and art galleries. Many of Beaufort’s festivals and events are held…

  • Calhoun Mansion


    If you've ever wondered what the wealthiest, fanciest, most well-traveled hoarder's house might look like, visit the Calhoun Mansion. With 35 rooms and 24…

  • Nathaniel Russell House


    A spectacular, self-supporting spiral staircase is the highlight at this 1808 Federal-style house, built by a Rhode Islander, known in Charleston as 'King…

  • Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

    South Carolina

    Considered one of America's top zoos, Riverbanks regularly wins awards for design, animal care and breeding of endangered species. Popular exhibits…

  • Parris Island Museum


    This fascinating museum covering Marine Corps history contains antique uniforms and weaponry, but is most engaging for its exhibits chronicling the…

  • Sandbar


    At low tide on a warm day, Beaufort's sandbar is the place to drink and be drunk. It's only about a mile south of the Henry C Chambers Waterfront Park and…

  • Joggling Board


    In the yard of the Nathaniel Russell House sits a fine specimen of a super-Charlestonian porch furnishing – the joggling board. It consists of a 16ft…

  • Kiawah Beachwalker Park


    This idyllic stretch of sun-toasted sand at the southern end of Kiawah Island has been called one of the top 10 beaches in the USA and is the only…

  • Center for Birds of Prey


    Make friends with owls, hawks, falcons, kites, vultures and eagles at this 152-acre conservation area, and watch them soar overhead during flying…

  • City Roots

    South Carolina

    An 3.5-acre organic, sustainable farm just southeast of Columbia. Produce, herbs, flowers and mushrooms are all grown here, and there is also got a farm…

  • rainbow row in Charleston

    Rainbow Row


    With its 13 candy-colored houses, this stretch of Georgian row houses on lower E Bay St is one of the most photographed areas in Charleston. The…

  • Randolph Hall, the main academic building on the College of Charleston campus. Charleston, SC. Built 1828-29 and one of the oldest college buildings still in use in the U.S. Classical, colonial antebellum style

    College of Charleston


    Spread over a few city blocks at the center of Charleston's downtown, this university was founded in 1770 and is the oldest in the state. The campus is…

  • Charleston, South Carolina, USA skyline over Marion Square.

    Marion Square


    Charleston's most frequented park is 10 acres of green space in the middle of downtown, bordering on King, Calhoun, Meeting and Tobacco Sts. It's the home…

  • Beautiful public park in Charleston, SC. January of 2018.

    Hampton Park


    A big, awesome park that locals love for its arboreal and floral displays, fitness trail and large swaths of open space, often utilized for things like…

  • Kings Mountain National Military Park

    South Carolina

    As Major Patrick Ferguson learned on the summit of Kings Mountain, threatening American patriots isn't a good idea. In the fall of 1780, General Lord…

  • Caesars Head State Park

    South Carolina

    Sometimes you want to earn your stunning view – with a 10-mile hike or an all-day bike ride. Other times you just want to step out of your car, walk 30…

  • Devils Fork State Park

    South Carolina

    The highlight of this alluring, 622-acre park is the crystal-clear, spring-fed Lake Jocassee, which was artificially created in the early 70s, when the…

  • Harbour Town Lighthouse


    Hilton Head's lighthouse, with the only female lighthouse keeper in North America, was built in 1970 and is prettily perched at the Harbour Town marina on…

  • Cowpens National Battlefield

    South Carolina

    On January 17, 1781, American commander Daniel Morgan executed a brilliant tactical maneuver – the double envelopment – against a larger, better-equipped…