7 Captivating Weekend Getaways in South Carolina

South Carolina is a treasure trove of picturesque landscapes, charming towns, and sandy beaches, making it an ideal destination for weekend getaways.

From the historic streets of Charleston to the serene beaches of Hilton Head Island, this state offers a variety of experiences that cater to every type of traveler.

Whether you’re seeking a romantic escape or a peaceful haven to unwind, South Carolina’s unique blend of Southern hospitality and natural beauty promises an unforgettable mini-vacation.

Hilton Head Island

People on a Hilton Head Island beach in the sun

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Hilton Head Island makes for a perfect weekend getaway in South Carolina. It’s also one of my favorite places and one of my top picks among romantic getaways in the South. Hilton Head is one of the best beach destinations in the U.S., and Travel + Leisure has named it one of the best islands in the continental U.S.

For public beach access check out Coligny Beach. It’s a designated swim area with free parking. The small park there is also quite charming. Hilton Head Island also offers miles of recreational paths to explore. If biking is your thing you can even take your bike out onto the beach.

And don’t forget about all the delicious food there is to try here. We loved our dinner at A Lowcountry Backyard. They’re famous for their shrimp and grits and the Lowcountry boil.

There are a lot of wonderful places to choose from to stay at Hilton Head:

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Pineapple fountain in front of a beautiful home in Charleston with a pink and peach sky.

Charleston, South Carolina, is steeped in history and Southern charm. If you’re looking for a more “historical old town” city break weekend, stay in the heart of the city. 

Top sites to visit on your trip to Charleston include Fort Sumter, Aiken-Rhett House, Historic Charleston City Market, and The Battery. Charleston Tea Garden, the only tea plantation in North America, is just a short 20-mile drive outside the center of Charleston.

Great shopping and good food are also easy to find in Charleston. King Street has been dubbed one of the top 10 shopping streets in the U.S.  

If you enjoy seafood, you’ll love eating in Charleston. And hushpuppies. Bathe in the hushpuppies. Jump headfirst into a basket of hushpuppies and eat your way out. 

Hotel rates are high in the Charleston historic district. To save money on accommodations, your best option is to stay outside the city in Mount Pleasant or North Charleston. 

There are a lot of wonderful places to stay in Charleston. The trouble will be narrowing it down.

  • The Dewberry offers luxurious accommodations in the heart of historic Charleston.
  • Andrew Pinckney Inn—boutique hotel with 41 rooms located just a couple of blocks from the Charleston City Market.
  • Doubletree by Hilton Charleston Mount Pleasant is a great hotel at a great price with awesome places to eat breakfast nearby. And it’s an easy drive into Charleston. We had a great stay there.

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Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island makes a great weekend getaway destination for couples because of its natural beauty, romantic atmosphere, and variety of activities.

Kiawah Island is known for its secluded beaches, world-class golf, and luxurious resorts. Couples can enjoy a variety of activities, including romantic walks on the beach, sunset cruises, horseback riding, biking, kayaking, and spa treatments.

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is a Forbes 5-star oceanfront resort located on the beach and is known for its world-class golf courses, spa, and dining options. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort has received numerous awards and accolades, including being named Best Resort in South Carolina by Travel + Leisure magazine.


bridge spanning small river with trees on the bank

Greenville, South Carolina, is a great, though perhaps underrated, weekend getaway destination. From its performing arts opportunities to award-winning restaurants, there’s much to enjoy during a weekend in Greenville.

Visit Falls Park on the Reedy before heading over to Main Street for some shopping and dining. And don’t miss taking in the Greenville County Museum of Art or exploring nature at one of the state parks close by.

The Westin Poinsett is a classic hotel choice in the heart of downtown Greenville.

Or try the new Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville on the banks of the Reedy River in the center of town.

Edisto Island

a long pier stretching out over the ocean

Another charming island worth visiting for a weekend getaway is Edisto Island. The island once consisted of plantations, with some buildings still visible, like those of Sea Cloud. Botany Bay protects the property of Sea Cloud and Bleak Hall as a wildlife management area.

If you like, you can choose to rent a bike to explore the scenic coastline, go for a hike through the Botany Bay Plantation area, or enjoy the 1.5-mile beachfront.

And don’t miss Edisto Beach State Park. It’s one of four oceanfront state parks in South Carolina. It includes an Environmental Learning Center with interactive exhibits and sea life for kids to enjoy.

Explore the island from a vacation rental or check out Club Wyndham Ocean Ridge on the Plantation Edisto Championship Golf Course.

Myrtle Beach

crowds on a beach with tall buildings in the background

Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular beaches in South Carolina. With 215 days of sun a year, you have a good chance to enjoy lovely weather during your getaway.

Golfers will love that there are an eye-popping 90 courses in the area. Myrtle Beach offers a variety of activities, including parasailing, jet skiing, and kayaking. Explore the Boardwalk for shopping, entertainment, and dining. Head to the Murrells Inlet to explore the MarshWalk and see Brookgreen Gardens

A vacation condo or beach house rental is a great option for Myrtle Beach. If a hotel is more what you’re looking for, here are a couple of top options:

Congaree National Park/Columbia

wooden boardwalk path through a forest

Surround yourself with beautiful and unique scenery by spending a weekend at Congaree National Park. Although less popular among tourists than some other National Parks, Congaree is absolutely one of the best national parks in the South.

According to the National Park Service, this Park preserves the largest intact expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. It’s a beautiful place that’s perfect for nature lovers, and you’ll find it near the South Carolina State capital of Columbia.

Hiking Congaree National Park is easy and enjoyable. The most popular walk/hike in Congaree is no doubt the Boardwalk Trail. Other easy hikes and walking trails include Bluff Trail, Sims Trail, Bates Ferry Trail, Longleaf Trail, and Spur Trail. Or take a canoe or kayak out on the Cedar Creek Canoe Trail.

Camping is the only way to sleep inside Congaree National Park since there are no hotels or lodges available there. My recommendation for a Congaree weekend is that you plan to stay in a hotel in the Columbia area. Here are a few options:

Residence Inn Columbia Northeast/Fort Jackson Area—The rooms are great here and the staff was quite helpful. For the money, we love how much space you get at Residence Inn hotels. They also offer a free breakfast.

Courtyard by Marriott Columbia Cayce—We love Marriott hotels, and I’ve never had a bad stay at a Courtyard. This particular Courtyard is only a few miles from the closest airport and it’s just about a 20-minute drive from Congaree.

TownePlace Suites Columbia Southeast/Fort Jackson—Situated a modest distance away from the nearby airport, this hotel is a good option for your stay. It’s conveniently located within 20 minutes of the Park and offers complimentary breakfast daily.

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