South Carolina is a state that’s bursting with natural beauty. This state is jam-packed with natural wonders and manufactured marvels that will take your breath away.
It is known for its unique and breathtaking landscapes, something that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The rich culture, beautiful architecture, and natural wonders are just a few reasons we love living here.
But what makes the South so unique? That answer is simple: the natural beauty of our home cannot be replicated anywhere else.
From among the highest peaks in the Eastern U.S. to an island paradise, these are the most beautiful places in South Carolina that you need to see before you grow old.
If you’re a native or just someone planning on staying in this great state for a while, this list of some of the most beautiful places in South Carolina is for you. This compilation will help you find some of our planet’s best wonders at home.
Whether you want to escape the city, spend time with loved ones, take panoramic photos, or simply relax —these spots are must-see destinations worth a road trip soon.
1. Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens is a beautiful state park located on the eastern coast of South Carolina. This place is a photographer’s dream, as its gorgeous and diverse landscape makes it easy to take stunning shots.
Cypress Gardens is also home to a wide variety of wildlife so that you can see animals in their natural habitat. From April to October, you can swim in the adjacent lagoon. The water is heated so that you can go there year-round.
There are several other activities and attractions here that you can enjoy. Make sure to check out the gardens and the playgrounds. There are also guided tours available of the Cypress Swamp, and you can learn more about the area’s rich history and biodiversity.
2. Rainbow Row in Charleston
This is a picture of Rainbow Row, located on Church Street in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a historic stretch of downtown Charleston known for its colorful houses and unique history.
Rainbow Row, tucked away in Charleston’s historic district, is a series of 13 beautiful and colorful landmark houses perfect for a stroll or a family photo shoot.
This is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in South Carolina. Many visit here to relax, read a book, or simply soak in the neighborhood’s old-fashioned charm.
While you’re here, make sure to take a look at the surrounding houses. Most of them are open to being closely captured but are owned by private owners. The houses share the same kind of structure but are all different, so you can see what life was like during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
3. Swan Lake Iris Garden
Swan Lake is a picturesque garden near the border between South Carolina and North Carolina. This scenic lake is also a popular picnic spot, so you can spend an entire day visiting it.
Swan lake is a 150-acre garden that has all eight species of swan. Moreover, the garden offers tranquility and enchantment with over 120 varieties of the iris that explode with colors everywhere in the garden.
Swimming is also a cherry on top during the summer, but remember that the water can sometimes be too cold for swimming. We suggest you visit Swan Lake Iris Garden in late spring when the iris is blooming all around.
Ensure insect repellent, sunscreen, water, and other picnic equipment when visiting Swan Lake Iris Garden.
4. Rainbow Falls and Trail
Rainbow Falls is a beautiful 4.4-mile out-and-back trail near Cleveland, South Carolina. It’s an excellent destination to visit during the spring and summer, as the water flow is much stronger during these seasons.
On average, the trail takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete and is popular among adventure tourists in South Carolina.
The falls are best known for their colorful display in the spring, hence the name. It’s the perfect place to hike, go for a picnic, or go for a swim. If you bring your pets, try to keep them on a leash; this is for their safety.
Furthermore, there are plenty of places to park near the falls, so you won’t have any trouble finding a good spot.
5. Lee Falls
Lee Falls is a gorgeous waterfall located in South Carolina’s Lee State Park. This place is perfect for an afternoon of hiking and taking pictures. Make sure to go here during the spring and summer seasons, as the water flow is strongest during these times.
Lee Falls is approximately 75 feet, and the crystal-clear water comes from Tamassee Creek. It also provides a parking area so that you can visit there easily.
This waterfall is one of South Carolina’s most beautiful and photogenic waterfalls. It’s an excellent place for hiking and outdoor activities, and it’s also a popular spot for kayaking. You can also fish here or simply relax near the waterfall and enjoy its calming sound.
6. Johns Island
Johns Island is a beautiful barrier island off the coast of Charleston. It’s just a few minutes from downtown Charleston, and there are many exciting things to do. This stunning barrier island is the place to go if you’re looking for an experience that’s a little bit out of the ordinary.
Johns Island is a popular tourist spot in South Carolina. It’s located near Charleston and is best known for its beautiful scenery, wildlife, and plantations. Here you can spend a wonderful weekend or a vacation with your family and loved ones.
There are several things to do on Johns Island, like visiting the plantations, going on boat tours, or taking pictures at these plantations.
Make sure to visit Captain Jack’s Kiawah Sailing and Dolphin Watching, Trophy Lake, and Links at Stono Ferry during your stay here.
7. Caesars Head State Park
Caesars Head State Park is located in the northwestern part of the state and provides 11 miles of adventurous trails.
It is known as one of the highest points in Greenville County. At 3,208 ft above sea level, it’s also one of the highest points in the Eastern United States.
The park is located upstate near the Blue Ridge Mountains and is an excellent place for hiking, camping, and wildlife watching. Many trails here are great for all skill levels, so bring your hiking gear.
Caesars Head is a spectacular mountain in North Carolina, offering stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a great place to visit when you visit here. If you haven’t yet, take some time to check out these fantastic pictures. They are pretty beautiful!
It offers excellent hiking and mountain biking, including a multi-use trail from the park to the surrounding area. We highly recommend visiting this one!
8. Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park is a stunning national park located in South Carolina. It’s home to a large swath of ancient trees before the Revolutionary War.
The park has many beautiful places to visit, including the boardwalk that runs through the swampy region.
You can also take a guided park tour to get up close and personal with the natural touch. Generally, guided Congaree National Park tours are 3 hours in length and about 4 miles in total distance, so that you can book a guided tour.
This park is one of the most beautiful places in South Carolina. It’s well worth the visit if you’re ever in the area. It’s definitely a place you’ll want to add to your bucket list.
9. Old Sheldon Church
The Old Sheldon Church is a beautiful example of Southern Gothic Revival architecture. The church was built between 1745-1753 by William Sheldon and his wife, Sarah.
It’s located in the Sheldon Churchyard, which contains the remains of the Sheldons and other community members. The architecture of this church is Gothic Revival, which features pointed arches, stained glass windows, buttresses, and pinnacles.
The Sheldon Church is indeed one of the most beautiful places in South Carolina. The inside of the church is decorated with intricate woodwork and hand-painted designs. Visitors can tour the church for free, and it’s open daily. It’s a place you should visit if you’re ever in the area.
10. Busted Plug
Designed by the famous artist of South Carolina named Blue Sky, Busted Plug is known as the world’s biggest fire hydrant.
We see many similar places in the surrounding area, such as Tunnel Vision and the Neverbust Chain, again designed by Blue Sky.
The Height of the busted plug is 40 feet tall, and it weighs 675,000 pounds. The unique feature is the tilt structure of this tower.
The Busted Plug is constructed so strongly that despite its tilt structure, it can withstand the fury of nature, such as hurricanes. It’s a beautiful place to snap photos and share the intense vibes of this uniquely built tower.
11. Angel Oak
The Angel Oak is a beautiful example of Southern Live Oak trees. It’s the oldest tree in South Carolina, dating back to the 1600s.
It’s located in an open field on the Angel Oak Plantation, which is a beautiful plantation that you should also visit. The trunk of the Angel Oak stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall and measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference.
It’s one of the most notable symbols of South Carolina, and 70% of the trees are actually below ground. This tree is a must-see for any nature lover and a great spot to get a picture.
Angel Oak is such a beautiful place that you’ll want to visit. You might want to see it in the fall when the leaves change colors.
12. Isle of Palms
The Isle of Palms is a beautiful barrier island along the coast of South Carolina. It’s a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. There are numerous exciting activities on the island, including snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and more.
There are many great places for lunch, dinner, and staying on the island, which makes it a fabulous destination to visit with family or friends. Visit the beach on the island during high tide to experience the Atlantic Ocean crashing into the island.
There are innumerable beautiful places to visit on the island, but you can also relax on the beach. Most people come to the Isle of Palms to unwind and de-stress from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
13. Morris Island
Morris Island is a stunningly beautiful area in South Carolina that also played a significant role in the past. It’s best known for the Battle of Morris Island during the Civil War. After the war, the 840 acres of Morris Island were used as a federal prison where 600 confederate prisoners of war suffered.
There are several attractions on Morris Island that make it such a popular destination for tourists. Visit the Morris Island Lighthouse, which was a part of the prison. The ruins of the Penitentiary House are also worth visiting, which are still standing. It’s a great spot to take pictures and explore history.
14. Hilton Head Lighthouse
The Hilton Head Lighthouse is a historic landmark that’s worth a visit. It’s one of the most beautiful places in South Carolina, and it’s a stunning example of architecture.
The lighthouse was built on June 1, 1879, and was used to signal for ships on the nearby ocean. It was decommissioned and became a tourist spot next to many restaurants and shopping options. The lighthouse is perfect for children of ages 4-16.
The Hilton Head Lighthouse is a 90-foot tower for a bird’s eye view of the island. You can tour the lighthouse, and you can also learn more about the ecology of the Lowcountry. It’s a great place to visit with the family.
15. Magnolia Plantation
Magnolia Plantation is another stunning plantation that’s worth a visit. It’s a beautifully landscaped Southern plantation that’s a great place to visit if you want to learn more about history.
Furthermore, there are many great activities around the plantation, including Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse, Carriage Tour, and more. You can also visit the gift shop nearby to purchase Southern souvenirs.
Magnolia Plantation is a great place to visit with the family due to the variety of activities and things to learn. It’s a wonderful activity for a day trip or a weekend getaway in South Carolina.
16. Pawleys Island
Pawleys Island is a stunning island located along the S.C. coast. It’s a famous spot for tourists and locals alike due to the variety of things to do.
There are many delicious restaurants and cafes on the island, including Chive Blossom Cafe, Get Carried Away Southern Market and Catering, and Pawleys Island Tavern. You can also hike and relax along the beach, one of the most beautiful places in South Carolina.
You can visit Pawleys Island at almost any time of year, but they have a yearly festival in April that you can enjoy. You can also visit the nearby Wampool Marker to learn more about the area.
17. Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is one of the well-known and visited places in South Carolina. It’s a popular beach destination for vacationing families and a group of friends who need an escape from the city.
There are many things to do near the beach, including Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, and more.
You can visit Myrtle Beach any time, but the best time to visit is during the fall. This is when the weather is warm, and there are the least tourists. You can also visit the nearby aquarium between 9 am–10 pm and learn about the marine ecosystem.
Myrtle Beach is able to accommodate tourists of all ages, regardless of whether they are searching for an exciting ride, an exciting outdoor adventure, or beautiful sights.
The Bottom Line
These most beautiful places in South Carolina are just a few examples. It’s worth exploring more of the state to find even more attractive places to visit.
It’s also worth visiting and checking out where your city’s next big event or festival is happening so you can get more out of your South Carolina Visit.
Now, you know what the most beautiful places in South Carolina are. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your essentials and head out on a journey to see the most spectacular places in the state. Who knows? Maybe these places will inspire you to continue your trip exploring more of the world!