The 15 Most Charming Small Towns in South Carolina

SAVING & SPENDING - TRAVEL
The Palmetto State is full of quaint places to enjoy.
Updated April 11, 2024
Fact checked
Charleston South Carolina USA

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South Carolina can be a wonderful state to visit, but where should you go?

There are some great cities in the state, such as Charleston and Greenville. But if you are looking to step up your travel game, try something off the beaten path with more of a small-town feel.

Here are some great South Carolina small towns to add to your travel list.

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Landrum

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Landrum offers great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and plenty of outdoor splendor, from a nature preserve to Campbell’s Covered Bridge.

The area also has a small downtown area with restaurants and antique shops to enjoy.

Bluffton

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Bluffton calls itself the Heart of the Lowcountry. The Society of Bluffton Artists displays the work of more than 100 artists, as well as offering workshops for residents and visitors.

Beaufort

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Take in Beaufort’s Waterfront Park before heading on a walking tour to see the historic homes in the town.

Beaufort is also near South Carolina’s Hunting Island State Park, where you can enjoy hiking and biking trails before returning to your inn downtown.

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Anderson

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Anderson is the perfect stop for anglers who want to get in some fishing on one of the lakes in the area.

The town also hosts major fishing competitions if you simply want to watch from the shore.

Abbeville

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The town of Abbeville has a quaint downtown where you can visit local bars, restaurants, and artisan shops.

Abbeville is also close to the Calhoun Falls State Park. There, you can enjoy fishing, swimming, kayaking, and hiking.

Lake City

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Artists and art lovers will find a welcoming place in Lake City.

The town hosts events throughout the year that celebrate visual arts, music, botanical displays, and more.

Edisto Beach

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Get out to the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy a relaxing time in Edisto Beach.

The town has a laid-back feel and is a perfect option if you want to relax on a family friendly beach and enjoy some time unwinding.

Walterboro

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Walterboro is just 50 miles from Charleston, making it a great option for a day trip.

The downtown’s 19th-century architecture welcomes you in with artisan shops and a local museum covering the history of Colleton County.

Newberry

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Head to Newberry for a wine tasting at a local winery. Or, enjoy the arts at the Newberry Arts Center or Newberry Opera House.

The city is also close to plenty of outdoor activities. Enjoy several lakes, rivers, and nature walks through nearby Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests.

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Travelers Rest

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Take a break at Travelers Rest with activities to keep you busy during the day and at night.

The town holds concerts in a local park and has an art event with local artists. You can also pick up an outdoor adventure guide to explore the local scenery.

Daufuskie Island

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Outside Hilton Head is Daufuskie Island, where you can take a ferry to enjoy the sun and sand or wander around the oak trees.

The island also has golf for adults. Or, take the kids to a local community farm run by volunteers that features cows, goats, ducks, and more.

York

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York is named after the city in England. It is also known as the White Rose City in a nod to the symbol of the House of York.

The town’s historical district includes 180 contributing properties to get you close to the past.

Aiken

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Aiken has a beautiful landscape that features plenty of old oak trees, trails, and more. Golfers also may enjoy a stop in Aiken, as the town has five golf clubs.

Clover

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Spend a day hiking in nature with history all around you at Kings Mountain State Park in Clover.

The town also has plenty of dinner spots to enjoy. You can even find a sweet spot or two serving doughnuts and chocolate.

McClellanville

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McClellanville is a fishing village, so there is plenty to look for if you want to eat fresh fish or simply watch the boats come in and out with their catches.

You also may want to set aside some time to visit during the Lowcountry Shrimp Festival in May, which has been a tradition in the town for 45 years.

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Bottom line

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South Carolina can be a great place to visit, or an affordable option if you want to retire early.

So, visit one or more of the places on this list for a healthy dose of relaxation and Southern charm.

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Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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