5 Most Beautiful Cities in South Carolina

Sviat Oleksiv
May 8, 2022

A different city, a different you! Explore some of the best cities in South Carolina.

South Carolina is a beautiful vacation destination for both American citizens and visitors worldwide. You won't be bored in the cities, which are rich in history, beautiful inside and on the outside, and home to a diverse range of delectable cuisines.

We've got you covered no matter what time of year you're planning to visit South Carolina! The state of South Carolina is one of a kind, with a fascinating history, beautiful cities, and a wide range of exciting and enjoyable things to do while on vacation there.

We've included some of our favorite cities and some must-see natural attractions, and the most photogenic spots you'll want to visit while you're there. As this state's history and natural beauty attest, so does this list. You'll learn about South Carolina's colorful past at a few of these destinations, but you'll also be impressed by the state's most stunning natural splendor.

The historic streets of South Carolina cities can be explored on a romantic carriage ride like a fairytale, or you can visit some of the South's most beautiful plantation homes in the area. It offers stunning views and quiet trails for those who prefer to get away from it.

1. Charleston

Charleston is one of the most popular attractions in the state. It is the state's oldest city and home to a plethora of historic structures. Magnolia Plantations and Gardens, one of several well-preserved plantation homes and gardens dating back to 1672, is a popular stop for history buffs.

In addition to the historic Charleston Music Hall and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, there are plenty of other museums and galleries worth visiting while in town. If you're a beer connoisseur looking to sample some of the best local brews, a Charleston Brews Cruise or a Charleston Culinary Tour are great options for you to try.

2. North Charleston

There are unique museums in North Charleston, vibrant art and culture scenes, and easy access to Charleston's historic landmarks. The H.L. Hunley Museum, where a recovered 1864 submarine can be seen, and its significance explained, is a must-see for history buffs, as is River Park's Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial.

Fire engines of all ages are on display at the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center. The North Charleston City Gallery and the North Charleston Coliseum both host art exhibits and concerts for the community's enjoyment.

3. Greenville

Greenville checks all the boxes for a fun-filled family weekend away, combining outdoor activities with educational and artistic attractions. The pedestrian-friendly downtown area is a great place to relax, eat, or shop. The Peace Center is home to Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville Chorale, and Carolina Ballet Theater for those with an appreciation for live music and dance.

The Roper Mountain Science Center and the Children's Museum of the Upstate offer hours of educational fun for families, while the Caesars Head State Park offers hiking, fishing, and wildlife observation opportunities. Visitors can get around town for free using the Greenville Trolley. Amazing!

4. Columbia

Columbia, the state's capital, has many things to see and do to keep tourists entertained during their stay. Many historic homes and gardens, such as the 1818 Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens, can be visited by those with an interest in South Carolina's past.

Families can spend a day learning and having fun at the South Carolina State Museum, which features an observatory, planetarium, and 4D interactive theater. They can also visit the EdVenture Children's Museum or the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanic Garden.

Visitors to the MAMM (the Museum of Modern Art in New York) should not miss it, while foodies should consider taking a tour of Columbia's culinary offerings.

5. Aiken

Aiken, a small town in the middle of South Carolina's border with Georgia, is considered a jewel. Even today, the town's equestrian industry is a major part of its identity, thanks to wealthy northerners who came to spend their winters there in the 19th century.

Races, polo tournaments, and horse barns are commonplace in the area, and Aiken is known as the birthplace of many thoroughbred champions. The beautiful hills surrounding the town and the charming downtown area can be enjoyed even if you don't plan to participate in any horse-related activities. Shopping, dining, and listening to live music are just some things you can do in this quaint town.

For three days in February, Civil War reenactors recreate life in 1865 in the town of Aiken during the "Battle of Aiken," which has become an annual tradition. There are also authentic 19th-century military encampments, living history presentations, reproductions of medical facilities, an engineer and signal service, and civilian portrayals at this event.