6 Underrated Weekend Getaways in South Carolina

Rob Adams
Photo by Cara Fuller on Unsplash

There is so much more than Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. In fact, this state is considered one of the most beautiful states in the US. To prove it, here is a list of 6 amazing places ideal for a weekend getaway or a long vacation.

1. Bluffton

Bluffton is a town in Beaufort County, located minutes from Hilton Head Island along the banks of the May River. Visitors can also explore the city's vibrant downtown district, which has been compared to Austin, Texas, for its young, hip populations and delightful art galleries, boutiques, and Lowcountry restaurants.

Unique attractions include the 18th-century Church on the River, known as one of the American South's most beautiful churches, and the Bluffton Oyster Factory, South Carolina's only operating oyster factory, which hosts oyster roasts throughout the autumn months. If it sounds like a lovely destination, it's because it truly is.

2. Hilton Head

With its miles of sandy beaches, a laid-back coastal vibe, panoramic sunsets, and plenty of couples-friendly activities, any twosome will find a welcome retreat here.

You can walk along the beach or take a guided tour in one of the many estuaries, where you can see magnificent wildlife like shorebirds, dolphins, and river otters. If cruising is more your thing, take a trip through Calibogue Sound, where the sunset lends the perfect backdrop for romance.

3. Edisto Island

Edisto Island is one of the final remaining unspoiled beach communities in the United States, easily accessible via a 40-minute drive from Charleston. The lovely Sea Islands region serves as a more relaxed, picturesque alternative to many of the region's more heavily developed tourist islands, including renowned Hilton Head Island.

A top regional golf course is also located on the island, along with the unique Edisto Island Serpentarium, which showcases exhibits related to the region's native wildlife. Here, you also can also enjoy eco-touring opportunities, bike trails, and fishing charter excursions, along with delightful restaurants and shops.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

4. Beaufort

Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island and is an architecture lover's dream. The scenery is picture-perfect in this historic town, where you will see an impressive display of antebellum architecture. Take a stroll around town, and you will find a ton of unique eateries and shops to pass your time.

After fueling up at a local café, you can take a romantic stroll down along the waterfront; walk on the boardwalk at the Sands in Port Royal; or walk across the Woods Memorial Bridge, made famous for its cameo in the movie Forrest Gump.

5. Santee

The region is home to the scenic Santee National Wildlife Refuge, founded in 1941, which is located along the shores of Lake Marion and protects significant wintering areas and habitats for ducks, geese, American alligators, raptors, and wading birds.

Here, you can explore the refuge's visitor center, which showcases educational exhibits and walking trails, or enjoy other things like fishing, hunting, and nature photography. The picturesque Santee South Carolina State Park spans nearly 2,500 acres, offering world-class catfish and bass fishing opportunities.

6. Elloree

Elloree is a quaint historic town in Orangeburg County, located along the banks of beautiful Lake Marion. The town is named for an indigenous American word for "the home I love," known as a major regional business hub since the Civil War era when businessman William J. Snider transformed its rural settlements.

Today, visitors can peruse its historic downtown district, which is home to lovely antique shops, art galleries, boutiques, and delicious Southern-style restaurants, of course. Each year, the town hosts several annual special events, including an Arts and Antiques Festival, a Pork Fest, and a November Festival of Lights. So make sure you look them up in advance.

Have you ever been to South Carolina? If so, what is your favorite place? Let us know in the comment section down below.

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