A reader recently found my blog while searching for charming coastal towns in SC. One would think that given the time I've spent on NC destinations, SC is now off my radar. Not so! South Carolina is my first love, and even as I type this post in my NC home, I'm looking at South Carolina books and a nice, toasty warm throw embroidered with SC's palmetto tree logo. My attention has been focused on the northern half of the Carolinas only because we recently moved here and I'm trying to get acclimated. The attempt to find info on South Carolina was the kick in the pants I needed to focus on the state I call my home.
So here it is, my picks for charming coastal towns in SC:
First pick: Charleston, hands down. Once referred to as The Holy City, this southern mecca sits on a peninsula where the Copper and Ashley Rivers meet the Atlantic Ocean. With its architecture; history (Colonial, Christian, Southern, Gullah, Revolutionary War, War Between the States, etc); Aquarium; culinary delights including Lowcounty cuisine; Sweetgrass baskets; carriage rides and walking tours; shopping and strolls around the famous Battery including the Promenade overlooking Castle Pinckney and Fort Sumpter, Charleston is the place to go for a taste of all that is good in the South Carolina Lowcountry. From there, you can travel to Mount Pleasant to visit Boone Hall Plantation; barrier island (Isle of Palms, Sullivan Island, Folly Beach); Magnolia Plantation and Gardens near Summerville; Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, and more. It's grand, it's beautiful, and it's a must see when visiting South Carolina.
Second on my list of charming coastal towns is the place I go when I want to unwind and get away from it all: Beaufort, SC. Pronounced "Buford" in SC (Bo-ford in NC), the tidal marshes, golden sunsets, and long, tattered moss fluttering in the sea breeze give this slightly remote island an exotic feel. Stay in one of the many historic homes, now serving as bed and breakfast inns. Take a carriage ride around the historic district. Sail along the river or kayak in the tidal marshes. If you're in the mood to explore, travel to the surrounding barrier islands including Hilton Head (not my favorite place, thank you. Too crowded), Hunting Island, Picnkney Island, Bear Island Natural Wildlife Area, Lady Island, Parris Island, and more. Beaufort is just an hour and a half from Charleston, an hour and a half from Edisto Beach, and about an hour from Savannah, GA, so it's a great place to headquarter if you plan to visit those cities during your stay.
My remaining picks for charming cities are, in order: Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, and shabby chic, Pawleys Island.
In other words, if you're looking for a place to visit this summer, South Carolina has a lot to choose from. I know. I lived there for four years and though I tried, I couldn't experience everything this wonderful state has to offer.