There’s no doubt about it: South Carolina is a gorgeous place to live! From the mountains to the sea and every place in between, there are countless places that are a must if you love the great outdoors. We’ve rounded up nine of our favorite spots to reconnect with nature in the most beautiful of ways. Check them out to see how many you’ve visited recently!
1. Cypress Gardens - Moncks Corner
After a couple of years spent rebuilding and recovering from disastrous floods, this Lowcounty garden opened again in April 2019. By all accounts, the years of hard work have paid off in every way. Explore the many miles of walking trails, take a swamp boat tour, and check out the swamparium and butterfly house. We couldn't be happier to see this beautiful garden open again! Check it out for yourself. Learn more
Address: 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner, SC, 29461
2. Pretty Place - Cleveland
Officially known as Fred W. Symmes Chapel, this outdoor chapel is part of the YMCA Camp Greenville in Cleveland. Visiting requires a bit of planning as it's often closed for private functions (weddings, mostly). Call (864) 836-3291 to make sure it will be accessible before you make the drive to check it out in person.
Address: 100 YMCA Camp Road, Cleveland, SC, 29635
3. Old Sheldon Church ruins, Yemassee
The ruins of Prince William's Parish Church are both inspirational and moving. Now managed by the Parish Church of St. Helena, the ruins were recently enclosed by a new fence to help protect the crumbling remains. We're happy to see a fence go up because it means this sacred relic will be around much longer. See it for yourself (and enjoy the canopy of live oaks you'll drive under getting there)!
Address: Old Sheldon Church Road, Yemassee, SC, 29945
4. Yellow Branch Falls - between Walhalla and Mountain Rest
The trail to Yellow Branch Falls is three miles each way and considered a moderate effort, mainly for the distance, although there are some hills to go up and then back down. But the payoff at the end of the trail is a uniquely stacked rock measuring five stories high (50 feet). For most of the year, except just after a heavy rain, the water rolls over Yellow Branch Falls in ribbons, making it a stunning and majestic sight. This photo doesn't quite capture the magnificent height of this waterfall, so prepare to be wowed!
Trailhead Address: 2911-3023 Highlands Highway, Walhalla, SC, 29691
5. Botany Bay - Edisto Island
Make the beautiful trek out to Botany Bay to see one of the last remaining untouched beaches in South Carolina. After the half-mile walk on the path that leads to the beach, you can return back to your car and then explore Botany Bay Plantation too.
Address: 1066 Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, SC, 29438
6. Bald Rock Heritage Preserve - Cleveland
Most people pass right by the small parking area marking the entrance to this enormous overlook — usually because they are on their way up the mountain to Caesars Head State Park. But don't overlook this natural wonder. The rock itself is a sight to see, but so is the view! From here, you'll see South Carolina's largest landmark: Table Rock. As you head up the mountain on Geer Highway, look for the parking area on your right.
Address: Geer Highway, Cleveland, SC, 29635
7. Lake Jocassee - Salem
National Geographic Magazine has called this spot one of the last great places in the world. If you haven't laid eyes on this gorgeous manmade wonder yet, the best way to do so is by heading straight to Devils Fork State Park in Salem. It's worth mentioning that since this is the only public place to gain access to the lake, it fills up quickly on the weekends — so plan to arrive very early to guarantee access. Once the park is full, the rangers will suggest you visit another nearby park instead.
Address: 161 Holcombe Circle, Salem, SC, 29676
8. Angel Oak Tree - Charleston (Johns Island)
The most iconic tree in South Carolina has withstood hurricanes, floods, droughts, and more for at least 400-500 years. Now under the protection of the City of Charleston, it sits protected in a park that's open from 9 a.m - 5 p.m. Prepare to be in awe of her beauty.
Address: 3688 Angel Oak Road, Johns Island, SC, 29455
9. Apache Pier - Myrtle Beach
The Apache Pier (at the Apache Campground) in Myrtle Beach is the longest wooden pier on the East Coast. Extending an impressive 1,206 feet out into the Atlantic, the pay-to-enter pier (it costs $2/person) provides remarkable views and a bit of a thrill as the ocean sways underneath your feet so far from shore. Arrive at the right time and you'll find live entertainment too!
Address: 9700 Kings Road, Myrtle Beach, SC, 29572
How many of these gorgeous spots have you crossed off your list so far? Do you have other favorite places you’d like to add to the list? Feel free to join the discussion in our comments!