South Carolina November 18, 2015
These 25 Towns In South Carolina Have The Best Main Streets You Gotta Visit
There was a time, before urban sprawl, when our South Carolina main streets were the heartbeat of the town. A place where people regularly met on the corner and in the establishments and kept up with each other. We took an armchair tour of some of South Carolina’s main streets and downtown areas today and are happy to report some look as beautiful as ever. Buckle up, South Carolina, and let’s get this tour started.
1. Abbeville, SC
About 75 miles west of Columbia sits the charming town of Abbeville. According to the town's website, Abbeville is "pretty near perfect." We agree.
2. Aiken, SC
Small town charm and lots of hospitality line the streets of Downtown Aiken. (Pictured: Aiken's Night of a Thousand Lights)
3. Anderson, SC
Also called "The Friendliest City in South Carolina," this small town in the Upstate has a beautiful downtown. Make plans to visit Anderson's biennial
set to feature Italy from Jan. 8 - Feb. 20, 2016.
4. Beaufort, SC
Located on Port Royal Island in South Carolina's Lowcountry, Beaufort is billed as the state's second oldest city. It's also famous for the movie
The Big Chill, filmed on location here.
5. Bennettsville, SC
Victorian and Greek Revival architecture in Bennettsville, SC are found in both public buildings and the town's historic homes. Named after South Carolina Governor Thomas Bennett, this small town is located in Marlboro County near the North Carolina border.
6. Clover, SC
The Clover community began as a railway stop in 1876 and soon grew into a charming little town. Well, it's not so little anymore. Clover has more than 5,000 residents within its city limits of 2.8 square miles.
7. Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia received its first town charter in 1805. But that was long after John Lewis Gervias, State Senator from Ninety Six, introduced a bill to create a state Capital here in 1786. Part of the new Capital's design included making the thoroughfares at least 100 feet wide. According to
the streets were designed at least 100 feet wide because it was believed mosquitos couldn't fly more than 60 feet without starving to death.
8. Conway, SC
Many buildings in downtown Conway are on the National Register of Historic Places.
9. Florence, SC
Florence is in the heart of South Carolina's Pee Dee region.
10. Gaffney, SC
Love this little town! I'm always surprised at the reactions I get when my fellow
"House of Cards" fans find out there really is a Gaffney, South Carolina.
11. Greenville, SC
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, downtown Greenville has seen steady growth and revitalization in recent decades. Ask anyone from Greenville, it's a gorgeous walk from the top of Main Street all the way to Falls Park.
12. Greer, SC
Greer is also among the locations in South Carolina where revitalization efforts are in place. Beautiful!
13. Hartsville, SC
Hartsville's website says it's a "Small town with a big heart." I have to agree.
14. Lexington, SC
Lexington is the County Seat of Lexington County. Originally, Lexington County was called Saxe Gotha but was
renamed in 1785
following the battles of Lexington and Concorde - which were fought in Massachusetts.
15. McCormick, SC
McCormick is a stone's throw from the South Carolina/Georgia border and is between Aiken and Anderson. It's also the county seat of McCormick County.
16. Mount Pleasant, SC
Pitt Street in Mount Pleasant's Old Village still boasts a pharmacy with an old-fashioned soda counter. (pictured: Old Village Post House Inn and Restaurant)
17. Orangeburg, SC
This small town, located about 40 miles southwest of Columbia is nicknamed "The Garden City." It's a fitting moniker given the town's annual
"Festival of Roses"
and its equally popular Editso Memorial Gardens.
18. Pickens, SC
In South Carolina's Upstate, Pickens sits in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
19. Rock Hill, SC
Rock Hill is nestled next to the North Carolina border and only 30-40 minutes from busy metropolitan Charlotte, NC. In spite of its size, Rock Hill boasts plenty of small town charm in the downtown area. Notice any skyscrapers in this photo?
20. Spartanburg, SC
Many of the storefronts from the 1800's still remain in Spartanburg's beautiful downtown.
21. Summerville, SC
Summerville is credited as being the "Birthplace of Sweet Tea." Summerville's
annually attracts in excess of 250,000 visitors to their beautiful and lush downtown area.
22. Sumter, SC
Sumter is home to Shaw Airforce Base.
23. Walterboro, SC
South Carolina's home of the annual Colleton County Rice Festival is Walterboro. The city showcases historic homes, some dating back to 1820.
24. Whitmire, SC
Another beautiful small town main steet in South Carolina! Whitmire is in Newberry County.
25. Woodruff, SC
This small town of about 4,000 residents in South Carolina's upstate is big on charm and enthusiasm. To prove it, Woodruff is one of 14 communities to participate in Main Street South Carolina - A program funded by the Municipal Association of South Carolina empowering members to revitalize their downtown city centers.
(A note about this story: I feel the need to acknowledge that most, if not all, of these photos were taken prior to the floods of 2015. But we – and the rest of the nation – are keenly aware that if South Carolinians are known for any one thing, it’s our ability to stand strong and bounce back in tough times. That one thing is called courage.)
What other great South Carolina main streets or wonderful downtowns can you think of? Did we miss any place? Tell us in the comments.