From its rich culture and vibrant heritage to the natural beauty and acres upon acres of green space, South Carolina is one of those states you can’t help but love. It’s the 23rd most populous state—with almost 5 million people calling it home. And we've got eight reasons why you may want to do this, as well.
1. A slower pace of life
You truly have the best of both worlds in South Carolina. The major cities, like Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville, boast a myriad of entertainment, arts, and delicious culinary wonders, but still offer residents the opportunity to take a step back, unplug from the rat race, and enjoy the sweet, slow pace of southern life.
Your wallet will be happier in South Carolina than most places in the country. The cost of living here is remarkably low—almost 13% lower than the national average. Here and you’ll have enough money to vacation wherever you want—whether that means crossing the ocean or hitting up a dreamy bed and breakfast to explore the rest of this beautiful state.
3. The beach
Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Hilton Head: The list goes on and on. With miles of seashore, luxurious resorts, and plenty of offshore recreation, South Carolina is every beach bum’s dream come true. You can have your pick of beaches: whether you’re looking for a vacation hub crawling with nightlife and amusement parks like Myrtle Beach, or a more remote and pristine getaway like Kiawah Island. Silky white sand awaits—all you have to do is pick your poison.
4. Southern hospitality at its finest
Rumor has it sweet tea was born in South Carolina. And hey, there’s even Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka for the grown-ups. The tea might be sweet, but the people are even sweeter. Conde Nast actually listed Charleston as the third friendliest city in America in its 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards, noting its laidback and sophisticated atmosphere.
5. Natural beauty
With century old oaks and silky white sand, South Carolina is home to an abundance of natural beauty. The water is clear and the sunsets here rival Hawaii. Take a stroll down historic lanes lined with ancient trees (like the famous Angel Oak, estimated to be more than 400 years old) draped with ethereal Spanish moss and you’ll find yourself wondering how you ever lived anywhere else.
6. Warm weather
Farewell, winter coats; hello, short sleeves. The average temperature in South Carolina is about 64 degrees, with annual lows in the 50s. The warm, sunny climate means you get to spend at least seven to eight months enjoying all the weather has to offer.
7. All the green space / parks
Lace up your hiking boots and grab a map—South Carolina is a great state to get in touch with your explorer side and connect with nature. Here you’ll find 47 state parks covering more than 80,000 acres of land. Named one of the top 25 beaches by TripAdvisor, Hunting Island State Park is a perfect destination for swimming or sunbathing—or even fishing in one of the island’s lagoons. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, consider taking a hike to Raven Cliff Falls in Caesars Head State Park, observing the wildlife at Swan Lake Iris Gardens, or canoeing down the waters of Congaree National Park.
8. History galore
The famous city of Charleston—with its antebellum architecture and charming cobblestone streets—isn’t South Carolina’s only nod to history. There are many sights to been seen in downtown Beaufort, which was founded in 1711 and is the second oldest city in South Carolina. The whole state is draped in a mesmerizing history, from the USS Yorktown and Fort Sumter, to the century old Sheldon Church Ruins (above) and Botany Bay Plantation Heritage.