Are you ready to sprinkle some extra spice into your love life? Well, look no further than South Carolina, the ultimate cupid's playground! From strolling hand in hand through the historic allure of Charleston's cobblestone streets to embarking on wild boat adventures at the enigmatic Lake Jocassee, the Palmetto State is an ideal destination for a romantic getaway.
If you're more of a nature lover, you can explore charming towns, rivers, and mountain trails, offering a perfect escape to rekindle your relationship. So, take a break from the everyday stress and reignite the spark in your relationship by exploring any of the destinations we've listed in SC.
Let's get started!
Charleston, known for its secret gardens, historic charm, and beautiful architecture, is a popular destination for couples. From strolling along the cobblestone streets and visiting the iconic Rainbow Row to taking a romantic carriage ride through the historic district, there are plenty of things for couples. For couples who appreciate nature, hiking the short Morris Island Lighthouse Trail and exploring the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and White Point Garden are must-do activities. If you're looking for an intimate setting, consider booking a private cruise with a picnic on the deck—a perfect setting for a proposal!
The city's world-class dining and waterfront views add to the romance. For a romantic dining experience, visit Circa 1886, often regarded as one of the best restaurants in the United States. As one of Charleston's best resorts, the HarbourView Inn is ideally located for a romantic getaway. There are many options for romantic dinners nearby, and in the event of rain, a free city trolley is available.
Columbia, South Carolina's capital, attracts many tourists, but it hides a lot of history, romance, and charm. The town is brimming with museums, restaurants, and romantic sites for couples. For a classic love gesture, carve your initials in the renowned “Love Tree” in Guignard Park in Cayce. You can go on a canoe ride along the Columbia Canal, kayak at Riverfront Park, and hike the trails at Saluda Shoals Park with your loved one.
Check out the Embassy Suites Columbia – Greystone if you're looking for a trendy downtown location to stay. It's close to Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens, making it ideal for a romantic date. You can also visit the Columbia Museum of Art, just 3 miles away, and the South Carolina State Museum, only 2.2 miles away from the hotel.
Beaufort, an intimate southern town, is an excellent backdrop for a romantic break, particularly for couples who love exploring a city rich in centuries-old history. It's an oasis for architecture buffs, located on Port Royal Island, and displays an impressive collection of antebellum architecture.
While strolling through town, you'll come across many charming cafés and stores that are ideal for spending time. After refueling at a local café:
- Enjoy a romantic stroll along the waterfront.
- Wander along The Sands at Port Royal's boardwalk.
- Walk across the iconic Woods Memorial Bridge, which was featured in the film Forrest Gump.
Many visitors recommend staying at the Beaufort Inn, known for its private patio and lively gardens. This hotel provides easy access to Waterfront Park, Southern Rose Buggy Tours, and Island Bike Tours.
If you're looking to spend some love-filled moments with your beau, head to Greenville, a perfect romantic destination between Atlanta and Charlotte. This charming city offers an abundance of scenic streets for hand-in-hand strolls, best breweries, intimate restaurants, and cozy inns and parks for a romantic picnic. Rent a bike from Reedy Ride and visit the Swamp Rabbit Trail for a memorable date.
If you want to explore the city like a native, embark on a walking tour – foodies can take a breakfast tour to try some local dishes, while couples with a sweet tooth can do a dessert tour. Pettigru Place B&B is one of the most romantic locations to stay in Greenville. The hotel features six bedrooms, a delicious breakfast, and some rooms with fireplaces and private porches. You might not want to leave your room!
5. Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is the ultimate romantic getaway destination, with its white sandy beaches, beautiful resorts, and spectacular sunsets. You can walk along the beach or take a guided tour of one of the many estuaries to see wildlife, such as dolphins, river otters, and shorebirds. For an extra dose of romance, arrange a private sunset sailing tour.
If you're on a budget, plan a romantic beach or park picnic. Visitors can rent a private villa for full privacy or stay at one of the island's two dozen hotels, including the luxurious Inn & Club at Harbour Town. This hideaway offers five-star amenities and 60 premium accommodations on the 5,000-acre site of The Sea Pines Resort.
6. Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is a popular destination for families during the summer, but during the off-season, from October to April, it becomes a romantic spot for couples. You can enjoy meals, explore shops, and experience the laid-back beach vibe without the usual summer crowds. You can also visit Ripley's Wax Museum and Hollywood Wax Museum, and car lovers can admire over fifty vintage American cars at the Wheels of Yesterday Museum.
There are numerous golf courses for golfers to pick from, and Myrtle Beach State Park is a great place to go camping and hiking. Here, you'll find several resorts for couples offering beachside luxury along with access to on-site dining entertainment facilities. North Beach Resort & Villas is a perfect accommodation with a luxurious spa, heated pools, and more.
7. Edisto Beach
If you're looking for a quieter beachfront hideaway in South Carolina, go to Edisto Beach for a romantic weekend break. Unlike other developed beach spots on the Carolina coast, Edisto Beach remains relatively unspoiled, making it an appealing choice for couples. For adventure seekers, the beach features various water-based sports like canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and paddleboarding.
The north end of Edisto Beach has hiking and nature paths and gorgeous sandy areas to explore in Edisto Beach State Park. Edisto Beach also has enjoyable shopping and dining opportunities, as well as a range of lodging options, including larger resorts, hotels, and cozy bed and breakfasts.
8. Folly Beach
Folly Beach is a laid-back destination ideal for couples looking for a low-key getaway. It's one of the best beaches in South Carolina, including activities like fishing from the Folly Beach Fishing Pier, strolling along the lovely beachfront, and exploring the Folly Beach County Park. Active couples can take surfing lessons or rent paddleboards or kayaks, and you can even see dolphins during your water adventures.
Consider staying at Tides Folly Beach, which has an on-site restaurant, bar, and outdoor pool. If you want to go shopping, you'll find nearby shopping districts just a minute from the hotel. To make your date night special, book a sunset cruise to the famous Morris Island Lighthouse. You can visit the colorful and artsy town of Charleston for further exploration in just a 15-minute drive.
Spartanburg, South Carolina, may not be the first destination that comes to mind when considering a romantic trip. Still, this beautiful city has a lot to offer couples seeking a special retreat. Visit Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve for a romantic twilight stroll, the Hub City Railroad Museum for train history, or the BMW Zentrum for vintage automobiles and motorcycles. Then, make your way to Morgan Square in downtown Spartanburg, a busy hub with shops, restaurants, and cultural events.
When it comes to dining, Spartanburg has a variety of romantic restaurants. To round off your romantic getaway, consider staying at one of the city's cozy bed-and-breakfast inns or boutique hotels. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying each other's company, Spartanburg can surprise you with its romantic offerings.
10. Pawleys Island
Pawleys Island is an ideal, quiet beach destination for couples looking for a romantic South Carolina weekend. Pawleys Island, one of the East Coast's oldest beach resorts, has historic buildings dating from the 1700s to the mid-1800s. A stroll around the historic town and a visit to Atalaya Castle are must-dos. Nature lovers can enjoy kayaking trips to Huntington Beach State Park, as well as visits to the Waccamaw River Preserve, Cypress Preserve, the Sandy Island Wildlife Preserve, and Tupelo Swamp Preserve. You can also embark on boat tours to see dolphins and explore the shore or take surfing lessons.
For a romantic dining experience, go to Caffe Piccolo, known for its intimate environment, fireplace, and seafood. The Chive Blossom Restaurant is a popular choice on the island, serving Southern classics and international cuisine. Some local restaurants and bars, like Dead Dog Saloon and Pawleys Island Tavern, offer weekly live music.
For a comfortable stay, the island features a few chain hotels and a large number of apartment rentals, such as The Pelican Inn, Paradise Point, and Pawleys Island Condo.
11. Kiawah Island
If you're looking for a luxurious and secluded escape, head to Kiawah Island. Situated 25 miles south of Charleston, Kiawah Island was initially named after the local Kiawah Indians. Over time, it has developed into an upscale resort community with a five-star hotel, The Sanctuary.
The island boasts five golf courses, including the Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course. The island is home to miles of pristine beaches surrounded by dunes, marshes, and rich maritime forests. Here, you can get up close with nature and wildlife in its natural habitat, including seabirds, bobcats, whitetail deer, and sea turtles.
For outdoor activities, you can go to the Cougar Point Golf Course or Kiawah Beachwalker Park. From rental villas to hotel rooms, the island offers a range of accommodation options, ensuring a memorable beach getaway.
12. Lake Jocassee and Devils Fork State Park
Lake Jocassee, named a National Geographic “Destination of a Lifetime,” is an ideal South Carolina romantic hideaway. This mountain lake boasts clear waters, waterfalls, and the perfect setting for a private boat tour or kayaking adventure. Spend the day exploring the lake and swimming under one of its many waterfalls. Don't forget to visit Jumping Off Rock, which offers a beautiful view of the lake and its stunning canyons.
After a day of exploration, snuggle up in a mountain cabin at Devils Fork State Park. The park has several hiking trails, but the Oconee Bell Trail is a favorite among visitors. Couples who enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing escape from the daily grind should visit this place.
Aiken, South Carolina, is an adorable romantic weekend spot for couples. Known for its gorgeous Southern charm, Aiken offers a relaxed and intimate setting for couples to enjoy. Stroll hands-in-hands through the historic downtown district with your partner, where you'll find quaint shops and inviting restaurants. If you both love equestrian activities, take a horseback ride through Hitchcock Woods or visit the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum.
For cultural exploration, explore the Aiken Center for the Arts or attend a show at the Aiken Community Playhouse. For a comfortable stay, consider booking a room at the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson for a relaxing visit. They have well-equipped rooms as well as a relaxing hot tub. You'll also find neighboring restaurants such as Chili's and JC's Seafood, perfect for a lunch or dinner date.
Abbeville is a top pick for couples seeking a pleasant and romantic getaway in South Carolina. The city is beautiful and provides an ideal location for a weekend escape. It is also surrounded by numerous attractions to visit. Visitors can explore the two historical sites, including the Burt-Stark Mansion and Secession Hill. The downtown square is highlighted by brick streets and colorful buildings surrounding the magnificent Trinity Episcopal Church. The Visitors Center in Abbeville provides insights into the town's history and local recommendations.
Other must-visit spots include the Opera House, local cafes, and outdoor locations like Calhoun Falls State Park. To make the most of your romantic getaway, book a room at The Belmont Inn, a historic building in the heart of downtown Abbeville.
So, whether you're strolling hand-in-hand through Charleston's cobblestone streets, enjoying a picnic on the beautiful shores of Hilton Head Island, or sharing a sunset kiss on the calm beaches of Pawleys Island, South Carolina has a romantic destination for every couple's heart.
I hope this list of 14 romantic South Carolina getaways has sparked your interest in planning your next trip. This getaway might help you cherish the memories of your first date and reignite your love by staying in one of the most romantic spots in the United States. So don't keep it waiting! Buy your tickets now and embark on this unforgettable break!
14 South Carolina Islands Where You Can Escape and Relax
Are you planning a trip to South Carolina? Well, your trip won't be complete without visiting some of the best islands in the state. These South Carolina islands are known for their stunning beaches, where you can swim, relax, and enjoy water sports with your family. Imagine feeling the breeze in your hair as your toes sink into the sand or sipping on a refreshing margarita while watching the waves. If this sounds like paradise, South Carolina is the place to be.
13 South Carolina State Parks That Are Perfect for Every Type of Outdoor Adventure
Are you looking for the best state parks in South Carolina? Well, you're in luck for a treat! Nestled within the heart of the southeastern United States, South Carolina is an excellent location to explore the country's extensive state park system. From the captivating coastline along the Atlantic Ocean to the breathtaking peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains and stunning waterfall in Upstate South Carolina, the Palmetto State draws explorers of all kinds.
15 Best Things to Do in Charleston, SC: From History to Food to Adventure
Are you looking for the best and most unique things to do in Charleston, SC? You've come to the right place! Our guide to the best things to do in Charleston has got you covered for planning your perfect trip!
The 15 Best Things to Do in Greenville, SC
If you are looking for a place with food, outdoor activities, shopping, museums, and good breweries to visit, then look no further than Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville, SC, is one of the fastest-growing places in the U.S.A., where significant industries like BMW and Michelin are flocking. If you are looking for an excellent place to visit or even a place to move to, Greenville, SC, is a great place to go.
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.