Family Vacations to South Carolina

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South Carolina – Family Vacation Guide

From its history as the first state to secede and where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, South Carolina proudly holds its Southern heritage near and dear to its heart. With such a beautiful state to explore, especially its islands, beaches, dolphin-filled marshes, and Charleston – the epitome of charming – families have long flocked to South Carolina year-round. Be it a weekend getaway or a two-week summer vacation, you’ll fall in love with South Carolina, too.


Why Go

South Carolina’s main draw for vacationers is its miles of coastline with sprawling beaches and island getaways complete with resorts and vacation home rentals. Historic Southern Belle, Charleston, is located near Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms, Sullivan Island and Folley Beach, all of which are their own getaway spots if you don’t want to island hop. Further north is Hilton Head, of which tales of its beauty have not been exaggerated. Continue onwards to Myrtle Beach, near the Virginia border. This budget-friendly area is filled with kid-friendly entertainment.

Where to Go


Why go to Charleston? Charleston is prime plantation country. The whole family will love touring the splendor of the deep south and learning about its glory days and conflicted past. With expansive grounds and splendid gardens, kids will be able to burn off some steam while parents relax. Pack a picnic lunch and blanket and settle down under an ancient, massive tree for shade. Some of the best plantations for families in the area are Middleton Place, Drayton Hall, Boone Hall, and Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Some of these plantations have petting zoos and butterfly gardens that will provide even more entertainment for the kids. Not enough? Try the South Carolina Aquarium, Patriot’s Point naval and maritime museum, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry.

Take me to Charleston

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Myrtle Beach

More of a bustling destination than the quieter Lowcountry destinations, Myrtle Beach is filled with hotels, restaurants and things to do, mostly along its Boardwalk and Promenade. Get your thrills at Family Kingdom Amusement Park. Hotels and see the cool wax figures at Hollywood Wax Museum before encountering the odd at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Of course, the beach awaits, too!

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Hilton Head

Tennis anyone? How about a beautiful game of golf? Would you like to go for a leisurely bike ride on the beach? If those questions make your heart skip a beat, then Hilton Head is the place for you. Hilton Head boasts 12 miles of sandy beaches, 33 world-class golf courses and eight of the world’s top 100 tennis resorts – what’s not to love? Neighboring Palmetto Dunes, is a fantastic resort community of vacation rentals and inn accommodations, kids’ programs and activities, shopping and dining, and more.

Take Me to Hilton Head

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Lowcountry Islands

Charleston is full of incredible beaches that you won’t want to miss during your visit. Take a break from the sightseeing (and eating) and head on over to one of these family friendly beaches. Kiawah Island features maritime forests, sand dunes and marshes where turtles, whitetail deer and seabirds abound. Isle of Palms is a family-friendly spot with resorts with tons of amenities. Sitting at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, Sullivan’s Island is the only island that has been the setting for a Revolutionary War battle and an Edgar Allen Poe novel. At only 3 miles large, this tiny island has a lot to offer, from history, to water spots, to local restaurants and of course wide, family friendly beaches.

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Getting Around

You’ll need a car to get around this large state, including the beachside towns and islands. However, once you’re planted, especially on the shores, renting bicycles for the duration of you stay is recommended, as you can ride along the flat expanses along paved bike and walking paths.

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