The Ultimate Local’s Guide to South Carolina 2023 | Don’t leave out these 5 cities from your list

The majority of the time, people come to South Carolina to visit Myrtle Beach. But there is so much more this state has to offer. So if you are planning to come to South Carolina and have wanted to explore other places besides Myrtle Beach, this girl from Carolinas got your back. This post will definitely give you an idea to help you plan your trip. From trip cost to top daytime and nighttime activities, from distance from Myrtle Beach to local tips, I have tried to cover it all.

But first let’s start with main character of this movie, Myrtle beach.

Myrtle Beach:

Myrtle Beach With Sky wheel and Ocean Front Hotels at sunset

Sand, Sun, and Sparkling view of Atlantic ocean. Water may not be as blue as you imagine, but Myrtle Beach is undoubtedly spot-on for a proper Beach Vacation. Myrtle Beach is so famous that nearly 19 million visitors flock to it every year.

Top things and places in Myrtle Beach:

Daytime in Myrtle Beach:

  1. Stay at oceanfront hotels and Resorts: $$$$

Enjoy the sun shining down on the ocean right from your balcony while staying in high rise oceanfront hotels and resorts. Honestly, hotels are not that expensive if you plan ahead and book few months in advance.

2. Myrtle Beach Skywheel: $$

Myrtle beach sky wheel is at Myrtle Beach boardwalk. Take a ride and get the best views of the city and ocean. The ride is very slow and steady, not scary at all. Suitable for people of all age.

3. Water and Amusement Park: $ to $$

There are several amusement parks. Popular ones are Family kingdom, WanderWorks, etc. However, several smaller ones are just walkable from each other near ocean blvd or Myrtle beach boardwalk. These smaller ones are good for those who are super scared to go on big scary rides like me. They have no entry fee, and rides are cheap.

Broadway at the Beach
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

4. Broadway at the Beach: Free to walk, but activities will cost you few bucks

Broadway at the Beach is perfect for soaking up the afternoon sun and taking a relaxing walk with your vacation buddies. 

Highlights at Broadway at the Beach:

  • At WonderWorks, enjoy 3D movies, simulated rides, make giant bubbles, learn about science, pose as an astronaut.
  • Zipline over a lake in Soar and Explore. Try a harnessed obstacle course.
  • Speed boating with professionals
  • Feeding a super hungry massive group of fish
  • Excellent restaurant with outdoor seating and fantastic food
  • Stroll around with great music, birds, and a lake in the backdrop
  • Amusement Park, cotton candies, stall food

5. Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach: $$

Usually, I am not a big fan of aquariums, but since we have been to myrtle beach 1000 times, nothing was left for us to try. Ripley’s aquarium was decent. 

Highlights at Ripley’s Aquarium:

  • Dramatic aquariums with ocean floor setting and significant variations of fish
  • Giant sharks swimming over the head
  • 100s of different colorful jellyfish 
  • Touching stingray with hand

6. Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade: Free

Highlights at Myrtle Beach Boardwalk:

  • Walking or cycling in long streets of pavement with an ocean view. 
  • Oceanview Restaurants
  • Gay Dolphins gift shop. Great for Instagram pics, and kids will love it.
  • Arcades and games
  • Live street performance 

7.2nd Avenue pier, pier 14: Fishing rod rental with a fishing pass and bait around 20$

Highlights at 2nd Avenue or Pier 14:

  • Rent fishing gear and catch a fish
  • Catch a glimpse of ocean life like Dolphins
  • Accessible to a restaurant for eating or drinking
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade
2nd Avenue Pier

NightLife in Myrtle Beach:

  1. Broadway at the Beach: free entrance

The one I discussed above for the afternoon walk turns vibrant at night with live music and lights everywhere.

2.The Market Common:

Highlights at The Market Common: Drink and Restaurants price $ – $$

  • Dine and relax in a beautifully designed village setting 
  • Restaurants from top chefs in the city
  • Breweries
  • Walk and Take photos along tree-lined avenues

3. Night shows: $$$$

Night Shows with dinner like a magic show, pirate show, comedy show. We tried a pirate dinner show, and it was epic. You would definitely love the pirate dinner show.

The Market Common
Pirate Dinner Show


Historical downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Daytime at Charleston

1. Battery Park / White Point Garden: Free

Battery park stretches along the lower shore of Charleston.

Highlights of Battery park

  • Live oak trees with dramatic, spooky branches, Spanish moss. 
  • Stunning Historic mansions with shore view for which Charleston is famous for
  • From battery park walk to one of the oldest port city of United States
  • Garden with colorful flowers
  • Water fountains along the bay

2. Historic Charleston City Market: Free

Highlights of City Market

  • Strolling the stalls of crafts, produce, local cafes, restaurants
  • Horse Carriage rides to explore the diverse and exquisite architecture of this old town (from 20$)
  • Street performances
  • Heena paintings on hands
White Point Garden:
Historic Downtown, Charleston City Market

3. Spot Dolphins in Shem Creek: Free

Highlights of Shem Creek

  • Both side of the creek connected with Broadwalk, connecting restaurants and cafes
  • Great for elderly and kids
  • Watch Sunset
  • Active fishing and shrimping boats in action
  • Active Dolphins and other water life
  • Huge pelicans gobbling leftovers from fisherman
  • Close to Sullivan island

4. Mongolia Plantation and Gardens: Entry fee 20 $, other rides 8$ each, cheaper for kids

Highlights of Mongolia Plantation and Garden

  • Beautiful flowers, Spanish moss, live oaks
  •   Swamp garden, plantation House
  • Wildlife preserve with alligators, peacocks
  • Boat tour (must try), train ride, and house tour
  • Great pics for social media
Mongolia Plantation and Garden
Shem Creek Broad walk

5. Boat or cruise trips or kayaking with a stop at Morris Island lighthouse: $$$

6. Golf: 80$ and above

Charleston has the country’s best golf courses. Courses with twist turn natural dunes, marshland, oceanview.

Morris Island lighthouse
Golf course at Charleston

7. Weekend brunch at Kings street

8. Food Tours: 50$ and above

Save time and money by taking one of several food tours to visit local restaurants, farm to table restaurants, taste cities’ best food.

Nightlife in Charleston

  1. Ghost Tours: 20$ avg. price

Charleston is famous for its ghost tours, including dungeon walks, strolls in the cemetery, churches, etc.

2. Mount Pleasant: 

Shem Creek is a favorite to locals and travelers with bars, restaurants, locally sourced seafood. Fleet landing has the best waterfront dining in town. Also, open for brunch. 10 minutes drive from Shem creek

3. City Market at night

Nightlife in City market is vibrant with pubs, bars, live music, themed parties, party buses, food vendors, etc

4. Upper king has upscale lounges and is a favorite local hangout spot.

Mount Pleasant
Upper king Street

Best places to eat:

Early bird diner, Swig, and Swine, Darling Oyster Bar, Xiao Bao Biscuit, The Griffon, Fig, King street cookies, Fleet landing, Grace and Grits, The barrel (dog friendly), River Brewery

Bonus Tips for Covid

  • Social distanced live music and tasting at Firefly Distillery
  • Outdoor Concert at The Bend
  • Sea turtle at the aquarium at Aquarium Warf
  • Explore the city on a bike

Distance of Charleston from Myrtle beach: 2 hours drive

Folly Beach:

Folly beach is a city in Folly Island, just south of Charleston. Great for soaking Sun, surfing, kayaking, parasailing, paddle boating, photography.

Folly Beach at Daytime
Folly Beach Nightlife

Daytime in Folly Beach:

  • Get sweaty, sandy, salty all day, load coolers with tasty snacks and drinks. Spend the whole day soaking on Sun
  • Take Surfing lessons on folly beach
  • Bike around fresh fields village in Kiawah island
  • Parasail and other water activities
  • PIER Brunch
  • Rent a Party Boat, booze, and cruise: Grab your squad and hop on the boat.
  • Book golf cart and checkout Morris Island lighthouse

Nightlife In Folly Beach:

The central street is the main street with almost all shops, restaurants, bars. You can find everything from the civilized atmosphere to sweaty fist-pumping vibes and all that in between.

Distance of Folly Beach from Myrtle beach: 2 hour 12 mins

Distance of Folly beach from Charleston: 20 minutes


Falls Park and Liberty Bridge Panorama in Greenville, South Carolina, USA

Daytime in Greenville:

  1.  Pretty Place or Symmes Chapel at Jones Gap State Park: Free

This one is first on my list but almost an hour away from Greenville. 

Highlights of Pretty Place:

  • Open-air Chapel on top of a mountain overlooking the luscious hills of Greenville. Great for fall colors. 
  • Can book for events like marriage
  • You can either drive and park right in front of the Chapel, or you can take a hike from Rainbow falls to a pretty place. 
  • Camping area along Saluda River inside the park
Tip : Call before you go as Chapel might to closed to the public when booked for events.

2. Falls park of Reedy: Free

Reedy park is a gorgeous park located right in the heart of city with rivers, streams, and a waterfall uniquely surrounded by a modern architecture suspension bridge. The bridge is easily accessible to everyone.

Pretty Place Chapel
Swamp Rabbit Trail

3. Swap rabbit trail: Free

Top outdoor activity in Greenville. Try 10 miles biking, passing by Furman university to Travellers Rest with beautiful scenic forest and swamps. 

4. Traveller’s Rest: Free

  • Beechwood farms for local produce
  • The tasting room for craft beer and wine
  • Carolina Honey Bee Company for local honey and everything to know about bees.
  • Sunrift Adventures is located in Swamp rabbit trail and rents bikes, child trailers (20$ for half day)

5. Giraffe at Greenville zoo : $

Make sure to call and check giraffe feeding time, so they are not hiding inside.

Traveller’s Rest
Greenville Zoo

Nightlife in Greenville

Downtown: There is no shortage of Bars, Breweries, and Restaurants in Greenville. It depends on what you want, from quiet romantic restaurants to loud bars, nightlife in Greenville is alive and vibrant.

  Restaurants to try:

Willy Taco, Pomegranate on Main, Pita house (cash only), Saffron Indian restaurant, Mike and Jeff’s BBQ, Sidewall pastry kitchen, Swap rabbit cafe.

Only riverfront hotels: Hampton Inn and Suites,Embassy Suite.

Distance of Greenville from Myrtle beach: 4 hours; 3 hours from Charleston

Hilton Head Island: 

Hilton’s head has 12 miles of beautiful beaches with fun activities around.

Hilton Head Island

Daytime in Hilton Head:

  • Water adventures like Dolphin cruise. Some offer guaranteed sightings, mini boat dolphin adventure to be your own captain, swap kayaking
  • Paved Bike Trails: Bike trails in Hilton head range from short trips along the coast to longer excursions through forests. Some popular ones are Shelter cove, Pinckney Island Nature Preserve, Coligny Beach Park (for riding on the beach)
  • Golf: Nearly 30 courses overlooking spectacular views and challenging courses in and around Hilton Head. To name a few Palmetto dunes, Heritage Golf collection, etc
  • Close to romantic city Savannah, Georgia

Nightlife in Hilton Head:

  • Jazz Music: The Jazz Corner is one of the top 100 excellent Jazz room
  • Beachfront Bar: Enjoy live entertainment on the outdoor patio

Distance of HiltonHead from Myrtle beach: 3 hours 30 minutes; 2 hours from Charleston

Tips: Check Groupon for discount on sky-wheel at Myrtle beach, pirate dinner show, arcade games , ocean front hotels and other activities

Hey guyz its end of the story now. I hope you had a good time. Please like and leave a comment so that i can get some motivation for writing more blogs like this. Your reviews, good or bad, means a lot to me.

Don’t forget to check out the links below. I have added everything in one place so you don’t have to visit multiple website. Do let me know in comments below if i have missed anything. It will be useful for other viewers travelling to plan just like you.

Imp links:

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Best view i have ever seen !


  2. I’ve been browsing on-line more than three hours lately, but I never discovered any fascinating article like yours. It is beautiful value enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the net can be much more helpful than ever before.


  3. Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I’m also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your effort.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s