The Palmetto State is a hot spot for small town charm. Imagine sun-soaked walks under Spanish moss and ancient oaks, evenings of oysters and wine overlooking the dock, and historical streets that take you back to a time of simple pleasures. All those pleasures mean there are some amazing romantic getaways in South Carolina to enjoy with your loved ones.
The old adage of southern hospitality rings true in these 12 romantic weekend getaways in South Carolina that take you away from the stress of everyday life. Plan your perfect escape at any one of these delightful destinations to relax and reconnect.
Romantic Getaways in South Carolina
Enjoy the Mountain vibe in Walhalla
Walhalla is a whimsical town for an amorous adventure and visiting is one of the best things to do in South Carolina. It’s nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounded by the flowing, cool waters of the Chattanooga River.
The longest hike and bike trail in the state, the Palmetto Trail, finishes right in town. It was founded by German immigrants, and its name means ‘garden of the gods’. As such, it hosts an eclectic energy of traditional Southern charm and Oktoberfest vibes.
The Issaqueena Falls is named after a Cherokee legend and are an alluring natural attraction in the area. In addition, the Stumphouse Tunnel is truly unique and a must-see. It’s a railroad tunnel dug with hand tools in the 1850s through a mountain and was never completed.
However, it was used as a blue cheese growing habitat for a time, due to its stable, cool temperature. It’s now home to many bats and a site of interest for curious wanderers. Walhalla is a surprising and lovely place to explore with a loved one.
Stroll Through Landrum
Landrum is a small, sweet gem of South Carolina. At only 2.5 square miles, it’s a postcard town with a post stamp size, an idyllic retreat to say the least.
The quaintness and quality of the place shines through. The Main Street has interesting specialty shops, and quiet eateries, all full of history.
White Buffalo features an astounding collection of indigenous art from all over the country, while Expressions Unlimited is a one-of-a-kind antique, candy, and flower shop; the Hare and Hound Pub is a charming establishment loved by locals, and Rustiques is dedicated to upcycled art for the hip home.
Campbells’ Covered Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in the entire state and the Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve is known for its adventurous trails and stunning scenery.
Enjoy the forests in Aiken
The sparkling Savannah River surrounds the town of Aiken, which has a charming and bustling downtown.
There are endless boutiques, cafes, galleries, and shops to explore while strolling down cute and historical streets. Whiskey Alley is the best in town for craft cocktails and creative cuisine.
Hopeland Gardens is popular for its magical canopies of majestic oaks, cedars, and magnolias, as well as a gentle floating boardwalk that stretches out over preserved marshland. There are great museums centered around African American history and railroad history in the area.
Hitchcock Woods is one of the nation’s largest urban forests at over 2,000 acres and has several trails to wander for adventurers of all skill levels. It’s a hub for equestrian enthusiasts. You can even go riding at Langley Pond Park Loop Trail.
enjoy lake life in Hartsville
Hartsville is a charismatic haven off the beaten path with something for everyone. It balances big city benefits with small town Southern hospitality, making it one of the best romantic getaways in South Carolina.
Prestwood Lake is a 300-acre reservoir with lily covered waters, ethereal swamps, and the most picturesque sunsets in town. Neptune Island Waterpark is a fun-filled way to channel your inner kid and enjoy some thrilling water rides.
Black Creek Arts Center hosts rotating galleries from a diverse mix of talented artists. We recommend the rooftop at Mantissa for a relaxing drink with a view or stop into Vintage Craft Beer and Wine Boutique for the best selection in town.
Kalmia Gardens is a peaceful refuge full of fantastic flora and fauna. Book a cozy B&B and snuggle up with your cutie for an idyllic stay. This treasure trove of culture will not disappoint.
get active in Travelers Rest
Situated in South Carolina’s beautiful upcountry, this town is aptly named as the perfect reprieve from nearby attractions. It’s full of natural amenities and friendly townsfolk awaiting your arrival.
The local 22-mile hiking and biking greenway, Swamp Rabbit Trail, makes Travelers Rest a popular choice for active, outdoorsy visitors, as there are plenty of hiking, kayaking, fishing, tubing, and climbing opportunities.
It has a preserve dedicated to a small white flower, the bunched arrowhead, which exists in only three countries in the world. Be sure to see the gothic monument, Poinsett Bridge, the oldest bridge in South Carolina with a mysterious creator.
Visit Sunflower Hill at Beechwood Farms for a dreamy photo-op with your partner. Copperhead Mountain Distillery is famous for its mountain crafts and moonshine. This is definitely the place to enjoy some authentic down home country cooking at any number of the eateries around.
Trailblazer Park holds several cultural events throughout the year, helping to create its newer reputation as a hip, cool town. This includes Travelers Rest Farmers Market, an event beloved by tourists and locals alike.
beach time on Edisto Island
Secluded and striking, this sea island is located at the mouth of the North and South Edisto Rivers. This South Carolina beach area remains uncommercialized, allowing for a more intimate and organic beach getaway experience.
The natural beauty of the landscape draws in many visitors who crave pristine wilderness. The Mystery Tree is a must-visit. A small and unassuming bare tree in a local field, it is consistently decked out with decorations. It’s a festive and quirky town institution of no clear origin that has been around for generations.
The Botany Bay Plantation has 4,000 acres of woods and fields to wander. Make sure to see the sea turtle beach while there. You can also take an eco-tour to watch whales and dolphins.
We also love Edisto Beach State Park for its maritime forests and ACE Basic Wildlife Refuge for its vast network of wetlands. It’s the ideal setting for an intimate nature-filled escape.
walk the pier at Folly Beach
Folly Beach is a place to relax and release all your worries. A favorite among all the romantic getaways in South Carolina, time slows down in this tiny paradise. A six-mile stretch of sandy shore, it’s a mecca for surfers, swimmers, and sailors.
Be sure to catch the legendary painted skies at sunrise or sunset. You can even search for remnants of ancient shellfish fossilized in limestone, that are five million years old, right on the beach! On the waterfront pier, there are many quaint establishments for eating and drinking with a cool ocean breeze and view.
There are plenty of bohemian boutiques and live music, ideal for spending a day strolling around. Trek to Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve for the perfect view of Morris Lighthouse. Grab a quick and tasty bite at Chico’s Feo for an evening of tacos and beer on the beach. Folly Beach Crab Shack is another local favorite. Where else can you get a bucket of shrimp or crabs that were caught five minutes before you arrived?
A beach town fit for any bucket list, don’t wait to visit this sunny, sandy sanctuary.
Walk the streets of Bluffton
Bluffton is a cool and calm coastal destination. With streets lined with century-old oaks and surrounded by the serene May River, this tranquil getaway is suited for any pair of travellers. There’s a rich cultural heritage here, that combined with an eccentric artistic atmosphere, creates a celebration of the South Carolina low country spirit.
The antique churches are destinations for architectural aficionados. Palmetto Oaks Sculpture Garden is an ethereal adventure for any art lover, along with several other galleries in town.
Stop by Salt Marsh Brewing or Southern Barrel Brewery to enjoy an array of refreshing pints with your sweetie in a sunny beer garden. If you love to relax by playing a game of golf, check out Old South Golf Links.
dine at amazing restaurants in Hilton Head
Hilton Head is a luxury vacation spot, perfect for a decadent and lavish beachside retreat. It’s truly a classic choice of the romantic getaways in South Carolina. It’s packed full of golf courses, tennis courts, world-class spas, and fancy beachfront hotels serving up every amenity you can imagine.
The dining options offer gourmet dishes and the water is always a perfect temperature for any and all activities. The iconic island is shaped like a foot, so don’t be confused if people often give directions to the “toe” or the “heel.” It’s also the home of the Gullah culture. You can learn more about their fascinating practices when you visit.
Discover the island by sea and take a kayaking or boating excursion. There are other natural wonders to be explored here, if so inclined, such as the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Coastal Discovery Museum. Spending a day wandering over scenic bridges and boardwalks at Sea Pines Forest can be a very intimate outing.
It’s also a great place to spend your days bronzing on miles and miles of sandy shoreline. It has only 40,000 residents but 2.5 million visitors each year. This is an ideal reprieve for those who love resorts.
experience real southern charm in Beaufort
The largest of South Carolina’s Sea Islands, Beaufort is a lovely historic harbor town. Nicknamed “little Charleston”, it maintains all of the same character without the massive crowds.
It’s overflowing with charm, just waiting to be swooned over. The parks shaded with green moss create a dreamy environment to spend a sweet slow-paced date day. Don’t miss a meander on the Spanish Moss Trail. The streets are centuries old and the oaks lining them even older. The architecture here holds a spectacular surprise around every corner.
While it’s most well known for its Southern hospitality, seafood is a close second. There are high-end and low-key options, all with a salty breeze, stunning view, and tantalizing selection of fresh oysters.
One of the best things to do in Beaufort is watch bottlenose dolphins play in Taylor’s Creek and go paddleboarding on Beaufort River. Wild horses are living on Carrot Island, see if you can catch a glimpse of them! The Cypress Wetlands are a thriving natural sanctuary and an ideal location for bird watching. If you’re up for it, make the daring climb to the top of Hunting Island Lighthouse.
beach and shop in Georgetown
Georgetown is the third oldest city in the whole country. It’s just the little hamlet you’ve been searching for, right at the center of the famous Hammock Coast.
It’s a quaint waterfront community with plenty of ways to play. It’s full of historic homes and a gorgeous harbor. A sweet slice of authentic coastal life, it has hospitality to spare and there is plenty of recreation for a rollicking good time.
Hike through marshes, wetlands, and forest at Tom Yawkey Heritage Center, home to many endangered bird species and Georgetown Lighthouse.
Downtown has many kitschy shops, fabulous foodie hot spots, and several cultural museums. Huntington Beach State Park boasts small sand dunes growing sea oats, and a generally pristine oasis of seaside nature.
Old Georgetown Creamery deserves a visit, with vintage flair and sweet treats to beat the heat.
watch for dolphins on Pawleys Island
Pawleys Island is easygoing and enchanting, one of the best kept secrets in South Carolina. Sweep your sweetie off their feet with a leisurely beach retreat here. It’s a small barrier island, separated by a stunning salt marsh.
It’s a great spot for surfing, fine for first timers or experts. You can go crabbing or fishing, though the ambience of the town may encourage you to do nothing more than soak up the views and relax. For an intimate dinner, we recommend Caffe Piccolo.
Several spooky myths surround the town. Ask a local about Gray Man or Alice Flagg. On a lighter note, it was super popular for making both hammocks and pimento cheese back in the day. You can still find these fun local fares around town.
Apache Pier is the longest wooden pier on the east coast and hosts plenty of quirky shops. You can also canoe, kayak, or take a boat out for spotting wildlife. It’s a location that celebrates locally owned businesses, creating a more personal experience. Pawleys Beach feels secluded and special.