South Carolina


Photo of South Carolina

About South Carolina

South Carolina, in the south-eastern United States, is perhaps best known for its sub-tropical beaches and for the gracious, plantation houses of Charleston - oh, and for being the starting point of the Civil War. And it still has a fierce, patriotic spirit. Although most of the best places to stay in South Carolina are in and around Charleston, and along the coast with its palm-tree-lined beaches, antebellum cities, golf courses and bright lights of Myrtle Beach, the state has plenty more to discover inland. Here you’ll find national parks - such as Table Rock - sleepy towns, mysterious black-water swamps with moss-hung oaks, and the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains.

Stay on the coast and enjoy miles of white-sand beaches and watersports. The wide-open, pristine beaches of Huntingdon Beach State Park are excellent for bird-watching and the chance to spot alligators and loggerhead turtles.

Explore islands such as laidback Pawleys with its unspoilt beaches, hammocks and crabbing opportunities. Or enjoy the charms of coastal cities such as Georgetown with a horse-drawn carriage ride around the historic downtown area of the old docks, now converted to restaurants and shops. And for non-stop entertainment and plenty of family fun, head to Myrtle Beach.

Charleston is a must, with its sorbet-coloured houses, elegant architecture and proliferation of church steeples - hence its nickname ‘Holy City’ - making its streets a delight to wander. Full of classic Southern charm, this can be discovered by a stroll around the harbour and White Point Gardens or through the historic French Quarter. After a rooftop cocktail, explore the City Market, a great place to shop, sample local food and hear the local gossip.

For a breath of the big outdoors, head ‘upcountry’ to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area with over 150 waterfalls, three large freshwater lakes, Chattooga River, thousands of acres of parks, and hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, cycling or horse-riding.

Why not use our guide to the best places to stay in South Carolina to plan a trip that takes in both the coast and the wilder, less discovered inland areas?

Best historic hotels in Charleston

  • The splendid Wentworth Mansion, with its portico, mansard roof and decorative ironwork, oozes history. Inside it doesn’t disappoint either, with marble floors and vaulted ceilings, and airy rooms with panelling, fireplaces and antiques.
  • For a quirkier take on history, try the boutique John Rutledge House Inn, a historic townhouse with ornate ironwork, where rooms mix grand Italian fireplaces and four-posters with chandeliers and bold modern colours.

Best hotels in the historic centre of Charleston

  • With its airy, classically styled rooms and terrific city views, the Belmond Charleston Place has prime position in the historic centre. This comfortable, traditional hotel also has an indoor pool and spa.
  • Well-placed in the historic district, Planters Inn is a classic 19th-century inn with gracious rooms furnished with elegance and four-poster beds. The fine-dining Peninsula Grill offers the chance to eat al fresco, too.

Best B&Bs in Charleston

  • The Restoration on King is an old-style hotel given a modern makeover with hardwood floors, exposed brickwork and shiny, modern kitchens for rustling up suppers. Breakfasts and wine-and-cheese receptions are offered daily plus there’s a fabulous roof-top terrace.
  • King’s Courtyard Inn, with its Greek-Revival façade, offers beautifully light and elegantly traditional rooms, and is strolling distance from a wealth of restaurants.
  • You’ll find four-poster beds and shady verandas at Harbourview Inn a 19th-century townhouse which, as its names suggests, overlooks the harbour in Waterfront Park.

Best hotels for foodies in Charleston

  • Set across three townhouses, Zero George Street has a colonial style, from its high ceilings and wooden floors to its airy rooms and shady verandas. It also offers an award-winning restaurant and twice-weekly cookery classes at the nearby Kitchen Carriage House.

For active types

  • Fishing, surfing and hiking trails amongst Spanish-moss covered trees are all on the doorstep at The Rhett House Inn at Beaufort, a classic southern inn with light and elegantly furnished rooms.
  • Or head inland to The Willcox at Aiken, a grand 19th-century mansion with classically elegant rooms and where you can take your pick of golf, polo, bird-watching, cycling, riding and guided wildlife walks. Afterwards, take a well-deserved rest in the spa.
  • With watersports, golf, yoga, fishing, clay-pigeon shooting and hiking, amongst the many activities on offer at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff - plus spa for relaxation - the family will never be bored. Sleep in Southern-style clapboard cottages at this luxury resort on the River May.

For more ideas, browse our list of the best places to stay in South Carolina. Or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.


Monthly Weather in South Carolina

Best Hotels in South Carolina

  • The Rhett House Inn Beaufort, South Carolina 14 rooms from £140

    Fishing  -  With literally hundreds of square miles of tide waters and grassy marshes to draw from, fishing possibilities are endless.
    Great walks  -  Spanish Moss Trail is a 3.3 mile pedestrian trail open for the enjoyment of bikers, runners, and walkers.
    Surfing  -  Surfers are now loving SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) and you should get with the craze too.
    Back to Nature  -  River, marsh land and national parks make up a brilliant weekend surrounded by nature.
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    Beautfort Historic district, home to a romantic classic Southern Inn with award-winning breakfast, manicured lawns and warm hospitality. Four-poster beds, art works, all the needed mod-cons and private bathrooms. A great selection of restaurants are walking distance. See More

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  • The Vendue Charleston (Historic District) 84 rooms from £145

    Artworks  -  Perfect for art lovers! The property features 300+ works of art, daily art tours with wine & rolling artist-in-residence program
    Local exploring  -  The downtown location means that the historic district's buildings, restaurants, shops, sites & galleries are walking distance
    City Style  -  Feel the pulse of 21st century Charleston in this exciting modern property in historic buildings with oodles of character
    Sights nearby  -  Fittingly the hotel is located in the city's Arts District. Visit Miller, Mitchell Hill, Mary Martin, Meyr Vogl & City galleries
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    Eclectic and lively hotel with a strong art focus. Set across two buildings, each made up of 18th-century warehouses, expect exposed brick walls and blend of period and modern furnishings. Enjoy art gallery, property tours and artist-in-residence, plus a classic restaurant and popular rooftop bar. See More

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  • The Willcox Aiken, South Carolina 22 rooms from £148

    Great walks  -  Explore Hitchcock Woods - the largest urban woods in America with just under 2,000 acres of land.
    Sights nearby  -  A former winter colonial mansion turned into Aiken County Historical Museum.
    Fishing  -  Picnics or fishing in the Aiken State Park is a fantastic day trip.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
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    Grand, graceful 19th Century mansion turned boutique hotel. Fine southern hospitality, classic interiors & prime location close to world renowned golf courses & all the outdoor activities you can think of. Highly regarded restaurant serves local cuisine. Relax at the spa and plan your return trip! See More

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  • Kings Courtyard Inn Charleston (South Carolina) 41 rooms from £155

    Sights nearby  -  Drayton Hall Plantation is the oldest 18th Georgian Palladian building resting on the Ashley River.
    Great walks  -  At dawn, or at dusk, walk south of broad.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningGardenPet friendlyParking

    1853 Ancient Greek revival facade, classically decorated interiors and two courtyards. High ceilings, original features in the comfortable rooms with private bathrooms and complimentary breakfast. Step back into Charleston's history through tours and mansions, or explore the modern day restaurants. See More

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  • The Restoration on King Charleston (South Carolina) 15 rooms from £210

    Sights nearby  -  Angel Oak - a live oak tree over 1,400 years old.
    Local markets  -  Charleston Museum for local and natural history.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Full of character
    Air conditioningDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Old downtown hotel offers local elegance, hardwood floors and exposed brick. Fully equipped kitchens (with dryer and washing machine), comfortable double beds and modern bathrooms. Breakfast offered in picnic baskets, wine and cheese reception every evening and cookies with milk as a nightcap. See More

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  • Emeline Charleston (Historic District) 212 rooms from £176

    City Style  -  It's rare to find such a jewel of a hotel; a mix of history, character, soul & style - with all the modern touches guests expect
    Romantic Break  -  A buzzing boutique option for a memorable weekend; eat & sleep well in carefully curated surroundings with magic atmosphere
    Local exploring  -  The Charleston's historic quarter location means sites, museums, monuments - plus shopping & dining - are on the doorstep
    Great walks  -  Walk across 10 acres in Charleston Waterfront Park, with it's prime location overlooking Charleston Harbor and the Cooper River
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    Brimming with playful charm, this beautifully converted historic hotel offers stylish rooms, lively dining options & a vibey courtyard terrace. Rooms have thoughtful amenities, embroidered linens, mid-century furniture & velvet headboards. A perfect boutique property in the heart of the action. See More

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  • Harbourview Inn Charleston (South Carolina) 52 rooms from £176

    Local markets  -  The Old City Market.
    Sights nearby  -  Waterfront Park.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
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    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    This townhouse mansion in the historic district on the Waterfront Park maintains the traditional interiors such as high ceiling reception, welcoming fireplace and art works. Rooms boast fine linens, four-poster beds, whirlpool baths and breakfast in-room. City exploring is accessible. See More

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  • Bloomsbury Inn Camden, South Carolina 4 rooms from £193

    Local exploring  -  Get lost in the rich history of Camden with endless museums and Civil War sites
    Great walks  -  Take an exterior walking/driving tour of the beautiful Antebellum homes in Camden
    Local markets  -  There are dozens of antique stores with dozens of booths to explore in Camden
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over the age of 12 are welcome
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    A charming period decor inn set in the heart of Camden. Rooms boast sitting/reading areas, decorative fireplaces (including original 1854 mantels) as well as private, 1930s-era Italian tile baths. Soak in the beautiful historic architecture and sip on wine on the magnificent porch. An elegant stay. See More

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  • John Rutledge House Inn Charleston (South Carolina) 19 rooms from £211

    Sights nearby  -  Fort Sumter is where you can imagine the first shots of the Civil War.
    Great walks  -  Step back in time and explore Charlestons history on a walking tour.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Full of character
    Air conditioningGardenPet friendlyParking

    Ornate ironwork facade, elaborate interiors with Italian fireplaces make this historical townhouse a Charleston boutique favourite. Large light rooms with complimentary breakfast and access to a relaxing courtyard. Plantations, history and oceanfront strolls await you from this prime spot. See More

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  • Zero George Street Charleston (South Carolina) 18 rooms from £226

    Foodies  -  The Zero Cafe has earned glowing reviews for its locally sourced and seasonal cuisine
    Traditional  -  The hotel features many original features including heart pine floors and high ceilings.
    Cooking classes  -  Every Monday and Saturday classes are held in the Kitchen Carriage House
    Sights nearby  -  Middleton Place: a National Historic Landmark
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    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A boutique hotel set in three early 19th century townhouses with unique Southern charm, full of character. Exceptional food, great details, close to the historic centre. See More

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  • The Dewberry Charleston 155 rooms from £233

    City Style  -  An elegant property complete with French-style brasserie and two cocktail bars.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the eccentric stately home, the Calhoun Mansion.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Full of character
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet

    A beautifully designed hotel set in an historic building. Perfectly mixing contemporary style and traditional charm rooms are chic and homely. A fabulous French brasserie and two bars set the scene for elegant evenings of cocktails and oysters. A glorious hotel that encapsulates that Southern charm. See More

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  • Montage Palmetto Bluff Bluffton, South Carolina 200 rooms from £254

    Active Holiday  -  With so many onsite activities from golf, to shooting to watersports, you'll never be bored!
    Golf  -  18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature course at the May River Golf Club
    Families  -  From young to old, there really is something here for all ages
    Kids Club  -  PB Explorers and Pioneers clubs welcome children from 5-12 years, and offer a wide range of activities and events
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    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A luxury resort set on the May River complete with a golf course, pools & full-service spa. Southern-style clapboard cottages have fireplaces, fine linens and modern bathrooms. With endless river and ranch activities plus no less than five restaurants, this is perfect family holiday material. See More

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  • Planters Inn Charleston (South Carolina) 64 rooms from £258

    Local markets  -  Charleston City Market is a chance to meet Lowcountry artisans including more than 50 Gullah sweetgrass basket weavers.
    Great walks  -  Middleton Place or Magnolia Gardens, previous plantation houses, offer some brilliant gardens.
    Sights nearby  -  Confederate Museum.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
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    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux

    Prime location in the historic district, a 19th Century inn with classic interiors and fine dining at Peninsula Grill. Spacious rooms offer four-poster beds, private sitting rooms and bathrooms. Dine al fresco, or explore the city market for many other options. A historian's dream stay. See More

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  • The Governor's House Inn Charleston (Historic District) 11 rooms from £276

    Romantic Break  -  Pick the room that ticks your boxes; fireplaces, canopy beds, private balconies and oversize whirlpool tubs are all up for grabs
    Historic  -  Built in 1760, this was the home of Edward Rutledge, signer to the Declaration of Independence & friend of Alexander Hamilton
    City Style  -  Dripping in Southern class and style; expect drinks on the veranda, whirling ceiling fans and chandeliers over the bath tub
    Local exploring  -  The central location, near the historic district, means that sites, shops, restaurants and galleries are walking distance
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    Grand Georgian manor with traditional Charleston piazzas, formal gardens and sumptuous suites. Rooms feature rice beds with canopies, soaring ceilings, period antiques and shutters; some have piazza access. Enjoy sweeping staircase, pine floors and ornate parlour. Will appeal to history lovers. See More

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  • Belmond Charleston Place Charleston (South Carolina) 434 rooms from £285

    Great walks  -  Head to Waterfront Park for walk trails and fountains.
    Sights nearby  -  Confederate Museum closeby.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Old South hospitality, grand reception rooms and prime spot in the historic centre. Rooms are conservatively decorated with marble bathrooms and city views. Charleston Grill is southern cooking at its finest and a drinking hole for locals. Traditional hotel is home to an indoor pool, spa and gym. See More

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  • 86 Cannon Charleston 7 rooms from £293

    Local exploring  -  Set in a leafy area of Charleston, close to high-end boutiques and restaurants, this hotel is a luxury base for local exploring
    Romantic Break  -  With beautifully appointed suites and two open-air terraces, this hotel makes an indulgent couples' getaway
    City Style  -  Set in a heritage property in a stylish Charleston neighbourhood, this hotel has reams of local city charm
    Great walks  -  Discover historic downtown Charleston on a guided walking tour; enquire at the hotel for more details
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    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    This boutique hotel is nestled within a 1860s residence in the heart of Charleston. Interiors blend mid-century elegance with classic French design and a touch of Southern style. With nightly wine and cheese served on the hotel verandah, this is a discerning city bolt-hole. See More

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  • Wentworth Mansion Charleston (South Carolina) 21 rooms from £316

    Great walks  -  This pet friendly hotel is the perfect place for all the family, and there are many parks to take your pooch for a walk.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Outstanding location
    Full of character
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Fodors

    America’s Gilded Age mansion oozes Charleston history through its marble floors, vaulted high ceilings and antique furnishings. Large rooms with fireplaces are unique and with modern amenities and complimentary breakfast. Enjoy a range of spa treatments or head out to explore yester-year. See More

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  • Hotel Bennett Charleston 179 rooms from £386

    City Style  -  A sumptuous, luxury hotel mixing European grandeur with Southern hospitality
    Local exploring  -  Walking distance from the historic part of Charleston
    Local markets  -  Visit the weekly farmers market that's held at Marion Square
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor rooftop pool
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    The Hotel Bennett has an imposing white exterior which opens up onto suitably grand interiors. Luxurious rooms have a traditional European feel with antique-style furniture and lavish bathrooms. Excellent regional dishes are served in the restaurant and the rooftop pool is a very nice addition. See More

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  • The Spectator Charleston 41 rooms from £444

    Local exploring  -  Right in the heart of the Historic District, with neo-classical architecture, cobblestone streets and antebellum mansions.
    City Style  -  A sleek choice- this boutique hotel boasts cool 1920's speakeasy bar, crisp modern rooms and phenomanal service.
    Local markets  -  The Historic Charleston City Market is just down the road.
    Restrictions on children
    Air conditioningParkingNo pets

    A boutique hotel in the centre of historic Charleston, evoking the style of the roaring twenties, complemented with Southern charm and hospitality. Stylish rooms and suites with an art deco vibe, some with balcony or terrace and gourmet breakfast delivered to your door. A chic city centre spot. See More

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