South Carolina Bucket List: 178 Things to Do in the Palmetto State

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Discover the best experiences and destinations in the Palmetto State with our ultimate South Carolina bucket list guide.

Whether you’re a local looking to explore your own backyard or a visitor seeking activities to enjoy, we’ve got you covered with an exciting lineup of what to do in South Carolina.

Get ready to explore the historic streets of Charleston, lounge on the sandy shores of Myrtle Beach, and indulge in delicious Lowcountry cuisine. 

Embark on a journey to uncover the hidden gems of Beaufort, experience the vibrant arts scene in Columbia, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Hilton Head Island. 

From beautiful coastal towns to vibrant cities and beautiful natural landscapes, the state offers a diverse range of adventures and destinations that will make your bucket list truly worthwhile.

For the ultimate outdoor adventure, try our list of the best state parks in SC.

South Carolina: Things to do in the Palmetto State

Beaufort

Nestled on the southeastern coast of South Carolina, Beaufort is a lovely Lowcountry town with a rich history and breathtaking waterfront views. 

Explore the historic downtown, stroll along the picturesque Bay Street, and immerse yourself in the local culture. 

  • Learn about the history of the area on a historic city tour.
  • Visit the Pat Conroy Literary Center.
  • Eat at Bricks on Boundary.
  • Enjoy the day at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.
  • Walk around the Beaufort National Cemetery.
  • Wander around Bay Street.
  • Check out the Beaufort History Museum.
  • See the Reconstruction Era National Monument.
  • Dine at the Old Bull Tavern.
  • Take a tour of the John Mark Verdier House.
  • Test your skills at Every Second Counts Escape Rooms.
  • Pick up something sweet from The Chocolate Tree.
  • Have a date night at Play and Eat Dinner Theater.
  • Enjoy a unique experience at The Kazoo Factory.
  • Learn about the history of Beaufort at Gray Line Beaufort.
  • Spend the day on the water with Beaufort Lands End Paddling.
  • Capture stunning images on the Beaufort Photography Tours.
  • Learn about the darker side of the area with Tales of the Lowcountry.
  • See the marshes of South Carolina from the air on a Beaufort Biplane Tour.
  • Bike or hike the Spanish Moss Trail.
  • Explore Hunting Island State Park.
View of downtown Beaufort with structures and greens during daytime, South Carolina.

Charleston

No South Carolina to-do list is complete without a visit to the vibrant city of Charleston. 

Explore the cobblestone streets, visit historic plantations, savor mouthwatering cuisine, and more.

  • Explore Charleston on a guided walking tour.
  • Go on a harbor sightseeing cruise.
  • Learn about the prohibition era on this pub crawl, which is also featured in our unique things to do gudie.
  • Put on your brave face and take a haunted walking tour after the sunset.
  • Enjoy harbor views and relax on this dinner cruise.
  • Learn some history at Fort Sumter National Monument.
  • Visit the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth at Beardcat’s Sweet Shop.
  • Check out the Robert Lange Art Studio.
  • Relax at Joe Riley Waterfront Park.
  • Start your day with coffee from Bitty and Beau’s Coffee.
  • See the stunning architecture of the Nathaniel Russell House.
  • Enjoy a sandwich from Brown Dog Deli.
  • Browse the Charleston City Market.
  • Eat at Cru Café.
  • Laugh the night away at The Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theater.
  • Check out what shows are playing at The 34 West Theater Company.
  • Learn about the Civil War at the Confederate Museum.
  • Walk around Rainbow Row and admire the colorful houses.
  • Marvel at the art in the Gibbes Museum of Art.
  • Eat at the Charleston Grill.
  • Enjoy a meal from Bertha’s Kitchen.
  • Admire the architecture of the Circular Congregational Church.
  • Catch a magic show at the Holy City Magic Theater.
  • Take a tour of the French Huguenot Church.
  • Spend the day with your kids at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry.
  • Enjoy a sweet treat from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
  • Have a picnic at Hampton Park.
  • Explore Philadelphia Alley.
  • Relax with a cup of coffee and some cat snuggles at Pounce Cat Café.
  • Visit the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History.
  • Practice self-care at Zendulgence Salon and Spa.
  • Visit the H.L. Hunley Submarine.
  • Have a tasting at Striped Pig Distillery.
  • Wander around the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and learn more about its 300 years of history.
  • Take a tour of Middleton Place and learn the history surrounding the area, including that of the enslaved Africans and African Americans who lived and worked here.

You may also like our guide to free things to do in Charleston, romantic things to do in Charleston, and local eats in Charleston

Pineapple Fountain Waterfront Park Charleston

Columbia

As the state’s capital city, Columbia offers a diverse range of South Carolina activities for every interest.

Visit the State House, take in the views of the waterfront, or immerse yourself in arts, culture, and history in the numerous galleries and museums found in this city.

  • Take in the views on the West Columbia Riverwalk.
  • Walk the trails of the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park.
  • Explore the South Carolina State Museum.
  • Check out the EdVenture Children’s Museum.
  • Dine at Gervais and Vine.
  • Visit the South Carolina State House, and see the African-American Monument.
  • See the art exhibits at the Columbia Museum of Art.
  • Learn about military history at the South Carolina Military Museum.
  • Spend the afternoon learning about the history of the area at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room.
  • Put your skills to the test at The Final Door Escape Room.
  • Visit the final resting grounds of thousands of military personnel at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery.
  • Explore the Sesquicentennial State Park.
  • Catch a game at the William-Brice Stadium.
  • Enjoy a delicious meal and a beer at the River Rat Brewery.
  • Take a tour and learn about the extensive history of the Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens.
  • See a unique performance at the Columbia Marionette Theater.
  • Eat the Lizard’s Thicket Restaurant.
  • Let loose and have fun at Craft Axe Throwing.
View of South Carolina State House at night in Columbia, South Carolina.

Folly Beach

For those seeking sun, sand, and sea, Folly Beach is a must-visit destination on your South Carolina summer bucket list.

Located just outside of Charleston, this laid-back beach town offers miles of pristine sandy shores, excellent beach fun opportunities, and a nice coastal town atmosphere.

  • Learn about the area’s wildlife on a guided boat tour.
  • Check out the Morris Island Lighthouse.
  • Stop for a meal at the Lost Dog Café.
  • Explore Folly Beach County Park.
  • Rent a bike from Cool Breeze Bikes.
  • Paint your own masterpiece at Paint with a Buzz.
  • Learn how to paddleboard with Charleston SUP Safaris and take a tour of the area.
  • Relax with a yoga class on the beach with Folly Beach Island Yoga.
  • Learn to surf with Carolina Salt Surf Lessons.
  • Experience the nightlife of Folly Beach at Snappers Jacks.
  • Dine at Jack of Cups Saloon.
  • Relax on the Beach in style with rentals from Folly Beach Chair Company.
  • Have fun exploring the area with a rental from Folly Beach Moped Rentals.
Sea Oats of Folly Beach County Park South Carolina

Greenville

Experience the vibrant city of Greenville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and add it to your list of places to see in South Carolina.

Explore the picturesque Falls Park on the Reedy, stroll through the charming downtown, and immerse yourself in the city’s thriving arts scene.

  • See what is happening at The Peace Center Theater.
  • Explore Falls Park on the Reedy.
  • Bike the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail.
  • Dine at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
  • Cross the Liberty Bridge.
  • Watch a baseball game at Fluor Field at the Westend.
  • Taste the BBQ at Smoke on the Water.
  • Take your kids to The Children’s Museum of the Upstate.
  • Check out what events are happening at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
  • Eat at Sully’s Steamers.
  • Have your kids tire themselves out at Runway Park.
  • Watch a performance at Center Stage.
  • Take a tour of the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library.
  • Visit the Upcountry History Museum.
  • View the art collection at the Greenville County Museum of Art.
  • Eat at Sassafras Southern Bistro.
  • Take your kids to Roper Mountain Science Center for a hands-on experience.
  • Spend Saturday morning browsing the TD Saturday Market.
  • Challenge yourself at Escape Artist Escape Room.
  • See the Joel Roberts Poinsett Statue.
  • Browse the Vintage Market of Greenville.
  • Hike the trails at Paris Mountain State Park.
  • Learn more about the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois and United Tribes during their annual Pow wow close to Greenville.
View of Reedy River surrounded by buildings in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

Hilton Head

Discover the coastal beauty and luxury of Hilton Head Island, another paradise for outdoor activities in South Carolina. 

From biking and tennis to nature walks and boat tours, this island offers a plethora of options for the active traveler seeking to make the most of their SC adventure.

  • Enjoy a sunset dinner cruise.
  • Experience dolphins in their natural habitat with a dolphin watching guided tour.
  • Have fun on a Pirate Cruise on the Black Dagger ship.
  • Enjoy an afternoon on the water with a guided kayak tour.
  • Get your blood pumping with a parasailing experience.
  • Relax on a ferry ride with Daufuskie Island Ferry.
  • Soak up the sun on Coligny Beach.
  • Play a game of tennis at the Vandermeer Tennis Center.
  • Indulge in ice cream from The Frozen Moo.
  • Ride your bike on the Hilton Head Island bike trails.
  • Taste the brews offered at Hilton Head Distillery.
  • Check out the art exhibits at the Nash Gallery.
  • Pick up a sweet treat from the Hilton Head Social Bakery.
  • Visit the interactive Coastal Discovery Museum.
  • Stroll along the Shelter Cove Harbour.
  • Dine at Bistro 17.
  • Sample the wines at Island Winery.
  • Enjoy dinner theater at Comedy Magic Cabaret.
  • Have the best view of Hilton Head with a helicopter ride.
  • Climb the Harbour Town Lighthouse.
  • Explore the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
  • Learn about the freed people of Mitchelville, which is part of the Gullah Heritage Trail.

You may also like our Hilton Head beach guide

Red and white lighthouse at Hilton Head Harbour South Carolina

Kiawah Island

Prepare to be captivated by the beauty of Kiawah Island, an idyllic barrier island located just off the South Carolina coast. 

With its lush marshes, pristine beaches, and world-class golf courses, Kiawah Island offers a perfect retreat for outdoor enthusiasts and relaxation seekers alike. 

  • Spend the day at Kiawah BeachWalker Park.
  • Cool off in the pool at Night Heron Park.
  • Spend the day shopping at Freshfields Village.
  • Play a round of golf at The Ocean Course.
  • Eat at Jasmine Porch.
  • Pamper yourself at the Sanctuary Spa.
Scenic view of Green Fields in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is renowned for its sandy shores, thrilling water parks, and endless entertainment options. 

From iconic attractions like the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel to indulging in nice waterfront views, this is an ideal destination for beach lovers seeking some of the best things to do in South Carolina.

  • Bask in the sun at Myrtle Beach State Park.
  • Ride the Skywheel.
  • Spend the day at Family Kingdom Amusement Park.
  • Eat, shop, and be entertained on Broadway at the Beach.
  • Make a splash at Myrtle Waves Water Park.
  • Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum to see your favorite celebrity.
  • Rock out at a Legends in Concert Tribute Show.
  • Spend the evening laughing at the Wonders Theater Comedy Hypnosis Show.
  • Participate in a RigaTony’s Murder Mystery Dinner Show.
  • Watch a show at GTS Theater.
  • Explore WonderWorks Entertainment Center.
  • Enjoy a Polynesian Fire Luau and Dinner Show.
  • Dine at Mellow Mushroom.
  • Watch a baseball game at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Arena.
  • Eat at Villa Romana Italian Restaurant.
  • Shop at The Market Common.
  • Check out the vintage cars at the Wheels of Yesteryear.
  • Browse the exhibits at the Frank G. Burroughs- Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum.
  • Sample the beer at New South Brewing.
  • Walk along the Springmaid Pier.
  • Take your kids to play at the fully accessible Savannah’s Playground.
  • Watch a show at The Asher Theater.
  • Explore Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.
  • Indulge in southern cooking at Simply Southern Smokehouse.
  • Have a date night with dinner and a show at the Pirates Voyage.
  • Savor Italian cuisine at Ducatis Pizzeria and Trattoria.
  • See a show at The Carolina Opry.
  • Browse the Myrtle Beach Flea Market.
  • Attend a performance at Legends in Concert Myrtle Beach.
  • Eat at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.
  • Spend the evening at a Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.
  • Visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Have fun at Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf.
  • Find your bliss at The Awakening Spa.
  • Start your day right at Donald’s Pancake House.
  • Indulge at the I Love Sugar gift shop.
  • Have fun at LuLu’s Beach Arcade.
  • Play the mini putt courses at Mt. Atlanticus.
  • Visit Warbird Park.

You may also like our guides to free things to do in Myrtle Beach, indoor things to do in Myrtle Beach, and things to do in Myrtle Beach at night.

Myrtle Beach Scene SkyWheel in distance in South Carolina

Final Thoughts

We hope this SC bucks list guide has inspired you to plan your next escapade to the Palmetto State.

If you have any other suggestions or experiences to add to the list, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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