The Lowcountry is the 200-mile stretch of coastal South Carolina and Georgia, composed of tidal marshes, rivers, estuaries, and the Atlantic Ocean. If you have never been, now is the time to visit the SC Lowcountry. This area is ripe for exploration. Enjoy the quaint towns and cities, see the sights, and head back to the porch of your charmingly Southern hotel or inn at the end of the day.
Go Here – The Cities & Towns
When you visit the SC Lowcountry you’ll want to visit the best cities and the cute quaint towns along the way.
As the oldest and largest city in South Carolina, Charleston features cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and pastel houses with an unmatched elegance. Character, color, and charm are particularly prominent in the French Quarter and Battery districts. Head over to the Battery promenade or Waterfront Park to view the Charleston Harbor. Brush up on your history at Fort Sumter, also located near the water, where the first shots of the Civil War sounded.
Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is known for their year-round beautiful weather, and of course, the lighthouse. The lowcountry island is also home to a beautiful beach as well as world-class golf courses. This home-away-from-home is great for a luxurious beach getaway that’s fit for the whole family. It’s a highly walkable and bikeable island, with plenty of cultural offerings as well. You’re in for good seafood, fun bars, and cute shops.
Pass through McClellanville, a quaint, Spanish moss-draped fishing town just far enough from the buzzing city of Charleston to provide guests with a quiet, relaxing experience. McClellanville was established in 1706 as a portion of St. James-Santee Parish. Today, its history of rice plantations, grand architectural homes and buildings, and rich culture remains woven throughout the area. With a population of less than 1,000, guests can enjoy a peaceful stroll through the fishing docks and piers, where bodies of water promise bountiful fish. The nearby Francis Marion National Forest offers even more beautiful scenery.
Georgetown is the third oldest city in South Carolina and the state’s second-largest seaport. The town is situated conveniently at the halfway mark between Myrtle Beach and Charleston on the Winyah Bay. Take a stroll along the oak-lined streets of Historic Downtown Georgetown, visit one of the five museums the city has to offer, and shop downtown at the exclusively local retailers.
Before Bluffton, stop for a few hours in the town of Beaufort. Founded by the British in 1711, Beaufort, South Carolina boasts the amazingly conserved Gullah culture of Beaufort’s African-slave-descended citizens and the various related historical sites that populate the quaint coastal town. Although Beaufort now offers exciting opportunities to golf, fish, bike, kayak, and soak in the rays of the sun along its ocean waters, the lowcountry city’s defined history and its dedication to preserving the diverse wildlife make this unlike your typical coastal town. Refuel with Blackstone’s Cafe.
Isle of Palms
Sharing the name of the island in which it’s located, this city is known for its beaches, condos, eateries, and sea turtle nests. Tan at the beach, play a game of golf, or enjoy a relaxing meal at the oceanfront resort Wild Dunes. You can also spend a day in Charleston, located only 30 minutes away. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy this island nestled between the Atlantic and Intracoastal Waterway.
Call Bluffton home for what’s nearing the last leg of your trip. One truth about the South that is known by many is that time simply moves slower, and that couldn’t be more true for Bluffton. A staple of the Carolina Low Country, Bluffton is perched directly above Savannah, Georgia on the mouth of the May River. This is a town that has a tight bond with the water, the beaches, and the way of life that comes along with it. Although a recent surge in development has made it the fastest growing town in South Carolina, Bluffton still has history to show, and in spades. Old Town in particular weaves the modern face of a long-standing town with the strong, weathered churches and homes that have anchored the town since the mid 1800’s.
Where To Stay When You Visit The SC Lowcountry – The Hotels & Inns
When you visit the SC Lowcountry you’ll want to stay at the very best SC hotels and these are some of our favorites!
The Dewberry Charleston
Honoring the building’s original 1960s exterior, The Dewberry offers a juxtaposition of Charleston’s past and present with upscale retro decor and modern-day luxuries. Enjoy locally-sourced fine dining, state-of-the-art spas, and gracious hospitality right in the heart of Charleston.
Montage Palmetto Bluff
Nestled along the idyllic May River of South Carolina, Montage Resort is the perfect setting for Southern sporting and spa-ing. Encompassing an extensive nature preserve, golf course, and spa, Montage Palmetto Bluff offers sought-after scenes of lowcountry luxury.
The Sanctuary Hotel
This seaside mansion lines the pristine shores of Kiawah Island and, from outdoor adventures and premier golf access to relaxing spa packages, offers a multitude of ways to indulge in a Carolina lowcountry getaway. When you visit the SC Lowcountry seriously consider this option as it ranks as one of our favorites!
Situated right in the heart of Historic Georgetown, 620 Prince is an eye-catching luxury bed & breakfast located in a beautiful fully restored, 1800’s house. The B&B marries historic charm with modern-day convenience for the perfect lowcountry stay.
The Restoration Hotel
Elegant yet easygoing, The Restoration is the perfect way to experience Charleston’s vibrant, casually-chic history and culture. Each of The Restoration’s five modernized buildings celebrate the community of the New South through programming and local partnership, offering an engaging and dynamic experience of Charleston.
Lush landscaping and intimate, historic residences, Zero George is the quintessential boutique hotel experience. Relish in lowcountry refinement while wandering their enchanting buildings and private garden courtyards.
The Bluffton Inn
The first and only hotel in Old Town features french doors, brick porches and breezy balconies, all to capture a sense of true Southern hospitality. Described as “elegant yet unpretentious,” the Old Town Bluffton Inn is a perfect retreat by the May River.
This ornately magical mansion is unquestionably fit for Southern royalty. Crystal chandeliers, hand-carved marble fireplaces, and Tiffany stained glass exude the Gilded Age elegance of Charleston’s history.
French Quarter Inn
Tucked into Market Street in downtown Charleston, consider this quaint retreat your home away from home. Hospitable service and cozy quarters, the French Quarter Inn is a hidden gem full of unexpected delights.
Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island
If you were hoping for a view of the coast during your South Carolinian getaway, gathering or business trip, you’ve come to the right place. You won’t even have to leave the resort to experience the beach, multiple restaurant options, zero-entry lagoon style pool, tropical gardens or spa.
The Spectator Hotel
Jazz Age genteel, refined and glamorous accommodations, The Spectator Hotel is a modern take on 1920s elegance. Savor the swanky, Prohibition-style bar at this evocative, luxurious Old Southern lowcountry maverick.
Planters Inn is a landmark of tranquil, lowcountry courtyards and enchanted accommodations. Built in 1844, Planters Inn is an iconic respite safeguarding its timelessly fanciful sophistication through refined preservation and classically Southern hospitality.
The Rhett House Inn
Located in the historic district of Beaufort, South Carolina, this 1820s bed and breakfast is a locally-beloved romantic getaway. Ethereal canopies of mossy Oaks surround the charming plantation house, today home to sweet Southern cooking and old-classic delights.
Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston
Escape to the Grand Bohemian’s rooftop secret garden or marvel at the array of uniquely beautiful, delightfully unusual art that distinguishes this Charleston boutique hotel. Unwind in the Grand Bohemian’s indulgent atmosphere while exploring a city of plentiful treasures.
The Inn & Club at Harbour Town
Perfect for a relaxing retreat, The Inn & Club at Harbour Town offers a wealth of amenities and full service luxuries that show off the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island.
Wild Dunes Resort
Nestled on the northern tip of Isle of Palms and just 30 minutes from historic Charleston, Wild Dunes resort is 1,600 acres of oceanfront attractions, ideal for personal respite and family fun alike.
A remarkably restored, 3-story 1860s home, 86 Cannon is traditional Charleston elegance with a classic European twist. Here, take in the beauty of the open-air piazzas, scour the seams of the in-house library and bar, and adopt the ambiance of mid-century luxury.
HarbourView Inn Charleston
For a more intimate experience of Charleston, feel at home at this waterfront inn complete with breathtaking views of the Charleston harbour.
A combination of two boutique hotels, 19 Vendue and 26 Vendue, The Vendue is a reborn restoration of early 1800s buildings–each room uniquely different and complete with antique furnishings. Dubbed “Charleston’s Art Hotel,” The Vendue is a gallery in and of itself, hosting 2-3 different exhibits per year.
Charleston Harbor Resort
A prime waterfront retreat, the Charleston Harbor Resort is a water-bug’s dream. Sit back poolside on their tropical pool deck, Charleston’s only waterfront Tiki Bar, as well as children’s programming, this resort is the perfect nautical getaway for the whole family.
Market Pavilion Hotel
Luxurious, decadent accommodations, eclectic food, and vibrant nightlife, the Market Pavilion is the premier oasis for an exciting and luxurious Charleston lowcountry experience.
Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort
Get back on island time at Hilton Head Island’s waterfront resort. Part of the prestigious Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort community, the Omni offers bike trail-lined lagoons, sparkling pools, tennis courts, and championship golf courses– oh and, of course, beachfront views.
See This – What Activities You Should Do When Visiting
When you visit the SC Lowcountry you’ll want to take in the sights and these are some of our favorites!
Pawleys Island Pier
Lay back at this fishing pier located in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. Pawleys is known for encouraging a lifestyle of ease, free of both your worries and shoes. Crabbing in nearby creeks, fishing, sharing ghost-stories about rumored hauntings, hammock lounging, and enjoying the beach are all everyday activities at this haven of a destination.
Francis Marion National Forest
Located north of Charleston, this 258,864 acre National Forest attracts recreationalists for hiking, camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, off-road motorcycling, and ATV-riding to name a few. Steeped in history, the forest is named after Revolutionary War officer Francis Marion and offers a unique experience to those who adventure through it.
Angel Oak Park
Admire the age and beauty of the largest oak tree east of the Mississippi at Angel Oak Park in James Island, South Carolina. At approximately 300 to 400 years old, the Angel Oak receives nearly 40,000 visitors each year. Sit under the shade with a book or picnic in the 17,000 square feet of shade this Southern Live Oak tree offers.
Our Favorite Parks
Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area
Spark your curiosity with this 4,600-acre wildlife preserve located on Edisto Island in South Carolina. Resilient through the Civil War, a fire, and the boll weevil (an insect with the ability to destroy cotton), this plantation has a rich history and story. Ruins, maritime forest, freshwater ponds, historical buildings, trails, and the beach provide an experience unlike anything else for you and the family.
Edisto Beach State Park
Grab your leash and furry friend to go enjoy this dog-friendly beach located 50 miles south of Charleston. Get outside with a Botany Bay tour, fishing excursion, boat ride, picnic, swim, bird watch, bike ride, or hike. The park offers the state’s longest system of ADA trails.
Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge
Grab some comfortable shoes and head to the 11,815-acre portion of the ACE Basin area in Lowcountry South Carolina. Try something new with archery, hunting, picnicking, fishing, canoeing, environmental education, or photography during your adventure.
Visit For The History
Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Located approximately 17 miles north of Beaufort, South Carolina, this historic site features Greek Revival architecture and its fragile remains almost look like a painting. Come learn about the eventful history of Sheldon Church, formerly known as the Prince William Parish Church, which is one of the first churches built in temple form in the United States.
Bluffton Church of the Cross
Revel in history at the Church of the Cross which was built in 1857 and later added to the National Register in 1975. The church features gothic architecture, fanned arches, rose-colored glass and exposed pine timbers.
St James Santee
Located in quaint McClellanville, SC, you’ll be able to admire the native longleaf pine and cypress frames of the St. James-Santee Episcopal church that was built in 1890. This historic district features proximity to more houses, lots, creek banks and large live oaks.
Enjoy the Palladian architecture from the 18th century. This home located around 15 miles northwest of Charleston on the Ashley River. Founded in 1738, Drayton Hall is one of the oldest preserved plantation homes in America that is available to the public.
St. Michael’s Church in Charleston
Reminisce on an earlier time with Charleston’s oldest surviving religious structure. The beautiful type of architecture follows the customs of Christopher Wren, typically practiced during the Colonial period and up to the Gothic revival of 1841.
St Phillip’s Episcopal Church in Charleston
Built in 1861, this National Historic Landmark stretches into the center of Church Street and follows the contemporary design of parish churches in England. There are various walking tours available in order to take full advantage of your visit.
Morris Island Light
Brush up on your history with a visit to this lighthouse that stands on the southern side of the Charleston Harbor and is a part of the 840-acre uninhabited island of Morris Island. Beyond the lighthouse is Fort Sumter, a sea fort notable for two battles of the American Civil War.
We hope you found this guide helpful and we hope you have a lovely time when you visit the SC Lowcountry.