20 Exciting Things To Do In South Carolina With Kids & Beautiful Places To See

Are you ready to find the coolest things to do in South Carolina with kids? We’ve got your covered! South Carolina has beautiful scenery, fun beaches, and a rich history. The state is known for its perfect vacation spots, historic districts, seafood, and beaches. No matter what you’re looking for in a South Carolina vacation, you can trust that South Carolina has something that will excite you!

Let’s dive into family-friendly adventures, delicious food, exploration, and learning about the culture and history of the area with these exciting things to do in South Carolina with kids! Which of these will you do first?

arial photo of sandy beach and waterways

20 Exciting Things To Do In South Carolina With Kids & Beautiful Places To See

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

Let’s start this list off with the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail for everyone who is looking to stay active and take in the beautiful South Carolina scenery during their visit to The Palmetto State. This historic trail stretched 330 miles through the states of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The trail was used as a route by militia in 1780. You can walk in the footsteps of militiamen by taking a walk along the 87 miles of walkable pathways. You can also follow a motor route that follows along state highways marked by the trail logo. This is a good option to follow in their footsteps without taking a single step! This is one of the best things to do in South Carolina with kids is you love history, want to enjoy the SC scenery, or simply stay active while traveling!

Atalaya Castle

Did you know there was a castle in South Carolina? If you’ve been looking for things to do in Murrells Inlet, SC, this should be at the top of your list! The breathtaking Atalaya Castle located in Murrells Inlet, SC is a must-see when in the state. Although not well known outside of the state, the castle is famous among residents and holds historical significance. Built in the 1930s, the castle was owned by the Huntingtons. It was used as their winter house as a relief from the cold winters of New York.

The castle is simply stunning. The grounds are covered with palm trees and plants growing along the side of the castle. You can also see metal cages around the windows that were used for hurricane protection. There are thirty rooms, a courtyard, and a water tower that is forty feet tall. The castle gets its name from the Spanish word for “watchtower.” Today, you can explore the Atalaya and learn about its history! This is one of the coolest things to do in South Carolina with kids.

photo of castle with metal cages over windows and walkway that has palm trees on both sides. one of the coolest things to do in south carolina

Children’s Museum of The Upstate

When looking for things to do in South Carolina with kids, the Children’s Museum of The Upstate is a great choice! Like most children’s museums, the Children’s Museum of The Upstate is full of hands on activities to encourage your child’s play, learning, and growth.

You can find bubble and water play, chalkboards, climbing structures, and mock locations. A mock grocery store, vet clinic, mechanic shop, bank, construction zone, nurses station, and so much more are available for your little one to enjoy. If you have been looking for things to do in Greenville, SC, don’t over look this attraction!

Hilton Head

Hilton Head is one of the coolest towns in the state! There is so much to see, do, and enjoy! If you like seafood, you will love Hilton Head! Some of the best seafood can be found at The Crazy Crab in Harbour Town. Harbour Town is one Hilton Head Island and is home to the Hilton Head Lighthouse. While walking next to this iconic red and white striped lighthouse, you can often see dolphins jumping out of the water in the harbor!

Other fun things to do in Hilton Head include the Coastal Discovery Museum where you can learn about the area, see wildlife, and walkout on the boardwalk over the marshes and the Historic MItchelville Freedom Park where you can have a picnic or enjoy the trails overlooking beautiful South Caroline scenery. If you fancy a wine tasting while in town, check out the Island Winery for their wine store and tasting room. Of course, there are many great beaches in the area to choose from as well!

striped lighthouse in harbor with boats at sunset

Columbia Museum of Art

With all of the amazing things to do in South Carolina with kids, art buffs will be thrilled with this attraction! The Columbia Museum of Art has an internationally renowned collection of artwork. There are traveling shows at the museum and weekly, monthly, and annual events for people of all ages.

You can find artwork at the Columbia Museum of Art that spans 5,000 years! You will feel instantly welcome when you arrive on the grounds of this South Carolina attraction as the grounds and the building themselves are works of art. You’ll be happy to know that parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays and children six and under receive free admission! Keep in mind that the museum is closed on Mondays.

Cypress Gardens

You may recognize this site on the list of top things to do in South Carolina with kids as it was featured in many popular movies. Some of those movies include The Notebook, The Patriot, and Cold Mountain. This gorgeous location is in Moncks Corner near Charleston, SC. The beautiful swamp and trees in the area are the focal point of the site, however, their are other things to do while there as well!

You can visit the Swamparium where you can see terrariums of amphibians, reptiles, and fish, as well as representative animals from swamps around the world like African crocodiles and the South American anaconda. There’s also a stunning butterfly house!

One of the coolest things to do at cypress Gardens is take a swamp boat ride! Guided boat tours are only five dollars and take you through the vast landscape in the gardens where you can see the Bald Cypress tree, alligators, lily pads, and more, making this one of the top things to do in South Carolina with kids.

one of the best things to do in south carolina, cypress gardens. trees in dark water

Edisto Beach State Park

If you’re looking for a beach getaway while in The Palmetto State, the Edisto Beach State Park is perfect! This state park is nice for this with physical limitations as it offers the longest system of accessible hiking and biking trails in South Carolina.

The park is truly beautiful and features sandy beaches as well as marshland. Take a walk along a wooden boardwalk through the marsh, lay on expansive sandy beaches, search for driftwood tree photo opportunities, go shelling and shark tooth hunting, lay under the palms, and more at Edisto Beach State Park!


For city lovers and family travelers it doesn’t get much better than Greenville! There are so many things to do in Greenville SC. (It’s actually one of the top 35 Cheap Cities To Visit In The U.S. With Kids) If. you’re traveling with kids, you’ll likely want your first stop to be at the Greenville Zoo. Giraffes, lions, gorillas, and more all call the Greenville Zoo home. The zoo is right next to Cleveland Park which is well equipped for a mid-day picnic.

Arguably the most popular attraction in the city is Falls Park on The Reedy. Located in the historic West End district, the park features walking trails and falls. The park was founded in the 1960s and was formally used to power nearby textile mills. For those who love to learn, consider visiting the Upcountry History Museum, Roper Mountain Science Center, or the Greenville County Museum of Art.

falls park in greenville, South Caorlina

Caesars Head

Looking for things to do in South Carolina with kids that will fuel your adventurous spirit? Caesars Head State Park is for you! The summit is 3,215 feet above sea level and the views throughout the park are fantastic! Beautiful in the rain, snow, and in any season, Caesars Head is one of the best things to do in Greenville County!

Caesars Head will really blow you’re mind during the fall months. Mid-late October is when the fall foliage usually peaks in the park. Perfect for photoshoots, hiking, getting some fresh air, learning about South Carolina history, and getting some exercise while you travel through The Palmetto State, Caesars Head is the perfect addition to any South Carolina bucket list!

photo of mountains and water

Fort Moultrie

Fort Moultrie is located on Sullivans Island near Charleston. There are a series of fortifications in the area that were built to protect the city. The first fort called Fort Sullivan was originally built of Palmetto logs, which inspired the state’s flag and gave South Carolina the nickname of The Palmetto State.

Built in the 1700s and used from 1776 until 1947, Fort Moultrie undoubtedly holds a remarkable amount of history. A trip to the fort is just what you need to learn about the history of the U.S., South Carolina specifically, and their relation to other countries. You will also get a glimpse of the water and natural beauty of the area as well.

Explore The Charleston Historic District

If you have been looking for things to do in Charleston SC, check this out! The historic district in Charleston is particularly stunning. The town was founded in 1670 and was known as Charles Town. It’s the oldest city in South Carolina and also the second largest. Explore the cobblestone and brick streets is such a cool experience. The architecture and streets are remarkable.

One of the must see sites in the district is the Historic Charleston City Market. The market is a complex that was established in the 1790s. The market stretched four block and has is the perfect place for souvenirs and delicious sweet treats. The famous Rainbow Row of iconic Georgian row houses painted in pastel colors is a visitor favorite. Rainbow Row is located on East Bay Street. Also in the area is the Gibbes Museum of Art, South Carolina Historical Society, and the military museum called Powder Magazine. Exploring the Charleston historic district is one of the best things to do in South Carolina with kids!

things to do in south carolina. historic homes lining street with palm trees in Charleston

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site

Located in Mount Pleasant on Sullivans Island, SC, the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site has time and time again made its way onto lists of things to do in South Carolina with kids. (and for good reason!) The grounds are stunning and the home is the perfect attraction for history buffs.

You will find Palm trees and Spanish moss-covered Cypress trees surrounding the historic home. Charles Pinckney was the governor of South Carolina and was an advocate for free schools but a slave owner. Today, his house is used as an educational opportunity to learn about what life was like in slave communities and what was accomplished in the state on the backs of slave labor.

Paris Mountain State Park

Adventures, get ready! Paris Mountain is a beautiful state park in The Palmetto State. The park was established during the Great Depression and has been there for visitors to enjoy ever since. If you like to camp, this state park is perfect for it as they have cabins, 13 tent pads, and five trailside campsites.

The park has mountains, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and beaches all in one area. The wildflowers and fall foliage both make the area, particularly appealing to guests. You can look forward to seeing wildlife, scuba-diving, golfing, fishing, taking a paddling tour, and more! There’s also interpretive, biking, and hiking trails. Keep in mind that there is a small admission fee, pets must be kept on a leash and are not allowed in all areas.

wooden structure in the woods at state park

Alligator Adventure

In the town of North Myrtle Beach you will find the animal park known as Alligator Adventure. This little park has a variety of animal species and comes complete with live shows as well as swamps with alligators. You’ll find a number of turtle and bird species at the park.

Approximately 100 albino alligators exist in the world, and you can see some of them at Alligator Adventure. You’ll want to be sure to check their website before visiting to see if there will be any shows during your visit. There are alligator live feedings, alligator handling and lecture, and snake handling presentations!

alligator at edge of water

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is seriously one of the most incredible places to visit in South Carolina. The grounds are so perfectly put together and displayed, you will find yourself following in love with the gardens and landscape. If you’re visiting with children they will love the snack bar and petting zoo that are on site.

While walking the trails on the site, don’t be surprised if you see animals walking along with you. It’s normal to see alligators in the waters next to the trails and under the bridges. You are likely to see peacocks walking around the grounds as well! Established in the 1600s the Magnolia Plantation saw extreme wealth from the cultivation of rice during the Colonial era. Like most large plantations in the south, the owner of Magnolia Plantation was involved in the slave trade. At one point there were more than 300 slaves on the grounds.

bridge over water surrounded by Spanish moss covered trees and flowers

South Carolina State Museum

The South Carolina State Museum is a wonderful facility that has four floors of exhibits for you to explore. There is also a digital some planetarium, interactive theater, and an observatory. The museum if expansive and you can find exhibits on history, art, natural history, technology, and science. More than 400 years of South Carolina art can be found in the museum!

Keep in mind that the museum is closed on Mondays.

Myrtle Beach

If you were to ask around about what things to do in South Carolina with kids, you would be hard-pressed to avoid hearing about Myrtle Beach. For years, the beach town has been a magnet for family travelers looking for fun, budget travelers looking for a beach vacation on the cheap, and for party-goers looking for a good time.

The things to do in Myrtle Beach are endless. There is Broadway at The Beach where you can find family fun and outdoor shopping, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, Family Kingdom Amusement Park, The Market Common for shopping, the relaxing Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade, and the gorgeous Myrtle Beach State Park. Fun in the sun, adventure, fun, and good food is in abundance in Myrtle Beach!

ocean, beach, and city scape in Myrtle Beach

Table Rock State Park

The variety of landscape in South Carolina is similar to the variety in North Carolina in that you can summit mountains in the same day that you take a swamp boat tour and lay on a sandy beach while listening to ocean waves. If you want to take a break from having fun on the beach, consider taking a trip to Table Rock State Park.

The views and landscape in the park are immaculate. Hikers will love this part of South Carolina! There are trails of varying length and difficulty so you can be sure to find a trail that is just right for you. The Lakeside trail is a bit of a history lesson and is an alternative to hiking up steep mountains, which will draw the interest of family hikers and those lacking hiking experience. (It’s 1.9 mile loop trail.) If you prefer something more difficult and adventure, look into the Pinnacle Mountain Trail. This trail is 4.2 miles one way is ranked very strenuous.

tree covered mountains at Table Rock State Park, one of the best things to do in south carolina

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

This South Carolina attraction is home to more than 2000 creatures! For family travelers, it doesn’t get much better than the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens as there is simply so much to do on-site. There’s a Spots and Stripes railroad, Sky-High Safari ropes course, a Farmyard petting zoo, giraffe and lorikeet feeding, a Wild Adventures Rock Wall, and an Endangered Species Carousel!

As if that wasn’t already enough fun, you will find all sorts of animals on site. They have a birdhouse, aquarium and reptile complex, a conservation outpost where you can find unusual small mammals, as well as North American, Australian, Asian, and African wildlife. There’s also a botanical garden on-site that is home to a variety of different gardens. Children especially will love the Waterfall Junction where there is a three-acre children’s garden complete with a dino dig, tree houses, and splash zone.

This is one of the coolest things to do in South Carolina with kids as you can easily spend the whole day there exploring!

lion standing in zoo enclosure

South Carolina Aquarium

I know you’ve heard of kid-friendly activities, but have you heard of an attraction that claims to be adult-friendly. No, I’m not talking about a club or a bar. The South Carolina Aquarium caters to adults. This is amazing! Adults love aquariums too and it’s awesome to see one that isn’t solely catered to children.

A stop at the South Carolina Aquarium is the perfect addition to your travels through the state. A super cool event at this aquarium takes place after closing. You can spend the evening at an all-inclusive experience surrounded by marine life at the aquarium where you enjoy small plates, beer, wine, and entertainment over views of the Charleston Harbor!

colorful fish in aquarium

South Carolina is a state that is full of excitement, mind blowing natural beauty, delicious food, and historical significance. Whether you choose to explore a lively city, a quaint historic district, a mountain top, or sunny beach, you will find yourself falling in love with South Carolina! So, which of these things to do in South Carolina with kids will you do first?

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