See Smiling Faces and Beautiful Places on a South Carolina Honeymoon
Here's the beauty of a South Carolina honeymoon: There's something for everyone. Have you dreamt of a trip spent sipping cocktails by an ocean sunset? The Palmetto State has you covered with romantic beachside resorts dotting the Atlantic Ocean. Do you love the idea of strolling through a picturesque historic district hand in hand with your beloved? Make your way to the Holy City. Prefer a relaxing mountain retreat? Find your hideaway in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
A quick drive for couples in the South and a short flight from cities across the country (several major carriers have added flights into CHS in recent years), South Carolina is an easy and enchanting honeymoon destination.
Ready to book your Southern hospitality-fueled honeymoon? Here's what you need to know.
Is South Carolina Good for a Honeymoon?
Pros of a South Carolina Honeymoon
Because of the diversity of its cities and places, a South Carolina honeymoon can look like whatever you have in mind. If you love golfing but your spouse prefers history, you're in luck. Book nine holes in the morning, then spend the afternoon exploring historic homes and forts. The state offers some of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the East Coast, low-country cuisine that's earned national recognition, and five-star honeymoon resorts that are perfect for a romantic getaway.
Cons of a South Carolina Honeymoon
When you're in the South, it gets hot. That can be a positive or a negative depending on your preferences, but the summer humidity can definitely get oppressive—and it can last from April to October depending on the year. Most destinations (aside from Charleston) are not walkable, so you'll either need to drive to your destination or rent a car.
The Best Times of Year to Go on a South Carolina Honeymoon for Good Weather
As we just mentioned, summers are h-o-t. If you're booking a beach honeymoon on Hilton Head Island or Myrtle Beach, then that could be exactly what you're looking for. However, if you're planning on a trip to Charleston, Beaufort or another charming town, then you may want to avoid June through August for a more comfortable climate.
The holidays are also a wonderful time to honeymoon in Charleston. The city is decorated, and the ambiance is festive. It's like your own personal celebration.
Places to Visit in South Carolina for a Honeymoon
You'll find a range of cities and places to visit in South Carolina during your honeymoon. Combine a few into a road trip if you plan on spending more than a few days in the state.
Perhaps the most well-known honeymoon destination in South Carolina, Charleston is a favorite of travelers nationwide. Nicknamed the Holy City for its abundance of churches and early adoption of religious tolerance, Charleston was founded in 1670 and is a history buff's dream.
With over four centuries of stories waiting to be discovered, you could spend weeks exploring every nook and cranny of this city. From the Charleston City Market and Rainbow Row to the incredible fine dining in downtown Charleston and the surrounding beaches like Folly Beach and Sullivan's Island, couples will have no trouble filling an unforgettable itinerary.
A more laid-back and smaller town than Charleston, Beaufort is a relative spring chicken, founded in 1711. Here you'll find quaint Southern homes, incredible historic architecture and everyone's favorite romantic plant, Spanish moss, hanging from storied live oaks. Feast on low-country boils, go on a ghost tour and, if you're a Pat Conroy buff, tour the landscapes that inspired his writing. Explore Hunting Island State Park and the Hunting Island Lighthouse for an outdoor adventure through the secluded barrier islands.
Eating and staying active are at the top of your itinerary during a Greenville honeymoon. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this town is bursting with gorgeous vistas. Start your mornings off by biking the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, walking the Falls Park on the Reedy or exploring the Poinsett Bridge. Pop by the TD Saturday Market to take in the local scene. Then, start the day's menu by hitting various breweries, eateries and restaurants that boast accolades like James Beard-nominated chefs.
For an island experience in the continental US, Hilton Head is a palm-tree-filled paradise. When you're not sitting on one of the pristine beaches with a drink in your hand, you can spend your days biking around the island, kayaking, enjoying the impressive golf resorts or spotting wildlife in the 400-acre Sea Pines Forest Preserve. There's even high-end shopping for those looking to spend a day out of the sun.
This is where you go for the ultimate beach honeymoon. Sit back, relax and enjoy beautiful beaches, the sounds and smells of saltwater, and even the occasional alligator. You can also golf or explore Huntington Beach State Park nearby. Looking for a classic boardwalk experience? Plan a day trip to Myrtle Beach while you're in Pawley's Island—you can hit all your favorite beachside activities, from mini golf and Ferris wheels to catching a summer concert.
Things to Do During a South Carolina Honeymoon
Whether you're looking for low-key activities or outdoor adventures, you'll find it on your romantic South Carolina honeymoon.
Kick Back on the Beach
From surfer-friendly Folly Beach to laid-back Sullivan's Island, buzzy Myrtle Beach to relaxing Pawley's Island, luxurious Kiawah to pristine Hilton Head, there's no shortage of beaches to get your sandy fix.
Hit the Links
South Carolina is home to some of the most famous golf courses in the country, including The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island and the Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines in Hilton Head.
Brush up on History
There's no shortage of history in South Carolina. You could book a different tour every day, from the Aiken-Rhett House in Charleston to Fort Sumter, one of the first battle sites of the Civil War.
Indulge in the Foodie Scene
Charleston's awarded restaurants (check out Chef's Table episodes on Husk's former owner and chef Sean Brock and barbecue master Rodney Scott), Beaufort's delicious low-country cuisine and Greenville's burgeoning food scene will all delight foodie couples.
Best Hotels and Resorts in South Carolina for a Honeymoon
The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island
For a five-star resort experience, newlyweds can book one of the luxurious guest rooms at The Sanctuary. Treat yourself to days by the pool, a couples massage and dinner at one of the resort's South Carolina-influenced restaurants. Book the 3,000-square-foot Presidential Suite if you're feeling like a once-in-a-lifetime splurge.
This Beaufort waterfront boutique inn is not only steeped in history, but it's dog-friendly, too. That's a win-win for honeymooners who don't want to leave their beloved best friend at home. Impeccably designed, Anchorage 1770 offers a low-country experience rich in Southern hospitality, with spaces for relaxing and proximity to kayaking, shopping, exploring and more.
There's little that's more sophisticated than sipping an iced tea on Zero George's elegant back piazza. Wake up in one of the beautifully appointed rooms in this boutique hotel, then take one of their complimentary bikes for a spin around downtown Charleston before flexing your skills in the kitchen at their in-house cooking school.
The Westin Poinsett
Stay in the heart of downtown Greenville, which is filled with restaurants, bars and incredible outdoor spaces. You'll be just steps away from all of the bustling action that makes Greenville worth visiting.
The Inn & Club at Harbour Town
With elegant decor, lounge-worthy pools and the famed Harbour Town Golf Links, this 60-room inn is one of Hilton Head's most romantic weekend getaways. You can scoot into town for shopping and dining, or you can choose to spend your entire honeymoon relaxing right on the property.
The Dewberry Charleston
One of the newcomers to historic Charleston, The Dewberry is quickly making a name for itself as one of the coolest and most romantic places to stay. A mid-century modern building gives it a completely different vibe than anything else in the city, and it's a sophisticated sanctuary to serve as your home base for a Charleston honeymoon. You'll love unwinding here with a cocktail after dinner out.
Marriott's Grande Ocean
Discover a private weekend getaway with the two-bedroom villas available in Marriott's Grande Ocean resort in Hilton Head. This is the perfect place to totally unplug from it all after a busy wedding season. You'll have access to multiple pools, lawn games and pristine beaches.
What to Pack for a South Carolina Honeymoon
What you pack depends on which South Carolina honeymoon you book, but there is one item that remains consistent: sunscreen. You'll be outside, whether it's wandering cobblestone streets or relaxing beachfront, so the last thing you want is a sunburn.
If you go to Charleston, the vibe is dressier than your normal big city. Pack your sundresses, slacks and polos for both day and night, and don't be shy about pulling out heels and a hat. Charleston is a city with a sense of Southern formality, so lean into it while you're there. Throw in a lightweight cardigan or jacket for chilly restaurants or cool fall evenings.
Cities like Beaufort and Greenville aren't quite as dressy as Charleston, but wear your honeymoon finest if you'd like. For those staying at an oceanfront resort, bring along your bathing suits and coverups, as well as any active clothes you'll need for excursions like biking or kayaking.