A South Carolina Honeymoon for an Escape You'll Both Love

Stroll along Charleston's Rainbow Row, indulge in delicious seafood or kick back and relax oceanside.
Myrtle Beach sunrise in South Carolina
Photo: Chansak Joe | Getty
Heather Bien - The Knot Contributor.
Heather Bien
Heather Bien - The Knot Contributor.
Heather Bien
The Knot Contributor
  • Heather contributes wedding, honeymoon, travel and relationship content for The Knot and WeddingWire.
  • Heather also writes for publications including Apartment Therapy, StyleBlueprint, MyDomaine, HelloGiggles and The Everygirl.
  • She holds a degree in Art History and Architectural History from the University of Virginia.
Updated Apr 30, 2024
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Here's the beauty of a South Carolina honeymoon: There's something for everyone within this US honeymoon destination. 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 great road trip honeymoon 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 plan your honeymoon in South Carolina? Here's what you need to know.

South Carolina Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    Pelicans flying over salt marsh at Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina near Beaufort
    Photo: Teresa Kopec | Getty

    Best Time to Honeymoon in South Carolina

    As we just mentioned, summers in South Carolina 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 some of the best times to visit Charleston for a honeymoon. The city is decorated, and the ambiance is festive. It's like your own personal celebration.

    Best weather: March to May, September to November.
    Festival highlights: The Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, one of America's major performing arts festivals, held annually in late spring. Food lovers will enjoy the Charleston Wine and Food Festival in early March, which celebrates the city's culinary scene. The Gullah Festival in Beaufort, which honors the rich cultural heritage of the Gullah people in May.

    South Carolina Honeymoon Planning Tips

    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.

    Before buying plane tickets, remember that 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.

    Entry requirements: You won't need your passport in South Carolina, but bring ID.
    Location: South Carolina is located on the southeastern coast of the United States. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the south and west by Georgia, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
    Currency: USD.
    Flight time to Destination: From New York City to Charleston or Columbia, flights are approximately 2 hours.
    Getting around: Renting a car is the most flexible and convenient way to explore South Carolina, especially if the itinerary includes multiple locations across the state. Major cities and tourist areas also offer public transportation options including buses and trolleys, particularly in Charleston and Columbia.

    Pro tip: Looking for more honeymoon planning advice? You can find travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for South Carolina honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

    Places to Visit on a South Carolina 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.

    Hilton Head, South Carolina
    Sean Pavone/Shutterstock


    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.

    Hilton Head

    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.

    Pawley's Island

    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.

    Best South Carolina Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    When it comes to South Carolina honeymoon accommodations, you won't find a shortage of amazing beach resorts and hotels. Here are our top picks.

    Church Street in South Carolina, Charleston
    Photo: Tetra Images | Getty

    Anchorage 1770

    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.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Zero George

    There's little that's more sophisticated than sipping an iced tea on the elegant back piazza at Zero George. 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.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    The Inn & Club at Harbour Town

    With elegant decor, lounge-worthy pools and the famed Harbour Town Golf Links, the 60-room Inn & Club 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.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    The Westin Poinsett

    Stay at The Westin Poinsett 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.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    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.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    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.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    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.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for more South Carolina honeymoon accommodations, consider staying at a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

    South Carolina Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    Whether you're looking for low-key romantic activities or outdoor adventures, you'll find it on your romantic South Carolina honeymoon.

    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

    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.

    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.

    Pro tip: Tickets to historic sites, outdoor activities in national parks and special water sports packages are perfect South Carolina honeymoon experiences to your gift registry.

    What to Pack for a South Carolina Honeymoon

    Huntington Beach State Park

    What you pack in your honeymoon luggage 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. Your packing checklist should include 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.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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