Dip your toes in the ocean. Hike to the peaks of mountains. Drench yourself in rich American history. Spot unique wildlife. And do it all while camping in South Carolina!
Camping in South Carolina is an unparalleled experience! With campgrounds easily accessible from the cities to secluded areas tucked away in the country, this state has everything an adventurer could want.
So gear up, campers, and let’s dive into the best places to go camping in South Carolina!
Best Campgrounds in Northern South Carolina
1. Cheraw State Park
Kicking off our list of best places to go camping in South Carolina is Cheraw State Park! From hiking the boardwalk to their championship golf course, the perfect balance of luxury and adventure warrants this state park a spot on this list!
Whether you’re a camper or a glamper, Cheraw State Park has your South Carolina camping trip covered. Stay at their fully-equipped (hot water and electricity) campsites with your RV, relax in one of their stunning cabins equipped with everything from air conditioning to Wi-Fi, or book one of their rustic tent sites.
Then mix up your camping adventure with some rounds of golf. With tournaments throughout the year, the greens are a great place for both spectators and players!
2. Croft State Park
Alert to all equestrians out there! If horseback riding is your jam, Croft State Park has to be next on your list of places to go camping in South Carolina!
Croft State Park, a retired army training base, covers 7,000 acres of hills and forest and is well known for its equestrian trails. Rent an overnight stall for your horse at a rate of only $13 a night.
Not a rider, but looking for some other entertainment and activities? Croft State Park hosts monthly horse shows and has stunning lakes and trails, plenty of picnic areas, and a playground to entertain the kids.
Also known for its meticulously clean campgrounds, Croft State Park was a shoo-in for a spot on this best camping in South Carolina list!
3. Devil’s Fork State Park
Devil’s Fork State Park is a water lover’s oasis.
As the only public access point to Lake Jocassee—a massive reservoir lake—swimming, boating, and fishing are all exceptional in the lake’s crystal clear waters.
With canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard rentals also on-site, campers will have no shortage of aquatic activities to do at this state park.
Feeling a little more adventurous? Scuba diving certifications are offered by local scuba shops for those willing to venture deeper into the sparkling waters.
And definitely don’t miss the stunning waterfalls, only accessible by boat or boat tour, at this South Carolina camping gem!
4. Kings Mountain National Military Park Camping in South Carolina
Now, let’s go back to October 7th, 1780, during the first major American victory after the British invasion of Charleston.
Well, that victory happened at Kings Mountain.
For all the history buff’s out there, Kings Mountain National Military Park is the place to go camping in South Carolina.
Walk along a paved trail that recounts the battle that occurred on the grounds during the revolutionary war. Take your time and stop at the monuments along the route and dial the park’s toll-free number on each marker to learn more about each stop—it’s well worth the listen!
And after a day of learning and strolling, camp at the quiet Garner Creek Campsite or the adjoining Kings Mountain State Park.
5. Lake Wateree State Park
Riverside and lakeside campgrounds, incredible fishing, and kid-friendly activities are what keep bringing campers back to Lake Wateree State Park. It’s also what scored the park a spot on our list of the 16 best places to go camping in South Carolina!
If you’re looking for a quintessential South Carolina camping experience, look no further.
Spend the day at Lake Wateree, taking the kids swimming in the shallow waters or climbing on the park’s newly installed playground.
For the fishermen and women out there, grab your South Carolina fishing license and get on the water to reel in some catfish, bass, and bream. Bring your own rod and reel, or loan them from the park!
Thinking of hosting a fishing tournament while on your trip? Contact the park beforehand to get it all arranged.
6. Table Rock State Park
Table Rock State Park is a hiker’s haven and your next South Carolina camping destination if you’re looking to get your steps in!
Known by campers for its challenging hikes, the Table Rock Trail at this South Carolinian state park ascends well over 2,000 feet to the summit of Table Rock Mountain.
This trail, and this park, should definitely be on your list of places to go camping in South Carolina for its panoramic views from the unique peak of Table Rock Mountain.
Best Campgrounds in Western South Carolina
7. Calhoun Falls State Park
Close your eyes and imagine the sound of quiet waves rolling softly as you drift to sleep.
With nearly every tent site on the waterfront of Lake Russell, lakeside camping at Calhoun Falls State Park is a must.
More fishing, boating, and swimming is available here, but the park is definitely known for its wonderful campsites!
Looking to get a sweat in while exploring the best camping in South Carolina? Don’t forget to pack your tennis racquet while you’re visiting Calhoun Falls and take full advantage of the courts available for visitor use.
8. Hickory Knob State Resort Park
Combine a remote and quiet camping location with resort-like amenities, and you get Hickory Knob State Resort Park!
Choose your own adventure here with the option to camp on one of their 43 sites or book a lodging room or villa.
Activities will never be in short supply while you’re camping at Hickory Knob, which is why this park is unquestionably a hit on this list!
Try your hand at axe throwing, archery, and skeet shooting while you’re on your camping trip. Or wake up early to play the park’s 18-hole championship golf course before setting off on an afternoon biking or hiking adventure!
9. Keowee Toxaway State Park
Looking for a secluded getaway while camping in South Carolina?
With only 14 designated tent sites, ten paved sites for RVs, and one lakeside cabin, Keowee Toxaway State Park is the perfect South Carolina destination for campers looking for peace and quiet.
Sometimes, campers are even lucky enough to have the whole place to themselves!
And, though the campsite may be small, the views are anything but! Take time from your peaceful getaway to hike the trails and soak in the breathtaking lake views.
10. Lake Greenwood State Park
Open water scenes are one of the first things you’ll see at Lake Greenwood State Park.
Family-friendly areas and multiple playgrounds are what you’ll find once you look.
And a rich history is what you’ll uncover if you dig a little deeper.
For all these reasons, Lake Greenwood State Park is on our list of best places to go camping in South Carolina!
Spend the day at the lake, then have the kids burn some energy on the playgrounds so you can enjoy your time visiting the small museum on-site.
This museum has a must-see interactive exhibit on the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program fundamental to the development of South Carolina’s state parks and founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Best Camping Close to South Carolina Cities
11. Congaree National Park Near Columbia, South Carolina
Congaree National Park is home to a bottomland hardwood forest that is the largest of its kind in the southeastern United States.
With stunning boardwalk trails that loop through the old-growth forest, this national park is a major go-to for lovers of biodiversity who want to experience the grandeur of the forest firsthand.
Camp at one of two campgrounds or, with a valid permit, try out some backcountry camping at a park only a half-hour drive from downtown Columbia, South Carolina!
12. Francis Marion National Forest Near Charleston, South Carolina
Great hikes and beautiful sites are what await campers less than an hour from Charleston, South Carolina at Francis Marion National Forest!
Explore the one-of-a-kind swampy wilderness or spend some time on the newly revamped Sewee Shell Ring Trail, which boasts a beautiful boardwalk and viewing platforms for forest sightseeing.
Shake things up on your South Carolina camping trip with some backcountry camping in this national forest by getting yourself a free dispersed camping permit!
13. Sesquicentennial State Park Near Columbia, South Carolina
Another one of South Carolina’s best camping spots lies just a half hour outside the state’s capital, Columbia.
Built during the great depression, Sesquicentennial State Park was donated to the City of Columbia in 1937.
Print out one of their scavenger hunts and take the quick drive from downtown for some family camping and fun! Spend a night or two escaping the city at one of their campsites and rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboat onsite for some peaceful time on the lake.
Being such an easy (and family-friendly) escape from the city, Sesquicentennial State Park obviously scores a place on the list of best camping spots in South Carolina!
Best Oceanfront Camping in South Carolina
14. Edisto Beach State Park
The entire southeastern side of South Carolina borders the Atlantic Ocean, so a camping list wouldn’t be complete without some amazing oceanside sites!
And at Edisto Beach State Park you can camp right next to the beach or explore the nearby seawater marshes!
With both tent and RV camping on the oceanfront, this park is ready to host your South Carolina camping adventure. Or, if you’d prefer, spend some time tucked away in one of the park’s seven salt marsh cabins, only 1.5 miles from the beach.
While you’re on your trip, if you’re lucky, perhaps you’ll even run across some loggerhead sea turtles hatching and making their way to the ocean!
15. Myrtle Beach State Park
Can you really say you’ve gone camping in South Carolina without fishing in the Atlantic Ocean?
Spend the day casting your line, strolling the boardwalk, picnicking at one of the many shelters, and admiring an unrivaled view of the Atlantic Ocean! Then retreat in the evening to a campground that offers amenities from electricity to laundry, or reserve one of the six cabins just 200 yards from the beach.
What are you waiting for? Head on over to this fishing favorite!
16. Huntington Beach State Park
I saved the best for last on this list of best places for camping in South Carolina!
Or did I? They’re all great, after all! You’ll just have to try them all, I suppose.
But Huntington Beach State Park is a stunning area that elevates the camping experience to the next level.
Wildlife is abundant at Huntington Beach, and campers might spot anything from nesting sea turtles to alligators while visiting! Birds are also incredibly abundant, with over 300 species flocking to the park, making this spot a bird watcher’s paradise.
Picnic, swim, boat, and surf fish all from this park that offers over 100 campsites. Hike on a boardwalk over a lagoon or trek to Atalaya—a magnificent Spanish-inspired castle built in 1931.
A state-wide favorite, Huntington Beach State Park, is calling your name! Find out everything the park has to offer in this handy guide, and start planning your trip today!
Camping in South Carolina Is Calling
Whether you want to explore castles and history, hike mountains and trails, or spend your time fishing and boating, camping in South Carolina offers extraordinary adventures for all ages!
So get excited, get your gear, and get moving because your excursion awaits!
Thank you so much for enjoying this list of the 16 best places for camping in South Carolina! For more camping just in the state just next door, check out this list of the 13 Best Places to Go Free Camping in North Carolina.