Why Camping at South Carolina State Parks Is a Wise Choice

Updated July 15, 2021
Three tents set up in the sand with the sun setting in the distance

South Carolina is a crown jewel of the southeastern ecological landscape. Thankfully, there are 47 state parks scattered across the highlands and lowlands to get a taste for all that the southeast has to offer, and one of the most popular ways to do so is by camping out at one of South Carolina's state parks. With over 3,000 campsites and thousands of recreational activities to choose from, South Carolina state parks are some of the premiere places to go camping in the American southeast.

The Immediate Appeal of South Carolina State Parks

According to Phil Gaines, a former director of the South Carolina State Park Service, explains some of the immediate appeal of South Carolina state parks to camping enthusiasts: "state parks are affordable, and most importantly, a great place to create and make memories that last a lifetime. Often these new memories remind us of memories of our childhood." High traffic parks like Myrtle Beach are often frequented by families, encouraging this intergenerational experience within the parks that keep visitors returning year after year.

Myrtle Beach State Park, South Carolina

Environmental Diversity Is One of Its Biggest Strengths

Gaines explains that South Carolina is "blessed with great diversity, the mountains, the lakes, and the coast." Unlike other states which have a singular environmental characteristic, South Carolina boasts coastal beaches, unbeatable views of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, and rolling hills in between. Take a dip in some waterfalls and scenic inland lakes or hike through the Appalachian Mountains during your stay in the South Carolina state park system.

Table Rock State Park in South Carolina

Camping in the Parks Is Easier Than Ever

Having invested substantially in updating their digital profile, South Carolina's state park campsites are easier to access and reserve than ever before. Currently, you can reserve one of the 3,000 campsites at 36 of their camping-friendly parks on their website or at a park location itself. Reservations can be made a year and a month in advance, but keep in mind that some of the parks require you to reserve a site for a minimum of two nights. While the parks system doesn't advertise their current rates, you can call a toll free number (866-345-7275) for each park's prices. Some of the top parks which you can reserve campsites at include Edisto Beach, Myrtle Beach, and Table Rock.

Beautiful dirt road surrounded by tall lush trees

There Are Accommodations for Everyone

Campers of all experience levels can enjoy the South Carolina state park system. You might be a die-hard camping purist who prefers primitive campsites or be a casual camper that wants the comforts of a cabin or villa. No matter your situation, South Carolina parks have campsites that will fit all of your needs. A number of the parks have RV designated campsites, tent campsite overflow, and a few even have campsites specifically designed for equestrians to bring their horses. Of the 36 parks that are equipped for camping, only these fourteen have the high-quality cabins/villas that non-traditional campers might be looking for:

  • Barnwell
  • Cheraw
  • Devils Fork
  • Dreher Island
  • Edisto Beach
  • Givhans Ferry
  • Hickory Knob
  • Hunting Island
  • Keoweee-Toxaway
  • Myrtle Beach
  • Oconee
  • Poinsett
  • Santee
  • Table Rock
Lake and Mountain in Table Rock State Park South Carolina

There's a State Park for Every Outdoor Activity

Given the fact that the South Carolina state park system is so vastly different from region to region, you will always be able to find a park to camp at which has your favorite activity. To narrow your choices down, here are a few of the types of campers there are and the parks that fit them best:

  • Love the mountains, hiking, and watching the leaves change colors? Head to Table Rock, Caesars Head, or Devils Fork.
  • Love the sand and surf and feeling the waves on your toes? Visit Myrtle Beach, Edisto Beach, or Hunting Island.
  • Love getting to take a stab at a new golf course? Play two of the championship courses at Hickory Knob or Cheraw.
  • Love spending equal amounts of time in nature and cities? Try exploring Sesquicentennial Park.
  • Love getting a history lesson with your daily dose of nature? Camp out at the Kings Mountain or Andrew Jackson state parks.

The Palmetto State Can't Be Beat

With its incredible biodiversity, modern amenities, and digital platforms, South Carolina's state park system is the parks system on the east coast to beat in terms of making camping a fun, inviting, adventurous, and memorable experience. Book your campsite with one of South Carolina's many state parks today.

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Why Camping at South Carolina State Parks Is a Wise Choice