Top 10 Landmarks in South Carolina

Last updated on May 25th, 2021 at 08:17 am. Originally published on May 21st, 2021

What is a landmark?

From historic battlefields to colorful buildings to iconic beaches, South Carolina is steeped in history. If you’re looking for popular places to visit during your next trip to South Carolina, try a stop at some of these iconic landmarks.

What are some famous South Carolina Landmarks?

1. Congaree National Park

2. The Beaufort National Cemetery

3. Fort Sumter National Monument

4. Hunting Island State Park

5. Cowpens National Battlefield

6. Myrtle Beach State Park

7. Heyward-Washington House

8. USS Yorktown

9. Beaufort Historical District

10. Rainbow Row

South Carolina Landmarks

South Carolina is full of history and landmarks, here are 10 you can visit on your next trip.

1. Congaree National Park

Named after the Native American tribe that used to live there, Congaree National Park is South Carolina’s only national park. Full of forests, a swampy floodplain, and the Congaree River, the park has many hiking trails for all skill levels. There are also many programs put on by the National Park Service rangers such as educational hikes and tours and a canoe tour through the forest. The park is also a great place to bird watch and learn about owls through the Owl Prowl evening tours.

Things to do near Congaree National Park: The largest city closest to the national park is Columbia, which has many restaurants, museums, and attractions. We’ve got some great local RV rentals for you to check out.

2. The Beaufort National Cemetery

Those interested in military history will want to stop by the Beaufort National Cemetery. Located in Beaufort, this national cemetery was established by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Originally intended for Union soldiers who died in the nearby hospitals during the Civil War, the cemetery now has interments from both both Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War and the all Black Massachusetts 55th Volunteer Infantry. It now also has interments from all major American wars such as the Korean War and Vietnam War.

Things to do near Beaufort National Cemetery: This national cemetery is near Hunting Island State Park and the city of Beaufort, which are other landmarks on our list.

3. Fort Sumter National Monument

Located in the bay right outside Charleston is Fort Sumter National Monument. This fort marked the beginning of the American Civil War with the Battle of Fort Sumter in 1861. Visitors can take a ferry to the fort and explore both the grounds and the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center. The site is run by the National Park Service and there are multiple tours and experiences that teach visitors about the history and origins of the fort.

Things to do near Fort Sumter National Monument: There’s plenty to explore in Charleston! We’ve put together a local’s guide with tips on what to see and do. There are also some great local RV rentals nearby.

4. Hunting Island State Park

With over 5,000 acres of low country marsh, maritime forest, saltwater lagoon, and beachfront, Hunting Island State Park should definitely be on your list of places to visit. Not only can you hike, swim, and kayak, but this state park is also home to a 130-foot tall lighthouse. In fact, it’s the only lighthouse open to visitors in South Carolina. There are also great campgrounds at and around the state park, so it’s a fantastic place to park your RV and explore the area for a few days.

Things to do near Hunting Island State Park: You’re near Beaufort, South Carolina so it’s an easy trip to see both Beaufort National Cemetery and Beaufort’s Historical District. Here are some local RV rentals to check out.

5. Cowpens National Battlefield

Another battlefield is on the list, but this time it’s from the Revolutionary War. Cowpens National Battlefield preserves and teaches about the American victory over the British at the Battle of Cowpens in 1781. The battlefield has a visitors center with a museum dedicated to the American Revolution and this battle, as well as walking tours of the battlefield and the reconstructed log cabin of Robert Scruggs, the previous owner of the land. And yes, it is named after actual cow pens.

Things to do near Cowpens National Battlefield: On the northern side of the state, this battlefield is between Greenville, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina.

6. Myrtle Beach State Park

Myrtle Beach State Park offers visitors more than just the beach! While the ocean is the star of the show and offers plenty of things to do such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and surfing, there’s many other things to discover. From hiking and walking along the pier to educational programs for kids put on by the park to wildlife sightings, it’s the perfect place to spend a few days. And there are campsites inside the park (many even have hookups!) making it an RVer’s choice destination.

Things to do near Myrtle Beach State Park: If you can drag yourself away from the water, explore the rest of Myrtle Beach. We have a local’s guide with great tips on what to see, do, and eat. And here are some local RV rentals to check out.

7. Heyward-Washington House

This historical house in Charleston was the home of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and was where George Washington stayed when he visited the city. The home of Thomas Heyward, Jr., this house was built in 1772 and is now run by the Charleston Museum. The property is open for tours and includes the house, carriage house, formal gardens, and has the only 1740s kitchen building open to the public in Charleston. There are also children’s exhibits and a family and kids tour that teaches about the history of the home and area.

Things to do near the Heyward-Washington House: You’re right in the middle of Charleston, so explore the city, Fort Sumter, and the next landmark on our list.

8. USS Yorktown

The USS Yorktown is an aircraft carrier that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War before being decommissioned in 1970. It was also used as the recovery ship for the Apollo 8 space mission and has been in several films. Today the ship is a designated National Historic Landmark and is a museum ship at Patriots Point Naval and Military Museum in Mount Pleasant. Visitors can tour the ship and even spend the night as part of the experience. As part of Patriots Point visitors can also see the other museum ships and multiple military history exhibits.

Things to do near the USS Yorktown: You’re just across the bay from Charleston and outside Mt Pleasant, so there’s plenty to explore!

9. Beaufort Historical District

Beaufort Historical district is the historically preserved part of the city of Beaufort. Located on Port Royal Island, Beaufort was one of the towns occupied by Union soldiers during the Civil War and as a result, many of the original buildings were preserved instead of being destroyed during the war. The Historic District features more than 50 homes and buildings that have been restored and are available to see on walking tours, bus tours, and even horse-drawn carriage tours.

Things to do near Beaufort Historical District: The Beaufort National Cemetery is right outside town, and you’re not too far from the border of Georgia if you want to visit Savannah and the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.

10. Rainbow Row

Charleston is full of historical landmarks, but we’ve chosen a slightly more modern one to include on our list. These 13 colorful historic houses on East Bay Street are called Rainbow Row for the variety of pastel paint colors. While the buildings themselves are historic, in the 1930s members the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings (now the Preservation Society of Charleston) bought some of these houses and began to paint them pinks, blues, greens, and other pastel colors. It’s become one of Charleston’s most photographed spots in the city, so swing on by for that perfect Instagram shot.

Things to do near Rainbow Row: Check out the rest of the Charleston landmarks on our list and explore the rest of the city with our local’s guide. And if you need an RV, we’ve got you covered with local rentals.

Planning an RV trip to South Carolina

An RV trip is an excellent way to tour the amazing natural and popular of landmarks in South Carolina, and we’ve got all the resources you need to plan a perfect vacation.

Here are guides to some of the best South Carolina state parks, as well as all the national parks in the country. We’ve also got you covered when it comes to picking the best campgrounds and RV rentals.

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