South Carolina

Best Small Towns in South Carolina 2019

South Carolina has it all: scenic beauty, local color, history, a beautiful Atlantic coastline and character. It is among the original 13 colonies. Many American families choose to vacation in the South’s charming towns thanks to the amazing climate, good food, beaches, mountains, country hospitality, and other appealing qualities. After reading reviews from visitors, checking out authority rankings, and interviewing residents, here is our list of the most gorgeous and charming small towns to live in South Carolina 2019.

1.    Beaufort, South Carolina

This is one of the best small towns to live in the South. Beaufort is located on the southern side of the Palmetto State. It was founded in 1711 by the British, where it later became a destination for plantation owners before the civil war – a shipbuilding center as well. Beaufort is the second-oldest city in South Carolina after Charleston. This beautiful town is well known for its well preserved early to mid-19th and 18th century building.

According to the U.S. Census and expert insight, Beaufort is ranked among the best places for retirees, the best city for outdoor activities, the healthiest city in South Carolina.

The main attractions in this city include the beautiful waterfront and a cultural scene known for hosting a large variety of water sports and lots of festivals annually. The National Geographic recently listed Beaufort among the greatest waterfront adventure towns. This southern town is also home to the Penn Center, a former school for freed slaves which is now a culture and history  attraction. Visit Beaufort and make sure you spare enough time to truly take advantage of the lovely things in this city.

2.    Greenville SC

Greenville is a great city with numerous activities that you can engage in with friends and family. The city has one of the fastest growing population and economy. It boasts a great downtown with numerous natural and cultural attractions. The low cost of living and a mild temperatures are just a few of the many things that make Greenville a desirable place to live by many. Greenville South Carolina is located just a few miles away from the mountains which make it ideal for nature enthusiasts.

Greenville has a lot of parks, shops, restaurants, and other amenities. Majority of its residents are young professionals who tend to have moderate political views. Whether you’re looking for a place to visit, retire, or live in with your family, Greenville SC is no doubt one of the best hubs for charming southern living.

3.    Georgetown

Georgetown is the third oldest town in South Carolina. It began as a Spanish colony in 1526, before being named ‘Charles Town’ by English colonists in 1670. It later became Georgetown in 1729 after plans were drawn for a city laid out of the grid system. Majority of historic sites in the town are awash with heritage buildings.

Golf, water sports, antiques, art galleries, festivals, and nature are some of the best getaway activities here. Whatever your pleasure is, Georgetown has it all. Many families have been vacationing along the Hammock Coast. Georgetown is constantly adding to new business and growing. It also has a beautiful and a great little downtown square, and schools here are among the best in this side of South Carolina.

According to the U.S Census and expert insights, Georgetown is rated among the best places to retire, live and raise a family. The best place to be in Georgetown is the downtown area, which features a waterfront and oaks that provide shades and create a peaceful environment. Walk around the city and get a feel for the 18th century Kaminski House Museum.

4.    Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach is a very affluent community that is among the best to live in South Carolina. It is a bedroom town mostly for travelers headed to nearby Charleston. Edisto Beach comes across as an excellent coastal vacation destination, and is laden with parks, coffee shops, stores, bars and restaurants. Most of the residents here are retirees and own their own homes. The city has continued to grow since Spanish colonialists settled here in the 16th century.

This Southern town has State parks for camping and hiking, and the area also has accessibility to biking and walking trails to accommodate different outdoor preferences. You can visit the Bay Creek Park to enjoy the art and craft fair.

5.    Newberry

Newberry is a city in South Carolina located just a few miles northwest of Columbia. It is known for its rural beauty and great history that is beautifully preserved. Newberry has about thirty five properties that contribute to its history. The historic real estate here includes the Old Courthouse and Newberry Opera House – where famous and popular local organizations, theater companies, and popular artists offer live performances.

Newberry also has a popular and beautiful park adjacent to the Opera House. The historic downtown district in Newberry is a center for local trade, culture, and government. Neighbors meet regularly for enjoyment, business, the community festivals and events.

6.    Landrum

Landrum city was founded in 1880 and incorporated in 1883. The town is located near the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Residents here tend to lean conservative. According to U.S Census, Landrum is ranked among the best places to buy a house and raise a family in South Carolina – among other things. This is also one of the cheapest places to live in the south. Local public schools are ranked among the best, and the city is considered to be a very safe area to live in.  

Dining in the city’s quaint eateries, shops, as well as unique antiques are some of the things most residents and visitors here enjoy. Landrum city offers many events where they sponsor activities such as carriage rides, horseback riding, hiking, and cycling. There are plenty of golfing opportunities within this Southern town. Water enthusiasts can have a good time at Lake Bowen and Lake Lanier.

Landrum is home to charming historical sites, friendly people, great attractions, and beautiful scenery. Residents enjoy a great quality of life, and have a variety of housing options to choose from!

7.    Hilton Head Island

Also known as Hilton Head, this town is a great place to visit in the South. If offers many different types of sports including tennis, volleyball, polo, championship golf, and more.  If you’re a sporting buff, this is no doubt the best Southern town for you to live in.

There’s a Disney Vacation Club Resort within Hilton Head Island, and the town also offers a variety of wildlife including manatees, sea turtles, as well as dolphins. The Coastal Discovery Museum in Head Island is the place to be if you’re looking to learn more about the region’s biodiversity. For people who would like to bike, walk, or sit in the sun on sand, Coligny Beach Park is the place to be.

8.    Walhalla

Walhalla is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains within Oconee County, South Carolina. The city is few miles from Clemson University in Clemson. It was founded by the German settlers in the 1800s. Public schools here are above average, and majority of residents tend to lean conservative.

Walhalla city is ranked among the best places to live in the south – with a low cost of living and numerous amenities. The schools here are not as crowded as with other parts of South Carolina.

9.    Clover

Located in York County, Clover is among the best places to live in South Carolina. This town has a population of about 5,731 people, with the majority of residents owning their homes. For parents with school going children, the schools here are highly rated.

Clover is also among the most diverse Suburbs in South Carolina, with peaceful neighborhoods, shopping options, restaurants, bars, entertainment, as well as dining opportunities. If you’re looking to settle down in a Southern town with a historic ambiance and numerous antique shops, Clover is the place to be.

Clover has a popular Nature Center which acts as a gateway for the McDowell Nature Preserve. This center is also used for education programs on the fauna, flora and natural communities, and as a research center. Visitors get to enjoy various recreational activities inside the preserve such as hiking, fishing, and canoeing, among other things. Visit Clover and enjoy the natural beauties around you at the National Wildlife Federation certified Backyard Habitat Garden.

10. Aiken

Aiken is a beautiful small town with iconic oak canopies, equestrian culture and a historic trolley tour down the streets. Aiken became a popular destination thanks to wealthy Northeasterners who spent their winters here around the end of the 19th century.

Visit Aiken and walk in Hitchcock Woods – spanning over 2000 acres of suburban forest. Horse riders are popular in this town due to well-equipped equestrian training facilities. The streets are tree-lined and feature many other charms. The environment is safe for families and neighborhoods are very friendly.

Aiken is a great place to live since it is quiet and peaceful. There are plenty of opportunities and activities for kids to do as well.


Have you lived or visited any of the South Carolina small towns on this list? Let us know what town appealed most to you!