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Home > Family Travel > Family Travel Guides > South Carolina Travel Guide


South Carolina Vacations Travel Guide


General Information

Baby Equipment Rentals - companies in South Carolina that rent baby gear and equipment including car seats, strollers, cribs and more

Family Resorts in South Carolina - resorts, hotels and other family friendly lodging

South Carolina Tourism - visitors information with maps, places to eat, accommodations, activities, what to see, calendar of events and more.



The Center for Birds of Prey
4872 Seewee Rd
Awendaw, South Carolina 29429
Phone: (843) 971-7474
Located just a few minutes north of Charleston. The Center for BOP is open to the public Thursday Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 5pm and its free for kids under 6. Under the umbrella of the nonprofit Avian Conservation Center, the Center for Birds of Prey and the Avian Medical and Oiled Bird Treatment Facility near Charleston, S.C., identify and address vital environmental issues through avian medicine, educational outreach and conservation initiatives. Situated on a 152-acre campus adjacent to the Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge and Francis Marion National Forest, the Avian Conservation Center and the Center for Birds of Prey combine medical care for injured birds, environmental education and scientific research. Thoughtfully designed display aviaries, two flight demonstration fields and a planned education, science and conservation building offer the public a chance to experience birds of prey in a natural setting and to better understand avian science and environmental conservation.

South Carolina Aquarium
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843) 720-1990
From coastal saltmarshes, Piedmont rivers, and rushing mountain streams to the still depths of the Atlantic Ocean, explore South Carolina's fascinatingly diverse aquatic habitats and get to know the ten thousand magical creatures--from colorful song birds to mysterious sharks; graceful rays to playful otters--that live in them.

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
I-126 at Greystone Blvd. (1 1/2 miles west of downtown Columbia)
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Phone: (803) 779-8717
Riverbanks Zoological Park & Botanical Garden, in Columbia, South Carolina, offers a relaxing, entertaining and unique educational experience for the entire family. More than 2,000 animals are housed in natural habitat exhibits that use psychological barriers such as moats, water, and light to create an environment free of bars and cages for animals. A seventy-acre Botanical Garden provides visitors with an opportunity to experience both native and exotic plant exhibits.

Greenville Zoo
150 Cleveland Park Dr
Greenville, South Carolina 29601
Phone: (864) 467-4300
The Greenville Zoo is located in Cleveland Park, near the downtown area. This zoo is home to more than 250 animals, including elephants, waterfowl exhibits and other exotic creatures.  Visitors will also find domestic critters like goats, reptiles, ducks and pot-bellied pigs.

Brookgreen Gardens
Pawleys Island, South Carolina 29585
Phone: (800) 849-1931 / (843) 235-6000
Brookgreen is the country's first sculpture garden where more than 500 works of American figurative sculpture are displayed throughout one of the most beautiful public gardens in the Southeast. In addition, the property contains wildlife and historical exhibits that reveal the distinctive life and land of Lowcountry Carolina. Brookgreen is consistently named one of the top five public gardens in the South by readers of Southern Living magazine, and is one of only twelve institutions in the country accredited by both the American Association of Museums and the American Zoological and Aquarium Association.


National Parks

Cowpens National Battlefield
Chesnee, South Carolina
Phone: (864) 461-2828
Cowpens National Battlefield commemorates a decisive battle that helped turn the tide of war in the South. On this field on January 17, 1781, Daniel Morgan led his army of tough Continentals, militia and cavalry to a brilliant victory over Banastre Tarleton's force of British regulars.  Visit the museum area of the Visitor Center, view the 8-minute fiber-optic map program and the 22-minute laser disk presentation on the battle. Walk the 1.25 mile interpretive battlefield trail, or drive the 3.8 mile auto tour road.

Congaree Swamp National Monument
Hopkins, South Carolina
Phone: (803) 776-4396
Hiking, primitive camping, birdwatching, picnicking, canoeing & kayaking, Ranger guided interpretive walks and canoe tours, nature study, and environmental education programs.

Kings Mountain National Military Park
Blacksburg, South Carolina
Phone: (864) 936-7921
Kings Mountain National Military Park commemorates a pivotal and significant victory by American Patriots over American Loyalists during the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. The battle fought on October 7, 1780 destroyed the left wing of Cornwallis' army and effectively ended Loyalist ascendance in the Carolinas.  Exhibits, history films and hiking in the park.

Ninety Six National Historic Site
Ninety Six, South Carolina
Phone: (864) 543-4068
The Ninety Six National Historic Site is an area of unique historical significance. The unusual name was given by early traders in the 1700's because they mistakenly believed it was the estimated number of miles to the Cherokee village of Keowee in the upper South Carolina foothills.  There is a hiking trail and exhibits.

Fort Moultrie National Monument
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina
Phone: (843) 883-3123
Fort Moultrie's history covers 171 years of seacoast defense, including the first decisive victory in the American Revolution and the firing onto Fort Sumter during the first battle of the Civil War. The third Fort Moultrie, built in 1809, stands today. By touring the fort, visitors can see how coastal defenses have evolved.

Fort Sumter National Monument
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina
Phone: (843) 883-3123
The first engagement of the Civil War took place at Fort Sumter on April 12 and 13, 1861. After 34 hours of fighting, the Union surrendered the fort to the Confederates. From 1863 to 1865, the Confederates at Fort Sumter withstood a 22 month siege by Union forces. During this time, most of the fort was reduced to brick rubble. Fort Sumter became a national monument in 1948.



Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
University of South Carolina Aiken
471 University Parkway
Aiken, South Carolina 29801
Phone: (803) 641-3313
Planetarium & Observatory both offering public shows and viewings.

The Charleston Museum
360 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843) 722-2996
Exhibits focus on early Native Americans, trade & commerce, the plantation system, African American contributions, and Civil War memorabilia. The Charleston Silver exhibit contains internationally recognized work by local silversmiths and includes objects dating from the colonial period through the late 19th century. An array of clothing, furniture, photographs, ceramics, tools, pewter, toys & games reveal a personal portrait of Charlestonians.

The Sandbox
An Interactive Children's Museum
18A Pope Avenue
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928
Phone: 843-842-7645
The Sandbox is a hands-on interactive museum filled with unique entertaining, and educational play areas to explore. Children can sail away on Captain William Hilton’s ship of discovery or find their Passport to the World in the international airport terminal with a plane ready for little pilots to fly.

The Children's Museum of South Carolina
2501 N. Kings Hwy.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29578
Phone: (843) 946-9469
The museum has collected a broad range of exhibits which appeal to everyone!  Their "Magic School Bus" is surrounded by general science activities to encourage experimentation and observation. There are exciting activities in "Bubble Mania", "Fairway Physics", "Children's Museum ER". "Stuffie", Aquariums, Microsoft computer center, the "Calling all colors" gallery, Beachcombing, and always lots of opportunities to create artwork to take home. They regularly have special events so you never know what neat things there will be to do!

Imagination Station
Wilson, South Carolina
Phone: (252) 291-5113
The museum is a hands-on science and technology center located in Historic Downtown Wilson, North Carolina. Imagination Station strives to stimulate interest in these areas with dynamic quality learning experiences. In other words, we make science fun!  We educate all ages, especially children, through interactive exhibits and programs. Imagination Station provides unique educational opportunities for all students and families.


Theme Parks, Amusement Parks & Water Parks

Family Kingdom & Family Kingdom WaterPark
3rd Avenue South
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577
Phone (Amusement Park): (843) 626-3447
Phone (Water Park): (843) 916-0400
Amusement Park: Myrtle Beach's most popular Amusement Park with over 30 fun-filled rides to choose from! Ride the largest all-wooden roller coaster and Ferris Wheel in the state of South Carolina. Enjoy a state of the art Log Flume, two Go-Kart tracks, bumper cars, and a historical carousel.
There is an interactive laser ride called the Pistolero Round-Up, a miniature Locomotive that winds its way through the park and under the massive roller coaster! For wholesome family fun, head to the "Kingdom"!
Water Park: Myrtle Beach's only oceanfront Water Park! There are three wet and wild water flumes, one with a 185 foot drop, plus two exhilarating speed slides, two intermediate speed slides, and a spacious 400 square foot Lazy River.
Children can enjoy splash pools with two refreshing rain trees, a uniquely designed waterfall, eight kiddie slides and a "gorilla" swing.

Myrtle Beach Pavilion, South Carolina - Rides of all types for every member of the family; speedpark with all types of go-cart rides for every age; a waterpark with all types of family water rides and pools; family golfing, shopping, shows, food and more.


Family Activities

If you know of a family activity in South Carolina, let us know and we will add it here.


Summer - Family Vacation Hot Spots (Beaches, Lakes, etc.)

Charleston, South Carolina - Discover a place where the past is still present. Where gas lit lamps flicker in warm southern breezes and cobblestone streets pave the way to intriguing boutiques and exquisite dining. Encounter story-telling attractions, pristine beaches and world-class golf in one destination that has been welcoming visitors for more than 300 years. Come to the South Carolina Lowcountry and let Charleston's rich past become a part of your family's history.

Harbison State Forest in Columbia, SC - Bounded along its northeastern edge by the Broad River, Harbison Environmental Education Forest encompasses 2,177 acres of forestland only nine miles from downtown Columbia. Its unique urban location makes Harbison one of the largest public greenspaces inside the city limits of a metropolitan area in the eastern United States. The forest has 18 miles of trails designed for walking, jogging, hiking and bicycling that range from moderately easy to difficult. A canoe landing located near the Broad River provides access for kayaks and canoes as a put in or take out from the river.

Fripp Island, South Carolina - Discover the Lowcountry's favorite oceanfront family resort. This uncrowded private island offers miles of beach, seaside pools, great golf, tennis, deep-water marina, leisure trails for biking or roller blading, restaurant gems, fun boutiques, children's camps and nature programs. Seaside simplicity is the motto - casual fun is the rule.

Kiawah Island, South Carolina - Escape to Charleston's luxurious resort islands and explore the beauty of South Carolina's sea coast. Discover treasures from the deep, let seagulls lull you to sleep on a sandy beach, stroll the long, quiet, paved paths - do everything, or do nothing at all!

Hilton Head, South Carolina - Experience the ultimate in resort vacationing on beautiful Hilton Head Island. Miles of unspoiled beaches, championship golf courses, unlimited tennis, fishing, boating, shopping, dining, and so much more!

Harbor Island, South Carolina
Phone: (803) 838-2410 / (800) 809-2410
Harbor Island, South Carolina is an intimate private island. The 2 ˝ mile beach is edged with rolling dunes and golden sea oats-the perfect stage to build sand castles or watch dolphins play. The rich ecology extends beyond the beach, too. Shady rookeries welcome 2,000 pairs of herons and egrets, and tasty blue crabs teem in tidal creeks that crisscross the marsh. In this setting, fun comes naturally. But do pack tennis rackets and golf clubs, since guests have full access to Beach & Racquet Club tennis courts, swimming pools and fitness center, and can arrange golf nearby.

Isle of Palms, South Carolina - Residents and vacationers alike are captivated by our barrier island. Miles of sandy beaches, pastel homes, and warm friendly people. The inspiration of nature combined with the passion of history in nearby Charleston embraces everyone who visits.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - beaches, golf, dining, shopping, entertainment, water and amusement parks and an endless list of fun family activities.

Lake Greenwood - Boating, fishing and camping.  Located 10 miles west of Greenwood, South Carolina off South Carolina State Route 72 / U.S. 221.

Lake Marion - Fishing, boating, swimming and camping.  Santee State Park lies just off I 95 at the south end of the lake off the South Carolina State Route 6 exit. Rock Pond state park is a little more secluded and is located at the lake's southern point.

Lake Moultrie - Boating, fishing, swimming and camping.  There are several recreational areas are on the northwestern and southeastern sides of the lake. Located off South Carolina State Route 6 just west of U.S. 52.

Lake Murray -  A popular recreational lake.  Boating, fishing, swimming, recreational water sports and camping.  Drether Island State Park features camping actually on an island accessible by car in its western fork.  Located off I 26 10 miles east of Columbia with various access points off U.S. 76.

Hartwell Lake - Hartwell Lake is a popular lake with many scenic areas.  Boating, fishing, skiing, nature walks, wildlife viewing and camping.  Several recreational areas and Sadlers Creek State Park are located towards the southeastern end of the lake.  Located on the South Carolina & Georgia Border along I 85. State Park is located off U.S. 29 just north of the border.

Zoos, Museums, National Parks, Theme, Amusement and Water Parks listed above.


Winter - Family Vacation Hot Spots (Ski Resorts, etc.)

Zoos, Museums, National Parks, Theme, Amusement and Water Parks and Summer vacation hot spots listed above.

If you know of a fun winter family vacation spot in South Carolina, let us know and we will add it here.


Helpful websites and services

If you know of a website or company that is helpful to families traveling to South Carolina, let us know and we will add it here.


Travel Specials & Vacation Packages

(specials are updated weekly)

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