Top 10 Romantic Getaways in South Carolina – Couples Vacation Ideas
Last Updated on January 31, 2023
Warm hospitality and Southern charm always come to mind when thinking about South Carolina. From its stunning beaches to the rugged scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains, South Carolina is the perfect place for a romantic couples vacation.
Rich in history and natural sights, there are plenty of things to do for every type of couple. Whether you are looking for a quiet beach getaway, a city break, or an outdoor adventure, you will find the perfect destination in South Carolina for couples.
Keep on reading to discover the top romantic getaways in South Carolina!
Related – 30 best couple vacations and romantic getaways in the US
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Known for its romantic atmosphere, Greenville is perfect for couples looking for some romance. Filled with cozy inns, intimate restaurants, cute streets to go for a stroll hand-in-hand, and parks for a romantic picnic – there are plenty of things to do for couples in Greenville.
Stroll around East Park Historic District looking at colonial-style homes. Visit one of the city’s many parks like Falls Parks, Cleveland Park, or Furman University Asian Garden. If you really want to visit the city like a local, you can go on a walking tour – foodies can take a breakfast tour to sample some local delicacies or a dessert tour for couples with a sweet tooth.
Active couples can go biking on The Swamp Rabbit Trail that stretches for 22 miles from Lake Conestee Nature Preserve to the city of Travelers Rest.
If you are there over the weekend, you can visit the local Flea Market, where you can buy fresh produce, crafts, and arts.
For a romantic dinner check out Larkin’s on the River or Passerelle.
One of the most romantic places to stay in Greenville is Pettigru Place B&B. With six bedrooms, a tasty breakfast, and private porches and fireplaces in some rooms, you might never want to leave the room. The hotel is also conveniently located near Main Street. Downtown, you’ll find plenty of quirky vacation rentals that will be perfect for a romantic getaway.
Beaufort is a charming Southern city conveniently located with plenty of things to do for couples looking for a romantic getaway.
Make sure to take a tour of the historic downtown to learn more about the city’s history and do some sightseeing (many movies have been filmed here!). If you have more time you can also take a tour to visit nearby South Carolina’s Sea Islands and discover the Gullah-Geechee culture.
Only 20-minute away from Beaufort, you will find Hunting Island State Park where you can go hiking or just enjoy some time at the beach – make sure to pack enough food and water.
In the historic district, you will find plenty of fine dining options, as well as cozy inns, charming bed and breakfasts, and nice vacation rentals. Anchorage 1770 is an ideal place to stay for couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway – the rooms are beautiful and the hotel features a garden and a terrace with an amazing view, as well as free breakfast and free bike rentals.
Lake Jocassee and Devils Fork State Park
Lake Jocassee, named by National Geographic as the “Destination of a Lifetime,” is perfect for a romantic getaway in South Carolina. Spend the day exploring the lake and swim in one of the lake’s many waterfalls. Make sure to drive to Jumping Off Rock to get a spectacular view of the lake and the gorges.
There are also plenty of hikes you can do within the park, the most popular one is the Oconee Bell Trail. It’s the perfect destination for couples who enjoy nature and want a quiet getaway, away from it all.
The area is filled with secluded cabins and cottages. You can check out Rustic Sunset Escape with a deck, outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, a chimney, and a hot tub.
Abbeville is a perfect vacation destination for couples, the city is adorable and perfect for a romantic weekend or vacation. There are also plenty of places to explore nearby.
Make sure to catch a show at the Abbeville Opera House located Downtown where you will find many shops and restaurants. History buffs can take a tour of the Burt-Stark mansion built in the 1830s and the place where Jefferson Davis convened his last war council.
Take a day trip to nearby Emerald Farm to discover life on a farm, learn to make candles and soaps, and sample some fresh produce.
For a unique experience, mine your own crystals in Diamond Hill Mine or go explore Lake Secession and Lake Russell. People who like hiking can also visit Calhoun Falls State Park.
A stay at The Belmont Inn is a must for couples, located right in the heart of downtown, this historic building is perfect for a romantic getaway.
Once a winter escape for high society notables, Aiken is a town full of Southern charm where couples will enjoy spending a few days – it’s a perfect destination for a romantic weekend. Stroll around town, sample some local food, and enjoy a quiet date with your better half.
Make sure to visit the Rose Hill Estate, where you can explore the gardens, listen to live music, and enjoy a delicious meal made with fresh and local produce.
Shop for handicrafts and produce at the local Aiken County Farmer Market (the oldest one in South Carolina!) and around the city center where you will find plenty of cute shops.
If you like performing art, you can catch a show at the AECOM Center for Performing Arts or the Etheredge Center.
Aiken Center for the Arts and Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum are also worth visiting – at the latter, you can catch a trolley ride and take a tour of the city to learn more about its past. You can also take an electric bike tour of the city for a more intimate experience.
Foodies will enjoy a wide variety of restaurants and cafés – don’t miss Takosushi, one of the most popular places in town, Magnolia Downtown, and Casa Bella Italian Restaurant. For drinks and entertainment, check out The Aiken Brewing Company, The Alley Taproom, and The Polo Tavern. Tasty breakfast options include Pardon My French Café, New Moon Café, and Auten’s.
A romantic trip to Aiken wouldn’t be complete without a stay at the famous Willcox, voted one of the top 15 Hotel Spas in the US by Conde Nast! The hotel is gorgeous and even if you are not staying there it is recommended to go for drinks, dinner, or a couples massage. When booking, make sure to check out their Romantic Getaway Package.
Charleston is often considered as one of the top romantic places in South Carolina (sometimes in America!), from its cobblestone streets to its cute architecture, romance is in the air. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway in South Carolina or for a longer vacation as there are many places to explore outside of the city.
Visiting Downtown and strolling around is a must while in Charleston, you can wander on your own, or take a walking tour – thrill-seekers will love taking a haunted night tour, foodies will enjoy a food tour of local markets and restaurants, while history buffs will appreciate learning about the city’s black history.
One of the top romantic things to do in Charleston is to go on a sunset cruise. Travelers on a budget can book a small-group catamaran cruise, where they can enjoy views of the city and watch marine wildlife while the sun is setting. Otherwise, you can book a private cruise and have a picnic on the deck (perfect for a proposal!).
For stunning scenery hike the short Morris Island Lighthouse Trail and explore the Cypress Gardens.
Take a day trip to visit some of the area’s plantations (some of the oldest in the state!) such as Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens, Drayton Hall, and Middleton Plantation. You can easily visit them on your own if you have a car or book a tour from Charleston.
When it comes to food and restaurants, Charleston has plenty of options, for a romantic fine dining experience, check out Circa 1886, often named as one of the best restaurants in the US. They serve southern dishes with a twist. The Charleston Grill is a great place to have dinner while listening to a jazz band. While Magnolias is perfect for soul food and brunch.
The city is filled with romantic hotels and vacation rentals that couples will love. For a luxurious bed and breakfast, check out the Andrew Pinckney Inn, one of the best locations in town, close to everything. For something more intimate and secluded, check out the stunning Zero George Street.
Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is the perfect destination for couples looking for a romantic beach getaway in South Carolina. Boasting 12 miles of coast, it’s a great place for a holiday. There are plenty of romantic things to do and places to visit to keep you busy for a while.
Take a day trip to the secluded Daufuskie Island to enjoy unspoiled nature and take a history tour to learn more about the island’s past.
You can also take a boat trip to see dolphins, go snorkeling, or explore the coast. For something extra romantic book a private sunset sailing trip – if you’re on a budget you can plan a romantic picnic on the beach or at a park.
Another great activity for couples is to go wine tasting. Island Winery offers daily tastings to sample local and international wine. If wine is not your thing there are a couple of breweries and distilleries in town as well.
Make sure to spend some time biking around the area as well as there are many trails leading to beautiful views. Adventurous couples can take a kayak tour as well to fully immerse in nature.
When it comes to romantic restaurants to go on a date, there are no shortages in Hilton Head. For water views and award-winning Lowcountry cuisine, check out Skull Creek Boathouse. Some of the most popular restaurants for couples in Hilton Head also include Alexander’s Restaurant & Wine Bar with its extensive seafood menu and wine list, and Sunset Grille featuring one of the best sunset views in the city.
From intimate inns to beachfront resorts to condos, you will find plenty of romantic accommodations on Hilton Head Island. Couples looking for a relaxing vacation will love the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort where you can enjoy the views and their incredible spa.
Westminster and Lake Hartwell
For couples looking for a relaxing retreat in South Carolina surrounded by nature and peace, Westminster is a great option, it’s perfect for a romantic weekend or a full-on vacation. Rent a secluded cabin by the lake and enjoy hiking, biking, and various water activities. Lake Hartwell is located at the door of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers plenty of adventurous things to do.
There are many outdoor activities to do in the area such as whitewater rafting, zip-lining, kayaking, and rock climbing. There are also plenty of hikes available for all levels, where you can reach scenic viewpoints and waterfalls.
For something more relaxing visit Chattooga Belle Farm where you can pick your own fruit or enjoy lunch at their restaurant.
If you want to stay in town, you can check out the Magnolia Manor Bed & Breakfast, where many weddings take place, and you’ll get why once you get there. For something more intimate and secluded, check out Lake Hartwell Area Cabin with a fireplace, fire pit, deck, and access to a swimming pool.
Couples looking for a secluded romantic getaway in South Carolina by the beach will fall in love with Pawleys Island. Less crowded than its neighbor Myrtle Beach, the island offers long stretches of unspoiled beaches, relaxing spas, and candlelit dinners while the sun sets in the background.
Pawleys Island is one of the oldest beach resorts on the East Coast, and it reflects on the architecture, with some houses dating back to the 1700s to the mid-1800s. Make sure to stroll around the historic part of town and visit Atalaya Castle, the former holiday home of Archer Huntington.
Nature lovers will enjoy a kayak tour of the nearby Huntington Beach State Park’s salty marshes as well as the Sandy Island Wildlife Preserve and the Waccamaw River Cypress-Tupelo Swamp Preserves.
You can also go on a boat trip to spot dolphins and explore the coast – or take a few surf classes.
For a romantic meal, check out Caffe Piccolo, featuring an intimate space with a fireplace and a menu offering fresh, local seafood and produce. Specializing in Southern classics and international cuisine, Chive Blossom Restaurant is one of the most popular restaurants on the island.
There are also a bunch of restaurants and bar with weekly live music like the Pawleys Island Tavern or the Dead Dog Saloon.
For accommodation, you will find a couple of chained hotels, but mostly apartment rentals. Check out Pawleys Island Condo or Paradise Point, both come highly recommended and feature everything you need for a pleasant stay.
Bordering the beautiful Savannah River, North Augusta is a perfect South Carolina getaway for couples looking for a blend of nature, Southern charm, and history.
Take a stroll through one of the city’s many parks like Brick Pond Park, a restored wetland with plenty of walking and biking trails and wildlife spotting opportunities. If hiking is your thing, make sure to walk the scenic 7-mile North Augusta Greeneway Trail that follows an abandoned railroad and the Savannah River.
Living History Park is another place worth visiting – it’s perfect for a romantic picnic. This living museum retraces the Revolutionary War period with various exhibits.
Outside the city, you can visit Phinizy Swamp Nature Park where you can walk through a boardwalk trying to spot birds and gators.
For a romantic place to stay, Lookaway Inn is a true hidden gem. Full of Southern charm, this quaint bed and breakfast features a beautiful garden and each room comes with its own patio. They also serve a delicious and hearty breakfast.
Check out our other vacation guides for couples and US travel guides:
- 20 Best Vacation Spots in the Southeast for your Next Getaway
- 16 Romantic Getaways on the East Coast for Couples
- Best places to visit in the USA during Christmas
- Best US National Parks to visit in summer
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