Best Places to Camp in South Carolina

South Carolina campgrounds are the perfect vacation spot for travelers and locals who want to take advantage of the state’s natural beauty and prolific opportunities for outdoor sports. Thanks to the mild climate, most campgrounds remain open all year. Visitors may prefer RVs and comfortable cabins to tents during the coldest months, but the possibilities for exploring the state’s lakes, trails and mountains never end. In fact, winter months can bring opportunities for sports not available during the summer. 

As with planning a trip to one of the state’s many fascinating cities, the worst thing about camping in South Carolina tends to be choosing between the abundance of attractive options. Campgrounds near Charleston, SC and other cities offer visitors the chance to explore the wilds during part of their trip and enjoy the historical and urban attractions of the city on alternate days. On the other hand, camping on the state’s lakes provides a serious get-away from the bustle of daily life. Whichever camping experience you’re in the mood for, South Carolina has the perfect campground for you!

Charleston

Charleston campgrounds provide visitors with the best of all worlds. Close to the city, they enable visitors to sample the shopping, shows and delicious dining Charleston offers, then retreat into the soothing, restorative beauty of the beach or woodland. While there are arrays of small campgrounds in the area, a few stand out as great places to start for newcomers to the area. 

James Island County Park

With over 640 acres of space, this year-round park features camping sites for tents and RVs as well as comfortable cottages for rent. You’ll want to make reservations early, however, as this family friendly park located a convenient distance from the city fills up fast.

Oaks Plantation Campground

Family owned and operated, this pet-friendly park has its own pool and convenience store. It is also ideally located for travelers who want to hit the beach and relax during their stays.

Charleston Woodlands

A privately-owned 6,000-acre nature reserve, the Woodlands features 11 lakes and unparalleled opportunities for outdoor sports and immersion in nature. Its facilities are ideal for travelers interested in hosting get-togethers or events with others during their stays.

Edisto Beach State Park

One of four state parks positioned directly on the ocean in South Carolina, Edisto Beach is ideal for hikers and bikers, as well as for travelers interested in exploring the state’s Native American history. Campsites and cabins are available at this lovely site that combines stretches of oceanfront with lovely sea-side forest. Features include more than four miles of ADA accessible trails and 1.5 miles of beach for visitor use. 

Myrtle Beach

Camping at Myrtle Beach State Park can be an attractive and cost-effective way to visit the popular vacation destination for families traveling with children. Cheaper than most hotel rooms, campsites enable to families to save money by bringing and preparing most of their own food, as well.

Of course, it isn’t just the cost savings that make camping here so appealing. Campgrounds provide plenty of outdoor space for energetic children and pets to safely burn off energy and offer opportunities for kind of relaxation and bonding that only seem to occur under the open stars beside a campfire.

Myrtle Beach is a favorite among South Carolina state parks camping options in no small part because the park has almost a mile of beachfront available for campers’ use. It also has a fishing pier, hiking trails, picnic facilities, playgrounds, cabins and even two apartments for rent. Tents and RVs of all sizes are welcome and accommodated. Both dogs and horses are allowed on the park’s beach although some restrictions apply, particularly during peak seasons. 

In addition to being a great campground, the park is home to a Nature Education Center which hosts interactive nature programs for visitors of all ages. Guests can explore static exhibits, engage with live captive animals and learn about the regional habitat and the wildlife it supports. 

Favorite Lakes 

Not all of the best South Carolina campgrounds for travelers who love camping by the water are set oceanside. Some are set around the state’s impressive lakes, instead. Two, in particular, stand out as stellar options for visitors just getting their feet wet with camping in South Carolina. 

Lake Jocassee

 Located in Devil’s Fork State Park, 7,565-acre Lake Jocassee is tucked against the mountains and home to some of the best fishing in the state. Large and clear, the lake attracts fishermen, especially those angling for trout, and scuba divers and swimmers. Visitors who prefer to keep dry can enjoy the park’s nature trails and hunt for the rare wildflowers known to pop up in the area.

Lake Jocassee camping can be as rustic or luxurious as you like. Devil’s Fork has more than 80 campsites for tents and RVs, and 20 lakeside villas for those who prefer to “camp” in style and comfort. For the truly adventurous and water-loving, there is a boat-in campground that can only be reached by water.

The site has all the amenities you would expect, including restrooms with hot showers, water and electrical hookups, picnic tables and fire rings, a dump station and laundry facilities. Leashed pets are permitted in most of the park, as well.  

Lake Keowee

 Not far from Lake Jocasse, Lake Keowee in the Keowee-Toxaway State Park offers some of the most beautiful scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains that campers could ask for. Perfect for fishing and hiking, Lake Keowee camping is somewhat exclusive. The campground has only one cabin and a total of 24 campsites for tents or RVs. It has a generous ratio of pavilions to sites, however, and more than five miles of walking trails, making it perfect for families and gatherings.

Visitors can expect all the usual amenities. Backcountry campsites are available for group use, and leashed pets are allowed in most park areas. However, camping in RVs beyond 40 feet in length is discouraged due to the dimensions of the campground’s roadways.