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Best Cities in South Carolina

You want a city experience, and you’re looking at living in The Palmetto State. That means you are exploring the best cities in South Carolina. This round-up can help.

South Carolina has more than 20 beaches and natural beauty from mountains and forested state parks. Plus, the people of SC have a penchant for historic preservation, peaches, and pecans. Yet many of the best places to live in South Carolina are its cities.

Discussion around the best cities in South Carolina is sure to center around Columbia, Greenville, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach. Each of these has its own distinct personality. 

DYK? South Carolina was once proudly known as the Iodine State.

Considering Columbia, SC

Columbia is the state capital and offers history, arts and culture, sports, and natural beauty. The downtown is walkable while traffic is reasonable around the city too. Residents get to enjoy the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, distinct shopping districts, many museums, and high-quality restaurants of all types.

The city is home to the University of South Carolina, which adds a vibrancy to the area. US News and Reports described Columbia as “a traditionally Southern place with a modern twist. The abundance of oak, pecan, and magnolia trees help the region retain rural flavor, while the downtown skyline is representative of the state capital’s role as a growing industrial hub.”

Living in Greenville, SC

Greenville has seen a real boom in the past decade. In fact, it is the fastest-growing urban area in the state. The city has a vibrant downtown with hipster bars, trendy dining, art galleries, and a local theatre company as well as touring shows coming to the Peace Center. Plus, you can enjoy a dose of the outdoors at Falls Park on the Reedy River.

Sports fans can check out hockey at a 16,000-seat downtown arena, baseball (cheering on the Boston Red Sox-affiliated Greenville Drive), as well as hurling and soccer. And that’s not to mention the quality college and university teams that play in the area.

Making a Home in Charleston, SC

Founded in 1670, this port city is the oldest city in South Carolina. You can take a step (or horse-drawn carriage ride) back in time when exploring the city’s cobbled streets and antebellum houses. It’s beautiful year-round.

As we mentioned in our article on the Best Time of Year to Visit Charleston, the city “boasts year-round natural beauty, a world-class food scene, fascinating history, and outdoor fun along with southern charm.”

But you won’t only be visiting. You’ll want to find the best neighborhood for you. Also known as a “Holy City,” Charleston tops many lists for best places to retire in South Carolina.

Moving to Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach is the heaviest hitter among the many South Carolina coastal towns. Since this state has 187 miles of coastline, you end up with many options for beachfront living. Yet Myrtle Beach is the Mecca with so much to do. You can golf, go-kart, enjoy entertainment or try many different kinds of restaurants. Plus, outlet shopping is plentiful and you’re getting to live along the Atlantic Ocean’s sandy beaches.

Myrtle Beach is also appealing for those looking to retire to South Carolina. You can bet the family will come to visit as there is so much to do. Plus, active older adults can always find something to do (whether on land or in the water!).

Still in South Carolina

There are many great places to live in the south. Along with these best cities in South Carolina, other great places to consider in the state include:

  • Clemson — Home to Clemson University, a true college town.
  • Fort Mill — A suburb of Charlotte, NC, with affordable homes and many retail options.
  • Tega Cay — A suburb of Charlotte, NC, with waterfront living.
  • Lexington — A suburb of Columbia with lots of outdoor fun nearby.
  • Irmo — A Northwest suburb of Columbia bordering Lake Murray.
  • Isle of Palms — A tony suburb of Charleston.

Living in the South has a lot going for it. A temperate climate and being able to drive easily to the beach or the mountains are definite pluses. The cost of living in South Carolina is also appealing. And many find South Carolina a great place to retire due to its taxes — Social Security income is not taxable in the state.

South Carolina is sure to have what you’re looking for. Now, it’s just a matter of finding the right place to call home.

Saussy Burbank Charleston has homes for sale at Kiawah River on Johns Island, and Nexton in Summerville. Our Charlotte office also has homes across the border in South Carolina’s Fort Mill.

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