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4 Beautiful Small Towns in South Carolina Everyone Should Visit

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Looking for something new to do this summer? Take a road trip around South Carolina and visit some of the most beautiful little small towns the state has to offer.

These small towns are a throw-back to a simpler time. Think Mayberry! Take the road less traveled for a glimpse into South Carolina’s past, present and future. Shop for antiques in quaint downtowns, cool off with a raspberry sweet tea that’s been brewed to perfection or uncover what may be tomorrow’s fashionable underground hotspot. In undiscovered South Carolina, it’s all here.

Small Towns in South Carolina

small towns in south carolina

McClellanville

McClellanville is just a short 30 minute drive from where I live. Just a short 30 minute drive to go back in time!

McClellanville village began in the late 1860s when local plantation owners A.J. McClellan and R.T. Morrison sold lots in the vicinity of Jeremy Creek to wealthy plantation owners. The first store opened soon after the Civil War, and the village became the social and economic center for a wide area that produced timber, rice, cotton, naval stores, and seafoods. Incorporated in 1926, McClellanville became, and remains, best known for its shrimping fleet and seafood industries.

McClellanville is tiny with a population of about 500. McClellanville is a quaint fishing village located on the coast of South Carolina. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town is a place where fishing, shrimping and oystering are a way of life!

Once a coastal retreat for wealthy rice and indigo planters, historic McClellanville, SC, happily embraced its 20th century makeover as a fishing village. And with it, the simple lifestyle and laid-back vibe it offers.

You’ll want to have plenty of time to get out and explore the historic district in McClellanville. The breathtaking tree-lined streets are gorgeous. There are many public buildings here to explore, and a few opportunities to grab a cold drink and something to eat.

Historic clapboard homes shaded by grand oaks line the town’s main corridor. You can browse through the handful of shops and then have lunch at T.W. Graham & Co., which features a menu of dishes made with the harvest from the chef’s own crab pots.

Pendelton

When it comes to preserving South Carolina history, Pendleton is all in. More than 50 buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries remain in the town or just outside the town limits. This entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places. You have to visit Palmetto Moonshine Zoo on the Roof after you tour the Farmer’s Hall which is the center of the town square. Also, don’t skip the Clemson Little Theater and the Agricultural Museum.

The Pendleton Historic District, consisting of the town and its immediate surroundings, was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1970. Particularly notable historic buildings on the Pendleton town square include Farmer’s Hall and Hunter’s Store, which is currently the headquarters of the Pendleton District Historical, Recreational and Tourism Commission. Near Pendleton are the historic plantation homes Ashtabula and Woodburn.

With a population under 3,000, Pendelton is truly a small town.

For centuries, the land that is now Pendleton was the territory of the Cherokee nation. After England claimed South Carolina as a colony, the Cherokee traded with the British. During the first half of the 1800s, wealthy families built homes in Pendleton. These homes were built as a summer vacation spot for the low-country plantation owners. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1789–1865) built Woodburn Plantation in 1830. Later, the Adger family, a wealthy family from Charleston, expanded the plantation to over 1,000 acres (400 ha) and enlarged the house to over 18 rooms.

Bluffton

Bluffton, where the historic meets the hippy scene. Bluffton is filled with beautiful homes, historic churches, and a poppin’ art scene. Bluffton is a beautiful coastal town with unspoiled marshes, stunning sunsets, and warm and friendly locals.

Bluffton’s quirky side shines with its own blend of genuine hospitality and artistic eccentricity. Bluffton fills the soul of the traveler with a sense of place that not only captures the charm of a time past, but also brings it full circle into the present.

As you stroll Bluffton’s tree-lined streets, you’ll discover a quirky, artistic small town that’s full of interesting characters, fascinating history, cultural gems, and Southern charm. The restaurants in Bluffton offer some of the best food you’ll ever experience.

Although Bluffton has a population of over 230,000 it hasn’t lost any of it’s small town, South Carolina charm.

Clover

Clover is a charming little place just south of North Carolina. Their main attraction is the fact that they are just minutes away from Carowinds, but that should be a bonus. Clover has a great downtown area full of shopping, antiques, and restaurants.

The village of Clover began as a railway stop in 1876, midway between Yorkville, and modern-day Gastonia, North Carolina, when the first railroad tracks were laid through the northern section of the county. Today the town is home to just over 5,000 people. According to local lore, the overflow of water from the railway’s water tank fertilized a patch of clover, and the stop was called “the clover patch.” The town was officially incorporated in 1887. It later became the home of several cotton mills, many of which operated until after World War II.

When you take a trip through South Carolina you will have the opportunity to see beaches, mountains, streams and more! It’s a state full of surprises for visitors.

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