The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (2023)

writtenNatalie Waring-Davies

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (1)

Your family can have a great camping weekend at South Carolina's best state parks!

While South Carolina is best known for its beaches near Charleston and rolling hills near Greenville, the state is also a hidden gem for camping.

South Carolina's state park system is amazing, offering clean, manicured natural campgrounds from the Atlantic Seaboard to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As a native of South Carolina, my family has had the opportunity to camp throughout the state. So you know these tips come from real experience.

All of the recommendations below offer camping options for both tents and RVs. So no matter how you want to spend your outdoor weekend, you have something to offer.

Pack your tent or RV and get ready for your next camping trip in South Carolina!

This post contains partners. If you buy from the links below I will charge you a free commission.

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (2)

The best state parks for camping in South Carolina

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (3)

Located in central South Carolina, this campground is popular for its two lakefront campgrounds.

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (4)

There are 97 paved sites for RVs and tent campers and 15 sites for tent campers only.

When you settle into a campsite, you feel like you're miles away from anything.

The entire state park sits on a small island in the middle of Lake Murray, so you can relax without venturing too far.

(Video) How to Camp at a South Carolina State Park | Go For It

While hiking opportunities are limited in the park, the real star is the lake itself.

You can fish for bass, bass, perch and trout with other campers or spend a relaxing day kayaking or canoeing on the tranquil lake.

On hot and humid days, jump into the lake next to the camp to cool off!

Columbia, South Carolina is the state's most popular city, so you're sure to have a perfect time at the lake.

What's near Dreyer Island?

Columbia, South Carolina is less than an hour from Dreyer Island State Park, so it can be lively during a University of South Carolina home game.

If you are coming in autumn we strongly recommend booking in advance as campsites are often full.

It's also an easy day trip from South Carolina's only national park! Check out oursDirections Congaree National ParkWays to plan your time there.

Why Dreyer Island State Park is great for camping

  • Campsite by the lake

  • The camp canoe/kayak is launched

Create the perfect camping environment for your family with this comprehensive guidePop-up campers and caravans

The two on-site campsites offer two tranquil and unique camping options.

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (5)

EsBeach campgrounds at Edisto Beach State ParkOffers the only beachfront campground in all of Charleston County.

Locations 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 13 and 40 are just a few steps from the beach.

These are very popular, so book well in advance!

EsLiving oak stockIt is about 2 miles inland from the beach but features mature oak trees overgrown with Spanish moss and marshland.

If you prefer swamp views, choose stops 112-114, 116, 118, 120, 122, 124-125, and 126-130.

VicinityEdisto Environmental Education CenterAccessible from Live Oak Campground, hike the Native American Shell Loop Trail from the campground.

Follow the 1.7 mile Spanish Mount Trail to the 0.4 mile Big Bay Trail at the campground for an afternoon of eco-learning!

What is near Edisto Island State Park?

Edisto Beach has been a favorite of Lowcountry families for decades, and this sleepy island community is a destination in itself.

there are manyActivities on Edisto IslandFrom the Edisto Serpentarium to the weekly art fair.

If you need more stimulation, return to Charleston, the journey takes approximately 45 minutes.

Try one of the following activities or explore one of the manyGreat hiking trails in Charleston.

Why Edisto Beach State Park is great for camping

  • tranquil island style,

  • Swamp and coastal locations

  • horizontal place

  • Hiking trails for children

Huntington Beach State Park

Start your day on one of Grand Strand's least crowded beaches and end the night while watching the stars twinkle over your campsite.

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (6)

Huntington Beach, one of South Carolina's four shoreline parks, is a special place to stay.

Most of the remaining beaches in the Myrtle Beach area are hotels and high-rise condominiums, but the park offers up to 3 miles of undeveloped and mostly pristine beach access.

(Video) South Carolina's Best Kept Secret! Edisto Island (AMAZING RV Camping)

After touring the beach, take the short, flat Sandpiper Pond Trail.

This 2-mile hike is perfect for younger hikers interested in seeing gnarled oaks, egrets, alligators, and snakes along this inland stretch of forest.

Choose from two on-site campgrounds: Northern Campground and Southern Campground.

EsThe north camp is largerThere are 2 large loops.

Odd-numbered sites between 1 and 33 are closest to the beach but do not overlook the beach due to the presence of larger erosion walls to protect vulnerable ecosystems.

withinsouth campLocations 156F-174F are on the street closest to the beach and locations 166F and 167F are directly on the beach access.

Again, due to the protection of the embankment, there is no view of the beach, but there is plenty of sea breeze.

Don't forget to explore the beautiful historic Atalaya building, which was once the beach house of a wealthy philanthropist and sculptor.

What is near Huntington Beach State Park?

Just across Hwy 17 from Huntington Beach State Park are the incredible Brookgreen Gardens.

When the area was still owned by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, both State Park and Brookgreen Gardens were part of a vast estate.

Anna Hyatt Huntington is an accomplished sculptor, many of her works can be seen at Brookgreen Gardens.

There is also a children's playground, a butterfly garden, a petting zoo, a swamp cruise and an art walk.

Brookgreen Gardens is one of our favorite places to take the kids to Grand Strand.

Why Huntington Beach State Park is a great place to camp:

  • seaside attractions,

  • Historical building,

  • Near Myrtle Beach,

  • level much

Hunting Island State Park

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (7)

Hunting Island State Park is South Carolina's most visited park thanks to its beautiful private beaches, hiking trails and historic lighthouse.

Start at the visitor center to get a trail map and plan your time.

Then head out on one of the many hiking trails and take in the beauty of this Lowcountry gem.

The quarter mile is a great start for children or beginnersMarsh Boardwalk-Pad, which has largely improved.

For those looking for a longer excursion experience,1.4 mile Lagoon WalkTake your guests on the Ocean Forest Trail where you can spot herons, deer, snakes, alligators and even bobcats.

Then join one of the docent-led toursHistoric Hunting Island Lighthouse.

The beach behind the lighthouse is full of ghostsdriftwood, a great place for a walk on the beach or a family photo.

You can do this virtually at the campsite200 paved fieldsChoose; These are available for both tent and RV camping.

There are another 25 tent camps.

What is near Hunting Island State Park?

Picturesque Beaufort SC is a short drive away and worth a day trip.

Stroll through the historic district, see beautiful pre-Civil War homes, dine waterfront near Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park and indulge in shopping therapy.

Why Hunting Island State Park is a great place to camp:

  • historic lighthouse,

  • beach access,

  • dolphin watching,

  • hike,

  • horizontal place

King's Mountain State Park

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (8)

(Video) Huntington Beach State Park South Carolina Campsite Review

When we got our pop-up RV, Kings Mountain State Park was our second caravan camping destination.

We enjoyed our stay there and are already counting down the days until we can come back.

EsOn-site campgrounds with over 100 pitches, all with a beautiful tree cover.

Some are transit sites. However, be aware that due to the many trees in the park, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to park your vehicle indoors.

Once you're settled, head outsideLiving History MuseumHere you can learn about the daily life of the original European settlers in this part of South Carolina.

Our kids loved running to each station on this open lawn.

They are also big fans of the large playground at the entrance to the campsite.

Other park activities include fishing, kayaking and hiking on Crawford Lake.

If you take a longer walk,Kings Mountain-Wandellusis a 16-mile hiking trail connecting state and national parks.

My kids who are 5 and 8 are not at that level yet so the 1.2 mile loopKings Mountain NaturlehrpfadIt's their speed. Stroll along the lake and learn about the local flora and fauna from signposts.

What is near Kings Mountain State Park?

Although the area is quite rural, the state park is right next to Kings Mountain National Military Park, which is well worth seeing.

We happened to be there on a reenactment weekend when the Overmountain Victory Trail reenacter was there to answer questions about the site's important role in the American Revolution.

The 1.5-mile paved Battlefield Trail is a great way to explore the park as it takes visitors to the most important battlefields.

Don't forget to get the Junior Ranger Badge here!

Why this park is great for camping:

  • more passage,

  • great walk,

  • Adjacent to the National Military Park

Oconee State Park

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (9)

I grew up just half an hour from this state park and I miss this place so much!

Luckily, the survival of Oconee State Park lives up to my childhood memories and I am happy to say that it is one of the best state parks in South Carolina for camping.

Not only do they have a large, well-kept campground, they also have their own lake with a diving board, multiple hiking trails, boating, cabins, miniature golf, and more.

For a full or partial view of the lake, go to sites 16, 18, 24-25, 27, 30-32, 34, 36, and 38.

>> Read more aboutOconee State Park campgroundhere. <<

What is near Oconee State Park?

The pretty town of Walhalla with its antique shops and local restaurants is less than 20 minutes away.

Try the fried chicken at Walhalla Steakhouse, which strangely doesn't serve steaks!

Clemson University is about 30 minutes away, so Oconee State Park is a great place to camp before and after the fall football games.

We did this on our recent visit to Oconee and it was a wonderful weekend.

Yellow Branch Falls Trail, Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls are must-sees.

Why Oconee State Park is great for camping:

  • Extensive on-site amenities and activities,

  • Close to Clemson University

  • lake view,

  • great mountain hike

Table Rock State Park

The 7 Best South Carolina State Parks for Camping (10)

Of all the campgrounds on this list, Table Rock State Park offers the most impressive mountain feel.

The Civilian Conservation Corps Trail and historic buildings make this place feel like it's been here forever.

Choose between Mountain Laurel Campground or White Oaks Campground as your camping base.

Mountain Laurel is higher and closer to the park entrance while White Oaks is more private and isolated.

When you're ready to explore more of the area, lace up your hiking boots and head to the Carrick Creek Trail. This circuit is easy enough for little ones but long enough to get your pulse racing.

(Video) Aiken State Park / South Carolina / RV & Tent Camping / A Campground Fav!

The 7.2-mile Table Rock Trail is the most difficult in the park, but also the most rewarding because it's at the top and offers views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

>> This excursion is on my wish listBest hiking area near Greenville, SCBecause of these views! <<

What is near Table Rock State Park?

If you want to get away from nature, Greenville is less than an hour away.

If you want to explore more of this corner of South Carolina, we recommend taking a day trip along beautiful Highway 11.

The pretty hill town of Brevard is just over the border and is an easy day trip.

Why this park is great for camping:

  • Historic CCC buildings and walking trails,

  • dramatically overlooked

  • big Lake

Frequently asked questions about camping at South Carolina State Park

  • All South Carolina State Parks have gravel or paved roads, hiking trails, and ranger stations.

    Of course, most of them have more amenities, from the historic lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park to the boat launch at Santee State Park.

    Each park has its own wonderful options for visitors to choose from.

  • Not all state parks offer camping.

    All but 12 of South Carolina's 47 state parks have tented campgrounds.

    All but 14 offer RV camping.

    Those that don't offer camping, like Charles Towne's Landing Historic Site (Charleston, SC) or Hampton Plantation (McClellanville, SC), have limited space on their properties.

    Discover all SDiscover camping opportunities in C State Parks with this interactive map.

  • Campgrounds at SC State Park do not offer full hookups, even when they do.

    All established campsites have basic facilities such as toilets, water and electricity.

    On campsites with RV sites, there is a rubbish dump, usually at the entrance to the campsite.

    In more pristine locations, state parks often have potable water and restroom facilities, even if they are not directly adjacent to the campground.

  • Being a planner, I always like to keep things in reserve.

    That is, or youneedReservations can vary greatly depending on the day of the week and the season you plan to camp.

    For example, we visited Oconee State Park for a week in early November. We are one of the few campers on the 100+ campsites! I didn't need to book this trip as there are countless stops within walking distance.

    Compare that to Dreyer Island State Park in the fall.

    Home to UNC soccer, this venue fills up quickly and it's almost impossible to get reservations there on those weekends.

    PassageReservierungsseite South Carolina State Park.

Have you ever camped in one of South Carolina's state parks?


Natalie Waring-DaviesBorn in Charleston, South Carolina, she has loved camping since she first rode in her grandparents' RV as a toddler. Since then, Natalie and her family have been hiking, camping, and exploring all of the United States. She converted her first RV, a 2002 Coleman Bayside Elite Pop-up, and recently purchased a 2020 Winnebago Micro Minnie 1800BH.

Reviews of campsitesStadtpark

Natalie Waring-Davies

(Video) Lake Greenwood State Park / RV & Tent Campground / South Carolina / A Campground Fav!


What is the most popular state park in South Carolina? ›

Hunting Island is South Carolina's single most popular state park, attracting more than a million visitors a year, as well as a vast array of land and marine wildlife.

Do seniors get a discount for camping at SC state parks? ›

South Carolina residents who are at least 65 years of age, legally blind or 100% disabled, qualify for certain rate reductions. Proof of age or disability is required. These qualifying residents receive 35% off admission, camping, picnic shelters, golf and fishing pier admission.

How much does it cost to camp at a state park in South Carolina? ›

Rates: Standard sites are $14/night. Full hookup sites are $17/night.

What is the largest state park in South Carolina? ›

Caesars Head State Park is the largest state park in South Carolina, with over 7,000 acres. It is also adjoining the Jones Gap Wilderness Area, which adds 13,000 acres. People know Caesars Head for its namesake, a granite gneiss formation that towers above seemingly everything at 3208 feet in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


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