With four distinct geographical environments, South Carolina offers a wide variety of terrain, natural history, and climate in one relatively small state. With the option to drive from the mountains to the Atlantic coast in a few hours, camping in South Carolina is a great choice for those who want variety without a ton of travel time.
The state’s far northwest corner is home to mountains that rise above the foothills, appearing blue against the horizon. The Blue Ridge, arguably the most famous stretch of the Appalachians, provide a welcome respite from the hot South Carolina summers. In autumn, The Blue Ridge Mountains draw visitors from around the country to take in the breathtaking fall displays of color across the mountainsides. And no matter what season, camping in South Carolina would not be complete without a trip to iconic Table Rock or Sassafras Mountain – the highest point in the SC Blue Ridge Mountains.
A few hours south of the Blue Ridge, campers can set sail on Lake Murray, enjoy world-renowned fishing, or enjoy beach-front camping at Dreher Island State Park. The lake, a reservoir for the entire midlands area of the state, covers roughly 50000 acres and has 500 miles of shoreline. Lake Murray, which is a prime spot for fishing, has hosted 3 national fishing tournaments in the last 15 years and is home to several species of bass, crappie, bream, and other sport fishing favorites.
The stunning South Carolina coast is less than 3 hours from state capitol, Columbia, and boasts more than 200 miles of Atlantic coastline beauty. With more campgrounds up and down the coast than you can shake a stick at, trust The Dyrt to help you find the best camping in South Carolina!
My husband found Dreher Island on The Dyrt and said this is where he wanted to go for our November vacation. We looked at site photos online and found site 83. The drive in is a great way to see the whole park and campground. There were lots of picnic shelters, restrooms and trails.
Our site was great - we had an awesome view of the lake and our neighbors weren't too close. Our pad was level and we noticed that others were not or very bumpy as tree roots were growing underneath which would have made getting level a little tricky. We were surrounded by trees which brought in a lot of birds and squirrels, even a deer on our first morning. The fire ring is right off the pad, so don't back in to the very end of the pad which was fine because the pad was long for us.
The shower house was just a little walk past a few campsites. There were flush toilets, sinks and two showers. The showers did not have anywhere inside to leave your items, but there was a bench directly outside of your curtain. The camp host kept it nice and clean.
We stayed from Sunday-Saturday - some days we just sat around the fire and others we hiked around the island. There are a couple of designated areas for hiking and doable for any age. Every morning and evening we walked the campground which helped us check out some other sites. I'll acknowledge the good sites in our photos. The tent sites on the outside/shore side had tent pads then there were a few tent sites on the inside, but no tentpads - they all had electric.
We visited the marina store to pick up ice and wood and found that they also had some food items, condiments, fishing items, souvenirs and ice cream. We found that the Dollar General store in Chapin had cheaper wood, ice and anything else you may need…go there first.
We left Veterans weekend and it was just about full on Friday night. This might be our go to vacation spot - we lucked out with weather and one of the nicest stays at a state park.
First beach camp. First South Carolina camp. Site 13 was literally 24 steps from tent to the breaking waves of the Atlantic which are a great soundtrack along with the gusting breezes for reading and cooking s’mores. Thursday night the park was very quiet with Friday and Saturday filling up with friendly families with kids, a surfer, and RVers..a great mix.
Staff was helpful, efficient, and accommodating.
Simple, relaxing, memorably situated park.
This campground won’t blow you away or anything but it’s a good campground that you’ll enjoy. Nice wooded coverage, walking and hiking trails, plus a few lakes to fish. Bath houses are probably the cleanest I’ve seen in all the campgrounds I’ve been too. The only reason I wouldn’t give it 5 stars is because the sites are pretty close to each other and you can hear aircraft traffic from the airport close by. I recommend sites 22,23,25 if you are tent camping.
We stayed at the Oaks at Point South for 2 weeks. The sites were a bit close, also, when it rained the byproduct was mud. However, the sites all had live oaks with spanish moss, there was a large pond(s) with great walking trails and lots of beautiful birds.
The staff was very accomodating. They accepted packages shipped to you. Most of the sites were pull thru. Propane (at a really good price) was available at the KOA just 1 mile away. T-Mobile cell coverage was great.
Nothing (groceries, etc.) was nearby. The closest non-convenience store grocery was 12 miles away and the nearest Walmart was 23 miles away.
When running out slides you may need to juggle your rig a bit to clear the trees, as I said earlier, sites are close with big trees.
We would stay here again.
I've been camping at Burrells Ford since I was a small child. During peak season (summer, Spring Break) it will be slightly crowded, but there's usually still room to camp and it doesn't normally get rowdy or loud. Fishing will of course be inhibited when it's crowded, but otherwise its a good spot to fish.
Pit toilets are fairly well maintained and the sites are almost always clean and free of debris. Camp sites are a short walk down a clear road from the main parking area for those who prefer to carry things in or those who have visitors to their campsite.
If there has been a lot of camper traffic, it will be difficult to find firewood. Firewood is available to purchase all along the road on the way to Burrells Ford from individuals and stores.
The other side of the river is a much rougher trail, not an official campsite at all. However, there are some areas that other campers have cleared out for camping if you don't mind a more strenuous and brushy hike in to your camping area and you prefer a little more privacy and seclusion. Just be sure to follow local regulations for camping in these areas as far as cleanliness, fire safety, and distance from the water.
Primitive camping. One portapotty at the parking lot. Numerous paths to hike down to the wild and scenic Chattooga River. No RV sites or dump sites. Multiple campsites surrounding the parking lot, and no camping/fires within 10[?] feet of the river itself. It is regularly checked by forest service, they'll give you a friendly reminder, usually. Lots of rafting/kayaking, fishing, hiking, swimming. Check local laws for fishing and boating permits. Beautiful, wooded camping; easy gravel road in. No trash bins, take it in, take it out.
Been to this Campground as a child and now visiting as an adult with my child. Family friendly and very helpful staff. Plenty to do for all ages. Only downfall is so many golf carts and the amount of young teens riding around in the evening 9-10 pm or later with music loud. Will definitely be going back for future beach visits
We went off season - October 2019 - and while the park still had a lot of people there were plenty of sites empty. Since it was off season the camp store and shuttle service was not open. Sites are tight by the beach and because of the dunes you don't get a view. But you were within a very short walk to the beautiful big clean beach and could hear the waves crashing. We only have a 24 foot motor home - so we felt a bit claustrophobic between the huge RVs on all sides of us. We decided to move to a different site that gave is some more room and not sandwiched in between other campers. it wasn't at the beach area - but we did not mind the walk - and we also had bikes to get around. The staff and maintenance did a great job. The grounds are clean and the staff very friendly when we arrived early and let us check in early and the a day later to let us move to another site.
About 31 RV sites. Onboard Ft. Jackson. Lake views. Boat rental available. Summer time swim beach. Spacious sites. No laundry at campground. Closest is about 3 miles away. Entrance road is really rough.
We went camping at Hamilton Branch State Park in October 2019 for a week. There are so many wonderful things to say about this campground.
1) Almost ALL sites are lakefront- There are very few sites that are not right on the water. There are some sites that have a steep drop off to the water(mostly the tent sites around the sites 123-128 range). We found several sites that we thought were the best. Sites 77, 168, 98, 97, 103, 105, and a couple of others I can’t remember. Nice views and access to the water.
2) Sites are very spaced out- We were there during a quieter time, so we had several sites around us that were empty, but even if they had been full, we thought there was a lot of space between them, and most faced the water, so they all kind of faced away from each other. So, it seems to be very private.
3) Park is LARGE- This is a huge park, and even though there are 200 sites, those are all distributed over 9 different areas, each area consisting of at least 1 loop each. So, again, very spaced out and private.
4) Clean Bath Houses- Obviously we stuck to the bath house closest to our site, but it was extremely clean and appointed. Toilets cleaned every morning. Shower clean with good shower curtains! If you have camped before, you have likely encountered shower curtains that were hanging on by their last 2 or 3 loops. We even brought our own, in case that was the case here. Nope, it was very nice to have the bathroom so well taken care of.
5) Friendly Staff- We had originally booked a specific site, and when we got there, we wanted to change it(due to the steep drop to the water, that would be hard to do every day with kayaks). We looked around the park to see what else would be available and Amanda at the front office was very helpful in checking for availability and helping us change our site. In addition to the very helpful Amanda, we encountered several camp hosts. Since the park is so big, there are multiple camp hosts. Everyone we encountered was friendly, helpful and seemed to enjoy being there.
6) Beautiful Lake/Nature- Obviously the big attraction here is the lake. Thurmond Lake is ENORMOUS. And the park is on one small part of it. We kayaked a few days and saw a lot of fish, bald eagles, geese, blue herons, white egrets, etc. At our campsite we saw a couple of deer and a few raccoons. For a 6-night stay, we only saw the raccoons one night. We must not have had very good tidbits ad they gave up on us.
We stated several times that we will be coming back to this campground, and that it might be one of the best we have ever been to. I hope this gave you some info and insight into this park.
This lake was beautiful. Great views of lake and mountains. The water was warm in October. Site #27 was good. Some sites were unlevel and on a steep grade and close with minimal greenery between. The walk-in tent sites were excellent. All sites had table, fire ring, lantern hook, and a gravel tent pad in addition to paved site. Most of the sites were shaded. Bathrooms were good with a big laundry area. There weren't really any paths to bathroom so it would be difficult in the dark if you were further away. We took a waterfall boat tour which was excellent. There are several paths to get to lake from different spots in campground. Which are like a private beach area. This park/campground is very busy on weekends but Sunday night it emptied out. Bring your boat, floats, kayaks, canoes. There is not much in area outside park. There was a Dollar General store within 15 minutes. The park store was well stocked with many items. Park staff were not that friendly. There are several boat ramps in park. Divers also use this lake since the lake is clear.
Stopped here for an overnight on our way south. We had a pull-thru full hookup site. It was relatively level but not perfect. Main bath house was under construction and not available. There is a bar, convenience store, and RV service center at the entrance which is convenient. We didn’t have time to look around the campground much but it served it’s purpose for us. Oh, there are no fire rings but it claims on their site that you can build one in the gravel. We didn’t see a single other site with a fire.
This is a great place to camp at the beach. Yes it is not beachfront and you do have about 300-400 yards to go to get to the beach, but is that really worth the extra $40-60 per night in fees. The sites were all well kept and shady. Some sites are tight for Big Rigs but ours was perfect for our 40' 5er. You will read others complain about the airline noise, yes the campground is on the flight path, but, so are another 2 campgrounds that charge about double what the state park does. The airlines never really bothered us during our stay as we were up and doing something from daylight to dark. I will definitely be coming back here.
Book your trip a few months in advance, get a spot on the water. Sites are a little small, and close together, but the sunrise from your tent/site is totally worth it. Amazing water clarity, bring a kayak. If you enjoy fishing there’s great trout.
February 2017. Spent 2 nights with a decent sized group of friends. There was a renaissance fair going on, bunch of people LARPing like it was medieval times. Knights and swords and peasants and stuff. 10/10 would watch again. Creek is fun to float in the summer.
Bald eagles,owls,otter, fish. It's beautiful
Had the opportunity to stop by for one night as we returned from Hunting Island State Park. This is a hidden little gem that is on my list to spend a couple of nights at. They coyotes howling at night were insane but to me that adds to the camping experience.
Hunting Island State Park is my favorite of the coastal state parks. The wildness at the heart of this gem is undeniable. Hurricanes have not been kind to it over the past few years but it has stood the test of time and shows us all how to adapt and roll with the storms that come through life. If you want to visit a state park that allows you to get in touch with your wild side you must check this place out.
Huntington Beach State Park is beautiful and basically being across the road from Brookgreen Gardens just adds to the beauty. Have had the opportunity to camp here twice. Not much privacy between sites but the park is nice. The birding and wildlife are amazing, especially when you consider how close you are to the rambunctiousness of Myrtle Beach. Needs to be on your list.