The Best Places to Live in South Carolina
South Carolina boasts hot summers, mild winters, and southern hospitality you just can’t find anywhere else. It is full of miles and miles of beaches, as well as quiet towns and small cities that are quaint and rustic, steeped in history yet buzzing with activity, both day and night. And while you might think of South Carolina as a place where retirees go, it is also a great place for families and professionals to set down roots. With that in mind, here are our top picks for best places to find a new home in South Carolina.
1. Live in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is a charming city, the largest in South Carolina, yet still on the smaller side at a population of less than 140,000. It is also the state’s oldest city and boasts cobblestone streets and a rich history. Since Charleston is located on a peninsula, it is one of the best places to live in South Carolina because it gets the hot weather of the south, with easy access to the coastline for those cooler breezes. Add to this a low rate of crime, a strong job market, and excellent schools and you have a winning combination for a great place to live.
2. Live in Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville is a small city that has all the smalltown charm, while becoming a hub for larger companies, such as GE Power and Michelin, which have set up shop in Greenville, bringing job opportunities with them. But perhaps what makes Greenville most appealing are its fabulous restaurants and bars, the superb shopping, and its closeness to nature, with the Blue Ridge Mountains looming large.
3. Live in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mount Pleasant is a small city in the suburbs of Charleston that has higher real estate prices, but also a high median household income, with the majority of the residents holding a postsecondary degree. Located on a peninsula, Mount Pleasant boasts two of the best beaches in the state, numerous parks, and plenty of great restaurants and things to do. This, along with the hot job market and superior school system, makes this one of the best places to live in South Carolina for professionals, families, and retirees.
4. Live in Rock Hill, South Carolina
Rock Hill is located at the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, with a history that can be enjoyed in the sites and museums. The city’s thriving arts scene is evident in the many sculptures and murals seen in the streets and the art galleries, theaters, art schools, and artist studios scattered throughout town. Rock Hill is also a nature-lover’s dream come true with many parks and public plazas and it is home to Winthrop University.
5. Live in Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina and is only slightly smaller than Charleston. The city is home to the University of South Carolina and is an ideal place to live if you love the college football and tailgating lifestyle, which is abundant in Columbia. And with a cost of living that is 4% below the national average, it is more affordable than your average capital city.
6. Live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is a popular destination for vacationers who want to soak up the sun and enjoy the beach. However, it offers residents all the amenities that tourists enjoy, such as beach access, live music, an amusement park, and amazing restaurants, without having to travel. Plus, nature lovers can rejoice at the close proximity of the city to the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge and Myrtle Beach State Park. And although residents tend to make less than the average American, home prices are 31% below the national average, making it an affordable place to live.
7. Live in Tega Cay, South Carolina
Tega Cay is located in South Carolina, yet it is a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina. This makes for a long commute, but residents boast a median income that is more than double the national average, making it one of the best places to live in South Carolina. As a small lakeside community that is located on a peninsula, the residents come together regularly for a variety of events, such as the Community Yard Sale and the City Birthday Party. And with such a community feel, walking trails, sports fields, and a stellar school system, this is a great town for families.
8. Live in Fort Mill, South Carolina
Low property taxes and good schools are just two of the reasons people are attracted to living in Fort Mill, which is close to Tega Cay and is also a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina. This means the town is growing at a decent pace. However, there is still plenty of nature to enjoy, with hiking trails, biking trails, and many town parks.
9. Live in Lexington, South Carolina
Lexington is a small town that is located in the suburbs of Columbia. This town has a proud history of supporting local businesses that it keeps alive today through the many mom-and-pop shops that line the streets and the Old Mill, which is the old textile mill that now houses local businesses. Recently, the town has been attracting a lot of professionals and families, since it is so close to the capital city, yet still provides access to boating and fishing on Lake Murray. Lexington is also close to the mountains, making nature easily accessible for those who like to get out of town.
10. Live in Clemson, South Carolina
Clemson is a college town, with Clemson University acting as a major draw for students and those employed in the higher education system. With double the population during the school year as during the summer months, permanent residents are able to enjoy many of the amenities that come with a university presence, such as good restaurants and a thriving nightlife. It also appeals to nature-lovers with the South Carolina Botanical Gardens, its many parks, and its close proximity to Lake Hartwell.
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