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10 Reasons to Visit South Carolina in the Fall

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Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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Wish summer could linger just a bit longer so you can get in more beach or golf time? You’re in luck, because South Carolina falls are literally just a cooler version of summer. Here are our top reasons to discover South Carolina during the autumn months.

 

Timing is Everything

Couple dining inside restaurant
Getting reservations at South Carolina's best restaurants is more of a breeze in the off-season.

Whether you want to dine at the hottest restaurants in Charleston or explore Broadway at the Beach—Myrtle Beach’s No. 1 shopping and entertainment destination—you’ll find that these popular summer activities are even better in fall. With peak tourist season just behind you, it is easier to snag dinner reservations and get some serious shopping in - minus the heavy crowds. 

 

Milder, Cooler Weather

Come for the pleasant fall weather. Stay for the rich range of golf experiences.

Warm temperatures with low humidity, blue skies and pleasant ocean breezes come together to create the perfect backdrop for your extended summer vacation. In fact, golfers visit the Palmetto State in the fall just to enjoy the great weather and explore our rich range of golf experiences. 

 

Dog-friendly Beaches

Many of South Carolina’s beaches become dog-friendly after Labor Day.

No vacation is complete unless the entire family is there, and for many of us that includes our furry, four-legged kids. While dogs are welcome on some beaches before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. during the busy summer season, after Labor Day they’re welcome any time of day on the beaches of Hunting Island State Park, Hilton Head Island and Myrtle Beach, to name a few.

 

Horseback Riding on the Beach

With plenty of beach to spread out on, riders can trot along on the sand or in the water.

Dogs aren’t the only animals that can be spotted on the South Carolina shoreline in the fall. For just a few short months every year, Myrtle Beach opens its sandy shores to horses, so riders can be seen enjoying the sunny skies and cool ocean breeze as they trot along the water’s edge. Daufuskie Island and the Charleston area can also be experiences on horseback.  

 

Oyster Season

Group of people around table eating oysters and drinking wine on the water
Oyster roasts are just one of South Carolina’s tasty culinary traditions.

Sweet, salty and succulent, South Carolina oysters are as unique as they are delicious, and come fall these tasty mollusks can be found at nearly every local restaurant and at oyster roasts all along the coast.

 

U-pick Farms

Chattooga Belle Farm is a 198-acre working farm, distillery and event barn located in beautiful Long Creek, South Carolina.

Starting at the end of September, visitors to Johns Island can enjoy Legare Farms’ Fall Festival, complete with u-pick pumpkin patch, hayrides, a scarecrow factory and even duck races. Near Columbia in the Midlands of the state is Lever Farms, a family-owned, 115-acre working farm where you can pick your own pumpkin, navigate a corn maze and enjoy a picnic lunch. Located in the shadows of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Chattooga Belle Farm in Long Creek offers a stunning setting for special events. With a bistro and distillery on site, plus a wide variety of apples you can pick, plan to spend more than a few hours exploring this Upstate gem.

 

Stunning Fall Foliage

Cascading waterfalls surrounded by autumn trees
Discover Issaqueena Falls and other breathtaking fall sights in South Carolina’s Upstate.
Tractor pulling trailer of people on hayride beneath Halloween jack-o-lanterns hanging from trees
The Monster Hayride is a highlight of the Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch.
South Carolina’s state parks offer spectacular views and a variety of accommodations.

While any time is a great time to visit one of South Carolina’s state parks, visiting during the off-season has its added perks. Many state parks drop week-long booking restrictions—and often drop their prices, as well. With fewer people, stunning fall foliage and more camping cabin availability, the only thing you need to do is pick a park for your next adventure.

 

Spectacular Holiday Lights

People looking up at trees strung with lights at Brookgreen Gardens Night of a Thousand Candles
The stunning light display at Brookgreen Gardens includes millions of flickering LED lights.

From the weekend after Thanksgiving through the end of the year guests can enjoy a plethora of holiday lights. One of the most spectacular and enchanting displays is Night of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens. A work of art in its own right, the light display is worthy of the renowned sculptures in their collection. Have your picture taken with Santa, roast marshmallows, go on a tree scavenger hunt and enjoy a cup of cider as carolers sing as these festivals get you into the holiday spirit.


Because South Carolina adventures extend beyond summer, plans for a fall trip to the Palmetto State offer endless possibilities for fun, food and excitement.

Discover Writer
Discover Writer
More from "Discover Writer"
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.