Set your sights on these cities and towns in South Carolina when planning your next Memorial Day weekend getaway. Spend the holiday admiring the sea turtles in Isles of Palms, or cheering on the teams at the Scottish Games in Greenville. Most South Carolina vacation rentals put you in proximity to Memorial Day parades, cookouts, and city-wide celebrations. When creating your itinerary, start with these top destinations in South Carolina.

1. Isle of Palms

waves crashing on the shore near dock

Spend your Memorial Day weekend in Isle of Palms, and find yourself in an oceanfront vacation rental with access to beaches, playgrounds, and picnic areas at the Isle of Palms County Park. You and your family can join the locals for the annual Memorial Day Cookout at the park hosted by the city, then head to the beach areas to see the sea turtles nesting. Make a splash in the ocean with kayak or jet skis rented from Tidal Wave Water Sports, and enjoy some fun in the sun with your friends or family.

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2. Greenville

water cascading down the rocks

A vacation rental in Greenville over Memorial Day weekend puts you right in the heart of the Greenville Scottish games. A parade in the downtown area kicks off the festival on Friday evening, followed by Scottish games held at Furman University throughout the weekend each year. If you’re not the athletic type, get in some retail therapy when shopping the West End District, or take the kids to the Greenville Zoo, complete with 14 acres of land and 80 animal species. Falls Park is a great place to get in a leisurely walk before filling up on barbecue at Henry’s Smokehouse.

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3. Hilton Head Island

flags waving and bird soaring

Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to summer attractions in Hilton Head Island, which is why this South Carolina city is the ideal spot for your family’s weekend getaway. Honor local fallen heroes when attending the Shelter Cove Memorial Day Ceremony before stopping in at the annual Hilton Head Island Art Festival. Golfers can get in 18 holes at the Harbour Town Golf Links, while the water enthusiasts can make a splash and sink their toes into the sand along the 12 miles of beaches. Thrill the kids with a day at the Daufuskie Island Stables after an eventful ferry ride to Daufuskie Island.

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4. Georgetown

houses along the shore

Get some peace and quiet when making the small town of Georgetown your vacation destination for Memorial Day. This seaside South Carolina city offers rich history with tours of the Rice Museum and the South Carolina Maritime Museum and a stop in to see the big town clock. Enlist the guidance of the experts with Georgetown Charters when spending a Saturday or Sunday fishing with the family. Over the Memorial Day weekend, pay tribute to military members when attending the Veteran’s Memorial observance ceremony, located adjacent to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts.

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5. Charleston

large old-fashioned building

Take part in the annual Spoleto Festival that spans for 17 days, including Memorial Day weekend, when booking a Charleston vacation rental. The city streets are filled with music and art during the festival, offering you and your family a chance to purchase a masterpiece or watch the artists in action. Charleston also provides you with a rich, historical experience when you tour the cobblestone streets in a horse-drawn carriage. Stop in at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, or treat the kids to an afternoon at the South Carolina Aquarium.

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6. Lexington

stately trees near the white fence

May offers warm weather, but a cool breeze in Lexington, home to the Dreher Shoals Dam Walk and the Virginia Hylton Park. Paddle the coast with rentals from AquaFun Paddle, or spend a day exploring the Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve. After a busy day with the kids, sit back and relax at the Mercer House Estate Winery before retreating back to your cozy beachfront vacation rental. When you want to savor some barbecue to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday, Hudson’s Smokehouse is the place to go.

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7. Myrtle Beach

gentle waves rolling onto shore

Opt for sunny skies and sandy beaches with a weekend trip in May to Myrtle Beach. Head to the downtown area for the Military Appreciation Day Parade or the Memorial Day Veterans March and Remembrance Ceremony before enjoying the Memorial Saturday Music Cookout in the streets, complete with live music. View the fireworks display from your cozy beachfront vacation rental in the evenings, too. If golfing is your passion, head to the Pine Lakes Country Club for 18 holes, then set out for some shopping at the nearby Myrtle Beach outlet malls.

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8. Columbia

oak trees lining the gravel path

Show your respect for America’s fallen when participating in the Fort Jackson Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony in Columbia. This South Carolina city hosts a Memorial Day concert each year and a city-wide celebration for you to enjoy on your weekend getaway. See the historical attractions when browsing the exhibits at the South Carolina State Museum, then enjoy the sunny skies with a walk on the Saluda River Trails. Kids enjoy exploring the children’s museum at EdVenture, while the water enthusiasts make a splash with tube or kayak rentals from Adventure Carolina.

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9. Mount Pleasant

fountain under billowing white clouds

Have a pleasant Memorial Day weekend taking in the sights of Mount Pleasant that range from fishing off the pier in Shem Creek Park to touring the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. Take a wildlife tour with your family when enlisting the guides of Nature Adventures, or soak up the history of the city when walking the grounds of the Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens. With highs averaging 80 degrees Fahrenheit in May, Mount Pleasant offers the perfect environment for a hike on the trails of Laurel Hill County Park or a boat tour with Knot Stressed Charters.

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