Rich in history and natural beauty, South Carolina is a fascinating spot for a romantic weekend or a family getaway. From the rolling hills of Greenville to the candy-colored historic buildings of Charleston, this friendly state delights visitors from around the world. In the space of a week, you can kayak around marshy islands, take a carriage ride past Civil War-era plantations, and delve deep into the past at world-renowned historical sites. If you’re looking for a cabin to serve as your home base, start with these popular locations; each one has a wealth of charming South Carolina vacation rentals that can put the icing on your perfect vacation.

1. Lake Murray

With 500 miles of shoreline, the enormous Lake Murray reservoir is one of South Carolina’s biggest freshwater playgrounds. Thanks to the lake’s unusual, multi-branched shapes, it’s a breeze to find a cabin with a private beach for kayak launching, fishing, and swimming. This popular recreation area is packed with activities. In the winter and summer, rent a canoe for a long-distance paddle, or hop in a speedboat for a day of water skiing. If you’re a diver, book a tour with a local guide to explore an underwater stone house, railroad trestles, and a giant bridge. At Dreher Island State Park, hike the Little Gap Trail or fish for catfish and largemouth bass.

2. Myrtle Beach

Although it’s best known as one of South Carolina’s most popular spring-break destinations, Myrtle Beach is a great year-round destination for families, couples, and groups. Start your visit at the city’s spectacular white-sand beach; go swimming, try surfing, or hop on a fishing charter and head out into the open ocean. Go crabbing from the pier at Myrtle Beach State Park, or take a kayak tour of the nearby salt marshes and cypress swamps. When you’re ready for some action, head to the central beach area to ride the SkyWheel and sample the many local restaurants. For the most peaceful getaway, start your search for cabin vacation rentals on the beaches outside of the busy town center.

3. Greenville

Enjoy the perfect balance of city comforts and mountain adventures in Greenville. Cabin rentals close to downtown allow fast access to the city’s excellent bike trails. Start your explorations at Falls Park, where you can climb around a waterfall and pedal along the river. If you want a wilderness escape, check out log cabins near Paris Mountain State Park. The park abounds with year-round outdoor activities: fish in the rivers and ponds, rent kayaks or paddle boats and hike the 15-mile trail system. While you’re in Greenville, learn about the history of upstate South Carolina at the Upcountry History Museum.

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4. Table Rock State Park

If you’re in search of a classic mountain cabin, look no further than Table Rock State Park. Here, rocky cliffs tower above Lake Oolenoy, creating spectacular views and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. For the best choice of log cabins and rustic cabins, look southwest of the park along the Oolenoy River. In the spring, summer, and fall, make the most of the surrounding wilderness by hiking the challenging Table Rock Trail or rock climbing up the main face of Table Rock. In the park, cast off of the fishing pier or rent paddle boats. Winter brings stunning views and light snow, so you can enjoy snowshoeing and cold-weather fishing.

5. Charleston

Charleston, with its colorful buildings and storied history, makes a fascinating vacation destination. The best cabin rentals exist outside of the busy downtown area — start your search on James Island, Morris Island, Sullivan’s Island, or Folly Island. The islands feature a vast network of streams and canals that are best explored by kayak or canoe; bring your fishing rod for a full day of paddling. If you’re after fast ocean and downtown access, choose a sprawling log cabin on the Ashley River. Make the most of Charleston’s seaside location by surfing at Folly Beach, biking the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and the West Ashley Greenway, and taking a ferry out to Fort Sumter.

6. Lake Wylie

Lake Wylie winds along the border between South Carolina and North Carolina, a short drive from Charlotte. End each day of your vacation with a brilliant sunset over the water with a west-facing cabin rental. The lake is the centerpiece of the local area; join residents in boating and fishing every month of the year. Put on your hiking boots and cross the state line to the nearby McDowell Nature Preserve, which features a scenic trail system and a peaceful setting. Nearby, Kings Mountain State Park provides equestrian trails and extensive hiking routes, including the 16-mile Kings Mountain Hiking Trail.

7. Santee

Escape the summer heat in Santee, a compact town situated on the banks of Lake Marion. Pack your golf clubs to take advantage of Santee’s three golf courses. Within 30 minutes of local cabins, you can access five additional courses. To experience lake life, head to Santee State Park to swim, fish for bass, and bike along the park’s 7.5-mile trail. Santee is known for its excellent bird-watching and offers many opportunities to see painted buntings, osprey, great blue heron, and more. If you’re looking for a cabin that overlooks the lake, head south of the state park; for a more remote feeling, search near Pine Island to the north.

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