South Carolina is a popular destination for visitors wanting to soak up the sun and explore the wilderness. From cozy cottages in Hilton Head — which is considered a golfer’s paradise — to quaint cabins in Lexington, there are a variety of unforgettable vacation rentals in South Carolina to choose from. Take a look at the top cities in South Carolina for your next weekend getaway.

1. Hilton Head

Disney's Hilton Head Beach House boardwalk leading to the beach
Source: Flickr/Chad Sparkes

A vacation rental in Hilton Head puts you on the southern end of the coast and features an island that attracts tennis enthusiasts and golfers alike. Get in a game of golf on your weekend getaway at Harbour Town Golf Links or opt for a practice lesson at Long Cove Golf Course. A weekend in Hilton Head gives you access to 12 miles of beaches and waterfront dining at Boathouse 11. When you need more seclusion, take the ferry to Daufuskie Island where you can walk or bike the coastal trails or horseback ride with Daufuskie Island Stables.

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2. Columbia

State Capitol Grounds Columbia
Source: Flickr/Ron Cogswell

Make Columbia your vacation destination when traveling with little ones for the weekend. Although this thriving South Carolina city houses the state capitol, the attractions span more than just historical attractions such as the South Carolina State Museum. Spend a day letting the kids burn off some energy at EdVenture, one of the largest children’s museums in the state that features sculptures your kids can climb. Hike the Three Rivers Greenway or take a walk along the Saluda River trails. When venturing to Columbia in the warmer months, opt for a kayaking or tubing trip with Adventure Carolina.

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3. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Source: Flickr/James Willamor

One of South Carolina’s biggest attractions is Myrtle Beach, which offers beachfront vacation rentals and a hub for live music, golfing, and shopping. Add a thrill to your weekend getaway plans with a trip to the Carolina Opry or the House of Blues for some toe-tapping music. Dixie Stampede offers an entertaining dinner show, too. After a day of relaxing on the beach or golfing at the Pine Lakes Country Club, check out the outlet malls for some retail therapy before dining at Sea Captain’s House with a table overlooking the ocean.

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4. Greenville

Metal bridge over a creak with a rocky shore
Source: Flickr/James Willamor

Head to the big city famous for “mice hunt” adventures with a vacation rental in Greenville. Head to the downtown area to see the in-city garden spot known as Falls Park on the Reedy River, where you can walk across the Liberty Bridge and see the expansive rock formations that surround the 62-foot waterfall. Located next to the West End District’s shopping area, you can spend a day sight seeing and shopping within minutes from your vacation rental. The Greenville Zoo is another hotspot in this South Carolina City, featuring more than 25 interactive exhibits, 80 animal species, and 14 acres of land to explore alongside monkeys, giraffes, and lions. When you need some rest and relaxation, see the highlights of the city onboard the Downtown Trolley with stops at the Children’s Museum and Fluor Field, Falls Park, and the West End District.

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5. Georgetown

Lake with a dock and sail boat.
Source: Flickr/Forsaken Fotos

When you want a small town weekend getaway that offers seaside views, Georgetown is the obvious choice. As one of the oldest towns in South Carolina, Georgetown is home to the Rice Museum that features the historic “big town clock” and artifacts from the once-booming rice industry. See the history of the city up close and personal when touring the South Carolina Maritime Museum or time your weekend getaway in October to take part in the walking ghost tour. Catch your very own seafood with a fishing charter trip sponsored by Georgetown Charters or take a dip in the water after a boat tour with Coastal Water Adventures.

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6. Charleston

Tour boat and the Ravenel Bridge
Source: Flickr/Ron Cogswell

History buffs flock to the Charleston area for weekend getaways to take in the charm and history of this coastal city. Stroll along the cobblestone streets to see the Civil War battle sites and Rainbow Row houses or opt for a tour of Charleston in a horse-drawn carriage. Garden enthusiasts enjoy touring the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, a colorful garden museum that features a petting zoo and boat tours. Take your weekend adventure to an underwater level with a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium to see native species and massive aquariums before sampling Southern fare at the Magnolia and Charleston Grill or the Peninsula Grill.

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7. Mount Pleasant

Navy plane on the tarmac
Source: Flickr/Mike Kalasnik

Nothing is as pleasant as relaxing in the city of Mount Pleasant, a large coastal area near Charleston. Make Mount Pleasant your vacation destination for the weekend and explore Shem Creek Park where you can toss in your fishing rods from the large pier to catch dinner for the evening. Learn all about the history of the area with a tour of the Boone Hall Plantation or the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site during your stay. Nature enthusiasts can opt for a hike through the trails or navigate the waters with a wildlife tour hosted by Nature Adventures. After a long day of exploring, satisfy your hunger with Southern favorites from Page’s Okra Grill or grab some appetizers and cocktails at Crave Kitchen and Cocktails.

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8. Lexington

Wood dock overlooking a swamp
Source: Flickr/sshreeves

Put on your walking shoes and get ready to explore the beauty of Lexington with a guided walking tour on the Dreher Shoals Dam Walk or navigate the trails of the Virginia Hylton Park when making Lexington your South Carolina vacation destination. This suburb of Columbia offers fun in the sun and activities just for families. Explore the Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve with the kids during the day and then relax with the adults at the Mercer House Estate Winery in the evening. Take in a game at the Lexington County Baseball Stadium or take your adventures to the water with a paddleboard lesson from AquaFun Paddle.

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