If you’re planning a camping, glamping or RV trip in South Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. This ultimate guide will cover the different camping options in South Carolina, what to pack, when to go, and how to book your trip. Let’s get started.
About Camping in South Carolina
There are many different ways to camp in South Carolina, including national and state parks, private campgrounds, RV parks and glamping. No matter what type of camping experience you’re looking for, whether beachfront or mountainside, there is a campground suitable for every type of adventure.
Where Can You Go Camping in South Carolina?
There are several different options for camping in South Carolina. Aside from the many state and national park campgrounds, you can find private campgrounds for both tents and RVs, as well as cabins and glamping throughout the state. Let’s take a deeper dive into the type of camping you can experience in South Carolina.
State Park Camping
There are 47 state parks in South Carolina, of which, 32 have campgrounds that offer sites for tents, RVs, and trailers. Some campgrounds also have room for equestrian and boat camping, depending on the park. For those looking for a more glamping-like experience, the South Carolina state park system offers cabins and villas for rent too.
The nightly rates, amenities, and rules of the South Carolina State Park system are much like those found in other states. The nightly rate for a standard tent site without electricity is $22, and RV sites can be snagged up nightly for the same rate. Cabins and villas are both around $100 per night with a 2-night minimum stay requirement.
State park rules are the same as most other state parks as well. Well-behaved pets are welcome, providing that they are on a leash and not left unattended. Pets cannot, however, join you if you are staying in a cabin or villa. Purchase your firewood from the state, preferably within 50 miles of where you will be camping. Quiet hours in all South Carolina State Parks are from 10 pm to 6 am.
National Park Camping in South Carolina
There are seven total National Parks in South Carolina, and two of them offer both dispersed and developed campgrounds for tent and RV campers. You won’t find glamping sites here, so be sure to pack like you’re going to rough it! The options for National Park camping in South Carolina will take you either to a central spot in the State, close to the capital of Columbia, or more towards the lowland coast for an unforgettable beach trip.
Each campsite at the developed campgrounds in the National Parks features a fire ring, grill, lantern post, centrally located bathroom, shower facility, and dump station. Some sites come with electricity, and all of them have access to non-potable water. The dispersed sites in the South Carolina National Parks come with no amenities and you’ll need to be ready to hike in to find your spot.
Private Campgrounds and RV Parks in South Carolina
Camping at private campgrounds can bring a different experience, depending on where you’re staying. Amenities such as wifi, dog parks, pools, playgrounds and sports courts are commonly found in private campgrounds and RV parks.
How to Find the Best Campsites in South Carolina
First, you’ll want to search BookOutdoors to find the perfect South Carolina campground, RV park, cabin or glamping resort, where you can book with no fees, and get weather protection on every eligible booking.
When to Go Camping in South Carolina
Like most places, camping in South Carolina comes in seasons. There is the winter season and a summer season. South Carolina features a subtropical climate towards the south and a humid subtropical climate to the north. The Appalachian mountains are in the northwestern part of the state and are a perfect location if you’re looking to beat the summer heat.
The elevation of the mountains brings a coolness you won’t find at the beach in the middle of July. On the flipside, southern beach camping during the winter months provides the perfect reprieve from the winter blues. Experience warm temperatures in the winter without the overbearing heat that the summer months bring.
South Carolina does, however, have an inclement weather season that every camper should be aware of and prepare for if you’re planning a trip. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November, and South Carolina is notorious for getting slammed with them. You’ll want to be sure to check and re-check for weather updates if you’re planning to camp during the hurricane season.
What to Pack for Your Camping Trip
So far you’ve learned how to camp in South Carolina, where to go, and when to go, now let’s cover what to bring! The weather in South Carolina can change rapidly, especially during the spring and summer on the beach and the winter in the mountains. It’s crucial to be prepared for anything, so you don’t find yourself stranded without essentials.
The weather tends to shift rapidly, so you can experience 95-degree days and 60-degree nights, all in the same 24-hour period. Ensuring you have the proper clothing to be comfortable can make or break your camping trip.
If you’re winter camping in the mountains, you’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of drinking water. Many of the northern campgrounds turn off their water during the winter months to keep the pipes from freezing. This means that many places won’t have access to clean drinking water, you’ll need to bring it yourself.
Tips for Camping in South Carolina
Here are a few pro tips for your next South Carolina camping adventure.
- Always have a hand-crank weather radio. This will ensure that you are up-to-date on inclement weather, road closures, and wind speed.
- If you’re planning a mountain camping trip, be sure to bring bear spray and bear-proof storage boxes. There is a local black bear population in South Carolina.
- Fishing licenses are required for all saltwater and freshwater fishing in South Carolina. You can purchase these from the state for 14 days annually or a 3-year license. Fees are different for residents and non-residents and are not required for kids under 16.
- Not all campgrounds allow kids or pets! Be sure to check before reserving your site on the rules and regulations of your chosen campground.
- Alcohol and firearms are not permitted on any state or national park property. You can find private campgrounds that permit alcohol on-site. Most private campgrounds do not allow firearms.
- Hunting is not permitted in any state or national park or on BLM land.
- Only umbrellas are allowed on South Carolina State beaches. No tents, popups, canopies, sunshades, or other shelters are permitted. There is no glass allowed on any beach.
Easily Book South Carolina Campgrounds, RV Parks, Cabins and Glamping Resorts
When you use BookOutdoors to book your next South Carolina camping trip, you easily find and reserve your perfect campsite, and book with no fees.