Where To Live In South Carolina For Southern Hospitality, Tailgating, and Beautiful Beaches
Homeownership The Palmetto State

Where To Live In South Carolina For Southern Hospitality, Tailgating, and Beautiful Beaches

By
January 29, 2024 at 5:44 PM PST
Homeownership The Palmetto State

Where To Live In South Carolina For Southern Hospitality, Tailgating, and Beautiful Beaches

By
January 29, 2024 at 5:44 PM PST

With incredible beaches, vacation destinations, mountains and cities, South Carolina has become an appealing state to live in. Providing close access to major out-of-state cities like Orlando, Atlanta and Charlotte, along with affordable housing and great weather, it’s no wonder that South Carolina is a great place for families, singles and working professionals.

Home to some of the best universities including The University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Winthrop Univerity, College of Charleston and Furman University, professionals in the fields of engineering, health sciences, business and marketing can thrive in this state. It’s also home to many major manufacturing companies like BMW, Boeing, GE Power Electronics, Michelin, Addidas, Duke Mayo, Kraft Heinz and more.

South Carolina is home to major beach cities like Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head, along with major cities in the Upstate and Midlands like Greenville, Rock Hill, and Columbia. This state is one of the most affordable states to live in, with the average home price around $283,316, meaning the cost of living is lower here than in other states.

With historic architecture, world-class dining in multiple cities, and tons of options for shopping and entertainment, South Carolina is not only becoming a vacation destination for many, but a place to settle down and call home. Here are some of the best places to live in South Carolina,

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville is one of the best places to live in South Carolina for those wanting to be close to the mountains and upstate area. Pictured: A view of Downtown Greenville

In the upstate and just minutes away from the mountains is Greenville, South Carolina. This city is one of the best places to live in South Carolina because of its weather, entertainment and downtown. Take advantage of Falls Park or Reedy River and the many restaurants, bars, coffee shops and clothing stores all located Downtown. This city is just less than two hours from Charlotte, North Carolina and less than three hours from Atlanta, Georgia. The cost of living is also decent in Greenville, with the average home price being around $370,000.

  • Population: 72,310
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $370,000
  • Walkability: Moderate (Depending on the area, but downtown is very walkable)

For Black Families: For Black families wanting to choose a South Carolina city to live in, Greenville is perfect! There are plenty of family-fun activities including bowling, roller skating, ice skating, mini golf, arcades, escape rooms and more. Children can explore all that Greenville has to offer at their beautiful parks, museums and more. Black residents make up over 22 percent of Greenville’s population, so the area is pretty diverse.

For Young Professionals: Greenville is an incredible city for young professionals to thrive in. With major manufacturing companies like BMW and General Electric, professionals in business, engineering, marketing and manufacturing can thrive by living in this area. Downtown Greenville has a lot of cool options for young people including Gather Greenville Food Hall, bars and nightclubs, coffee shops and clothing stores. For the active young professional, there are plenty of parks and trails in the area. In just a short drive, you’ll be up in the mountains for hiking, exploring and cool photo opportunities.

Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia is in the heart of the state. It's one of the best places to live in South Carolina for sports fans. Pictured: A view of a park in Columbia, South Carolina

Located in the heart of the state is Columbia, South Carolina. Home to the largest university in the state, the University of South Carolina, Columbia is the state’s most populated city. This area is not only perfect for young college students and young professionals, but it’s also a great place to raise a family. Attend football and basketball games from some of the best teams in the South. Areas like Downtown Columbia, The Vista and Five Points are home to some of the best restaurants, bars, nightclubs and coffee shops. The average home price in Columbia is around $255,000, making this one of South Carolina’s more affordable cities.

  • Population: 139,698
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $255,000
  • Walkability: Moderate (Downtown and Five Points are very walkable)

For Black Families: Columbia is the most populated and the most diverse city in South Carolina. Over 40 percent of Black residents live in Columbia. With so many different neighborhoods, parks and kid-friendly activities, it’s a great place to raise families.

For Young Professionals: For any young professional pursuing a career in business, marketing, engineering, tech, journalism, finance or higher education, Columbia is one of the best places to live in South Carolina. This area is home to so many entertainment options including art museums, theaters, bars and more. The average apartment price in the area is around $1,390, which is 25 percent cheaper than the U.S. average.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is one of the best places to live in South Carolina for beach fun, shopping and fine dining. Pictured: An aerial view of a bridge in Charleston

There’s nothing better than having the beach right in your backyard. If you want to live by sun, sand and surf, Charleston is one of the best places to live in South Carolina. Explore the College of Charleston or Downtown Charleston to check out their wonderful selection of bookstores, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Choose from over a dozen beaches including Isle of Palms and Folly Beach. Charleston’s shopping scene is like no other in the state of South Carolina. Explore luxury designer stores like Gucci and other stores like Urban Outfitters. Check out the Charleston City Market for cool trinkets and historic items. Boat tours and dinner cruises are perfect for special occasions or romantic dinner dates. While Charleston is slightly more expensive than other South Carolina cities, it’s well worth it to live by the beach and have access to a ton of amenities right outside your door.

  • Population: 153,672
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $570,000
  • Walkability: High

For Black Families: Charleston has such a rich history with the Black community and our stories are continuously being told through the city markets, Gullah Geechee Tours and now, the newly opened International African American Museum. Black residents make up 18 percent of this area.

For Young Professionals: Those professionals who are looking to live on the beach and be in an active area with a lot of younger and like-minded people, Charleston is a great city. Explore the areas where the hit Netflix show, Outerbanks was filmed. There are also a ton of activities for the introvert and extrovert including bars, fine dining, bookstores, clubs, beaches and more.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the best places to live in South Carolina for beach living in a tourist area. Pictured: A beach view in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach isn’t just a popular vacation and beach destination. It’s also one of the best places to live in South Carolina. From the Skywheel to a massive amount of museums and tourist attractions to some of the best seafood restaurants. For families wanting to move to this city, take advantage of the endless water parks, aquariums, escape rooms and more. For young professionals wanting to live in a major city by the beach, Myrtle Beach is a great place to start. The city is always lively and there are so many bars, clubs and dining and entertainment options to choose from. Myrtle Beach is also an incredibly affordable option that offers a lower cost of living. The average home price is around $305,000.

  • Population: 38,417
  • Public School Rating: B
  • Average Home Price: $305,000
  • Walkability: Moderate to High

For Black Families: For Black families wanting to live in a vibrant city that is also by the beach, Myrtle Beach is a great place to raise a family. Not only is this South Carolina city affordable, but it also has plenty to offer. Myrtle Beach is incredibly diverse, with Black residents making up over 15 percent of the population.

For Young Professionals: Young people looking for a fresh start should consider moving to this smaller, more affordable and fun city. Myrtle Beach is great for those pursuing careers in higher education, hospitality and tourism, government, healthcare and aerospace engineering.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head is a small island and vacation destination, but also one of the best places to live in South Carolina. Pictured: Hilton Head Island

For those looking to live in a more expensive beach town, Hilton Head is the perfect place for professionals and families. This quiet beach town has a population of over 38,000 residents, just slightly under Myrtle Beach. Hilton Head offers fine dining, quiet beach living, watersports, golf, shopping and more. The typical home price in this area is around $749,893, making the cost of living and lifestyle in this area more expensive than other South Carolina cities.

  • Population: 38,069
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $749,893
  • Walkability: Moderate

For Black Families: While Hilton Head is less diverse than other areas of South Carolina, if you’re wanting to raise a family in a quiet area with beautiful beaches, this may be the perfect place to call home. There are so many outdoor activities for families including water sports, tennis, pickleball, golf, beach parks, dolphin watching and more. Black residents make up around seven percent of Hilton Head’s population of over 38,000 people.

For Young Professionals: If you’re a young person who wants to live by the beach, but doesn’t want to live in a larger area like Charleston or Myrtle Beach, consider making the move to Hilton Head. This little island is perfect for those wanting to work in hospitality and tourism, construction, marine science, transportation, food and beverage and healthcare. Since it’s a more expensive city, the average apartment rent comes in at around $2,885.

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Rock Hill is a small city located 30 minutes from Charlotte, NC. It's one of the best places to live in South Carolina for those wanting a small town feel while close to big city amenities. Pictured: A view of Rock Hill, SC

Just 30 minutes from Charlotte, North Carolina is Rock Hill. This small South Carolina city is home to Winthrop University and has some of the best gardens and parks. If you’re looking to work in areas like higher education, finance and marketing, Rock Hill just might be the perfect place to settle down. It’s also a great place to live for those who work in Charlotte, as it’s just a short drive to the city. You can also take advantage of being close to some of Charlotte’s amenities, entertainment options and dining. The average home price in this area is around $309,000, so it’s very affordable for families.

  • Population: 75,349
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $309,000
  • Walkability: Low

For Black Families: Rock Hill is another diverse South Carolina city, with over 38 percent of Black residents. It’s one of the best places to live in South Carolina for families who want to live in a small and diverse city.

For Young Professionals: For professionals to work in the Charlotte area, living in Rock Hill is an affordable option. Instead of paying those high city prices, consider living here and making a short drive to the city for work or other activities.

Beaufort, South Carolina

Beaufort is a small beach town and one of the best places to live in South Carolina. Pictured: A beach view in Beaufort, SC

One of the best small towns and places to live in South Carolina is Beaufort. This small beach town is home to over 13,000 residents. Right between Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA and just a short drive to both destinations, Beaufort is a charming and comfortable area filled with history. Not only are you right by the beach, but there are plenty of attractions. From great seafood restaurants, farms, concerts and more, there’s no short of fun activities here. Another affordable South Carolina city, the typical home price here is around $381,667.

  • Population: 13,722
  • Public School Rating: B
  • Average Home Price: $381,667
  • Walkability: Moderate

For Black Families: Beaufort is a city with a rich and diverse history. Over 28 percent of Black residents live in this area, making it a diverse city. For families who enjoy the great outdoors, the sun on their faces and the sand on their toes, Beaufort is the perfect place to live.

For Young Professionals: For professionals looking for a small South Carolina city to live in, Beaufort is your go-to, especially if you love the beach. Those interested in working in tourism, military, healthcare, education and real estate can easily thrive in a city like Beaufort. The average apartment price is around $1,750, which is slightly higher than other South Carolina cities.



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