Top Scenic Drives in South Carolina

by Mallory Knee

The Carolinas contain a lot of beauty, so if you’re looking for a good way to take it all in, check out the top scenic drives in South Carolina!

Dying to get away? Sometimes the easiest way to tame your travel urges until your next big trip is by hopping in the car. Whether you take a two-hour drive or a weekend road trip to all the spots on this list, just getting behind the wheel and driving can quell your travel bug. South Carolina is an Eastern state with some of the most beautiful views. When life goes back to normal after the global pandemic we’re currently facing, head off on one of the top scenic drives in South Carolina to check out the mountains, saltwater marshes, and so much more!

U.S. 21 Scenic Highway

Start in Beaufort and end in Hunting Island

Begin this scenic drive in Beaufort, South Carolina. Make sure to get your tires checked at a local shop before you begin to ensure safe travels, and then head out on the road. On this 18-mile drive, you’ll pass through saltwater marshes, beautiful lagoons, and a myriad of wildlife. The drive ends near Hunting Island State Park, so you can continue the fun with hiking, biking, and so much more.

May River Road

Start in Hardeeville and end in Brighton Beach

You’ll experience so many different sights on this drive. May River Road takes you through wetlands, through massive oak tree forest, and past historic homes, but it also takes you through the quaint beach town of Brighton Beach. Take your time on this drive to admire the vast properties of the homes and to shoot marvelous photos of little coves, boats, and sunsets. If you need to get out of the car, sign up for a walking tour in the Brighton Beach area.

Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway

Start in Fair Play and end in Gaffney

One of the longest drives on the list, the Cherokee Foothills scenic drive takes you through 122 miles of beauty. You’ll pass through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the ancestral home of the Cherokee Indians. Spend quite a bit of time learning and exploring, if you can! Apart from the glorious mountain views, this drive will also take you through peach orchards, villages, parks, farmer’s markets, historical buildings, and so much more. The drive has everything you’re looking for.

Savannah River National Scenic Byway

Start in Seneca and end in North Augusta

Coming in at 126 miles long, the Savannah River National Scenic Byway is something you absolutely don’t want to miss. You’ll pass through charming Southern towns and view small churches that look like they’re straight out of A Walk to Remember. Truthfully, you’ll see so many churches you’ll wonder why it’s not called the Historic Churches Byway! This drive is best for spring and summer—plan accordingly.

Hilton Head Island Scenic Byway

Start in Okatie and end in Hilton Head

The last route on our list is probably one of the most breathtaking. Hilton Head Island Scenic Byway is much shorter than the previous drives, coming in at around 30 miles long, but it doesn’t lose out on any beauty. It’s a tour of the coast—keep the windows down to enjoy the refreshing salt air. Start on the mainland from Okatie, and you’ll finish with a loop around Hilton Head Island. Stop for a bit at a public beach to really take in the views. Don’t miss it!

 

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