Although South Carolina may not be the first thing that pops to mind when you think of Thanksgiving weekends, the Palmetto State shouldn’t be overlooked for your holiday vacation plans. Not only is it home to many beautiful cities that are steeped in history and culture, but the entire state maintains moderate temperatures during the month of November, meaning you can still head out to explore during the day in a short-sleeve shirt and throw on a light jacket for your nighttime activities.
Plus, there are special events, festivals and holiday vacation packages all across the state. So, when you make your Thanksgiving weekend plans this year, be sure to check out these amazing getaways in South Carolina.
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Charleston (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The historic city of Charleston is one of the most popular destinations in South Carolina and it’s no surprise as to why. Besides beautiful waterfront views and colorful Southern architecture, the city is full of military history, world-class restaurants, a year-round art market and unique attractions like the Angel Oak Tree, a 500-year old massive tree that stands just outside the city, in Johns Island. Over the holiday weekend, you can also take part in festivities like the Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble – the largest 5K in SC, Thanksgiving dinner at one of the city’s many restaurants and then some Black Friday shopping along King Street. You’ll also want to make sure to check out the city’s traditional Holiday Progressive Dinner that takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and includes hors d’oeuvres at the Kings Courtyard Inn, dinner at Circa 1886 and dessert and coffee at the John Rutledge House Inn, with a carriage ride taking you between each stop.
Hilton Head (Hotel Prices & Photos)
For the ultimate beach Thanksgiving getaway, Hilton Head is the place to be. First, you’ll find a variety of places to stay from private beach houses to full-service resorts. Then, once you settle in, there are 12 miles of beaches to explore, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation like hiking, biking and stand-up paddleboarding. But of course, the most important part of any Thanksgiving getaway is the meal and this island’s got you covered there too. You can enjoy a traditional dinner at one of the area restaurants, join in the Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks or shake things up a bit with a four-course meal at the Old Oyster Factory that includes oysters, salmon, prime rib and turkey.
Myrtle Beach (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Or for a Thanksgiving weekend at the beach with all the amenities you could ever possibly need, check out Myrtle Beach. This popular tourist spot is a commercial destination, which means you will find tons of hotels, restaurants, bars, nightlife, attractions, shopping, concerts and more from one end of the city to the other. During the Thanksgiving holiday, there are also plenty of ways to celebrate including the South Carolina Bluegrass Festival, the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta (held the Saturday after Thanksgiving) and a unique shopping experience – Merry Marshwalk Christmas, where local businesses and artists line up along the waterfront on the Grand Strand. Plus, you’ll find lots of options for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at restaurants like Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Damon’s Oceanfront Grill or the House of Blues, where you can enjoy live music while you eat.
Columbia (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Columbia is the state’s capitol city and an easy option if you just want a quick getaway for the weekend. You can start your holiday off early on November 16-18 by visiting the Festival of Trees at the South Carolina State Museum, and bid on your favorite tree, wreath or other holiday item. Then, on Thanksgiving Day, save yourself time and energy by going out to enjoy dinner at a restaurant like Yesterday’s Restaurant and Tavern or the Old Mill Brewpub, both of whom will offer both traditional turkey dinners and other options like salmon, pasta and shrimp and grits. You can finish off your weekend by doing some Black Friday shopping and enjoying the holiday lights at the Riverbank Zoo.
Greenville (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Greenville was named one of the “10 Hottest Foodie Cities in America” by People Magazine, which means you know it’s a great spot for Thanksgiving dinner. You can get a traditional holiday meal at many of the city’s restaurants including The Westin Poinsett, who is offering a full Thanksgiving dinner buffet with a variety of salads, entrees, a carving station, a made-to-order ravioli station and a selection of holiday pastries. The buffet also includes plenty of gluten-free options for folks with food allergies. After dinner, you can take a stroll through downtown Greenville and even do a little ice skating at the city’s outdoor rink, Ice on Main.
Kiawah Island (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Even though Kiawah Island is a small island, it goes big for the Thanksgiving holiday. Especially at the luxurious island’s oceanfront hotel, The Sanctuary. You can choose to stay in one of the hotel’s charming guest rooms, rent a villa or even a private home. Then, enjoy all kinds of recreation from golf and tennis, to hiking and spa treatments. Of course, the main event is the annual Thanksgiving feast held in the Grand Ballroom that features live chef stations, a selection of holiday meats, fresh seafood, wine, chocolates, pastries and more.