best towns in South Carolina for families to retire and live in

South Carolina offers many picturesque towns to live in that are ideal for visiting. From the mountains to the coast, there is a town to suit every taste and lifestyle. From historic towns and beachside communities to modern cities, South Carolina has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax and explore or to find a new home, here are some of the best towns in South Carolina, each with its own unique history, culture, and attractions. 

Moreover, from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains to the vibrant city of Charleston, South Carolina’s towns offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for small-town charm or bustling city life, South Carolina has the perfect town for you. From the rolling hills of the upcountry to the gorgeous beaches of the coast, you’ll find the right town to explore and call home.

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#1. Clemson

Image source: South Carolina Public Radio

This is one of the top towns in South Carolina to live in. The population of Clemson, a classic college town, fluctuates with the academic year. The university and the neighborhood are linked, as in any college town. Although it’s not necessarily a good thing, this is effective at Clemson. It is good news for you because there are lots of things to do in the city besides watch the Tigers notch another ACC victory. 

Additionally, the town itself is lovely, and there are many historical sites to explore museums to peruse, and theaters for a different kind of night out. A young family demographic makes up over half of the permanent population. There are excellent local schools and plenty of activities for the kids.

#2. Hartsville

Image source: Trip101

Hartsville, one of the best towns in South Carolina is the main city in Darlington County and is regarded by residents as a hidden gem. As people from Europe arrived, it was first settled by Native Americans, but over time, the diseases they brought wiped out the native population.

The town is renowned for its lovely Kalmia Gardens, a 35-acre floral show and path system that is free to the public. It is really showy during the Azalea season. The focus of museums and galleries is on Southern art. Vintage findings at antique stores delight customers. Besides, outdoor trails and lakes offer a variety of opportunities to take in the landscape.

Moreover, the village now draws visitors yearning for old-world charm. Here, bed-and-breakfast lodging is typical. The Mantissa Hotel is an all-suite B&B-style lodging option situated in Hartsville’s downtown area near Centennial Park and a short stroll from a variety of eateries. A rooftop patio with a fireplace and cozy chairs is one of the hotel facilities. Suites also feature full kitchens and separate living rooms.


#3. Georgetown

Image source: Georgetown

This is also one of the top towns in South Carolina to live in and have a better life. Georgetown, South Carolina’s third-oldest town, is situated on the lovely Winyah Bay. Fantastic museums abound in Georgetown’s historic downtown, such as the Rice Museum and Kaminski House Museum, which chronicle Georgetown’s history from its earliest days.

With a population of fewer than 10,000, Georgetown epitomizes what it means to live in a tiny town. Residents can enjoy Front Street’s riverfront locale, which is home to charming boutique stores and cafes as well as the picturesque RiverWalk with views of Lafayette Park. This town’s cost of living is 17% lower than the national average, and it is only a short drive from Myrtle Beach.

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#4. Beaufort

A southern town with a laid-back vibe, Beaufort exudes charm. The area is also picture-perfect, with streets lined with antebellum structures. At the same time, there are several historic inns and B&Bs to choose from, and guests can enjoy kayaking on the unusual rivers or touring the many historic museums and landmarks. Take a stroll along the shore or on the boardwalk at the Sands in Port Royal after refueling at a neighborhood café. If you have a sense of familiarity while crossing the Woods Memorial Bridge, you could remember it from Forrest Gump.

The Beaufort Inn, which is situated in the Historic District, has a variety of accommodations, ranging from ordinary rooms to suites and private cottages. The property’s gardens and verandas offer lots of outdoor seating for guests to unwind and take in the scenery. The inn provides a variety of amenities, such as free parking, a full range of spa services, exercise and yoga sessions, and vehicle service.

#5. Summerville

Image source: Nexton

Summerville, one of the best-liked towns in South Carolina which has a more than 300-year history, skillfully combines the old and the current. Today, Summerville’s inhabitants can enjoy a good quality of life with a variety of local festivals, beautiful landscapes, and easy access to the ocean or large lakes.

Significantly, the cost of living is still lower than the national average despite these advantages. When it comes to the property market, this is especially true. The tech and military sectors of Summerville are also well-represented, and Charleston is just a 30-minute drive away. Summerville is a well-liked retirement community because of its proximity to Charleston, leisurely pace of life, and wealth of natural scenery.

#6. Greenville

Image source: Forbes

Greenville, which lies in northwest South Carolina, is situated midway between Atlanta and Charlotte. Locals love visiting the Greenville County Museum of Art and Falls Park on the Reedy, which has a curved pedestrian bridge overlooking a cascade. Retirement residents will value Greenville’s international airport if they intend to travel.

“I find that many retirees migrate here to be near their kids and grandkids who have moved here for employment opportunities,” says Danielle Harmon, a certified financial planner and the founder of Boundless Financial Services in Greenville. It’s incredibly affordable, so seniors can live very comfortably in retirement while using less money from their investment portfolios.

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#7. Charleston

best towns in South Carolina for families to retire and live in
Image source: Kayak

The seaside scenery, ancient buildings, cobblestone streets, and distinctive southern hospitality are just a few of Charleston’s numerous charms. Similarly, you might explore art galleries, shops, beautiful gardens, and cutting-edge eateries throughout your retirement years. Charleston’s housing expenses can still seem reasonable to people moving from more costly places outside the South, despite being significantly higher than in other sections of South Carolina.

According to Heather Boger, interim director of the Center on Aging at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, “the weather and the cheaper cost of living are the main draws for seniors to the area.” There are several wonderful senior communities around that offer amenities tailored to seniors.


#8. Myrtle Beach

best towns in South Carolina for families to retire and live in
Image source: Kayak

The beaches and golf courses in this city on the Atlantic coast are quite popular with tourists. Joe Taylor, the owner of Oak Street Advisors in Myrtle Beach, claims that there are very few days when you cannot play golf or stroll along the beach. “We don’t get much snow, so when we do, everyone is happy.” It appears lovely for a while before melting. “No shoveling is necessary.” Retirement by the coast is affordable due to the low housing prices. “We have it,” says Taylor, “whether you prefer lounging in the sun, looking for shells, or just a fantastic morning walk to start your day off.”

Retirement communities, new housing projects, and condos by the beach or a golf course are among the housing possibilities for retirees. Many retirees on a budget are able to take advantage of the local dining and entertainment opportunities by keeping housing costs low.

#9. Spartanburg

Due to Spartanburg’s affordable homes, retirees can make do with a small retirement income. The city is lovely, walkable, and has nice residents as well as a surprisingly vibrant cultural scene. The Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve was established in 1969 by Indianapolis-based retirees Josephine and Harold Hatcher. In 1991, Denny’s restaurant brand relocated its corporate offices from California to the heart of Spartanburg.

#10. Columbia

Image source:

Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, is a fantastic location to start over in retirement. The University of South Carolina is located there, and residents of South Carolina who are 60 or older can enroll there without paying tuition. Incubators are another resource that might help a business idea. For those looking to pursue a second or third profession in retirement, Sue Ellen Levkoff, an endowed chair at the SeniorSMART Center of Economic Excellence at the College of Social Work, suggests Columbia.

#11. Tega Cay

best towns in South Carolina for families to retire and live in
Image source: Visit York County

With 12,336 residents, Tega Cay is a Charlotte suburb. One of South Carolina’s nicest locations to reside is Tega Cay, which is in the county of York. The majority of people on Tega Cay own their homes, giving the community a rural vibe. Likewise, Tega Cay has a large family population and conservative-leaning individuals. Tega Cay’s public schools are well regarded.

#12. Riverview

A suburb of Charlotte, Riverview has 1,989 residents. One of the nicest places to live in South Carolina is without a doubt Riverview, which is located in York County. Residents in Riverview enjoy a suburban and rural mix, and the majority own their homes. Residents of Riverview tend to lean conservative and include a lot of families and retirees. High praise is given to Riverview’s public schools.

#13. Fort Mill

best towns in South Carolina for families to retire and live in
Image source: Classica Homes

Fort Mill is a Charlotte suburb with a population of 24,069 people. One of the nicest places to live in South Carolina is Fort Mill, which is located in York County. Residents of Fort Mill have a minimal suburban vibe and own most of their homes. There are a lot of parks in Fort Mill. Fort Mill is home to many families and has a conservative demographic. Fort Mill’s public schools are well-regarded.

#14. Mount Pleasant

A suburb of Charleston, Mount Pleasant has 88,900 residents. One of South Carolina’s nicest locations to reside is Mount Pleasant, which is in Charleston County. The majority of people in Mount Pleasant are homeowners, giving the community a dense suburban feel. Many eateries, coffee shops, and parks can be found in Mount Pleasant. At Mount Pleasant, which has a large population of families and young professionals, there is a conservative slant. Well regarded are Mount Pleasant’s public schools.

#15. Forest Acres

best towns in South Carolina for families to retire and live in
Image source: Forest Acres

Forest Acres, a Columbia suburb with a population of 10,621. Besides, the Forest Acres is located in Richland County and is considered to be one of the nicest areas to live in South Carolina. Living in Forest Acres provides people with a dense suburban feel, and the majority of inhabitants own their houses. There are numerous parks in Forest Acres. Forest Acres is home to many young professionals and retirees, and people tend to hold moderate political views. Forest Acres’ public schools are highly regarded.

Is Living in South Carolina Good?

Relocating to South Carolina is an excellent opportunity to appreciate the low-key Southern lifestyle while also seeing a diverse state with a rich history, amazing food, and breathtaking landscape. Its low real estate costs and property taxes make it a desirable place to live and maybe retire.

Is South Carolina Rich or Poor?

The typical household income in South Carolina is $50,570 annually, which is over $10,000 less than the national average. South Carolina has a particularly high percentage of households living in extreme poverty in addition to generally having lower earnings.

Does South Carolina Snow?

South Carolina does get snow, but it only gets a little of it in much of the state. Particularly in the subtropical Lowcountry, snow is seen as unusual. During winter, there can be as little as an inch of snowfall in this area, and frequently there is none at all.

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