South Carolina, or the Palmetto State, has the shape of an inverted triangle present on the eastern side of the US. This city has also played an important role during the Civil War and has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It also has many manufacturing industries, beaches, vacation towns, golf courses, and warm weather, which combine and make the state the best to live in.

The living cost in south carolina is also quite affordable than the average which makes it a worthy living. If you are also planning to move to the state, then, you should be aware of the best places to live in South Carolina. It is a tedious task to figure out which place will be the best for you. But worry not, we are here to do this job for you and have thus created a comprehensive guide about the top places to live in the state. So, without a minute any further, let’s dig into this information-filled article.

Best places to live in South Carolina

Does South Carolina a good place to live?

If we compare South Carolina vs North Carolina, the latter is the best place to live in and settle down. This state has a mild climate and an affordable cost of living, along with blissful beaches, adventure sports, and great accommodation options. It also has a rich culture & history that is showcased through various art galleries, theatres, concerts, historical monuments, and restaurants that you will surely enjoy.

What is the safest area in South Carolina?

The ten best places to live in South Carolina for retirees that are both safe and peaceful are:-

  • Woodruff
  • Fort Mill
  • Tega Cay
  • Mount Pleasent
  • Bluffton
  • Isle of Palms
  • Hanahan
  • Walhalla
  • Mauldin
  • Sullivan’s Island

1. Charleston

Charleston is indeed one of the best places to live and settle down in South Carolina with a population of around 135,257 people. This city offers a dense suburban feel and a variety of accommodation options to live peacefully. Along with that, you will also find various restaurants, pubs, bars, parks, and coffee shops. The best hospital in South Carolina, i.e., MUSC Health-University Medical Center, is also present in this city.

The city also hosts various events, art festivals, and other programs for the entertainment of tourists and visitors. It is also a major hub for trendy restaurants and fancy eateries.

According to the US rankings, Charleston is the 4rth best city to live in South Carolina, with the six best beaches, various schools & universities, private & public golf courses, and various outdoor activities catering to the people of every age group.

Is Charleston expensive to live in?

Charleston is difficult to survive for those who live on a tight budget, as the cost of living in this city is on a higher side than that of the national average.

Is it safe in Charleston?

It is one of the dangerous cities of the state as the crime rate here is 67.5 for every 1000 people. The city also has various cases regarding property and violent crimes.

2. Greenville

Greenville is the 3rd best place to live in South Carolina. This city is situated at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a nice metropolitan area with cool and pleasant weather, which makes it worth moving.

The population of this city is around 67,700, which offers people living here a dense suburban feel. 56% of the people here usually live in rented homes, and 44% of them have owned houses. It is the first best place in the state for young professionals to settle down, as there are a lot of job opportunities.

The primary schools here are well-ranked along with fancy restaurants and shopping areas. Greenville has a reinvigorated downtown which serves as a focal point for businesses, the culinary world, tourism, housing, art venues, etc. The atmosphere of this city is quite calm and serene which makes it the best place to live in South Carolina for retirees.

Is Greenville a good place to live?

It is one of the affordable cities in the state. The city is family-friendly, which includes various parks, museums, universities, and schools.

What is the racial makeup of Greenville SC?

The demographics of race in Greenville are as follows:- White- 70.39%, Asian- 2.43%, African or Black American- 23.28%, and other races- 1.76%

3. Columbia

Columbia is considered the 5th best place to live in South Carolina. This city is the capital of the state with a population of over 133, 273 people, with around 54% of the people living in rented apartments and 46% of them living in their own homes. Columbia has a lot of parks, trees, a beautiful downtown skyline.

The state has a big industrial hub, which makes it a good place for young professionals to live and settle down here. It is also the home to the University of South Carolina, where a large no. of students come every year to study and make their careers in the state.

Columbians also have a deep love for USC sports, art & music. There are also various 4D theatres, museums, zoos, gardens, & planetarium activities, for children. Thus, this city has everything to cater to the needs of the people.

Is Colombia South Carolina safe?

The crime rate in this city prevails at 52 per 1000 people, which is very high according to the national rate.

Is Columbia SC a bad place to live?

It is a great place to live in and start a new life journey. The housing is affordable in this city, with a close-knit environment and easy accessibility of everything.

What is the racial makeup of Columbia South Carolina?

The racial demographic of the city are:- White- 53.4%, African & Black- 39.8%, Asians- 2.7%, Hawaiians- 0.2%, and Hispanic- 5.5%.

4. Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant is an excellent place for retirees who are searching for the best place to live in South Carolina. It is a great area as its neighborhood is filled with various amenities. This county also has good educational institutions that provide quality education to the students.

All over this city has a well-manicured look, whether we talk about its architectural style or its shopping centers. Mount Pleasent is close to the beaches. Prices of houses are a bit higher in this beach city as compared to the rest of the places, but still, 72% of the people love to live in owned houses. It is indeed the best place for families and young professionals who want to live in a conservative environment.

Is Mount Pleasant South Carolina a good place to live?

Yes, of course, this state is a good place to live in as it has lots of coffee shops, restaurants, parks, public schools, a serene environment, and a good cost of living and business growth.

How far is Mount Pleasant SC from the beach?

The distance from Mount Pleasant to Folly Beach is 13.86 miles or 29 minutes apart from each other.

Is Mount Pleasant SC rich?

Yes, this city is rich as it offers a high median household income to people of $103,232 which is much higher than the national average.

5. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms is a peaceful suburb near Charleston with a population of around 4,360 people. It is one of the peaceful and best places to live in South Carolina near the beach, where 86% of the people live in their own houses.

This place is located at a distance of 20 minutes from the downtown area of Charleston. It is an amazing beach-side city that is quite popular due to its upscale atmosphere. People can enjoy an exciting life by going to beaches, attending community events, and various recreation affairs. It is also the best place in South Carolina to live for retirees, as here people live a conservative life. The suburb also has various bars, restaurants, and highly ranked public schools.

Which is better Kiawah or Isle of Palms?

If you want an exciting place to live with various activity options, choose the Isle of Palms. Whereas, if you want a laid-back place to live in, choose Kiawah.

Why is it called Isle of Palms?

In the year 1899, a man J.S Lawrence purchased this island and named it Isle of palms.

Is Isle of Palms expensive?

Yes, living in the Isle of Palms is a luxury, as the living expenses in this state are quite high.

6. Fort Mill

This suburb has a population of 17,692 people, situated near Charlotte. It is located in York County and is indeed the best place to live in South Carolina. This is a vibrant town with southern hospitality with great amenities and 2,100 acres of beautiful and protected nature.

Most of the people who live here have a conservative nature and live in their own houses. This is the best place to live in South Carolina for families, due to their environment and highly ranked public schools that provide a top-class education to the students. Based on this suburb has great employment rates, job opportunities, business growth, and affordable cost of living.

How far is Fort Mill SC from the beach?

The nearest beach from Fort Mill is Atlantic Beach which is 151.88 miles away in the southeast direction, which is approximately 3 hours and 37 minutes apart from each other.

Does it snow in Fort Mill, SC?

During December and February, the snowfall in Fort Mills might happen at 2.5 inches.

7. Spartanburg

The town of Spartanburg has a population of 37,424 and is labeled as the 1st best place to live in South Carolina by the US News. This county is best known for its rich past and beautiful scenery. Life in this city feels like living in a dense suburban area, where 54% of the people live on rented properties and 46% of them own their houses. This is because the average rent in the city is $810 whereas the median value of homes is $125,600.

This county has ranked learning institutions and flourishing food markets. The weekends are always a fun affair in this city as people ride bicycles around the town, visit local festivals & exhibitions, and can enjoy lip-smacking delicacies at the local eateries and breweries.

Is Spartanburg SC a nice place to live?

Spartanburg is the best place to live in South Carolina for retirees and families, as the place is peaceful and calm with various outdoor activities and a serene environment for people to enjoy and cherish.

Is Spartanburg South Carolina safe?

The crime rate of Spartanburg is 73 per thousand persons, out of which the rate of property crimes is more than that of violent crimes.

Is Spartanburg SC in the mountains?

This city is located in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

8. Sullivan’s Island

It is an island town in Charleston County and one of the best places to live in South Carolina near the beach. This place is famous for a 140-ft tall lighthouse that was built in the year 1962 and has an elevator instead of a normal staircase.

It is also the 7th best place to live in the state for retirees, as this is the best South Carolina beach for families.

Around 83% of the people of the suburb live in owned houses. This town also stands at the 5th position if talking about the public schools in the state.

Sullivan’s Island is majorly a residential area with fewer commercial places and commercial development, so you have to go to Charleston for shopping stuff or enjoying recreational activities.

Why is Sullivans Island so expensive?

All the houses there are by the beach, and there is more demand than supply. Thus due to the unbendable law of supply and demand, the cost of living in this island suburb is higher.

Can you swim at Sullivans Island?

Swimming is not allowed at the beach waters as the currents are quite strong and there are no life-saving facilities or public restrooms here.

Which is better Folly Beach or Sullivans Island?

Sullivan’s Island Beach is the best as it is less crowded, less frequented, and unspoiled.

9. Lexington

Lexington is a rising city of the state with a rich history and a cultural background. This suburb is located southwest of Columbia with a population of around 21,344 people. It is a perfect place for families and young professionals to live together

The city has various fancy restaurants, cafes, and fine dining experiences. They also have various outdoor activities, gardens, parks, and various fascinating areas to explore and enjoy. There are also various live music concerts and boutiques, which add a vibe to the city.

Around 66% of the people in this town live in their own houses, while 34% of them live in rented apartments. The job market of the city is also fairly good.

Is Lexington SC a good place to live?

Yes, of course, it is one of the best places to live in South Carolina, that offers residents a dense suburban feel and a friendly vibe.

Is Lexington SC a small town?

Yes, it is a small town near Columbia but has a good source of entertainment & flourishing food scene.

10. Clemson

Clemson located in Pickens County sits in the northwest corner of the state. This suburb has a population of 16,463 people, and they experience a dense suburban feel where 58% of them live in their own houses. The city has various coffee shops, bars, and parks which makes it good for the people to live and settle down in the state.

Apart from that, the city has various job openings, restaurants, events, theaters, museums, sports, and recreation. They also impart good quality education in their highly ranked public schools and great placement opportunities through Clemson University. Along with that the city also has good healthcare facilities, helping organizations, and churches, which overall makes it one of the best places to live in South Carolina.

What part of South Carolina is Clemson University in?

Clemson University is the no.1 university of South Carolina, located in the northwest corner of the state.

Is Clemson near Myrtle Beach?

The city of Clemson is about 5 hours and 275 miles away from Myrtle Beach, which is one of the best South Carolina beaches for families

Places to Live in South Carolina FAQs

Is South Carolina an affordable place to live?

This state is an affordable place to live with an overall cost of living of 88.5, which is around 11.5% less than the natural average of 100. If you are a beach lover and have a tight budget to live on, then the cheapest place to live in South Carolina near the beach is the Murrells Inlet.

Is SC A good place to raise a family?

Although this state is small in size, it is a great place to raise a family. Whether you live in a metropolis city or one that is near the beach, you will get all the necessary resources and amenities that are required to raise a family. Some of the best places to live in South Carolina near the beach are- Mount Pleasent, Summerville, James Island, Isle of Palms, Daniel Island, and more.

Conclusion

That was all for the above guide of the best places to live in South Carolina. This state has something to offer to people of varied interests. Whether you are a beach lover or a student, planning to move to South Carolina, the cities here will cater to all your needs.

There are also some worst places to live in South Carolina too, which you should avoid for sure; they are; Catawba, Orangeburg, Lancaster, Marion, and more.

This is a diverse state that has experienced a huge boom in the last 10 years. Thus, more people are planning to shift to this state due to its rich culture & history, unique architectural styles with beautiful landscapes, which makes them an amazingly desirable place to live. So what are you waiting for now? Choose any destination from the above-mentioned list and take the necessary steps to permanently move to that place.

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