Background: Millford, Wedgefield-Rimini Road, Pinewood, Sumter County, SC. Northwest Facade  U.S. Library of Congress

Living in South Carolina

South Carolina "While I Breathe, I Hope"

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of South Carolina

South Carolina USA Map
South Carolina USA Map

Relocating to South Carolina suggests relocating to a state rich in traditions which continues to be felt and seen within its cities today. There's Columbia, the state capital with its huge US Army presence, revitalized downtown and many colleges; Charleston, featuring the nation's oldest historic district; plus the manufacturing hub of the state, North Charleston.

With its Hilton Head Island, Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach the South Carolina coastline possesses some of the finest beaches, memorable golf courses and top resorts in the country. Although as you’ll discover when relocating to South Carolina, which is the smallest state in the Deep South is a gentle giant when you come down to culture and history. From where the initial shots of the American Civil War began, Fort Sumter, to downtown Charleston historic district where the oldest standing theater in the nation is located, South Carolina remains the personification of the nation's South.

Additionally, you can relocate to Myrtle Beach, or Hilton Head Island which are both prominent beach resorts, or discover Sumter, where Shaw Air Base is located. There is Greenville, with its numerous events and festivals, and if you enjoy a congenial commuter community, take a look at Rock Hill, Mount Pleasant or Summerville.

South Carolina, officially separated from North Carolina in 1729, was the scene of extensive military action during the Revolution and again during the Civil War. The Civil War began in 1861 as South Carolina troops fired on federal Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, and the state was the first to secede from the Union.


The state has a humid subtropical climate, although high elevation areas in the "Upstate" area have less subtropical characteristics than those areas on the Atlantic coastline. In the summer, South Carolina is hot and humid with temperatures during the day averaging near 90 °F in most of the state with overnight lows near 70 °F. Winter temperatures are much less uniform. Coastal areas of the state have very mild winters with high temperatures averaging about 60 °F and overnight lows near 38 °F. Further inland in the Piedmont, temperatures average between 50 °F in the daytime and 32 °F at night.


  • South Carolina Geography, Facts and History
  • South Carolina Facts & Trivia
  • South Carolina Flags
  • Famous People from South Carolina
  • South Carolina Timeline
  • South Carolina Official Song
  • Education

    South Carolina Colleges. There are 61 colleges and universities in the State of South Carolina. The University of South Carolina in Columbia was the state's largest university with 29,599 enrolled students for fall 2010. The North Charleston Trident Technical College is the largest two-year college enrolling 15,790. The smallest institution is W. L. Bonner College, a Pentecostal seminary with 47 students. The oldest institution is the College of Charleston, founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785.

    The majority of South Carolina colleges and universities are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), but one is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), one by the Accredit Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS ), one from the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS), and two from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. There are also 6 four-year and two two-year historically black colleges and universities


    Major agricultural outputs of the state are tobacco, poultry, cotton, cattle, dairy products, soybeans, hay, rice, and swine.

    Industrial outputs include textile goods, chemical products, paper products, machinery, automobiles, automotive products and tourism.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of March 2012, South Carolina had 1,852,700 nonfarm jobs of which 12% are in manufacturing, 11.5% are in leisure and hospitality, 19% are in trade, transportation, and utilities, and 11.8% are in education and health services. The service sector accounts for 83.7% of the South Carolina economy.

    Flora and Fauna

    South Carolina State Flower - Yellow Jessamine
    South Carolina State Flower - Yellow Jessamine
    Principal trees of South Carolina include palmetto (the state tree), balsam fir, beech, yellow birch, pitch pine, cypress, and several types of maple, ash, hickory, and oak; longleaf pine grows mainly south of the fall line. Rocky areas of the piedmont contain a wide mixture of moss and lichens. The coastal plain has a diversity of land formations—swamp, prairie, savannah, marsh, dunes—and, accordingly, a great number of different grasses, shrubs, and vines. Azaleas and camellias, not native to the state, have been planted profusely in private and pubic gardens. Twenty plant species were listed as threatened or endangered in 2003, including smooth coneflower, Schweinitz's sunflower, black spored quillwort, pondberry, and persistent trillium.

    South Carolina mammals include white-tailed deer (the state animal), black bear, opossum, gray and red foxes, cottontail and marsh rabbits, mink, and woodchuck. Three varieties of raccoon are indigenous, one of them unique to Hilton Head Island. The state is also home to Bachman's shrew, originally identified in South Carolina by John Bachman, one of John J. Audubon's collaborators. Common birds include the mockingbird and Carolina wren (the state bird). Twenty-two animal species were listed as threatened or endangered in South Carolina in 2003, including the Indiana bat, Carolina heelsplitter, bald eagle, five species of sea turtle, wood stork, and shortnose sturgeon.

  • South Carolina Birds (Carolina Wren)
  • South Carolina Official State Flower (Yellow jessamine)
  • South Carolina Official State Tree (Sabal Palm)
  • Government

    South Carolina State Capitol
    South Carolina State Capitol
    The South Carolina State House is the building housing the government of South Carolina. The building houses the South Carolina General Assembly and the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. It is located in the capital city of Columbia near the corner of Gervais and Assembly Streets. The State House is in the Greek Revival style; it has approximately 130,673 square feet of floor space.

    Officials elected statewide are the governor and lieutenant governor (elected separately), attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller general, treasurer, adjutant general, secretary of agriculture, and superintendent of education, all elected to four-year terms in odd-numbered years following presidential elections. The governor is limited to serving two consecutive terms. Eligibility requirements for the governor include a minimum age of 30, US citizenship for at least five years, and a five-year state residency as well as a qualified voter.

    US citizens 18 years old and older who are residents of the state are eligible to vote. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.

  • State of South Carolina Official Government Website
  • South Carolina State Guide, Library of Congress
  • Attractions

    Whether you're into history, love just relaxing at the beach or are looking for interesting things to do with kids, you'll find it in South Carolina's many engaging tourist attractions. Take your pick from high-quality stage shows, golf, and water parks in Myrtle Beach, or relax at the fashionable holiday resorts on Hilton Head Island. Explore the atmospheric streets of Charleston on a romantic carriage ride or tour some of the south's most beautiful plantation homes nearby. You can visit the fort in Charleston harbor, where the Civil War began, or revel in the breathtaking views and quiet trails of Caesars Head State Park. Take the kids to two great zoos or a planetarium to learn about the stars. Whatever you choose, you're sure to enjoy South Carolina.

    Harbour Towm Lighthouse
    Harbour Towm Lighthouse
    Lighthouses in South Carolina - The South Carolina coast is home to 11 lighthouses. Only two of them still function as lighthouses run by the US Coast Guard and many are not open to the public. They remain beautiful nonetheless, tall and graceful.

    Focal height and coordinates are taken from the 1907 United States Coast Guard Light List, while location and dates of activation, automation, and deactivation are taken from the United States Coast Guard Historical information site for lighthouses.

    Amusement Parks

    Broadway Grand Prix, Myrtle Beach
    Carowinds, Fort Mill
      Carowinds is a 400-acre amusement park, adjacent to Interstate 77 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although having an official North Carolina address, the park is located on the state line of the Carolinas, with a portion of the park also located in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Starting in 2014 an expansion included a $30-million roller coaster, a $2.5-million water slide, a $7-million food complex, and $4 million to improve the park's ticket booths and front areas. In August  Carowinds added the Fury 325 for the 2015 season. The ride is the fifth-tallest roller coaster in the world, after its debut in the spring of 2015, a new front entrance, replacing the original North Gate entrance of the park, also opened along with Fury 325 for the 2015 season. The water park known formally as Boomerang Bay was expanded and renamed Carolina Harbor in 2016. The expansion includes a new six-slide complex, a new wave pool, and several new splash areas for kids. In August 2016 they expanded the County Fair area, with the addition of 4 new rides: Electro-Spin (a mondial top scan), Zephyr (Zierer Wave Swinger), Rock N Roller (Mack Rides Music Express), and Do-Si-Do (HUSS Troika). In 2017 Carolina Cobra was refurbished and renamed "The Flying Cobras". TFor the 2018 season, the park's children's area known as Planet Snoopy, was expanded and converted to Camp Snoopy with the addition of six new children's rides.
    Family Kingdom Amusement Park, Myrtle Beach
      Family Kingdom Amusement Park is a seaside amusement park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Located on Ocean Boulevard, in the heart of Myrtle Beach, the amusement park has 37 rides for adults and children of all ages, including thrill rides, family rides, kiddie rides and go karts. In 2007, TripAdvisor ranked it at number five on its list of the top 10 amusement parks outside Orlando. In business for more than 40 years, the park has the 2,400 foot, figure eight Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster, which is one of only 122 wooden roller coasters operating in North America and ranked number 10 on's list of the top 10 most underrated roller coasters in North America. In 2016, American Coaster Enthusiasts marked the 50th anniversary of the Swamp Fox by adding a historical marker. The Swamp Fox was also declared a historic structure by the city in March 2017.
    O.D. Pavilion Amusement Park, North Myrtle Beach
    Pavilion Park, Myrtle Beach
    Pedroland, Dillon
      South of the Border is an attraction in Dillon, South Carolina, just south of Rowland. It is so named because it is just south of the border between North Carolina and South Carolina and is themed in tongue-in-cheek, faux-Mexican style. The rest area contains restaurants, gas stations, a video arcade, and a motel, and truck stop as well as a small amusement park, a mini golf course, shopping and fireworks stores. Its mascot is Pedro, a caricature of a Mexican bandido.

    National Parks

    Congaree National Park Congaree National Park
    Congaree National Park, Hopkins, SC
      Astonishing biodiversity exists in Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. Waters from the Congaree and Wateree Rivers sweep through the floodplain, carrying nutrients and sediments that nourish and rejuvenate this ecosystem and support the growth of national and state champion trees.
    Cowpens National Battlefield, Chesnee, SC
      “…our success was complete…” -- Daniel Morgan to Nathanael Greene, January 19, 1781 A pasturing area at the time of the battle, this Revolutionary War site commemorates the place where Daniel Morgan and his army turned the flanks of Banastre Tarleton's British army. This classic military tactic, known as a double envelopment, was one of only a few in history.
    Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston Harbor, SC
      Decades of growing political tension around the issue of slavery between North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861 when Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.
    Kings Mountain National Military Park, Blacksburg, SC
      Thomas Jefferson called it "The turn of the tide of success." The battle of Kings Mountain, fought October 7th, 1780, was an important American victory during the Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major patriot victory to occur after the British invasion of Charleston, SC in May 1780. The park preserves the site of this important battle.
    Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, NC,SC,TN,VA
      Stretching 330 miles through four states (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina) the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. Follow the campaign by utilizing a Commemorative Motor Route which uses existing state highways marked with the distinctive trail logo, or 87 miles of walkable pathways.

    National Forests

    Francis Marion National Forest
    Francis Marion National Forest
    Francis Marion National Forest - 258,673 acres
      Francis Marion National Forest is home to 150 miles of streams and a variety of wildlife, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. There are four wilderness areas in the forest, and it is managed together with Sumter National Forest.
    Sumpter National Forest - 372,778 acres
      Sumter National Forest contains 22 waterfalls with drops ranging from 12 feet to 150 feet and part of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness, the only wilderness located in three states


    Although no major league professional sports teams are based in South Carolina, the Carolina Panthers do have training facilities in the state and played their Inaugural Season's home games at Clemson's Memorial Stadium. The Panthers consider themselves "The Carolinas' Team" and refrained from naming themselves after Charlotte or either of the Carolinas. The state is also home to numerous minor league professional teams. College teams represent their particular South Carolina institutions, and are the primary options for football, basketball and baseball attendance in the state. South Carolina is also a top destination for golf and water sports.

    South Carolina is also home to one of NASCAR's first tracks and its first paved speedway, Darlington Raceway northwest of Florence.

  • South Carolina Sports
  • Taxes

    State Tax Facts
    • Income tax: 0% - 7%
    • Sales tax: 6% - 9%
    • Property tax: 0.57% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 18.75 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and diesel



    Charleston International Airport
    Charleston International Airport

    Port of Charleston
    Port of Charleston

    South Carolina Airports. There are seven major South Carolina airports, all of which act as regional airports. The busiest passenger area is the Charleston International Airport. Just past the border in North Carolina is Charlotte / Douglas International Airport, the 30th busiest airport in the world, in terms of passengers.


    The South Carolina Ports Authority owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, as well as Inland Ports in Greer, South Carolina and Dillon, South Carolina. It is authorized and charged with promoting, developing, constructing, equipping, maintaining and operating the harbors and seaports within the State of South Carolina.


    Amtrak operates four passenger routes in South Carolina: the Crescent, the Palmetto, the Silver Meteor, and the Silver Star. The Crescent route serves the Upstate cities, the Silver Star serves the Midlands cities, and the Palmetto and Silver Meteor routes serve the low country cities.

    CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern are the only Class I railroad companies in South Carolina, as other freight companies in the state are short lines.


    I-26 (SC).svgUS 76.svgSouth Carolina 9.svg The state has the fourth largest state-maintained system in the country, consisting of 11 Interstates, numbered highways, state highways, and secondary roads, totalling approximately 41,500 miles. On secondary roads, South Carolina uses a numbering system to keep track of all non-interstate and primary highways that the South Carolina Department of Transportation maintains. Secondary roads are numbered by the number of the county followed by a unique number for the particular road.

    South Carolina Housing

    The median home value in South Carolina is $161,800. South Carolina home values have gone up 7.4% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 6.5% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in South Carolina is $126. The median price of homes currently listed in South Carolina is $246,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $174,700. The median rent price in South Carolina is $1,350.
    South Carolina Association of Realtors
    South Carolina Real Estate Commission
    South Carolina Real Estate Listings

    South Carolina Cities & Towns

    South Carolina is made up 46 counties and includes 269 incorporated municipalities consisting of cities and towns. South Carolina's incorporated municipalities cover only 5.8% of the state land area but are home to 35.4% of its population. The largest municipality by population in South Carolina is the capital city Columbia with 129,272 residents, while the smallest municipality by population is Smyrna with only 45 residents. The largest municipality by land area is also Columbia which covers 736.53 square miles, and Jenkinsville is the smallest at 0.09 square miles.
  • South Carolina Cities and Towns
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    Living in South Carolina . Living in South Carolina