South Carolina is a spot the place you may simply splurge or save relying on the route your itinerary takes. On the lavish finish of the spectrum, you may take pleasure in five-star boutique motels and tremendous eating with genuine Southern aptitude within the capital, Columbia, and the cobblestone-clad port metropolis of Charleston.

World-class golf programs and seashore resorts are staples on Hilton Head Island within the South Carolina Lowcountry, whereas amusements and actions – typically for a price – preserve guests busy in Myrtle Beach

The Palmetto State can be stuffed with bargains, accessible statewide with a little bit preparation and analysis. Even in some luxurious locations, it can save you large on transportation, points of interest, and sure, even sought-after tee time. And a few of South Carolina’s greatest discount adventures are those you don’t have to plan or price range for.

Amongst my favourite trip reminiscences within the state are hitting a roadside produce stand for native peaches, visiting native mom-and-pop fuel stations for some boiled peanuts, and making a pit cease at a barbecue joint for some wood-pit roasted goodness with a aspect of collard greens.

Better of all, you’ll typically be greeted with a pleasant smile and a flip of phrase to recollect. As you put together in your subsequent South Carolina journey, listed below are some suggestions for maximizing your price range.

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A mature couple ride their bicycles beneath Folly Beach Pier, South Carolina
Exploring by bike can prevent cash in lots of vacationer facilities in South Carolina © KenWiedemann / Getty Pictures

Contemplate your regional airport choices to save lots of

South Carolina has three worldwide airports – Greenville-Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach and Charleston – however in comparison with O’Hare Worldwide in Chicago or Los Angeles International Airport, all are visibly much less hectic. If you happen to can snag a direct or low-cost flight to those spots, accomplish that.

If you cannot bag a discount or direct flight, don’t overlook Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport or Charlotte Douglas International as choices. Weaving these mega-airports into your journey can equate to a whole lot of {dollars} saved. 

Atlanta is roughly 120 miles southwest of the South Carolina border, offering a straight shot to the South Carolina Upcountry and cities equivalent to Greenville and Spartanburg. Charlotte’s airport is simply 15 miles from the state’s northern border, with Interstate 77 offering a 95-mile path to Columbia. 

Journey within the winter for the most effective flight and resort offers

December via February is extensively thought-about South Carolina’s low season. Temperatures in Columbia, for instance, peak within the mid-50s and dip into the mid-30s at evening. You’ll want a winter coat, however the dough it can save you on flights and motels gives you a heat glow.

Along with shopping main journey websites, make sure to go to resort web sites, or name them for winter getaway offers. From family-friendly resorts in Myrtle Seashore to family-run inns in quaint downtown Florence, Santee, and Beaufort, do some digging and it’ll typically repay.

Visitors take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage in Charleston, South Carolina
Swap costly carriage excursions for journeys on the bus or trolley to discover outdated Charleston for much less © Peter Unger / Getty Pictures

Hop on a trolley or bus to soak up the cityscape

Within the summertime, when statewide temperatures can creep as much as 100 levels, you may desire a shaded break from scorching metropolis strolls. For these wanting to soak up metropolis skylines in a cooler, extra leisurely style, there are trolley and bus programs aplenty that will likely be far cheaper than the options.

In Hilton Head, the Sea Pines and Breeze trolleys supply free rides. Charleston’s DASH shuttle can be free, with routes working each 10 to 45 minutes.

And, in Greenville, the free downtown trolley runs up and down the town’s Foremost Avenue core. Columbia’s COMET bus system gives day passes for $4; as a bonus, you get free bike rental along with your cross.

Tee off at twilight in Hilton Head

A spherical of golf at Hilton Head’s prime golf locations – Harbour Town and Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club – can simply run to a few figures after which some, notably throughout the spring months.

Golfers seeking to maximize their budgets ought to e-book as far upfront as attainable and take into account teeing off at twilight (which usually means beginning your spherical later than 3pm).

Snag a snowbird tenting cross for prolonged winter stays

Tenting in South Carolina is a budget-friendly various lodging possibility for nature lovers. Annually, residents of the Northeastern United States migrate away from the chilly and head south for the winter, with the Palmetto State being among the many prime locations.

And these so-called “snowbirds” typically weave in a tenting journey whereas they’re at it. Relying on the positioning and services, campsite charges run from about $10 per evening to over $50 for a totally outfitted plot. From December via February, South Carolina State Parks gives snowbirds a 30-day stay at half-price at chosen parks across the state.

The setting sun reflects off parked cars in the historical downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina
The historic coronary heart of Charleston is greatest explored the cheap manner, on foot © f11photo / Shutterstock

Discover historical past through guided strolling excursions

In history-infused cities equivalent to Greenville, Charleston and Columbia, you’re sure to have questions whereas gawking at museums and historic estates. Fairly than a non-public, expensive tour with transport included, take into account reserving a less expensive strolling tour.

In Charleston, Free Tours by Foot employs skilled guides who supply weekly ghost and structure walks; friends can title their very own worth however make sure to tip your guides!

In Greenville, the town has mapped out four DIY walking routes, all of that are lower than two miles in size. And in Columbia, the town has weekly Main Street walks on Saturdays that price simply $10, beginning on the Columbia Museum of Art

Buy a state park passport to save lots of on admission charges

South Carolina has 47 state parks, with admission usually costing lower than $10 per automotive for every website. If a park-hopping itinerary is on the playing cards, take into account a South Carolina State Park Passport for financial savings. For entry to all the state’s parks, there is a 7-day passport for $65 or a year-long passport for $99.

The all-park possibility is nicely well worth the added dough because it grants free admission to a number of the state’s greatest points of interest, together with the citadel at Huntington Beach State Park and excursions of historic properties such because the Hampton Plantation and Rose Hill Plantation

Hit Lake Murray free of charge family-friendly occasions galore

Dubbed ‘The Jewel of South Carolina”, this artifical 50,000-acre lake is roughly 10 miles northwest of downtown Columbia. In addition to fishing, boating and {golfing}, the lake and surrounding quaint communities are hotspots free of charge household actions.

The city of Chapin has free film nights at Melvin Park, Newberry has a farmers’ and artists’ market with children’ actions, and the Metropolis of West Columbia has a weekly artisan market alongside Assembly Avenue. Saturday is usually the most effective day for a Lake Murray journey – it’s when the occasions are in full circulation.

A father and a little boy and little girl head into the water at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Get a Passport to Enjoyable to save cash on a household journey to Myrtle Seashore © Rebecca Nelson/Getty Pictures

Obtain the ‘Passport to Enjoyable’ for offers on actions in Myrtle Seashore

Myrtle Beach is a white-sand draped utopia primed for family adventures, however planning a visit to Myrtle Seashore on a price range isn’t any straightforward activity. Whether or not outings are scheduled months upfront or on the fly, the price of points of interest, meals and the whole lot in between quickly provides up.

Nevertheless, Go to Myrtle Seashore has a free, downloadable Passport to Fun that provides offers on a number of the metropolis’s most interactive and kid-centric experiences. These offers can embrace discounted tickets to WonderWorks Myrtle Beach, The Funplex and Shipwreck Island Adventure Golf and financial savings on watercraft leases. 

Navigate Charleston’s breweries aboard the free Brewery District Beer Trolley

Charleston is a craft beer haven however these $5 to $10 brewskis can add up rapidly, and after just a few, you shouldn’t be driving anyway.

From 1pm to 9pm on Saturdays, the “Holy Metropolis” has a free shuttle that makes hourly stops at a number of the metropolis’s most-renowned spots, together with the Tradesman Brewing Company, Baker & Brewer and Munkle Brewing Co. It’s cheaper than taking an Uber to and from every spot and the corporate is usually far more entertaining.

South Carolina past the seashores

Day by day prices in South Carolina

  • Primary room for 2: $90–120
  • Self-catering condominium (together with Airbnb): From $140 per evening
  • Public transport ticket in a South Carolina metropolis: $1–2
  • Boiled peanuts at a fuel station: $2–3
  • Cup of espresso: $2–3
  • Sandwich: $6–10
  • Dinner for 2 at a downtown restaurant: $50–70
  • A pint of beer on the bar: $6–7

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