Why RVers Love South Carolina State Parks

Feb 14, 2022 | Best Campgrounds, Campgrounds

Why RVers Love South Carolina State Parks

By Campendium

South Carolina’s state park system boasts four beautiful beachfront campgrounds—but veteran RVers and Palmetto State natives know that it offers so much more, including mountains, streams, lakes, waterfalls, and proximity to popular cities.

Trailer parked at campsite surrounded by fall leaves
Campsite at Paris Mountain State Park. | Photo by: AtlG

South Carolina takes great pride in its state park system and its well-maintained campgrounds, which are spread throughout the state. Thirty-three of the 47 state parks offer RV sites at their campgrounds. The state is famous for its beach camping, which attracts RV owners escaping colder temps, especially around spring break. 

While beach camping in South Carolina is undoubtedly epic, there are dozens of other locations to camp throughout the state. If you love hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, bird-watching, or almost any other outdoor activity—then you’ll love RVing in South Carolina.

Stand-Out Features of South Carolina State Parks

If there’s an award for state park websites, then South Carolina might get the top prize. Its website has useful information about each park, including interactive maps, pictures, and a helpful “Top 5 Things To Do” section. 

Each park also has extensive park ranger-led programs and activities that rival those at national parks. Twenty-six of the state’s parks have free Junior Ranger programs designed for kids between the ages of 6 and 9 years old—although anyone can participate. In recent years, the state parks work closely with organizations like Black Folks Camp Too and Outdoor Afro to increase diversity and spark new generational camping traditions among South Carolinians. 

Camp folding chair overlooking lake view
Campsite at Calhoun Falls State Park. | Photo by: Cindy

How to Make a Reservation at South Carolina State Parks

Reservations can be made up to 13 months in advance directly through the state park’s website, where you can search by filters. You can also call directly at 1-866-345-7275, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. The staff at the reservation desk is very knowledgeable if you have questions that aren’t answered on the website. 

What to Expect RV Camping at South Carolina State Parks

Prices for campsites range from $19 to $60 depending on the size of the site and what hookups are offered. The South Carolina parks website shows each site on a map and provides one picture of the site for reference. 

The state offers a few different park passport options that cover the entrance fees for everyone in your vehicle. Depending on your plans, you can purchase annual or 7-day options with access to all or select parks. South Carolina offers reduced rates to qualifying residents who are older than 65 years of age or have a disability. 

Pets are allowed at campsites and most outdoor areas within each park. Programs and events vary from park to park and are searchable by date and location on the website. For all parks, check-in time for camping is at 2 p.m. and check-out time is 12 p.m. The maximum length of stay is 14 days. You can view a full list of regulations here

View of clear blue lake
View at Devils Fork State Park. | Photo by: RVfamof6

Best South Carolina State Parks for RVers

In a state park system filled with East Coast classics and underrated gems, these top picks offer ample opportunities for spacious sites and memorable outdoor adventures.

  1. Myrtle Beach State Park is surprisingly peaceful considering its proximity to downtown. The sites are generously sized and more than 100 of them have full hookups. The beach is also a short walk from the campground. 
  2. Huntington Beach State Park is located less than 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach State Park, but it feels like it’s a world away. The beaches are much quieter, and nearby Brookgreen Gardens is a state treasure and must-see destination. 
  3. Hunting Island State Park is the ultimate in beachfront camping. You can fish, swim, stroll the beach, and catch stunning views from the lighthouse observation deck (for a $2 fee).
  4. Calhoun Falls State Park boasts three gorgeous campgrounds along the shores of Lake Russell. Sites with views of the water are coveted, and some even accommodate rigs up to 40 feet. Campers who love fishing, swimming, or kayaking will find plenty to do at this park. 
  5. Devils Fork State Park sits on the bank of Lake Jocassee, a waterfall- and stream-fed lake that’s known for its cool, clear waters and trout fishing. There are two small campgrounds near the lake that accommodate tents and RVs, and a boat-in campground at the base of Musterground Mountain. 
  6. Paris Mountain State Park serves as a peaceful retreat for the residents of Greenville and a basecamp for travelers who want to visit the city’s popular and energetic downtown. The campground’s RV sites are spacious, but some tend to be unlevel. Be sure to bring extra leveling blocks with you if you plan to visit this park.