With its stunning beaches and scenic parks, South Carolina makes for a perfect picnicking spot. There aren’t many better ways to soak up the South Carolina sun than sprawled out on a blanket, snacking on your lunch. It can be difficult to pick the prime spot for your outing, so we’re here to help. Here are 15 excellent picnic spots in the Palmetto State!
Picnic areas are a typical staple of county and state parks, but they don’t all feature a glorious waterfall scene like the one you will find at Chau Ram. Often referred to as Oconee County’s best kept secret, visitors can bring their goody-filled picnic baskets and park themselves under one of many picnic shelters, or spread out a blanket on the rocks up close to the falls.
The Battery represents one of Charleston’s most historic landmarks, and delivers beautiful waterfront views to boot. This lengthy seawall once served as home to what became known as Fort Wilkins. Today, the area is still dotted with early antebellum homes, and now plays host to White Point Garden, where you will find military memorials, cannons, and picnic areas.
You might want to call ahead and make sure the shelter isn’t reserved, but this park is worth that one phone call. Situated alongside the airport in Downtown Greenville, visitors can watch the planes take off and land while enjoying a picnic lunch. There’s also an airplane-themed playground for the kids to burn off some energy before heading home.
This nature and wildlife haven offers a great backdrop for a picnic. Hunting Island takes pride in leaving as much of the area as untouched as possible, so there’s no greater way to experience nature firsthand that right here. Grab a big blanket and carry your cooler to your favorite spot on the beach, where you may catch a glimpse of an egret, heron, loggerhead turtle, or bald eagle, all of which are known to inhabit the area.
Set alongside the Beaufort River, the biggest problem you’ll have here is deciding which of the many beautiful areas will serve as the best spot to enjoy your picnic. When you finish your meal, take a walk along the waterside promenade, where you’ll find bench swings, a playground, a pavilion, and access to some of the best shops and restaurants in the city.
Pack your picnic lightly—getting to this site will take a little work. But the view from the top of Table Rock makes the climb worth it. Start your journey at the Table Rock trailhead. From there, the trail takes you 2,000 feet skyward to put you atop the iconic granite dome known as Table Rock. Yes, it’s a steep trek, but at least you can regenerate some energy with the picnic lunch you bring.
If your appetite is craving a little adventure with your lunch, take a trip to Huntington Beach. You can use the shelters for free, provided they aren’t already reserved, so you may want to call ahead. Aside from a clean lunch spot, Huntington Beach offers plenty of wildlife viewing, such as seabirds, turtles, alligators, and other marsh critters, along with historical buildings, walking trails, and geocaching.
The lack of seating here shouldn’t stop you from bringing a light fare to enjoy as you watch the waves crash on the beach. As one of the city’s many parks, you get direct beach access, along with beautiful 360-degree views of sand, surf and turf.
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chattooga Belle Farm was once part of an apple orchard partly owned by Groucho Marx. Fast forward several decades later, and the orchard has transformed into a stunning farm surrounded by mountain views and nature’s most delicious flavors. Aside from the picnic areas, guests can tour the grounds, enjoy U-pick fruits when in season, try their hand at a round of disc golf, take a hayride, or stock up on healthy or homemade goodies in the store.
Grab some food and bring the whole family along for a picnic by the waters of Lake Wylie. Located in York County, you can dine lakeside before heading to the small beach that’s perfect for swimming and sunning. If it’s too cold for a swim, kids can still get their exercise at the nearby playground.
For a quiet, off the beaten path meal, bring your choice of entree and sides to River Park. Here, there isn’t much more than the sounds of Mother Nature to fill your ears as you enjoy a peaceful lunch. Situated on the Catawba River, the park offers more than miles of trails that are perfect for biking or walking.
The Anderson Civic Center is truly a place for families—with a huge sports complex, walking trails, duck pond, and mega playground, it makes the perfect setting for an afternoon picnic complete with activities. Word of warning: The playground here is so huge you might get lost!
If you’re dining with the kids, they will love the giant castle, maze, and tunnels at Kid’s Planet Century Park. Park yourself at a picnic table and enjoy an alfresco meal, then let the kids run wild throughout the fenced-in play area, complete with swings, slides, climbing structures, fireman’s pole, and more. There’s enough here to keep them entertained for hours, which might mean some much-appreciated quiet time for yourself.
Who says you need a picnic table to enjoy a picnic? King’s Mountain National Military Park, which plays homage to a turning point in the Revolutionary War, is dotted with historic landmarks, monuments, and educational pieces all offering a glimpse into America’s past. The park also features several miles of walking trails and horse trails, with benches, bird viewing, and beautiful nature scenery along the way. Hit the trails for a while until you get hungry, then settle down trailside for a quick bite before you continue on your way.
Not to be confused with the nearby National Military Park, this state park offers more than just the typical picnic shelters and walking trails. In addition to fishing and boating, you can visit the Living History Farm, a replica of a 19th century farm complete with blacksmith shop, cotton gin, and barn. Give yourself a tour while you’re there enjoying your picnic.