Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

South Carolina offers a unique blend of coastal beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality, making it an ideal retirement destination. Whether you prefer the charm of small towns, the vibrancy of cities, or the tranquility of beachside living, South Carolina has something for every retiree. Discover the best places to retire in South Carolina and find your perfect community.

Why Retire in South Carolina?

Retiring in South Carolina comes with numerous advantages that make it an appealing choice for retirees.

Balmy Climate

South Carolina's mild winters and warm summers allow you to enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year. The state's pleasant climate is perfect for those seeking to escape harsh northern winters.

Low Cost of Living

South Carolina offers an affordable cost of living, with reasonable property taxes and housing costs, making it an attractive option for retirees on a budget.

Rich History and Culture

From historic Charleston to the cultural festivals of Greenville, South Carolina boasts a rich cultural heritage. Explore historic sites, museums, and enjoy a vibrant arts scene.

Beautiful Beaches

With miles of stunning coastline, South Carolina offers numerous beautiful beaches perfect for relaxation and water activities. Enjoy the scenic views and coastal lifestyle in towns like Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head.

Top Cities to Retire in South Carolina

Charleston

Charleston is renowned for its historic charm, cobblestone streets, and antebellum architecture. The city's vibrant arts scene, fine dining, and beautiful waterfront make it a popular choice for retirees.

Highlights:

  • Historic downtown with beautiful architecture
  • Rich cultural scene with theaters and museums
  • Excellent healthcare facilities

Greenville

Greenville is a thriving city located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Known for its revitalized downtown and outdoor recreational opportunities, Greenville offers a mix of urban and natural attractions.

Highlights:

  • Vibrant downtown with shops and restaurants
  • Numerous parks and outdoor activities
  • Top-notch healthcare facilities

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is famous for its expansive sandy beaches, golf courses, and entertainment options. It's a great place for retirees who love the beach lifestyle and a lively community.

Highlights:

  • Beautiful beaches and coastal living
  • Numerous golf courses and recreational activities
  • Active community with various events and festivals

Columbia

Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina, offers a mix of historic charm and modern amenities. The city boasts excellent healthcare, educational institutions, and cultural attractions.

Highlights:

  • Rich history and cultural heritage
  • Numerous parks and green spaces
  • Excellent healthcare facilities

Top Cities to Retire in South Carolina

Beaufort

Beaufort, located on Port Royal Island, is known for its scenic waterfront and historic downtown. The town offers a relaxed lifestyle with plenty of Southern charm.

Highlights:

  • Beautiful waterfront views
  • Historic downtown with unique shops
  • Friendly and welcoming community

Summerville

Summerville, also known as the "Flower Town in the Pines," is a charming small town with a rich history and vibrant community. It's perfect for retirees looking for a quiet yet engaging place to live.

Highlights:

  • Quaint downtown with shops and restaurants
  • Numerous parks and outdoor activities
  • Friendly and active community

Best Places to Retire in South Carolina Near the Beach

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a premier beach destination known for its beautiful beaches, golf courses, and upscale amenities. It's ideal for retirees who want a luxurious coastal lifestyle.

Highlights:

  • Stunning beaches and outdoor activities
  • World-class golf courses and resorts
  • Upscale dining and shopping

Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms is a picturesque barrier island located near Charleston. The town offers beautiful beaches, a relaxed atmosphere, and a close-knit community.

Highlights:

  • Scenic beaches and waterfront parks
  • Relaxed coastal lifestyle
  • Proximity to Charleston's amenities

FAQs about Retiring in South Carolina

Find Your Ideal Retirement Community in South Carolina

Natural Oceanfront Community near Charelston SC | Seabrook Island

Seabrook Island

Seabrook Island, SC
Homesites from $150K, Villas/Cottages/Townhomes from $350K, Homes from $875K - $5M+

A private oceanfront community only 20 miles from charming Charleston, SC, Seabrook Island offers a rewarding coastal lifestyle with top-notch amenities. Designated a Certified Sustainable Community by Audubon International, its 2,200 acres include 4 miles of pristine beach, vast swaths of serene marsh with winding rivers, and a maritime forest full of birds and other native wildlife.  

Purchasing property on Seabrook, whether it is a homesite, villa, cottage, townhome, or single-family home includes joining Seabrook Island Club. Club membership levels are full, social, or community.  

Seabrook’s 2 championship golf courses – Crooked Oaks (by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.) and Ocean Winds (by Willard Byrd, renovated by Rees Jones, Inc) – are both ranked among “Best You Can Play” in South Carolina every year. The Island House clubhouse has ocean and golf views from its restaurants, and an inviting golf veranda with fire pits and a “Pour My Beer/Wine” wall.  

The Racquet Sports Center is undergoing a $4 million upgrade, and already has 15 Har-Tru tennis courts, 2 (soon to be 6) pickleball courts, and pro shop. Its courts are recognized as some of the best in the Southeast, and thus chosen to host the Alan Fleming Tennis Tournament year after year.  

Seabrook Island’s oceanfront Beach Club is spectacular! Two pools, an outdoor restaurant mixing ocean breezes with fresh seafood, a bar and grill, and a cafe with to-go items ranging from healthy salads to the best soft serve ice cream you’ve ever tasted – all with an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean and direct access to the beach steps away. 

Not many places on the coast have horses, but Seabrook does. The full-service, 22-acre Equestrian Center features trail and beach rides, and boarding. Seabrook Island POA’s Lake House is the wellness and fitness center with spacious rooms for using state-of-the-art machines and free weights, a robust schedule of classes, and an outdoor (recreational) pool and indoor (lap swim / aerobics / therapy / lessons) pool. 

Bohicket Marina and Freshfields Village are within one mile of the security gate for more dining, shopping (including a grocery store), events, and entertainment without having to travel far.  

Visit seabrookisland.com to learn more about everything that makes Seabrook so special.

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Hampton Hall Club

Bluffton, SC
Homes and lots $60K - $1M

Imagine for a minute you’re visiting the private club community of Hampton Hall in Bluffton, SC. You’ve gotten over the awe of the dramatic and picturesque Lowcountry landscape, and you’re starting to take in your surroundings. The first thing you’re probably going to hear is laughter. Depending on where you’re standing, it could be coming from the lakeside resort pool, or the Pete Dye golf course, or maybe one of the various dining venues. For while everything here is beautiful to look at and expertly maintained and cared for, the key component is fun and enjoyment.

We thought you should be prepared for that because, sure enough, the tennis pro will coax you on to the courts, or the threesome about to tee off will enlist you into completing their group. You see, the minute you pass through the gates at Hampton Hall, something changes. You are at once connected with this club and community. A place you may have never known existed, right up until the moment you fall in love with it.

We invite you inside the gates to tour Hampton Hall. Come see if you feel a connection with this Lowcountry private club community. Come see if Hampton Hall feels like home.

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Lakefront Homes McCormick SC | Savannah Lakes Village Community

Savannah Lakes Village

McCormick, SC
Homes: $200s to $900K plus, Lots from $20K - $300K

Savannah Lakes Village is on the 71,000-acre freshwater Lake Thurmond in McCormick, South Carolina with 1,200 miles of shoreline. The community boasts two championship lakefront golf courses with restaurants and pro shops, fiber-optic Internet to each homesite, a 23,000 square foot recreation center with 6 lighted tennis courts (4 HarTru and 2 hard surface), pickleball, bowling alley, indoor & outdoor pools, sauna, fitness room, private card rooms, library, 50+ social clubs, yoga studio, Rod & Gun Club, and so much more. This is active retirement in its truest form…

We are a short 45-minute drive to Augusta and a 2-hour drive from Atlanta. The community abuts three state parks and offers 100+ miles of hiking and biking trails. With no initiation fees or monthly minimums, low property taxes, and no special assessments, you can live an unexpectedly affordable luxury lifestyle.

Our preferred builders offer many custom home plans and lot-home packages to choose from at whatever price point and product type you may desire.

Come stay and play at Savannah Lakes Village. 2 nights for $199. Visit SavannahLakesVillage.com or call 864-391-5259 to book your tour.

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Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach FL | Minto Community Jimmy Buffett

Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head

Hardeeville, SC
Homes starting at the $300s.

Your Latitude! You’ve earned a life where every day feels like an escape. Find your paradise at Latitude Margaritaville, the 55-and-better lifestyle where fun and relaxation meet.

Inspired by the legendary music and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett, this is where life rolls easy, neighbors are friends and the party never ends. Awesome recreation, FINtastic dining and entertainment will make the town center the place to be and just a golf cart ride away. Masterfully crafted new Latitude homes let you hang your hat where your heart is.

Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head is located on Highway 278, 2.5 miles east of I-95 in the city of Hardeeville, South Carolina – the scenic gateway to world-famous Hilton Head Island. The area is steeped in natural beauty, with an abundance of golf courses, pristine beaches and waterways for boating, kayaking, and fishing. Nearby are the historic cities of Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC filled with museums, cultural arts, shopping and dining.

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Homes For Sale Beaufort SC | Coosaw Point | Lowcountry Living

Coosaw Point

Beaufort, SC

Enjoy the Lowcountry lifestyle in this 400 acre community along the Coosaw River on beautiful Lady’s Island in South Carolina. Fall in love! Settle into your very own home by the River. Feel the breeze, breathe in the ocean air, slow down time and know you’re home at Coosaw Point.

Beafort, SC was recently featured in The New York Times and named “Best Small Southern Town”, as well as “Top 25 Small City Arts Destination” and “Top 50 Adventure Town”. Beaufort has charm and intrigue all wrapped up in one package.

Home and homesties are available. The homes in Coosaw Point have been designed to reflect the historic architecture in cities such as Beaufort, SC, Charleston and Savannah. Distinctive details and open floor plans make these homes ideal for families.

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Grande Dunes

Myrtle Beach, SC
Homesites from $150K, THs, Villas, Cottage Homes & Single Family Homes from $400K and Home and Land Packages from $600K

Discover Grande Dunes, an expansive 2,200-acre master-planned community providing a distinctive coastal lifestyle to over 1,000 families. Nestled along the scenic Grand Strand, Grande Dunes showcases a diverse array of over 5,000 homes, villas, retail venues, and commercial spaces, spanning from the serene shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the tranquil expanses west of the Intracoastal Waterway, and from Water Tower Road to Grissom Parkway.

Enriching the Grande Dunes experience are a plethora of exclusive club amenities, both private and public. Indulge in leisure at The Members Club and its pristine golf course, or enjoy rounds of golf at the public resort course. Relax at the Ocean Club and its inviting pool complex overlooking the Atlantic, or perfect your serve at the Grande Dunes Tennis Center. Nearby, the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA offers additional recreational opportunities. On the shimmering waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, the Marina at Grande Dunes boasts 126 slips and the beloved Anchor Cafe. Plus, be sure to explore the award-winning 18-hole golf course nestled within the community.

Grande Dunes presents an eclectic mix of living options, including villas, townhomes, and luxurious residences, catering to diverse preferences. Discover distinctive neighborhoods like the Mediterranean-inspired Grande Dunes Golf Village, the vibrant Marina Village, and the active adult community of Del Webb. Waterway homesites, along with various villas and townhomes, offer additional choices, while the charming Ocean Village showcases Lowcountry-style residences crafted by esteemed builders.

Situated in the heart of the Myrtle Beach area, Grande Dunes embodies the essence of coastal living amidst a backdrop of over 100 golf courses, upscale shopping destinations, and vibrant entertainment venues. Embark on your journey with us today by requesting more information.

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keowee key

Keowee Key

Salem, SC
Homes, Townhomes, Condos: $200K - $1.5M

Looking for the perfect lifestyle community for retirement or to raise your family? Keowee Key has more of what you love. Golf, tennis, fitness center, swimming, boating and pickleball are just a few of the amenities this active, gated, lakeside community offers.

Located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Salem, SC, and surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Keowee, Keowee Key is a 1,600-acre community carved out of a forest of hardwood and pines. You’ll find a wide variety of home styles and price points available in a natural setting with mild seasons and an abundance of local adventure.

All homes in Keowee Key are custom-built, including lakefront, mountain or golf-course views. For a maintenance-free lifestyle, you’ll find ample condominiums, town homes and cottages. Choose a lakefront home with private dock or use one of 5 community docks with 324 boat slips, pontoon and kayak rentals, and a supply store.

The challenging 18-hole, par 72 George Cobb Golf Course, features four tee boxes to match all skill levels. A clubhouse with award-winning chef, lakeside leisure trail, three swimming pools, and a dog park, contribute to Keowee Key’s country club lifestyle.

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Dataw Island

Dataw Island, SC
Homes: $375K - $2M Lots: $35K - $200K

There is a place off the South Carolina coast, near the charming town of Beaufort, where nature and luxury share center stage. Shaped by the Intracoastal Waterway and a rich Southern history, the SC gated golf community of Dataw Island is a pristine parcel of 870 acres waiting to be discovered.

The Dataw Island Club is the perfect choice for you. Golf and Social memberships are available for island residents. If you live in the area and are interested in joining the club, call to find out about the special Country Club Membership incentives. For membership information call (843) 838-3838. Ask about their vacation memberships!

The Dataw Island Club has completed its two year renovation of their golf courses. The Cotton Dike course, designed by Tom Fazio, was completely renovated in 2011, and the Arthur Hills designed Morgan River course has also completed its renovation.

“Top 100 Amenity Communities” – ideal-LIVING Magazine

“Best in Value Golf Community” – Links Magazine

“Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” – The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses

Dataw Island is a luxurious and private residential golf community nestled in an unrivaled South Carolina landscape. Within the gates, there is 24-hour security. There’s vibrancy there, a constant bustle of activity that reflects the area’s rich wildlife and Dataw’s collaborative culture. Residents can walk, bike or travel by golf cart to social gatherings, functions and meetings.

From deepwater slips that lead to blue waters to the manicured golf courses named for legends; from an indoor lap pool to a whirlpool spa; from tennis lessons to Spanish lessons, Dataw Island is humming with leisure. Start the day sunny side up in your Lowcountry residence. Uncover cozy, shaded nooks perfect for soaking in the coastal breeze. Join neighbors for a Yacht Club meeting or challenge friends to a game of croquet on the lawn. From a calendar of social events to thoughtful gathering spots woven throughout, Dataw Island’s connected community is inspired by you.

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South Carolina Gated Community | Woodside | Best Places to Retire in SC
FEATURED

Woodside

Aiken, SC
Lots: $60K - $130K, Homes: $400K - $1M+

Enhanced by the region’s lucrative cost of living, mild climate, stunning natural beauty, and charming
Southern hospitality, Woodside’s 3,000-acre community is ideally located in one of the Southeast’s best-kept secrets, Aiken, SC.

Meticulously designed from concept to creation for discerning active-active adults, downsizing retirees, and anyone else with a taste for the finer things in life, Woodside’s location in one of Southern Living Magazine’s “South’s Best Small Towns” offers residents walkable access to the best of both worlds. On top of Woodside’s world-class amenities, including 4 championship golf courses, 2 clubhouses, more than 60 member-led social groups and clubs, 2 resort-style pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, over 21 miles of hiking and nature trails, 7 landscaped parks and green spaces – including a Certified Butterfly Park – Woodside residents enjoy 10-minute access to downtown Aiken’s Gilded-Age avenues filled with exceptional local restaurants, designer boutiques, art galleries, and more.

Whether you envision yourself perfecting your swing on our Nicklaus Design course, dozing by the pool,
or creating new memories with friends you’ve yet to meet, life at Woodside is designed to deliver you a
home that extends far beyond your property line!

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Callawassie Island

Callawassie Island, SC
Homes: $165K - $1.5M Lots: $10K - $300K

Callawassie Island, located in the heart of the Lowcountry, is a private, gated island community offering world-class Tom Fazio golf and a full complement of amenities including a tennis center, clubhouse, pools, fitness center, and River Club. Secluded from the noise and congestion of the highway, Callawassie lies miles from Hilton Head and is also convenient to Beaufort and Bluffton (15 minutes away); historic Savannah, GA (a 30-minute drive); and the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (40 minutes away). A half-mile causeway provides a relaxing, slow-paced approach to the island, where peace and quiet are as plentiful as vibrant activity.

The community hosts numerous social events, activities and clubs connecting members by their passions for nature, art and giving back locally. Members take full advantage of the island parks, historical sites and recreation areas for enjoying remarkable views of undisturbed nature. Island dwellers have access to four community docks providing leased slips, kayak launches and excellent opportunities for fishing, crabbing and shrimping. The River Club, overlooking the Colleton River, is a warm gathering center with a library and fireplace, family swimming pool, and offers seasonal dining.

For those seeking a golfing experience like no other, the 27-hole, Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course is truly spectacular. Voted one of South Carolina’s top 50 courses, Callawassie recently enhanced the design with a four-million-dollar renovation in 2014. This renovation resulted in a brand-new pro shop with three Class A PGA Golf Professionals. The courses meander intimately along the waterways and salt marshes in a way that environmental regulations have made difficult for newer courses; visual interest is natural not manmade.

Callawassie Island is the first South Carolina gated community to have been designated a “Community Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation. This coexistence brings a true community balance with nature. The island is covered with live oaks and palmettos, egrets and herons, and encompasses a thriving salt marsh ecosystem.

Today, Callawassie is one of only four South Carolina communities holding this distinguished designation. The homes and homesites, including waterfront property, are among the best values in the area.

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Bike path fun

Daniel Island

Daniel Island, SC
Homes from $350K - $7M
A glamorous golf community, Daniel Island is surrounded by beautiful rivers and creeks where residents enjoy boating, fishing, and kayaking. Featured amenities include two golf courses, swimming, tennis, fitness, and miles of biking and walking trails.
The Peninsula of Charleston

The Peninsula of Charleston

Charleston, SC
The Peninsula of Charleston is a proposed luxury senior living community located in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The community will offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care services, as well as a variety of amenities, including a fitness center, spa, and theater. The Peninsula of Charleston will be the first and only life plan community in downtown Charleston, and it will offer residents the opportunity to age in place with peace of mind.
Hilton Head Lakes

Hilton Head Lakes

Hardeeville, SC
Hilton Head Lakes is the best value in a gated golf course community in the area! Located in the South Carolina low-country, perfectly balanced between world class resort, Hilton Head Island and the historic, romantic charm of Savannah, Georgia. Community amenities include a brand new Property Owners Amenity Center with fitness center, gathering room & screened porch, pickle ball courts and a resort style swimming pool featuring beach entry with geysers, lap lanes and shallow lounge area and hot tub. Miles of lighted sidewalks and nature trails surrounding the lakes.

Find Your Ideal Retirement Community in North Carolina

South Carolina is a wonderful state for retirees, offering a mix of vibrant cities, charming small towns, and beautiful coastal areas. Whether you're looking for affordable living, safety, or a rich cultural scene, South Carolina has it all. Explore the best places to retire in South Carolina and find your perfect retirement community today.

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