South Carolina was my first taste of the true South.
Yes, North Carolina is considered the South. However there is something about South Carolina.
And I am excited to be in search of the South Carolina Best Places to live.
Landing in Coastal South Carolina Best Places of Charleston proved to be the best introduction I could have hoped for. Walking through the city, you’re sure to feel as though you stepped into the past.
I set out for Georgetown, north of Charleston along the banks of the Winyah Bay.
South Carolina Best Places – Georgetown SC has an outlying commercial area with a picturesque downtown. The downtown contains specialty shops, antique stores and galleries. Georgetown’s downtown benefits from the breeze off the water. Although the view of the bay is marred in many spots by towers of heavy industry.
About twenty minutes north of Georgetown SC I fell in love again. This time with the South Carolina Best Places town of Pawleys Island. A typical coastal town for the most part. Although Pawleys Island is considered Shabby Chic by some. Quaint shops and restaurants are scattered throughout this small coastal South Carolina Best Places to live coastal town. But don’t miss the Pawleys Island Bakery for great pastries.
From Pawleys Island SC, I drove through Moncks Corner, which was a quiet little town. The surrounding area of the downtown is of canals. A perfect South Carolina best place if you love to boat. Yet Moncks Corner SC is bordered by green forested lands.
Heading to the north of Charleston, I continued to South Carolina Best Places of Summerville. Summerville SC is a very nice residential community. Just a half hour north of Charleston. Truly one of South Carolina Best Places to live if I was raising a family. Or if you work in Charleston, Summerville is a great place to commute from.
Finally I made my way to Beaufort SC. Beaufort is one of our South Carolina Best Places which is also on the coast. About an hour and a half south of Charleston South Carolina. Beaufort is one of Peachtree Publishers‘, “Top 50 Small Southern Towns.” And for good reason.From Beaufort SC, I drove over the bridge at the end of the town to check out a bit more of the island to Port Royal.
I took the bridge on Route 170 and connected up with Route 278. I followed on its way to a rather famous or at least popular South Carolina Best Places. The South Carolina best place of Hilton Head Island.
I couldn’t imagine how Hilton Head SC had gotten its reputation as one of South Carolina Best Places to live. So I had to check it out. Rather small and … some would consider rather expensive. Just west of “town” there is plenty of shopping. But I warm you, the traffic can get out of control.
I know there’s still lots to see along the South Carolina Coast. And many more South Carolina beaches to explore. However, I have a schedule for this trip.
So with regret I said good-bye to the water and the South Carolina coast.
I headed inland to the South Carolina Piedmont region. The South Carolina Piedmont region is located in the center of the state.
Houses with wide broad porches. Streets lined with moss-draped live oak trees. On my way to the center of South CarolinaI couldn’t help but we taken with the South Carolina Best Places to live of Walterboro. If you love small towns and I mean small. A population of only a little over 5,000. Walterboro SC may be your South Carolina best place.
My first South Carolina Best Places to live stop in the middle of the state is Orangeburg SC. Orangeburg was named in honor of William IV, Prince of Orange the husband of Princess Anne daughter of George II of England. A small town of only 8.5 square miles. But don’t let the size fool you. The South Carolina best places of Orangeburg is also referred to as….”The Garden City.”
Leaving Orangeburg, and heading east, I passed through Santee SC which didn’t have much of a town center. However Santee SC is located in a beautiful natural setting of lakes and forests. Many people seem to have chosen to live simply, enjoying the land in Santee.
From Santee I headed due north to Sumter SC. Some may not consider Sumter as a South Carolina best places. Some don’t like a strong military presence in their best place to live. Sumter is home to Shaw Air Force base. However, Sumter SC is a community well worth checking out.
From Sumter, I headed east. I know I said we were now going to visit the South Carolina Best Places in the Piedmont region. However a short detour back into Coastal South Carolina to best place Florence which is a larger city located along Interstate 95. Florence SC has long been knows as “A City of Character!” As like most South Carolina Best Places, Florence is loaded with history, character, and Southern charm.
Hartsville South Carolina is home to some major industries. And some charming neighborhoods. A small town, it’s downtown area is eclectic downtown with plenty of places to eat and art venues to enjoy.
Camden SC is in equestrian country. The equestrian industry provides over 500 full-time jobs. If you’re a horse lover you’ll be sure to love Camden and all it has to offer. Including not being far from the South Carolina capital city of Columbia.
I’m sure you know the saying “Some like it Hot” and Columbia fits that bill. Columbia SC itself considers itself to be pretty steamy. To be fair, this South Carolina best place to live may be referring to it’s activities more than temperature. Columbia SC boasts a cosmopolitan scene, restaurants, hotels, live music and theater venues. And of course low to no-cost.
After Columbia, I drove to the South Carolina small town of Batesburg-Leesville.
Batesburg-Leesville considers itself the “Gateway to the South Carolina Midlands.” The Midlands is also referred to as the Piedmont region. and roughly refers to an area in the middle of South Carolina. The Midlands is the halfway point between the upstate(mountain) and low country(beach).
This South Carolina Best Place to live defines itself as “a community that still believes in the Southern traditions of personal services and neighborly pride.” As Batesburg-Leesville is just to the west of Columbia, the residents have ample opportunity to use the city. While enjoying the peace and quiet of the country.
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was no disappointment. Definitely one of my South Carolina favorite Best Places is historic Aiken. Aiken may consider themselves as a great escape. And a serene getaway in South Carolina however…Aiken is also a best place to live in South Carolina. Aiken features beautiful historic homes. A downtown that is full of life and peaceful walkways. And did I mention horses? You are in the mecca of South Carolina horse country.
Just a quick jaunt over to South Carolina Best Place Saluda, stopping for a short while. A very small town Saluda SC downtown still lines it’s main street with business. While livestock markets surround the town.
After Saluda, heading north to Newberry. Newberry SC is a cultural center of the Piedmont region. It’s also home to the restored Newberry Opera House, Newberry Firehouse, and the Newberry County Historical Museum. Newberry SC bills itself as “The city of Friendly Folks.”
Heading further west into the South Carolina I stopped in the charming southern city of Laurens SC. Laurens is a city where people still gather downtown. The residents value education. And it appears the city officials and residents are committed to creating economic opportunities.
A bit further south, South Carolina Best Places Greenwood was very scenic. Greenwood is set on the outskirts of one of the most beautiful lakes I saw in South Carolina, Lake Greenwood. Beautiful Greenwood is located in the Lower Piedmont region of Upstate South Carolina.
Greenwood SC provides a friendly, small-town atmosphere. But behind that small town atmosphere there is a progressive and active environment of a larger city.
What came next was one of the most pleasant surprises of the trip, Abbeville South Carolina. Now what other town or city would dare bill themselves as “Pretty Near Perfect?” South Carolina Best Place Abbeville is home to many state parks and the Sumter National forest. No one can say Abbeville SC does not have a rich heritage.
A number of industries that have chosen to make Abbeville SC home. Including Prysmian Cable, Flexible Technologies, and Thermaflex. Their biggest claim to fame may have been in January of 2008. First Lady Laura Bush designated Abbeville SC as a Preserve America Community. The Preserve America Community initiative recognizes communities that demonstrate they are committed to preserving their cultural and natural heritage.
After leaving Abbeville and heading north west, I visited Anderson SC. Which was another very nice town. Coming into the downtown, I wasn’t expecting. The surrounding areas looked a bit run down, but the town center itself was quite nice. Anderson is nicknamed “The Electric City” and “The Friendliest City in South Carolina. “ Maybe it’s because each Thursday afternoon, traffic is closed off on Main Street for the downtown block party.
Clemson SC was very much a typical South Carolina college/university town. As with all college towns, the University students add the cities diversity and vitality. Clemson SC provides a quality living environment for its residents. It has a balanced mix of residential and commercial development. And it’s good to see it is committed to preserving its natural resources. Could be this is your South Carolina Best Place to live. University towns/cities can be awesome. Especially in retirement.
The home stretch of my trip to the South Carolina Best Places to live brought me back heading east. First up and a personal favorite of my wife’s was Greenville SC. A great little city. Greenville SC continues to be recognized by various publications.
CNN Money listed Greenville SC as one of the “Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S..” Bloomberg named Greenville SC the 3rd Strongest Job Market in 2010. Forbes named Greenville SC the 13th Best City for Young Professionals. Okay so maybe my wife has a point. She isn’t the only one that thinks Greenville South Carolina is a best place to live.
I can’t believe we are at the last stop on our journey to the South Carolina Best Places to live.
I have to say Rock Hill South Carolina is a nice way to finish the trip. Home to Winthrop University adds to the charm and excitement of this best place to live.
I traveled more than 1500 miles and visited over 35 towns.
The time seemed like a series of episodes of a television show that is new at first and then becomes familiar, accentuated at points with moments of high tension, or beauty in my case.
As the days went by and the numbers on the odometer grew, my season progressed towards its finale.
By the end, I had my favorite episodes or South Carolina Best Places.
The coastal South Carolina beauty and historic charm of Charleston and Beaufort. The laid-back self-assured style of Pawley’s Island and Port Royal.
The small towns surviving amidst our hectic times in Batesburg-Leesville and Abbeville.
Aiken and Clemson who embrace their categories and in turn set the standards for others of their kind. And finally the larger cities of Greenville and Rock Hill. South Carolina cities that have it all and still feel as though they wouldn’t be the same without you there.
South Carolina shined as all of its towns together formed a whole of warm people. Where peaceful highways and fields and fresh seafood are what makes South Carolina beautiful. And a way of life suitable for any desire somewhere within its bountiful borders.
Bob Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations.Bob researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable. Bob Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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