Planning a summer vacation to South Carolina? In this guide, we’ve chosen to highlight summer activities in the cities of Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville. Each activity listed below is guaranteed to be fun for all ages ranging from waterfalls, to ghost tours, to free live music. Let’s take a look.

Charleston South Carolina

Beaches

With the hot summer weather, Charleston’s beaches are a popular destination for boating, swimming, and lounging about. Perhaps most excitingly though, in the summer months, Loggerhead turtles make their way to the Charleston beaches for nesting season. Bottlenose dolphins also frequent the area and are commonly sighted by kayakers.

Ghost Tours

If you’re a history buff and want to try something other than visiting a museum, why not join a ghost tour. Put your brave face on and take a non-traditional look at Charleston’s rich history. If that’s not your speed or if you have little ones with you, Charleston has a number of walking tours available. These range from historic home tours to cultural food.

RiverDogs

Charleston is home to the minor league baseball team the RiverDogs. Tickets are relatively cheap and while at the game you can enjoy hot dogs, $1 beer on select nights…and boiled peanuts. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a treat only made properly in the South. Some consider it to be a delicacy. We’ll let you be the judge of that.

Columbia, South Carolina

Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens

Built in 1818, not only does the mansion boast beautiful gardens, but it also has…air-conditioning. We love to point out a cool place to duck inside and cool off from the Southern heat. It also happens to be one of Columbia’s oldest remaining structures with a fascinating history of ownership.

A Day on the Water

Columbia is home to three intersecting rivers as well as Lake Murray. On a really hot day, kayak or float down a river in an inner tube. Or if a slower day is more your pace, swim or lounge about at Lake Murray.

World’s Largest Fire Hydrant

This might be our most random suggestion: visit the world’s largest fire hydrant. It’s constructed by South Carolina artist Blue Sky out of steel and concrete and stands over forty feet tall. The piece is named “Busted Bug Plaza.” It’s designed to be able to withstand natural disasters even though it was ironically built slightly askew to allow for water to spray out of it at all times.

Greenville, South Carolina

Stumphouse Tunnel

The Stumphouse Tunnel was initially dug as part of the construction for the Blue Ridge Railroad with the end goal of reaching Charleston. Construction was halted during the Civil War and never resumed. Clemson University later took over the property and used it to cure their blue cheese. Nowadays, the tunnel is open for touring. It’s especially pleasant in the summer months with an internal temperature of 50 degrees. Be sure to bring a flashlight and closed-toed shoes for walking through puddles.

Main Street Fridays

Every Friday evening from Mid March until September, Greenville shuts down several city blocks for live local music. Both admission and the music are free. However, bring cash for food and drinks. It’s also encouraged to bring your own lawn chair.

Lake Falls Park

Greenville is one of the rare cities that boasts a waterfall in the middle of downtown. Falls Park in the middle of the city is well worth the visit. In the summer months, you’ll find people lounging about on the banks with their feet in the water.