The Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

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View down the the street of Downtown Charleston, South Carolina at sunset.

8 minute read

What You’ll Gain From Reading This Article: A comprehensive guide to the best places to retire in South Carolina, tailored to active adults seeking a vibrant retirement lifestyle.


Ready to retire in South Carolina? The Palmetto State has some of the best golf courses in the country, but that’s not all it has to offer active adults. The state has a rich history and culture, a wide selection of entertainment and recreation, as well as miles of beaches and coastal living. So, choosing the right retirement destination in South Carolina can be tricky. That’s why we found the best places to retire in the Palmetto State. Let’s take a look!

To create the most accurate and cohesive list, we analyzed the unique benefits of these areas. The state itself is very enticing for retirees because it doesn’t tax Social Security, and all other retirement income is largely deductible. Additionally, the southeastern climate offers hot, long summers and short, mild winters.

However, not all major cities in South Carolina have the same amenities, lifestyles, and entertainment. Affordability, outdoor recreation, as well as proximity to downtown were all important factors in identifying the best places to retire in South Carolina. Though many of the top cities are along the coast, the Midlands and Upcountry regions also house some of the best retirement destinations in the state.

View along the beach of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at sunrise.

When it comes to retirement living, many active adults dream of moving to Coastal South Carolina. National parks, cultural and historical downtowns, as well as beachside activities make this region one of the best places to retire in South Carolina.

Hilton Head

Hilton Head might be known for its championship golf courses, but this coastal island is more than just driving ranges and putting greens. It offers residents miles of pristine, sandy beaches such as the popular Coligny and Hilton Head Island beaches.

Additionally, for entertainment, the Shelter Cove Towne Centre has high-end shopping and dining along the Shelter Cove Harbour. In addition to its many amenities, the island has strict regulations on building development, prohibiting buildings taller than the trees, and guaranteeing residents a natural and scenic landscape.

Nearby 55+ Communities

Hilton Head Plantation

Mid $600ks – Low $3Ms

Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head

Mid $300ks – Mid $400ks

Bluffton

Though Bluffton is often considered a suburb of Hilton Head, it has plenty to offer. The historic Old Town Bluffton is the city’s downtown area, featuring a local farmers market, art galleries, as well as boutique shops. After a morning of shopping, residents can head to a local brewery for craft ale, then check out the sculpture garden or historical museum.

Nearby 55+ Communities

Sun City Hilton Head

High $200ks – High $1Ms

Hampton Lake

High $500ks – High $1Ms

The Haven

High $500ks – Low $700ks

Myrtle Beach

With nearly 100 golf courses and world-famous beachfront attractions, Myrtle Beach is a popular destination for retirees looking for beach access without the high price tag. Additionally, housing costs are below average, making this one of the most affordable beachside cities on the East Coast.

Also, there’s no shortage of entertainment! Along the city’s boardwalk are arcades, theaters, shops, and restaurants as well as an old-fashioned amusement park and one of the largest Ferris wheels in the country.

Nearby 55+ Communities

Bridgewater

Low $300ks – High $600ks

Berkshire Forest

High $100ks – High $500ks

Myrtle Beach Golf & Yacht Club

Mid $100ks – Low $400ks

Del Webb at Grand Dunes Myrtle Beach

Mid $400ks – Low $1Ms

Conway

Another affordable town on the coast, Conway is located just minutes from all the attractions of Myrtle Beach but lacks the crowds of tourists. Retirees enjoy this quaint, small town for its rich history as well as its tight-knit community. Conway has several museums and a living history farm as well as water recreation ranging from kayaking to fishing at the Waccamaw River and Conway Marina.

Nearby 55+ Communities

Lakeside Crossing

High $100ks

Myrtle Trace

Mid $200ks – Low $300ks

Murrells Inlet

Located just north of Huntington Beach State Park and along several creeks leading to the Atlantic Ocean, there’s perhaps no better South Carolina town for water recreation than Murrells Inlet. Retirees can fish, canoe, kayak, and swim at numerous places throughout the city. Also, the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk is the cultural hub of this community-based town, where residents gather to shop and dine with nightly live music.

Nearby 55+ Communities

The Bays of Prince Creek

High $300ks – Low $500ks

Seasons at Prince Creek West

Low $400ks – High $500ks

Woodlake Village

Mid $300ks – High $300ks

StoneGate at Prince Creek

Mid $300ks – High $300ks

Charleston

One of the definitive cities of the south, Charleston is steeped in rich history with its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, as well as its active French Quarter. The city itself is a peninsula between the Ashley River and Cooper River, giving residents plenty of access to water recreation, especially along The Battery on the south end of the city.

Charleston is also a booming culinary city, boasting world-class restaurants. With numerous art galleries, museums, and boutique shops throughout the city, Charleston offers active adults a charming retirement in the Lowcountry.

Nearby 55+ Communities

The Elms of Charleston

Low $300ks – High $300ks

Cresswind Charleston

Low $400ks – High $700ks

Summerville

The birthplace of sweet tea, Summerville offers all the history and culture of Charleston but in a smaller, residential town. The historic downtown has popular amenities, including a local farmers market, antique shops, as well as art galleries. Retirees seeking outdoor recreation can also enjoy birding, golfing, kayaking, and strolling through the city’s own sculpture garden or the Francis Marion National Forest just north of Summerville.

Nearby 55+ Communities

Del Webb at Cane Bay

Low $300ks – Mid $600ks

Del Webb Charleston at Nexton

High $300ks – Low $900ks

Four Seasons at The Lakes of Cane Bay

Low $400ks – Low $900ks
View fo the skyline of Downtown Columbia, South Carolina from above Jarvis Klapman Blvd.

Central South Carolina, also known as the Midlands, houses plenty of golf courses, art galleries, museums, and cultural areas.

Columbia

With exceptionally affordable housing, this capital city is popular among retirees for its active Main Street as well as its cultural amenities. Additionally, in the heart of South Carolina, residents enjoy the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, imbibing at the many distilleries throughout the city, and attending sporting events at the University of South Carolina. Despite being further inland from the coast, Columbia has several rivers that converge downtown as well as Lake Murray nearby, meaning water and outdoor recreation is easy to find.

Nearby 55+ Communities

Savannah Lakes Village

Low $200ks – Low $1Ms

Woodside Plantation

Low $200ks – Mid $600ks

The Ponds at Cobblestone Park

Mid $300ks – Mid $400ks

Hulon Greene

High $200ks – Mid $300ks
The downtown cityscape of Greenville, South Carolina on the Reedy River at dusk.

Located in the Piedmont Plateau and Blue Ridge Mountains, Northwestern South Carolina features multiple museums as well as expansive natural areas. This area is also known as the Upcountry.

Greenville

Located further north in South Carolina in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Greenville is an outdoor lover’s dream. Whether hiking at nearby Paris Mountain State Park or enjoying the cascading waters of Falls Park on the Reedy in the heart of downtown, Greenville is packed with recreational opportunities.

Residents can also dine in the downtown area, shop on Augusta and Haywood roads, and check out the art of the West End Market. It has the largest urban population and commercial activity in the Upcountry.

Nearby 55+ Communities

Swansgate

High $200ks – Mid $400ks

Annandale Estates

High $200ks – High $300ks

Fort Mill

Right at the border of North and South Carolina, Fort Mill acts as both a small South Carolina town and a suburb of Charlotte. Additionally, this growing city features the 2,100-acre Anne Springs Close Greenway, offering miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

Also, the development of Fort Mill’s Main Street has revitalized the area into a hub of local eateries and boutique shops. In addition to its local charm, its proximity to Charlotte makes it an ever-popular and in-demand retirement destination.

Nearby 55+ Communities

Sun City Carolina Lakes

Mid $300ks – High $900ks

Tree Tops

High $400ks – Mid $700ks

Four Seasons at Gold Hill

Mid $400ks – Mid $500ks

Augusta Place at Laurel Creek

Mid $400ks – Mid $600ks

Carolina Orchards

Mid $400ks – Mid $700ks

If you’re ready to start touring 55+ communities in South Carolina, then 55places will connect you with a local real estate expert. They will ensure you find the right home that’s also in the perfect community. Contact us today to get started!

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Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

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I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting optout@55places.com. Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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