The Best South Carolina State Parks Perfect for Holiday Getaways
Hello! Amanda Rollison from Value Minded Mama here! Our little family of four has been exploring the South Carolina State Parks this year. We live in Columbia and are participating in the Ultimate Outsider Program. So far we have visited 20 parks since May!
With almost halfway to go, I wanted to share some of our family experiences at these beautiful state parks in time for the holiday season. Have you wondered what it’s like to stay on site at a state park cabin? With the holidays coming up, see just how magical these South Carolina State Parks can be.
There are plenty of things to do and easy, DIYs you can bring with you to help make the cabins feel more like home while traveling this season. Come along with our family as we visit some of the best South Carolina state parks, perfect for your next holiday getaway!
Edisto Beach State Park
I love the beach anytime of the year but it holds a special nostalgia for me during the winter, since growing up I visited the Lowcountry every Christmas with my family. Edisto Beach State Park is such a gorgeous low key area, you would not regret visiting during the holidays.
We have a fairly small family of two adults and two children under 6, so we don’t need a ton of space. Our cabin had one bedroom and a Murphy wall bed. It came with a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, living room and two porches. The back porch was screened in, which was awesome! Cabins also have an outdoor shower for rinsing off after a visit to the beach.
Five cabins have one bedroom and one Murphy bed - both queens. Two cabins have three bedrooms with a queen bed in each room.
I was really impressed with the upgrades to our specific cabin (Cabin 5). The fixtures looked new and the furniture was rustic but modern. It definitely felt like a little lowcountry cabin on the marsh.
The cabin area is located on Scott Creek, 1½ miles from the ocean. Book your stay for Thanksgiving or Christmas and celebrate with loved ones over a lowcountry favorite - Frogmore stew (also known as low country boil!).
Homey Tip: Bring your own decorations (we got ours at the Dollar Tree for a little inexpensive festive fun!) or make a paper chain with the family. Make sure to bring tape!
Take a relaxing stroll on the beach, hunt for shells and just enjoy Edisto Island during the off season with less tourists!
Edisto Beach State Park is right across from the cabin campground and Botany Bay is a close wildlife preserve that is eerie and remarkable to see.
There are several trails you can visit while on the Edisto Beach State Park campground property and if you drive over to the Environmental Learning Center there are even more trails. We visited the exhibits there, walked to a monument and down a dock to see beautiful views of the Edisto River.
Devils Fork State Park
Devils Fork State Park is an absolutely gorgeous scenic park. Spend the holidays with your family on the crystal clear waters of Lake Jocassee with stunning views of the mountains.
Stay in one of their fifteen 2-bedroom, 1-bath villas that accommodate up to four, they include a queen bed and two single beds.
Or pick from five 3-bedroom, 2-bath villas that accommodate up to six, and include a queen bed in two of the bedrooms and two single beds in the third bedroom.
All twenty villas are furnished, come with a fully equipped kitchen with utensils and appliances, satellite tv, WiFi, screened in porch, grill and picnic table.
You can bring your own food, grill out and have s’mores by the fire with a beautiful view. I love staying in places that have a fully equipped kitchen so we don’t have to eat out as much!
Make sure to bring a camera and tripod so you can get plenty of festive, holiday family pictures with this gorgeous view!
There is so much to do at Devils Fork State Park and Lake Jocassee if you love being out on the water. They have all boat access, rentable kayaks, canoes and John boats. You can take a paddleboard out or relax in your hammock by the lake. There is also a concession/food stand if you want to get a quick bite to eat.
They do have one trail to explore. It is 1.5 miles total and was not too painful for our group with an almost 3-year-old and 5-year-old. There are some pretty views of little waterfalls and descriptions of the plant life along the way.
Table Rock State Park
Table Rock State Park cabins are great for family camping or hiking trips to getaway this holiday season! They have one, two and three bedroom cabins available with fully stocked kitchens, a bathroom with linens provided, living and dining rooms and an outdoor patio area.
There are fourteen cabins available to rent from on the property and Cabin 16 is user-friendly for the physically impaired.
When we visited, we stayed in Cabin number 12. It has three bedrooms, two rooms with bunk beds and one with a full bed. Everything was rustic and woodsy. It was also right across the street from the playground, lake and hiking trails. If you’ve got a young family of eight or less, this is the cabin you want to be in!
The setting at Table Rock State Park in the fall is so gorgeous too. Leaves changing, temperatures dropping, all while being surrounded by nature is truly magnificent. We had hot chocolate and s’mores every evening by the fire and it was wonderful.
We welcomed each new day with a morning walk to the playground and either visited a trail on the state park site or went on a local adventure. This was the first state park I lodged at and it was the best experience!
I would’ve loved to experience the 67-acre Lake Oolenoy while we were there! If you have an electric trolling motor or paddle powered boats, you could enjoy the lake in the cooler months. Such a great family-friendly spot for your next holiday getaway!
Hickory Knob State Park
Enjoy the holidays at Hickory Knob State Park Resort and let someone else do the cooking for you! Hickory Knob State Park is the only park with a full restaurant and dining experience available. The restaurant is open for all three meals 7am-9pm, so you can eat any time of day. Online orders are welcomed and encouraged while visiting.
Their breakfast buffet is amazing and has so many options you’ll want to go back for seconds!
For lunch and dinner, the menu has plenty of sandwiches, burgers, wings and pizzas to choose from!
Since we were eating on site most of the time, we didn’t bring much food other than snack items for our kids. For a light meal or snack, bring disposable holiday themed plates and your own banner for some easy DIY holiday decor.
We stayed in one of the lodge rooms that had one bedroom with two double beds, one bath and was equipped with a mini fridge and microwave. It was within walking distance to the restaurant and lounge area, which we highly appreciated!
Since our accommodations were a pretty tight fit in the lodge rooms, I was extremely grateful for the lounge/game area at the visitors center!
It has several cozy couches grouped together, a large tv, ping pong table, a checkers set by a large stone fireplace and a pool table for your enjoyment. We brought our own travel games, puzzles and crafts to help keep our little ones entertained.
They also have a couple other lodging accommodations to choose from. Sixteen one-bedroom, one-bath duplex cabins sleep up to four people. They have two double beds in each bedroom.
The unique Historic French Huguenot Guillebeau House includes two bedrooms that accommodate up to four people, bath and bed linens, basic cooking and eating utensils, television, heat and AC, and a fireplace.
If you have a larger group, The Barrack is ideal for groups of up to 10 people. This rustic facility has four bedrooms with two sets of twin bunk beds and six twin beds, two baths, a kitchen with cooking and eating utensils, and a living room with television.
Hickory Knob State Park also features an 18-hole championship golf course, driving range, practice green, clubhouse, pro shop and lounge.
There are a couple of trails to hike at Hickory Knob State Park Resort. We went on the Lakeview Trail and just turned around after we saw the lake on that 7mi trail!
Don’t forget to check out these gorgeous views of the lake in front of the visitors center, right behind the playground. We set up a hammock and enjoyed the relaxing, calm atmosphere. Hickory Knob State Park Resort was such a lovely getaway.
If you want to get out of town and travel for the holidays, I highly recommend any of these South Carolina State Parks for your next family holiday getaway. We had an amazing time experiencing new areas in our state and making priceless memories.