Oyster roasts and Frogmore stew are just some of the diverse culinary treats that await newcomers to the Low Country of South Carolina. Retirees moving to this unique region to live along its challenging fairways and on its sandy beaches find themselves immersed in a culture quite unlike anything they have encountered back home in the Mid-west or East. With a sense of tradition and heritage lingering from the Old South and spurred by a surge of golf course communities and resort developments, South Carolina’s coastal region presents a lifestyle and quality of life that is both hospitable and full of opportunities for fun and adventure.
Extending from the Grand Strand surrounding Myrtle Beach southward to Charleston and beyond to Beaufort and Hilton Head, this is one of the most popular and fastest growing retirement areas in the entire country.
Vacationers, long attracted to Myrtle Beach for its beautiful, wide beaches and its more than 100 public golf courses, have, in recent years, are now returning to retire here, and now, as prices climb for prime real estate, developers of new retirement communities are pushing further inland to a number of smaller towns, heretofore by-passed as retirement destinations.
Such places as Bluffton, Hardeville, Conway and Johnsonville, each an hour or less from the coast are now attracting new residential developments marketed for retirees. These new residents are discovering that homes in these small towns are often more affordable and that the towns themselves are great places to retire.
The epicenter of the Low Country is Charleston, an historic and architectural jewel that draws thousands of visitors each year to wander its tree-lined streets and lush gardens and stroll through its unique shops and galleries. Beneath this pleasant and exciting facade is a city with grace and charm, one whose beautifully restored buildings, quiet residential neighborhoods and surrounding small towns offer an exciting array of housing choices for gracious retirement living.
Whether it be across the Cooper River Bridge to inviting communities like Mt. Pleasant, Daniels Island and Sullivan’s Island or a short drive to the nearby historical town of Summerville; the greater Charleston area affords a chance to reinvent your life. Truly, you may find it difficult to lead a sedentary existence when confronted with numerous golf courses, expansive bodies of water for fishing and boating and wide, sandy beaches that beckon any sun worshiper.
But great retirement living in South Carolina is not limited to the coastal areas. In fact, the lakes and mountains of the Up Country in the northwest corner of the state are even more inviting to some than the oceanfront. Here, you will find a combination of pristine lakes, mild four season weather and picturesque small towns, such as Seneca, Clemson and Pendleton, all resting in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This is a slower-paced lifestyle, yet still with outstanding golf, not to mention acres of mountain woodlands and a varied selection of waterfront properties. Residents have access to the advantages of quality health care facilities, a nationally-known university and an interesting variety of shopping and commercial areas.
For many, the retirement destination of choice is Aiken, a small city with a population of about 26,000, located just a short distance from Augusta, Georgia. Noted for its rolling green pastures and well-manicured horse farms, Aiken is also home to a number of residential golf course communities specifically targeted to the retirement market. In stark contrast to some of the crowded, congested coastal regions, life here moves at a slower pace, one where steeplechases and polo matches take the place of surfing and deep sea fishing.
All in all, South Carolina is a diverse and inviting place to retire with a number of lifestyle choices. If you are considering the Palmetto State for your retirement dream home, take time to explore all of its many regions before making your selection. Otherwise, you just might overlook that one spot that would be perfect for you.
For more information on finding your best places to retire, visit