5 Most Instagrammable Spots in South Carolina

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South Carolina offers gorgeous beaches, famous golf courses, and rich history. It’s no wonder so many people choose to visit every year.

But when you’re just one among the crowd, how do you get the most Instagrammable pictures possible? Today, we’ll break down the best picture spots in South Carolina and how to line up the perfect shot.

Why a Visit to South Carolina Should Be in Your Future

South Carolina’s appeal comes from its diverse beauty. It has varied ecosystems, quaint towns, and graceful Southern charm. You’ll find culture, history, and nature everywhere you look here.

From Hilton Head Island in the Low County to Myrtle Beach and Charleston, to the cobblestone streets and mouth-watering Southern food, a visit to South Carolina is a must.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for unique places to share with your followers, visit the best small towns in South Carolina.

Two friends taking each other's photo out in nature.

5 Most Instagrammable Spots in South Carolina

With so many places to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. So you don’t miss out on some of the most Instagrammable spots in South Carolina, we’ve got five for you right here. 

#1. Angel Oak Tree, Charleston

About the Angel Oak Tree: Located on Johns Island, you’ll find what people call “A Lowcountry Treasure,” the Angel Oak Tree. It’s believed to be the largest live oak east of the Mississippi and is around 300 to 400 years old. This treasure is so gigantic that it shades 17,000 square feet.

Due to the more than 400,000 annual visitors, the city has taken measures to protect the Angel Oak. This includes restricting blankets, food, drinks, or any type of photographic props, including tripods.

The Angel Oak Tree in Charleston, Souther Carolina dwarfs the group of tourists below it in it's sprawling shadow.
The Angel Oak Tree in Charleston, South Carolina

How to Get the Best Shot: What does this mean when it comes time to capture that Instagrammable moment? It simply means you’ll need to zoom in to get a close shot. Careful, though. The closer you zoom in, the less sharp your image may be. 

You’ll also need to be aware of the lighting streaking in through the branches alongside the shadows. Trying to capture both light and dark can be difficult, so focus on the topic you want to be lit up.

Use a tripod if you’re far enough away from the tree and not violating restrictions. Or, consider a wide-angle shot. With a tree this big, a wide-angle shot could be your best bet. How about lying down on the ground with your camera focusing upward? Different angles create some of the coolest shots.

#2. Congaree National Park

About Congaree National Park: In the center of South Carolina, just southeast of Columbia, you’ll find Congaree National Park. It’s a place of mystery and history with its age-old hardwood forest and majestic trees. There are many adventurous and photographic options here, including kayaking, canoeing, hiking, camping, and more.

But the big draw to Congaree is the Congaree River Blue Trail. This 50-mile recreational paddling water trail starts in Columbia and continues through the national park. While in the park, you can stop at multiple places along the river. From there, you can hike the 20 miles of trails, picnic along the shores, or just meander amid nature and the many coastal sandbars.

Photo courtesy of Congaree National Park Service | Photo by Paul Angelo | CC BY SA_2.0

How to Get the Best Shot: You can easily get overwhelmed with all there is to photograph here, so the best advice is to take your time. Wander for a day or two without a camera in hand. When you’ve narrowed down a few of your favorite subjects, plan your timing because nature and wildlife always photograph better in the diffused soft lighting just after sunrise and before sunset. 

Also, bring the proper equipment. If you love being on the water, be sure that your camera or phone can handle possible water exposure. It would be a shame to miss that magical image on one of the best paddling trails in the U.S. because you don’t have the proper equipment. 

Discover canoeing along the Congaree National Park

#3. Rainbow Row, Charleston

About Rainbow Row: Rainbow Row is one of the big draws for tourists to Charleston. It consists of 14 colorful historic houses dating back to the 18th century. Rainbow Row wasn’t always full of rainbows, though. After the Civil War, the majority of this area was a slum. 

In the 1920s, Susan Pringle Frost, founder of the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings, got her hands on six houses. Over time, she and others worked together to restore them to their former glory. She painted the initial buildings a pastel pink, and others followed suit, resulting in Rainbow Row.

Mid-day with blue skies behind pastel colored buildings on Rainbow Row in South Carolina.
Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina

How to Get the Best Shot: Almost every photographic image is about lighting. Here it’s especially important because the photographic joys of Rainbow Row are all about the colors. Blue skies dotted with white puffy clouds will make the wide range of hues here pop. 

If you can’t get the timing right with the lighting, zoom in. Capture close-ups of colors combined with textures on the outer walls, windows, and doors. Use nature as a forefront or backdrop to give more depth to the buildings and draw your followers into the image, making them feel as though they’re there with you. 

#4. Myrtle Beach

About Myrtle Beach: Myrtle Beach isn’t just a beach; it’s an entire experience. Here, you can eat, play, stay, drink, stroll, linger, and so much more. You’ll find everything here, meaning you’ll also find a lot of people, which can make for some interesting photos. 

While people-watching, grab a spot on the beach or an outdoor patio and sit back and relax. The beach here is for peaceful rejuvenation. Or grab a ride on a banana boat, go parasailing, rent some jet skis, or try your skills at kayaking, paddleboarding, and more.

The pier on a hazy morning as a lone walker looks out over the ocean waves.
The pier on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina

How to Get the Best Shot: While you can get a fantastic Instagrammable shot of the sunrise from sitting on your high-rise hotel patio, you’ll get an even better one from the beach itself. If you’re not a morning person, you better be here, at least for a day, to capture the sunrise. 

The sunrises here are truly magical. Bring a tripod, as you’ll need slower shutter speeds to best capture the low lighting. But that lighting changes quickly, so watch your images as you shoot them and increase the shutter speed as the light gets brighter.

#5. Brookgreen Gardens, Georgetown County

About Brookgreen Gardens: The Myrtle Beach area is more than just the ocean. Here, you’ll also find the gorgeous Brookgreen Gardens, a sanctuary away from the crowds. It’s a place to explore history, gardens, and galleries. 

You can hike the Lowcountry Trail, explore the enchanted storybook forest, learn about butterflies, or visit thousands of sculptures in the sculpture gardens. How about a pontoon boat ride or a cemetery tour? You can even take a walk down history lane learning about Brookgreen Gardens when it was several rice plantations in the early 1700s.

Oak trees with Spanish moss line walking path at Brookgreen Gardens
Brookgreen Gardens

How to Get the Best Shot: With so many Instagrammable moments in just this one place, you could spend the whole day here. You may not get that sunrise or sunset shot because of the park’s hours, but you’ll most definitely capture Mother Nature in all her glory. 

Since this is, first and foremost, a garden, plan your shots around the foliage. If your phone or camera has a macro option, this is the time to utilize it. Get down on the ground. Get close. Focus on the colors and contrasts within the plants themselves. 

South Carolina: Instagrammable Spots that Will Capture Your Heart

South Carolina has no shortage of Instagrammable shots to capture your heart and your followers. You’ll find vibrant colors on the streets and in the skies, moments full of adrenaline and action, and images telling stories of long ago. 

And while you may be here to capture the best possible Instagrammable moment, there’s one thing always to do first. Put your phone or camera aside and be in the moment. Soak it all up with the naked eye before you view it through a camera lens. What are your favorite photo ops in South Carolina?

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