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Visit the Palmetto state where you will find unique places to stay plus a large dose of southern hospitality and charm along with a rich history and beautiful landscape.

Charleston downtown
Charleston S.C.

This list of unique places to stay in South Carolina includes experiences you might not expect. We are not talking about a boutique hotel, that’s a different conversation.

Spend the night in a vintage rail car caboose, sleep in a treehouse, the keepers’ quarters in a lighthouse, Antebellum plantation B&B, a Yurt, and even in a cabin on a pier perched over Lake Marion.

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Table of Contents

Unique Places To Stay in South Carolina


Clevedale Inn’s Mack Rail Cabin Car

The Mack Rail Car cabin is a vintage 1947 Southern Rail X654 Caboose. The caboose has been transformed into a queen bedroom suite adjacent to Clevedale Historic Inn’s English Knot Garden and Courtyard. The rail car is even situated on authentic railroad tracks.

Located at the beautiful Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens, the Mack Rail Car provides a unique place to stay in Spartanburg. Why a rail car? There is a good story behind it.

The original colonial home was built over 250 years ago in the 1790s. The original owners, Mr, and Mrs. Conrad Cleveland received the home as a wedding gift and used it as their vacation home. They resided there when their children were born. On the night of their daughter’s birth, the train broke down and Mr. Cleveland walked to the train and invited the passengers to his home for tea.

This story of her birth night and the train passengers was told to the current owners of the B& B by that very daughter. She visited her former home after it was renovated into a B&B around 2014. They added the railcar to honor the history of the home.

Clevedale is a gorgeous privately owned Bed & Breakfast. The stately home offers spacious porches, lush English gardens to stroll through, and hospitable southern breakfast fare.

Mack Rail Car Cabin Clevedale Inn Spartanburg, S.C. is a unique place to stay the night
Photo courtesy Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens Facebook

Daufuskie Island (Hilton Head Island area)

1873 Lighthouse

The 1873 Lighthouse is located on Daufuskie Island accessible only by Ferry. If you are lucky enough to book the Lighthouse, you will sleep where the keepers would have slept beginning in 1873.

The lighthouse was restored in 1986 and is currently the only lighthouse in South Carolina where you can spend the night. If the Lighthouse guest rooms are booked, you may be lucky enough to stay at the Strachan Mansion with its own rich history.

Strachan Mansion was originally built in 1910 on St. Simons Island in Georgia. It was moved by barges in 1986 to its current location.

Haig Point, a 1,200-acre plantation is a home to the historic 1873 Lighthouse which today serves as a guesthouse with two bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a porch overlooking Calibogue Sound.

Island life is only a Ferry ride away from the shores of Hilton Head. You will be transformed away from hustle and bustle to the serenity of Island life.

Very few cars run on Daufuskie. In fact, you cannot bring your car to the island. There is no bridge and no Ferry for cars. This island is about 5 miles by 3 miles, a pleasant area for a walking vacation. You can rent a bike or golf cart for the duration of your vacation.

St. George

Edisto Tree Houses

Stay the night in a Luxury Treehouse on the Edisto River for a relaxing one-of-a-kind get-away. The Edisto River is the longest free-flowing blackwater river in the U.S. There are no dams or rapids, just a lazy river flanked by moss-covered oaks.

Carolina Heritage Outfitters offers three treehouses for overnight stays. Camping enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility are going to love this unique getaway in the Midlands region of South Carolina.

Edisto River S.C.
Photo courtesy Friends of Edisto Facebook

If your idea of a unique adventure is paddling in a canoe down a tranquil river for several hours and spending the night with nature in a treehouse with a fabulous view of the river, this is for you.

The treehouses are a halfway stop on a 23-mile canoe trip down an undeveloped river. Each treehouse has a great view of the river. Cooking utensils, camp chairs, fire pit, outdoor grill, and picnic table are provided.

There is no private bathroom. You will share a community outhouse with campers in all three Treehouses. Bring your own tp.

I’d say the Edisto Treehouses are most definitely one of the cool places to stay in South Carolina.

Mugdock Castle Sullivans Island S.C. is a unique place to stay

Sullivans Island

Mugdock Castle

Sullivan’s Island is a two-and-a-half-mile-long barrier island near the entrance of the Charleston Harbor. Locals have managed to keep the touristy look away. You will find 3 miles of pristine sandy beaches for genuine rest and relaxation.

Rent Mugdock Castle with a minimum 28-day stay. There are 6 bedrooms and 5 baths along with a full kitchen equipped with state-of-the-art appliances. Yes, there is Wifi and a 7′ T.V. if you get bored with your surroundings. Bicycles and kayaks are included in your rental at Mugdock Castle.

If you are a history buff who also enjoys windsurfing, you have found a sweet spot. The area is home to some of the best windsurfing and kiteboarding on the east coast. You will be within walking distance of the beach.

You can charter a fishing boat. Go on day trip tours to Charleston and the surrounding area. Experience Civil War-era history. Visit Ft. Moultrie and the Sullivans Island Lighthouse. There are a plethora of day trips you can take. The nearest golf course is only 7 miles away. Lots and lots of shopping and restaurants nearby as well.


Mansfield Plantation Bed & Breakfast

Mansfield Plantation Bed and Breakfast is now a Bed & Breakfast but it began in 1718 as a rice plantation. The actual home wasn’t built until around 1768.

The property had changed ownership several times through the years but is currently owned by descendants of the original owners. They are dedicated to the preservation of history and education.

The Bed & Breakfast offers a great opportunity to stay in a national historic landmark. Antebellum home with private entrances, and gorgeous antique furnishings.

You can enjoy walks or ride a bike that is provided to tour the 1,000-acre property including many of the historic buildings. Mansfield does not offer tours except to their B&B guests. You will feel right at home on the entire property.

Though you will step back in time to experience life on an authentic southern plantation, you will be treated to a host of modern amenities. Mansfield has a perfect 5 out of 5 rating on Trip Advisor which is quite impressive and a 4.8 on Google reviews.

Buy the book, Mansfield Plantation: A Legacy On The Black River, on Amazon.

Long Creek

Wildwater Cabins and Yurts

Travel upstate into the mountains region in the northwest corner of South Carolina. You will find a cool place for outdoor adventurists. Sleep in a Yurt or a Treehouse at Wildwater Cabins & Yurts.

Yurt at Wildwater
Yurt at Wildwater Rafting

There are no less than 5 Yurts that sleep up to 34 folks so bring 33 of your best friends. Go whitewater rafting on the Chattooga or Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the Tugaloo.

Each Yurt is equipped for your convenience. Bunk beds, a small storage unit, benches, a ceiling fan, large outside decks, picnic tables, and small heaters are provided.

Goldfinch Treehouse at Wildwater Rafting
300x250 - National Park Lodging

Would you rather stay in a cabin? No problem. Try the Chattooga Treehouse called The Goldfinch. It is a cozy one-bedroom, one-bath treehouse that includes a kitchenette and a private outdoor deck.

Take a clinic on whitewater kayaking. Go ziplining with a 1/2 mile of air time through white oak and maple treetops for spectacular views.

A great place for a group weekend retreat. The ropes challenge course is designed for all age and skill levels with both high and low courses.

We had to include this unique place to stay in South Carolina. It’s a great place for extreme outdoor enthusiasts wanting more than basic camping in the woods.


Santee State Park Pier Cabins

Find the Santee State Park Pier Cabins at South Carolina’s largest state park in the midlands region of the Palmetto State.

Santee State Park Pier Cabins on Lake Marion
Pier Cabins photo courtesy of S.C. State Parks Facebook

There are lots of cabins to rent at Santee State Park but 10 of them are located on a pier over Lake Marion. These are pretty cool places to stay for lake lovers. Such a great place to watch the sunset.

All pier cabins have a boat dock. There is a fish cleaning station located by the grills. A picnic table is located in front of each cabin for ultimate outdoor dining on the lake.

Each two-bedroom cabin is completely furnished and heated, with air-conditioning, and supplied with linens, basic cooking, and eating utensils, a coffee maker, microwave, and TV.

These are 7 of the most unique places to stay in South Carolina. Do you know of an unusual place to stay? Tell us in the comments, please. We want to know.

Start making plans now to book your favorite unusual place to spend the night in South Carolina. If your idea of a romantic getaway is sleeping in a Treehouse, there are two of those on this list.

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