The Best Cities to Live in South Carolina

Cities to Live

If you’re considering moving to South Carolina, you might be wondering which area is the most ideal. This is a difficult question, as there are so many things to consider when looking to move to a new city. Parents might be looking at the quality of schools, professionals will want ample job opportunities, and everyone will be looking at affordability when it comes to homes and apartments. Plus, each individual has their own wants and needs for a new home, such as walkability, proximity to nightlife, natural attractions, and—hey—sometimes an area just has a certain something that draws us in for personal reasons.


With all those things considered, it may seem intimidating to even narrow it down—but thankfully, that’s where we step in. Here are a few of the best cities to live in South Carolina. Affordable, great quality of living, and plenty of opportunities, both professionally and socially. From there, it’s up to you which area speaks to you and fits your unique needs, but if you’re choosing from this list, you really can’t go wrong.

Fort Mill

Known for great schools, low crime, and a picturesque town area straight out of a Hallmark movie, Fort Mill is an idyllic place to raise a family. Fort Mill prides itself on well-maintained parks and nature areas, perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities. It is just about 25 minutes south of Charlotte, NC, perfect for those who work in Charlotte and don’t mind sacrificing the commute for the quality of life you’ll get in Fort Mill. If small-town living is your dream, this is the perfect spot for you. 


As the capital city of South Carolina, you may expect Columbia to be full of hustle and bustle. While the city is certainly full of opportunity, it also has the same Southern charm you’ll find in the small towns of the state. The Columbia area is fast-growing thanks to ample job opportunity and affordable housing. If you’re looking for Columbia houses for sale, you’ll be glad to know real estate here often falls at about 6% below the national average, making it one of the most affordable big cities in the country. If you’re looking to strike the right balance of quaint and urban, Columbia is a terrific location to call home.


Often ranked as one of the best places to live in South Carolina, Lexington offers a great quality of life for young professionals. Lexington is located just west of Columbia, right below Lake Murray, giving you access to both the opportunities that you’ll find in the capital city and the quiet small-town feel you’ll get from the neighborhoods around the lake. Best of all, homes in Lexington are extremely affordable, while the average income for this area is quite high. If lakeside living might be for you, check out Lexington as a potential home for you and your family.

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If you’re into outdoor adventures, Greenville is the spot for you. This small town was once fairly unpopulated, but recently many young professionals and families have been moving to the area because of the low cost of living, gorgeous nature preserves, and proximity to big cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, and Knoxville. 

For a small town, Greenville really has a lot to experience and has become the entertainment and cultural hub of the upstate South Carolina area. Here, you’ll find attractions such as the Greenville County Museum of Art, Bon Secours Wellness Arena, and plenty of festivals and events happening all year long. 

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