Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Santee, SC

  • Published 2023/02/17

Santee, South Carolina, is the perfect spot for an excellent outdoor vacation.

Located on the south shore of Lake Marion — the largest freshwater lake in the state — this pleasant town has a lot in store for everyone when it comes to outdoor fun and adventure.

From fishing and boating to golfing and hiking, Santee offers a variety of activities to enjoy.

Interested to know more about this place?

Check out the 20 best things to do in Santee, SC.

Experience the Magnificent Lake Marion

Cypress trees in Lake Marion

Norm Lane /

Staying at the Santee State Park, you can picnic with your family or friends right by the mesmerizing Lake Marion — the largest lake in South Carolina — known for its abundant wildlife and big fish.

Daytime view of Lake Marion

C Dash /

Public access opens through several areas, including the Santee State Park, The Santee National Wildlife Refuge, and several public boat ramps.

Go fishing, take a nature hike or go bird watching at the beautiful Lake Marion.

The sky and trees reflecting on Lake Marion

C Dash /

Check Out the Fisheagle Nature Adventures

Do you want to learn more about the local ecosystem and wildlife here in Santee, SC?

Then, you need to check out Fisheagle Nature Adventures.

This wildlife eco-tours company offers a variety of guided boat tours on Lake Moultrie, Lake Marion, The Pinopolis Lock, The Cooper River, and the Tailrace Canal.

Experienced tour guides and naturalists fully narrate each trip, sharing their knowledge about the local area and its history.

Fisheagle Nature Adventures will showcase all the best spots for you to enjoy.

The Fisheagle Nature Adventures also offers fun water rentals such as canoes, kayaks, fishing boats, and paddleboards, if that’s not enough.

So, what are you waiting for?

Book a tour or rental today and explore every iconic water landmark Santee, SC, has to offer at the Fisheagle Nature Adventures.

Visit the Lake Marion Golf Course

Santee, SC, is home to many golf courses that traveling golfers would love to visit.

But if it’s a picturesque view of the lake you’re after, look no further than the Lake Marion Golf Course.

Located in the heart of Santee, SC, this 18-hole course offers a rewarding and satisfying golf experience.

The Lake Marion Golf Course is an all-time favorite among local and visiting golf enthusiasts.

This golf course features a beautiful clubhouse, a driving range, and plenty of golf carts to get you around.

The course is also home to several tournaments throughout the year, so check their website for more information.

Grab a Souvenir at Smith’s Super Store

If you’re looking to buy something for your loved ones back at home, or a keepsake of your time here in Santee, SC, head to Smith’s Super Store.

This store is the best place in town to buy souvenirs, local snacks, and other unique items that you can’t find anywhere else.

From t-shirts and hats to keychains, trinkets, and postcards, Smith’s Super Store has everything you need to make your loved ones back home happy.

They also sell a variety of local snacks and drinks that you can bring on the road.

So, if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop to buy souvenirs and local snacks, check out Smith’s Super Store — Santee’s “store that has it all.”

Go Trekking at the Santee State Park

Footbridge at Santee State Park Hiking

C Dash /

Santee is synonymous with nature and the great outdoors.

And one of the best ways to experience Santee’s natural beauty is by going on a hike.

There are plenty of hiking trails in Santee, SC, but one of the best is at the Santee State Park.

This state park features over 11 miles of hiking trails that wind through forests, wetlands, and fields.

Trees surrounding the waters of Santee State Park Hiking

C Dash /

The best time to visit the Santee State Park is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the leaves change color.

Then, you can either go hiking or biking.

The Santee State Park will give you a great outdoor experience.

The woods of Santee State Park Hiking

C Dash /

Play Some More Golf at the Santee National Golf Club

The golfing scene in Santee, SC, is booming, and there are plenty of courses to choose from.

But if you’re looking for a challenge, then head on over to the Santee National Golf Club.

Rated four stars by Golf Digest’s ‘Places to Play,’ this award-winning golf course is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

The Santee National Golf Club features a unique blend of Southern hospitality and championship golf.

This course will test your skills with its rolling hills, thick forests, and challenging water hazards.

The Santee National Golf Club also features a modern clubhouse, a full-service pro shop, and a restaurant.

The best time to play golf at the Santee National Golf Club is during the summer when the sun is bright, and the grass is green.

But, regardless of when you play, the Santee National Golf Club is sure to give you an enjoyable and memorable golfing experience.

Watch Animals in Their Natural Habitat at the Fisheagle Wildlife Tours

Fisheagle is one of Santee’s premier go-to options for experiencing nature and wildlife.

The Fisheagle Wildlife Tours, in particular, is a great way to see the abundant wildlife here in Santee, SC.

This tour will guide you through the best spots in Santee to see wildlife.

You’ll see alligators, bald eagles, turtles, birds, herons, osprey, and other animals in their natural habitat.

The Fisheagle Wildlife Tours is a great way to learn about the local wildlife and see them up close.

Go on a memorable journey and explore flooded forests, wildlife refuges, and other remote areas in Santee, SC, only accessible by boat.

The best time to go on the Fisheagle Wildlife Tours is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the animals are active.

Go Fishing with the Santee Cajun Guide Service

Santee is also the perfect place to go fishing.

And if you’re looking for a great fishing guide, look no further than the Santee Cajun Guide Service.

The Santee Cajun Guide Service is a professional fishing guide service that offers guided trips on Lake Marion and the Santee Cooper lakes.

They offer half-day, full-day, and multi-day trips.

When you book them, the Santee Cajun Guide Service will provide you with an experienced coach who will show you the ropes of good fishing in Santee’s iconic lakes.

They will also provide you with the right equipment and tools to prepare you for that perfect fishing moment.

The best time to go fishing with the Santee Cajun Guide Service is during spring and fall.

But, regardless of when you go, the Santee Cajun Guide Service is sure to give you a great fishing experience.

Shop for Vintage Items at Gabi’s Attic Antiques & Uniques

If you’re looking for a place to find unique and classical items, you should check out Gabi’s Attic Antiques & Uniques.

Gabi’s Attic Antiques & Uniques is an antique store specializing in selling vintage items.

They have a wide variety of items on sale, ranging from furniture to paintings to pottery.

Gabi’s Attic Antiques & Uniques must have it no matter what you’re looking for.

So if you’re ever in Santee, SC, be sure to drop by and take a look around.

Stop by the Santee Welcome Center

Exterior of Santee Welcome Center

DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Before you explore all that Santee offers, it’s essential to prepare.

That’s why you should get started at the Santee Welcome Center.

Open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Welcome Center is the best place to learn about the city’s history and get tips on what to see and do while in town.

The Sante Welcome Center offers many free services, including travel information, brochures about local attractions, and various maps.

You even get some helpful information like the weather forecast for the days of your visit.

There’s also free WiFi if you need to check something online.

After you’ve had a chance to explore the Santee Welcome Center, check things off your list of the best things to do in Santee, SC.

Have Fun at the Lake Marion Watersports Complex

The Lake Marion Watersports Complex is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a place to have some fun in the water.

They offer a wide range of watersports, from wakeboarding to tubing to water skiing.

They also have a shop on site where you can buy or rent all the equipment you need for your chosen watersport.

The best time to visit the Lake Marion Watersports Complex is during the summer when the weather is warm, and the water is cool enough to swim.

Visit the Santee Cooper Country Club

The Santee Cooper Country Club is one of the best places to go if you’re looking for a place to play golf.

They have an 18-hole golf course perfect for both beginner and experienced golfers.

They also have a clubhouse where you can relax after a game of golf or grab a bite to eat.

Of course, the best time to visit the Santee Cooper Country Club is during the weekdays when it’s less crowded.

Hangout at the Oasis Bar & Grill

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy food, drinks, and live entertainment, you should check out the Oasis Bar & Grill.

The Oasis Bar & Grill is a local bar and grill known for its great food, cold drinks, and live music.

They have a wide variety of menu items, including grilled steaks, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers.

They also serve some well-known liquor and beer brands.

And if you’re looking for a place to watch the big game, the Oasis Bar & Grill is the perfect place.

They have several TVs always tuned to the latest sporting event.

The best time to visit The Oasis Bar & Grill is during the evening when they have live music.

But, regardless of when you go, The Oasis Bar & Grill will show you a great time.

Have Fun at the Santee Recreation And Water Park

Who says fun slides are only meant for kids?

At the Santee Recreation and Water Park, everyone can have a blast!

This water park features a lazy river, two giant slides, a kiddie pool, and a splash pad.

They also have cabanas that you can rent if you want to break from all the fun and relax in the shade.

At the Santee Recreation and Water Park, you can enjoy the water slides and attractions for a whole day.

And if you get hungry, they also have a concession stand that sells food and drinks.

The best time to visit the Santee Recreation and Water Park is during the summer when the weather is hot and the water is refreshing.

The price is also very reasonable!

So when you’re traveling to Santee, SC, make sure you stop by the Santee Recreation and Water Park.

Unwind at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Santee

If you’re going to visit beautiful Santee, SC, you need a place to stay.

While there are plenty of options to choose from, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Santee is one of the best.

The Fairfield Inn & Suites Santee offers a wide range of amenities, from an outdoor pool to a fitness center to a complimentary breakfast.

They also have a variety of room types to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.

The best time to visit the Fairfield Inn & Suites Santee is during the summer when the weather is warm and the rates are reasonable.

Take Your Family on a Day Out at Santee Town Hall Complex

Santee Town Hall Complex has everything you might need for a peaceful day out with the whole family.

Home to the town hall building, this complex also has picnic shelters and a gazebo.

This is why it’s an ideal hangout spot for groups and families.

For a bit of creativity and artistic inspiration, the property also has the Cultural Arts & Visitors Center.

Completed in 2001, this center has served as both an event venue and a historical landmark.

This center shines with artifacts, original pine planks, and an old wood-burning stove that serves more as an attraction than an item of utility.

Santee Town Hall Complex is also a great resting spot along the Palmetto Trail.

You can find this outdoor recreation center on Brooks Boulevard.

Try Your Hand at Golf at Palmetto Traverse Putting Course

Every time is tee time at Palmetto Traverse Putting Course.

An 18-hole putting course, this golf facility spans 35,000 square feet.

Its layout takes inspiration from the Himalayas course at St. Andrews.

Its varied terrain makes it both a challenging and diverse course to maneuver.

Palmetto Traverse Putting Course is part of Santee Cooper Golf Resort.

You can find it behind the Lake Marion GC Clubhouse on Bogey Boulevard.

Host an Event at The Rotonda

Have an event coming up while you’re on vacation in Santee?

Then, keep The Rotonda on your potential venues list.

This banquet hall and catering service brings together a taste of Southern hospitality within an elegant setting.

Its two private rooms seat up to 225 guests.

From large parties to intimate gatherings with friends and loved ones, this event hall makes sure you celebrate your most awaited moments with style.

So, what are you waiting for?

The Rotonda is on Bass Drive, opening its doors for your upcoming special event!

Challenge Your Friends to a Race at Santee Bike Loop

Within Santee State Park, Santee Bike Loop offers a moderate route for bikers to trudge on for an adventurous ride.

While mostly flat and paved, the loop winds down into varied forest habitats.

It also branches off into different routes for more interesting treks.

Though the loop is mostly flooded with road and mountain bikers, the spot is also ideal for hikers.

Along the route are scenic bridges, as well as open vistas of lakes and pine trees.

It’s also dog-friendly, but be sure your furry loved ones are on a leash.

You can get to Santee Bike Loop from the trailhead right before you reach Cypress View campground on State Park Road.

Have a Traditional Camping Experience at Cypress View Campground

If you need a change of scenery, Santee has a multitude of campgrounds you can stay in.

And one of them is Cypress View Campground.

Housing at least 50 campsites, this campground can accommodate both RVs and tents.

Each site is also spacious enough for any family or group wishing to spend a night in the wilderness.

The grounds offer 50-amp electric hookups.

While you’re there, be sure to start a campfire and eat some smores.

You can reach Cypress View Campground from State Park Road.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it — 20 of the best things to do in Santee, SC.

This town is a must-visit for nature lovers or people simply looking for some outdoor adventure and fun.

Whether you’re looking to go golfing or fishing or want to find a place to relax and unwind, Santee is the perfect place.

So what are you waiting for?

Start planning your trip today.

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