11 Best Places To Fly A Drone In South Carolina (2024)

David Cassiel

In this article, we’ve scouted out the best places to fly a drone in South Carolina.

With its year-round pleasant weather and plenty of unknown attractions, South Carolina is ideal for every kind of trip. There are a ton of various possibilities for day outings or weekend vacations that are near to home, ranging from the ancient plantations to the well-known Middleton Place.

Not to mention that South Carolina frequently ranks as one of the safest states in America, giving it the ideal location to unwind and feel comfortable while operating your drone. You probably haven’t gone to these sites yet, even if you reside in South Carolina. See our list of South Carolina’s top aerial photography spots to get ideas for your upcoming journey!

In this article, I will reveal to you where to fly your drone in South Carolina, as well as where it is permitted and not permitted by the law to fly a drone. I will also offer regulatory guidance to assist you in maintaining compliance with federal, state, and local laws.

Drone Regulations In South Carolina

The federal drone laws governing drone operations in South Carolina, which were created by the Federal Aviation Administration, classify drone operations as either recreational or commercial.

Federal Regulations In South Carolina

Recreational drone pilots are subject to the FAA rules for recreational flyers, which require them to register their drones if they weigh more than 250 g and complete The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) before they can operate their drone for recreational purposes in the United States of America.

Commercial drone pilots are subject to FAA rules for commercial pilots, which require them to follow The Part 107 regulations, complete a multiple-choice exam, and earn a drone pilot certification from the FAA before they can operate their drone for commercial purposes in the United States of America.

Downtown Charleston South Carolina Skyline Aerial.
Best Places to fly a drone in South Carolina.
Downtown Charleston South Carolina Skyline Aerial.

When flying within five miles of an airport, drone pilots are no longer needed to independently contact air traffic control. Instead, to obtain airspace authorization to fly in regulated airspace near and above numerous airports, both commercial and leisure fliers can use the automated LAANC system. You must apply for airspace authorization if you are operating in Class B, C, D, or E regulated airspace. In areas where LAANC is not available, you can use the FAA Drone Zone or LAANC.

Interested in becoming an FAA-certified drone pilot so you can operate under the Part 107 regulations and make money flying your drone? Check out our industry-leading online training course over at Drone Pilot Ground School.

State and Local Regulations In South Carolina

Here is an in-depth guide to the drone laws in South Carolina that we put together. Be sure to check them out to see the state and local drone laws you need to adhere to in South Carolina. You should always exercise sound judgment when in doubt and adhere to the FAA’s regulations.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and is solely provided for informative reasons. If there is anything we missed or if you have any further questions, please contact us at info [at] droneller [dot] com, and we will do our best to assist you.

Best Places To Fly A Drone In Charleston, South Carolina

Here are my top recommendations for where to fly a drone in Charleston, South Carolina. These places were chosen because of their accessibility, airspace constraints, and tourist attractions.

1. Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge spans the Cooper River in South Carolina, the United States, and links Mount Pleasant and downtown Charleston. The bridge is named after former United States Representative Arthur Ravenel Jr.

When the eight-lane bridge, built to replace two outdated cantilever truss bridges, opened in 2005, it increased the capacity of U.S. Route 17. The bridge is the third-longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere, with a main span of 1,546 feet (471 m). Parsons Brinckerhoff designed it, and it was constructed utilizing the design-build technique.

2. Dock Street Park

749 Sprague St, Charleston, SC 29412, United States

Dock Street Park is located at the end of Patterson Avenue in the Bay Front neighborhood. This modest but charming location has a picnic area, a small play area, and a fishing dock with views of Charleston Harbor. It also has large live oak trees.

The park is very unremarkable, although it contains big trees and a wide open area that extends to a fishing pier. For drone operators who want to fly their machines away from crowds and curious bystanders, this is a nice haven. It’s also a fantastic place to watch the dawn.

3. Fort Sumter

32.752356, -79.876673

A sea fort called Fort Sumter was constructed on a man-made island to defend Charleston, South Carolina, against a naval attack. Its origins stretch as far back as when the British assaulted Washington by water during the War of 1812.

It was still unfinished when the American Civil War broke out in 1861 with the Battle of Fort Sumter. The fort, as it was intended to be, never got finished since it was badly damaged during the war and left in ruins.

Since the middle of the 20th century, Fort Sumter has been accessible to visitors as a component of the National Park Service’s Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park.

Today, visitors may visit Fort Sumter by boarding a ferry to the man-made island. Instead, drone pilots may capture images and movies of the fort by lifting off from any of the surrounding land masses. Amazing aerial video may also be captured when flying over the bay’s waters.

4. Huntington Beach State Park

16148 Ocean Hwy, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, United States

Huntington Beach State Park is a 2,500-acre coastal preservation and state park close to Murrells Inlet in Georgetown County, South Carolina. There are many wild birds to see the changing of the seasons, a sizable sandy beach, and few beachgoers.

Huntington is a terrific area to surf, swim, sunbathe, fish, or just watch the sun go down. The high 70s are the typical range for summer temperatures, while the mid-60s are slightly colder in the winter. Morning fog is common. There are basketball courts, volleyball courts, campfire pits, and a multipurpose trail.

Between Huntington and Bolsa Chica State Beaches, there’s a paved oceanfront walk that stretches for 8.5 miles, with the 3.5-mile Huntington City Beach sandwiched in the middle. Huntington was gifted to the state in 1942, and in 1963 it was designated as a state beach in California.

There is plenty of room for you to fly a drone and fast access to the beach from the parking lot. Aerial photographs can provide an interesting topic about the Atalaya castle compound out to the south. Pack your drone, whether you’re coming here for a day trip to the beach or an extended camping adventure.

5. Pelican Pier Marina

2079 Austin Ave, Charleston, SC 29405, United States

Tourists who want to rent boats to explore the bay in Charleston usually travel to Pelican Pier Marina. It’s a wonderful location to launch drones due to its easy access to the ocean. Although you might want to keep an eye out for birds, the pier should have just enough room for a drone to take off and land.

There are no other azure waters like the ones near Marco Island. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to record videos of dolphins swimming around.

6. Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse

1815 Ion Ave, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482, United States

In Carolina Lighthouse Legend, the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, usually referred to as “Charleston Light,” bears a special distinction as one of the nation’s most cutting-edge lighthouses.

A notable local icon that looms over the beach landscape is the unusual triangular and skinny building, which is divided into two black and white color blocks.

There are lots of open areas around the lighthouse where you may launch your drone, but for a safer takeoff location, we advise moving a little closer to the shore. Although the lighthouse and the beach are both easily accessible by drone, the beach is undoubtedly cooler.

Best Places To Fly A Drone In Columbia, South Carolina

Here are my top recommendations for where to fly a drone in Columbia, South Carolina. These places were chosen because of their accessibility, airspace constraints, and tourist attractions.

1. Busted Plug Plaza

Busted Plug, 1404 Taylor St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States

Busted Plug Plaza is a towering steel monster that was made to withstand natural disasters. At 40 feet, it is the highest fire hydrant in the whole world.

The enormous steel structure appears to be damaged, but that is on purpose to draw attention and pique interest from onlookers. Strange things make for intriguing photography.

Taking pictures of them from above or from unexpected angles with your drone is even more fun. Drones may easily be flown over the artwork because it is located in a sizable outdoor parking lot.

2. Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park

312 Laurel St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States

The Riverfront Park of Columbia is a 167-acre park that was the site of the original waterworks for the City of Columbia. The hydroelectric plant, the oldest in the state, was built here and was the first textile mill in the world to be powered by electricity.

Along the linear park’s two and a half miles, a well-traveled jogging and walking route provides stunning views of the river. A lovely brick amphitheater and a self-guided promenade may be found beside the ancient water plant components.

Despite being frequently congested, the park is extremely attractive. A drone flying above the park emphasizes its distinctive appearance—a ribbon of green surrounded on all sides by water.

3. Finlay Park

930 Laurel St., Columbia, SC 29201, United States

Finlay Park in downtown Columbia, South Carolina, is the biggest and busiest park, measuring 14 acres (57,000 m2). The park debuted that year. Originally known as Sidney Park, it was renamed in 1994 to honor Kirkman Finlay, a previous mayor of Columbia.

A beautiful waterfall and a flowing mountain stream that flowed into the park’s lake could be found there. This waterfall has been damaged for more than two years. In addition to a cafe, there are picnic tables and two playgrounds.

Drone flight is highly enticing in the vast open area, yet it might be unsettling to occasionally see a park crowded. It’s okay to fly a drone here because of the attractiveness of the wide open spaces, but if you want to prevent issues, don’t do it yourself.

4. Hampton – Preston Mansion

1615 Blanding St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA

The Hampton-Preston estate, one of the oldest in the capital city, has three acres of lovely gardens with both local and foreign plants.

The rear lawn and side gardens are surrounded by live oaks and magnolia trees that tower over them. Pergolas, a gazebo, and a fountain garden offer exciting backdrops for imaginative event ideas.

This region of Columbia is one of the best locations for drone urban photography because of the old homes and structures.

5. Sesquicentennial State Park

9564 Two Notch Rd, Columbia, SC 29223, United States

Sesquicentennial State Park is a 1,419-acre park located in the middle of the Sandhills region and features a beautiful 30-acre lake surrounded by trails and picnic areas. The park draws both locals and visitors due to its proximity to three important interstate routes and downtown Columbia.

Family reunions and group camping trips frequently take place in Sesquicentennial State Park. The park’s main draw is its interpretive nature programs.

Three picnic shelters, four picnic pads, and 84 campsites with various amenities and sizes are available at this park. The park offers fishing access to the 30-acre (12 ha) park lake, rental fishing boats, paddle boats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes, as well as four trails that offer more than 12 miles (19 km) of recreational access.

A two-story log house from the middle of the 1870s that was moved to the park in 1969 is also located there. In Richland County, this home is said to be the oldest structure still standing.

The many hiking paths and forested areas are fair game, but the lake is typically too busy for drone flights. Consider staying the night here, as the campground is great.

Final Thoughts on Where To Fly A Drone In South Carolina

So there you have it: the best places to fly a drone in South Carolina!

I hope you have a great time exploring the beautiful landscape of South Carolina from above. You can also check out where to fly a drone in other states and cities in the United States.

Always remember to obey the federal, state, and local drone laws in South Carolina to avoid having issues with the law and authorities.

And don’t forget to share this article with a friend and other drone pilots who will benefit from this information using the share icons below.

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