The state of South Carolina is filled with incredible lakes and plenty of entertainment for the avid boater. In these eight bodies of water situated in various parts of the SC, you’ll be sure to find one in close proximity to you. Whether you’re a beachgoer, fisherman, watersports enthusiast, or just looking to experience some new scenery, these lakes offer something to suit your needs.

Best Lakes In South Carolina for Boaters and Fisherman

Lake Greenwood

Located between Columbia, SC and Greenville, SC and west of I-26, the reservoir provides easy access from populated cities but is a great rural escape. 

At over 11,000 acres, this body of water has 212 miles of shoreline for you to explore. Enjoy the pristine waters that are fed by the Saluda River. 

While you’re here, check out the beaches, try your luck at a trophy largemouth bass,  or cruise the lake to see the beautiful homes in upscale communities lining the shore.

Lake Murray

Situated just 20 miles west of Columbia, SC is Lake Murray. Its location is convenient because of the great selection of lodging within a short distance from the shores

The reservoir offers a staggering 650 miles of shoreline and is nearly 50,000 acres in size. The lake is notorious for Bomb Island, a training site in World War II for B-25 bomber planes. Here you can walk ashore and explore

For the bird lover, this reservoir is notorious for being a haven for nesting birds; bring along a camera. The reason for the construction of the lake was to generate power, but in doing so, covered existing towns beneath its surface. 

Lake Keowee

The lake is located only 35 miles west of Greenville, SC, and is nestled on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

This 18,500-acre reservoir has 300 miles of the shoreline because of its many coves. Its landscape is gorgeous because of the limited construction.

One unique feature is the emerald green water color in addition to the backdrop of the mountains. No matter if you’re fishing, cruising, or hopping on a paddleboard, the beauty will amaze you.  

Lake Marion

If you’re looking for an excuse not to make a South Carolina lake trip, Lake Marion should not be mentioned. The access is easy as the lake is divided by I-95  and an hour north of Charleston.

Lake Marion is boasting as the largest lake in the state it, measures in at nearly 110,000 acres with 315 miles of shoreline. 

If you’re into fishing, this is the lake of choice. Aside from fishing and watersports, come hungry and check out the plethora of waterfront restaurants and bars.

Lake Hartwell

Found at the South Carolina/Georgia border, this lake divides the two states. Situated between Athens, Georgia to the southeast, and Greenville to the northwest, it attracts boaters from both states. 

Lake Hartwell measures at 56,00 acres and a whopping 962 miles of shoreline. This reservoir is known as one of the most fantastic recreation lakes.  

For the camping enthusiast, the lake has nine campgrounds with 524 campsites allowing for easy lake access. The bass fishing is so excellent that it hosted the 2008 Bass Masters Classic and continues to host tournaments. 

Lake Jocassee

Situated in the northwest portion of the state and an hour and twenty minutes from Greenville, SC, this is one of the more remote lakes.

While it is not the smallest lake on our list, it measures 7,500 acres with 75 miles of shoreline. What is most significant is that the reservoir is 300 feet deep. 

If you’re looking to relax, this is the lake for you. The Blue Ridge Mountains and rocky treelined undeveloped shoreline surround the clear water beneath you. This is a place to unwind and enjoy the sounds of nature. 

Lake Monticello

At just 37 miles north of the states capitol Columbia, SC is Lake Monticello. This lake provides easy access from major cities like Charleston and Columbia.

This reservoir is 6,700 acres with 54 miles of shoreline. Lake Monticello was built in 1978 to cool the nuclear reactor situated nearby. 

The lake is primarily used by locals who enjoy excellent fishing; it is not common for visitors to travel to the reservoir. Should you be boating on the lake, be cautious as the water levels rise and fall with the reactors’ cooling needs. The fluctuation can be up to five feet. 

Lake Robinson– But which one? The battle of the two Lake Robinson’s in South Carolina.

Close to Greenville, SC lies the town of Greer, South Carolina. Here you will find the smaller of the two Lake Robinson’s.

The smallest lake on our list at just 800 acres and 27 miles of shoreline, it is primarily utilized by locals for bass fishing because it produces some monster-sized fish. 

The second Lake Robinson is situated just 33 miles northwest of Florence, SC. 

This man-made body of water is 2,500 acres in size, measuring 4.5 miles long and less than a mile wide. 

Here you will find more recreational activities because of its larger size and public access. For your stay, enjoy lakeside campsites and head out on the water to enjoy watersports and fishing. 


While picking a lake for your next boating vacation can be a challenge, no matter what choice you make, each revolves around enjoying water activities. Your selection can quickly be narrowed down by a few key elements, including the drive, the views, fish species, and waterfront dining. You won’t regret what the South Carolina lakes have to offer.