The county seat of Darlington County is best known for world-renowned Darlington Raceway, where Nascar holds its annual Southern 500 race. Darlington is also the home of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame.
When to Visit Darlington, SC
Its Southern location makes Darlington a prime vacation spot for most of the year, particularly if you're a racing fan. The shoulder season of March through May is ideal if you want to experience lower hotel prices and thinner crowds; weather during this time can range from the 60s to the 80s, although you should pack a jacket since temperatures occasionally drop to the 40s in the spring. September through November is also a great time to experience Darlington. In fact, the Southern 500 traditionally takes place on Labor Day Weekend. If you don't mind paying a bit more for accommodations, the high season lasts from June to August and boasts plenty of fun events and hot weather that allows you to enjoy outdoor activities.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Darlington, SC:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average price patterns by star rating class in Darlington, SC. Analyze these illustrations to calculate the best months to book in Darlington throughout the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Darlington, SC
If you want a posh place to stay in nearby Florence, consider the Hotel Florence, a quaint boutique hotel located in the city's walkable historic district with easy access to restaurants, shops, and attractions. The hotel prides itself on its warm Southern hospitality and features free internet and public parking, a business center and fitness center that are both open 24 hours a day, dry-cleaning and laundry services available Monday through Friday, and free turn-down service with complimentary artisan chocolates. Grab your favorite treats and local delicacy at the lobby's 24-hour Sundry Shop.
The charming guest rooms are full of lovely details like exposed brick and wood paneled ceilings. Amenities include plush pillow-top mattresses, flat-screen TVs with premium cable channels, and Keurig coffee makers with a complimentary selection of coffee, tea, and other hot beverages.
The Florence Hotel received the 2015 Platinum Hospitality Award from Choice Hotels International's Ascend Hotel Collection. Victor's, a classic steak and seafood restaurant named as the best place to dine in Florence, is located on the ground floor and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also has a full-service bar. Stroll next door to the Spa at Hotel Florence for a relaxing, luxurious spa experience, or order services in the privacy of your own room.
Affordable Hotel Options in Darlington, SC
3 Star Average Prices: $118.00
Although downtown Darlington has just one hotel, nearby Florence has a host of bargain-priced properties for budget-conscious travelers. Our top pick for those who want to save is the Howard Johnson Inn Florence, which has recently undergone a complete renovation and features all-new rooms and facilities. Fans of this hotel say it is clean and affordable, with a pleasantly retro feel that will appeal to those who remember the good old days (or wish they did). Enjoy free breakfast, free wireless internet, room service, and the sunny outdoor pool. Parking is free and all rooms are equipped with a microwave and refrigerator for your convenience.
Baymont Inn & Suites is an ideal budget choice for those traveling to Darlington with pets. This pet-friendly property boasts clean, affordable rooms with clean, comfortable accommodations and friendly, welcoming staff. Baymont Inn & Suites offers free wireless internet, free continental breakfast, an on-site business center, a full gym, and an indoor pool. Parking is free and each room is equipped with a microwave.
2 Star Average Prices: $76.79
Darlington: Real Discounts
At LaQuinta Inn & Suites, military members receive a 12 percent room discount. They also offer a 10 percent discount for small business owners and AARP members along with special room rates for senior citizens and government employees. Comfort Suites offers special rates for AARP members, government and military employees, and senior citizens, along with a 10 percent discount for AAA members. Children younger than age 18 can stay for free. As a Wyndham property, the Howard Johnson Inn offers a 10 percent discount for auto club members and AARP members, along with special rates for government employees and senior citizens.
Value Hotel Options in Darlington, SC
Two Florence hotels offer outstanding amenities at budget prices, making them our picks for the best value accommodations in the Darlington area. Comfort Suites Florence is a highly-rated property with in-demand features like an indoor heated pool, free hot breakfast, free wireless internet, free parking, and a fitness center. Every room has a sleeper sofa to accommodate up to four guests, making this the ideal property to choose if you have young children. Other amenities include a microwave, refrigerator, USB charging ports, coffee maker, and flat-screen TVs. This hotel is designated as a Choice Hotels Gold Award Winner.
The LaQuinta Inn & Suites provides everything you need at a price you can afford. In the morning, get ready for your day of adventures with the hotel's signature Bright Side Breakfast, designed around filling, nutritious options that will give you a great start. Enjoy the 24-hour fitness room and refreshing outdoor pool. In your room, you'll find luxury bedding, refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, hairdryer, complimentary high-speed internet, and a flat-screen TV with premium cable channels including HBO. Pets are welcome too at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites.
Best Attractions in Darlington, SC
As mentioned above, the Darlington Raceway is by far the biggest reason to visit the city. Established in 1950, this historic track drew a crowd of more than 25,000 in its first weekend in operation. In addition to catching a race at this incredible landmark, you can check the event calendar to learn about fun community events hosted at the raceway. While you're there, visit the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA Hall of Fame, located on-site and open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It offers an in-depth look at the storied history of the iconic sport of stock car racing. Racing fans who want to do more than spectate can take advantage of the Richard Petty Driving Experience, which allows fans to do three high-speed laps at the raceway riding shotgun with a professional driver.
Visitors can also enjoy Darlington's natural beauty with a visit to Williamson Park, which comprises more than 70 acres of cypress forest you can explore by strolling recently renovated boardwalks, bridges, footpaths, and nature trails. The park is home to more than 300 native plant and animal species including frogs, salamanders, turtles, owls, wrens, and sparrows, and features easily accessible wildlife viewing areas. Founded in 1928, Williamson Park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Antique lovers can spend an entire day at Scarlett's Antiques, a 20,000-square-foot secondhand store located in a historic tobacco warehouse. They offer an incredible variety of new and used furniture and home goods, so it's the perfect place to look for that hidden gem for your living room. Scarlett's has been open since 1963 and is a true destination as one of the premier antique furniture retailers in the Northeast. It's also part of the Darlington Antiques Trail, a collection of antique malls and historic sites that includes B&B Variety and Antiques on Pearl Street, the So-lina Auction Market on Lamar Highway, and the Jeweler's Bench.
Explore Darlington's rich past through a visit to one or more of the city's five historic districts. The Cashua Street-Spring Street Historic District features dozens of residential properties built between 1890 and 1920, including intact examples of Colonial Revival, Victorian, Queen Anne, and Bungalow architecture. The Darlington Downtown Historic District illustrates the rise and fall of the city's cotton and tobacco industries between 1870 and 1935. The Darlington Industrial Historic District highlights the city's rich industrial, agricultural, and commercial history. In the St. John's Historic District, explore residential, educational, and religious buildings constructed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including examples of Bungalow, Neo-Classical, Colonial Revival, and Victorian architecture. The West Broad Street Historic District features two-story Victorian and Queen Anne homes built from 1890 to 1928.
If you visit Darlington between May and August, catch the free concert series held outdoors in the downtown district on the second Thursday of each month. In addition to live music from local bands, enjoy fun contests, giveaways, food, and vendors. On the second Saturday of October, enjoy the local flavor of the South Carolina Sweet Potato Festival, featuring more than 100 vendors, food, crafts, games, exhibits, and a classic car show, along with a live auction benefiting the Darlington County Humane Society. No matter what your interests are, there's something for everyone in Darlington, South Carolina. Book your stay today and see what adventures await you.