Finding Your Perfect Beach In Charleston South Carolina

Dated: 07/12/2018

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Boasting 5 beautiful beaches, locals and tourists alike always have their pick of coastal scenery here in Charleston, South Carolina. That being said, no two beaches are alike with each drawing their own raving fans. Looking to find your own little slice of heaven? Luckily, I did the legwork for you, so you can find out which one is best for you and whatever adventures await.

I know, tough job but someone has to do it.

Edisto Island

Looking to get away from pretty much… everything? Edisto Island is perfect for those looking simply for a beach day without the bells and whistles. Save for one golf course, a handful of places to eat and the county parks spread throughout, Edisto Island certainly feels like a sleepy beach town- and people love it for exactly what it is.

Perhaps though the biggest perk of Edisto isn’t for people at all; named one of the Best Pet-Friendly Beaches in the United States, Edisto is perfect for our favorite 4-legged pals- and welcomes them year round to enjoy some fun in the sun.

Edisto Island, South Carolina

Insider Tip: Feeling adventurous? Don’t miss the Edisto Island Serpentarium to view their collection of snakes, turtles, alligators and other incredible reptiles.

Real Estate Available: Edisto Island homes are averaging about 440k. This is an island for those who want a beach getaway, so you will find many vacation homes, but not much for entertainment or nightlife. Find current listings here.

Kiawah and Seabrook Island

Looking for the creme de la creme of Carolina coasts? Kiawah Island may just be it. Technically 25 miles from Charleston proper, the beautiful Oaks draped in Spanish Moss guiding you welcomingly make it all worth it.

As for the beach itself, you can either access from the private entries past the gates while staying at Kiawah Island Resort or head west to the Kiawah Beachwalker Park, part of the Charleston County Parks opened to the public. There you’ll find bathrooms, showers, changing stalls and picnic areas with grills. This beautiful spot is perfect for families thanks to the lifeguards on duty and beach rentals should you forget a chair or umbrella for the day!

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Sprawling Beaches in Kiawah Island

Of course, not everyone loves to feel the sand between their toes, and for those people, I highly recommend a round on one of the many incredible golf courses Kiawah offers. All in all, Kiawah feels exclusive but one visit to the beach there and I bet you’ll feel right at home.

Kiawah Island Golf

Seabrook Island is a separate island from Kiawah, but is so close that we grouped them together. You either go left to Kiawah or right to go to Seabrook. Seabrook Island is also gated, and offers manicured properties and great amenities to include golf, tennis, and horses.

Insider Tip: Take a quick 2-3 mile trip back the way you came for your choice of shops and restaurants at FreshFields Village.

Real Estate Available: Homes on Kiawah Island average around $1.25 million. You can expect highly manicured and curated neighborhoods with world class amenities. The natural beauty is well preserved and there are paths and trails throughout to get you close to nature. You can find what is currently on the market here.

Seabrook offers homes averaging around $600k. You get great island living at a fraction of the cost compared to Kiawah. Of course, this means you miss some of the amenities of Kiawah, however. Find Seabrook Island homes here.

Folly Beach

Ready for some good old fashioned family fun? Folly Beach has everything you need: tons of restaurants, rooftop sitting (perfect with a cold adult beverage in hand) and shops galore to get all your favorite beach finds, like oversized inflatables and official “FOLLY BEACH” tank tops.

Folly Beach, South Carolina

While the vibe of Folly has definitely shifted a bit over the years from hippie to slightly more touristy, you can’t help but to love the energy in Folly all the same. With beach accesses up and down both the east and west ends, it’s easy for families to find a spot. For a few bucks (or with your county parks pass) you can head all the way west to the county park and enjoy close parking, lifeguards and showers.

Folly Beach County Park

Folly is perfect for all outdoor adventures, too, and with many companies to choose from you’ll have no problem finding a place to try out surfing, fishing, paddle boarding, wind sailing or boating.

Surf Folly Beach

Insider Tip: Find “The Washout” on the east side of Folly if you’re looking to catch a solid wave or two.

Real Estate Available: Folly Beach real estate averages around 815k and has all types of homes, from beach bungalows to seaside estates. This is one of the top beaches for vacationers, so many investment opportunities can be had here. Expect well attended events and celebrations throughout the year- and the corresponding traffic. You can find current Folly Beach listings here.

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Sullivan’s Island

Similar to Folly with ample amounts of shops and eateries- but very different in vibe- Sullivans Island feels drastically less touristy yet still great for the family. Again, the beaches are clean and sprawling, giving everyone plenty of room to enjoy their day. If you’re in the mood for a little bit of history you can walk around the perimeter of Fort Moultrie or snap a picture by one of the most modern lighthouses in the country- a staple for Sullivan locals.

Fort Moultrie, Sullivans Island

Did you know that Edgar Allen Poe lived in Sullivans Island for 13 months when he was assigned to Fort Moultrie in 1827? Though his time in Sullivans was fleeting, Poe was clearly smitten, using the town as the setting for 3 of his stories later in life, “The Gold Bug,” “The Balloon Hoax”, and “The Oblong Box.”

Sullivans Island, South Carolina

Insider Tip: You can almost ALWAYS see dolphins playing off the coast of Sullivans, so don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled!

Real Estate Available: Homes on Sullivans Island average around 2.5 million. You can expect to find upscale, modern beach homes- and some updated historical homes. The price for entry makes this a fairly exclusive community, but doesn’t wear it on the lapel. Find current listings here.

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Isle of Palms

As the most northern beach along the Charleston area coast, Isle of Palms (IOP) is impressive as soon as you hit the crest of the IOP Connector, delivering breathtaking views of the town, horizon, and of course, plenty of palms.

Have some fun at Wild Dunes Resort-  home to two golf courses, tennis courts, restaurants and beach access points- or visit The Windjammer for LIVE music, food and fun. Additionally, Isle of Palms County Park has beachfront parking, showers, seasonal lifeguards, picnic areas and volleyball courts to help make your day at the beach a breeze.

Insider Tip: Stay clear of the Breach Inlet and its dangerous currents no matter how appealing that little slice of sand may seem!

Real Estate Available:Isle of Palms homes average around $1.2 million. Due to the proximity to Mount Pleasant as well as Dunes West, Isle of Palms attracts many vacationers, so you’ll find many vacation rentals here, as well as locals. Find Isle of Palms listings here.

Isle of Palms, South Carolina

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Abasi Chapman

I am a husband, father and real estate agent with the Top Charleston Agents Team with Berkshire Hathaway in the Charleston, South Carolina area specializing in state to state moves and welcoming famil....

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