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A Guide to Charleston Beaches

A Guide to Charleston Beaches

June 19, 2018

Beat the Holy City heat and humidity with a day at the beach. To help you pick your sunbathing spot, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite sandy stretches in the area.

Folly Beach

Surfers flock to the Wash Out on the island’s east end. But you don’t have to hang ten to appreciate the island’s laidback funky vibe. The county park offers beach chair and umbrella rentals as well as public restrooms; beyond, there is ample beach access up and down the barrier island.

Beyond the beach: Before downing a Painkiller (a potent concoction of rum, pineapple juice,  orange juice and cream of coconut) at the Surf Bar or grabbing lunch at one of the island’s  local haunts—Taco Boy, Black Magic and Lost Dog are favorites—venture to the very  end of  East Ashely Avenue for views of the historic Morris Island Lighthouse.

Isle of Palms

The Isle of Palms Connector dead-ends pretty much at the entrance of the county park, or you can park along Palm Boulevard to access this six-mile family-friendly stretch of beach just north of downtown Charleston. IOP is also a popular surf spot, especially for beginners. 

Beyond the beach: The Windjammer is a front-beach music venue where you’ll find live tunes  most nights.

Kiawah Island

Twenty-one miles from downtown Charleston, this lush mostly-private barrier island offers ten miles of some of the most pristine beach in the Lowcountry. You’ll find the only public beach access at Kiawah Beachwalker Park on the island’s east end.

Beyond the beach: On the oak-shaded drive out, stop for a waterfront lunch at Bohicket  Marina. If you’re a golfer, book a tee time at one of the island’s six public courses,  consistently ranked among the nation’s best. The Ocean Course was the home of the 2012  PGA Championship.  

Sullivan’s Island

The closest beach to downtown Charleston, this quiet island town is the area’s most residential. A drive through the historic district is worth a brief delay. Parking can be tricky so arrive early or come late. Head toward Station 18 to watch the bi-container ships come in and out of Charleston Harbor. 

Beyond the beach: Snag a table at Poe’s restaurant (named for Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote  his famous short story The Gold-Bug while stationed here at Fort Moultrie) for one of the  best burgers in town.


Interested in experiencing the Lowcountry’s coastal landscape for yourself?

Book our Day At The Beach Package, which includes transportation to one of Charleston’s pristine beaches; just pack your bathing suits and leave the rest to us!

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