Atlanta to Kiawah Island, SC: Everything You Need to Know

From baseball games at SunTrust Park to sipping on soda at The World of Coca-Cola, there is a lot to love about Atlanta! But every now and then, we all get the urge to escape our day-to-day routine. If city life has you craving a beach getaway, then read on to learn how to plan the perfect trip from Atlanta to Kiawah Island! Afterward, discover all of the island’s hidden treasures in our complimentary Kiawah Island Vacation Guide. Our guide is full of recommendations for award-winning restaurants, maritime parks, historic sites, and more. You can spend less time planning and more time enjoying your vacation!

Planning a Trip from Atlanta to Kiawah Island


Overall, no matter which route you choose, you can expect a drive from Atlanta to Kiawah Island to take approximately six hours. The best road to take depends on the time of day and what type of road trip experience you want! Read on to discover which route is best for you.

The Scenic Route: Via I-16 East

If you are traveling during the day, we recommend taking I-16 East. This scenic route takes you from Atlanta to Savannah to Kiawah Island. The drive is beautiful. You’ll pass through sleepy towns with farms, cattle and horses, and oak trees draped with Spanish moss.

Please keep in mind that these areas have limited cell phone service, so print directions in advance! In addition, because of the many forested areas, deer are frequently on the roads at night. If you are traveling after sunset or before sunrise, this route is not recommended.

The Fastest Route: Via 1-20 East

1-20 East is the shortest, and typically the fastest, route from Atlanta to Kiawah Island. This route takes you from Atlanta to Augusta before your final arrival on Kiawah. It also avoids busy Charleston traffic on I-26 East, similar to 1-16 East. On this route, you will pass through the Walterboro area. As mentioned, because of deer and limited street lighting, we don’t recommend this route if traveling by night.

Through the Capital City: Via I-85 and I-26 East

I-85 and I-26 East is the longest route from Atlanta to Kiawah. It is also the busiest. Although this may seem inconvenient, it is best for travelers who are on the road at night. You will travel from Atlanta to Columbia, SC, and then via 1-26 to Charleston. There are plenty of rest stops along the way! Plan ahead for tolls!

Find Your Oceanfront Kiawah Island Home

At the end of your drive from Atlanta to Kiawah, there’s nothing better than the feeling of coastal breezes, warm Carolina sunshine, and sand beneath your toes. Unpack your bags and relax on the patio of an oceanfront Kiawah Island home or villa, where beach days are always a few steps away!

Browse our handpicked collection of Kiawah Island rentals today. If you need any help in finding the perfect home, contact us for a free quote and customized search. We can’t wait to welcome you to Charleston’s most beloved sea island!