Beaches in Charleston are some of the best in the country! Smooth sand, blue skies, and great year-round weather combine to create the ideal coastal vacation destination. Our South Carolina coast offers miles of pristine beaches with many family-friendly activities. Whether you’re visiting to unwind under the sun or make memories with your closest loved ones, you’re sure to have the trip of a lifetime visiting the best beaches near Charleston, SC!
For a refreshing and stress-free getaway, use our free Kiawah Island Vacation Guide and Seabrook Island Vacation Guide to help plan out your itinerary. If you’re looking to get something to eat after a day at the beach, these guides will help. We’ve included the best outdoor adventures, shopping, dining, and more. Unlock your guide now to start planning.
The Best Charleston, South Carolina Beaches
Kiawah Island Beach
When you stay with Pam Harrington Exclusives, you’ll be at an award-winning beach that’s among the 15 Happiest Places to Live on the Coast and the Conde Naste's Best U.S. Islands for 2020. You can enjoy peace and quiet on a private beach on Kiawah or enjoy adventurous water sports on the public beach at Beachwalker County Park. It has everything you need, including an expansive beach, large swimming area, and onsite amenities like a dressing area, showers, restrooms, grills, and a snack bar!
Seabrook Island Beach
For a slow-paced, relaxing day under the sun, visit Seabrook Island Beach, a hidden gem just 30 minutes south of Downtown Charleston. This tranquil and timeless place is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the Carolinas, as well as stunning marshland areas. Because of its ample club amenities, including shopping, dining, golf, tennis, horseback riding, boating, kayaking, and fishing, Seabrook Island is one of the best areas in Charleston. Purveyors of the good life will also love discovering Seabrook Island’s maritime forests and plentiful wildlife, all of which are found right on the beach.
Folly Beach in Charleston, SC, is widely treasured by surfers and beach enthusiasts. Nicknamed “The Edge of America,” the town of Folly Beach exemplifies South Carolina’s Lowcountry lifestyle. If you’re hungry or thirsty, try one of the locally owned restaurants just a few steps from the shore. After that, we recommend parking at Folly Beach County Park, and exploring the area’s wetlands and saltwater rivers.
If you like to surf, you’ll enjoy hanging out on the waviest part of the beach, called the Washout, and just past there, you can catch glimpses of the iconic Morris Island Lighthouse. The laidback atmosphere on Folly makes it one of the most popular Charleston beaches for locals and visitors alike!
Sullivan’s Island Beach
Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, is a wonderful place to rent a bike, go paddle boarding, or simply unwind. Like the town of Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island is full of local shops, restaurants, and bars that are all just a short walk from the water.
For a delicious lunch, we recommend trying a juicy burger from one of the most interesting spots on the island, Poe’s Tavern. It’s named after famed poet Edgar Allan Poe!
If you’re looking to add a bit of Charleston history to your beach trip, Fort Moultrie is just a 5-minute drive from the main beach. Here, you can wander the free museum and take a scenic walk past cannons and dunes to the fort itself. There’s something for everyone on Sullivan’s!
Isle of Palms Beach
Like Kiawah Island, the Isle of Palms, South Carolina beach is celebrated for its family-oriented atmosphere and vibrant seaside community. You can even enjoy a game of golf before cooling off on the shore. People often savor the beautiful drive to Isle of Palms and stay for an entire day.
When the sun starts to set, you’ll love the live music at the Windjammer, a local restaurant and bar that’s right on the water. You may even see nesting sea turtles and other creatures when night falls. Whether you choose to explore on foot or aboard an Isle of Palms rental boat, you’ll love this Charleston beach!
Where to Rest After Exploring the Best Beaches Near Charleston, SC
If you’re looking for a personalized experience for your relaxing getaway, vacation rentals are a better option than Charleston, SC, hotels. Whether you’re just here for the week or are planning an extended stay, Pam Harrington Exclusives has a stunning rental home that’s perfect for you! Many of our rentals are located on the beach with gorgeous views, and each includes a set of amenities unique to its location, size, and home type.