Kiawah Island vs. Seabrook Island – What’s the Difference?

Kiawah vs. Seabrook?  What is the difference? Twenty-six miles south of historic Charleston, South Carolina the Sea Islands of Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island offer an unparalleled combination of luxury and leisure. Experience award-winning conservation and preservation.

Enjoy the first-class resort and private club amenities. Plus, wander miles of pristine, private beaches. While you are here, Pam Harrington Exclusives is the # 1 source for Kiawah, Seabrook, and Charleston area real estate services.

So, which island is right for your beach vacation or island investment? Read on to learn about Kiawah Island vs. Seabrook Island and the key differences between these two Charleston Sea Islands. Afterward, we invite you to experience Lowcountry living first-hand.

Schedule a complimentary island tour with us at Pam Harrington Exclusives and we will show you the ins and outs of these beloved beach towns, including neighborhoods, country clubs, and more.

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Your Guide to Kiawah Island vs. Seabrook Island

  • Seabrook Island SC Community Atmosphere

Seabrook Island SC encompasses just over 7 square miles. So, it is smaller than Kiawah Island and more residential in character giving it the feeling of one large neighborhood. Guests and owners appreciate the quiet, community lifestyle Seabrook Island offers.

With a population of approximately 1850 residents and 2287 housing units, the island maintains a substantial portion of green space. The rich flora and fauna that coexist harmoniously with island residents are just two compelling features of life on Seabrook Island SC.

Seabrook Island SC is most popular with beach seekers who enjoy a quiet, family-oriented vacation or lifestyle with resort amenities.

This private island features a community swimming pool at the SIPOA Lake House. Read on for more Seabrook Island SC Area Info.

In addition, the oceanfront pools at the Seabrook Island Club are extremely popular. Seabrook Island SC offers some of the best resort amenities available.  Additional island amenities include tennis courts, pickleball courts,  2 championship golf courses, and a full equestrian center,  The Seabrook Island House is a luxury clubhouse with multiple dining outlets offering both casual and upscale dining, a festive event space, and social areas.

  • Seabrook Island Real Estate Vacation Residences

Seabrook Island has 400 privately owned vacation homes and vacation rental villas. These are available for short-term beach getaways, monthly beach vacations, snowbird winter rentals, and even traditional long-term residences.

  • Kiawah Island Community Atmosphere

Kiawah Island enjoys greater notoriety than its sister island to the west.  This is primarily due to the world-renowned Ocean Course. This storied golf course was designed by famed golf architect, Pete Dye. The island is also a much larger island encompassing over 11 square miles.

Kiawah Island is also recognized as a top destination for luxury, resort living in harmony with nature. This private, gated, barrier island remains a lush habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. Progressive development agreements continue to preserve the lush forests and habitats.  The Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy's mission is to preserve and protect the natural beauty of Kiawah Island.

There are approximately 1,762 Kiawah Island residents. The most recent estimate shows over 3516 single-family units on Kiawah. Non-resident properties lend themselves to investment or rental opportunities. Many villas and cottages serve as second or third residences. Families gather for those special times of the year, honoring traditional Lowcountry holiday celebrations.

  • Kiawah Island Parks and Club Amenities

The island offers additional attractions. For example, the Heron Park Nature Center in Night Heron Park attracts guests who learn about the diverse eco system of Kiawah Island.

In addition, Kiawah has 30 miles of hiking and biking trails.

Club amenities on Kiawah encompass a broader range of options versus those on Seabrook Island. While both islands have beautiful, private beaches; Kiawah Island offers more oceanfront property (about 10 miles total), simply because it’s larger. There is so much to explore on Kiawah Island. Read more on Kiawah Island Area Info.

Seabrook Island Club vs. Kiawah Island Club

In addition to the captivating, natural beauty of Seabrook Island, visitors and residents are drawn to the recreational amenities available on the island through The Seabrook Island Club and the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association.

Major improvements to Seabrook Club facilities began in 2009-2010 through the vision and hard work of island leaders and residents. The Seabrook Island Lake House is a featured amenity of the SIPOA and enjoyed by all property owners and guests. This 26,000 square foot clubhouse highlights fitness and wellness. The indoor lap pool, cardio area, weight training room, fitness class rooms, library and large outdoor salt water pool support a healthy lifestyle for all residents.

The Seabrook Island Club, a private country club, offers membership opportunities to all property owners. Guests of members may also enjoy access to the Club's resort-style amenities with the amenity card.

  • Seabrook Island SC Club Amenities

The strategic Horizon Plan resulted in a new, luxurious clubhouse with multiple restaurants and a golf pro shop; a new racquet club pro shop, a new equestrian center facility and the brand new Seabrook Island Beach Club with 2 saltwater pools, oceanfront dining at the Pelicans Nest and resort-style beach area with a poolside grille.

Seabrook Island Club members and guests of members enjoy 2 championship golf courses, 15 Har-Tru Clay tennis courts, multiple pickleball courts, horseback riding on the beach, and a full calendar of social opportunities as well.


More On The Seabrook Island Club


Kiawah Island offers memberships to the Governors Club and the Private Kiawah Island Club. All property owners enjoy the opportunity to join the Governors Club annually for preferred golf and tennis rates, dining discounts and Kiawah Island Golf Resort pool access.

Additionally all Kiawah property owners have access to The Sandcastle Clubhouse through their annual HOA dues.

The Sandcastle offers oceanfront pools, dining, workout facilities and meeting rooms. It was recently updated in 2018.

The Private Kiawah Island Club is a bit more complex. Club memberships are attached to a limited number of Kiawah residential properties.  Members enjoy an array of unparalleled luxury amenities.

Membership can only be acquired with the purchase of property offering a specific club membership level opportunity. Click here for more detailed info on the various types of club offerings on Kiawah Island. Or, click below for more info on the Private Kiawah Island Club and its amenities.

The Kiawah Island Club

Similarities Between Kiawah and Seabrook

If you’re weighing Kiawah Island vs. Seabrook Island, it’s important to remember that both islands enjoy access to many of the same amenities. The islands neighbor each other on the South Carolina coast. Freshfields Village is the midpoint between the two islands.  It features several options for casual dining and boutique shopping. It also provides the major grocery store in the area.

Bohicket Marina serves both islands as well. Anglers, kayakers, and sunset sailors always end up spending time here regardless of which place they stay.


Frequently Asked Questions - Kiawah Island Vs. Seabrook Island

1. How far is Seabrook Island from Kiawah Island?

  • Seabrook Island’s entrance to the gates of Kiawah is just over eight miles north, or a quick 20-minute drive. Follow Seabrook Island Road through Freshfields Village to Kiawah Island Parkway.

2. Is Johns Island the same as Kiawah or Seabrook Islands?

  • While Johns Island boasts beautiful estates and a stunning Lowcountry marshland, it lacks the five-star amenities that Kiawah and Seabrook Islands offer. Living on Seabrook and Kiawah means access to the area’s best golf courses, private beaches, and neighborly community.

3. Is Seabrook Island gated? Is Kiawah Island gated?

  • Yes, both Seabrook and Kiawah are gated communities.  

4. Which has better golf courses, Seabrook or Kiawah?

  • Both islands offer premier championship golf courses. Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course was home to the 2012 PGA Championship and will host again in 2021, making it a highly sought after bucket list course for many avid golfers.

5. What are the biggest differences between Seabrook and Kiawah Island?

  • The most significant difference between Seabrook and Kiawah Island is the feel in size. Kiawah attracts much more foot traffic due to its public beaches and biking trails, while Seabrook is more residential.  

More Excellent Resources For Your Research


Schedule Your Charleston Sea Island Tour

If you need help deciding between Kiawah vs. Seabrook, then we recommend touring the islands to see which one best suits you!

At Pam Harrington Exclusives, we are happy to guide you in finding a neighborhood and home that matches your desired amenities and lifestyle needs.

Browse our collection of luxury Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island real estate today. We are happy to schedule home showings during your visit!

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