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. With award-winning conservation and preservation; first-class resort and private club amenities; and miles of pristine, private beaches Pam Harrington Exclusives is the # 1 source for vacation rental lodging and real estate sales services. 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.
Your Guide to Kiawah Island vs. Seabrook Island
Seabrook Island encompasses just over 7 square miles. 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.
Over 400 privately owned vacation homes and vacation rental villas are available for short-term beach getaways, monthly beach vacations, snowbird rentals and even traditional long-term residency.
Kiawah Island enjoys greater notoriety than its sister island to the west due to the world renowned Ocean Course designed by famed golf architect, Pete Dye. It 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.
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; reserved for those special times of the year when families gather for a traditional Lowcountry, holiday repast.
The island offers additional attractions, like the Heron Park Nature Center and 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.
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.
The strategic Horizon Plan resulted in a new, luxurious clubhouse with 2 restaurants and golf pro shop; a new racquet club pro shop, a new equestrian center facility and the brand new Seabrook Island Beach Club with 2 salt water 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, horseback riding on the beach and a full calendar of social opportunities as well.
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. Offering luxurious amenities and private venues, Kiawah Island Club memberships are attached to a limited number of Kiawah residential properties. Membership can only be acquired with the purchase of a 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 it's amenities.
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 and has several options for casual dining and boutique shopping. It also features the major grocery store in the area. Bohicket Marina is common ground between the two 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
- The Kiawah Island Homeowners Association
- The Seabrook Island Property Owners Association
- Living in Charleston: Your Complete Relocation Guide
- Everything You Need to Know About S.C. Property Taxes
- The Pros & Cons of Living Near the Beach
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.