Living in Kiawah Island Year Round – A Charleston Beach Community

Are you looking for a healthy, vibrant lifestyle? Do you want to live at the beach and be close to the #1 city in the U.S. Charleston SC? Do you love nature? Living in Kiawah Island offers all this and more. Imagine living where world-class golf, sports amenities, luxury spa treatments, and stunning ocean and creek vistas are a part of your daily life. And, we can’t think of Kiawah Island without The Kiawah Island Club and Governors Club memberships and how each enhances island life.

Plus, Kiawah Island maintains a community commitment to sustainability and preservation. This ensures the conservation of natural wonders and species that cohabitate with island residents. Living on Kiawah Island is special.

Pam Harrington and her family found this island oasis in 1978 and never left. She and her team of expert realtors thrive on their love for Kiawah. It is a privilege to share its beauty with others. So, let’s explore what makes this Charleston SC barrier island so unique and see if it's the island oasis for you. 

Are you already sold on the magic of living in Kiawah Island? We are here when you are ready!

Perhaps you want to pursue a full-time residence, buildable homesite, seasonal beach house, or a Kiawah cottage for use as a vacation rental investment. 

Pam Harrington and her Real Estate team will work to find your place in this coastal paradise.

Discover Kiawah Real Estate

Kiawah Island Living Offers 2 Club Communities

While Kiawah Island is undeniably luxurious, it's also a place where residents enjoy a strong sense of community. These Kiawah Island Club neighborhoods promote a close-knit, neighborly atmosphere. Residents know their neighbors and are actively engaged in the community's social life. So, let’s explore a couple of Kiawah Island Club neighborhoods on this Charleston Barrier Island.

  • Cassique Living at Kiawah Island

A benefit of purchasing a home or cottage here is full access to the exclusive Kiawah Island Club. All property owners in Cassique join the Club. Cassique at Kiawah fosters a strong sense of community. Residents love gathering at the Cassique clubhouse for social events, lunch after golf, and elevated culinary experiences. Hey, you might run into famed celebrity chef Tom Colicchio! He is the consulting chef for Voyseys restaurant in the Cassique clubhouse and a member of the Club.  

Living in Cassique at Kiawah Island is a perfect place to forge lasting connections. Golfers who belong to the Kiawah Island Club are drawn to the Tom Watson-designed course, Cassique.

Celebrating his love for links-style play, Cassique calls on elements of classic Scottish course design. It is like no other golf course in South Carolina.

A shared appreciation for the island’s beauty and the Club’s amenities forms the foundation for friendships that extend beyond the borders of living in Kiawah Island. 

View Cassique Listings

  • Living in The Settlement at Kiawah Island

The Settlement at Kiawah Island is a second Kiawah Island Club enclave located just steps from the River Course. The Settlement is mid-island, offering a great location for living in Kiawah Island. Settlement residents are also Kiawah Island Club members. Settlement residents benefit from close proximity to the River Course, a famed Tom Fazio-designed golf course.

The River Course Clubhouse is a focal point of the Club. Members love the Oyster Bar.  Known affectionately as “the men’s locker room.” (It’s attached to the men’s locker room.) The arched ceiling, crafted from reclaimed white oak, harkens to the image of a whisky cask. The live edge bar top and oyster tabby walls provide a visual connection to nature.

The club house also includes a popular restaurant, luxury locker rooms, pool and event hall club for member events. 

The Kiawah River serves as an iconic Lowcountry backdrop. When the day calls for some me time, Sasanqua Spa, exclusively open to Kiawah Island Club members, offers a welcome respite from the day-to-day hustle and bustle. 

These Kiawah Island Club communities offer a true resident feel and the opportunity to know your neighbors as they do not permit short-term rentals.

For more information on the Kiawah Island Club, membership opportunities and club amenities read our more detailed explanation of the Kiawah Island Club.  If you are interested in homes and cottages in these neighborhoods contact Pam Harrington Exclusives for a free, no-obligation tour of these exceptional Club communities on Kiawah Island. 

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  • Island Life in the Kiawah Island Governors Club

All owners have access to join the Kiawah Island Governors Club when living on Kiawah Island. The Governors Club offers all island owners elevated access to the amenities of the Kiawah Island Resort and is a great option for property owners that do not hold a membership to the Kiawah Island Club.

Among these amenities is the famed Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course golf course, as well as the coveted pool and waterslides at Night Heron Park.

The Governors Club offers 5 affordable levels of membership and discounts at all resort amenities, including the 5-star hotel dining and spa services at the Sanctuary Hotel.

  • Community Amenities for all Kiawah Island Residents

All property owners have access to the Sandcastle located in West Beach. Families appreciate the Sandcastle Clubhouse with its newly renovated exercise facility and oceanfront pools. The Sandcastle is a popular spot for summer fun. We love relaxing around the sparkling oceanfront pools and grabbing a bite at the seasonal outside cafe.

Great news! The pools are heated in the fall for an extension of fun. The heaters are turned off during the winter.

The Sandcastle Kiawah Island

During the off season, the Sandcastle serves as a hub of community activity with various clubs, game nights, music, and community meetings. So, living on Kiawah Island caters to a wide range of interests. There are so many opportunities to connect with nature and neighbors while staying healthy and nourished. 

Residential Areas and Neighborhoods for Living on Kiawah Island Year Round

Kiawah Island features 3 distinct areas and distinct neighborhoods within each area. The island areas offer their own unique character and amenities. Here's a description of some of the prominent neighborhoods on Kiawah Island.

  • Vanderhorst Plantation Life

Vanderhorst Plantation is affectionately known locally as “behind the second gate.” Locals and guests consider it the more prestigious area of Kiawah Island. Vanderhorst Plantation takes its name from the historic home nestled in the Live Oak trees just inside the second gate. Many sports stars and business titans have owned homes in this neighborhood.

Several neighborhoods reside within this area.

Known for larger homes and privacy, Vanderhorst offers close proximity to the famed Ocean Course golf course, Osprey Point golf course, and amenities of the Kiawah Island Club such as the Beach Club and the Marsh House.

One of the newer neighborhood developments in Vanderhorst is Ocean Park. Ocean Park is a planned enclave next to the famed Ocean Course. Situated along a stretch of parkland, it features 270 single-family home sites with golf and scenic views. 


  • Living in East Beach on Kiawah Island

East Beach on Kiawah Island offers a blend of villas, cottages, private homes, and amenities. It is quite popular for investors seeking to purchase a second home or villa for vacation rental. Turtle Point Villas are excellent for their proximity to Turtle Point Golf Course, dining at Tomasso Italian restaurant, and the beach.  

Windswept Villas are oceanfront, with Windswept townhouses located across the street on the lagoon. These make excellent vacation rental investments.

For those seeking a private home within the East Beach area, the homes of Turtle Beach offer the perfect investment near amenities such as the Roy Barth Tennis Center, and the luxury spa at the Sanctuary Hotel. They are popular among vacationers. 

  • West Beach Living on Kiawah Island

West Beach is the gateway to Kiawah Island. This area offers a variety of real estate options, including oceanfront homes along Eugenia Avenue; beachside villas such as Shipwatch and Seascape, and the popular Sparrow Pond Cottages. Residents here enjoy easy access to the Sandcastle property owners clubhouse and amenities of Kiawah Island Resort. The Gary Player-designed Cougar Point Golf Course is popular with its luxury clubhouse and dining. 

Kiawah Island neighborhoods collectively offer an array of real estate options, ensuring that residents can find the perfect home that suits their preferences and lifestyles.

Whether it's the allure of oceanfront living, golf course views, or a close-knit community atmosphere, Kiawah Island has something to offer for every discerning homeowner. Not sure where you want to be on Kiawah Island? Explore the different Kiawah neighborhoods!

Kiawah Neighborhood Guide

A Variety of Residential Options for Living on Kiawah

Living at Kiawah Island may be a cozy Night Heron cottage near the beach with no outdoor yard maintenance to worry about. Or, perhaps you dream of a beachfront villa with sweeping ocean views, such as Mariners Watch or Seascape Villas. Each complex offers managed care, and varying levels of service to minimize your exterior maintenance efforts. Take a look at all the Kiawah Island villa communities.

Copper Roof Details Kiawah Island Homes

Kiawah Island Private homes offer privacy, enclosed garages, and a variety of custom amenities such as private pools, hot tubs, media rooms, gourmet kitchens, and whatever else your heart desires. 

Architectural styles vary, featuring such elements as oyster tabby walkways, raised construction with garages below, shaker siding, and copper roofs.

Kiawah Island homes celebrate the iconic Lowcountry landscape with expansive interior windows drawing in natural light and capturing sweeping views of palm trees, marsh, Spanish moss, and the Atlantic Ocean. 

Kiawah Island homes feature an abundance of space including classic Charleston piazzas, screened verandas, and multiple decks. Jump to our current Kiawah Island Homes page here for a hassle-free way to view current Kiawah Island Home Listings

Kiawah Architectural Styles

Preservation and Sustainability for Kiawah Island Livability

Kiawah Island takes its commitment to preserving the environment seriously. The island's development is a delicate balance requiring the utmost care to minimize impact on the natural surroundings. Strict building regulations and conservation efforts ensure that Kiawah Island remains a haven for both residents and wildlife.

It always takes our breath away to see a bobcat cub pop out of the forest, or a herd of deer making their way across the golf course.

Living in Kiawah Island offers unique opportunities to connect with nature and promote preservation.

The Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol is a great way to get involved. Loggerhead sea turtles now thrive off our coast due to the volunteer efforts of turtle patrols in island communities such as ours on Kiawah. Their tireless efforts make a real impact.

If you are interested in more information about the Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol and their conservation efforts visit our Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol blog article.  

Additionally, the Kiawah Island Community Association, KICA, and the Kiawah Conservancy actively promotes sustainability and conservation programs. These initiatives not only protect the island's unique ecosystems but also encourage responsible living among residents, making it a perfect place for those who value environmental stewardship.


Is Kiawah Island calling you home?

The ebb and flow of life living in Kiawah Island is an invitation to experience the best of nature, luxury, and community. It's a place where the natural beauty is cherished and protected, where championship golf courses challenge your skills, and where a strong sense of community brings people together.

Kiawah Living with Nature

With its commitment to sustainability and conservation, Kiawah Island is a model for harmonious living with nature.

If you're seeking a life of tranquility and elegance in a stunning coastal setting, Kiawah Island might just be the paradise on Earth you've been looking for.

At Pam Harrington Exclusives, our Kiawah Island real estate experts know that choosing the perfect location for your next home is of utmost importance.

We pride ourselves on providing honest glimpses into the key aspects of the Lowcountry and helping you stay up-to-date on the hottest properties available on Kiawah Island.

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