Charleston Sea Islands Life & Living
It’s no secret that Charleston South Carolina is home to the Southeast’s most beautiful sea islands. We think nothing compares to Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island. Located just 40 minutes away from downtown Charleston, these splendid island communities enjoy miles of pristine beach, brilliant coastal architecture, and boundless recreation.
Below you will find a comprehensive guide to life on Charleston’s sea islands. If you are still considering where you’d like to buy, schedule an island tour with Pam Harrington Exclusives. We will show you the ins and outs of Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island, including a variety of neighborhoods, places to eat, and things to do!
A Local Guide to the Charleston Sea Islands
No matter where you live on Kiawah Island or Seabrook Island, you will always enjoy easy beach access. The islands offer plenty of outdoor recreation. Plus, residents find ample opportunities to enjoy the natural scenery.
Seabrook Island offers 38 managed residential communities and private homes. Here is a general overview of Seabrook Island neighborhoods.
Kiawah Island is home to Vanderhorst Plantation, East Beach Village, and West Beach Village.
A few neighborhoods that you will find on the sea islands are:
- North Beach Village on Seabrook Island. Experience serene sea marsh or ocean views with an easy walk to the beach, and proximity to the Property Owners Pool.
- Vanderhorst Plantation on Kiawah Island. If exclusivity is more your style, you will love the historic charm and privacy of this private residential area.
- East Beach Village on Kiawah Island. This delightful sea island community is only steps away from ample kid-friendly and family-friendly activities!
Charleston’s sea islands encompass miles of lush maritime forest, stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the peacefulness of tidal creeks and marsh. This natural scenery lends itself to abundant outdoor recreation opportunities.
Discover our bike trails, parks, marinas with water activities, and so much more. Here are a few ways to enjoy the great outdoors:
- Swim and relax on the beach at Beachwalker Park
- Bike through the forests of Night Heron Park (Explore other Kiawah bike trails)
- Horseback ride on the beach on Seabrook Island
- Explore wildlife and diverse ecosystems at Heron Park Nature Center
- Take a boat tour
- Go bass fishing
Sports, Health, & Fitness
Kiawah and Seabrook Island are a paradise for sports enthusiasts.
Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just beginning your journey to be happy, healthy, and fit, you will find many recreation options on the islands.
Night Heron Park on Kiawah offers a fitness trail with workout stations and the 10 miles of beach offer a great spot for a morning walk or bike.
Some of our favorite sports activities include:
- Championship tennis at Roy Barth Tennis Center on Kiawah Island or the Seabrook Island Racquet Club
- Championship golf on any of Kiawah and Seabrook golf courses
- Paddleboarding the tidal creeks around Charleston
- Biking trails on Kiawah Island and walking on the Hidden Oaks Trail on Seabrook Island
Places of Worship
Charleston, also known as The Holy City, earned its nickname from the religious freedom that took place on the peninsula several hundred years ago. As you drive across the Ashley River into downtown Charleston, the church steeples define the beautiful skyline.
When you live on Charleston’s sea islands, you will enjoy proximity to numerous historic churches and places of worship.
Charleston is home to a variety of exceptional educational institutions. Whether your ideal classroom is Montessori, traditional, or Christian-based, we know that you will find the perfect learning environment for your child’s individual needs. Check out our guide to 5 of the best private schools in Charleston. Here is a summary of some locally renowned schools.
- Charleston Collegiate approaches education with student-centered classrooms that create successful, lifelong learners. This private school has served grades PS-12 in the Lowcountry with high-quality education since 1970.
- Porter-Gaud is an Episcopal, coeducational, independent day school. Since 1972, Porter-Gaud has endowed students with a foundation of moral and ethical character and intellect. Porter-Gaud currently serves elementary through high school.
- Haut Gap Middle School is Johns Island's public middle school. This up and coming magnet school serves students in grades 6-8 and is turning heads.
- College of Charleston is a public liberal arts and sciences university. Founded in 1770, C of C offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. You will find a variety of different paths designed specifically for Charleston’s growing job market, including revenue management, hospitality, and historic preservation.
- The Medical University of South Carolina is the state’s only academic health science center. Founded in 1824, MUSC is home to six colleges, including Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy.
Explore more of Charleston's best educational opportunities.
Hospitals and Medical Centers
When you live on Seabrook Island or Kiawah Island, you will have access to some of the state’s top hospitals and leading healthcare providers. Hospitals and medical care in the Charleston area include:
- The Medical University of South Carolina in downtown Charleston
- Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley
- Roper St. Francis Physician Partners in Freshfields Village
- MUSC Shawn Jenkins Childrens Hospital in downtown Charleston
The new Sea Islands Medical Pavilion is under construction.
This state-of-the-art medical facility will include emergency care, specialty care, rehabilitative services, and diagnostic testing.
Located between Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island, this MUSC medical facility will offer a helio pad for emergency transport as well.
Charleston’s sea islands have a subtropical climate. You will experience mild winters and sultry summers with refreshing coastal breezes. Winter temperatures typically don’t dip below 50 degrees, and summers average around 90 degrees.
Because of the region’s favorable climate, the sea islands are a gardener’s paradise. There is always something in bloom!
Another climate factor to be aware of is the possibility of hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June through November.
While they do occur, highly destructive storms are few and far between.
In the event of a hurricane, local government and news outlets will ensure that residents are prepared well ahead of time.
In addition to endless sports activities and outdoor recreation, you will find plenty of kid-friendly activities on Charleston’s sea islands! Some of the exciting opportunities for children and teens include:
- Summer fun at Camp Seabrook and Kamp Kiawah
- Reading throughout the year with a visit to the Charleston County Bookmobile in Freshfields Village (first and third Tuesday of every month)
- Teen paddle boarding and kayaking adventures with Heron Park Nature Center
- Naturalist programs for children and teens at Heron Park Nature Center
- Intriguing learning opportunities at the Kiawah Conservancy
- Explore additional popular kids’ activities
Places to Dine
Whether you are craving upscale Southern cuisine, casual eats or classic Carolina barbecue, Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island have it all. With so many options, you won’t need to leave the islands to experience some of the Lowcountry’s best dining. Some of our favorites include:
- Mexican-inspired fare at Cantina 76 on Kiawah Island
- Wine-tastings and regional craft beer at Forty-Eight Wine Bar on Kiawah Island
- Signature sandwiches at The Co-op on Kiawah Island
- Upscale Southern cuisine at Jasmine Porch on Kiawah Island
- French pastries, crepes and delicious fare at Saveur Du Monde at Seabrook Island
- Wood Fired pizzas and authentic Italian fare at La Tela Pizzeria in Freshfields Village
- Downtown Charleston: 25 miles
- Myrtle Beach, SC: 120 miles
- Beaufort, SC: 82 miles
- Hilton Head, SC: 110 miles
- Columbia, SC: 138 miles
- Savannah, GA: 119 miles
- Augusta, GA: 125 miles
More Helpful Information
- Airport: Charleston International Airport
- Property Taxes: See Charleston County’s property tax estimator
- State Taxes: Visit the S.C. Department of Revenue website for more information
- Pet resources and veterinary care
- Island events and happenings
Enjoy Island Living at Its Finest With Pam Harrington Exclusives
Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island boast some of the most desirable real estate in South Carolina. Secure your island paradise.
With over 40 years of Charleston area real estate experience, Pam Harrington Exclusives is known throughout the Lowcountry as the No. 1 source for prime real estate and luxury homes.
Whether you are searching for a waterfront property, a distinctive, family home, or an intimate island villa, we are here to help you find the home of your dreams!