Beautiful Beaches in Charleston | Charleston Beaches

No summer is Charleston is complete until you’ve been to at least one of the many picturesque beaches. From beach shacks to waterfront parks, play areas to barbeque spots, the beaches in Charleston a (Read More)re perfect for all the fun and sun that you need in the summers. The beaches and the barrier islands surrounding Charleston have their own charm, and this gives travellers a great opportunity to escape the city's hustle-bustle. We have curated a list of the best beaches in Charleston, South Carolina so read on to know more about which one suits you best!

Here is the list of 8 Beautiful Beaches in Charleston

1. Folly Beach, Charleston

Folly Beach, Charleston

Rated as one of the best beaches in South Carolina, Folly Beach is a barrier island beach frequented by locals as it is located at a short drive from Downtown Charleston. Despite being so popular, Folly Beach, also known as the Edge of America, has retained its small-town charm. It is a great spot for water sports like surfing, boating and kayaking. Besides its waves, which is a favourite among surfers, Folly beach is a great place to spend time with its restaurant scenes, beach bars, skate park and live music.

What to Do : Head over to Morris Island Lighthouse for some great views and pictures. Take surfing lessons on Folly Beach. Enjoy sunset tours of Folly River and spot dolphins, stingrays, sharks and moonlight tours of the waterfront.

Things to Keep in Mind : Alcohol is not allowed on Folly Beach and dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. At other times, they must be leashed.

Location : 21 Center St, Folly Beach, SC 29439

2. Sullivans Island Beach, Charleston

Sullivans Island Beach, Charleston

A favourite among Charleston locals, Sullivan’s Island sports a scenic beach which stretches across the horizon. From here, one can get breathtaking views of Fort Sumter, Charleston’s Battery Row and Morris Island Lighthouse. With natural beauty and very little commercial development, this beach has miles of shoreline to sit back and enjoy the sun and sand. During summers, there are a host of beach activities that one can engage in. The beach has a few short term rentals but no hotels to stay at, so it is better to plan a day.

Things to Do : Spend 4th of July on Sullivan’s island Beach and enjoy the splendid fireworks, visit Sullivan Island Beachhouse, explore Fort Moultrie and learn about its history. Poe’s Tavern is an interesting place on this beach, make sure you grab their famous burger and cocktail. Enjoy water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding etc.

Note : This beach is a pet friendly place, but one must have a dog permit to avoid heavy fine. Alcohol is strictly prohibited on the beach. Motorised vehicles are not allowed on the beach.

3. Kiawah Island Beach, Charleston

Kiawah Island Beach, Charleston

Regarded as one of the most beautiful barrier islands in Southern Charleston, Kiawah Island Beach has over ten miles of flawless coastline which offers pristine views. It is popular not just for its sand, but also for its underwater beauty, with numerous species like Loggerhead sea turtles and Bottlenose dolphins, which can be spotted at times. Kids can enjoy beach recreations like building sandcastles, bike riding, beach seining, beachcombing, and many more. So whether you decide to bask in the sun or enjoy some water sports, this idyllic beach is an absolute must.

Things to Do : This beach is a great spot for fishing. You can also rent bicycles and explore the island.Boating and water sports are a must try at Kiawah Island.

Things to keep in mind : There is an entry fee of $5-10 depending on the season.This is a free dog friendly zone, so your furry friends can have a gala time at the beach. Bonfires and fireworks are strictly prohibited on the beach premises.

Location: : 4475 Betsy Kerrison Pkwy, Johns Island, SC 29455

4. Bull Island Beach, Charleston

Bull Island Beach, Charleston

Located just a few miles away from Downtown, in Awendaw, South Carolina, Bull Island is one great outdoor spot for birdwatching, Kayaking and trails along the waterfront. Despite being a picturesque beach, people mostly come here for its wide variety of wildlife including alligators, otters, dolphins and flamingos. To spend a day on Bull’s Island beach, take the Garris Landing Ferry and reach this nature's paradise to soak in all the sun and nature’s creation.

Ferry Timings : Summer timings: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday - Departs at 9:00AM. & 11:00AM
Returns at 2:00PM. & 4:00PM.                       
Winter Schedule: Saturdays at 10:00 AM and 3:00PM.

Ferry Charges: : Adults- $40, Children(3-12 years) - $20, under 2 years- Free

Expert Tip : Pack flip flops and a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Also carry drinking water,snacks, a towel and binoculars to spot birds.

Location: : 498 Bulls Island Rd, Awendaw, SC 29429

5. Edisto Beach, Charleston

Edisto Beach, Charleston

Edisto beach is a rare find in Charleston, ideal for a beach day with your family or a long camping trip as well. It is a long drive away from Charleston's main parts, but the peace and calm surroundings make it a must-visit family getaway spot. One can enjoy small-town serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the city, at Edisto Beach. Besides being a great spot for sunbathing, it offers a great shelling experience for die-hard collectors. Just head over to Jeremy’s Inlet during low tide and sift through the seashells, fossils as well as shark’s teeth lying ashore.

What to Do : Edisto Island Serpentarium, Enjoy the wildlife and make sure to taste the locally prepared crab preparations at Whaley’s. 

Expert Tip : Since there are not too many eateries nearby, plan in advance and take your own meals. You won’t find any hotels or rest areas on the beach, so carry your own umbrellas and other equipment.

Location : 42 Station Ct, Edisto Island, SC 29438

6. Isle of Palms, Charleston

Isle of Palms, Charleston

Isle of Palms is the first choice when it comes to a nice family day at the beach. Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway, this lovely stretch of sand boasts of a host of recreational activities for all ages. There is a marina, golf and tennis court, shark holes for kids, and many more. It is well-equipped for safety, with beachfront lifeguards, and has other amenities like restrooms and shower areas. You can also spot fishers during the wee hours, waiting for their catch of the day.

What to do : Enjoy live music at the local bars and restaurants, spot marine creatures like sea turtles, engage in water sports.

Things to keep in mind : Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the beach, alcoholic beverages are prohibited, holes dug up on the beach must be filled back. 

Location: : 42 Station Ct, Edisto Island, SC 29438

7. Seabrook Island Beaches, Charleston

Seabrook Island Beaches, Charleston

Also known as Simmons Island, this is a barrier island located within Charleston County with two serene beaches: the Pelican Beach and North Beach. Both these beaches are wonderful, spanning over seven square miles. The sunsets on Pelican Beach look straight out of a painting and cannot be missed. This beach is appropriate for swimming, floating and building sandcastles. North Beach is mostly known for its vast wildlife, ranging from turtles to dolphins and numerous other exotic birds.

What to do : North Beach offers an unique experience of horseback riding for kids, Catch the wildlife at its best, Enjoy the Seabrook Island Beach Club, with great cafes, lounge experiences, oceanfront pool, beach access and towel service.

Things to keep in mind : Disturbing or harassing tuttles is an offence on this beach. This beach is bet friendly, but make sure you pick up all the waste. Using grills or any kind of heating devices are prohibited on the beach.

8. Capers Island, Charleston

Capers Island, Charleston

Caper’s Island has narrow stretches of sand, with palm trees lined all along. With very little development and rich history attached to this beach, it remains secluded from Charleston's other popular beaches. Still, if you are someone who wants to visit a quiet and secluded sandy beach but some great sunset views, then this is the one for you. But do keep in mind that this beach is not commercialised yet, so there is literally nothing on the beach.

Location: : 2669, 50 41st Ave C-6, Isle of Palms, SC 29451

If soaking up the sun, swimming in the ocean and spending time with your family on the beach is what you need to spend your summer vacation, then these beaches in Charleston, are the perfect spot! So grab a pair of flip flops and a towel, and head over to the one that suits you best.

This post was published by Asmita Sarkar

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