Charleston is famend for beautiful structure, early American historical past, and world-class meals. However lower than an hour from the cobblestone streets, guests can dip their toes within the sand, catch a wave, and bask within the solar on one of many space’s seashores. After days of exploring home museums, boutique outlets, and she-crab soup, it is perhaps good to go for a stroll on the seashore and get a drink with a view of the water.
South Carolina is understood for its pristine seashores. On the north finish of the state, The Grand Strand – stretching practically 90 miles from North Myrtle Seashore by Myrtle Seashore to Pawley’s Island – is likely one of the hottest seashore locations within the nation. On the opposite finish, Hilton Head Island is an escape from the world right into a maritime forest with broad, clear seashores for the entire household to get pleasure from.
In the course of all of it, Charleston’s seashores are extra intimate. Smaller in scale however nonetheless providing out of doors recreation, native meals, and procuring. Every seashore has its personal identification, so you’ll be able to choose your favourite or discover all of them for the last word expertise.
Which of those seashores would you get pleasure from visiting essentially the most? Depart me a remark under!
Isle of Palms
Isle of Palms is an elegant expertise on the seashore. Simply 15 miles from downtown Charleston, it’s some of the developed seashores within the space however nonetheless retains a peaceable attraction. The drive can take 20-45 minutes relying on the site visitors – plan to reach early if you wish to get pleasure from a day at this seashore.
The simplest strategy to the island is the Isle of Palms Connector – a two-lane bridge crossing the Intracoastal Waterway. Isle of Palms County Park is one in every of two giant public parking areas on the island – the opposite is a sandy lot close by. The county park options ADA entry to the seashore, restroom amenities, and out of doors showers to wash off once you’re prepared to go away.
Ocean Boulevard from 10th Avenue to 14th Avenue is the guts of the seashore city with native eating places and procuring. The Windjammer is a country restaurant with hardwood flooring and low ceilings, however it’s a occurring place with out of doors reside concert events with the ocean because the backdrop. Coda del Pesce is a up to date Italian restaurant with oceanfront seating – an ideal place to get pleasure from their advantageous delicacies. Luke ‘n Ollie’s Pizzeria and The Dinghy are low-key locations to seize one thing to eat, particularly in the event you’ve simply come off the seashore. The Boathouse has been serving native catch seafood since 1997 with a view of the Intracoastal Waterway, however they’re solely open for dinner, and reservations are advisable.
Hire a ship at Isle of Palms Marina to get pleasure from just a few hours exploring the Intracoastal Waterway or head out to sea for a day of fishing, or constitution a ship for inshore or offshore fishing.
Wild Dunes is likely one of the premier resorts in Isle of Palms and a favourite amongst golfers. The Hyperlinks Course and Harbor Course are open to the general public, every providing 18 holes on programs designed by Tom Fazio.
Finest for: Day journey visits to the seashore and lunch at a neighborhood restaurant.
Simply 9 miles from downtown, Sullivan’s Island is the closest seashore to Charleston. It’s the simplest drive of any of the seashore cities with four-lane highways so far as the bridge crossing the Intracoastal Waterway to the island – it takes about 15-Half-hour to get there.
Sullivan’s Island was as soon as a distant barrier island solely glimpsed within the distance throughout Charleston harbor. However within the late 1700s, residents started making summer season journeys to the seashore. Within the 1800s, guests may take an electrical trolley from Mount Nice throughout the Pitt Road Bridge onto the island. At this time, most of the north-south streets are named after the stations that after served the trolleys.
Three streets – Gold Bug Avenue, Raven Drive, and Poe Avenue – are named after the island’s most well-known resident: Edgar Allan Poe. Underneath an assumed identify, Poe served at Fort Moultrie for 13 months. The fort performed important roles within the Revolutionary Warfare and Civil Warfare, a historical past that’s interpreted at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie Nationwide Historic Park.
There are only some public seashore accesses on Sullivan’s Island – most of it’s reserved for personal houses and short-term rental properties. Station 12 Public Seashore Entry is beside Fort Moultrie and is the preferred place on the island for out-of-town guests. The parking zone fills up rapidly on summer season days with a capability of about two dozen passenger autos.
A number of native eating places line Center Road for just a few blocks. These eateries supply savory meals and excellent service, making them standard throughout lunch and dinner rush hours. Poe’s Tavern serves American fare in a restaurant flush with Edgar Allen Poe décor. Dunleavy’s Pub presents Irish meals and all kinds of beer together with reside folks music in a country constructing. Residence Staff BBQ has a number of areas all through the Charleston space the place they serve Carolina-style barbecue with house-made sauces. The Obstinate Daughter is an informal upscale restaurant that includes American meals and native craft beers.
Finest for: Exploring Fort Moultrie, going for a stroll on the seashore at Station 12, and getting lunch or dinner at a neighborhood restaurant
Solely barely additional away than Sullivan’s Island, Folly Seashore is the preferred seashore vacation spot within the Charleston space. It’s an 11-mile drive that may take anyplace from 20 minutes to an hour, relying on what time of day you go to. Trace: plan to reach earlier than 8 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to keep away from the site visitors.
Folly Seashore is the quintessential seashore city. Towering palm timber and curbside gardens line Heart Road. Small buildings with pastel colours and steel awnings straddle both facet of the road. Memento outlets are positioned beside native eating places, rooftop bars overlook surf outlets, and never a single chain restaurant on all the island.
The Folly Seashore Pier is a central hub for actions on the seashore. In 2021, a two-year undertaking started to interchange and replace the present pier. Throughout this building, the remark deck, present store, and restaurant are open to the general public.
Public seashore accesses with restricted parking are positioned alongside Arctic Avenue. Folly Seashore options broad seashores, even at excessive tide, providing loads of room for throngs of individuals. And that results in the largest downside on Folly Seashore – not sufficient parking. Strict guidelines have been developed through the years to deal with a lot of every day guests to the island.
The very best place to place your toes within the island’s sand is Folly Seashore County Park on the west finish. The park options restrooms and dressing areas, ADA-accessible ramps to the seashore, out of doors showers, and an enormous seashore. The every day parking price is $5-$15 for private autos however arrive early if you wish to discover a spot.
The Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Protect on the reverse finish of the island presents one other probability to entry the seashore however with even fewer parking areas. A cul-de-sac on the finish of East Ashley Avenue supplies sufficient room for possibly a dozen autos to park without spending a dime. A 0.4-mile stroll alongside a paved highway – closed to site visitors – results in a secluded seashore viewing the Morris Island Gentle. In-built 1876, the lighthouse is surrounded by water after erosion modified the island’s form over the previous hundred years.
Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar presents a few of the greatest views with meals, though the rooftop bar at Snapper Jacks can’t be overwhelmed. Rita’s Seaside Grille, The Crab Shack, and Woody’s Pizza are different eating places you would possibly wish to strive. Though it’s a block from the seashore, Loggerhead Seashore Grill options the most important out of doors seating space.
Finest for: Spending a day on the seashore and eating at a neighborhood restaurant for lunch or dinner
Kiawah Island is only a 25-mile drive from downtown Charleston – it normally takes about 45 minutes – however you’ll solely discover one public seashore entry on the island. The Kiawah Island Golf Resort, a personal gated neighborhood, covers many of the island.
Kiawah Island Parkway is sort of a drive by a nature protect. Oak timber and palm timber line the two-lane highway, providing glimpses of the ocean each as soon as in awhile. Earlier than reaching the gatehouse, a proper flip results in Kiawah Beachwalker Park.
A big, paved parking zone has house for dozens of autos, however you’ll nonetheless wish to arrive early to ensure a parking house. It’s probably the greatest oceanfront parks managed by Charleston County Parks. The park options restrooms, dressing rooms, seashore chairs and umbrella leases, and an ADA boardwalk to the seashore.
The seashore is just not very broad – actually not as broad as Folly Seashore. Nevertheless it’s lengthy. Beachgoers can discover the southwestern finish of the island so far as the Kiawah River with out every other seashore accesses. Relying on how far you wish to stroll, you could possibly have a superb piece of sand all to your self.
If you wish to spend extra time on the island, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort is likely one of the greatest oceanfront resorts in South Carolina. Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, and Jack Nicklaus designed the award-winning championship golf programs and have a few of the most beautiful surroundings round difficult traps and greens on the East Coast. The resort additionally options rental houses, villas, condos, a day spa, and a restaurant.
Finest for: Day journey go to to the seashore.
Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island share the identical 25-mile driving route from Charleston so far as the Freshfields Village procuring heart. At a roundabout, the Kiawah Island Parkway continues one path whereas the Seabrook Island Parkway heads the opposite – towards the non-public island.
Bohicket Marina & Market is the one publicly accessible place on Seabrook Island. Guests can hire a ship for 2-8 hours to discover the close by barrier islands or e-book a fishing constitution. On the Bluewater Deal with & Bohicket Buying and selling Firm, guests can store for fishing provides, last-minute necessities, and souvenirs. Get one thing to eat on the Salty Canine Café with a view of Bohicket Creek, after which stroll subsequent door for dessert at Salty Canine Ice Cream.
Freshfields Village is a big procuring heart serving the residents and visitors of Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island. Do some procuring at Winery Vines, Indigo Books, and Islands Mercantile. Get one thing to eat at Hege’s Restaurant, FortyEight Wine Bar & Kitchen, or Cantina 76. Spend an evening or two on the Andell Inn to benefit from the out of doors swimming pool, swanky lake-view rooms, and on-site bar.
Finest for: Reserving a getaway to a personal seashore.