South Carolina offers a unique beach personality to enjoy. There are miles of the seashore to explore within the state, but there is also easy access to offshore fun to fill out your day. If you love a good beach, then the best beaches in South Carolina would make for the perfect holiday of any length this year. Here is our list of the best options that are currently available.
- Myrtle Beach
Is it busy? Yes. Are there plenty of opportunities to have fun? Yes. Are there water sports available? Yes. You can find just about anything you want to do at what is often rated as the best beach in South Carolina. Hop onto a Ferris wheel, rent snorkeling equipment, or get your fishing license in order and you’ll have a customized good time. There is plenty of beautiful white sand to enjoy, enough space for some elbow room, and some of the best food in the world here. You won’t be disappointed.
- Kiawah Island
On the other end of the spectrum is this special South Carolina beach. It offer 10 miles of pristine shoreline to enjoy, along with 10k acres of woodlands to explore. Just because it feels rustic doesn’t mean you don’t have access to all of the amenities you’ll need for a great afternoon on the beach. There’s plenty of sunshine and space, so bring your umbrella or tent and your beach accessories to have a great time. It’s just a short drive to Charleston as well in case you need even more to do.
- Folly Beach
This might be a fairly popular beach, but it still offers the Small Town USA vibe that makes it attractive at any time of the year. The fishing pier on this beach juts over 1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, giving you the chance to bring in the catch of the day. Surfing lessons are available throughout most of the year and there’s enough flat space on this beach to get in and tread through the waves if you prefer. The beach space can be somewhat limited at high tide, however, so you may need to check the tide tables before your visit.
- Hilton Head
If you love the resort atmosphere of a developed beach, then this is the South Carolina island to visit during your stay. It’s perfect for families of any size or if you’re out exploring on your own. There are 30+ golf courses to explore, 300 tennis courts to enjoy, and miles of bike trails available in addition to the 12 miles of beach you can enjoy. The island is divided into “plantations,” each with something unique to offer, so find the perfect place to stay on the island and you’ll be able to find your perfect beach at the same time.
- Isle of Palms
This public beach is a great place for sunbathing and swimming on a warm South Carolina Day. It’s also close to private beach access for some of the state’s top-rated resorts if you prefer. The beaches are usually very clean and relatively quiet, even though it is rather popular. If you enjoy a great beach sunrise, then this is one of the top places to be. Nesting turtles take advantage of the sand dunes in season as well. And, if you want to enjoy some golf or other family activities, they are widely available.
- Fripp Island
If you want to get away from everything the world has to offer for a while, then this is the beach in South Carolina for you. The only word to describe the atmosphere is “serene.” You’ll find more golf carts in operation here than cars and you’ll have plenty of room to explore. Instead of a lot of sun and sand, you’ll find more coastal wetlands. This option may not be for everyone, but it is a great way to experience what the state has to offer.
- Hunting Island
With 5,000 acres to explore, this is a semitropical barrier island that offers you the chance to explore at your leisure. Camping is readily available and almost everything on the island is within easy walking distance. You can even bring your RV here if you prefer. The lighthouse on the island is right on the beach and its undeveloped nature is quite inviting. Before heading out into the water, make sure to read up on the rip currents that surround the island to stay safe.
Although this is a private community, they are very welcoming when it comes to beach access. One of the best experiences available is the ability to go horseback riding on the beach at sunrise. Follow that up by an early morning 18 holes of golf, enjoy your time in front of the pool at one of the resorts, or go exploring the developed trails in the forest and wetlands. You’ll find that natural beauty at this beach is everywhere, making it the perfect destination.
If you want to make sure you’re at a family friendly beach, then this is the South Carolina beach to choose. Although the beach itself is rather small compared to the others on this list, you’ll find that everything you and your family will need for a great time is just a stone’s throw away. Go fishing if you want, enjoy some great seafood, and listen to the live music that is available throughout the summer months. Parks are available for the kids if the water begins to get boring. It’s also the first beach in South Carolina to enact a public smoking ban.
- Garden City
Just down the road from Surfside is this great beach, which offers an extensive fishing pier to enjoy and it is free to walk before midnight. Ending at the mouth of Murrells Inlet, the beach is a bit wider than others along this coastal stretch, but the water access is just as perfect. Bring your beach things, spend time with your family and friends, and you’ll have a memorable experience at this fantastic beach and surrounding community.
The best beaches in South Carolina offer visitors a number of wonderful opportunities to enjoy some sunshine, warmth, and fun. Some beaches offer exploration. Others invite you to jump into the water. Many are guarded by some of the most fantastic lighthouses in the world. If you’re looking for paradise, then you’ll find it here.