Itching to get to the beach this summer? Then you have to check out our list of Top 5 Beach Towns Near Charleston SC. These must-see oceanfront escapes offer all the best beach amenities. From ocean kayaking and paddleboarding to championship golf courses and horseback riding, there’s something for the whole family at these island beaches.
Each of these beach towns is within 30 minutes drive of Charleston, SC, making them convenient for in-state visitors or out of state travelers. Take a look at what there is to do, where you should stay, and, of course, where to eat, then decide which of these Charleston beach towns is right for you!
Top 5 Beach Towns Near Charleston SC
#5 Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island is located just south of Charleston, SC and has 10 beautiful miles of Atlantic coastline for visitors to explore. Relax on the sandy dunes, splash in the water, or explore the marshes and preserved maritime forests. There’s no shortage of activities at Kiawah Island. For more details on this lovely island town, visit their city website here.
Eat – When you work up an appetite, visit one of Kiawah Island’s many delicious dining options. The Turtle Point Bar & Grille serves casual lunch and dinner, while The Ocean Room offers a signature steakhouse experience.
Stay – While there are plenty of hotels to stay in at this Charleston beach town, villa and home rentals are perfect for a longer vacation. Kiawah Island Golf Resort and Kiawah Island Getaways are two of the town’s stay-cation gems.
Play – Kiawah Island has a long list of recreational activities, including charter cruises, golf, kayaking tours, and surf lessons.
#4 Sullivan’s Island
Sullivan’s Island is one of the greatest beach towns near Charleston that the whole family will love. This charming island is located just east of Charleston SC on the Atlantic coast. Although it is one of the state’s smaller islands, it boasts many beach activities. Find out more about Sullivan Island SC here.
Eat – This Charleston area beach town is famous for its fresh seafood, and one of its more famous restaurants is Poe’s Tavern, named after the poet himself. This quaint eatery offers simple sandwiches, along with more gourmet options like the Tell-Tale Heart burger.
Stay – There are a plethora of beachy hotels, rentals, and resorts on Sullivan Island. Get a local vibe when you stay in one of the town’s colorful cottages just a bike-ride away from the water.
Play – If you’re a history buff, take a tour of the Sullivan Island Lighthouse or Fort Moultrie. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, take to the water on a kayak, sailboat, paddleboard or kiteboard. Rentals are available in town as well.
#3 Folly Beach
Folly Beach is one of the larger must-visit beach towns near Charleston SC. It’s only a quick 10 mile trip to downtown Charleston and 17 miles from the Charleston Airport. This proximity, along with an endless list of things to do and places to see, makes it one of the most popular beach destinations in the South. Plan your trip to Folly Beach here.
Eat – No trip to the beach would be complete without a good seafood meal. Head to Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar at Folly Beach Fishing Pier for beachfront dining. Whether you’re in the mood for fresh fish or Southern specialties, this laid-back restaurant has what you crave.
Stay – Make your trip that much more relaxing by staying in a bed and breakfast at Folly Beach. The Beachside Boutique Inn is a truly unique place to stay. Chill out in a backyard hammock or enjoy dinner under the stars from the patio.
Play – After a full day of fun in the sand and surf, take a bike ride along the island’s beautiful trails. Or head into town for an evening of shopping at one of the many beach and surf shops in Folly Beach.
#2 Isle of Palms
Isle of Palms is a beach town near Charleston sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Only 12 miles east of Charleston, this beautiful beach town in South Carolina is a famous golf and tennis destination. Whether you want to play on the water or on land, Isle of Palms has something for everyone. Learn more here.
Eat – Sea Biscuit Cafe is a local favorite for a delicious breakfast, whether you’re in the mood for a feast or just a light taste of the town. Grab lunch or dinner at Coconut Joe’s bar and restaurant right on the beach. Choose from seafood or pasta dishes.
Stay – The Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms is an epic place to spend your Charleston-area vacation. With a beautiful pool, fountains, golf course, and fine dining, this resort has it all. Balcony views of the water and colorful beach houses make it a top contender.
Play – Isle of Palms is home to award-winning golf courses and tennis courts. If sports aren’t your thing, try a charter boat cruise to catch some fresh Atlantic fish or go on a photography tour of the island.
#1 Seabrook Island
Seabrook Island is one of the most beautiful spots on the Atlantic Coast. Located about 30 minutes from Charleston SC, this island community is known for its undisturbed beaches, secluded feel, and championship golf. There are many family-friendly beach activities offered on the island as well. Find out more about Seabrook Island here.
Eat – Experience the best of fine beach dining on Seabrook Island. Bohicket’s Lunge & Sea View Terrace is perfect for a nice lunch after a round of golf, or even a larger gathering. Reservations are recommended and attire is Club Casual Sports.
Stay – The Golf Shore cottages on Seabrook Island are a one-of-a-kind place to spend your beach vacation. These villas are located on the island’s famous golf courses and just minutes away from the water.
Play – Explore the deep-water marina, take a cruise on a sailboat or enjoy a horseback ride through the sandy dunes. Fishing, photography, and water-sports abound in this Charleston-area beach town.
Whichever beach town near Charleston you decide to relax and play in, we know you’ll have a blast!
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