Settling on the best South Carolina beaches is a tall order. After all, the Palmetto State borders the Atlantic Ocean. When you want to enjoy sand under foot, the crashing of waves, and the warmth of the sun’s rays, we recommend visiting any of these top beaches.
With so much tidal coastline, residents and visitors are spoiled for choice among South Carolina beaches. In deciding on the best South Carolina beaches for you, you’ll need to compare the beaches bordering NC, as well as beaches in South Carolina near Georgia.
Find out about the Best Beaches in North Carolina too!
Residents of the Carolinas are loyal to their own types of barbecue as well as their beaches of choice. The best-known beaches in South Carolina are found in the 60 miles of sandy coastline known as the Grand Strand.
The Grand Strand’s central beach is Myrtle Beach. This family vacation spot draws travelers from throughout the eastern United States and Canada. You’ll have no trouble finding something to do. The city boasts more than 100 golf courses and probably as many seafood buffets! You can also enjoy a boardwalk, shopping, amusement park and nightlife at this most famous beach in South Carolina. With so many activities available beyond sprawling on the sand and boogie boarding the waves, Myrtle is also a top vote getter for best beaches in South Carolina for young adults.
Nearby Pawleys Island has long been a popular beach destination for the East Coast. Still, it remains a laid-back place to visit. Found on the coast between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, Pawleys Island has unspoiled beaches, historic landmarks, and rope hammocks for relaxing. Nearby Huntington Beach State Park features a Moorish-style castle, Atalaya, the Brookgreen Gardens and a freshwater lake that’s home to alligators and mink.
Surfside Beach, 10 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach, is another popular alternative to being right in the midst of it all. Surfside has two miles of coastline with 36 beach access points, as well as mini golf and a water park to keep everyone entertained.
Charleston, SC draws people for its history, fine dining, arts and entertainment. Yet it’s easy to get in beach fun while in the area. Folly Beach is just across the bridge from downtown. Folly has some of the best surfing on the East Coast but you’ll also find fishermen on the pier and residents and visitors soaking up the “funky and the fun” of this beach community.
Sullivan’s Island, 20 minutes from the Holy City’s downtown, was a stopping point for Blackbeard. Now it draws residents who want the sanctuary of seaside living with the proximity to Charleston’s vibrancy. The island is only 3.3 miles, but offers a big mix of beach fun. You can soak up some Revolutionary War history along with the sun’s rays, bike a path through the marsh, and enjoy a stunning sunset before enjoying a fresh seafood catch dining al fresco.
Isle of Palms is just northeast of Sullivan’s Island. Its Front Beach is one of the more attractive of South Carolina public beaches. If you’re a duffer, you can also enjoy championship golf courses that are open to the public! Windsurfing, kayaking, and other water sports are popular too.
Kiawah Island was once home to wild horses. Now, the residents are a bit more refined. The posh Sanctuary Hotel is one place to check out while you’re here. Or enjoy high-end golfing and tennis. Kiawah’s Beachwalker Park boasts 11 miles of unspoiled barrier island beach found between the Bohicket River and the ocean.
For another luxe beach experience, you’ll want to get a spot at Hilton Head island. With many family-friendly beaches, marinas, a lighthouse, and biking paths crisscrossing the area, Hilton Head is another of the best beaches in South Carolina for young adults.
Several more South Carolina islands boast beautiful beaches. Edisto Beach, for instance, is proud of its relaxed, shabby-chic atmosphere. Its own visitor bureau proudly states this is “one of the few uncommercialized, family-oriented beaches left” in the state. The island has a rich history and waterways filled with marine life including dolphin, sea turtle, jellyfish, and shark.
Harbor Island is a 1,400-acre barrier island only open to those with a reservation or a private residence. Part of the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve, the island’s two-and-a-half-miles of white sandy beaches are a great place for birdwatching and crabbing.
Further southeast of the city of Beaufort, you’ll find Hunting Island State Park. With five miles of pristine beaches, this is South Carolina’s most popular state park, attracting more than a million visitors a year. The park also offers acres of marshland, a saltwater lagoon, camping areas and the state’s only lighthouse open to the public.
With so many beautiful beaches to choose from, South Carolinians can easily enjoy the treasure of natural beauty and a relaxed pace. Whichever of these best beaches in South Carolina best suits your needs, know that Saussy Burbank also offers places to make your time near the ocean permanent.
You’ll be able to google “beautiful beaches near me” and find a favorite from a forever home built by Saussy Burbank in the Charleston area. Learn more!