10 Best Beaches in Charleston, South Carolina

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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South Carolina is known for its landscapes and beautiful beaches.

With so many sandy shores located in and close to Charleston, you have everything at your fingertips.

Many Americans from other states visit South Carolina on vacation, drawn by the popular Atlantic coastline.

Whether you are searching for peace and relaxation or something on the wild side, South Carolina has many options and attractions that you will not be disappointed with, no matter where you choose.

Let’s jump to it and take a look at the 10 best beaches in Charleston to help you plan your trip.

1. Burkes Beach

Burkes BeachSource: jimcrotty.com / Flickr
Burkes Beach

Burkes Beach is located on Hilton Head and you can find parking at the end of Burkes Beach Road.

Arriving by bike is one of the best ways to reach this area; you can even rent a bike nearby.

Burkes Beach is great for watching the sunset, and even the sunrise if you are an early riser.

You can play volleyball, tennis or basketball in the courts.

Bring your dog along to enjoy the fenced dog park.

There are umbrellas to rent if you need some shade.

All in all, Burkes Beach is a great place to spend the day.

2. Morris Island

Morris IslandSource: Denton Rumsey / shutterstock
Morris Island

Morris Island is known for the lighthouse that was built in 1767. The original tower was destroyed during the Civil War, but the “new” tower built in 1876 still stands.

Morris Island is only accessible by boat and is located at the top of the Charleston Harbor.

As the years have progressed, the erosion here has gotten substantially worse.

In 2008, there were changes made to the island to help protect its natural ecosystems.

3. Sullivan’s Island Beach

Sullivan’s Island BeachSource: lumachina_99 / shutterstock
Sullivan’s Island Beach

Located only minutes away from Charleston, Sullivan’s Island Beach is a great beach to explore for some peace and tranquility.

It is nestled at the top of the Charleston Harbor and next to the Isle of Palms.

Sullivan’s Island Beach is great for a quick getaway and has everything you need surrounding it – from local restaurants and shops to places where you can learn about the area’s history.

Watersports are available, with many options for rental.

Many photographers visit Sullivan’s Island to take advantage of the picturesque sites in the area.

Fishing is a popular attraction too.

If you are interested in sailing or want to learn, take a lesson or rent a sailboat for the day.

4. Folly Beach

Folly BeachSource: Cvandyke / shutterstock
Folly Beach

Folly Beach is rated as one of the best beaches in South Carolina.

This beach is famous for surfing, boating, and kayaking.

The area surrounding Folly Beach is scenic, so many people decide to take a boat tour and explore the coastline from a unique angle.

While enjoying Folly Beach, you must check out Morris Island Lighthouse.

Another popular attraction is the Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier; the scenes surrounding the pier are enchanting.

You can go deep-sea fishing, river fishing or fish off the pier.

This beach is really fun to swim in or soak up the rays on the soft sand.

Facilities are close by.

5. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms, CharlestonSource: Christian Hinkle / shutterstock
Isle Of Palms Beach

Situated in a convenient area – close to the downtown center of Charleston – this place was once an area only the rich frequented.

Now, the resort is loved and enjoyed by everyone.

The 3,000-acre area is comprised of different beaches, parks, and houses.

The Isle of Palms is best explored via scooter, golf cart or bicycle.

Many events are held in the summer, which helps to bring in lots of tourists.

If you enjoy swimming, sunbathing and beach walks, this is the place to go.

6. Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach, CharlestonSource: BungaA / shutterstock
Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach is a great place to head if you are looking for a family-friendly community in South Carolina.

Edisto Beach is situated in Colleton County, which has one of the longest free-flowing rivers in North America – Edisto River.

This place is really worth discovering.

Not only is Edisto Beach a picture-perfect getaway, it’s filled with a rich history.

If golf is something you enjoy on vacation, you’ll love the local golf course.

There’s also kayaking and biking if you’re looking to get a little active.

7. Seabrook Island

Seabrook Island, South CarolinaSource: Oksana Parafeniuk / shutterstock
Seabrook Island

Seabrook Island is a place that has it all.

There’s over three miles of pristine beach to wander around, incredible swimming opportunities, and views like nothing you have seen before.

Seabrook Island is known for golfing, so if you want to hit a few balls, this is the place to do it.

There is a tennis club if you prefer.

Facilities are close by, with many delicious restaurants on offer.

You will want to spend a few days enjoying Seabrook Island.

It’s one of the only places where you can ride horses on the beach, a rather unforgettable experience.

8. Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island, South CarolinaSource: Jack Siman / shutterstock
Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is a barrier island on the Atlantic that offers a rich natural environment to its visitors.

Spotted on the island are gray foxes, river otters, and bobcats – to name a few.

If you enjoy nature, Kiawah Island has you covered.

The island features beautiful beachfront properties and a ritzy golf resort, which just happens to boast some of the most scenic views on the island.

Seafood is a great option to enjoy here and there are many boutique restaurants and shops to keep you busy too.

Many people visit Kiawah Island and end up buying property here because they love it so much.

9. Hunting Island

Hunting Island, South CarolinaSource: vincent noel / shutterstock
Hunting Island

Hunting Island is a family-friendly state park which is home to some of the best beaches in South Carolina.

The park is an epic 500 acres and is great for camping, fishing, boating, and hiking.

There are a few bed and breakfasts in the area for those who want to spend a bit longer enjoying Hunting Island.

If you want to take a stroll, head over to Henry Robinson Boardwalk located at Sands Beach.

The best place to enjoy the sunset is at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

Don’t forget your camera, because these views are incredible.

10. Cherry Grove Beach

Cherry Grove BeachSource: Ben Whalen / shutterstock
Cherry Grove Beach

Cherry Grove Beach lies between Myrtle Beach and Little River.

Although it is not the largest beach in South Carolina, it is one of the most interesting ones.

Visitors can enjoy lunch at one of many local restaurants on the strip or opt for a picnic on the pier.

Many people frequent Cherry Grove Beach to go fishing.

There have been quite a few record catches on Cherry Grove Beach, so if that is something you enjoy, try your luck for the next record catch.

River Hills golf course is a favorite in the area.

Overall, this is a great beach to enjoy and spend a few days relaxing and checking out the nearby sites.

10 Best Beaches in Charleston, South Carolina:

  • Burkes Beach
  • Morris Island
  • Sullivan’s Island Beach
  • Folly Beach
  • Isle of Palms
  • Edisto Beach
  • Seabrook Island
  • Kiawah Island
  • Hunting Island
  • Cherry Grove Beach