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10+ Best South Carolina Beaches | Top Getaway Options

10+ Best South Carolina Beaches | Top Getaway Options

Are you planning to visit South Carolina or just want to hit a great beach? If yes, your tour is incomplete without visiting some of the best South Carolina beaches. Wondering where to start from? Here is a detailed list.

Isn’t it awesome to feel the wind in your hair while your toes are buried in sand or sipping margaritas while watching the waves?

If you’re thinking about it, look no further than South Carolina.

Forming a breathtaking extended coastline filled with places to stay and stuff to do, South Carolina beaches are the ideal weekend getaways for you.

The state not only boasts serene water bodies but takes pride in its rich cuisine, including delicious BBQ and fresh seafood. Not to mention the beautiful parks and resorts that accentuate their beaches.

All this probably makes you jump onto the next flight to South Carolina. And guess what; with platforms like Kayak, you can easily compare and find the cheapest airfare to your favorite destination.

And guess what; with platforms like Kayak, you can easily compare and find the cheapest airfare to your favorite destination.

But, before you do, check out my guide to plan the perfect getaway on South Carolina beaches.

If you are seeking more adventure, take the Charleston Walking Tours, a great idea for family bonding.

Why Plan a Getaway to the Best Beach in South Carolina?

You won’t find any destination as versatile and accommodating as South Carolina beaches.

Whether you’re backpacking alone or traveling with family, they have it all.

And the best part is, there are so many beaches to visit, you’ll struggle to fit them all in your weekend trip.

The most popular beaches include Myrtle beach, the Isle of Palms, and Kiawah Island.

South Carolina Beaches

While the destination does get crowded in peak seasons, it is easy to find a secluded resort if you want to avoid the crowd.

Similarly, if you’re traveling with kids and want to indulge in diverse activities on your vacation, the state has many other attractions.

It is also famous for its golf courses and the historical attributes of its small towns, most importantly Charleston.

If that explains why you should plan a vacation to South Carolina beaches immediately, let’s get to the further details.

Our guide will give you some insight into cheap flight bookings, hotel bookings, travel times, and beach options in South Carolina.

When to Plan a Getaway to South Carolina Beaches?

Nowadays, there’s no specific vacation season for people around the world. Everyone plans vacations and getaways according to their personal preferences and schedules. That’s why I’ve listed the usual weather conditions and attractions each month. So, you can decide when you want to plan your getaway.

January-April

The beginning of the year is one of the coldest periods on South Carolina beaches. From January until March, you will find a chilly season. There will be rainfall and a slightly humid season if you travel in March, which is ideal for water sports.

South Carolina beach

April marks the advent of spring in South Carolina. Rain and high temperatures reign the vacation spot in this period. The waves are enormous, making it an excellent season for active watersports such as parasailing and surfing.

Besides that, what’s a better time than early summer to enjoy a cool pina colada while reclining on the beach? If you have a relaxing vacation in mind, you should travel between April-June.

July-November

July in South Carolina is scorching hot and has the highest rainfall probability. In other words, the coming months mark the hurricane season.

The hurricane season is usually restricted from June until November, but the harshest weather hits the beaches only from August-October.

This is the ideal period for those planning budget vacations to South Carolina. However, you might miss out on some beach activities due to the weather hazards in the area.

Nevertheless, if you plan to relax in an all-inclusive resort along the coastline, October and November are the best months.

The Best Time of the Year

  • If you’re looking for affordable prices combined with a favorable season, you should consider traveling from March to May. This is a comparatively less crowded season, and you can enjoy good weather for water sports and beach activities as well.
  • For extroverts, the spring season is the most exciting time of the year on South Carolina beaches. With carnivals, festivals, beach parties, and country music, the spring season is ideal for people who enjoy the nightlife.

However, the prices are at their peak during the spring season. Those traveling with their families who want to avoid the coastal areas’ hot summers should book their flights from late November till January. The beaches are not crowded, and you will get cheaper hotel prices than in the peak season.

See Related10 Best Things to Do in Burlington, NC [Top Attractions]

Best Beaches in South Carolina to Visit

Now that you’ve gone through my recommendations for when to plan your getaway to South Carolina beaches, there’s only one box left to tick off.

With the plethora of beaches available, you will have to choose the ones you want to visit wisely. You can go to far-off, secluded destinations or visit beaches with the most family-friendly facilities.

You can either go to far-off, secluded destinations or visit beaches with the most family-friendly facilities.

Here, I’ve listed some of the most popular beaches along the South Carolina Coast with all their attractions and attributes so you can plan your trip accordingly.

1. Daufuskie Island

This island is located between Hilton Head Island and Savannah and is ideal for people who need a secluded getaway.

The best part is, you can only access it by boat. This means it is rarely crowded, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet away from your daily life schedule.

However, the island does not offer any water sports, but you can spend time swimming and relaxing with your family.

Most of the hotels and eateries at Daufuskie Island are located near Haig Point.

You can also find a top-ranking golf course and several recreational centers to have fun.

See Related: Scott’s Cheap Flights Review

2. Seabrook Island Beach

Seabrook Island Beach

Seabrook Island Beach features a four-mile stretch along the Atlantic Ocean and is divided into two primary beach locations. Pelican Beach is popular and offers amazing sunset views, and North Beach has rolling sand dunes and conditions perfect for swimming.

3. Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island happens to be one of the oldest resort areas along the East Coast and doesn’t have much commercialism. It is best known for its beaches and sand dunes. If you love nature, this is definitely going to be the best beach in South Carolina for you. You will find white sand beaches and picturesque views.

Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island is located just 70 miles north of Charleston and 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach. When you’re done lounging on the beach, Brookgreen Gardens is also a short drive away from Pawleys Island Creek. Are you a golfer? Don’t forget to reserve a tee time at Pawley’s Plantation Golf & Country Club.

4. Huntington Beach State Park

If you are a wildlife lover, then a visit to Huntington Beach State Park should be in your future. There are more than 2,500 acres for you to discover and explore, along with a pristine three-mile-long beach and over 300 different bird species.

Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach has a swimming area with a lifeguard during the summer months in posted designated spots along the beach. Swimming in the Atlantic Ocean is allowed in other areas at your own risk.

Huntington Beach State Park is a popular South Carolina surfing spot and has an easy-to-trek two-mile-long hiking trail, with picnic areas and campgrounds available on-site when needed.

5. Cherry Grove Beach

Named for Cherry Grove Plantation, Cherry Grove Beach is located in a small town near North Myrtle Beach and is a great vacation spot for families looking to get away. The white sand beach and saltwater channels offer many boating opportunities.

Cherry Grove Beach

This beach is also golf cart friendly as long as the car displays a permit sticker. Only adults can operate the golf carts on the beach, and they can only be driven on secondary and smaller beach roads.

6. Hunting Island

Hunting Island is just a one-hour drive from Hilton Head and has one of the best family beaches in the entire state of South Carolina. It is also considered one of the most peaceful beaches. There are many activities for the family to enjoy here, including fishing, boating, and visiting the only accessible lighthouse in the state. There are also several walking trails.

Hunting Island

Hunting Island was named one of America’s Top Ten Beaches by TripAdvisor and attracts over a million visitors each year. However, the pristine beaches remain uncrowded even with so many visitors.

Best Beaches in South Carolina for Families

Want the best South Carolina beach options for families to enjoy? Here are our top picks!

7. Kiawah Island, South Carolina

For vacationers who want to appreciate natural beauty, Kiawah Island, South Carolina, is one of the most breathtaking beaches in the country.

The beach attracts large crowds during the vacation season and is a versatile spot for backpackers, families, and couples.

Kiawah Island

You can visit the preserved marshes in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, enjoy the sand dunes, and hike into the Maritime forests. Besides that, the island has some of the best golf courses in the state.

Similarly, the sandy plains of Beachwalker Park are a must-visit for couples to take romantic walks between the ocean and the Bohicket River.

However, if you’re looking for access to numerous beaches, Kiawah Island does not offer that. There is only one public beach in the area, with limited sports options.

But, if you wish to relax and enjoy swimming, it has all the necessary facilities, including restrooms, snack stalls, and lifeguards.

See RelatedBest Walking Tours in Charleston, South Carolina

8. Folly Beach, South Carolina

Folly beach is a family-friendly beach on the South Carolina coastline.

It is a go-to destination for travelers who want to take up adventurous water sports on their trip. The sports options include surfing, boating, and kayaking.

Folly Beach

Besides that, this family beach offers a picturesque view if you’re planning to recline on the shore. You can appreciate the natural beauty further by taking comprehensive boat tours for nominal rates.

Similarly, Folly beach is surrounded by many tourist spots worth visiting. You can enjoy sightseeing from the Edwin Taylor Fishing Pier or visit the Morris Island Lighthouse. But this is not why it’s so popular.

Folly Beach is known for its deep-sea fishing and pier-fishing activities.

In short, it offers a complete package for families where everyone has a different idea of a perfect beach vacation. And no package is complete without accommodation.

Here, you can find many options, including hotels and rental apartments. The same is true with food. The small town teems with places to eat and has fantastic nightlife to refresh and recoup.

Asheville, North Carolina, is also the best destination for a family vacation. It is also a must-try.

See Related: Best Travel Sandals

9. Sullivans Island

Just a 20-minute ride from Charleston and one of the most perfect beach destinations on Sullivans Island. It is a two-and-a-half-mile-long barrier island near Charleston Harbor. It is known for its pristine beaches, award-winning restaurants, and accommodating community.

Sullivans Island

The beaches on Sullivans Island are wide open, but there are no lifeguards, so you will be swimming at your own risk. There is no beachfront commercial development and no public restrooms, showers, or public parking lots available, so keep this in mind when planning your beach trip.

10. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is the ideal spot for a beach vacation with the family. It actually is a combination of several small beaches that offer warm, soothing waters and serene views. But you have to visit during the summer.

Myrtle Beach

Furthermore, you can do all the water activities you want, such as scuba diving, surfing, parasailing, jet-skiing, and paddleboarding. Moreover, if you want to spend a budget vacation, the beach is ideal for reclining and swimming.

Along with the beach-related activities, Myrtle beach has other things to do across its shore. You can visit the Kingdom Amusement Park with your family and enjoy thrilling rides and exotic food stalls.

Want something different to do for the family? Check out the Charles Back Wonders Magic Show. It is suitable for audiences of all ages.

Similarly, the Believe-it-or-not Museum is the ideal getaway for kids with vivid imaginations. You can even shop for South Carolina merchandise near the beach at Barefoot Landing and Tanger Outlets.

You can choose from the local BBQ spots or their world-famous seafood buffets when it comes to food. Not to forget, the beach has around 50 mini-golf courses worth checking out.

Bottom line, Myrtle Beach is the go-to spot for visitors looking to spend an extended vacation without running out of things to do.

However, the beach is crowded during favorable seasons, so finding a secluded spot is challenging.

Looking for oceanfront accommodations for your trip to Myrtle Beach? Try the Courtyard by Marriott. They are just a few steps from the beach.

11. Isle of Palms, South Carolina

If you’re looking for a high-end vacation spot complete with all the luxuries and amenities, Isle of Palms, South Carolina, is the place for you.

Isle of Palms

The place is a complete resort area just a short drive from Charleston town.

The Isle of Palms, South Carolina, boasts a staggering 3000 acres of pristine beaches. The island is dotted with luxurious homes, beach parks, hotels, golf courses, and restaurants.

If you’re looking for cheap accommodation, you can easily find rental homes and condos along the shore as well.

Front Beach is one of the most popular areas on the Isle of Palms. You can have fun with your family building sandcastles, swimming, and sunbathing.

Or you can just take the best cooler bag you have and enjoy sipping your favorite drinks while enjoying the fantastic view.

Soccer on the beach

The beach hosts a plethora of festivals and parties throughout the year. So, you can experience night-time entertainment as well.

In a nutshell, the Isle of Palms is the perfect location for a laid-back, relaxing vacation.

See RelatedBest Travel Shorts

12. Burkes Beach

Burkes Beach is a family-friendly beach with an amazing shoreline and boardwalks that you and your children can walk or bike on. There are also many picnic spots throughout Burkes Beach and paved trails in Chaplin Community Park.

Burkes Beach

You can take a horse ride along the shore after lounging on the beach and playing in the water. Do any short boarding? Burkes Beach offers some larger waves, while other beaches in Hilton Head are best known for smaller waves.

Other Famous South Carolina Vacation Spots

Here are some other beaches and South Carolina vacation spots you should consider.

  • The Hilton Head is known for its beach parks and family-friendly entertainment.
  • Surfside Beach has a famous sidewalk with bars and restaurants and a long fishing pier.
  • Litchfield Beach is a good option for adventure-lovers and offers a wide range of water sports such as kayaking, fishing, and surfing.
  • Edisto Beach is a secluded, non-commercialized spot ideal for a romantic getaway. It has luxurious accommodation options combined with places for camping, kayaking, and playing golf.
  • The Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort, South Carolina, has scenic riverfront walkways, playgrounds, picnic areas, and easy access to the National Historic Landmark District.

See Related: 15 Best Vacations for a Group of Friends

Ready to book your trip to Hilton Head Island? Visit booking.com for the best accommodations in the area.

Lodging and Accommodation

Whichever beach you choose to spend your vacation in South Carolina, your accommodation will have a lasting impact on your trip.

Make sure you go through all the hotels available and weigh your options carefully before making your choice.

Most South Carolina beaches offer luxurious hotels from popular hotel chains along the coast. You can easily find rooms in the Holiday Inn, Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt.

Besides that, you can book your lodgings in all-inclusive resorts to enhance your vacation experience. If you’re low on budget, consider getting a rental home for your family, or go for Airbnb options.

See RelatedDo You Need a Car in Charleston?

South Carolina Beach Vacation Itinerary

For those traveling to South Carolina for the first time, here’s a short example itinerary for you to follow and have a lovely weekend getaway.

South Carolina Beach Vacation

If you’re planning to spend your days relaxing at Myrtle Beach, you can take a guided Kayak tour around Winyah Bay in the morning and have an early waterfront dinner in Georgetown.

The next day, you can hike through the Brookgreen Gardens and later enjoy the nightlife at the Grand Strand. You can dedicate this day to adventure sports on the beach if you wish.

On your third day, you can start late, lounge at the beach, and take a trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! after lunch. Or you can take a day trip and go on a Charleston Historic Tour while riding an old-fashioned carriage. You can tour the harbor and then explore a former plantation.

See Related: Best Restaurants in Charleston

Final Words

That concludes my guide to planning a getaway at South Carolina beaches. There are many beaches with a plethora of activities to choose from, so it is easy to get confused. But, the more options you have, the easier it gets to cater to everyone in the family if you’re taking the kids along.

Whenever you plan your vacation, make sure to check the availability of your family’s favorite attractions to avoid disappointment upon reaching your destination.

Also, make sure there’s room in your itinerary if something interesting arises during your beach stay.

If you’re interested in adding other activities to your itinerary besides beaches, you might want to read our article about the best breweries in Charleston. You’ll get amazed at how massive their beer culture is.

It is also worth reading about the small town of Travelers Rest in Greenville County, South Carolina.

Better safe than sorry when traveling, right? To cover yourself on your next domestic trip, consider travel insurance. Since you will be visiting the beaches of South Carolina, the right insurance can cover your many water activities, including boating, canoeing, wakeboarding, and swimming.

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