Top 12 South Carolina Beaches

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The beaches of South Carolina's Atlantic coast are some of the most beautiful in the U.S. Benefiting from a subtropical climate the convoluted coastline of islands and inlets, the state offers beachgoers an almost overwhelming choice. From the ever-popular Myrtle Beach to white sands of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina's beaches will not fail to impress.

At the heart of the South Carolina coast is the Grand Strand – a 60 mile long stretch of uninterrupted beach. This is the place to find a family-friendly beach with lifeguards and all the amenities close by. If you are looking for a more pristine spot by the sea then head Kiawah Island with its 10 miles of unspoilt Atlantic shoreline.

Beyond its fantastic beaches South Carolina has a rich history and culture; from the plantation mansions of the Old South to the historic city of Charleston. And don't forget to try some of the renowned down south cooking.

So let's have a look at some of the best beaches in South Carolina:

  • 1. Kiawah Beachwalker Park

    Kiawah Beachwalker Park

    Beachwalker Park is located on the west end of Kiawah Island not far from Charleston in South Carolina. The park is the only public access to the beautiful beaches of Kiawah Island, but with 11 miles of silky smooth sand, this should be enough to keep most beachgoers happy.

    Facing out over the Atlantic Ocean, the beach is backed by the Kiawah river. Beachwalker Park has a designated swimming area… read more »

  • 2. Cherry Grove Beach

    Cherry Grove Beach

    Cherry Grove Beach is a small stretch of sandy beach between North Myrtle beach and Little River on the North / South Carolina. It has a rich history of local landmarks and there is plenty to do on and around the beach. If you want to enjoy fishing or golf, you will fit right in because they are very popular here. The best spot for fishing is on the Cherry… read more »

  • 3. Folly Beach

    Folly Beach

    Folly Beach and County Park is beautifully located between the Atlantic and the Folly River on a 12-square-mile barrier island south of Charleston, South Carolina.

    There are six miles of sandy beaches for surfing, kayaking, swimming and walking and the sunsets are breathtaking. The family-friendly beaches are wild and unspoilt with access points on every block. This gorgeous sandy beach has lifeguards, a boardwalk and wheelchair-accessible ramp. Visitors can rent… read more »

  • 4. Edisto Beach

    Edisto Beach
    Meredith Harris

    Edisto Beach is the name of both the beach and the surrounding town of around 400 residents, most of whom commute from here. A vacation spot since the 1920s, today Edisto Beach is one of just a handful of largely uncommercialised, family-friendly beaches located in the region.

    Although only stretching a few metres back, the beach runs uninterrupted for around four miles, from the mouth of Big Bay Creek to the… read more »

  • 5. Myrtle Beach

    Myrtle Beach
    The ed17

    Since 1949 Myrtle Beach has also been known locally as the Grand Strand, separating it from the city of Myrtle Beach which stands on its landward side for just a small stretch of its staggering 60 miles. Because of its size, its sands are also sometimes subdivided into north, central and south areas, with most of the top attractions located centrally. Its north beach is slightly quieter.

    Visited by approximately… read more »

  • 6. Huntington Beach

    Huntington Beach
    © malgosiaw

    You can get a front row view of the Atlantic Ocean from this pristine and wide-open Grand Strand beach, which is located less than 20 miles from Myrtle Beach. The beautifully clean and white sands feel like butter under your toes and there's plenty of wriggle room too.

    Nature lovers make a beeline for this beach, to get hooked into the finest surf fishing South Carolina has to offer. Bird… read more »

  • 7. Seabrook Island Beach

    Seabrook Island Beach
    © Denton Harryman

    Featuring two championship golf courses, a tournament-ready tennis centre, full service equestrian centre, and a fitness and aquatics complex, this seaside spot, 30 minutes' outside Charleston is primed for action-packed adventurers. 

    And of course, there are the unspoilt beaches too - this barrier island is home to two beautiful sweeps of sand - Pelican Beach and North Beach. Both of them offer sunshine, beautiful views, and hours of enjoyment. However,… read more »

  • 8. Sullivan's Island Beach

    Sullivan's Island Beach
    © Dsdugan

    Just minutes from charming Charleston and nestled at the mouth of the Charleston Harbour, Sullivan's Island is an inviting mix of local restaurants and shops, wide-open beaches and watersports, plus a whole load of history and folklore.

    At a relatively modest 3.3 miles, the area isn't huge, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty and charm. Fort Moultrie is just a 30-minute walk… read more »

  • 9. Surfside Beach

    Surfside Beach
    © acethom

    The town of Surfside Beach is a small beach community that features two miles of oceanfront and is located just south of the Myrtle Beach city limits. It's nicknamed "The Family Beach" and the town is known as a place where quality time comes easy.

    This is one of the better beaches around, with clean sand and water - a wonderful spot for some fishing, swimming and picnicking. 

    The town's pier… read more »

  • 10. Isle of Palms Beach

    Isle of Palms Beach

    These stunning white sands and calm waters are nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, just 12 miles from the charms of Charleston. Lifeguards are on duty, there are changing areas, and a snack bar to satisfy rumbling tummies. 

    Alcohol, glass bottles, plastic bags and straws are all banned on the beach as well, to keep it as pristine as possible, while you'll find plenty of places to… read more »

  • 11. Coligny Beach Park

    Coligny Beach Park

    This award-winning beach is Hilton Head Island's most popular oceanfront park, offering the chance for locals and tourists alike to step onto the sand and let the sea breeze carry every worry away. 

    Here, you'll be able to enjoy a full beach park with outdoor showers, changing rooms, restrooms and a variety of lounging options. Chairs and umbrellas are available to hire on the beach. There are also swings and wooden… read more »

  • 12. Hunting Island Beach

    Hunting Island Beach
    Marcus Andersson
    read more »