Charleston’s coastline has been its calling card since its founding. The city’s secure harbor allowed early settlers to safely make port, while its lengthy vantage points provided for essential defense. Today the overwhelming appeal of the Charleston area’s coastline is the diversity of its beach towns, each of which has its own vibrant personality, and invites you to rest and relax in a decidedly distinct way. Offering six miles of sandy shoreline and a bustling city center that includes an oceanfront music venue, Isle of Palms is a favorite for active families. A resort on the island’s north end offers top-tier tennis and golf, while a public marina opens the door to water sports aplenty. Head south, crossing over Breach Inlet, and you’ll arrive at picturesque Sullivan’s Island, a serene and largely residential three-mile island that’s replete with Revolutionary War history, delicious dining, and wide beaches no matter the tide.
On the opposite side of Charleston Harbor is Folly Beach, a funky, friendly town nicknamed the Edge of America, where surfers, fishermen, and families all flock. Come for a beach day, but stay for the laid-back restaurant and bar scene that comes alive when the sun sets. If you’re desiring a more off-the-grid vacation, head farther south to Kiawah Island, a ten-mile strip of coastline where a world-class resort and private homes are tucked within a maritime forest. Locals flock to its Beachwalker Park, a soft white sand public beach with lifeguards, beach chair and boogie board rentals, and wheelchair-accessible ramps. When not on the pristine beach, you’ll want to bike, hike, or golf your way through the verdant landscape, keeping watch for wildlife as you go. Finally, farthest south is Seabrook Island, a private slice of oceanfront paradise. On the gated barrier island, you can horseback ride along the shore, kayak through the Intracoastal Waterway, golf on two unique courses, enjoy birding in an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community, and dine while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
The decision may be difficult, but rest assured that you simply can’t go wrong with whichever sandy path you choose.