20 Best South Carolina Beaches To Visit

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South Carolina beaches are among the most beautiful in the country. From sandy shores to salty surf, the state has some of the best beaches in America. If you’re looking for the perfect vacation in South Carolina by the water, there’s no better place to start. Here are 20 of the best beaches in South Carolina (SC). 

Best Charleston, South Carolina Beaches 

Mitchellville Beach Park

Mitchellville Beach Park is one of the best SC beaches and is a great place to go for a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or even a fun-filled weekend. This beach park is located right on the Atlantic Ocean and has plenty of outdoor activities for everyone.

The location also makes it easy for you to visit other popular South Carolina destinations such as Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Folly Beach. If you’re planning on visiting this beach in South Carolina during summer, make your reservation early before they fill up.

Plenty of activities are available here at Mitchellville Beach Park, including kayaking tours where you can explore undersea caves. You can also go on fishing trips where experienced guides will teach you how to catch some fresh seafood. There are also horseback rides along the shoreline with views of dolphins swimming around nearby boats. 

After a day at the beach, you can indulge in some of the delicious foods in Charleston.

Edisto Beach State Park

Whether you’re a family, looking for a romantic getaway, or just enjoying the outdoors, Edisto Beach State Park is undoubtedly one of the best South Carolina beaches for that. 

The beach is suitable for swimming, surfing, fishing, and boating. Hiking trails wrap around the park’s perimeter and through 17 acres of the maritime forest, making it one of the best SC beaches for hiking.

If you’re more interested in relaxing than getting your heart pumping, the sandy shores are ideal for picnicking or sunbathing. There are also four designated barbecue areas where campers can cook out at no charge. And yes, it is among the few South Carolina beaches where that is allowed! 

Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is a barrier island located in Charleston County. It is one of the South Carolina beaches that is part of the Sea Islands chain and is the largest Island in the chain. The Island was formed with sand deposited by ocean currents flowing around it.

Considered one of the best SC beaches, it is owned by a single family. Most of it is undeveloped and has been preserved as a natural habitat for native wildlife such as alligators, turtles, deer, and other small animals. There are also several species of birds found only on Kiawah Island. 


Edisto Beach

Located on Edisto Island, Edisto Beach is simply gorgeous. It’s a barrier island that offers some of the state’s best fishing and outdoor activities. The white sand dunes along this beach make it great for surfing, swimming and sunbathing. It is one of the most alluring South Carolina beaches. 

The hiking and bike routes in Edisto Beach State Area make for an excellent park tour. The park’s environmental education center is housed in an environmentally-friendly structure with displays illustrating the Island’s natural history and the nearby ACE Basin.

Like many other beaches in South Carolina, you can bring your four-legged buddy to Edisto Beach. However, pets are not allowed in or around the cabin areas, and you must always keep them on a leash.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is a beach town in South Carolina that Charleston is known for. It’s a popular spot mainly due to its friendly atmosphere and beautiful beaches. 

Folly Beach is one of the best beaches in SC, close to many restaurants and shopping centers. It has a long history of tourism dating back to the 18th century, when it was home to wealthy plantation owners who built elaborate homes along its shoreline.

These are just some of the many beautiful beaches in Charleston, South Carolina. The best thing about them is that they’re so diverse!

Best Savannah, South Carolina Beaches

Seabrook Island

Seabrook Island is a barrier island on the coast of South Carolina. It’s a popular vacation spot for people from the Carolinas, Georgia, and other parts of the country. Seabrook Island is one of the South Carolina Beaches known for its sandy beaches and many activities, including fishing, golfing, and shopping.

Undoubtedly an outstanding beach, Seabrook Island has several open restaurants year-round. The town has an airport with service to nearby cities like Charleston, making it even more accessible.

Litchfield Beach

Litchfield Beach is a town in Horry County, South Carolina, United States. This beach is part of the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area and is known as “The Village by the Sea.” It is one of the most eye-catching beaches in South Carolina.

The town has been experiencing growth since the 1990s due to its location on North Myrtle Beach’s border, along with attractions including golf courses, shopping centers, and marinas. 

Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island is a small barrier island off the coast of South Carolina. This quiet, family-friendly beach town has earned popularity for its pristine white beaches, historic architecture, and friendly locals. It sits comfortably with tourists as one of the best beaches in SC.

If you’re looking for a relaxing day on the beach or some serious golfing time at one of several award-winning courses, Pawleys Island is one of your best options.

There are also restaurants serving seafood favorites like crab cakes and oysters. This location has water sports rentals and nature trails that lead through wetlands teeming with wildlife like egrets and alligators.

Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach is a 2-mile-long beach on the north end of Hilton Head Island. It’s one of the most popular beaches in South Carolina for families and couples who enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and shelling. The beach is also known for its marsh views, especially at sunrise.

There are plenty of things to do at Coligny Beach, including renting a cabana or umbrella from the beach’s vendor and enjoying a picnic lunch. If you’re feeling adventurous, try parasailing or jet skiing on the Intracoastal Waterway.

Coligny Beach, one of the best South Carolina beaches, is also home to several shops and restaurants which offer fresh seafood dishes.

Boneyard Beach

Boneyard Beach is located on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. The beach is named for the large number of ships that run aground here, and it’s also known for its soft white sand and clear waters. 

This is one of the South Carolina beaches that has been used as a filming location for several movies, including “Jaws 3-D” and “The Last Ship.”

Hilton Head Island also has many other beaches that are worth checking out. The Island has more than 15 miles of beachfront, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy here. 

Best North Charleston, South Carolina Beaches

Burkes Beach

Burkes Beach is a beach located in the city of Murrells Inlet in South Carolina. It is one of the best South Carolina beaches for tourists and locals alike, and it’s an excellent place to swim, fish, and boat.

The beach is a mile long and located right on the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s perfect for fishing, swimming, boating, and relaxing on the soft white sand.

Burkes Beach is just what you need if you’re looking for beaches in South Carolina with an oceanfront vacation spot that feels like home.

Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms is a popular beach destination and a great place to visit. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in South Carolina to relax, enjoy the sun, and spend time with friends or family.

The Island has a long stretch of beautiful sand ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and playing in the water. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants to visit if you get hungry or thirsty during your stay.

Isle of Palms is a popular destination for families with children because of its many attractions and activities. It has plenty of dining options as well. The beach has been named one of the top 10 beaches in South Carolina by USA Today’s readership.

Murrells’ Inlet

Murrells Inlet is one of the best SC beaches for people who want to experience beach life without too much tourist congestion. 

Murrells Inlet is a town in Georgetown County, South Carolina, United States. It is part of the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area.

The downtown area has many locally owned shops and restaurants and several pubs, bars, and nightclubs, making it easy to enjoy live music. You can relax with friends or family on one of the many outdoor patios overlooking beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean or Intracoastal Waterway. 

Harbor Island

Harbor Island is a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina. In addition to being an ideal tourist spot, Harbor Island is a popular destination for families and weddings—and there are plenty of opportunities for fishing as well!

This fantastic community has the ideal natural setting for a beautiful, unique getaway experience. It also has a private vacation playground, unlike other beaches in South Carolina. There are swimming pools, tennis courts, and miles of unspoiled white-sand coastline.

When you’re not enjoying the view from the beach, you can take a stroll along the beach and see the diverse island species, such as egrets, herons, horseshoe crabs, and terns.

Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach is one of the most enjoyable South Carolina beaches located at the southern end of Folly Island, just north of historic Charleston. 

This free state park offers visitors 3 miles of white sand beaches and shallow waters perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or surfing. The park also has a campground with tents and R.V. sites that include water and electric hookups and restrooms with showers.

The beach has lifeguards on duty during summer from 10:00 am-5:00 pm daily (until 8:45 pm Friday through Sunday). Of course, it thinks of safety as one of the best beaches in SC

Swimming is not allowed until the afternoon. Surfers must wear helmets, and personal flotation devices (PFDs) are required for all children under 16 years old. Pets must be on 14-foot leashes at all times; no fires are permitted in the dunes or on the beach due to high grasses, which can easily catch fire.

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Other Popular Beaches in South Carolina

Sullivan’s Island Beach – Sullivan’s Island 

Sullivan’s Island is a barrier island that lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Wando River. It’s home to several restaurants, bars, and shops, making it one of the most sought-after South Carolina beaches.

Some notable attractions include Fort Moultrie (where you can learn about its history) and The Pavilion Theatre (a venue for live performances). You can’t overlook Sullivan as one of the best beaches in South Carolina.

In addition to its amenities, Sullivan’s Island offers various hotels and bed & breakfasts for visitors who want somewhere to stay overnight while they explore the area. 

Surfside Beach – Horry County

Surfside Beach is a South Carolina beach located in a small town in Horry County, South Carolina, United States. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean and is part of the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area.

The name “Surfside” comes from its location near the ocean. It was first settled in 1778 by William Barnwell and John Bennett III. As the name implies, it is one of the best SC beaches for surfing.

Locals continued referring to it by its original name of Bennett’s Landing until around the 1900s when it became known that SurfSide Beach would be used on all official documents.

Myrtle Beach – Horry County

Myrtle Beach is a family-friendly beach town that offers something for everyone. If you want to spend your days on the beach, this is one of the ideal beaches in South Carolina to do it. 

The beaches here are beautiful and clean, and plenty of activities are available at the oceanfront or nearby attractions like Barefoot Landing and Broadway at the Beach.

Many hotels also offer water parks, pools, mini golf courses, and other family-friendly amenities so you can relax comfortably while having fun together as a group.

With many restaurants featuring outdoor seating overlooking spectacular views of the oceanfront area, there’s no shortage of delicious South Carolina food waiting for you when you arrive here. There are lots of shops too! So take advantage of all kinds of unique souvenirs from around the state before leaving Myrtle Beach.

This beach is one of the things that South Carolina is known for, it offers plenty of options and a great destination for vacation with your significant other or best friends.

Hilton Head – Beaufort County

Hilton Head is a barrier island in South Carolina, considered one of the best beaches in South Carolina and the United States. 

Its long tourism history has become known for its golf courses, beaches, and shopping—but there’s more to Hilton Head than meets the eye! 

The name “Hilton Head” comes from a British soldier stationed there during the Revolutionary War. At one point, he owned land on what is now known as Hilton Head Island.

Today many people put Hilton Head among lovely South Carolina beaches for families or couples looking for fun things to do.

Cherry Grove – North Myrtle Beach 

Cherry Grove is located on the south end of Horry County, a small community of about 200 people. It has been one of the best beaches in SC for vacationers for decades, and many locals will tell you that it’s “the best-kept secret” in South Carolina.

If you love to surf, this is your place: Cherry Grove hosts two annual surfing contests each year—one at Easter and another at Halloween—and has an active surf club called “Surf’s Up.” So if you are a surfer, Cherry grove is definitely at the top of your list for the best SC beaches.

If fishing is more your thing than surfing, Cherry Grove is an excellent choice because there are plenty of places where you can rent boats or fish off one of the piers. 

You can even sign up for lessons if you are new! And suppose swimming isn’t enough on its own. In that case, there are places nearby where families can rent paddle boards or kayaks to explore further into the ocean.

Enjoying The Best Beaches In South Carolina

The loveliest beaches in South Carolina are generally considered to be the ones on the Atlantic coastline. This area is well known because the beaches here are relatively close together and have a variety of activities. It is one of the popular facts about South Carolina.

South Carolina is a beautiful place to visit, and many people here are lucky to call the coast home. Coastal living is idyllic, and it’s even better when you choose one of the many fantastic beaches in the area. Regardless of your preference, you can have fun at the many South Carolina beaches.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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