Your Guide to Charleston Beaches

Photo courtesy of Explore Charleston

With summer winding down and the school year approaching, what a better time than to head to one of Charleston beaches to enjoy the waves and sand. Charleston has a wide variety of beachside escapes for every beach-type. Maybe you like to walk along the shore? Maybe you like to hit the links at a beachside course? Or maybe you like to lay out on a towel an enjoy a good book? Either way, Charleston has it all.

Here’s four great beaches to check out:

Folly Beach

Photo courtesy of Explore Charleston

Located near downtown Charleston, Folly Beach is the iconic home to Charleston’s best-known beach. Home to some of the best waves on the lower East Coast, Folly Beach plays host to restaurants, the Morris Island Lighthouse, a fishing pier, and more. You’ll see sandcastle galore and it’s a surfing haven. Come see why Folly Beach is a renowned tourist destination and a local’s favorite.

Pros: Restaurant variety, fishing pier; Cons: Tourist season traffic

Sullivan’s Island

Photo courtesy of Sullivan’s Island

A short drive from Mount Pleasant is Sullivan’s Island. This quaint coastal town is known for its dog friendly beaches, a main street that features iconic restaurants such as Poe’s Tavern, and a bit of Charleston Revolutionary War history at the famous Fort Moultrie. The smallest of the Charleston beaches at only 3.3 miles long, Sullivan’s Island is great for a laid-back day.

Pros: Picturesque town with history, great restaurants, dog friendly; Cons: No public restrooms

Isle of Palms

Photo courtesy of Charleston Visitors Guide

Perhaps second to Folly in terms of notoriety, Isle of Palms (IOP) is the place to enjoy some sand, waves, and a bite to eat. This unique locale blends the traditions of Charleston and beach resort feels with the nostalgia that is a beachside town. Whether you want to bike along the quaint country roads, cast your rod into whirling waters, or enjoy a meal while looking out on the water, IOP has it all.

Pros: Public restrooms; Cons: Parking


Photo courtesy of

Located about 40 miles south of Downtown Charleston, Edisto embodies the Charleston spirit with its largely undeveloped beach making it the epitome of Lowcountry sea island life. Step away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a relaxing day (or days) by the water. Rich in history beginning with the Gullah people of West Africa, Edisto is known for its culture and laid-back lifestyle that has stood the test of time.

Pros: History, less busy than other Charleston beaches; Cons: Accessibility (the drive)

What other Charleston-area beaches would you add to our list? Comment below!

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