The many islands of the South Carolina Coast offer a cornucopia of activities for the whole family to participate in. The warm, subtropical climate of the Carolinas makes sunning a delight you would love to indulge in. With its beautiful white sand shorelines, the beaches of South Carolina are sublime for fishing, kayaking and swimming. Care to play some golf? The golf resort at Hilton Head is great place to tee off and a luxurious way to spend an afternoon. The moss draped oaks and abundance of nature trails in Seabrook Island are great for those who are outdoors-y and want to explore the area on horseback. You can discover a vast array of wildlife at Fripp Island, and animals such as armadillos and bats can be found. If you’re looking for something fun and exciting to do, Broadway Amusement Park at Myrtle Beach can’t be missed with its famous roller coasters and thrilling rides such as Myrtle Turtle and Rocket. Wherever you go, there’s sure to be fun for the entire family at the beaches of South Carolina, here’s Tripping.com’s Top 10:
Top South Carolina Beaches for a Family Vacation
1. Hilton Head Island
Located in Beaufort County, SC, Hilton Head Island is a large 42.05 square mile shoe shaped island. This Lowcountry resort town is a great place to golf and relax. Its white sandy beaches are perfect for newly-weds, vacationers, and family. Hilton Head Island is home to many festivals such as the annual Chilli Cook-Off, Rib Burnoff & Barbeque Fest, and WineFest. Each year, Hilton Head Island hosts the PGA Heritage Classic golf tournament at its very own Sea Pines Resort.
2. Isle of Palms
Charleston County’s Isle of Palms is conveniently located just 12 miles away from historic Charleston. It is an affluent area with large beachfront homes, resorts and restaurants. It is a great family-friendly beach and a good place to fishing and golf. The beachfront of the Isle of Palms is a fantastic swimming location with its designated swim area and seasonal lifeguards. Beach volleyball is very common and many volleyball tournaments are hosted in the summer by “Windjammer,” Charleston’s Premier Beach Club.
3. Myrtle Beach
The coastal city of Myrtle Beach, located within Horry County, SC, belongs to a continuous strip of beach known as the Grand Strand. Thong bikinis are strictly prohibited on all beaches and everywhere in public at Myrtle Beach. Violaters may be arrested, fined, jailed, and have their picture posted on the police website. This beach is great fun for couples, friends, and family with kid-friendly entertainment at Broadway Amusement Rides, a Myrtle Beach amusement park famous for its roller coasters and thrilling rides such as Myrtle Turtle and Rocket. It is also a popular location among high school seniors and college grads during Senior Beach Week in June. The best time to visit is from June-September when the weather is warm with temperatures reaching the high 80s.
4. Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island is a gated beach and golf resort located in Charleston County, SC. With forests of pines, magnolias, live oaks, and multitudes of marshes, this private community has access limited only to property owners and guests of resort and rental agencies. Beachwater County Park; however, is a free, open to public, beach access area with tennis and golf courts. Conveniently located only 21 miles away from Charleston, Kiawah Island’s 10 mile undisturbed stretch of white sandy shoreline in the Atlantic coast is perfect for a romantic walk along the beach for couples and a great place for the whole family to relax.
5. Pawley’s Island
One of the East Coast's oldest resort areas, Pawley’s Island is a quaint relaxed “arrogantly shabby” place located in Georgetown County. With its unspoiled, unsophisticated, casual, delightful stretch of wide beach and sand dunes, this a spectacular place for the entire family to enjoy. It’s screened porches and vibrant nightlife along with rope hammocks, golf and tennis courts, crabbing, fishing, shelling, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and sunning locations ensures that there is something for everybody. You can even explore the multitudes of salt marshes in the area at high tide in your own kayak!
6. Fripp Island
Situated in the Low-country portion of the South Carolina Atlantic coast in Beaufort County, SC, Fripp Island is known for its renowned surf and many salt marshes. This peaceful pristine beach was the location for the Vietnam War scenes in Forrest Gump. Gay Seafood Company, a local company, sold shrimp as a real life prop to the production for the shrimping boat scene. Resort amenities and natural conservation are the city’s specialties and the Charleston Light lighthouse is a famous landmark. Fripp Island is home to an abundance of wildlife and animals such as armadillos, bats, and raccoons can be found here. It is a good location for stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, golfing, and biking. Fripp Island is a major loggerhead turtle hatchery and a wonderful place to catch blue crabs.
7. Huntington Beach State Park
Located only 2.7 miles away from Murrels Inlet, the “Seafood Capital of the South,” Huntington Beach State Park is a large sandy beach with a small coastal preserve in Georgetown County, SC. With few beachgoers and numerous wild birds, Huntington Beach State Park is a peaceful site for the whole family to relax and wild birds can be observed year round; egrets and herons are commonly seen.
8. Seabrook Island
Located in Charleston County, SC, Seabrook Island spans 3.4 square miles with its white sandy beaches and moss draped oaks. It is a great place to play tennis or golf with its many courts and multiple fishing spots. The whole family will love exploring Seabrook Island by kayak and horseback riding through its vast collection of nature trails.
9. Surfside Beach
With 2 miles of pristine beach, the small seaside town of Surfside Beach has a laid back child-friendly environment. Located in Horry County, SC, Surfside Beach has a town owned fishing pier, local restaurants, supermarkets, and beautiful places to stroll. Its temperate climate and abundance of mini golf courses and a large water park makes this location a perfect place with fun for the whole family.
10. Edisto Beach
Edisto Beach is located in Colleton County, SC and is among the most affluent communities in the state. It is a “bedroom community” since there are few jobs locally and residents commute to employment centers in neighboring cities some distance away. This gently developed beach is family oriented with its plethora of shelling, golfing, camping, biking, and fishing spots. Swimming is also permitted at Edisto Beach but at your own peril since strong currents and rip tides are common and there are no lifeguards. Edisto Beach is also home to the loggerhead sea turtle and is a common nesting area. Hammerhead, tiger, and sand sharks are local to the area and their teeth can often be found at Edisto Beach.
This article was written by Laura Hu.