What is your ideal day at the beach? A big umbrella and a good book? Boogie boarding and sand castles? Wading in the waves? Whether you are planning a day trip or a weeklong summer stay, the top beaches to visit in Charleston SC include these four easily accessible public beaches, each with its own unique scene and amenities. Locals tend to visit the beach closest to their home (for obvious reasons), which means the beaches often mirror the communities that border them, but no matter where you are staying in Charleston, you’re always just a few minutes from putting your toes in the sand.
Isle of Palms
Across the intercostal waterway from Mount Pleasant awaits Isle of Palms (lovingly referred to by locals as just “IOP”). Ocean Boulevard is home to a several local beachfront restaurants serving up tasty food with a view. With the Isle of Palms County Park offering convenient parking, beachfront lifeguards, public restrooms and other amenities, IOP is frequented by families of all sizes. And beyond lounging on the sand, you’ll find countless fishermen on the pier just waiting to reel in the catch of the day. Isle of Palms offers a lot for families to do and is one of the most popular beach destinations in Charleston.
Affectionately known by locals as “funky Folly” for its laid back vibes, Folly Beach offers a classic, casual beach experience. The iconic fishing pier, home to local eatery Pier 101, is the perfect place to take in the panoramic ocean views and look back at the island’s shore. The pier and surrounding beach are part of Folly Beach County Park, which offers amenities including lifeguard supervision, beach patrol, public restrooms, snack bar and equipment rentals (beach chair/umbrella, fishing tackle, etc.). A short way down the beach surfing hotspot ‘The Washout’ draws amateurs and pro’s alike with some of the best surf in the Carolina’s.
Though it is the smallest of Charleston’s area beaches, Sullivan’s Island beach is among the most pristine. Less frequented than other area beaches, it’s often uncrowded, ideal for morning walks on the beach, or picnics on the sand with views of the Ravenel Bridge. With nearly a dozen local restaurants right off the beach – from tacos and margaritas at Mex 1 Coastal Cantina or dinner at the eclectic Poe’s Tavern – it’s no wonder Sullivan’s is a favorite for local Charlestonians. The island is also home to Fort Moultrie and the iconic Sullivan’s Island lighthouse (commonly called “Charleston Light”), which has the distinction of being among the country’s most modern lighthouses. Fully operational, it serves not only to guide ships safely to shore but also as a reminder of Charleston’s role as a bustling seaport importing and exporting food, goods, and tourists daily.
Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island
A picturesque drive just south of downtown Charleston, Kiawah Island Beach is a tranquil and serene retreat complete with winding oak trees, marsh views, and coastal landscape. As Kiawah Island is a private, gated community, Beachwalker County Park is one of the best kept local secrets – it’s open to the public, with everything you need from lifeguards to changing rooms, showers, handicap access, and plenty of shade. If you’re heading out for a long walk on the beach, make sure you bring a bag or bucket to collect the many sand dollars you’ll find along the way.
Stay in luxury
Choose your favorite beach, or explore them all and discover a few of Charleston’s treasures and secrets along the way. Don’t forget to pack all the beach bag essentials for your fun day on the sand! Book a stay at any of our luxury vacation homes in the heart of Downtown Charleston or on Folly Beach, Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island and be that much closer to having your toes in the sand. The team at Luxury Simplified Retreats goes above and beyond to offer guests an outstanding experience with beautiful beach rentals and unparalleled concierge services. Browse our Experience Packages to consider making your trip especially unique, then sit back, relax, and leave all of the planning to us.
Fall is a fantastic time of year to make your way to Charleston, South Carolina. While it makes for a pretty exceptional destination year-round, there’s something about the crisp temperatures and vibrant fall colors that add a certain seasonal magic just before winter rolls into the city. Whether you’re looking for that perfect city tour, simply strolling the cobblestoned streets through Charleston’s historic neighborhoods, or hoping to spend a day at the pumpkin patch, fall is a great time to make the most of this captivating city. And, while there is so much to see and do in Charleston every day of the year, we’re sharing a few must-try destinations to experience fall in Charleston.
And while you’re here, don’t forget to explore everything the Holy City offers! Our Charleston Insider’s Guide will point you towards the best places to eat, drink, and play from a local’s perspective!
Here’s our “Ultimate Itinerary to Enjoy Fall in Charleston, SC”
Day 1: Hibben United Methodist Pumpkin Patch
There’s something about a visit to the pumpkin patch that makes everyone feel like a kid again. Still, a visit to Hibben United Methodist Pumpkin Patch from October 1 through late October comes with the added benefit of purchasing a seasonal pumpkin for a great cause. The Hibben United Methodist Pumpkin Patch allows you to browse an array of pumpkins right in the heart of Mt. Pleasant’s historic corridor, plus all proceeds go to select local charities. There are other great pumpkin patches dotted all around the Charleston area, so you’ll more than likely be close to one no matter where you’re staying. The incredible fall weather in Charleston makes pumpkin picking the perfect fall outing and adults and families alike can enjoy the hunt for getting the perfect pumpkin.
Hibben United Methodist Pumpkin Patch
690 Coleman Ave.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Day 2: USS Yorktown Ghost Tours
Charleston’s fall season is bound to be scenic, but it’s made all the more intriguing with a side of spooky. Booking a USS Yorktown Ghost Tour is a sure way to add a kick of intrigue to an already captivating trip to the Holy City. Docked in the Charleston Harbor, the USS Yorktown is a renowned source of mystery linked to a violent past. This aircraft carrier has hosted many service members over its lifetime, and some believe spirits remain onboard today. This 90-minute tour is sure to be unforgettable and potentially, other-worldly.
USS Yorktown Ghost Tours
40 Patriots Point Road
Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Day 3: Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer
Fall in Charleston is best experienced alongside friends and family. What better way to enjoy an afternoon together than finding a comfortable seat at a local coffee shop? When you’re in town as the weather changes from warm to cool, make your way towards Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer, where there’s a little something for everyone to sip. This local establishment encourages great flavors alongside great conversation. The menu hosts everything from single-origin coffees to a carefully selected listing of craft beers and a recently expanded wine menu. A variety of pastries and sandwiches make the perfect beverage pairing while you’re here. This comfortable coffee house is a true representation of local Charleston culture at its best. This little nook is always worth a visit so start your day here before you head out exploring!
Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer
4 Vanderhorst Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29403
And, if it’s a Saturday morning in the fall, you’ll want to head to the nearby Charleston Farmers Market at Marion Square. Locals and tourists alike enjoy strolling through this one of a kind farmers market which has been voted “Best Outdoor Event” and “Best Attraction” in Charleston for multiple years in a row. Market goers will find a large selection of produce, plants, herbs, flowers, prepared foods, as well as breakfast and lunch vendors, live entertainment and an assortment of arts and crafts from local artisans. On Saturday mornings from spring through late fall, the Farmers Market is truly the hub of activity in Charleston’s downtown historic district.
“Fall” in Love with Your Charleston Stay
Charleston is a city that captures the imagination all year long, but when you’re here in the fall, make sure to cozy up in a vacation home that keeps you falling in love with this incredible destination. The team at Luxury Simplified Retreats is here to help you select a location that keeps you close to the exciting entertainment and comfortable enough to feel like you’re right at home.
Let’s start planning your fall retreat to the Lowcountry today. Whether your fall travel has you dreaming of a downtown getaway tucked among historic homes or days of book-reading and touch football on the beach, booking with us offers every kind of autumn stay. Contact us today to start planning your next Charleston vacation.