Top 10 Beaches in South Carolina

Published on July 26th, 2021

What are the most popular beaches in South Carolina?

With its coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, there’s no shortage of popular beaches in South Carolina. The sun, sand, and clear water of these ocean beaches beckons both tourists and locals. Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up some of the top beaches in South Carolina for you to visit.

Top beaches in South Carolina

1. Myrtle Beach

2. Kiawah Island

3. Folly Beach

4. Hilton Head

5. Sullivan’s Island

6. Pawleys Island

7. Huntington Beach State Park

8. Edisto Beach State Park

9. Front Beach

10. Litchfield Beach

South Carolina Beaches

With so many popular beaches to choose from it was hard to narrow it down. But here 10 of our favorite South Carolina beaches to add to your next RV itinerary.

1. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Starting off with one of the most popular beaches in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is fun for the whole family. 60 miles of white sand beach provides plenty of opportunities for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and playing in the sand. But it’s the theme park attractions, boardwalk, nearby resorts, and entertainment options that make it such a popular destination.

Things to do near Myrtle Beach: This beach and resort town are located just a few hours from Charleston and Columbia, but there’s plenty to discover without driving all day. Check out our local’s guide for what to see, do, and eat in Myrtle Beach. We’ve also got you covered with nearby RV rentals.

2. Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island near Charleston, SC

While most of the beaches on Kiawah Island are private, Kiawah Beachwalk Park is located on the west side of the island and is open to the public. It’s set between the Bohicket River and the ocean, and is the perfect place to take a dip in the ocean. There are lifeguards on duty during the summer and there are restrooms, outdoor showers, and dressing areas at the park. You can even rent beach chairs and umbrellas from the snack bar and spend your afternoon lingering on the sand.

Things to do near Kiawah Beachwalker Park: It’s only a short drive from downtown Charleston to this picturesque beach. Check out our local’s guide to Charleston for the best things to explore. And if you need an RV, there are some fantastic rentals nearby.

3. Folly Beach

Folly Beach pier

Another popular beach close to Charleston is Folly Beach. Located on Folly Island, there are tons of water activities to enjoy from this beach. Try renting surfboards, sea kayaks, or paddleboards from nearby outfitters, or take a sightseeing cruise or boat tour of the area. And don’t forget about fishing! There’s a fantastic fishing pier and deep sea fishing excursions are popular if you want to cast a line in deeper waters.

Things to do near Folly Beach: Explore the city of Folly Beach and check out the cute shops and restaurants on Center Street. You’re just north of Kiawah Island, and about 20 minutes from downtown Charleston.

4. Hilton Head

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is one of the top vacation spots on the East Coast, and it’s easy to see why. 12 miles of gorgeous beaches, plenty of shopping and restaurants, and amazing golf courses. When it’s time to hit the sand, try the popular Coligny Beach to rent bikes, play beach volleyball, and eat at the nearby restaurants. Or for a quieter experience head away from the crowds to Burke’s Beach, which also happens to have great waves for surfing.

Things to do near Hilton Head: Once you’re finished with the beach, explore the rest of this barrier island. You’re also a short drive from Beaufort, South Carolina, as well as Savannah, Georgia.

5. Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan Island

Sullivan’s Island Beach is a simple beach destination without bells or whistles like amusement parks or even restrooms, but that’s what makes this beach a popular destination. Those looking to escape the hustle and bustle will love this quiet spot of natural coastline. And just because there aren’t beach facilities doesn’t mean there’s anything to do! Kayaking, fishing, paddleboarding, and sailing are all very popular and rentals are available through local outfitters. There’s also plenty of local shopping and dining not too far from the beach. And a fun fact – the island was the inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Gold-Bug”!

Things to do near Sullivan’s Island: The beach is located at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, making it a great day trip from the city. You can check out our local’s guide for more fun things to do in Charleston.

6. Pawleys Island

Pawley's Island South Carolina

This small barrier island is known for their sand dunes and beautiful beach. Aside from the ocean, the salt marsh that separates the barrier island from the mainland also provides opportunities to explore. In addition to swimming and relaxing in the sand, you can spend your time crabbing, canoeing, or kayaking. You can even rent kayaks to explore the salt marsh during high tides. Fishing is popular both in the ocean, as well as in the salt marsh. And great news for Fido, the beach is dog friendly!

Things to do near Pawleys Island: This beach is located 70 miles north of Charleston. You’re also only an hour’s drive away from Myrtle Beach. And the popular Brookgreen Gardens is just around the corner if you’re looking to spend some time admiring the sculptures and plants in the botanical gardens.

7. Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park South Carolina

What’s better than a state park with a beach? Huntington Beach State Park not only has 3 miles of beautiful beach to enjoy, but there’s plenty of other activities to explore in the park. Swim in the water, relax on the beach, or hike along the nature trails. Birdwatching is a popular pastime here, as is fishing and boating. And the park is also home to the Atalaya Castle, a National Historic Landmark built in the 1930s that is open to visitors.

Things to do near Huntington Beach State Park: The park will keep you busy, but once you’re done exploring you can head to Brookgreen Gardens, a botanical gardens and zoo, or visit some of the other beaches on our list that are nearby, like Pawleys Island and Myrtle Beach. And we’ve got you covered with local RV rentals.

8. Edisto Beach State Park

Sunset at Edisto Beach

Another beachfront state park, Edisto Beach State Park has more than a mile of oceanfront beaches. Aside from swimming and relaxing in the sand, this state park features fantastic hiking and biking trails, along with plenty of areas to camp. There are boat ramps and fishing is permitted, and the area is also great for birdwatching.

Things to do near Edisto Beach Edisto Beach State Park: Once you’ve explored the state park, head to the town of Edisto Beach to visit the shops, restaurants, and galleries. You’re also only about an hour away from Charleston. Need an RV? Here are some great local RV rentals.

9. Front Beach

Isle of Palms, in Charleston South Carolina

Located on Isle of Palms, Front Beach is popular with locals and visitors. There’s plenty of public parking and beach access, along with restroom facilities and nearby shopping and dining. And of course there’s plenty to do on the beach! Swim, surf, or lay out in the sand, or sign up for a sea kayak tour or sunset cruise. There’s also a marina, and plenty of golf and tennis opportunities if you’d rather stay on land. And on top of that, you might even see some see turtles! The beach is also home to loggerhead sea-turtles, who come to the beach to lay their eggs.

Things to do near Front Beach: You’re only a 40 minute drive to Charleston, and you’re close to several other beaches on our list like Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach. You’re also a short drive from Fort Sumter National Monument, where the first shots of the Civil War happened.

10. Litchfield Beach

Litchfield Beach, South Carolina

Going to be in the Myrtle Beach area but don’t want to deal with crowds? Head half an hour south to Litchfield Beach! This 1.5 mile stretch of beach is quiet and relaxing and doesn’t have the crowds that some of the better known beaches deal with. There’s plenty of room here to swim, lay out, build sandcastles, fish, or kayak. There’s not a ton of parking, so be sure to come early to enjoy this quieter beach.

Things to do near Litchfield Beach: There’s great golfing nearby, and you’re also right around the corner from Pawleys Island. And of course, Myrtle Beach is an easy half hour drive away if you’re looking for entertainment and bustling activity.

Planning an RV trip to South Carolina

There are so many fantastic beaches to choose from in South Carolina, and an RV is a great way to explore them. We’ve got all the resources you need to plan a perfect beach vacation. As you explore, be sure to check out our resources on traveling in the state.

Here are guides to some of the best state parks in South Carolina, as well as all the national parks in the country. RVshare is also the perfect one-stop-shop to help you find an RV rental and get all the information you need for your trip.

What do you think?

How much can you make renting your RV?

See How Much You Can Make

How much can you make renting your RV?

See How Much You Can Make

Similar Articles

Top 10 Beaches in Ohio

What are the Most Popular Beaches in Ohio? With its many miles of Lake Erie shoreline and vast network of…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in North Carolina

What are the Most Popular Beaches in North Carolina? In case you haven’t already heard, North Carolina’s got it going…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in New York

What are the Most Popular Beaches in New York? It’s understandable if, when you think of New York, the first…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in Oklahoma

What are the most popular beaches in Oklahoma? While Oklahoma might not be a coastal state, there are many wonderful…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in New Mexico

What are the Most Popular Beaches in New Mexico? New Mexico isn’t exactly known for its oceanfront property — kind…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in New Jersey

What are the Most Popular Beaches in New Jersey? With 130 miles of Atlantic coastline, New Jersey could reasonably be…

Read More