There are so many amazing beaches to visit in South Carolina that it’s hard to pick a favorite. From stunning scenery to endless activities, there’s a perfect beach for everyone in this coastal state.
There’s just something special about South Carolina beaches that keeps me coming back. When I was a kid, we usually vacationed at the beach in Maryland or Virginia. They were great, and I didn’t think a beach could get any better until I was in my 30s and took a trip to South Carolina.
Here are some of my favorite South Carolina beaches, in no particular order.
1. Surf Beach
Surfside Beach is a favorite as it was the first South Carolina beach I visited. Considered the most affordable and family-friendly beach in South Carolina, Surfside Beach is located 10 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach and north of Garden City Beach. There are 36 beach access points along 2 miles of coastline.
It’s not as touristy as some of the other beaches in the state, and it has a laid-back vibe. It is rarely crowded. The sand is like white powder, the beach is always clean and the water is warm.
During our visit, we stayed in rental properties. We plan to stay at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront on our next visit. It offers beautiful ocean views and you get a full-service beachfront hotel, outdoor pool, fitness center, and newly renovated rooms without the hustle and bustle of resort areas. more commercialized beach. It is ideal for a romantic getaway or a multi-generational family reunion. Plus, they host fun events, like “Date Night on the Beach” and a communal fire pit at night around the pool.
The town is a quiet seaside town. You can find plenty of family attractions like mini-golf, a water park, and delicious restaurants within walking distance of most hotels and rental properties.
Surfside Beach is a short drive up the coast to Myrtle Beach excitement, outlet shopping, the Coastal Mall, other fun entertainment and Myrtle Beach International Airport.
Surfside Beach is definitely worth visiting for a quiet and relaxing beach vacation!
2. Myrtle Beach
The state’s most popular beach destination, the Myrtle Beach area, is often referred to as the Grand Strand. It has 60 miles of beach and 1.2 miles of seaside promenade. Historic sites, outdoor adventures and a mild annual average temperature of 73 degrees with 215 days of sunshine a year make the area Myrtle Beach a dream vacation spot.
This seaside town has something for everyone. From oceanfront amusement parks to Ripley’s Aquarium to shows at popular theaters, there’s plenty to do and see in Myrtle Beach. It is the ideal destination for travelers over 50 for many reasons. In fact, many people move to Myrtle Beach after vacationing there.
Myrtle Beach attracts over 19 million visitors a year. It is a top holiday destination with beautiful clean beaches, shopping malls, accommodation at all price points, delicious local cuisine and over 100 golf courses.
The beautiful powdery white sand beach is Myrtle Beach’s number one attraction. You can enjoy gentle waves and fun water sports, relax and play in the waves. But there is so much more. There are many places to enjoy live entertainment with cocktails and great restaurants.
Head to North Myrtle Beach, where you can enjoy great dance venues like Duck’s Nightlife and Fat Harold’s. At the north end of Myrtle Beach, there is 3001 Nightlife, which is filled with over 50 people.
They have several live theaters with great musical performances, such as the Carolina Opry Theater and the Alabama Theater. Fun shopping experiences abound near Barefoot Landing and Broadway on the Beach.
Calabash-style restaurants are prevalent along the Grand Strand, as well as Carolina/Lowcountry cuisine. In the area, you can find just about every type of food imaginable, from steak and ribs to home cooking and pizza.
Fun fact: Over 3.2 million rounds of golf are played each year in the Myrtle Beach area. That’s a lot of golf!
3. Myrtle Beach State Park
Just south of busy Myrtle Beach is Myrtle Beach State Park. What I remember the most are the beautiful flowers blooming all along the entrance road.
This state park covers 312 acres and includes picnic areas, campgrounds, a fishing pier, nature center, equestrian facilities, surf fishing, nature trails, and near one kilometer of clean beach rarely crowded.
They have ample parking and a beach stand for snacks or lunch. We often took a picnic with us.
We usually spent at least two days on this beach to avoid the crowds when we were in the area. There is a per person admission fee to visit this state park, and they have a senior citizen discount.
4. Huntington Beach State Park
If you enjoy history, wildlife, or fishing, Huntington Beach State Park is an ideal beach to visit, with over 2,500 acres to enjoy away from the hustle and bustle of some of the roughest beaches in the world. ‘State. This state park is home to the 1930s Moorish-style Atalaya Castle, which is a National Historic Landmark. More than 300 species of birds live in the park.
About 17 miles south of Myrtle Beach State Park, Huntington Beach State Park has a 3 mile long beach and is a popular fishing spot. There is a 2 mile hiking trail, picnic facilities, and campgrounds within the park.
There is a fee to visit the national park and an additional fee to visit the castle.
Pro tip: Brookgreen Gardens is nearby, and the gardens are beautiful and well worth a visit.
5. Kiawah Island
Everyone loves an island experience. Many consider the private island of Kiawah in South Carolina to be a paradise. It has 10 miles of spectacular beaches, sand dunes, maritime forests and lush marshes, providing a stunning beach scenery that is simply unique.
While most Kiawah Island beaches are private, Kiawah Beachwalker Park has one public beach. In addition to beaches, there are waterfront golf courses, scenic trails, and beautiful, luxurious resorts.
Editor’s Note: Really want to avoid the crowds? Our very own Jeanine Consoli recommends these 9 amazing things to do on Kiawah Island during the off season.
6. Hilton Head Island
Just a step away from your average beach, Hilton Head is the perfect beach to visit when you want to indulge in a bit of luxury. Located approximately 30 miles from Savannah, Georgia, Hilton Head offers beautiful beaches, luxury spas, tennis, golf and a quiet lifestyle. It’s a huge draw for those looking for a touch of luxury.
Hilton Head is a 42 square mile barrier island with 12 miles of beautiful sandy beaches. Hilton Head’s most popular beach is Coligny Beach Park. A scenic coastline and a host of amenities make this park a favorite for beachgoers.
Spa, golf and tennis have earned Hilton Head its elite reputation. But there’s plenty more to enjoy, including the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Coastal Discovery Museum.
Vacationers go to Hilton Head to relax. Nightlife mostly consists of quiet sunset dinners and live music by the water.
Pro tip: Look before entering the water. Jellyfish and stingrays are prevalent during the summer months.
7. Daufuskie Island
A seaside oasis, Daufuskie Island in South Carolina consists mostly of undeveloped conservation land. This small island off Hilton Head is only accessible by boat or ferry. Although it is not far from the mainland, its remote nature makes it feel like a world apart. There are only about 400 inhabitants on the island.
One could spend an entire week at Haig Point, the island’s private community, without seeing more than a dozen individuals. You have the beach all to yourself.
The island is a historic center and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are self-guided tours and guided history tours.
Art studios and galleries as well as a rum distillery inhabit the island. Daufuskie Island Distillery is one of only two island distilleries in the United States
Visitors enjoy a spectacle of daily wildlife experiences: bottlenose dolphins leaping out of the water onto the shore; loggerhead sea turtles nesting each spring on the shore; and the trotting of Marsh Tacky horses.
Horseback riding on the beach is offered year-round, and golf enthusiasts can enjoy ocean views on Haig Point’s signature course.
The Daufuskie Island Ferry offers a service every 3 hours to and from the island. Tour Daufuskie takes the stress out of a day at the beach with packages that include chairs, a tent, and beach items for the day, so you don’t have to pack anything with you.
There are fun accommodation options for night tours on the island. Visitors can enjoy a secluded beach getaway by staying in a lighthouse dating back to 1873 or a 1910 mansion built as a summer retreat.
Pro tip: Enjoy the island while exploring from your rented golf cart. There are no cars on the island.
South Carolina is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. From Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head, there are plenty of amazing beaches to choose from. Each offers its own charm and appeal. If you’re looking for a place to relax and soak up the sun and sand, visit one of South Carolina’s many world-class beaches.