Are you heading to South Carolina soon and wondering about the best beaches in the Mt. Pleasant area? Along with the beautiful historic sites of downtown Charleston, this lovely area is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Palmetto state. Keep reading to discover a few of our favorites!
Isle of Palms Beaches
Isle of Palms beaches (IOP) is a great family friendly beach that our crew loves to explore! The Isle of Palms connector can get quite congested later in the day, so pack your patience if you travel during the busy summer months. Consider arriving early for the best shot at parking. Isle of Palms is about 14 miles away from downtown Charleston.
One reason why we rate Isle of Palms in Charleston County as one of the best places for families is due to the great amenities in this area. The Isle of Palms County Park includes boardwalks and accessible ramps, beachfront lifeguards, beach chair and umbrella rentals, dressing rooms/changing rooms, food options, playground, public restrooms, sand volleyball court, picnic tables and grills, and outdoor showers.
Wild Dunes Resort is a great resort option for families traveling to Isle of Palms. Offering hotel, single family homes, and condo style rentals, it is a fantastic option for families of many different sizes. Our family enjoys it because there is a little something for everyone. The dads enjoy the golf courses, the kids like the huge pools, the moms love the spa, and the whole family appreciates the beach!
If you want to shop and eat in the area, head to Ocean Boulevard to discover plenty of gift shops and local restaurants. If you have an animal lover in the family, be sure to check out the sea turtles. The turtles lay their eggs in this area from May to August. This is a fantastic experience for your kids, so check it out while you experience the East Coast of the United States.
Sullivan’s Island is a lovely 2.5 mile long barrier island near the Charleston Harbor. With only 2,000 residents, it is the perfect place to get away from the busyness of more popular destinations like Charleston or Myrtle Beach. This island is well known for its pristine beaches and scenic views.
After visiting Sullivan’s Island Beach, pop over to Poe’s Tavern. This fun gatropub is open daily from 11 AM-10PM. You can grab a fantastic burger, fish tacos, or a classic soup and salad combo. The kids menu is a hit with our children, and it’s the perfect spot for a casual beach experience.
Sullivan’s Island is only 10 miles from historic Charleston, making it a short drive from the city center. Be sure to add it to your list of best beaches in the Charleston area!
Folly Beach, SC
Folly Beach, South Carolina is a barrier island known for its fun beach shops, great restaurants, hotels and condo rentals. It is a great place to spend the week in Charleston County, but it can get quite busy in the summer. If you plan to park at the public beach, plan to arrive early and stake your claim in the sand! Real estate gets rented early, so plan your beach vacation well in advance to get your pick of rental properties.
Be sure to check the Folly Beach website for the latest info on special events and beach activity options. It is a favorite beach for coastal lifestyle weddings and another great place to check out the Loggerhead sea turtles. You can also find the facts about events like “Mermaids and Mateys” in September, the Christmas parade, New Year’s Eve events, the Polar Plunge, the Taste of Folly event, Sea and Sand Festival, July 4th celebrations, and live music options. This lovely oceanfront town is the perfect place to enjoy all that a South Carolina beach town has to offer with easy access from Charleston, SC.
Kiawah Island Beach, SC
If you are looking to really get away from it all, consider a visit to Kiawah Island Beach. This beautiful area is about a 45 minute drive from Charleston but well worth it for the beautiful views of the Kiawah River. Kiawah has ten miles of public Atlantic Ocean beach, along with preserved maritime forests, sand dunes, nature trails, and live oaks. If you want to get the perfect Instagram shots of scenic views, you will be in the right spot!
Kids love discovering the wildlife of Kiawah, including deer, bobcats, gray foxes, river otters, and ospreys. Be sure to check out the wildlife viewing spots on the website linked above. If you have time while visiting Charleston, be sure to add a visit to Kiawah to your list!
Though there are plenty of historic sites to explore in Charleston, the town of Mt Pleasant, SC is also worth a visit. Mt. Pleasant residents will proudly show off their town, as you come over the Arthur Ravenel bridge (also known as the Cooper River bridge). Kids will love exploring the playground at Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park, as you enjoy a picnic in the public park.
Walk along the pier and enjoy the amazing views of Charleston harbor. Explore the Patriots Point Maritime Museum to discover the USS Yorktown. The historic district of Mt Pleasant known as “the old village” is definitely worth a stroll. Historic homes line the beautiful main street.
A trip to Pitt Street Pharmacy‘s soda fountain may be a highlight of your trip to Mt. Pleasant. Little ones enjoy exploring the store and choosing their favorite sweet treat. Be sure to make a visit to Shem Creek Park as well. This area has plenty of fantastic seafood restaurants and live music options, along with great views of the creek and marsh. Spend some time on the trails and boardwalks and catch a glimpse of the amazing wildlife of South Carolina.
I hope this post helps you plan your next South Carolina adventure. Be sure to sign up below for my family packing list and keep reading for more great tips on family travel!