Whether you’re looking for wholesome family fun, a romantic escape, a sun-drenched party scene or an outdoor adventure, you’ll find it on the Atlantic Coast of South Carolina. Choose from the vibrant Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade, the historic homes and cobblestone streets in old Charleston, or the wild shores and white sands on the barrier islands. Wherever you stay, you’ll find the same warm Southern hospitality. Here’s our pick of the best beach hotels in South Carolina.
Experience the best of Southern living at this coastal hotel with a private beach overlooking Charleston Harbor and the city skyline. Don’t miss the Charleston Water Taxi, which will whisk you from the hotel marina to the Charleston Historic District, where the aristocratic homes and palmetto-lined avenues evoke the splendor and shadows of the antebellum south. While the hotel isn’t old, it’s in the style of the traditional Carolina Lowcountry homes, with a coastal palette in the rooms, all of which feature balconies or patios furnished with classic Adirondack chairs. The public spaces wow with high ceilings, plantation shutters and shady verandas ideal for sipping mint juleps.
Relax on this 7-acre (3ha) island between the Atlantic Ocean and White Point Swash, and choose from luxury villas, board-and-batten bungalows, townhouses and high-rise condos with scenic ocean views. The aesthetic is high-end, bright and beachy, with mellow yellow decor and soaking tubs. You’ll never tire of dipping in and out of the Caribbean-themed pool complex, with hot tubs and a swim-up bar for a cool beer. Finally, you can get in a workout at the on-site fitness center and reward yourself with a massage at the Cinzia Spa.
Narrow down the numerous villas by a preference for beach-chic or country-casual, but book one with an Atlantic Ocean view at this all-encompassing resort at the southern tip of South Carolina. If you love tennis, the two-bedroom tennis villas are steps from the multiple courts. Fit in a few sets before lunch at Jamaica Joe’z Beach Bar – fried clams, anyone? – or head to the largest beachfront pool on the island. But the beach is the main attraction, with uninterrupted white sand and pounding surf that makes Hilton Head one of the top vacation spots in America.
One mile (1.6km) from the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade, this mid-century-style high-rise covered with lime-green and blue balconies is the epitome of the all-American beach hotel. Between the eight-lane bowling alley, whimsical splash pad featuring toadstool sprinklers and a yellow submarine wreck (really), and many pools, the kids will never be bored. If they’re old enough to be left in your homey ocean-view suite, sneak to the Ocean’s 6 Bar and Lounge for a cooling beer or the hot tub for a relaxing soak.
You’d never guess that this secluded oceanfront resort is just 30 minutes from the lively boardwalks and nightclubs in Myrtle Beach. Separated from the mainland by the Waccamaw River tidal marshes, Pawleys Island and Litchfield Beach are virtually untouched by development. Fall into the slow rhythm of island life without missing out on modern thrills, such as swimming pools, restaurants and championship golf courses. Rent a bicycle to explore beyond the resort before relaxing in the ocean- or creek-view homes decked out in coastal shades of sky blue and sand; each unit has a porch – some are screened in – perfect for sipping your favorite tipple.
This beachfront resort offers a laid-back island atmosphere, 3mi (5km) from the shaded walkways of the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. Feel the ocean breeze and the sand between your toes as you sip your Charleston daiquiri at the atmospheric Tiki Hut beach bar before sampling Southern comfort food at the Porch Southern Kitchen and Bar. Enjoy some slow-cooked Carolina barbecue with all the sides, including fresh coleslaw, bourbon beans, and creamy mac and cheese. Contemporary, cottagey rooms with coastal accents may prove hard to leave.
This glamorous coastal hotel with wood and metal accents in rooms checks off all the luxuries on your list – beach access, balconies, ocean views, a seafront spa and more. On the quieter side of the Strand, this beach hotel is only a 10-minute drive from the classic coastal attractions in Myrtle Beach, from the whirring SkyWheel to Broadway at the Beach. Had your fill of sightseeing? Lounge under the blue umbrellas at the tropical-style waterfront pool complex, dotted with artificial, palm-studded islands, while sipping a glass of something long and strong.
This 387-room tower rises above the golden sands of the Grand Strand, so you can watch the waves rolling in from the balcony of your modern room as you sip a glass of something sparkling. If you’re feeling laid-back, rent a poolside cabana; if not, try out all nine pools at the Splash! Waterpark next door. If this isn’t relaxing enough, a deep-tissue massage at Spa33 should have you snoozing within seconds. Also, dip your toe in the beachy scene, as this stretch of Myrtle Beach is only a short seven-minute drive from the buzz of the boardwalk.
For more options, discover our guide to the best hotels in Mount Pleasant and book now on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.