The Best Beach Hotels to Book in South Carolina

While away your days poolside at the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes
While away your days poolside at the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes | Courtesy of Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes / Expedia
Photo of Anna Laird Barto
4 January 2022
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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.

The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, Mount Pleasant, for elegant coastal charm

A covered outdoor sitting area with pool and marina views at the Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
Courtesy of The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina / Expedia

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.

North Beach Resort and Villas, North Myrtle Beach, for Caribbean-island vibes

A large, beach-inspired living space with a balcony and ocean views at North Beach Resort and Villas
Courtesy of North Beach Resort and Villas / Expedia

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.

Hilton Head Island Beach and Tennis Resort, for close-to-the-courts villas

Buildings at the Hilton Head Island Beach and Tennis Resort overlooking the water with a small grassy bank area
Courtesy of Hilton Head Island Beach and Tennis Resort / Expedia

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.

Coral Beach Resort and Suites, Myrtle Beach, for family-friendly fun

A cozy living room with a balcony and ocean views at the Coral Beach Resort and Suites
Courtesy of Coral Beach Resort and Suites / Expedia

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.

Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort, Pawleys Island, for splendid isolation

The outdoor lazy river and pool area with palms at the Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort
Courtesy of Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort / Expedia

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.

Holiday Inn Resort Beach House, Hilton Head Island, for Lowcountry coastal charm

The beachfront pool area at the Holiday Inn Resort Beach House
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Resort Beach House / Expedia

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.

Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes, for white-sand views

An elegant guest room with partial ocean views at the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes
Courtesy of Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes / Expedia

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.

Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, for the high-rise high life

A bright living room with a balcony and ocean views at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort
Courtesy of Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort / Expedia

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.

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