From full-energy beach bars to tranquilly wooded waterfront walks, these beaches compose the best areas for fun and sun that Charleston has to offer. Check out the Windjammer, a vibrant beach club in Isle of Palms, or kick back and relax with a drink on a screen porch in Kiawah. Either way, Charleston’s beaches will make your day.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Just a few miles outside of downtown Charleston is Bull Island, which is nothing short of an outdoors-man’s delight. Adventurers can rejoice in kayak tours, bird watching, or self-guided hikes through its many waterfront trails. The barrier island features a plentiful variety of wildlife creatures such as dolphins and sea turtles, all spectacular to behold as part of a memorable vacationing experience. Visit its Martello Tower, an old Civil War relic, for an alternative to Fort Sumter in the event that the crowds are too thick.
Kiawah is one of the best barrier islands in the country. Its sheer lack of commercialization, peaceful summertime breezes, and friendly locals each work in sync and contribute to the ideal island experience. This beach has not only assumed a ranking as one of America’s Top 10 Beaches on numerous occasions in the past, but Kiawah is also home to several incredibly respectable golf courses. Keep in mind that Kiawah is technically a gated beach with many private homes – but don’t forget, it’s this very privacy that makes the beach so perfectly serene.
Isle of Palms
Kayak rentals, boating tours, beach volleyball courts, and several beachfront bars occupy Isle of Palms, one of Charleston’s favorite beaches. Roughly six miles of seashell lined shores make up the beach at Isle of Palms; there’s no shortage of space for visitors. Grab a towel and lay out – Isle of Palms is overloaded with several beach-side showers and public restrooms, so there’s no need to rush your stay. Check out the Windjammer, a local beach bar known to draw celebrities and some of the best live music Charleston has to offer.
Sullivan’s Island is a vastly popular Charleston beach, but you’re likely to find more friendly locals than fumbling tourists here. The scenic beach stretches across the horizon and provides breathtaking views of Fort Sumter, Morris Island Lighthouse, and Charleston’s pristine Battery Row. Sunsets on Sullivan’s Island are sublime, and the inward street blocks are relaxed and private. Sandbars penetrate the ocean surface for hundreds of yards out and are conducive to puddle-filled strolls. Before you start your day and bust out the morning mimosas, remember that Sullivan’s Island has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol.
This beach is strictly non-commercialized and prominently family occupied. Residents seeking a getaway from their getaway should revel in its close-by location. Nonetheless, you won’t hear many loud sounds at this waterfront barrier beach. The gentle beach community is home to the Edisto River, a 206-mile free-flowing stream that pours out into the beautiful marshes of the Atlantic. Nature trails and long walks are the norm here, so grab a companion and be sure to see all Edisto has to offer with your very own feet.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
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.