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The Best Beach Towns in South Carolina 

With its white sand beaches, mouthwatering sea-to-table eateries, and more than 2,876 miles of tidal coastline, South Carolina is a seaside paradise! It’s time to find out all about the best beach towns in South Carolina.

Are you dreaming of your next holiday? Then consider visiting beautiful South Carolina! With its serene shores and pristine, sandy beaches, there is no better place for an exciting, warm-weather getaway.

There are so many amazing beach towns in South Carolina

From surfer’s paradise Folly Beach, to the vibrant culinary scene and world-class shopping of Charleston, this is a state that has SO much to offer! 

I’m going to run you through the best beach towns in South Carolina. It’s been hard narrowing it down as there are lots to pick from.

Hilton Head Island lighthouse
The iconic lighthouse on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina

There are also lots of tips for the best places to visit in South Carolina, as well as recommendations for hotels, restaurants and activities. By the end of this guide you’ll be ready to plan the ultimate beach getaway!

Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular beach cities in South Carolina

Weather in South Carolina

Summers are hot and humid in South Carolina. The best time to visit for warm weather activities is from May till August when daily temperatures average 28°C. You might want to avoid July which is the hottest and wettest month. 

Winters in South Carolina are cold and windy. The weather is more unpredictable during the winter months. Temperatures generally average between 5°C to 7°C. From December to February, you can even expect snow. 

The Most Amazing Beach Towns in South Carolina 

Pawleys Island

The South Carolina beach town of Pawleys Island is considered to be one of the east coast’s oldest summer resorts. This picturesque town features plenty of historic landmarks, well-preserved natural areas and sandy beaches. 

Pawleys Island
Pawleys Island is a lovely beach town in South Carolina

Treat yourself to a luxurious stay at any of the exquisite beachside hotels and cottage rentals. Also, make sure you visit the beautiful Brookgreen Gardens. During the summer, the gardens are lit up at night in an amazing light show!  


Bluffton is a charming small town located minutes from Hilton Head Island. It’s the perfect place to book a holiday if you want to experience the small town Southern lifestyle, while still being close to the ocean. 

Bluffton has a lot of old-world charm

There are countless fun things to do and see in Bluffton. Spend time exploring the historic churches, unique artisan shops and locally-owned restaurants. Also, don’t miss local favourite, the Burnt Church Distillery for speciality cocktails and delicious cooking in a historic building.

Hilton Head Island

Lovingly nicknamed “America’s Favourite Island”, Hilton Head is one of the best places to visit In South Carolina if you’re looking for a holiday that combines modern comfort with fun outdoor activities. Visit Hilton Head and you can experience for yourself the beautiful, white-sand beaches, luxurious hotels and resorts and world-class golf courses. 

Hilton Head Island
There’s a lot of natural beauty in Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island ibis
Hilton Head Island is a great place for wildlife including seeing ibis

Hilton Head is also one of the best coastal towns in South Carolina to spot dolphins. They’re best seen from the water, so I’d suggest booking onto a guided dolphin tour. You’ll get to watch the playful bottlenose dolphins in their own environment, while learning all about the fascinating history of Hilton Head from a local guide.

Murrells Inlet

Are you hoping to indulge in some of South Carolina’s famous lowcountry cuisine? Then you simply must visit Murrells Inlet. This is one of the best coastal towns in South Carolina for seafood!

Murrells Inlet
Murrells Inlet is a gorgeous place to visit

Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach is one of the best coastal towns in South Carolina for families. It’s a great place to visit if you have kids in tow thanks to its clean, well-tended beach and gentle waters.

Edisto Beach
Enjoy white sandy beaches in Edisto Beach

There are countless fun activities to enjoy here too. You could visit secluded beaches, take a dolphin and whale watching tour or visit one of the historic plantation houses. 

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is one of the best places to visit in South Carolina for surfing. It also happens to be the closest beach to Charleston.

Folly Beach view
Folly Beach is one of the best South Carolina beaches to visit

Folly Beach is a family-friendly beach town with some of the best surfing along the South Carolina coast. There’s also excellent pier and surf fishing, along with a broad variety of dining options. You’ll find everything from tiny crab shacks serving up fresh seafood to fine-dining restaurants along the water. 

Folly Beach
The pier on Folly Beach

Fancy an adventure? Try stand-up paddle boarding! On this fun guided tour, you’ll learn the basics of SUPing while paddling alongside bottlenose dolphins and other South Carolina wildlife! 

Folly Beach Marina
Folly Beach has a marina too

Myrtle Beach

No list of the best beach towns in South Carolina would be complete without Myrtle Beach. Well, officially this one is actually a city! Thanks to its sprawling bays, lush natural wonders and exciting attractions, Myrtle Beach is the perfect place to plan your next seaside holiday.

Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach

If you’re looking for something a little different, how about checking out the award-winning show, Carolina Opry. This award-winning show features 35 of the nation’s most talented performers! It’s a high-energy music, comedy and dance extravaganza, located in a charming theatre in downtown Myrtle Beach. 

Pretty skies at Myrtle Beach
Pretty skies at Myrtle Beach

Isle of Palms

The Isle of Palms is one of the best coastal towns to visit in South Carolina if you want to be near historic Charleston. With a beautiful beach, championship golf and tennis clubs and a marina, Isle of Palms offers a wide variety of fun activities.

Isle of Palms
The Isle of Palms is one of the prettiest South Carolina coastal towns

Sullivan’s Island 

This scenic two-and-a-half mile long barrier island is located in the Charleston Harbour area. Come for a visit and you can enjoy that charming, small-town feel while still being close to all the fantastic restaurants, shops and entertainment of Downtown Charleston! 

Sullivan’s Island lighthouse
Sullivan’s Island has a famous lighthouse

On top of its picture-perfect beaches, Sullivan’s Island has a surprisingly rich culinary scene. Be sure to visit the eclectic Obstinate Daughter, lovingly nicknamed “the Food Fort” by locals. It’s famed for its excellent seafood and wood-fired pizzas. 

Kiawah Island 

One of the best beach towns in South Carolina is Kiawah Island. In fact, it’s been voted one of the top 10 beaches in the whole of the United States. Wander its spectacular sandy beaches and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of dolphins playing in the surf!

Kiawah Island
There are miles of pristine beaches on Kiawah Island

With miles of unspoiled beaches, nature walks, a wide variety of dining options and world-class golf courses (over 5 to choose from!) Kiawah Island offers endless activities for both couples and families. 

Where to stay on the beach in South Carolina

The Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa 

Located right on the sandy shores of Hilton Head, the 5-star Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa is ideal for a luxurious holiday. With 3 pools, 4 restaurants and an outside bar, there will be plenty to keep you busy on your holiday!

Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa
The Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa is ideal if you’re planning a South Carolina beach holiday

All the guest rooms are spacious and modern, with floor to ceiling windows. Plus, many of them boast beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Anderson Ocean Club and Spa

Anderson Ocean Club and Spa is a luxurious seaside hotel just a 10 minute walk from famous Myrtle Beach. At this upscale resort, you’ll enjoy top-class amenities including beach-front access, an indoor and outdoor pool, a full-service spa and unlimited mini golf just across the street.

Anderson Ocean Club and Spa by Oceana Resorts
Anderson Ocean Club and Spa by Oceana Resorts is right on the beach

If you’re looking for fun, family-friendly activities you’ll find both Myrtle Waves Water Park and the Ripley’s Aquarium just a short drive from the hotel. 

Sweetgrass Inn – A Wild Dunes Resort 

Sweetgrass Inn is a charming resort located just a 5-minute walk from the beach, close to the beautiful Isle of Palms. This upscale, 4-star hotel features 5 amazing outdoor swimming pools, elegantly furnished guest rooms, a fitness centre and several tennis courts.

Wild Dunes Resort - Sweetgrass Inn and Boardwalk Inn
Wild Dunes Resort is a very cute hotel in South Carolina

Downtown historic Charleston is just a 15-minute drive away with its buzzing restaurants and bars and boutique shops. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to the best beach towns in South Carolina.

Visit any of these South Carolina beaches and coastal towns and you’re sure to enjoy an amazing holiday filled with sand, surf and sunshine!

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