Best Beaches in Charleston, South Carolina

5 Best Beaches in Charleston, South Carolina to Get to by Boat

Written by Boatsetter Team
April 12, 2022

Last Updated on April 14, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

Charleston, South Carolina, is the largest city in South Carolina. Its nickname is the “Holy City” because of its many churches. It is also known for its well-preserved architecture and its historical and cultural significance.

Charleston is home to several colleges and universities, including the College of Charleston, The Citadel, and MUSC. The city is also a major tourist destination, with over 4 million visitors each year.

The city is home to many historic landmarks and various beach options. For boaters, Charleston has several marinas and a large harbor. Whether you enjoy fishing, swimming, or simply exploring, Charleston’s beaches have something for everyone. The barrier islands have amazing fishing, kayaking, boating opportunities, and some of the world’s best beaches.

Start your Charleston adventure on the water by exploring these five best beaches:

  1. Folly Beach
  2. Isle of Palms
  3. Sullivan’s Island
  4. Kiawah Island
  5. Edisto Beach

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1. Folly Beach

Folly Beach near Charleston, South Carolina

Folly Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Charleston area. It is on Morris Island, a barrier island off the coast near Charleston with six miles of coastline.

The beach is known for its vibrant nightlife, fishing pier, and surfing. Folly Beach is also home to the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission’s Aquarium and Wildlife Center. Folly Beach borders the Atlantic Ocean, the Cooper River, and Folly Inlet.

Folly Beach is home to the Morris Island Lighthouse, which was built in 1876. For boating, there is the Charleston Harbor Marina. Via boat, the easiest access to Morris Island is through the creeks and rivers near the Island.

2. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms near Charleston, South Carolina

Isle of Palms is a barrier island, a quick drive from Mount Pleasant and about 13 miles from Charleston. It measures 7 miles in length and 3/4 of a mile wide. It is known as one of the best beaches near Charleston.

A vacation destination for more than 200 years, it is also home to many full-time residents and seasonal visitors.

Front Beach on the Isle of Palms is wide with gentle waves, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. The Back Beach is great for fishing, boating, and kayaking.

You can dock your boat at the Isle of Palms Marina. The marina also has a ship store, restaurants, and a fuel dock.

3. Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan's Island near Charleston, South Carolina

Sullivan’s Island is a beach town located in Charleston County, South Carolina. It is one of the seven municipalities that make up the Charleston metro area. The town is situated on a small island just off the coast.

Sullivan’s Island has a unique place in American history. Fort Moultrie was the site of one of the principal battles of the revolutionary war. One beach to explore on Sullivan’s Island is Station 28 Beach Park.

This beach has a concession stand, showers, and public restrooms. The Island also has several restaurants and cafes along its main strip. You can dock your boat at the Isle of Palms Marina.

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4. Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island near Charleston, South Carolina

Kiawah Island is a barrier island off the coast of Charleston. It’s about 30 miles from Charleston, and it is home to some of the world’s rich and famous.

You can spend time at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort or explore the island. Its coast is 10 miles long and has some seriously gorgeous mansions. While most of the beaches are private, Beachwalker Park is the only public beach on the island.

Kiawah Island is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. You can also find several restaurants on the island.

5. Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach near Charleston, South Carolina

Edisto Beach is further out from Charleston, about 50 miles. It’s a small beach town with a population of about 350 people. This family-friendly area measures around six miles.

The town is situated on Edisto Island, which is a barrier island. The island is home to Edisto Beach State Park, which has a playground, picnic tables, and grills. The beach is wide and sandy with gentle waves, making it ideal for younger swimmers or for simply relaxing by the water. For boaters to Edisto Beach, there is the Edisto Marina. The marina has a ship store, restaurants, and a fuel dock.

Ready to explore some of the best beaches Charleston has to offer? With a local Boatsetter boat rental, you can visit these beaches with a sailboat, fishing boat, catamaran, yacht, and many other boat types!

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