Myrtle Beach
Photo: Buck eye Sail boat/Fotolia

South Carolina is a popular playground for vacationers from all over the United States. Filled with pristine beaches, towering sand dunes, and dense maritime forests, the state boasts several famous resort areas. Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach are some of the most well-known beach destinations in South Carolina, but beach lovers can find plenty of other spots to soak in some stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Here are the best South Carolina beaches.

»Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms


Isle of Palms is an upscale resort area located 12 miles from downtown Charleston. Surrounded by several iconic seaside destinations, Isle of Palms is home to nearly 3,000 acres of homes, stores, beaches, and parks and prides itself on being the perfect getaway for travelers of all ages.

There are a handful of classy hotels and inns located on Isle of Palms as well as a large golf course, while Wild Dunes Resort, a highly exclusive community of rental apartments and homes, is located directly on the beach. Isle of Palms holds exciting events and festivals throughout the year, and visitors have plenty of opportunities to stay entertained. Photo: Matty Symons/Fotolia

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»Folly Beach

Folly Beach


Folly Beach is a popular place for watersports like boating, kayaking, and surfing. Known as ‘the Edge of America’, boat tours near Folly Beach take guests to several picturesque areas. The backwaters of Folly Island and the Morris Island Lighthouse are a couple points of interest along the way.

To get more time out on the water, visitors can sign up for sailing lessons with local instructors. Fishing is another popular activity at Folly Beach and there are areas for deep-sea fishing, pier fishing, river fishing, and more. Paddleboarding, bicycling, camping, and picnicking are some of the other fun pastimes visitors can enjoy at Folly Beach. Photo: shantihesse/Fotolia

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»Hilton Head

Hilton Head

Celebrated as one of the premiere vacation spots on the East Coast, Hilton Head is filled with pristine beaches, spacious parks, and beautiful scenic areas. In total, Hilton Head boasts more than 12 miles of tranquil beaches. Travelers can stay busy by indulging in a myriad of fun activities such as swimming, surfing, sunbathing, paddleboarding, boating, fishing, and playing among the beachside sand dunes.

Many of Hilton Head's beaches have designated photographers who are on hand to capture special moments among families and friends. Since the island was built to accommodate tourists, it is easy to get from place to place. Visitors will have no problem finding restaurants, nightlife, and family-friendly entertainment. Photo: David /Fotolia

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»Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park


Huntington Beach State Park is an ideal destination for a getaway with family and friends. All kinds of fun activities, such as swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife spotting, are available at this picturesque state park. The park also has wireless Internet access, restrooms, picnic areas, and a beachside gift shop for guests' convenience.

There are areas within the park for camping and all parts of Huntington Beach State Park are pet friendly. Huntington Beach State Park is open from 6 am to 6 pm daily throughout the year. Admission rates are not more than $5, and children under the age of five can enter the park for free. Photo: Michael Ballard/Fotolia

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»Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach

Known as one of the few non-commercialized beaches in South Carolina, Edisto Beach is a tranquil destination for individuals, honeymooners, and families. The beach is lined with cozy vacation rentals, upscale restaurants, and other fun attractions. Edisto Beach boasts plenty of spots for camping, bicycling, playing golf, and fishing.

Visitors can go on boat tours to enjoy views of the coastline and take walks along the pier for gorgeous sunset vistas. Swimming is permitted at Edisto Beach, but visitors enter the water at their own risk as there are no lifeguards on duty. Edisto Beach also has lots of scenic spots for wedding and family photography. Photo: jon bilous/Fotolia

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»Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island


Kiawah Island sits just 25 miles from downtown Charleston. Known for its thriving tourism industry and natural beauty, Kiawah Island is a popular destination for families, couples, and individuals. Maritime forests, rolling sand dunes, and carefully preserved marshes are some of the main attractions in the area.

At the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean while playing on one of the area's premier golf courses. Four other golf courses are located on Kiawah Island, and there are multiple hotels and vacation rentals spread throughout the town. Photo: digidreamgrafix/Fotolia

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»Murrells Inlet

Murrells Inlet


Murrells Inlet is a historical little fishing town situated 10 miles from Myrtle Beach. Beloved by artists, solace-seekers, and outdoor enthusiasts, Murrells Inlet is in the midst of a revitalization effort to attract more residents, travelers, and businesses with its Murrells Inlet 2020 plan.

For tourists, there are plenty of hotels in the area as well as restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, and parks. Murrells Inlet holds exciting events throughout the year to celebrate holidays and to bring the community together for good causes. A calendar of upcoming events is available on the Murrells Inlet website. Photo: crlocklear/Fotolia

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»Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach


Known as one of South Carolina's best beaches, Myrtle Beach is the perfect spot for a family vacation. On the beach itself, tourists can enjoy an array of watersports, including parasailing, jet skiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, SCUBA diving, and surfing.

There are also plenty of safe spots for swimming and wading. In the town of Myrtle Beach, guests will find all types of accommodation along with a range of restaurants, entertainment venues, parks, and more. Myrtle Beach is famous for its 50+ mini golf courses and Family Kingdom Amusement Park. For adventures outside the city limits, guests can join a local ATV or Jeep tour. Photo: Buck eye Sail boat/Fotolia

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»Seabrook

Seabrook


Seabrook Island is home to a 4-mile stretch of white sand beach. The island itself is divided into two beaches, Pelican Beach and North Beach. Most people head to Pelican to see some of the most spectacular sunsets on the East Coast, while North Beach is equally popular for its dramatic sunrises and rolling sand dunes.

Other attractions on Seabrook Island include a large equestrian center, a tournament-style tennis court, and two championship golf courses. Despite being a short drive from Charleston, Seabrook Island manages to maintain its beauty and quiet charm. Photo: Paul Wolf/Fotolia

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»Surfside

Surfside


Surfside Beach is celebrated as the top family destination in South Carolina. This lengthy white sand beach can be accessed from 36 different points around the city. Surfside Beach has a long pier lined with restaurants and fishing areas as well as a rental area where guests can pick up umbrellas and beach chairs for a small fee.

Watersports, fishing, beachcombing, and sunbathing are favorite pastimes among guests. There are hotels, resorts, inns, and vacation rentals surrounding the beach, and visitors can find all sorts of restaurants and entertainment venues in the town of Surfside. Photo: Erin Cadigan/Fotolia

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10 Best Beaches in South Carolina


  • Isle of Palms, Photo: Courtesy of Matty Symons - Fotolia.com
  • Folly Beach, Photo: Courtesy of shantihesse - Fotolia.com
  • Hilton Head, Photo: Courtesy of David - Fotolia.com
  • Huntington Beach State Park, Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ballard - Fotolia.com
  • Edisto Beach, Photo: Courtesy of jon bilous - Fotolia.com
  • Kiawah Island, Photo: Courtesy of digidreamgrafix - Fotolia.com
  • Murrells Inlet, Photo: Courtesy of crlocklear - Fotolia.com
  • Myrtle Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Buck eye Sail boat - Fotolia.com
  • Seabrook, Photo: Courtesy of Paul Wolf - Fotolia.com
  • Surfside, Photo: Courtesy of Erin Cadigan - Fotolia.com
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of Buck eye Sail boat - Fotolia.com