15 Best Beaches In South Carolina To Catch A Tan On Your Vacation

By Dhruvalakshmi Paithankar on Dec 12, 2019
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South Carolina is a little slice of paradise for beachgoers and tan-catchers. Pretty coastlines dotted with beautiful beaches define this US state and attract millions of tourists every year. With numerous options to choose from, these South Carolina beaches cater to all types of travelers. If you are interested in entertainment and water-sports, then Myrtle Beach has experiences ideal for every taste. Those looking for leisure and peace can seek abode at Hunting Island State Park. Wondering which is the best destination for you? Check this detailed list of best beaches in South Carolina and your beach-y vacay is guaranteed to be a fun-filled one!

1. Myrtle Beach

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Known for its 60-mile long stretch of ‘The Grand Strand’, Myrtle Beach comprises of several beaches dotting its coastline. Warm water during summers and mild temperatures in winters are enough to attract millions of tourists here every year.

Myrtle Beach is rightfully one of the best family beaches in South Carolina as it is packed with activities ideal for every age group. If you are interested in water sports, then everything from scuba diving, jet-skiing, surfing to paddle boarding and parasailing can be enjoyed here. Be it the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum or Family Kingdom Amusement Park located a stone’s throw away, these family-friendly destinations ensure that kids will have fun to their heart’s content.

Do not miss the chance to stroll along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade and take a ride in SkyWheel Myrtle Beach.

2. Folly Beach

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The white sandy stretch of Folly Beach is always bustling with locals and tourists alike, making it one of the best South Carolina beaches. Defined by the iconic Folly Beach Pier, this beach area has so many experiences to offer.

Make the most of your time here by surfing and kayaking or simply take one of the boat tours to get away from all the hustle and bustle. Whether you are interested in deep-sea fishing or pier fishing, Folly Beach will give you a chance to do it all. With numerous cafes, bars, and shops lining the shores, you will find a plethora of entertainment options to choose from.

Folly Beach is also one of the few dog-friendly beaches in South Carolina. So, if you are a pet parent, this is the place to be!

3. Isle of Palms

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The upscale city full of beachfront houses, resorts, and restaurants, Isle of Palms is everything a beach-goer wants. This is a resort community where beaches are also decked up in all things pretty.

When it comes to water sports and adventure activities, Front Beach makes your vacation in South Carolina complete. Isle of Palms County Park is ideal when you want to combine leisure and fun. Wild Dunes is your answer if you are looking forward to everything chic and modern.

No doubt it has become one of the top family-friendly destinations in South Carolina with its vast golf course, hotels, and a number of other entertainment opportunities.

4. Kiawah Island

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Kiawah Island is home to some of the prettiest beaches in South Carolina. But it offers public access to only one beach located at the island’s west end.

If you want to chase the sunsets, take leisurely strolls on the shore, or swim in the ocean, head off to Kiawah Island! It also welcomes on-leash dogs making it a favorite destination for dog lovers. The island itself is home to sand dunes, maritime forests, and different marshes where you will get to see seabirds, turtles, along with whitetail deer.

While exploring the Kiawah island, places like Beachwalker Park and different golf courses will keep you engaged and entertained.

5. Edisto Beach

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When you visit Edisto Beach, you will be warmly greeted with pristine beauty that is still away from the horde of tourists and that makes it one of the best South Carolina beach spots.

If you are looking for a romantic getaway or a vacation laze around and catch some tan, Edisto Beach is your destination. You will find so many pretty beachfront vacation rentals around here that it will be hard to decide where to stay. But, wherever you stay, do not miss the glorious sunrise views that Edisto Beach is known for.

Go fishing, take boat tours, and build sandcastles while vacationing on Edisto Beach and it will be a memorable vacation.

6. Hunting Island State Park

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Exploring 5,000 acres of the Hunting Island State Park is a treat for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts. One of the popular beach destinations in South Carolina, this park manages to take you away from all the touristy chaos.

Marked by the historic Hunting Island Lighthouse, climbing to the top of this lighthouse to soak in the panoramic vistas is amongst the top things to do when you are here. Different camping sites in the park will let you stay closer to the beach to make the best of your vacation in South Carolina.

You can also choose one of the hiking and biking trails around the beach to explore its pristine beauty to the fullest.

7. Sullivan’s Island

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Sullivan’s Island is easily one of the top lesser-known beach destinations in South Carolina where you can experience a good old sun and sand vacation.

Even though it is less than half an hour away from Charleston, you will not find any resorts or modern amenities here. Sullivan’s Island charm lies in its simplicity and the lack of infrastructure ensures you get to be closer to nature.

You will come across several local restaurants and cafes where fresh seafood will pamper your taste buds. Do not miss a chance to explore Fort Moultrie after all the lazing around and you will get to step back in time.

8. Hilton Head Island

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Hilton Head Island is a lovely town famous for its sprawling beach parks. The whole island has so many resorts, restaurants, and golf courses that it has transformed into one of the famous beaches in South Carolina over the years.

Though commercialized, Hilton Head has succeeded in maintaining its natural charm. Its Coligny Beach Park, with all the beach amenities, is popular amongst families. Burkes Beach is ideal for those who are looking for peaceful corners. Nature lovers can head off to Fish Haul Beach Park whereas leisure-seekers can visit Folly Field Beach Park.

Offering something for every type of traveler, Hilton Head Island is the best rightfully amongst the best beaches in South Carolina.

9. Seabrook Island

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Seabrook Island is a treat for beach enthusiasts as it is home to two equally beautiful and happening beaches. A must for your South Carolina itinerary, this island will make your vacation unforgettable with its unspoiled charm.

Pelican Beach and North Beach define Seabrook Island and are known as the family-friendly beaches in South Carolina. Spectacular sunsets and rolling sand dunes have become the identity of this island. Spend some time exploring the island’s secret and you will realize its true beauty.

10. Murrells Inlet

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It is hard to believe that a pretty fishing town like Murrells Inlet exists only a few miles away from the popular Myrtle beach. One of the truly hidden beaches in South Carolina, Murrells Inlet is worth exploring.

A dream-come-true for outdoor lovers, an adventure for adrenaline-seekers, and a beauty for romantic souls, this tiny inlet is a must-visit for every South Carolina tourist. Offering a perfect mix of delicious seafood, live beachfront entertainment, and water activities, Murrells Inlet will cater to your every need.

Enjoy every bit of The Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk and take a tour of sculptures and botanical Brookgreen Gardens while you are here to make the most of your vacation.

11. Surfside

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Visit Surfside during your trip to South Carolina and you will understand why it is popularly and rightfully nicknamed as ‘The Family Beach’.

Its long sandy coastline is accessible from more than 25 different points, allowing more and more people to explore the beach. The picturesque fishing pier, luxury resorts, cozy vacation rentals, and a plethora of entertainment venues make this a bustling place to visit. Even though family-friendly, you will find all types of travelers here including honeymooners, solo tourists, and backpackers.

Even though Surfside suffered some damage during Hurricane Matthew, it has recovered from it and now offers even more activities than before.

12. Burkes Beach

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Even though a part of Hilton Head, Burkes Beach deserves a special mention on this list of best beaches in South Carolina. This is a little slice of paradise for those looking to get away from all the hustle and bustle.

Its long sandy stretch provides a postcard-perfect setting and is ideal for taking long walks with your loved ones. Paved as well as sandy trails around the beach area will give you a chance to explore the best corners of the beach effortlessly.

Keep in mind that even if there are outdoor showers on Burkes Beach, you may not find all the beach amenities around here.

13. Cherry Grove Beach

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Those who think that the tiny sandy shore of Cherry Grove Beach has nothing to offer are in for a surprise. This hidden area is located right next to the popular North Myrtle Beach and is overshadowed by its popularity.

The Cherry Grove Pier that marks the beach and local cafes that adorn this area make sure that you can soak in the local flavor. Out of all the South Carolina beaches, only a handful are truly away from commercialization and Cherry Grove Beach tops that list.

The lesser crowd, tranquil vibes, and stunning views - this defines Cherry Grove Beach perfectly!

14. Pawleys Island

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The serene charm of Pawleys Island makes it a perfect destination for leisure seekers. Even though it is considered to be one of the oldest resort areas in South Carolina, the lack of commercial development today keeps it peaceful.

There are many who ask if South Carolina has any white-sand beaches. For those, the shores of Pawleys Island coated with powdery sand make for some of the few white-sand beaches in South Carolina. You may not find many things to do around here, but you can laze on the beach and catch a tan to your heart’s content.

So, when you are looking for peaceful getaways in South Carolina, Pawleys Island is the place to be!

15. Litchfield Beach

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Litchfield Beach is a ride away from Pawleys Island and is a stark contrast to the island’s white sandy shore. The first thing you will notice here are the shades of black and grey that dominate the sand.

It can be a perfect summer beach destination in South Carolina as it is never too crowded and yet has all the facilities. Be it swimming and fishing or kayaking and surfing, Litchfield will give you a chance to enjoy all the beach activities to the fullest.

Numerous golf courses are a stone’s throw away and fine-dining restaurants are ready to pamper you with delicious food. So, consider adding Litchfield Beach to your South Carolina trip plan.

With so many options to choose from, your trip to South Carolina will be full of sun and sand.