best beaches for families in south carolina

Best Beaches for Families in South Carolina

Have you ever wondered which beach in South Carolina is perfect for families? With 187 miles of beautiful coastline, South Carolina is a hub of family-friendly beaches. You can find energetic boardwalks at places like Myrtle Beach or choose the calm of Sullivan’s Island. The state has everything needed for a perfect vacation, no matter your age.

South Carolina’s beaches are ideal for family fun or quiet relaxation. You can enjoy sunbathing, water sports, and delicious seafood. From the lively Grand Strand to the peaceful Edisto Beach, this state has all you need for a great family getaway. Let’s explore and find the best spot for your family’s beach adventure!

Key Takeaways

  • South Carolina boasts 187 miles of picturesque Atlantic shoreline.
  • Beaches like Myrtle Beach and Sullivan’s Island cater to both energetic and tranquil family retreats.
  • Activities range from sunbathing and water sports to fresh seafood dining.
  • The state offers diverse beach experiences, from the bustling Grand Strand to the serene Edisto Beach.
  • Ideal destination for family beach vacations offering a combination of sun, surf, and relaxation.

Myrtle Beach: A Premier Family Destination

Myrtle Beach, with its 60-mile Grand Strand, is a top family destination in SC. It’s filled with fun things for kids and adults. You can enjoy mini-golf, water parks, and amusement areas by the sea. The mix of excitement and calm draws many families here.

Activities and Attractions

The beach is perfect for families, offering countless activities. Kids love building sandcastles and flying kites. Myrtle Beach also has an aquarium for exploring sea life. The boardwalk is lined with shops and places to eat, making it a great spot for family time.

Family-Friendly Resorts

Staying at a family-friendly resort is key for a Myrtle Beach trip. These resorts offer big rooms, pools for kids, and fun activities. They mix luxury with family needs for a memorable vacation.

Resort Name Amenities Rating
Dunes Village Resort Indoor Water Park, Kids’ Club, Beachfront Access 4.5 Stars
Sea Crest Oceanfront Resort Children’s Pool, On-Site Dining, Live Entertainment 4 Stars

Pet-Friendly Policies

Myrtle Beach is also great for pet lovers. While pets are not allowed in summer, they are welcome off-season. This is a big plus for families who like traveling with their pets to one of SC’s best family spots.

Hilton Head Island: Coligny Beach Park

Hilton Head Island is a key spot for families wanting a great beach vacation. Coligny Beach Park shines as a top choice among Hilton Head’s family-friendly beaches in SC. It’s known for its wide variety of amenities and attractions nearby that appeal to everyone in the family.

Amenities and Services

At Coligny Beach Park, there are many offerings to make your day perfect. Families will love the clean changing rooms and handy outdoor showers. Plus, there’s free Wi-Fi for those who want to stay online.

This park is accessible for all. There are beach mats for those in wheelchairs or with strollers. And for those looking to relax, shaded seating areas await with beautiful ocean views.

Nearby Attractions

Just a short walk from the park is Coligny Plaza. It’s a lively area full of shops and restaurants. Here, families can find everything from quick bites to fancy meals. It’s a perfect addition to a family beach vacation in SC.

Kids will be delighted with the sweet treats and beach toys available. For something more, there are world-class golf courses in Hilton Head. This offers an exciting alternative to a regular day at the beach, making the vacation even more memorable for everyone.

Kiawah Beachwalker Park: Natural Beauty and Adventure

Kiawah Beachwalker Park is located on Kiawah Island. It combines clear waters, green scenery, and lots of animals. It’s a top spot for families looking for fun and calm times at the best family-friendly beaches in South Carolina.

Nature Trails and Wildlife

Walking the park’s nature trails is a lesson in the island’s ecosystem. You’ll see many types of birds and animals here. It’s a great place for an authentic Kiawah Island adventure. Families love the birdwatching and exploring the marsh as fun, learning activities.

Swimming and Safety

This park has special swimming areas for safe water fun. Lifeguards keep watch, adding a safety boost. This makes it one of the best family-friendly beaches in South Carolina for swimming. Families enjoy the peaceful waters, knowing they’re looked after.

Overnight Accommodations

After all the outdoor fun, stay at nearby resorts for a luxury break. These places offer elegant rooms. It’s the perfect end to your Kiawah Island adventure. Choose a beach hotel or a quiet villa for your relaxation.

Feature Description
Nature Trails Rich in wildlife vistas and birdwatching spots
Swimming Areas Designated areas with lifeguards for safety
Accommodations Luxurious resorts and beachfront hotels

Isle of Palms: Perfect for Families

The Isle of Palms is close to Charleston and perfect for family vacations. It mixes a great beach with lots to do nearby. This makes it a top spot for those wanting family fun and a nice beach.

Beach Access and Parking

Getting to Isle of Palms beach is easy with well-placed access points. They’re good for families lugging around beach gear. Plus, there’s plenty of parking close to the shore. This means more time to enjoy the waves and sunshine.

Activities and Facilities

The beach has everything families need for a fun day. Lifeguards watch over swimmers for safety. Plus, there are volleyball courts and playgrounds for the kids. This makes Isle of Palms perfect for all age groups wanting a good time.

Accommodation Options

There are many places to stay in Isle of Palms that fit any budget. You can pick from beachfront rentals or luxury hotels. Families can find the ideal place to stay. This makes for a relaxing and memorable vacation.

Edisto Beach: Laid-back Charm

Edisto Beach captures the relaxed charm of family-friendly beaches in South Carolina. It is perfect for families looking for a calm escape by the coast. This spot offers unique things to do and a taste of local life.

Wildlife Tours and Activities

At Edisto Island, families can dive into nature with various tours. They can go crabbing or spot dolphins, enjoying the area’s diverse wildlife. These activities help visitors make lasting memories.

Swimming and Safety Tips

Swimming is a top activity at Edisto Beach for everyone. It’s key to follow safety rules and listen to lifeguards. Stick to swimming in safe places and watch over kids closely. These steps keep you safe while having fun at this great SC beach.

Local Dining and Entertainment

At Edisto Beach, there are many great places to eat after beach time. You can choose from cozy seafood spots to fancy dinner places. Fun family entertainments, like music and festivals, complete your wonderful day.

Activity Description Highlight
Wildlife Tours Explore the rich biodiversity through guided tours Crabbing, dolphin watching
Swimming Safe, designated areas for family swimming Clear waters, lifeguarded sections
Dining Variety of dining experiences, from casual to elegant Local seafood delicacies

Folly Beach: The “Edge of America”

Folly Beach is a short drive from Charleston in South Carolina. It’s known as a top spot for family beach trips. Here, excitement and chill-out time blend perfectly. Families come here for great adventures and relaxing together.

Folly Beach water sports

Surfing and Water Sports

At Folly Beach, water sports are a big deal. You can try paddleboarding, kite surfing, and more. The waves suit everyone, from newbies to pros. There are surf schools for all ages, so everyone can have fun and learn safely.

Marine Life Exploration

Exploring marine life here is amazing. You can rent kayaks or join tours to see dolphins and sea turtles. It’s both fun and educational. This adventure truly adds value to your family vacation.

Must-Visit Attractions

Visiting Folly Beach means seeing its special places. The Morris Island Lighthouse is great for family photos. The Folly Beach Pier is a long path over the ocean. It’s perfect for fishing, walking, and seeing beautiful sunsets. These spots are why Folly Beach is unforgettable, blending history, nature, and fun.

Activity Description
Surfing Perfect waves for beginners and experts, with available lessons.
Kayaking Paddle through creeks and marshes to observe marine life.
Eco-Tours Guided tours to explore and learn about local ecosystems.
Morris Island Lighthouse Historic landmark offering scenic views and photographic opportunities.
Folly Beach Pier A serene place for fishing, walking, and sunset watching.

Surfside Beach: The Family Beach

Surfside Beach is affectionately called “The Family Beach” for a reason. It’s an ideal spot for family fun. The beach is famous for its warm welcome and great facilities.

It’s the perfect place to make memories. You can enjoy exciting water activities or learn about local culture. There’s never a dull moment at Surfside Beach.

Kid-friendly Activities

There are plenty of fun things for kids to do at Surfside Beach. Youngsters love the playgrounds and splash pads. They’re safe places for them to play.

Older kids might prefer paddleboarding or kayaking. The beach is also perfect for building sandcastles and playing games.

Local Events and Festivals

Surfside Beach is known for its fun events. There are summer concerts, art fairs, and parades. These events make the area lively and exciting.

There are also markets and food festivals. These events let you experience the area’s unique flavors and crafts.

If you’re considering a family trip to South Carolina, Surfside Beach is a top pick. It offers plenty of fun activities and events. Plus, it’s a safe place, thanks to the lifeguard services. Each trip here is full of surprises and great memories. It’s a fantastic place for a family adventure.

Hunting Island State Park: Nature’s Retreat

Experience the wild beauty of South Carolina’s coast at Hunting Island State Park. It’s an untouched haven for nature enthusiasts, young and old. Families can enjoy a mix of exciting adventures and peaceful moments here.

Camping and Outdoor Adventures

Camping at Hunting Island allows you to connect with nature. You can choose from various campsites. These are perfect for experienced campers and those new to camping. It’s a great way to explore nature, filled with a variety of plants and animals.

Hiking Trails and Lighthouse Visits

Take a walk on the park’s beautiful trails. These paths show off its rich scenery and wildlife. Don’t miss the chance to climb up the historic lighthouse. From there, you can see stunning views of the coast. It’s an experience your family will always remember.

Nearby Beaufort Attractions

Beaufort is a short ride away and is known for its historic charm. It welcomes visitors with beautiful old streets, unique shops, and places to eat. This nearby town adds more to your coastal adventure.

Pawleys Island: Secluded and Serene

Pawleys Island is famous for its peace and untouched beauty. It’s a perfect place for people who love tranquility. It stands out because of its quiet, almost hidden, beaches. These beaches are great for the whole family.

Pawleys Island tranquility

Beach Activities and Shelling

The large, wide beaches of Pawleys Island are great for shelling. Families love to walk on these soft sands and pick up pretty shells. It’s a special way to feel the peace that Pawleys Island offers.

Gardens and Indoor Activities

Pawleys Island has more than just beaches. It’s home to Brookgreen Gardens. These gardens have art, beautiful plants, and peace. You can enjoy the beauty inside and outside.

Dining Options

There are many great places to eat in Pawleys Island. You can enjoy local seafood or traditional Southern food. The views from these restaurants are amazing. They add to the fun of visiting this friendly island.

Sullivan’s Island: Local’s Favorite

Known for its local charm and easy access, Sullivan’s Island is perfect for a true coastal experience. It offers stunning views and chances to see wildlife. Plus, you’ll find great food at the island’s restaurants after a day of nature.

Beach Accessibility and Parking

Sullivan’s Island is easy to get to with plenty of parking. This is great for when the crowds pick up. The paths to the beach are well-kept, making it top choice for families in South Carolina.

Views and Wildlife Sightings

The island has amazing views, making it a paradise for nature lovers. It’s known for seeing lots of birds and sea animals. It’s a peaceful place, not too crowded, among other local beaches.

Dining Recommendations

There’s a lot to eat on Sullivan’s Island, from fresh seafood to fancy burgers. Places like The Obstinate Daughter and Poe’s Tavern are great choices. They’re the perfect end to a day at one of South Carolina’s best family beaches.

Feature Description
Accessibility Ample parking and well-maintained pathways
Views Stunning coastal vistas and wildlife sightings
Dining Diverse options including seafood and gourmet dishes

Best Beaches for Families in South Carolina: The Ultimate List

South Carolina has a beautiful coast, including top beaches for family trips. These beaches range from lively to peaceful. They offer something for everyone. Here is a detailed list of the finest family-friendly beaches in South Carolina.

Beach Highlights
Myrtle Beach 60 miles of coastline, mini-golf, water parks, family-friendly resorts
Hilton Head Island Coligny Beach Park amenities, shopping, dining, golf courses
Kiawah Beachwalker Park Nature trails, wildlife, swimming, luxury accommodations
Isle of Palms Beach access, lifeguards, volleyball courts, various lodgings
Edisto Beach Crabbing, wildlife tours, local dining, safety
Folly Beach Surfing, marine life exploration, iconic landmarks
Surfside Beach Annual events, kid-friendly activities, lifeguards, flea markets
Hunting Island State Park Camping, hiking, lighthouse visits, nature excursions
Pawleys Island Shelling, Brookgreen Gardens, coastal dining
Sullivan’s Island Accessibility, views, wildlife, local eateries

Every beach in South Carolina is special, so picking one might be hard. Each spot has its unique features and fun activities. With its beautiful coastline, South Carolina is a perfect place for families to have fun and make memories.


The sun setting on a South Carolina shoreline holds a special magic. It creates memories as unique as the many beaches. Families looking for fun in the sun and time together will find South Carolina’s coasts full of variety. From the exciting Myrtle Beach to the peaceful Edisto Beach, each place fits a different family.

South Carolina boasts 187 miles of stunning coast. Each area offers its own special beach experience. You might love the fun of Myrtle Beach, the beauty of Kiawah Island, or the calm of Edisto Beach. All are perfect for family fun and making lasting memories.

Whether you like busy boardwalks or quiet sands, South Carolina’s beaches have it all. Planning your family trip here means finding a mix of fun, peace, and beauty. These beaches aren’t just spots to visit. They’re starting points for amazing coastal adventures.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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