South Carolina's long coastline is irresistible to beach lovers; its stately oceanfront rentals are perfect for families, and its golf is world-renowned. From laid-back to bustling, you've got lots of beach town bliss in South Carolina.
This Charleston neighbor and barrier island is often overshadowed by rowdier, action-packed destinations like Myrtle Beach. However, it's this lack of notoriety that makes Folly Beach one of the best South Carolina beach towns to visit. Offering up a quiet charm, and its own unique jumble of attractions—like the Morris Island Lighthouse and endangered birds, Folly Beach should not be overlooked.
South of Charleston, slightly detached from the mainland, Kiawah Island stretches for 10,000 acres, and offers up one of the more private beach getaways you're bound to find. Besides the Atlantic Ocean, the trees are a must see—the mangroves and the great oaks drape the island with natural beauty. And famous golf course designers, like Jack Nicklaus, have taken advantage of the island's luscious scenery (check out Turtle Point).
Looking for a down-to-earth beach town that still delivers in the "attractions" department? Then Hilton Head is your go to—this classic coastal town knows what makes it so special: its local beachfront and wildlife. Spot a dolphin with Stray Cat Charters, check out endangered species at the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, or bike along the water. The spas and golf courses are also top draws to the area.
Ah, the iconic Grand Strand. If you need a distraction from all that ocean, head to Myrtle Beach. This transparently tourist-oriented destination has just about everything a family could dream of doing on a summer vacation. There's the live entertainment—at staple venues like the Carolina Opry, the culture—at places like the Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, and the action—on rides like the Myrtle Beach Skywheel. There's world-class golfing for dad, and mini golf for the kiddos (Captain Hook's Adventure Golf is a "must"). Of the best South Carolina beach towns, Myrtle Beach offers up the most adventure on land.