isle_of_palmsIt’s that time of year again to start heading out to the beaches.  We have some of the nicest beaches around, in Charleston, SC, and with the weather getting warmer and warmer, a dip in the ocean might be the perfect solution.  Whether you’re a younger couple looking to meet friends at the beach, an older couple looking to find a nice quiet spot alone to read, or if you’re bringing the kids to play in the sand and ocean- every beach here in Charleston has something for you.

We mainly have 3 beaches that are closest to Charleston.  Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, and Folly Beach.  I’d like to tell you a little bit about each of them, and give you my synopsis on the kind of people that are attracted to each beach.

Isle of Palms is one of my favorites.  It has long, public beaches that are great for walking and shell collecting.  It has very wide beaches, so if it’s low tide- there is still plenty of room for everyone.  In the mornings around sunrise, you’ll see a lot of the locals running/walking for exercise.  This is a great time to get out to the beach, because there aren’t a lot of people out yet.  Typically, Isle of Palms attracts many of the Mt. Pleasant and Daniel Island residents.  It is a great beach for families, couples, and retirees.  Families and couples tend to keep closer to the shops, pubs, and restaurants near the pavillion, while others that enjoy a less “hectic” scene enjoy kicking off the flip-flops (don’t forget getting the toes in the sand) and pulling up a beach chair to read their favorite novel.

Sullivans Island is a perfect beach for the locals.  Sullivans Island is still not too “noisy”, and when walking on the beach you’ll see the neighbors.  You can spend a hot summer’s day on the beach, and then retire to Dunleavy’s Pub for a cold refreshing drink afterwards.  There are a few great access points where you can park and walk to the beach (50 yards).  Golf carts seem to be a mode of transportation around different areas, and you can still find plenty of places to park without paying.  The evenings are always a great time to walk Sullivans Island, as most of the “people” traffic has gone for the day.  Walking the beach at sunset with very few people is always very therapeutic.

Folly Beach is perfect for the active, younger crowd.  Folly is the closest beach to downtown, so a lot of the college crowd will make the 15 minute drive to the beach.  Surfing (the best in the state), kayaking, boating, fishing, and enjoying the restaurants and pubs is what Folly Beach is about.  There are public access points along the beach every 50 yards or so, where you pay to park- but you can park across the street for free.  There is also a fantastic public beach on the West end of the Island, where you can pay a few dollars to enjoy the use of showers and restrooms.  Typically, this is where you’d see families that come to Folly, since it is much quieter, too.

So there you have it, a little bit on the beaches in the Charleston area.  Please enjoy the beaches as often as you can, since the beaches are still free!  Make sure you take your trash with you, and fill up your sand holes so that the true locals, the loggerheads and green turtles, won’t have trouble nesting and/or getting around. Posted by Mike Ciucci on


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Mike, great break down on the area beaches. Charleston has some of the best beaches in the country and it's a big reason why so many want to make the Lowcountry home.

Posted by Todd Covington on Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 1:29pm

I just saw in a July 09 Maxim (pg 25) that they featured Isle of Palms as one of "The Six Sexiest Beaches in America" I didn't realize that Isle of Palms was 7 Miles long.

Posted by Brian Hunt on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 5:30pm

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