Kiawah Island South Carolina

Kiawah Island has 10 miles of beaches, perfectly preserved maritime forests, sand dunes and marshes where whitetail deer, alligators, bobcats, seabirds and sea turtles abound. Kiawah is a residential community incorporating a world-class resort and a unique, vibrant shopping village within a natural maritime setting that is being preserved and enhanced for current and future generations. Its for families, for couples, for friends, for everyone! For more of South Carolina's beautiful beaches, visit our Best South Carolina Beaches guide.

Kiawah Island Weather – When to Visit

Because of the weather on Kiawah Island, the late spring and fall are the best times to travel here. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit on the outer edges of those months, since the tourist-heavy season is from April to October. Of course, with mild winters, and hot and humid summers, the island can still be relaxing and quite enjoyable outside of the crowded periods.

Best Area Beaches

Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island South Carolina, Kiawah Island beaches, things to do in Kiawah Island
Kiawah Beachwalker Park

Beachwalker Park offers 11 miles of unspoiled beach on one of the country's most beautiful barrier islands. The park features a wide boardwalk that weaves through live oaks, pines, palmettos, and yucca plants. Amenities include a picnic area, snack bar, beach access, restrooms, dressing areas, showers, and various beach rentals.


Folly Beach, Kiawah Island South Carolina, Kiawah Island beaches, things to do in Kiawah Island
Folly Beach

The closest beach to downtown Charleston, Folly is a mecca for surfers, fishermen and all lovers of the laid-back beach lifestyle. Visitors flock to Folly Beach for the same things its residents enjoy. You’ll find excellent pier and surf fishing, an enticing variety of restaurants and bars, live music, and some of the best surfing on the east coast.

Sullivan's Island, Kiawah Island South Carolina, Kiawah Island beaches, things to do in Kiawah Island
Sullivan's Island

Sullivan's Island is an inviting mix of wide beaches and water sports, history and folklore, local restaurants and shops, peace and perfect – just minutes from Charleston.




Seabrook Island, Kiawah Island South Carolina, Kiawah Island beaches, things to do in Kiawah Island
Seabrook Island

A vibrant community thrives within Seabrook Island. Relax and unwind on more than three miles of sandy beach, go horseback riding along the shore, go kayaking, explore the marina, or dine overlooking the ocean.


Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island South Carolina, Kiawah Island beaches, things to do in Kiawah Island

Isle of Palms

The Isle of Palms features a beautiful beach, championship golf & tennis, a marina, and endless recreational opportunities both on and off the water.


Best Kiawah Island (Charleston) Tours & Activities by Viator

Charleston Airport (CHS) to Kiawah/Seabrook Islands – Arrival & Return Private Transfer

Book your Private Arrival Transfer from Charleston Airport (CHS) to Kiawah/Seabrook Islands. Don't go through all the hassle of waiting in a long taxi or shared shuttles queues and use our private, door to door airport transfer. Your driver will be waiting for you at a scheduled time and you will travel comfortably to your destination. Book your Charleston Airport to Kiawah Island transfer here. Book your Kiawah Island to Charleston transfer here.

Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour

Experience more than 300 years of history on this guided carriage tour of Charleston. See the many mansions, churches, and gardens as your horse-drawn carriage tour covers more than 2.5 miles and 30 blocks of historic Charleston. Belgian and Percheron draft horses will you lead you through the streets while you learn about this “Holy City” and its role in the Civil War. Learn more about the Charleston Old South Carriage Tour here.

Undiscovered Charleston: 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class

This walking tour and interactive lunch combo provides a two-in-one experience in Charleston. With a celebrated local chef, Forrest Parker, you'll start with a 1.5-hour historical walking tour about the influences of Lowcountry food in the city of Charleston. Then watch a cooking demonstration from Parker before enjoying lunch paired with wine. Learn more about this Charleston Tour here.

Charleston's Tidal Creeks Eco Boat Cruise with Stop at Morris Island Lighthouse

Cruise through Lowcountry tidal creeks and marshes en route to the uninhabited Morris Island on this boat cruise from the Charleston area. A private boat company launches from Bowens Island for the scenic ride through an estuary rich in biodiversity before a soft landing on Morris Island. Spend free time to taking photos of the historic Morris Island Lighthouse, combing for seashells, and looking out for birds, sea turtles, and dolphins before your return. Learn more about this Eco Boat Cruise here.

Charleston Harbor Sunset Cruise

Watch the sun set above Charleston, South Carolina with a 2-hour sunset harbor cruise aboard a 45-foot motorized catamaran. Find a comfortable seat on deck, spot the landmarks of downtown Charleston and the waterfront, and watch for the dolphins and sea birds that thrive along the South Carolina shoreline. Enjoy a relaxing break from the city while spending a romantic evening on the water. Learn more about the Charleston Harbor Sunset Cruise here.

Best Kiawah Island Restaurants

Ocean Room at Sanctuary $30 & Up

There is a dress code so if you are looking for a place where you can wear shorts and flip-flops this is not the place but if you are looking for elegantly plated delicious cuisine with views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean then you will not be disappointed. The menu offers locally sourced beef, poultry and produce in addition to a Sushi Lounge and an extensive wine list. Telephone: 843-768-6253 Web: Ocean Room

Jasmine Porth $30 & Up

Your home for genuine Lowcountry cuisine at breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner. Seasonal menus are inspired by the seafood pulled directly from the local waters and certified organic produce from around the region. Set with great ambiance for your ultra-relaxed, eat-local meal and good kids menu options. Telephone: 1 877-683-1234 Web: Jasmine Porch

Hege's (John's Island) $30 & Up

Hege’s restaurant on Johns Island offers classic French cuisine as well as international cuisine in a casual environment. Chef Richard Hege has been in the restaurant business for over 29 years and it shows in the innovative cuisine. Telephone: 843-768-0035 Web: Hege's

La Tela $10 – 30

La Tela Pizzeria has been serving the Islands Neapolitan style pizza and house-made traditional Italian cuisine since 2009. Grab your family or meet some friends- they to take care of you the best way they know how. Telephone: 843-768-1951 Web: La Tela

The Atlantic Room $30 & Up

The Atlantic Room at The Ocean Course, serves modern American cuisine with an emphasis on fresh regional catches procured through partnerships with local fishermen—all complemented by an extensive wine list of classic favorites and exciting new selections. Telephone: 843-266-4085 Web: The Atlantic Room

Best Kiawah Island Bars

The Porch Bar

The swanky Porch Bar is a Kiawah Island nightlife favorite—and there’s no better time to visit than during Jazz Night on Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. Telephone: 843-793-6050 Web: The Porch Bar

FortyEight Wine Bar and Kitchen

Guests have the chance to sample from 48 wines on “tap” before settling on their pour of choice (or just dedicate a whole evening to taste testing!). Craft cocktails and beers are also available for the wine-averse. Telephone: 843-768-2245 Web: FortyEight Wine Bar & Kitchen

Ryder Cup Bar

With its veranda overlooking the 18th green and stunning ocean views beyond, it’s a prime destination for a breezy afternoon pick-me-up (don’t miss the Gator Bite, made with green chili vodka) or share a bottle of Chardonnay while watching the sunset. Telephone: 843-266-4085 Web: Ryder Cup Bar

Lobby Bar @ Sanctuary

The Lobby Bar at the Sanctuary is a landmark for Kiawah Island nightlife. Specialty cocktails steal the show here (the Carolina blends brut rose with peach mint syrup), and a list of non-alcoholic craft drinks offer inventive options without the booze. Telephone: 843-768-6301 Web: Lobby Bar @ Sanctuary

Best Kiawah Island Hotels


  1. Oviss

    Hi Leahrae,  Thanks for sharing another mind blowing article. The number of features Kiawah Island has is enough to blow my minds. Sometimes, it’s really great to come across articles like this so we can understand that no matter the hardships, the world still have a lot of beautiful places to tour around.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, even with the virus going on, there are still many beautiful places we can visit and stay safe.  Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.

  2. Virtue

    HI there! Such as amazing review! Wow! It was a pleasure going through this lovely piece. Before coming across this article I have never heard of the kiawah island. Well we learn everyday! Thanks for taking time to share this. Now I’m aware that and island of this sort exists.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes we do all learn new things everyday!  I am glad you enjoyed.  Thanks for visiting my Kiawah Island South Carolina guide.

  3. Astrostar

    Hello there! 

    thank you for such a nice article, but I got to be totally honest am not that much into beach before I stumble across this article, have always seen the beach as a place where lot of people gather to surf and play beach ball, but I think I got it all wrong, the beach sounds move fun and way more cooler from what am reading in this article, the sunlight, and all wow

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It is!  I love the beach, but I have never played beach volleyball and I don’t just lay on a towel.  It is about everything around the area as well.  Things to see and do 🙂  Glad I changed your mind!

  4. Cynthia

    I’ve heard this is a beautiful city steeped with history.  Thank you for this thorough run-down of things to do as well as the prices of local restaurants.  There is nothing more disappointing than going someplace only to find everything is too expensive!!  Not fun when you’ve traveled for hours to get there!  I think I would enjoy the Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour the most!  After that, I would like to do the walking tour and then hit the beach!!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Sounds like a good plan Cynthia!  Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Cogito

    Great post ! To be fair I never before heard about Kiawah island but looking on pictures it looks absolutely stunning, It seems as perfect place for quiet and relaxing holidays and at the same time there is lot to do around. I’m looking forward for more normal times and definitely putting Kiawah on my personal ‘have to see’ places.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great!  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations 🙂

  6. Christian

    I would love to be at any of these places! Living in the cold nearly all year is just awful and I could use a trip like this. I love how you included restaurants to check out and laid out the tours you can take. Even the hotels are surprisingly affordable. Beach life is the best life. Thanks for laying out this amazing plan for my next vacation!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree Christian, beach life is the best life!  Glad you enjoyed.  Thanks for visiting my Kiawah Island South Carolina guide.


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