A Local’s Guide to Beaches Around Charleston

Family sitting on the beach Sullivan's Island

As the temperatures rise, Charleston locals and visitors alike flock to the water. Our proximity to the ocean is truly one of the best things about life in the Lowcountry...not to mention, a surefire way to beat the heat during our balmy summer months. Chaz and I began exploring the local beaches in college, and continue to do so now with our three young children in tow. After countless days spent on the sand, I would love to share my guide to the beaches around Charleston, including all the places we have loved most through every season of life.

Want a special memento to bring home so you can remember your beach vacation? Add a stop at our flagship to your itinerary! Our favorite beaches have all inspired scents in our signature candle collection.

Our guide to local Charleston beaches


Sullivan's Island

Out of all the beaches around Charleston, this one is my favorite! Chaz and I visited often during college and as newlyweds, so it will always have a place in our hearts. Just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown, Sullivan’s Island has a relaxed feel that is beloved by both locals and visitors to the area. Along with the beautiful beachfront, don’t miss the excellent local restaurants, like Obstinate Daughter or Home Team BBQ, and boutique shops. If you love history, head to Fort Moultrie to explore and learn about its significance in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Pro tip: Fort Moultrie is the perfect place to spend the 4th of July because you can see the fireworks from Folly Beach, downtown, Sullivan's Island, and Patriot's Point all in one spot.

Lighthouse at Sullivan
Child running down boardwalk at Sullivan
Woman in surf at Sullivan
Family sitting on the beach Sullivan
Your perfect souvenir: No. 14 Sullivan’s Island with notes of violet, ozone, and oakmoss, evoking those lazy summer days of watching the waves roll in.

Kiawah Island

Since having kids, our go-to beach has become Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island. They offer all the essentials for a stress-free family beach day: parking, restrooms, showers, and even beach chair and umbrella rentals. Want to grab lunch or do a little shopping? Beachwalker Park is close to Freshfields Village, a charming little shopping district with both local boutiques and popular retail stores. To stay nearby, you can find home rentals at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, home to its famous golf course and amenities.

Baby sitting on beach chair in Kiawah Island
Dunes at Kiawah Island
Your perfect souvenir: No. 09 Kiawah Island with notes of rose, mandarin, and amber, a crisp, oceanic and floral scent that will bring you right back to the beauty of the island.

Folly Beach

For a low-key family vacation that balances beach time with other activities and attractions, head to Folly Beach. There are a few hotels and many rental houses to choose from, so no matter the amenities that top your must-have list, there are plenty of options to explore. We love heading to the end of the island to see the Morris Island Lighthouse and Boneyard Beach. Folly Beach is also where you’ll find “The Washout,” a popular spot for experienced surfers.

Child playing pickleball at Folly Beach
Woman playing pickleball on the beach in Charleston, SC sweatshirt
Dune grass at Folly Beach
Your perfect souvenir: No. 07 Folly Beach with notes of citrus, sea salt, and jasmine to instantly transport you back to sandcastle-building, body-surfing days in the fresh sea air.

Isle of Palms

Home to Wild Dunes, a popular resort that includes rental homes and condos, golf, tennis courts, a spa, and more, Isle of Palms offers something for everyone. Beyond the long stretch of beach, don’t miss the Isle of Palms County Park, where you’ll find a boardwalk, sand volleyball courts, and a playground. For restaurants and shopping, Isle of Palms is also an easy drive to all of the amenities in nearby Mount Pleasant.

Houses at Wild Dunes in Isle of Palms
Kids playing in sand at Isle of Palms
Ocean waves at Isle of Palms
Your perfect souvenir: No. 08 Isle of Palms with notes of sea salt, lavender, and powder, a fresh scent that strikes a balance between herbal, citrus, and floral, reminiscent of the charm and bustle of this popular destination.

Edisto Beach

About 45 minutes outside of Charleston, Edisto is a laid-back beach community where you can find plenty of house rentals, perfect for families. If your goal is strictly a relaxing beach vacation, this is the place for you! There are a few great shops and restaurants, but the beach is a little further from other amenities, making it easy to focus on nothing but sun, sand, and surf. One site worth leaving your beach chair for is the Botany Bay Heritage Preserve, a 4,600-acre wildlife preserve boasting the unique natural beauty and wildlife of the Lowcountry, as well as a handful of historic sites.

Woman sitting on beach chair at Edisto Beach
Kids leaning over boardwalk at the beach
Beach grasses and trees at Edisto Island
Your perfect souvenir: No. 05 Edisto Breeze with notes of sea salt, amber, and plum, capturing the relaxing, tranquil feeling of an Edisto Island getaway.

One more tip for your trip planning: if you’re headed to Charleston to explore and would like to visit the beach for just an afternoon or a day, I recommend stopping by Sullivan’s Island or Kiawah. If you’d like to stay on the beach and make that the focus of your trip, any of the other beaches around Charleston on this list are great options.

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Baby sitting on beach chair at Sullivan






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