I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to mind when I think summertime is beaches. Our family absolutely loves going to the beach to soak up the sun and explore the unique attractions in each area. Since we are right in the heart of summer I thought it would be fun to write about some kid friendly beaches in Charleston, SC. Let’s dive in!
Let’s start this list off with one of the more iconic Charleston beaches, Folly Beach. Located just over 10 miles outside of the city center, Folly Beach is an easy day trip getaway or excellent family vacation spot. With about 6 miles of sand to lay out on, tons of delicious restaurants, and adventures for kids of all ages, Folly is a perfect kid friendly beach.
Whether your kids are just learning to walk or they’re in their teens, there is something fun for everyone to do at Folly Beach. Even the youngest child can enjoy playing in the tide pools at low tide, walking the fishing pier, or taking a stroll to the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve to look for wildlife.
Older kids and adults can enjoy a wide array of water sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing. There are also tons of excellent fishing spots if that is your thing. For the extra adventurous family, I recommend heading over to the Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park and trying your hand at one of the 72 suspended obstacle courses.
If you read my previous Charleston post, you already know the food here is AH-MAZING! The restaurants at Folly Beach are no exception. There are a ton of delicious family friendly options to choose from including my personal favorite, Loggerhead’s Beach Grill. I would also recommend dining at Pier 101 because the views are truly one of a kind.
As with every touristy beach, Folly Beach gets really crowded in the summer. If you plan on a beach day, I would recommend getting there early so you have a better pick for where to lay out. Also, parking does get kind of hectic in the summer months if you plan on driving from the city. Be sure to obey all of the no parking signs or I promise you will get a ticket. Yes, I am speaking from experience.
Next up for kid friendly beaches in Charleston is Sullivan’s Island. Also located about 10 miles outside of the city center, Sullivan’s Island is another great option for a beach day trip or family vacation. At just about 3 miles in length, it’s the smallest beach on this list. But it is also the most unique and less frequented which makes it an excellent kid friendly beach.
Much like it’s beachy neighbors, Sullivan’s island has a wide array of water sport activities for the family to enjoy. Between the paddleboarding, fishing, kayaking, or sailing, your family is sure to stay busy all day. For families with younger kids, you can rent bikes an enjoy a nice ride along the marsh looking for wildlife. Another excellent option for kids of all ages is to learn about history at Fort Moultrie.
Even if you aren’t feeling a beach day, the restaurants in Sullivan’s Island are worth the drive. The main restaurant attraction is Poe’s Tavern. Whether you are a fellow bookworm or not, chances are you have heard of Edgar Allen Poe. The setting of one of his short stories is Sullivan’s Island so naturally there is a restaurant to honor that (and they happen to have amazing burgers).
Although this beach isn’t as touristy, Sullivan’s Island is pretty small so the parking does fill up fast. Again, be sure to obey the street signs or you will get a ticket. Also be sure to bring your own shade and sunscreen because there aren’t as many nearby rental spots or convenience stores.
Isle Of Palms
Let’s round out this list of kid friendly beaches in Charleston with my personal favorite. The adorable beach town of Isle of Palms.
(Seriously though, does it get any cuter than a town that offers free t-shirts to tourists?! All you have to do is fill out this form and take it into City Hall! If that sweetness doesn’t make your heart just a little happy, idk if we can be friends 😉 )
Located the furthest from city center (about 15 miles), this 6 mile stretch beach is the ideal day trip or getaway spot. Between the gentle waters and nearby amenities, Isle of Palms is the perfect for the whole family.
Activities for the younger beachcombers include playing in tide pools during low tide, playing at the playground on the beach, and going for a stroll through the shops. For older kids and adults, there are tons of water sports to choose from as well as a great golf course. If you’re a fellow runner (I wear many hats y’all), you absolutely HAVE to participate in one of the many races hosted here.
Just like the last two beaches, IOP does not disappoint when it comes to food. I’m totally the beachcomber that likes to sit outside and sip a daiquiri and soak up all the salty air. If you relate to that, I would highly recommend checking out Banana Cabana and Coconut Joe’s. There are also a ton upscale dining choices nearby if you want a more refined bite.
Although this beach is touristy, there is plenty of parking located at the county park. You will have to pay a small fee to enter, but it’s totally worth it. Another added benefit of IOP is it’s close proximity to Sullivan’s Island. You can comfortably hit both beaches in the same day and take in the nature and history the area has to offer.
Go Visit These Kid Friendly Beaches In Charleston!
That’s a wrap for this list of kid friendly beaches in Charleston, SC. Since Charleston is a coastal state there are definitely WAAAY more beaches than these three, but I found these to be our favorites. If you live in SC or have visited, I would love to hear about your favorite kid friendly beaches in Charleston or surrounding areas in the comments below.
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