As a child, a trip to Charleston, SC was a rare opportunity. The roads leading to the historic South Carolina town did not include major interstates, so getting there required some extra commitment! Now easily connected to the rest of its neighboring big cities, Charleston draws millions of visitors a year. For the fourth year in a row, the city was named the number one tourist destination in the United States!
I consider myself pretty fortunate (to say the least) – now living full time in a town that captured my imagination as a child. As much as the outstanding food, historic landmarks, and horse drawn carriages make my heart pitter-patter, it’s the wide open spaces found along the water that inspire my soul.
Today, I am especially excited to take you on a brief tour of three of my favorite spots in Charleston. Famous for its rivers, marshes, and ocean views found all along our windy roads, we locals (and tourists) frequent Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms for our sandy fix. The three most popular beaches to visit are completely different in vibe, restaurant offerings, and location. (We are never short on things to do around here!)
Folly Beach is located on the south side of Charleston. In close proximity to James Island, Johns Island, and West Ashley (all communities surrounding Charleston), it is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Folly is the laid back beach with a hipster vibe, loads of outdoor restaurants, dance parties, and plenty of water activities (perfect for the surfing fanatic). A great beach for all ages, visit Folly for your fun fix.
Sullivan’s Island feels like a storybook. It’s a town with an off-the-beaten-path feel, streets lined with cottages, and coffee shops tucked behind corners of 20 MPH roads. Decades ago, town officials prevented any condominiums or businesses to build above three stories. As such, Sullivan’s Island remains quaint, charming, and absolutely pristine.
Isle of Palms, just a few miles west of Sullivan’s Island, boasts wide strands of sandy beachfront and inlet waterways perfected for boating and paddle boarding. With a few restaurants and a local grocer, it grabs the heart of the locals (as Sullivan’s and Folly often get tourists first!) It’s my personal favorite..and Jasper’s… because of wonderful off-leash laws October through May!
Wherever your toes find some sand, bring along a beach chair, a good book, and a big appetite. Charleston will welcome you with all the vacation dreams you can imagine!