In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best beach towns in South Carolina. So whether you’re looking for a beach escape or considering a move, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also consider factors of Livability such as cost of living, crime rates, and education standards.
However, those may not be important for a beach escape, so we’ll be sure to include amenities you may be interested in. It is worth mentioning the best time to visit South Carolina is throughout the summer, so you can expect June and July to be very busy, with September being the quietest period.
Time to grab your swimming gear and sun cream; read on to find out more…
Bluffton, South Carolina
First up, we have Bluffton. This charming small town is located minutes away from Hilton Head Island. The city is well-known for its natural beauty and is definitely a fantastic beach destination. You can expect activities ranging from fishing to bird watching. If you’re looking to stay in Bluffton, your accommodation options will vary from luxury resorts to cozy bed and breakfasts.
For a one-week stay in Bluffton during July, we found that prices ranged from $888 to almost $5000.
In terms of Livability, Bluffton scores 77/100. The highest ranking factor is the low cost of living compared to the national average.
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Next up, we have the Isle of Palms. As a barrier island, the Isle of Palms is a trendy town featuring beautiful beaches, world-class golfing facilities, and a range of other amenities, from dining to shopping. There really is something for everyone in the Isle of Palms. For a short beach holiday in South Carolina, you can expect to find accommodation options ranging from beachfront condos to resorts. We inquired about pricing for a one-week stay in July, and prices range from $2,500 to almost $20,000. Although, at the higher end, there are multiple holiday homes to choose from.
In terms of Livability, the Isle of Palms scored a modest 69/100. The cost of living and crime rates were still low compared to the national average but not the best. It’s also worth mentioning that the average home value is around $814,000 too.
Seabrook Island, South Carolina
Our third on the list is Seabrook Island. It is actually a private and exclusive oceanfront community and therefore is restricted to the general public. If, however, you are a property owner, a club member, or a guest of one, you can visit. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this town, we are unable to provide any internal data on Livability. However, due to its exclusivity, it will likely be high. Although, the cost of living shouldn’t be a factor as you’ll need lots of money to purchase a property here!
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Up next is another gated community located 21 miles south of Charleston. While it is home to many celebrities and other affluent individuals, Kiawah Island also offers stunning beaches which are open to the public. We are unable to provide livability ratings for Kiawah Island, similar to Seabrook Island – however, it is definitely a dream destination both to live in and for vacations.
Kiawah Island is definitely a top contender for being home to the best South Carolina beaches. Especially with the white sand beaches against the deep blue color of the ocean.
Folly Beach, South Carolina
The next town on our list is Folly Beach. As a beach town, it is also affectionately known as The Edge of America. With a strong surf culture, Folly Beach is definitely a laid-back town. There are various activities that you can take part in, of course, surfing, fishing, or enjoying a bonfire at night.
For a one-week stay in July, prices range from $2,000 to over $20,000. Again the options range from luxury hotel chains such as Shangri-La to entire holiday homes set in picturesque areas.
In terms of Livability, Folly Beach scores a respectable 75/100. The highest-ranking factors include the low cost of living and low crime rates.
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Next up, we have Mount Pleasant located quite close to Charleston. With beautiful beaches, plenty of dining options, and golf courses, Mount Pleasant is a great destination. You can expect to partake in activities such as swimming, surfing, and even just sunbathing. Again, in terms of accommodation options, there’s a plethora to choose from. For a one-week stay, we found that prices range from $700 to almost $6,500.
In terms of Livability, Mount Pleasant scored 75/100. This was made up of the low cost of living and lower crime rates compared to the national average.
Pawleys Island, South Carolina
The next small town on our list is Pawleys Island. It is another small and laid-back town with pristine beaches and a relaxing atmosphere. There are the usual beach activities on offer, including swimming and sunbathing. With Pawley’s Island being located close to Myrtle Beach, there are plenty of accommodation choices on request. We took a look at prices for a one-week stay in July, and prices ranged from as low as $500 to almost $20,000.
In terms of Livability, this town scored 56/100. This is one of the lower scores for cities on this list. The reason for this was to do with the crime rates, as they were pretty high compared to the national average. This is something you should keep in mind.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Our final small town on this list is Myrtle Beach. It is a popular tourist destination and ideal for beach lovers. It is located on the Grand Strand, which is a 60-mile stretch of beach with amazing views of the Atlantic ocean. With plenty of amenities ranging from golf courses and swimming to arcades and amusement parks, there’s plenty on offer. If you’re looking for a perfect getaway, then look no further. There are also plenty of accommodation options available, and as mentioned above, prices range from $500 to almost $20,000, depending on the property type and location.
In terms of Livability, Myrtle Beach scores 64/100. While the cost of living is low compared to the national average, the crime rate in the area is higher than the national average.
Other beach towns that are worth a visit
There are many other beach towns that haven’t been included on this list but are still definitely worth a visit. Edisto Island is one of them. It’s a small island with beautiful beaches and natural beauty. It’s a tranquil paradise, making it a perfect place to enjoy a beach vacation. Make sure to check out Edisto Beach State Park, which is rich in Native American History and perfect for a day out.
Another beach town that is worth a visit is Surfside Beach, also aptly named “The Family Beach.” It’s located south of Myrtle Beach and is a laid-back town. With such a friendly atmosphere, it’s definitely worth a visit.
There you have it, our guide to the best South Carolina beach towns. Keep in mind that the ones we have selected for this list are subjective, and your own preferences may differ. However, if you’re looking for a beach vacation or if you want to move to a small beach town, then the east coast is definitely worth exploring.
Be sure to check out the rest of our site for even more exciting insights into the various cities of the United States of America.