12 Best Places to Live in South Carolina Near the Beach

South Carolina’s sunny beaches, beautiful golf courses, and rich history make it an excellent choice when looking to build a home or retire. The state is known for its subtropical beaches, making it an ideal place to live.

From the coastal town of Charleston to Kiawah Island, there are many places to live near the beach in South Carolina. With the fresh ocean breeze and humid climate, you will always feel like you are on vacation.

Here’s our list of the 12 best places to live in South Carolina near the beach:

  1. Charleston, S.C.
  2. Kiawah Island
  3. Seabrook Island
  4. Folly Beach
  5. Isle of Palms
  6. Hilton Head Island
  7. Beaufort
  8. Myrtle Beach
  9. Sullivan’s Island
  10. Mount Pleasant
  11. Pawleys Island
  12. Edisto Beach

South Carolina’s coastal towns have become prime destinations for retirees and families who want to build a life and home near the beach. The mild climate and the pristine beaches will make you feel as if you’re on holiday. Add to that the laid-back small-town atmosphere with life slowing down so you can enjoy the best things in life – the beach, sea breeze, uninterrupted views of the Atlantic, and spending time with family and friends. Let’s check out the 12 best beach towns in South Carolina.

12 Best Places to Live in South Carolina Near the Beach

South Carolina Sunrise

1. Charleston, S.C.

Charleston is among the best cities in the world and a top place to live in South Carolina near the beach. The town is a haven for food lovers, history enthusiasts, and those who love just having a good time. During most of the year, Pleasant temperatures provide opportunities for locals to enjoy the outdoors, although it’s hot and humid during summer. Beautiful beaches are nearby, and spending a day at one of them is a commonplace activity for locals.

Charleston is a very active community. Take your pick from various outdoor yoga classes, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and other water sports. There are also many places to soak in the town’s colorful history.

2. Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is another top place to live. It offers luxury living with five-star amenities and a private island community whose residents have access to world-class recreational facilities, such as golf courses and tennis courts. There are also restaurants with various food options, a nature center, spas and fitness centers, and a marina.

Kiawah offers 10 miles of picturesque pristine beaches. Residents also enjoy miles of walking and biking trails. The views of the Atlantic are also unmatched. Kiawah Island offers a haven for those who want to live and enjoy life amidst the unspoiled natural beauty of nature coupled with lots of opportunities for endless adventure.

3. Seabrook Island

Seabrook Island boasts pristine beaches, a picturesque marsh, and a protected natural landscape that locals and tourists enjoy. Residents and guests have access to exclusive resort facilities that include golf courses and an equestrian center. Dining and brand-new pools can be enjoyed on the oceanfront terrace, and Seabrook Island is also a popular destination for off-season guests.

4. Folly Beach

If you love chasing sunsets and sunrises to savor the moment when the earth is bathed in a luxurious vibrant display of brilliant colors, Folly Beach is one of the best places to be. Locals fondly refer to Folly Beach as the “Edge of America.” It is home to various surf spots and has gained popularity as one of the more popular surfing hotspots along the East Coast. Being the closest beach to downtown Charleston, tourists flock to Folly Beach during summer. If you want to enjoy a laid-back beach lifestyle coupled with year-long fun and entertainment, you should check out Folly Beach.

5. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms is a top place to live in the Charleston area. A suburb of Charleston, it is also one of the best places to retire in South Carolina. It is great for families and is known for its highly rated public schools. Residents enjoy resort-level amenities amidst a laid-back beach town ambiance. The location is near Charleston but has the vibe of a beach town and the perks of a resort destination.

A 6-mile continuous stretch of beach is open to the public and has restaurants, bars, and other dining options. There are also beach volleyball courts everywhere, being a favorite pastime on the island.

6. Hilton Head Island

Just 40 minutes away from Savannah, Georgia, is Hilton Island in South Carolina. It’s a favorite place to settle for many retirees. There are tons of reasons why people move to Hilton Head. Having the sun, sand, and the uninterrupted view of the Atlantic every day is too irresistible.

The weather in Hilton Head is lovely year-round. While there is an influx of tourists and beachgoers during summer, the resort town has a pretty laid-back atmosphere during the rest of the year. However, restaurants are still open for locals to enjoy.

Hilton Head also offers various cultural opportunities with a flourishing community of music and theater venues, fine art, and cultural exhibits.

7. Beaufort

Beaufort is a picturesque small town that is just an hour’s drive from Savannah, Georgia. It’s the second oldest city in South Carolina.

There are many reasons to live in Beaufort. Some of them include cultural events and festivals, movie nights, coastal festivities, seasonal events, excellent restaurants, and many shopping options in downtown Beaufort. Local farm produce such as honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fine meats are available at the local farmer’s markets, and you can enjoy a delicious seafood feast in restaurants or beach caf√©s.

Beaufort is family-friendly, with lots of good private and public schools offering many educational options. There are also family-friendly trails for walking, hiking, or cycling. Indeed, there is something for everyone in Beaufort.

8. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Sunset

Myrtle Beach is a tourist town that is a prime summer destination for millions of visitors every year. The beaches, world-class golf courses, amusement parks, and shopping complexes are just some of the attractions that Myrtle Beach offers. The great weather is also a big “come on!”. There are almost 2,000 restaurants in Myrtle Beach offering various dining options for residents and tourists alike. Tourism is the backbone of Myrtle Beach’s economy.

Myrtle Beach is a beach lovers’ paradise. Residents get to enjoy a stroll in the sand or lounging in the sun any time of the week. The beaches rarely get too crowded because there are other tourist attractions inland. There are a lot of family-friendly beach spots along the Boardwalk and Surfside. When it comes to neighborhoods, you’ve got a lot of options. There are several subdivisions and master-planned communities with amenities that residents enjoy.

9. Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan’s Island offers miles of quiet beach and rich history, coupled with a friendly community. It’s the go-to beach for many Charleston residents.

If you want a laid-back lifestyle with 24/7 access to the beach, you should scope out Sullivan Island. Just 10 miles from Charleston, there is a wide array of water sports and beach activities. There are also historical landmarks as well as some of the best cuisines in the Lowcountry. Wildlife viewing opportunities also abound.

Living on Sullivan’s Island is like having your own private oasis. Its vast beach has sandy dunes and wild, coastal vegetation. The island’s landscape remains unspoiled. One feature that makes Sullivan’s Island stand apart from other islands in South Carolina is the lack of commercial development. There are no piers, shops, or stores along the beach. There’s just calm and quiet as you enjoy the setting of the sun over the historic lighthouse.

10. Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant among the best places to live in the Charleston area, offering a suburban feel with lots of dining options, shopping, and parks for residents and guests. There is easy access to Charleston and nearby beaches.

Mount Pleasant is a thriving suburb, and its proximity to Charleston and other towns makes it a popular choice to retire or raise a family. The low crime rate is a plus, too! It has the second-largest school district in the state, and children have access to top-rated education. If you’re house-shopping, there is a wide selection of home designs to choose from to suit every budget.

11. Pawleys Island

The ocean breeze, serenity, and laid-back atmosphere are just some of the everyday perks that residents in Pawleys Island enjoy. The island has a tight-knit community with a small-town charm and welcoming atmosphere. The subtropical coastal climate makes Pawleys Island a favorite destination for outdoor activities. There are various recreation spots, beaches, and state parks which are perfect venues to enjoy the fresh air and spend quality time with family and friends. There is also an array of activities that everyone can enjoy– from museums to music venues to shopping to top-rated restaurants.

12. Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach in Colleton County has a suburban ambiance where life slows down, and people can savor every moment. The beauty of the beach, marsh, and forests of Edisto Beach is unparalleled. Life is very simple on the island. There are no fast-food joints and malls, and the islanders like to keep Edisto that way. There’s also not a chance of overdevelopment as islander organizations have formulated building restrictions and limitations. But there is no dull day in Edisto. Locals live a vibrant life. There are many things to do, from trivia nights to spending an evening with friends at a handful of bars and restaurants. Everyone seems to know everyone. Morning chats with coffee and evening drinks with friends are part and parcel of the Edisto lifestyle.

Conclusion: 12 Best Places to Live in South Carolina Near The Beach

Charleston, South Carolina

So what are the 12 best places to live in South Carolina near the beach? In summary, there are the top picks again:

  1. Charleston, S.C.
  2. Kiawah Island
  3. Seabrook Island
  4. Folly Beach
  5. Isle of Palms
  6. Hilton Head Island
  7. Beaufort
  8. Myrtle Beach
  9. Sullivan’s Island
  10. Mount Pleasant
  11. Pawleys Island
  12. Edisto Beach

The warm climate of South Carolina is not only for people who love the beach. The beautiful nature and outdoor activities are perfect for people who love active lifestyles. A hectic life is unheard of when you live near the beach in South Carolina. Instead, you’ll spend your days enjoying the sights and sounds of a small town by the beach. You’ll surely love the southern hospitality, too!

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