Best Beaches in the Southeast USA: Sullivan’s Island – Charleston, South Carolina
Sullivan's Island is a South Carolina barrier island fronted by the Atlantic Ocean on one side, Isle of Palms on another, Charleston Harbor on the third, and the town of Mt. Pleasant on the fourth. Sullivan's Island is a best beach for nature and dog lovers.
Beach Personality: Feels Remote Yet Convenient to Charleston.
Sullivan’s Island consists of a long stretch of Atlantic shoreline fronted by soft, yet walkable, powdery taupe sand. The Gulf Stream keeps the near shore water relatively warm throughout the year with surf that ranges from totally calm to rough depending on offshore winds and other weather patterns. Since your experience at the beach and the activities you can partake in will vary depending on surf conditions, you may want to check weather reports before heading to Sullivan’s Island. You can get current Charleston, South Carolina barrier island beach conditions at http://weather.postandcourier.com/auto/charleston/MAR/AM/350.html.
Although Sullivan’s Island is only 20 minutes drive from Charleston, South Carolina the beaches here feel much more remote due to their lack of amenities. This makes Sullivan’s Island beaches either particularly attractive or particularly unattractive depending on the type of beachgoer you are. If you are self-sufficient and dislike crowds, then Sullivan’s Island may be a best beach for you. If you like a lot of amenities and action at your beaches, then Sullivan’s Island probably won’t appeal to you.
- Boogie boarding
- Paddle boarding
- Walking on the beach
- Skim boarding
- Surf fishing (license required)
- Public bathrooms – No.
- Showers – No.
- Parking – Yes, street parking only, which may be difficult to find during peak seasons and hours.
- Food – No, although there is a small business district located on Middle Street near the intersection of Station 22 1/2 Street.
- Lifeguard – No.
- Dogs allowed on the beach – Yes, access and leash laws vary seasonally. See related photo for details.
Sullivan’s Island is a convenient drive, about 20 minutes, from Charleston South Carolina. To reach Sullivan’s Island from Charleston, take US 17 North to Mt. Pleasant. Follow US 17 until you merge onto Route 703 East (West Coleman/Ben Sawyer Boulevard), which turns into Station 22 1/2 Street. All beach access points on Sullivan’s Island are located at the end of numbered “Station” Streets running from Station 9 Street near Fort Moultrie to Station 32 Street near the bridge to Isle of Palms.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Photos courtesy of Lisa Dworkin