Best South Carolina Beach (2018)


Warm sand, blue water and fresh Atlantic sea air – these elements await visitors on the sandy shores and barrier islands of South Carolina. From Myrtle Beach in the north to Hilton Head Island near the southern border with Georgia, the Palmetto State is a perfect destination for beach lovers. 

  • Cherry Grove Beach

    Cherry Grove Beach
    North Myrtle Beach

    Situated in North Myrtle Beach, Cherry Grove Beach is home to a 985-foot fishing pier with expansive sandy beach to either side, over 3 miles in total.
    Photo courtesy of Rain0975 / Flickr

  • Myrtle Beach

    Myrtle Beach
    Myrtle Beach

    Welcome to the Grand Strand, a 60-mile necklace of South Carolina beaches in which Myrtle Beach is the crown jewel. This town is well known for its world-class golf, but its beaches are just as impressive. Iconic structures – the towering SkyWheel and Apache Pier (the East Coast’s longest wooden one!) – are great stops in between one’s enjoyment of the oceanfront sunrises, lively Atlantic surf and the unparalleled Lowcountry seafood.
    Photo courtesy of Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

  • Pawleys Island Beach

    Pawleys Island Beach
    Pawleys Island

    With nine public beach access points and abundant (and free) parking, Pawleys Island offers a self-described "elegantly shabby" beach escape just 35 minutes south of Myrtle Beach's bustling Grand Strand.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / UWMadison

  • Folly Beach

    Folly Beach

    Explore the 6-plus miles of this expansive and beautiful beach any way you want – recommended ideas include walking or cycling. The view of the beach is just as enticing from the water, so much so that Folly is frequented by surfers. Those with little or no experience need not fret, myriad outfitters are happy to step in with expert tutelage.
    Photo courtesy of Ron Cogswell / Flickr

  • Garden City Beach

    Garden City Beach
    Myrtle Beach

    Stretching between Surfside Beach and the entrance to Murrells Inlet is Garden City Beach, a quiet beach community popular with vacationing families, as well as water sports enthusiasts, fishers and crabbers. At the heart of the beach, a fishing pier extends 668 feet over the water.
    Photo courtesy of Donald Kautz / Flickr

  • Kiawah Beachwalker Park

    Kiawah Beachwalker Park
    Kiawah Island

    Sandwiched between river and ocean, this 11-mile Kiawah Beachwalker Park offers up the island’s only public beach access. Its wide boardwalk cuts a path through a host of native flora including pine, yucca and hardy palmetto. Flat and wide with amenities that include picnic areas, a host of fun beach rental services and a snack bar, Beachwalker also is a favorite for dog-lovers, who enjoy bringing their leashed pets with them on strolls.
    Photo courtesy of Bill Sutton / Flickr

  • Surfside Beach

    Surfside Beach
    Surfside Beach

    This Myrtle Beach-area stretch of sand, nicknamed the Family Beach, enjoys soft white sand and dozens of public access points. Surfside Pier is a local favorite for fishing, while other amenities include showers, handicap ramps and water sports rentals.
    Photo courtesy of fran.trudeau / Flickr

  • Litchfield Beach

    Litchfield Beach
    Litchfield Beach

    Litchfield Beach brings the feel of Hilton Head to South Carolina's Grand Strand. While just 30 minutes north of Myrtle Beach, Litchfield Beach couldn't be more different. The public access beach points here offer a much quieter seaside experience.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / RiverNorthPhotography

  • Huntington Beach State Park

    Huntington Beach State Park
    Murrells Inlet

    Most famous for the wide Grand Strand beach, Huntington Beach State Park has plenty more to offer, including excellent birdwatching, the state's best surf fishing and historical attractions like Atalaya, the Moorish-style winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington and a National Historic Landmark.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / UWMadison

  • Isle of Palms Beach

    Isle of Palms Beach
    Isle of Palms

    One of the more upscale Charleston-area beaches, Isle of Palms maintains a longstanding reputation as  one of the state's best family-friendly, noncommercial beaches. Amenities range from beachside bars to numerous volleyball courts, as well as accessible showers and bathrooms. The beach (and surrounding community) is characterized by a quaint, small-town vibe even in the height of the season.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / TriggerPhoto

The top 10 winners in the category Best South Carolina Beach are as follows:

  1. Cherry Grove Beach - North Myrtle Beach
  2. Myrtle Beach
  3. Pawleys Island Beach
  4. Folly BeachCharleston
  5. Garden City Beach - Myrtle Beach
  6. Kiawah Beachwalker Park
  7. Surfside Beach
  8. Litchfield Beach
  9. Huntington Beach State Park - Murrells Inlet
  10. Isle of Palms Beach

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Congratulations to these 10 winning beaches!

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