Charleston, South Carolina is a harbor town, and while most hotels on the peninsula offer breathtaking views of the Charleston harbor, beachfront hotels are only found outside city limits. Luckily, beaches aren't heard to come by in the Charleston area, and it's quite common for visitors to stay off-peninsula at Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, or on Shem Creek, (close to Sullivan's Island).
Couples and families staying at beach or waterfront hotels are able to enjoy sunny days at the beach while also venturing into Charleston's historic downtown for shopping, dining, and nightlife. Most Charleston beach hotels are just 15-20 minutes from downtown, though heavy traffic is common during peak season.
Travelers looking for a casual, tranquil setting will enjoy The Palms Hotel or Seaside Inn on Isle of Palms. Others looking for an all-inclusive IOP experience should head to Wild Dunes Resort, with two 4 Diamond hotels, vacation condo rentals, golf, and tennis facilities.
Sullivan's Island doesn't allow any beach hotels, but island lovers can stay on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, a 5-10 minutes' drive from the beach. The picture perfect views from Shem Creek Inn make up for the short commute. Want a beach all to yourself? You'll come close with a stay at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina–the resort offers a private beach for guests.
Folly Beach offers several family-friendly lodging options for beachgoers. The Tides is a budget friendly but high quality choice, while the Regatta Inn offers a bed and breakfast-style alternative nearby.