If you’re looking for a beach to escape the crowds, check out these hidden gems in South Carolina.
What’s the least crowded beach in South Carolina?
South Carolina’s beaches often consist of long stretches of coastline that allow space for everyone. If you are on the hunt for the least crowded beach in South Carolina, look no further:
- Hunting Island State Park
- Kiawah Island
- Daufuskie Island
- Edisto Beach State Park
- Garden City Beach
With its coastline extending for 187 miles and the majority of it being public beaches, South Carolina is an ideal beach destination.
But unfortunately, some of these iconic views come with crowds. If you’re looking for a quiet escape, there are plenty of hidden gems waiting to be explored. Let’s look at five of the best options.
About South Carolina’s Beaches
South Carolina’s iconic and breathtaking white sandy beaches are famous for their crystal clear waters and sandy beaches that stretch far into the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean.
From Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head Island, locals flock from hubs like Downtown Charleston and beyond to get a break at a surfside beach or barrier island locale.
Both North Carolina and South Carolina beaches and southern hospitality attract tourists that flock to these areas thanks largely to the many amenities that are available, such as camping sites or high-end resorts.
These beach town locations take in thousands of visitors every season, so it is no surprise that some beaches can get quite crowded.
The good news is that there are other beaches that offer tranquility and a relaxing atmosphere without the crowds.
The Least Crowded Beaches in South Carolina
If you are looking for less crowded beaches for your next beach vacation, this southern coast state has many options.
Perfect for romantic getaways and family beach vacations in South Carolina, these beautiful beaches offer a secluded place to make memories all with oceanfront views.
Don’t worry, you can still avoid the big crowds while enjoying the best beaches with family friendly and fun activities like water sports, and sandcastle building all with spectacular views.
Hunting Island State Park
Hunting Island State Park is arguably the most popular park in the state of South Carolina.
While it does attract quite a few visitors over the year, it has pure length that contributes to its uncrowded nature. Five miles of pristine shoreline make it easy to find a spot all your own for the day.
The park hosts 100 campsites and the Hunting Island Lagoon is known to be a prime spot for fun filled activities like fishing, paddle boarding and kayaking.
The quickest route to get there is by taking US-17 South, and then turning right onto Sea Island Parkway.
Once you have arrived, you’ll find secluded beaches full of shells, mesmerizing wildlife, and enchanting sunsets but without the throngs of tourists. Oh, and it’s one of the many dog-friendly beaches in South Carolina.
The truth is, South Carolina’s less crowded beaches may require you to leave the mainland! Kiawah Island offers one of the most secluded beaches on our list. Located just off Charleston’s coastline, Kiawah Island has over 10 miles of beaches waiting to host you for relaxation.
Along with its tranquil surrounding forests, sand dunes, and diverse wildlife (bobcats,alligators, and whitetail deer, and endangered species like sea turtles) there are also peaceful golf courses (the island hosted the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships) waiting to take you away to your zen zone.
Plus, locals know this island has some of the best food options in the area! Check out the Nest Market Cafe or the beloved Jasmine Porch at the Sanctuary.
This secluded destination can be reached by a short drive from Charleston. With just a bit of effort and planning, you can arrive at uncrowded beaches in no time.
Daufuskie Island is a hidden gem among the beaches of South Carolina. It remains peaceful, uncrowded and tranquil, making it an ideal destination for those seeking to escape from their daily lives.
To get there, take a ferry ride out of Hilton Head Island lasting around 30 minutes.
Once you are there on the island, you will find many amenities like restaurants and cafes as well as activities such as kayaking and fishing.
There are also guided tours that explore the island’s rich history.
The beach itself is beautiful with its untouched landscape and serenity making it a truly unique and tranquil experience amongst all the other beaches in South Carolina.
Edisto Beach State Park
Edisto Beach State Park on Edisto Island is an excellent destination for a peaceful, secluded escape. It features all the amenities one would expect from a beach–except without the hordes of sunbathers.
While the calming atmosphere may be what draws one in first, there are many activities to enjoy, including fishing, swimming and shelling.
Plus, this park offers six miles of trails for hiking or biking with some of the most breathtaking views in South Carolina.
To get to Edisto Beach State Park, take Highway 174 from Charleston before veering onto driving approximately 45 minutes until you reach the state park. There is a large public parking lot and even two small restaurants nearby; The Sea Cow Eatery and The Waterfront.
Garden City Beach
The very busy Grand Strand area of South Carolina plays host to a number of popular and decidedly crowded beaches, however, there is one gem that stands apart. Garden City Beach. Its prime location on a slim peninsula has the marshes of Murrells Inlet on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
Even in the peak of summer this gorgeous stretch of sand stays relatively quiet.
Unique to to finding an uncrowded beach, for this one you don’t need to drive far (it’s just a few minutes away from the bustling Myrtle Beach) to escape the crowds, yet, it still has great amenities like grocery stores, shops, and restaurants nearby meaning you don’t have to go totally away from humanity to find some tranquility.
- Due to South Carolina’s lengthy coastline, it’s not difficult to find an uncrowded beach.
- Some of the most tranquil beaches are located on barrier islands.
- Some of the best uncrowded beaches can be reached within an hour of Charleston.