Whether you are looking for peace and tranquility or entertainment and boating, the family beaches in South Carolina do not disappoint. South Carolina’s Atlantic coastline offers families a variety of beaches. Sand, surf, lighthouses, turtles, lifeguards and fishing are all part of these family-friendly beaches in South Carolina. Grab your bathing suit and sand shovel, because the Old South is waiting to welcome your family.
1. Folly Beach County Park – Folly Beach
Folly Beach offers numerous family beach options. Beach access and swimming is permitted on every block on Folly Beach. But Folly Beach County Park offers families even more than sand and ocean. Located on the West End of the island, the sand here is situated between both the Atlantic Ocean and Folly River, so calm waters are always an option. Lifeguards are on duty in the summer and beach chair and umbrella rentals are available. Restrooms, outdoor showers, a snack bar and picnic areas are also featured at this family beach in South Carolina.
Recommended Hotel: Tides Folly Beach
2. Sullivan’s Island
Located about 20 minutes outside of Charleston, Sullivan’s Island offers families a tranquil beach escape away from the city hustle. The family beaches here are kept in a natural state, meaning there is no beachfront development, restrooms or other facilities on the beach. So for families looking to keep things simple with building sandcastles in the sand and swimming in the Atlantic, Sullivan’s is where you go.
Recommended Hotel: Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina
3. Myrtle Beach State Park – Myrtle Beach
Named one of Family Vacation Critic’s Best Beaches for Families in 2014, Myrtle Beach is often deemed one of the best family beaches in South Carolina and Myrtle Beach State Park is at the top of our list. Slightly removed from the lights, sounds and lively attractions of Myrtle Beach’s main drag, this state park offers a quiet, oceanfront forest. Families can enjoy fishing, hiking and swimming along a mile of Atlantic Ocean coastline. Lifeguards are on duty in the summer and umbrellas and beach chairs can be rented from the lifeguards. Be on the lookout for some loggerhead sea turtle activity!
There are outdoor showers, restrooms and changing rooms at this family-friendly beach and if can’t tear yourself away, you can even camp in the park (and there is free Wi-Fi at the campground).
Recommended Hotel: Dunes Village Resort
4. Isle of Palms County Park – Isle of Palms
Isle of Palms offers more than 50 beach access spots for families, as well as parking (metered or seasonal pass). Families can enjoy kayaking, fishing, boating and swimming at any Isle of Palm beach. Isle of Palms County Park features seasonal lifeguards, a playground, sand volleyball court, picnic areas, restrooms and changing areas. The island’s turtle team also monitors any sea turtle nests and hatches each season.
Recommended Hotel: Wild Dunes Resort
5. Hunting Island State Park – Hunting Island
Located about an hour from Hilton Head, this barrier island is one of the best family beaches in South Carolina. Ideal for families who are seeking to add camping to their beach vacation, the 5,000-acre park offers a camping area with easy access to the 3 miles of sand and Atlantic Ocean. Families can go boating, fishing off the pier or hike the nature trails. Kids will love to climb the historic lighthouse stairs too. If you are staying in Hilton Head and want to visit a more removed family beach, Hunting Island State Park is the answer.
Recommended Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Head
6. Kiawah Beachwalker Park – Kiawah Island
Located on the west end of the island, this family beach in South Carolina is the only public beach access on Kiawah Island. It features river views and ocean access. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer season and leashed dogs are permitted on the beach year-round. Families can enjoy swimming in the ocean and playing in the sand while at Beachwalker Park. There are restrooms, outdoor showers, a snack bar and beach chair and umbrella rentals, too.
Recommended Hotel: Kiawah Island Golf Resort
7. Burkes Beach – Hilton Head Island
Families will love biking or driving to Burkes Beach, as there is metered parking and both sand and paved trails that lead to the beach. Located on Hilton Head Island near Chaplin Community Park (which features a basketball court, playground and dog park), Burkes Beach offers outdoor showers, but no restrooms. (Restrooms can be found a 5-minute walk from the beach, however.) Your family will love to spend the day at Burkes Beach, one of the best family-friendly beaches in South Carolina.
Recommended Hotel: Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island
8. Pelican Beach – Seabrook Island
Seabrook Island features nearly 4 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline and Pelican Beach (also known as Sunset Beach) is one of the best family-friendly beaches in South Carolina. The waters are calm here for young swimmers, and offer a slow moving current because the Edisto River meets the Atlantic Ocean at Pelican Beach. So spend the day at the beach and then stick around for the ultimate sunset.
Recommended Hotel: Andell Inn/Charleston Kiawah Island
9. Mitchelville Beach Park – Hilton Head Island
This family beach in South Carolina features restrooms and outdoor showers. Located on Hilton Head Island, parents may love this family beach for its parking lot more than the sand. There is free parking in a large lot and the walk from your car to the sand may be the shortest in South Carolina. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the sun and surf at Mitchelville Beach Park.
Recommended Hotel: Marriott’s Barony Beach Club
10. Litchfield Beach – Pawleys Island
Located about 30 minutes from Myrtle Beach, Litchfield Beach offers families a quieter beach vacation. Families can enjoy fishing, surfing, kayaking and swimming at Litchfield Beach. There are only a few public beach access points in this quiet Pawleys Island community and parking is limited. But the wide beaches will seem endless and make for a great family beach in South Carolina.
Recommended Hotel: Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort
What to Pack for Your Next Trip
Casual Summer Swimsuit for Dad/Men
Casual Summer Swimsuit for Mom/Women
Boys Beach Outfit for Summer
Our team of parents and travel experts chooses each product and service we recommend. Anything you purchase through links on our site may earn us a commission.