Beachin': Kiawah


Just south of Charleston, this secluded beachfront community features gorgeous rental homes, wooded streets, scenic marshes, wide beaches, five award-winning golf courses, and one of the South’s top resorts. And with more than thirty miles of bike trails winding across the island, it’s all easy to explore without ever getting in your car. Wildlife lovers can spot deer along the paths and graceful osprey dotting the marshes and ponds, while those in search of luxury can take advantage of a sophisticated spa and upscale beach accommodations. And while Charleston, with its world-class restaurants and shopping, is a tempting short drive away, Kiawah offers more than enough activities within its gates to keep you—and your family—entertained all week long. —S.C.

What’s New:
The Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course has been around since 1991 but will be getting lots of special attention in the coming months as it is the site of the 94th PGA Championship this August. On the eastern end of Kiawah, the course offers more oceanside holes—and accompanying gorgeous views—than any other in the Northern Hemisphere. 800-576-1570,

Where to Drink:
Stop in for a post-round beer at the bar at the Ocean Course Clubhouse, where you can take in panoramic ocean views and order a Palmetto Pale Ale, brewed just up the road in Charleston.

Stay Here:
The Sanctuary looks more like an antebellum plantation home than a modern hotel with its 255-room structure, elegant interior, and plentitude of live oaks lining its entrance. Request a corner room to catch views of the expansive private beach and gorgeous sunsets. From $454 per night, 800-576-1570,

Or Here:
While Kiawah is undoubtedly upscale with its sprawling mansions, the island does offer condo rentals for those on a budget. A short walk to the beach, these often offer access to pools, ocean views, and amenities like full kitchens. From $299 per night,

For the Adults:
Kiawah is brimming with offerings for the adventurous including private surfing lessons ($57 for 90 minutes), paddleboard lessons ($50 for one hour), and even a fly-fishing clinic ($75 per person).

Aah, Spa:
Arrive early for your appointment at this bright and airy Sanctuary spa to relax among the tumbling waterfalls and garden atmosphere. Try the refreshing Mint Julep Hydrating Facial ($160), a stimulating treatment that includes a massage using peppermint and spearmint oils. 843-768-6340,

Where to Shop:
Serious shoppers can head into Charleston to indulge in King Street’s high fashions, but for those looking for simple gifts or souvenirs, The Sanctuary holds several stores including a large golf shop offering Ocean Course golf apparel and The Wells Gallery featuring art work from both local and international artists.






Bon Appetit, Y’all

Frequent visitors to Kiawah will point you in the direction of the Fat Hen (, a French-meets-Southern restaurant on Johns Island. Enjoy dishes featuring fresh seafood and locally sourced vegetables in a farmhouse that feels as if it were plucked from the French countryside. 843-559-9090