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A beach day is the quintessential vacation activity. Beaufort is home to a variety of waterfronts, from popular public parks to local getaways and hidden gems. Our South Carolina beaches are the perfect places to soak up the sun, relax with friends and family, watch the sunset, explore nature, or set your poles for a relaxing afternoon of fishing. Discover beaches in South Carolina with Visit Beaufort.
Hunting Island is South Carolina’s most popular state park, boasting five miles of pristine beaches that attract over 1,000,000 guests each year. Its soft white sands are perfect for relaxing, sunbathing, and picnicking. Plus, the beaches are pet-friendly, meaning that your furry family members can also join in the fun.
For a break from the beach, head inland to the state park’s educational nature center and hiking trails. These trails are an excellent way to view wildlife and explore the park’s 5,000 acres of stunning low-country scenery. Locations you may encounter include:
The unique estuary ecosystem is home to diverse wildlife including fish, crabs, and many water and shore birds. Bring a field guide and a camera to see what you can identify. The landscape also changes daily with the tides, so there’s always something new to explore!
Hunting Island is also home to the Hunting Island Lighthouse, the only lighthouse in South Carolina that is accessible to the public. Free tours provide an educational introduction to the site’s construction and history. Or, pay a minor admissions fee to scale the lighthouse and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Barrier Island and seascape.
Located at the southern tip of Port Royal, The Sands Beach is the perfect place for a quick getaway. This local favorite is easy to access and free to the public during daylight hours. You can even drive onto the beach and picnic out of your car.
The Sands Beach is on Battery Creek, not the Atlantic Ocean, and has minimal wave action. This makes it a great spot for family excursions. There’s plenty of room for young children to safely wade and play. At low tide, you can scour the shoreline for shells and even shark teeth for awesome kids’ crafts or souvenirs. There’s also a boardwalk that culminates in an observation tower offering scenic views. It’s the perfect spot for photography or watching the sunset.
If you’re ready to explore beyond the shore, The Sands Beach also features a free boat launch for fishing and waterborne adventuring.
For travelers looking to get off the beaten path, try Lands End Beach. This secluded location is found on St. Helena Island via a trail from the Fort Fremont preserve. The short, shady path ends in a hidden paradise with white sand, few crowds, and a stunning vista of the Port Royal Sound. Nature enthusiasts can expect unique views in all directions, including a maritime forest and a boneyard. Watch for dolphins playing in the smooth water.
The quiet atmosphere also makes Lands End Beach a great spot for fishing. Download a tide chart and set your poles for a relaxing afternoon of shoreline angling.
While you’re in the area, the nearby Fort Fremont preserve is also worth checking out. This historical site was a strategic naval repair base during the Civil War. Later, it became home to a fort built during the Spanish-American War. It now makes an engaging and educational afternoon stop, with potentially haunted ruins and a history center featuring a full diorama of the fort in its heyday.
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax, explore nature, or picnic with the family, you’re sure to find it at one of these beaches in South Carolina. Visit Beaufort is your guide to tourism and attractions in the Beaufort, SC, and Port Royal area. We offer everything you need to plan your visit, from printable maps to brochures and helpful travel tips. Contact us to learn more.