11 Top-Rated Beach Resorts in South Carolina

Written by Carri Wilbanks
Oct 9, 2019

South Carolina has 187 miles of coastline and numerous barrier islands and as such is home to some awesome beaches-not to mention resorts along them. The state is also home to some of the top golf courses in the U.S., as well as historic cities like Charleston that are conveniently located near beaches.

All in all this is a vacation paradise, whether you are a family traveling with the kids or a couple looking for a romantic getaway. And best of all, the beach resorts here come in all categories when it comes to budgets and amenities - including many options with full kitchens and washers and dryers.

Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach are the two largest beach destinations. Hilton Head is an island, so it is circled by beaches, while the Grand Strand, which encompasses Myrtle Beach and the areas surrounding it, is a 60-mile-long stretch of beach.

There are also beaches within easy driving distance of historic Charleston, and these include the barrier island Isle of Palms and Folly Beach, which is just 20 minutes drive to the south. Kiawah Island is another barrier island near Folly Beach that hosts more resorts, including one known for its championship golf.

Plan your next vacation with our list of the best beach resorts in South Carolina.

1. Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms

Photo Source: Wild Dunes Resort

On the Isle of Palms, a barrier island next to the city of Charleston, the Wild Dunes Resort truly offers something for everyone resort wise. There are two hotels on the grounds, as well as beach houses and condo rentals that work great for larger groups or multi-generational family vacations-some have as many as seven bedrooms.

The Boardwalk Inn is one of the hotel options. It is located right on the beach and is a popular romantic choice with an adult-only swimming pool.

For families, try the Village at Wild Dunes Hotel, which features large, contemporary suites. There are also multiple dining options, pools, and a relaxing spa on the grounds. For golf, there are two 18-hole courses to play.

Address: 200 Grand Pavilion Blvd, Isle of Palms, South Carolina

Accommodation: Wild Dunes Resort

2. The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island

Photo Source: The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

South Carolina is known for its fabulous golf resorts, and one of the top properties in this genre is The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Located on Kiawah Island just south of Charleston, it is truly a destination resort that you don't need to leave should you not wish to. There are five championship golf courses to play here, but there is more to do than golf.

The 4-star oceanfront resort is located on a beautiful stretch of beach. There is also a luxury spa with a focus on local treatments, and various restaurants.

The rooms and suites are generous in size and done up in Lowcountry chic style, with quality sheets and duvets and lots of marble in the bathrooms.

Address: 1 Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Accommodation: The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

3. Inn & Club at Harbour Town - Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head

Photo Source: Inn & Club at Harbour Town - Sea Pines Resort

Hilton Head Island is one of South Carolina's top beach destinations. And the Inn & Club at Harbour Town is an excellent choice when it comes to upmarket beach resorts on the island.

The inn is part of the larger Sea Pines Resort and just a five-minute stroll from the Harbour Town Lighthouse, and guests here have access to the Sea Pines Beach Club and other parts of the resort via a free shuttle bus. Other amenities on-site include a pool, restaurant, and fitness room. There is also a golf course and clubhouse on the grounds.

When it comes to sleeping, there are rooms and suites to choose from. Families will like the two-bedroom suite, which comes with a kitchenette and extra living space, while the rooms have a swanky vibe and Lowcountry decor. Bathrooms feature soaking tubs.

Address: 7 Lighthouse Lane, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Accommodation: Inn & Club at Harbour Town - Sea Pines Resort

4. Tides Folly Beach, Folly Beach

Photo Source: Tides Folly Beach

Right in front of the pier on Folly Beach, which is just a 20-minute drive south of downtown Charleston, Tides Folly Beach is a good choice if you want to experience the historic city and the ocean.

The mid-range hotel features spacious rooms with ocean-inspired colors. All come with sea views and some sort of patio or balcony.

On-site amenities include a heated swimming pool with sun loungers that stays open all year, as well as a small workout room. There is a restaurant on-site, and room service is also available.

If you are traveling with a pup, the hotel is pet-friendly for a fee. Fees are also charged to rent umbrellas and beach chairs.

Address: 1 Center Street, Folly Beach, South Carolina

Accommodation: Tides Folly Beach

5. Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort, Hilton Head

Photo Source: Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort

Chill out on a beach or slide down the waterslide into the outdoor pool, whatever your family decides there is plenty to do at Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort. Created to look like a circa 1940s fishing lodge, the kid-focused resort sits on a private 15-acre island estuary on the island.

Choose from studios and one- or two-bedroom villas that can accommodate up to 10 people. These are comfy and contemporary, and the larger units come with full kitchens and washer/dryers, which a lot of parents will appreciate. Even the rooms have mini-fridges, microwaves, and pullout couches, however.

There is also a kids' club with organized activities on-site and a children's swimming pool. Multiple dining options and a free shuttle to Disney's Beach House, which features another pool, round out the perks.

Address: 22 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Accommodation: Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort

6. Marriott's OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes, Myrtle Beach

Photo Source: Marriott's OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes

On the grounds of a sprawling residential community in the gorgeous holiday destination of Myrtle Beach, Marriott's OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes offer luxury oceanfront abodes for couples and families alike.

The digs here are in a few different layouts of a two-bedroom villa, all of which come with modern decor and plenty of space. Parents will love the kitchens to prep meals for little ones. There are also separate living and dining rooms and balconies with ocean or garden vistas.

Away from the rooms, you'll find beach access, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hot tub, workout room, and barbecue grills. If you don't feel like cooking, no worries, there are also four restaurants on-site.

Address: 8550 Costa Verde Drive, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Accommodation: Marriott's OceanWatch Villas at Grand Dunes

7. Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island

Photo Source: Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island

On the grounds of the Shipwreck Plantation on Hilton Head Island, the luxe Sonesta Resort fronts a pretty white-sand beach. It's also surrounded by lushly manicured subtropical gardens.

The contemporary rooms and suites offer views of either the gardens or the Atlantic Ocean from their furnished balconies. Rooms also come with upmarket perks like flat-screen smart TVs, so you can stream your favorite binge-worthy show on rainy days, and Keurig coffeemakers. Couples will want to book the suite with a Jacuzzi tub. Actually the suites are a great choice for families also, as they have living spaces with pullout sofas.

On-site amenities feature a number of dining options, including one that does good South Carolina Lowcountry fare. There is also a 24-hour gym, a spa for facials and massages, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools plus a hot tub.

Address: 130 Shipyard Drive, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Accommodation: Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island

8. Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations, Myrtle Beach

Photo Source: Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations

Families love Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations for its upscale, all-suite resort set up right on the Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach. Just a short stroll from the boardwalk, the tower hotel also has free mini golf and a children's activity center on-site.

The suites are spacious, clean, and contemporary and feature pullout couches in living rooms, furnished balconies, and best of all for parents-full kitchens. Property amenities include two swimming pools and a hot tub, as well as a snack shop and deli. There is also a workout room.

Address: 2200 N. Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Accommodation: Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations

9. Ocean Oak Resort by Hilton Grand Vacations, Hilton Head

Photo Source: Ocean Oak Resort by Hilton Grand Vacations

In an oceanfront locale on Hilton Head Island, Ocean Oak Resort is another top choice for families. All accommodation is in two-bedroom suites that are done up in contemporary Lowcountry style. They come with kitchens, sleeper sofas in the living rooms, and washer/dryer combos that parents will appreciate after a day of the kids playing in the sand.

If you don't feel like cooking there is a bistro restaurant on the grounds. The zero-entry swimming pool is another perk with spray features that children like. A fitness center with cardio machines and free weights and a kids' playroom, as well as bike and kayak rentals, round out the amenities. Oh, and if you want to grab some snacks for the beach, there is also a convenience store on-site.

Address: 41 S Forest Beach Drive, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Accommodation: Ocean Oak Resort by Hilton Grand Vacations

10. Marriott's Grande Ocean, Hilton Head

Photo Source: Marriott's Grande Ocean

Marriott's Grande Ocean is an upscale condo resort with direct beach access on Hilton Head Island. It is an elegant choice, with accommodation in two-bedroom suites that feature Jacuzzi tubs in the master baths. The suites also come with furnished balconies, full kitchens, and sleeper sofas in the living space-a plus for families.

On-site amenities include a restaurant, an outdoor pool with a hot tub, a spa with its own swimming pool and sauna, and a fitness room and tennis courts. Should you wish to play a round of golf, you are just a five-minute drive from the Harbour Town Golf Links. The Grande Ocean is also within walking distance of the popular Coligny Beach Park.

Address: 51 S. Forest Beach Drive, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Accommodation: Marriott's Grande Ocean

11. North Beach Plantation, North Myrtle Beach

Photo Source: North Beach Plantation

One of the few luxury oriented resorts in the Myrtle Beach area, North Myrtle Beach is far removed from the boardwalk (it is a 20-minute drive), but if you don't mind being in a less central location, it delivers with destination resort amenities and is right on the beach.

Accommodation is in condos and cottages ranging from one to five bedrooms. All come with ocean views and full kitchens, as well as washer/dryer combos. Some even have private swimming pools and hot tubs.

On-site amenities include a popular steakhouse restaurant, a posh spa, and a large swimming pool area. There is also a meditation lounge and a gym with Pilates reformers on site. Golf packages can be arranged.

Address: 100 North Beach Boulevard, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Accommodation: North Beach Plantation

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

The Best of South Carolina: To get a feel for beaches in the state and what you can expect to find, see our guide to the Best Beaches in South Carolina. If you want to spend some time sightseeing and get off the resort for a bit, start with our list of top attractions in South Carolina. You might also want to consider doing a little deep sea fishing while you're here.

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