Charleston is well known for its historical landmarks, colonial architecture, southern cuisine, friendly hospitality, and, of course, pristine beaches. Naturally, many buyers are drawn to residential neighborhoods that are within walking distance to the white sand, gentle waves, and salt-infused air. Deciding which beach town in the Charleston area is best suitable for one’s family is a time-consuming task, especially for those unfamiliar with the Lowcountry setting. Here are a few of the more popular beaches for permanent and seasonal residents.
Reverently referred to by tourists as “The Edge of America” and affectionately nicknamed “The Washout” by locals, Folly Beach is one of Charleston’s most unique areas to live. With a very beachy, laid back, hipster vibe, Folly Beach attracts quite a mixed group of residents, ranging from free-spirited young adults to retirees that have settled down in one of the many luxurious beachfront properties for sale. Folly is also a top location for vacation homes, but it is still an excellent place to reside permanently, as students are zoned for James Island Charter High School, one of the top 20 in the state of South Carolina.
Sullivan’s Island, known by most as the setting for several of Edgar Alan Poe’s short stories and poems, such as “The Gold Bug,” has charm beyond its extensive literary history. An ideal place to purchase a “forever home,” Sullivan’s Island has some of the loveliest beach houses in Charleston, and the convenient location is perfect for growing families. However, many listings are ideal for vacation homes as well. Nearby schools include Academic Magnet High School, recently named by U.S. News and World Report as the top public school in the nation.
Isle of Palms
Quite similar to Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms is a wonderful, family oriented place to live, vacation, and invest in a house. The gorgeous, secluded beaches are the ideal area for sea turtles to nest, and some lucky residents are able to see the turtles hatching and embarking on their journey to the ocean. Real estate in this area is ideal for young families, empty nesters, and retirees, and the central location makes it easy to access all of Charleston. Isle of Palms is zoned for Academic Magnet High School as well.
A little more secluded than Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, and Folly, Kiawah Island is a nature lover’s paradise. Well known for its commitment to conservation, Kiawah is decorated with majestic oak trees, tropical palm trees, and lush flora and fauna. Residents enjoy biking to various landmarks around the island, relaxing at the Sanctuary Spa, golfing at one of the many championship courses, fishing the estuaries and tidal creeks, taking sunset cruises along the Intracoastal Waterway, and socializing at Fresh Fields Village, and open market venue that features several restaurants, shops, and pubs. Historically, Kiawah has been more popular for second home buyers who are drawn to quiet yet luxurious lifestyle. However, with newer neighborhoods and amenities, more and more people permanently call Kiawah home.
Directly adjacent to Kiawah, Seabrook also boasts a private and peaceful lifestyle. The island is home to many local plants and animals, such as the Carolina Marsh Tacky, a breed of horse native to South Carolina, or the piebald deer, rare animals scarcely seen anywhere else. Recently, Seabrook Island constructed a new beach club for its members. The club consists of two swimming pools, oceanfront dining, tennis courts, fitness facilities, and a spectacular, championship golf course. Certified by the Audubon Society in since 1996, Seabrook Island is truly a tropical oasis.
Located farther than the aforementioned beaches, Edisto Island is unique in its own right. The ecotourism business is thriving, and many private chartered and group tours are available. Edisto Beach State Park is also an incredible place to visit. There are numerous homes and lots available, whether you want a pre-built home or a custom one. Most residents are retired, but families that move to the island are zoned for Jane Edwards Elementary School, Colleton Middle School, and Walterboro High School.
Of course, the best way to determine which beach town is best for your family is to tour the area with an experienced waterfront real estate agent at NV Realty Group. Walking the beaches, visiting the nearby stores and boutiques, touring the schools, and viewing beach homes for sale will give you a firsthand look at the saltwater lifestyle.