WHERE TO STAY
There’s no doubt that the 2 best options for bachelorette weekend getaways in Charleston SC are either the downtown peninsula, or one of the top 3 Charleston beaches which include Folly Beach, Sullivans Island, or Isle of Palms. Below I’ve included a list of resources and recommendations for the following topics:
2 BEST DESTINATIONS FOR A CHARLESTON SC BACHELORETTE PARTY:
- DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON SC
- FOLLY BEACH SC:
DECISION #1: SHOULD YOU STAY IN DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON, OR AT THE BEACH?!
If you look at a map of the greater Charleston Area, the downtown peninsula is smack dab in the middle. Although it looks spread out, everything within this perimeter is fairly close together and very accessible. You can get to any point of this map from downtown in 30 minutes or less if you avoid peak traffic hours. So at the end of the day- no matter where you decide to stay, everything else is just a short car ride away!
The Downtown Charleston Peninsula is definitely the focal point of the greater Charleston area. It has the highest density of bars, restaurants, attractions, and of course the best nightlife. If your crew is all about touring and exploring Charleston’s top-notch restaurants, shops, and attractions by day, and y’all want to get all dolled up in dresses and stilettos by night, then booking a place in downtown Charleston is your best bet.
Most vacation rentals and hotels in downtown Charleston SC are located within walking distance to either The Charleston Market or Upper King Street. In these areas, you can bounce around at your leisure, in search of swanky bars, craft cocktails, and night clubs for dancing. If you and your crew choose stilettoes over flip flops, you can always take a day trip to one of the nearby Charleston SC beaches and get the best of both worlds!
FLIP FLOPS OR STILETTOS?
I wrote an entire blog post about why I think Folly Beach is the Best Beach For Your Bachelorette Bash >>Click Here>> to read it! Folly Beach has the best of all worlds- the party scene, the surf scene, a great town center with a lot of bars and restaurants, a tidal river that allows for boating and water activities, and it’s all within walking distance from The Folly Beach Pier. You can drive from Folly Beach to the heart of Downtown Charleston in 25 minutes or less, so you beachin’ babes can still swap out those flip flops for stilettos for a night on the town once the sun goes down. And when the sun comes up- you’ll be maxin’ and relaxin in the sun and the sand with a drink in your hand. Cheers Beaches!
ADDITIONAL OPTIONS FOR BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CHARLESTON:
Besides the Charleston SC Historic District, and the Charleston SC Beaches there are several other options for vacation rentals and hotels near downtown Charleston. Most of these options will be more affordable than accommodations downtown, so if you and your crew are ballin’ on a budget, or if everything downtown is booked up- you’ll have to settle for one of the other nearby areas listed below. The following areas are all close in proximity to downtown Charleston, with driving times ranging from 5-30 minutes away. These include:
- Mount Pleasant / Shem Creek
- James Island SC
- John’s Island SC
- West Ashley SC
- North Charleston SC
- Daniel Island SC
- Charleston SC Campgrounds
- James Island County Park
- KOA Charleston SC (Mount Pleasant)
- KOA Charleston (North Charleston)
TOP 3 CHARLESTON SC BEACHES
This post is the ultimate local guide to Charleston SC beaches, so you can decide which of the beaches near Charleston SC is the best one for you and your crew to visit. The Top 3 Charleston SC Beaches are Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms. Throughout this guide, I’ll describe the unique vibe of each beach, and I’ll give you great resources and recommendations including top things to do and see, and best places to eat and drink at each location.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect destination for your family vacation, a weekend getaway with a group of friends, or something romantic and relaxing for couples, this guide will point you in the right direction! Be sure to check out my 2019 Charleston SC Bachelorette & Bachelor Party Guideif you need travel ideas for a big group!
TOP 3 CHARLESTON SC BEACHES:
- FOLLY BEACH SC
- SULLIVANS ISLAND SC
- ISLE OF PALMS
- TOP THINGS TO DO AND SEE
- TOP PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK
- TOP RESOURCES: CHARLESTON SC BEACHES
Each beach has it’s own unique vibe, so you can find the perfect spot for your squad. In my opinion, Folly Beach is more geared towards young people who are looking to get their drink on, whereas Isle of Palms is more family oriented, and Sullivan’s Island is somewhere in between. — but my personal favorite and top choice for a big group is Folly Beach SC!
FOLLY BEACH CHARLESTON SC
Folly Beach SC is a barrier island located only 12 miles from historic downtown Charleston. Folly Beach is the most popular destination for surfing in Charleston, which attracts a lot more young people who like to surf and/or party. This is one of the many reasons that Folly Beach is the best beach for your Charleston Bachelorette Party, Bachelor Party, or group vacay.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN FOLLY BEACH SC
Folly Beach surfing, catch some waves!
- Folly Beach is the best (and only) surf spot in Charleston.
- Check out the Folly Beach Cam to see if there are any good waves while you're in town, if so give it a go!
- OR just post up at “The Washout”- one of the best known Folly Beach Surfing spots- to watch all the hottie surfer brahs rip it, while you sit back and enjoy the eye candy.
Charter a boat! There are various types of boat rides in Charleston SC:
- Yacht Rental Charleston SC
- Booze Cruise Charleston SC
- Fishing Charters
- Sailing Excursions
- Sunset Cruises + Dolphin Sighting
Top Boat Charter Companies:
- Citadel Marine Services
- Holy City Boat Tours
- Huckfinn Charters
Go paddleboarding or kayaking on the Folly River
- Go for a sunset paddle w/SUP Safaris- highly recommended!
- Flipper Finder's Boat & Sea Kayak Tours is also top notch!
Folly Beach Bike Rentals:
- Cruise the whole town and cover some ground- or even snag a golf cart and check out the Morris Island Lighthouse and the Folly Beach County Park.
- Cool Breeze Bikes
- B’s Bikes
- Folly Beach Adventures
Post up at Blu Restaurant & Bar at Tides Folly Beach for drinks and music.
- Blu Folly Beach is the oceanfront bar that's connected to Tides Folly Beach, the only oceanfront hotel on Folly.
FOLLY BEACH SC RESTAURANTS
- Jack of Cups
- Chico Feo
- Taco Boy http://tacoboy.net
- Loggerheads www.loggerheadsbg.com/
- Surfbar http://surfbarfollybeach.com/
- Snapper Jacks snapperjacks.net
- Rita’s Surfside Bar and Grill
- Blu Oceanfront http://www.blufollybeach.com/
FOLLY BEACH SC NIGHTLIFE AND DAYTIME BARS
- Blu Restaurant & Bar @ The Tides Folly Beach
- Snapper Jacks Folly Beach
- Surf Bar Folly Beach
- The Drop-In Bar & Deli Folly Beach
- St. James Gate Folly
- Sunset Cay Marina Folly
- Chico Feo
- The Washout Folly Beach
WEATHER FOLLY BEACH SC
- Folly Beach Cam
- Folly Beach Surf Report
- Folly Beach Surf Shop
- Folly Beach Surf Lessons
FOLLY BEACH SURFING
- Weather Folly Beach SC
- Tides Folly Beach:
- The Folly Beach Tide Chart
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND CHARLESTON SC
Sullivan’s Island is more of a laid back, family friendly beach. Sullivan’s Island Public Beach is located only 9 miles from historic downtown Charleston. There are not really any waves along the oceanfront on this barrier island, but there are miles of pristine coastline that make it one of the most popular destinations for windsurfing and kiteboarding in the south east. On a windy day head to Station 28 St. and there is a good chance you will see dozens of windsurfers and kiteboarders zipping along the shore.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN SULLIVANS ISLAND CHARLESTON SC
- Catch Some Air!
- Go Kiteboarding at Windsurfing at Sullivans Island Public Beach, or just go post up at 28 ½ Station near Breaches Inlet to watch other people do it- it can be very captivating!
- Go Kayaking or Paddleboarding off of Sullivan's Island Public Beach.
- Visit Fort Moultrie and learn some interesting historical facts.
- Take some sweet photos at the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse.
- Grab a juicy burger at Poe's Sullivans Island.
- Try a "Blonde Bloody Mary" from The Obstinate Daughter.
SULLIVANS ISLAND RESTAURANTS
- Poe's Tavern
- The Obstinate Daughter
- Hometeam BBQ http://www.hometeambbq.com
- Mex 1 Coastal Cantina
WEATHER SULLIVANS ISLAND SC
- Weather Sullivans Island SC
- Sullivans Island Tide Chart
ISLE OF PALMS SC
Of the Top 3 Charleston SC Beaches, Isle of Palms (AKA IOP) is definitely the most boujee and family-friendly beach with really strict police. IOP is also the farthest distance from downtown historic Charleston- about 17 miles- (usually at least a 25-30 minute drive without traffic.) However, the Windjammer can be fun, and the Wild Dunes Resort has a great spa, golf course, and an outdoor pool.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN ISLE OF PALMS CHARLESTON SC
- Day Drink at The Windjammer Isle of Palms
- Play volleyball, see some live music or go to a bikini contest at The Windjammer Isle of Palms, they have great daytime beach parties on weekends in the summertime.
- They also have some of the best nightlife and live music on Wild Dunes Isle of Palms.
- Treat Yo'self w/a "spaliday" at Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms SC.
- Wild Dunes Resort is located on Isle of Palms, and their Sand and Sea Day Spa is top notch.
- Ladies can get pampered with a spa package, while the men can play a round of golf. Oh yea- they have a great outdoor pool too!
TOP ISLE OF PALMS SC RESTAURANTS
- Acme Lowcountry Kitchen
- Morgan Creek Grill
- The Refuge
- Coconut Joes
- The Windjammer
- Long Island Cafe
- Sea Biscuit Cafe
WEATHER ISLE OF PALMS SC
- Weather Isle of Palms SC
- Isle of Palms Tide Chart