South Carolina’s beaches are also some of the best in the nation. They bring tourists from across the nation. So, why not call a beach town your home? These particular South Carolina beach towns are the cream of the crop.
10 Best South Carolina Beach Towns
- Myrtle Beach
- Hilton Head
- Isle of Palms
- Sullivan’s Island
- Surfside Beach
- Seabrook Island
- Folly Beach
- Pawley’s Island
- Kiawah Island
- Murrells Inlet
1. Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is the best place to live in South Carolina near the beach. The town is well-known as one of the biggest tourist cities in the Southeast, and it’s easy to see why. There are tons of excellent restaurants in the area, plus beautiful views of the ocean. If you’re a fan of biking, it’s a popular sport here.
Believe it or not, Myrtle Beach is fairly safe for a city of its size. The schools aren’t too shabby, either. No wonder living here has become a bragging right!
2. Hilton Head
Hilton Head has been the darling of the old-money socialites for ages. Its reputation for being elegant, upscale, and classy precedes it. That’s why it’s hard to say that you live in Hilton Head without sounding like you’re trying to brag—even when you’re not.
Living in Hilton Head means you can access luxury beaches, bumpin’ clubs, museums, and safe neighborhoods. Wildlife fans will be happy to know they will live within walking distance of a massive refuge featuring a high level of biodiversity, too.
3. Isle of Palms
Even the name of this beach area sounds luxurious! The Isle of Palms is actually a small strip of land that acts as both a resort and residential living space right along the ocean. This is an outdoorsy person’s dream.
You can take long walks on the beach, have picnics, go surfing, go golfing, or even rent a boat here. Though it is a resort town, most people fall in love with its quiet beauty during off-seasons. Schools are good, and the homes look beautiful. What’s not to adore?
4. Sullivan’s Island
Are you searching for a home with a certain “small town” feel? Sullivan’s Island is a resort-style beach town that might be up your alley. This is a small town right in the heart of Charleston County that offers beachside living and so, so much more.
Sullivan’s Island boasts award-winning restaurants, resort hotspots, and decent schools. It also happens to be a remarkably close-knit community. So if you’re a fan of knowing your neighbor’s name, you should consider this tight-knit South Carolina beach town.
5. Surfside Beach
Are you looking for a great, safe South Carolina beach town to start a family and raise your kids in? Look no further than ultra-family-friendly Surfside Beach. The town is nicknamed “Family Beach” thanks to the many kid-oriented attractions and activities it has.
Fun shops, a crafter’s cove, and plentiful parks make this a great place to visit. Safe streets and a lot of support for students make it an even better place to live. For more grown-up activities, check out the restaurant and nightlife scene.
6. Seabrook Island
For many people that are veteran beach townies, there are few things as infuriating as summer tourists. No one likes the sudden boom in traffic, nor do they like the rowdiness that can accompany it. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a private beach community of your own?
That’s precisely what makes Seabrook Island one of the best beach towns to live in. It’s a gated community that acts as a town in and of itself. So needless to say, tourists are not welcome here. It’s for locals only!
7. Folly Beach
You’d be a fool to pass up real estate in Folly Beach. This gorgeous little city-like town is right near Charleston and has a wonderful array of perks for people who live here. Most tourists know it for the iconic Folly Pier and surrounding boardwalk that goes 1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean.
However, you don’t have to stick to the Pier. Folly Beach’s downtown district is cosmopolitan and elegant. It’s a little bit of city and a little bit of surf. It’s all Folly Beach, and that’s why residents love to live here year-round.
8. Pawley’s Island
History fans already know that South Carolina is a veritable hotspot of all things Victorian, but Pawley’s Island takes it to another level. This picturesque beach town has many homes from the 19th and 18th centuries, featuring Moorish architecture and classic Victorian stylings.
Beautiful gardens and a small zoo make this quiet town a great place for people who want to live a more outdoorsy life. However, this almost-untouched area will be hard to find a home in. The population of Pawley’s is only 100-strong!
9. Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island is another one of the best places to live in SC near the beach. Kiawah Island oozes tropical resort vibes but still remains part of South Carolina. Crystal-clear waters, tons of docks for fishing and sightseeing, and ample winding roads for fun drives are what bring people to this town every year.
Kiawah Island is such a beautiful place that it’s hard to pass up living here. In terms of the quality of life, this is the type of place that remains relatively affordable for families while keeping things plush. Needless to say, people rarely ever want to move away from Kiawah Island.
10. Murrells Inlet
Murrels Island is another wonderful South Carolina beach town. It’s a bit of a hidden gem known for its excellent fresh seafood. Murrells Inlet has been nicknamed the seafood capital of South Carolina and has dishes that are comparable to Baton Rouge. The nearby views and fishing opportunities are also some of the best in the country. If you love fresh fish and crustaceans as much as you love living near the beach, moving here is a no-brainer.