When it comes to natural beauty and coastal charm, few destinations can compete with Kiawah Island, a beautifully preserved and unspoiled barrier island nestled between the Kiawah River and Atlantic Ocean. Ranked one of the top fishing destinations on the East Coast, Kiawah Island delivers a great Lowcountry fishing experience for all fishing enthusiasts in all four seasons.
Kiawah Island’s diverse and incredible ecosystem includes 10 miles of pristine beaches, freshwater and brackish ponds, saltwater rivers, and serene marshlands teeming with fish and wildlife. Local fish species include redfish, spotted sea trout, flounder, rays, and sharks with big game fish like tuna, grouper, snapper, and marlin regularly caught in the offshore waters. Unless you’re fishing with a certified charter captain, a fishing license is required on Kiawah Island even for the private docks and fishing ponds.
Whether you’re seeking to cast your line from a quiet dock or the thrill of reeling in a trophy marlin offshore, we’ve got you covered with the top fishing spots on Kiawah Island.
1. Beachwalker Park
Combine a classic beach day with surf fishing at Kiawah Island’s Beachwalker Park, ranked one of the best beaches in the US for 2022 by Dr. Beach! Beachwalker Park is public, pet-friendly and a popular spot for surf fishing on the South Carolina coastline with miles of uncrowded scenic shoreline to sit back, cast a line, and wait for a bite. Surf fishing is always best on a rising tide so be sure to check the local tide charts before you head out – or stay steps from the Beachwalker Park boardwalks with Kiawah Exclusives for a daily surf check from home!
2. Kiawah River
Kiawah Island is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and thriving Kiawah River with oyster banks, tidal creeks and salt marshes abounding in saltwater fish species, and Kiawah’s local wildlife. One of the best fishing spots on Kiawah Island is at the Kiawah River inlet near the west end of Beachwalker Park – you may even witness Kiawah’s local dolphin pods fishing for their own food at Captain Sams Inlet. Captain Sams Inlet on the Kiawah River is one of the few places in the world where you can experience the spectacular phenomenon of dolphin’s strand feeding.
3. Night Heron Park
Night Heron Park lies in the heart of Kiawah Island’s East Beach Village and is a central hub for outdoor adventure and nature activities on the island, including fun on-island fishing adventures. The Night Heron Pond near the Heron Park Nature Center is fully stocked with a community fishing dock making it a top spot for family fishing with the kids. Night Heron Park has resident alligators, so always fish from the docks and bridges, not from the banks, and do not reach into the water. Stop by the Heron Park Nature Center for a wide selection of nature tours and family-friendly fishing activities and charters
4. Bass Pond Fishing Dock
There are 60+ ponds and lagoons on Kiawah Island, fully stocked with freshwater fish such as bass, bream, tilapia, and carp. The Bass Pond Fishing Dock is situated near Rhett’s Bluff, through the second gates to Vanderhorst Plantation, and is one of the best ponds for fishing on Kiawah Island. Other popular Kiawah fishing ponds in Vanderhorst include Egret Pond, Canvasback Pond, and Blue Heron Pond. Blue Heron Pond is also a top spot for crabbing on Kiawah Island and be sure to take a break from fishing to climb the observation tower for a 360-degree view of Kiawah’s tranquil landscapes.
5. Bohicket Marina
Bohicket Marina & Market is located between Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island and ranks as one of the best marinas in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Sail to Kiawah Island and dock at Bohicket Marina, book a guided fishing charter at the Boat Club, or rent a boat for a self-guided fishing excursion along the backwaters of the Edisto River and Bohicket Creek. Don’t be too hasty to head back home! Crack a cold one and snack on fresh seafood at Salty Dog Café while savoring one of the best Lowcountry sunsets ever at Bohicket Marina!
6. Kiawah Island Fishing Charters
Whether you’re learning to fish, on a family fishing vacation, or an expert angler looking for a challenge, nothing beats fishing with a local expert on Kiawah Island. Kiawah Island’s guided fishing charters and boat tours are run by tournament winning captains with years of experience fishing the Lowcountry waters and knowledge of the best secret fishing spots on Kiawah.
From inshore fishing charters and epic shark fishing in the channels and creeks to full day deep sea adventures on the offshore sandbars, wrecks and artificial reefs, the ultimate fishing experience awaits on Kiawah Island. Search our Exclusives Guide to find a fishing charter to match your level of adventure!
Our Kiawah Exclusives team has been locally operated since 1978! We know the best places to stay and play on Kiawah Island and are happy to assist throughout the vacation planning process. Browse our portfolio of luxury rentals online or call our team on (843) 768-0273 to start planning an epic Lowcountry fishing trip to Kiawah Island.
Spectacular Lowcountry sunrise and sunset views are part of Mother Nature’s perfect package when you vacation on the South Carolina coastline. Charleston is famous for its romantic sunsets but if you’re looking to escape the urban vibe and reconnect with nature, there’s nowhere quite like Kiawah Island.
Situated only a 45 minute drive from Charleston, Kiawah Island is a small barrier island with an incredible ecosystem of maritime forests, saltwater marshes and Atlantic coastline abounding in wildlife, birdlife and friendly bottlenose dolphins. The east-west orientation of Kiawah Island makes it a prime spot to capture sunrises and sunsets …. in fact, the best sunrises and sunsets you’ll ever experience!
Kiawah Exclusives have 40+ years of local knowledge which we love to share with our guests. While every sunset on Kiawah Island is a must-see there are a few extra special places that top the charts as the best sunset spots on Kiawah Island.
Atlantic Ocean Sunset at Beachwalker Park
Nothing beats a day on the wild, natural and uncrowded beaches of Kiawah Island. Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island is ranked one of the Top 10 Beaches in America by Dr. Beach and, no matter the season, a beach day never disappoints. Kiawah’s 10 miles of uninterrupted shoreline are idyllic for low tide walks, bike riding, calm ocean dips, and spectacular sunset views. As daylight turns to dusk, the serenity of the waves crashing, wildlife roaming the dunes, and the sun sinking below the horizon makes for a breathtaking sunset over the Atlantic Ocean at Beachwalker Park!
Kiawah Island’s beaches are uncrowded and secluded, but the amenities are amazing. Island Beach Services will set up your chairs and umbrellas for the day and Surfscooter Bike Rentals will drop off beach bike rentals for the entire clan before you even arrive – tons of hassle-free fun and picture-perfect Atlantic sunsets from the beach.
Sunset View Towers over Kiawah Island’s Waterways
Hop back on your bikes and ride the nature trails for a solitary sunset from Kiawah Island’s observation towers. Biking around Kiawah Island takes you through lush maritime forests, tranquil marshlands, and magnolia lined avenues to the most beautiful sunset spots on the island.
Pedal the Kiawah Island Parkway trail to Marsh View Tower in West Beach for 360-degree sunset views over Cougar Point Golf Course or bike the trails to Vanderhorst Plantation. The bike trail winds along Governor’s Drive to the Marsh Island Park View Tower and Blue Heron Pond observation tower overlooking vast marshlands abounding in birdlife, wildlife and sun-kissed skies. The sunset views from Kiawah Island’s observation towers are incredible!
Kiawah River Sunset at Mingo Point
Mingo Point is famous for its Lowcountry Oyster Roasts … but is also one of the best spots for a sunset on Kiawah Island. Situated along the banks of the Kiawah River on the west end of the island, Mingo Point is a tranquil riverfront setting for a sunset picnic – or amp up the adventure level and launch a kayak to fish and explore the Lowcountry waterways.
October to May is peak oyster harvest and roasting season! If you’re yet to experience Kiawah Island’s longest running tradition, plan your stay for the Thanksgiving Mingo Point Oyster Roast – a double whammy of a flavorful Lowcountry oyster roast and spectacular fall sunset.
Sunset Dolphin Cruise or Solitary Sunset Paddle
Kiawah Island is known for its wide variety of eco-friendly nature tours with activities for every age and adventure level to experience a Lowcountry sunset from the water. Whether you’re seeking an intimate sunset sail, a family sunset dolphin cruise, or a solitary paddle – exploring the Lowcountry waterways at dusk is a wonderful way to wildlife watch and catch the sunset on Kiawah Island.
Our Kiawah Exclusives Guide includes a list of recommendations for local guides, boat rentals, charters, paddle tours and dolphin cruises alongside our friendly resident pods.
The Best Lowcountry Sunsets at Bohicket Marina
Nestled along Bohicket Creek between Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island, Bohicket Marina is one of the Lowcountry’s best marinas for boating and fishing charters … and delivers one of the most spectacular sunsets in the Charleston sea islands.
Get out on the Kiawah Island creeks and rivers or savor fresh seafood and sundowners from a waterfront restaurant as the captivating cotton candy skies and fishing boats cast silhouettes over the marina. Local favorites include the famous Salty Dog Café and Fisher’s Sports Pub & Grill – no reservations required.
Fun Sunsets at Freshfields Village
Add an extra dose of fun to chasing sunsets at Freshfields Village, only a short bike ride away! Located next to Bohicket Marina, Freshfields Village is a fabulous open air center with upscale stores, local services (banks and business hubs), and loads of spots for sundowners, dinner and a fun sunset!
The options are endless – Freshfields Shag Night on the Dock, wine tastings and live music at FortyEight Wine Bar & Kitchen, barrel tastings at Kiawah Spirits, lakeside cocktails and jazz at the Porch Bar, or a fun family picnic on the Village Green – all with incredible sunset views.
On Island Waterfront Dining
Kiawah Island has many on-island waterfront dining options for feasts of fresh seafood, steak, sushi and classic Lowcountry cuisine, paired with panoramic ocean sunsets. Dress up for alfresco sunset dining at the award-winning Sanctuary Hotel Ocean Room or on the famous fairways of Kiawah Island’s PGA Ocean Course. Sip specialty cocktails on the verandah of the Ryder Cup Bar as the glow of the dipping sun settles on the greens – followed by fine dining in the Atlantic Room, Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s signature seafood restaurant. (Reservations essential).
Secluded Sunsets From Home
With each new sunset comes the promise of a new day and an opportunity to reset – often best done in the quiet of home. Whether you’re seeking sunset views of rolling fairways, wildlife and waterways, or golden sands – secluded sunsets from home are easy when you stay with Kiawah Exclusives. Our hand-picked portfolio of 100+ Kiawah Island vacation rentals include vacation villas, condos, cottages, and lavish Lowcountry homes with furnished patios for sunset dining, private beach boardwalks, and luxury amenities for indulging in secluded sunsets without leaving home!
The South Carolina barrier islands of Kiawah and Seabrook set the tone for a dog-friendly vacation with tail-wagging adventures and tempting tasty treats for every day of your stay!
Bring your pooch to the islands and discover miles of dog-friendly beaches for beach walks and ocean play, nature preserves and wetlands for hiking and water activities, miles of trails to stroll and sniff, and pet-friendly outdoor patios at some of the area’s best restaurants, cafes, and eateries.
We love helping our guests plan their vacation and have compiled a list of the best dog-friendly places to eat in and around Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, and Charleston.
The Market at Town Center in East Beach Village is the only grocery store within the gates of Kiawah Island and a favorite gathering place for locals and tourists alike. They serve the best breakfasts, casual lunches, and affordable dinners with pet-friendly patio seating for your pooch.
When you’re done playing frisbee or soccer with your pooch in Night Heron Park, head over to the Night Heron Grill and Bar for a pool side salad, burger or seafood lunch, fresh fruit smoothies or tropical drinks on the dog-friendly poolside patio.
The Mingo Point Oyster Roast & BBQ is a unique Lowcountry dining experience and a long-standing tradition on Kiawah Island. Located on the river banks of the Kiawah River at Mingo Point, your well-behaved and leashed pup is welcome to join you on a feast of oysters and southern BBQ, live music and dancing, and the best sunsets on Kiawah Island.
Freshfields Village is an upscale shopping and dining destination nestled between Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island which welcomes well-behaved, leashed pets throughout the village. Window decals at Freshfields Village stores and restaurants clearly denote where your dog is welcome to shop and dine.
While your pooch may not dine inside, there are plenty of pet-friendly patios to share a beverage or delicious Lowcountry meal. Alternatively, grab food to go (and a tasty dog treat from Dolittle’s or Doggie Dessert from Ben & Jerry’s) to enjoy at a family picnic or local event on the Freshfields Village Green.
The Village Market by Harris Teeter is another local grocery store near Kiawah with a deli for freshly made takeaway foods, a Starbucks Coffee kiosk, and a large outdoor pet-friendly patio area in the heart of Freshfields Village.
Java Java is another favorite for locally sourced coffee, frozen drinks, smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, and light lunches. The patio is perfect for people watching with your pooch or checking out the cool classics at Cars & Coffee (3rd Saturday of every month).
King Street Grille has been voted best sports bar and restaurant seven years in a row and is the best place in Kiawah to kick back, watch the pros on the big screens, and share an ice cold beer and great meal with your pup!
For authentic Japanese cuisine, signature sushi rolls, and traditional hibachi grills on a sizzling marble stone, head to the outdoor patio at Fuji Sushi Bar & Grill in Freshfields Village. Fuji offers enticing specials, a daily happy hour with delicious cocktails, wine, beer and sake, and a laid-back atmosphere for pet-friendly dining.
Hege’s Restaurant is an authentic and inviting French bistro that will happily accommodate your well-behaved pup in the outdoor courtyard. The menu offers an extensive selection of spirits, cocktails and wines, a cold and raw bar, signature steakhouse and seafood specialties, and decadent desserts. Reservations recommended.
Now for a taste of Italy! La Tela is a Neapolitan-style pizzeria with seasonal dishes, fresh pasta, and pizza dough all made in house with ingredients sourced from the local farmers and island communities. The outdoor patio at La Tela Pizzeria is shaded, pet-friendly and the perfect pit stop while shopping at Freshfields Village with your pooch.
Freshfields Village has dining options for every taste bud, including Mexican inspired cuisine at the lively and award-winning Cantina 76 taqueria and bar. The vibe is casual and upbeat, the hand-crafted margaritas and cocktails addictive, and the large outdoor dining area happily welcomes pets.
You don’t have to be a wine lover to reserve a table on the dog-friendly patio at Forty-Eight Wine Bar in Freshfields Village. This favorite local hot spot offers 48 wines by the glass (840 by the bottle!), 48 local and regional craft beers, a full cocktail bar, and a fabulous menu of light bites – their famous lump crab cakes are a must!
ON THE ROAD TO CHARLESTON, SC
Kiawah Island is only a short scenic drive from the #1 City in the US,Charleston! Whether you’re looking for a pet-friendly stop on route to Kiawah and Seabrook Island or planning a day trip to Charleston with your dog during your stay, there are plenty of pet-friendly patios and porches to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat along the way. Here are a few of our favorites:
Wadmalaw Island borders John Island and is approximately a 30-minute drive from Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. Whether you’d prefer to sip quality Bigelow tea at the only tea garden in North America or “wine-down” with live music, food and wine tastings in the vineyards, unique dog-friendly experiences await on nearby Wadmalaw Island.
Find the ultimate Lowcountry vacation retreat and start planning your dog-friendly getaway to the islands and beaches of the South Carolina Lowcountry with Kiawah Exclusives and Seabrook Exclusives. Book online or call our team of vacation specialists to assist in your vacation planning – no one knows the islands quite like us!
Kiawah Island is a destination known for its pristine natural beauty, luxurious resort amenities, award-winning golf and tennis facilities, and intimate encounters with dolphins, sea turtles, and local wildlife in their natural habitat.
Situated on 10 miles of Atlantic coastline and surrounded by South Carolina’s lush Lowcountry landscapes, Kiawah Island is one of the most beautiful barrier islands on the East Coast. Kiawah Island has a rich and storied past, boasts endless awards and accolades, and offers guests one of a kind experiences and unique eco-adventures for a beach vacation with a difference!
Kiawah Island Boasts Endless Awards & Accolades
Kiawah Island boasts endless awards and accolades. In 2021, Kiawah Island was ranked among the Top 10 Islands in the Continental US by Travel+Leisure, Top Islands in the Continental US by Conde Nast Traveler, and Top 10 Beaches in America by Dr. Stephen Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach). Additionally, Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s tennis facilities and golf courses ranked best in the world, and among the best in the world respectively.
For the fourteenth consecutive year, The Sanctuary Hotel and The Spa at The Sanctuary received the Five Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide and, for the second consecutive year, Travel+Leisure World’s Best Awards ranks The Sanctuary the number one resort in South Carolina.
Our exclusive collection of luxury Kiawah Island vacation homes, vacation villas, and monthly snowbird rentals place you steps from Kiawah Island’s award-winning beaches, natural attraction and eco-activities for an unforgettable island vacation.
Pirates Once Inhabited Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island is more than a luxury vacation destination, there’s a rich and colorful history beneath the natural beauty! Kiawah Island was named after the Kiawah Indians that inhabited the South Carolina sea islands in the 17th century. The English colonists arrived in 1670, the land passed through the hands of high-ranking men, infamous pirates, plantation farmers, and on to the Vanderhorst family shortly before the Revolutionary War (1775 to 1783). The Vanderhorst family privately owned Kiawah Island until 1950.
In 1950, lumberman and real estate developer, Charles Clance Royal, purchases Kiawah Island for logging and timber, at a price of $125,000. In 1954, CC Royal builds the first beach home on Kiawah Island, names the first street after his wife, Eugenia, and Kiawah Island slowly starts to grow. In 1974, only twenty-four years after his investment, CC Royal sells Kiawah Island on to developers for $17 million, real estate development begins, and approximately $200 million is invested into the growth of Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
The Waterways are Wild
Nearly 20% of Kiawah Island is made up of water, and those waterways are wild! Whether you’re tracking sea turtles, experiencing dolphins in their natural habitat, or fishing for a trophy catch, there’s a wild encounter for every nature lover and outdoor enthusiast on Kiawah Island. The tidal creeks, salt marshes, rivers and ocean waters abound in tranquility, wildlife, and endless opportunities for eco-friendly outdoor adventures.
For travel inspiration and to find an eco-tour or activity to suit your level of adventure, bookmark our guide to The Best Places to Stay & Play on Kiawah Island. Our Lowcountry waterways may be wild, but they’re gentle enough for every age and ability to experience.
You Can Book a Tee-Time on a Rare Public PGA Golf Course
There are not many public courses that can claim to have hosted the PGA Championships more than once! Kiawah Island Golf Resort is one of the premier golf destinations in the US with seven award winning golf courses on the narrow island, five of which are public, including the PGA Ocean Course designed by Pete and Alice Dye in 1991. The Ocean Course was designed specifically for the 1991 Ryder Cup and boasts ten seaside holes along the Atlantic coastline – the most seaside holes in the Northern Hemisphere.
Other championship courses at Kiawah Island Golf Resort include Cougar Point Golf Club, the first golf course on Kiawah Island by Gary Player (1976), Turtle Point by Jack Nicklaus (1981), Osprey Point by Tom Fazio (1988), Ocean Course by Pete Dye (1991), River Course by Tom Fazio (1995), and Oak Point by Clyde Johnson (1997). Fun fact – The Legend of Bagger Vance was filmed on the Kiawah Island Ocean Course.
You Can Bike Everywhere on Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island is one big, gated community and you can literally bike everywhere! The island boasts quiet streets for bike riding, 30+ miles of paved, shaded and scenic trails, and 10 miles of uninterrupted shoreline for beach bike rides. Wherever you stay on the island, you’re simply a short bike ride away from Kiawah Island’s top tours and activities, golf and tennis, and open-air shopping, dining and events at Freshfields Village.
Our Kiawah Island vacation rentals are scattered throughout the island making it easy to hop on your bike to get around. Guests of Kiawah Exclusives receive a 5% discount from Surfscooter Bike Rentals, a locally-owned and operated business serving visitors to Kiawah Island since 1981.
Experiences Unique to Kiawah Island
There are only a handful of spots you can horse ride on the beach on the East Coast, neighboring Seabrook Island is one of them! The Seabrook Island Equestrian Center offers horseback rides along the shoreline and scenic trail rides through the forests for Seabrook Island residents and non-residents. The horseback rides trail along Seabrook North Beach, one of the few destinations in the world where visitors can witness the rare phenomenon of dolphin’s strand-feeding.
If you’re taking a scenic drive from Kiawah Island, other experiences unique to the area include trolley tours of the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island , America’s only commercial tea plantation, and picnics under the ancient 65-foot Angel Oak on the road to Charleston, known to be the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River.
Lowcountry Living is Easy!
It’s the laid-back Lowcountry lifestyle that attracts many of our guests to Kiawah Island, our slice of paradise on the South Carolina coastline. The Lowcountry lifestyle is about embracing a slower pace and the simple things in life – the beauty of Mother Nature, small town farmers markets, local community-led events, and sustainable living that feeds back to the local community.
Kiawah Island is internationally recognized as a destination for luxury, eco-friendly resort living. Kiawah Exclusives represent a collection of 100+ of the finest resort rentals on Kiawah Island with luxury amenities, unparalleled guest services, and a local team on hand to personalize your vacation experience. Lowcountry living is easy with Kiawah Exclusives.
Nestled on South Carolina’s Atlantic coastline between the historic City of Charleston and the private oceanfront resort community of Seabrook Island, Kiawah Island is a vacation destination with vast and scenic Lowcountry landscapes best explored on two wheels to venture freely.
With over 30-miles of paved flat paths connecting the island from West Beach Village and East Beach Village to Vanderhorst Plantation, and beyond, you can take a “park and forget it approach” on Kiawah Island. Kiawah Island’s tranquil Lowcountry bike trails are all you need for getting around, sightseeing, shopping, and socializing on your vacation.
WHERE TO FIND BIKE RENTALS ON KIAWAH ISLAND
Save money, pack light and plan your bike adventures on Kiawah Island with Surfscooter Rentals (Bonus: 5% discounted rates for all Kiawah Exclusives guests)! Surfscooter Rentals have been serving our guests to Kiawah and Seabrook Island with unbeatable customer service and southern hospitality for over 20 years!
The rental process is simple and hassle free – pick the bike rentals and gear best suited for your pedal adventures, order direct online, and have everything delivered right to your vacation rental, ready to hit the trails on arrival – there’s no need to even be there! They conveniently pick up on departure too.
Whether you’re on a romantic rendezvous or an unplugged family vacation for you and the kids, there’s a set of wheels with your name on it! Surfscooter Rentals have all the bike gear to get your whole family on the trails and beach. Surfscooter’s high quality and well maintained bike rentals include 24-26” adult bikes, 16-20” kids bikes, baby seat rentals, chariot rentals, tag-a-longs, and bike trailers to load up and venture beyond Kiawah Island. Any problems, they’ll come find you and make a swap!
THE BEST BIKE ROUTES ON KIAWAH ISLAND
The bike trails follow the main roads on Kiawah Island including Kiawah Island Parkway, Governor’s Drive, Ocean Course Drive and Flyway Drive. Ride your bikes to the shore, store, and golf tee times, or venture off the beaten path to explore secret spots on the island not accessible by car. Here’s a guide to our favorite bike routes on Kiawah Island!
The 10-mile stretch of shoreline at Beachwalker Park is consistently ranked one of Dr Beach’s Top 10 Beaches in America. When you’re not enjoying a classic beach day, Beachwalker Park is one of the best places to ride bikes on Kiawah Island as well as experience our local wildlife. Head out after a high tide for hard packed sands, watch dolphin’s strand feeding at Captain Sams Inlet, and take a slow ride along the shoreline to the award-winning PGA Ocean Course in Vanderhorst. Surfscooter’s bike rentals are built for the sand and there are dozens of boardwalks making beach bike riding easily accessible – and fun!
Night Heron Park
Night Heron Park is nestled in the heart of East Beach Village with 21 acres of gorgeous scenery, ponds, and tranquil walking and biking paths in the ancient oaks, perfect for a family bike ride and nature adventure. Begin your bike ride at the Heron Park Nature Center, spot wildlife in the wetlands, stop for lunch at Night Heron Bar and Grill, and end your day with a classic Lowcountry eco-adventure or water activities offered by Kiawah Resort.
Pack a picnic and bike to Mingo Point, located just outside the main Kiawah Island gate near West Beach Village. Mingo Point is famous for its Lowcountry Oyster Roasts and tranquil setting on the banks of the Kiawah River. Park your bikes, refuel with a picnic and rent a kayak or SUP to play on the water. From Mingo Point pedal along the Kiawah Island Parkway trail to Marsh View Tower for expansive views of Cougar Point Golf Course and the Kiawah Island wetlands. Bring the binoculars and the camera!
Vanderhorst Plantation is situated through the second set of gates on Kiawah Island, accessible only to residents and guests. But, you can venture through on the bike trails! The Kiawah Island Parkway leads to the Bass Pond and fishing dock and beautiful scenery in Rhett’s Bluff. Ride the trail along Governor’s Drive to the Marsh Island Park View Tower, Blue Heron Pond Observation Tower, and on to Eagle Point Landing. Wind your way towards the Atlantic to the Ocean Course, home of the 2021 PGA Championship, for sundowners at the Ryder Cup Bar. This Kiawah Island bike route is soaked in serenity with sweeping wetland views, maritime forests, marshlands, lagoons, and an abundance of wildlife.
The bike routes are not limited to the island and extend past the guardhouse on to Freshfields Village, 1.8-miles from the Main Gate. Freshfields Village has it all – amazing restaurants and cafés, open air shopping, spas and salons, wine and whisky tastings, jazz nights, and fabulous farmers markets, festivals, and events on the Village Green. It’s family-friendly, pet-friendly, and a short bike ride from Kiawah Island. The bike trail continues on to Bohicket Marina, home of the famous Salty Dog Café, boat rentals and charters, and insta worthy South Carolina sunsets, then on to the private resort community of Seabrook Island.
RULES FOR RIDING THE KIAWAH TRAILS
Keep to the right on all trails.
Announce your presence when approaching or overtaking.
Observe all STOP signs.
Lights must be used after dark.
Helmets are encouraged but not required.
Bicycles must be parked only in designated areas.
Bikes are not allowed on the golf cart paths.
Please walk bicycles across the beach boardwalks and stay away from the dunes.
Biking and jogging on the road is prohibited when there is a designated bike path nearby.
When a bike path is not available, please ride single file, near the curb, and with the flow of traffic
E-bikes are prohibited on Kiawah Island, only bicycles and non-electric scooters are allowed on the trails.
The Town of Kiawah requests that bikes are not visible from the street. Please store bikes responsibly after your adventures.
UNWIND WITH KIAWAH EXCLUSIVES
After all that pedaling, Kiawah Exclusives have the perfect place to put your feet up, relax and unwind in style. Our selection of 100+ Kiawah Island vacation rentals include villas and homes in West Beach Village, East Beach Village, and through the second set of gates in Vanderhorst Plantation, all a quick bike ride away from wherever you choose to adventure on Kiawah Island.
Browse our luxury Kiawah Island rentals online, call our on-island team on (843) 768-0273 to assist with vacation planning, or if you’re dreaming of owning your own Lowcountry retreat on Kiawah Island, our real estate partner Pam Harrington Exclusives can make that dream a reality!
We hope to see you on the Kiawah Island bike trails soon!
Labor Day is an annual celebration of American labor achievements and contributions… So it’s the perfect time to party with your friends and family, right? There’s no better way to celebrate with your favorite people than attending local events, relaxing on the beach, or taking a trip to one of America’s top destinations for luxury resort living in harmony with nature…. Kiawah Island!
There are several events taking place around town for the whole family to enjoy, from fireworks and dancing to restaurants and live music. Check out our favorite events to share with your crew below.
Bring your blankets and chairs for the Music on the Green Concert Series from 6:00 to 9:00 pm! This free, family friendly concert series features a variety of music from regional bands including beach music, country, and more.
TBD Check out the events page for the most up-to-date information HERE!
Seabrook Island Artist Guild in Seabrook Island, SC
Drive over to neighboring Seabrook Island for one of the biggest shows of the year for many talented and prized artists of the Seabrook Island Artist Guild. Expect to see oil paintings, watercolors and pastels of seascapes, landscapes, wildlife and more.
Stay with Kiawah Exclusives this Labor Day Weekend
There’s no better way to spend your summer season than a trip to the beach. Kiawah Island is a beach destination abounding in natural beauty with 10-miles of award-winning beaches, wetlands and waterways teeming with wildlife and resident bottlenose dolphins, Audubon certified golf courses, tranquil trails weaving through the island, and world-class shopping, dining and resort amenities.
Here’s our top tips to plan your dream summer vacation, soak up the sun and the slower pace of life, and satisfy your summer wanderlust on Kiawah Island.
1. Arrange Your Transportation
Getting to and around Kiawah Island is easy but with the increasing cost of gas prices and airfares, the first decision is whether to fly or take a classic road trip on your last minute summer getaway.
Kiawah Island is located approximately 30 miles south from historic Charleston and is an easy drive-to-destination from many east coast cities with most of the major airlines (American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, Delta, Silver Airways) offering daily non-stop flights into Charleston International Airport (CHS).
Rental cars are still in high demand so reserve your rental car at Charleston Airport as well in advance as possible or arrange ground transportation to Kiawah Island. Taxis operate from the Charleston Airport from 5am until after last flight, Charleston Limousine & Shuttle Services offer individual and group transportation, or reserve a ride with Island Transportation, the best local car service on Kiawah Island.
Once on Kiawah Island there are 30+ miles of interconnected trails to get around by bike or rent an electric cart to buzz about the island (and save on gas!)
2. Create a Vacation Wish List
Whether you’re squeezing in last minute summer fun before school starts or a romantic beach escape surrounded by luxurious Lowcountry leisure, Kiawah Island ticks all the boxes for a dream summer vacation.
Creating a vacation wish list is where it all comes together! Kiawah Island is a family oriented destination with outdoor activities for every age and adventure level, amazing Lowcountry festivals and events, and a diverse selection of restaurants and cafes with authentic coastal Carolina cuisine. Start planning your last minute beach escape with our Kiawah Island travel blog where we highlight the best places to stay and play on Kiawah Island.
Kiawah Island offers epic eco-adventures, nature programs, golf and tennis, and unique experiences year round! You’ve created a vacation wish list, now it’s time to book your experiences and make your restaurant (and spa day!) reservations to avoid disappointment.
Take the hustle and hassle out of your vacation planning and rent all your vacation gear! From baby gear and beach gear to water sports, bike rentals and electric carts, Kiawah Exclusives partners with reliable locally-owned companies to supply all your beach vacation needs. Reserve your rental gear in advance, have it delivered to your vacation home prior to your arrival, and spend less time planning and more time playing on Kiawah Island.
5. Stay with Kiawah Exclusives
Searching for the perfect vacation rental need not be stressful when you stay with Kiawah Exclusives. We offer a collection of 115+ of the finest vacation rentals on Kiawah Island and a team of local vacation specialists to assist in planning your last minute summer vacation! Browse our portfolio of Kiawah Island vacation rental villas and private vacation homes for last minute availability or take a sneak peak at a few of our favorite summer rentals centrally located in the heart of Kiawah Island’s popular East Beach Village.
Our team has been locally operated since 1978 and are here to assist with your vacation planning. Whether you need guidance finding the perfect last minute rental or recommendations for on-island tours, activities, rentals or dining – our local experts are only a phone call away on (843) 768-0273. We look forward to hosting your last minute summer vacation on Kiawah Island!
Kiawah Island is a destination known for its award-winning white sandy beaches, oceanfront golf courses, and untouched landscapes teeming with wildlife and natural beauty. The island’s pristinely preserved and unique ecosystem of beaches, maritime forests, protected sand dunes, and fragile marshlands are a habitat for a diverse array of beautiful birdlife, wildlife, majestic marine mammals, Loggerhead sea turtles, and fish species inhabiting the local waters.
Some of the best fishing in the Lowcountry is found right here on the inshore waterways and offshore reefs surrounding the beautiful barrier islands of Charleston, SC. Kiawah Island has lots of on-island fishing spots. You can surf fish from the Kiawah shoreline, cast a line from the fishing docks, bait a fish from a kayak on the Kiawah River, or find prime fishing grounds only a boat ride away on an epic Lowcountry fishing charter.
Whether you’re seeking a short family fishing charter for the kids, a customized experience, or the thrill of catching a sailfish in the deep blue waters of the Atlantic, you’ll find it here on Kiawah Island. Our local charter captains have spent decades navigating the waters, have an intimate knowledge of the island’s best fishing spots, and provide everything you need for a top-notch Lowcountry fishing experience.
Types of Fishing Charters
Inshore Fishing Charters: Inshore fishing charters navigate the smaller channels, creeks, inlets, and marshlands along the thriving Kiawah River. Fish species include common saltwater fish such as spotted sea trout, flounder, croaker, and large schools of redfish feeding on the flats. Sharks are commonly caught on inshore fishing charters.
Near Coastal & Reef Fishing: Venture one to three miles offshore on an action-packed adventure bottom fishing the wrecks and reefs surrounding Kiawah and Seabrook Island. Near coastal and reef fishing charters are geared for both families and serious anglers with likely catches of redfish, sheepshead, sea bass, cobia, and large sharks too!
Offshore Fishing: If hunting for big game fish in the Lowcountry is on your bucket list, an offshore fishing charter on Kiawah Island is unbeatable! These full-day charters take you on a deep-sea adventure for a trophy catch of grouper, mahi mahi, tuna, marlin, and a wide variety of shark species.
Shark Fishing Charters: Sharks are regularly encountered when fishing in Kiawah Island’s waterways and ocean, and it’s a thrill! Shark fishing charters are an extraordinary experience for anglers of all ages and abilities and are geared towards fun and excitement for the whole family.
Top Tips for a Memorable Lowcountry Fishing Charter
Book well in advance!
Dress in layers with light rain gear for changing weather conditions.
Wear soft sole, non-marking shoes.
Pack sunscreen, a wide-brimmed sun hat, UV protection sunglasses, and bug spray for the South Carolina no-see-ums.
Consider motion sickness medication if it’s your first time out on the water!
Stock a cooler with snacks and drinks, if required.
Bring binoculars for dolphin and wildlife watching.
Night Heron Park is a haven for outdoor exploration on Kiawah Island, a destination that connects you with nature, wildlife, and exceptional experiences on land and water. Wherever you stay on Kiawah Island, Night Heron Park is only a short bike ride away and is the best place for on-island fishing, boat charters, eco-tours, and an excellent variety of inshore, nearshore, and shark fishing charters. Other tour options include dolphin encounters, shelling expeditions, sunset cruises, crabbing tours, birdwatching tours, Holy City Harbor cruises, and custom charters for sightseeing in South Carolina’s beautiful barrier islands.
Captain Jack is on deck to take you on a leisurely dolphin cruise, sailing adventure, or customized family fishing charter aboard the Palmetto Tide, a 33-foot sailboat based at Bohicket Marina. A Lowcountry fishing experience with Captain Jack means “It is your day. Your Way!“ – a unique Kiawah Island fishing experience personalized for your family with lifelong fishing memories to match!
Captain Chris at Keen Eye Charters has been a professional guide since 2004 and knows where to find the fish in the Lowcountry waters. Go inshore fishing on the creeks, bottom fishing the wrecks and reefs, trolling offshore for big game fish, or customize a charter for kids fishing! Captain Chris also offers custom 2 or 3-hour charters with sunset cruises, dolphin-watching excursions, crabbing, shelling, and eco-adventures to the barrier islands.
Coastguard Captain Brad is the highly skilled and knowledgeable skipper behind Sonny Boy Charters serving Kiawah & Seabrook Island from Bohicket Marina. Choose from a variety of inshore, nearshore, and shark fishing charters as well as guided dolphin eco-tours, shelling expeditions around the islands, or sunset cruises along the Lowcountry waterways.
Departing from St. Johns Yacht Harbor on the Stono River, Lil Darlin’ Charters offer a variety of top-rated eco-tours and fishing charters along the waterways surrounding historic Charleston. Whether you’re a novice, a fishing family or a serious angler, Captain Lindsay’s knowledge of the local waters, passion for fishing, and top-notch fishing gear guarantees a memorable fishing experience during your Kiawah Island vacation.
Hook A Vacation Home with Kiawah Exclusives
Ready to reel in the perfect vacation on Kiawah Island? Hook a luxury vacation home with Kiawah Exclusives. We pride ourselves on offering 100+ of the finest vacation rentals in the beautiful communities on Kiawah Island, ranging from oceanfront and lagoon villas to private cottages on the Kiawah River and luxurious vacation homes for large groups or family reunions. View our exclusive collection of Kiawah Island rentals online or give our team a call at (843) 768-0273. Our vacation specialists have 40+ years of local knowledge and are happy to assist through the vacation planning process. From hooking you up with a vacation rental to match your needs to local tips and recommendations to create the ultimate vacation itinerary – we’re here to help!
Kiawah Island is ranked one of the “Top 25 Golf Islands in the World” and is home to some of the best golf courses in the US, designed by top golf architects and played by many of the greatest legends in golf history.
Nestled on the South Carolina coastline directly south of Charleston, Kiawah Island is a natural barrier island with miles of stunning Atlantic beaches and tranquil waterways teeming with wildlife, elegant plantation style homes and villas, and a laid-back, luxurious lifestyle of outdoor activities and sporting.
Known as the “Landscape of Legends”, Kiawah Island boasts two private courses (Cassique Course and River Course) and five award-winning Audubon certified championship courses – Osprey Point by Tom Fazio, Turtle Point by Jack Nicklaus, Cougar Point by Gary Player, Oak Point by Clyde Johnson, and the iconic Ocean Course designed by Alice and Pete Dye.
Kiawah Island’s Iconic Ocean Course
Famous golf course architect Pete Dye has designed over 100 golf courses, yet his true masterpiece is the iconic and internationally renowned Ocean Course on Kiawah Island. Alice and Pete Dye designed and constructed the Ocean Course specifically for the 1991 Ryder Cup, a controversial event widely known as “The War by the Shore”. Kiawah Island began to claim recognition as a top golfing destination on the East Coast.
The Ocean Course has since hosted many world-class golf events and multiple majors including the 2012 PGA Championship won by Rory McIlroy, and the 2021 PGA Championship with Phil Michelson claiming victory as the oldest golfer to ever win the coveted Wanamaker Trophy. The Ocean Course is one of only a few legendary PGA championship courses open to the public, consistently ranking among the top courses in the USA (and the world!) with endless awards and accolades.
In his autobiography, Pete Dye referred to the 2.5-mile stretch of Kiawah Island shoreline as “one of the greatest pieces of seaside property in the United States”. The spectacular Ocean Course winds through windswept dunes between the salt marshes and the Atlantic Ocean with a layout that ranks it among the most challenging and difficult golf courses in the US. The course boasts the most seaside holes in North America with unpredictable wind shifts, coastal elements, and a combination of sand, grass and marshes to challenge even the best players.
Kiawah Island is the ultimate destination for a beach and golf getaway! Follow in the footsteps of legends as you test your skills with a round of PGA golf on the iconic Ocean Course and return home to experience luxury Lowcountry golf course living with Kiawah Exclusives.
Kiawah Exclusives have been planning beach and golf vacations for our guests since 1978, just shortly after Gary Player’s Cougar Point golf course began welcoming Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s first golfers. Our exclusive collection of 110+ Kiawah Island vacation rentals includes golf vacation villas on the fairways of Cougar Point and Turtle Point, and luxury golf homes in Vanderhorst Plantation, a private gated community behind Kiawah Island’s second set of privacy gates near the Osprey Point Golf Course and Ocean Course.
This exceptional Kiawah Island golf course home overlooks Ibis Pond and is situated only minutes from the Kiawah Beach Club and Ocean Course. End your day of challenging golf unwinding by the pool, soaking up the views from your screened porch, and indulging in life’s little luxuries when you spend your golf vacation at this exclusive golf rental on Ocean Course Drive.
Color Me Kiawah is an award-winning Vanderhorst golf home nestled in old live oaks near the Ocean Course. This elegant home exceeds all expectations with an executive home office to combine work and play, a stunning media room, and a luxury infinity pool and spa overlooking the tidal creeks and marshes. A short bike ride will have you on the Kiawah Island beaches in no time!
If golf and beach access are both top priorities, your search ends here at one of the best homes on Kiawah for a beach and golf vacation combo. 171 Flyway Drive offers 6,500 sq feet of elegant interiors with close proximity to the Ocean Course, a private boardwalk to the beach, and a salt water pool for cool dips after a round of golf or beach day.
Falcon Point is situated slightly inland surrounded by lush Lowcountry landscapes and forever marsh views. This luxury golf home features expansive outdoor decks and porches, a private pool, and timeless interiors making it an idyllic retreat for a PGA golf vacation on Kiawah Island.
Ocean Oaks Court
Distance to Ocean Course Clubhouse: 2.6 miles
Ocean Oaks Court is a quiet cul-de-sac tucked away in a tropical setting near the Kiawah Island beaches and Ocean Course. Kiawah Exclusives represent three luxury plantation style homes close together and perfect for a group golf getaway to Kiawah Island.
Browse our full collection of exclusive Kiawah golf homes and villas or contact one of our vacation specialists with the local knowledge and expertise to help you plan the ultimate PGA vacation on Kiawah Island.
Kiawah Island is a stunning barrier island nestled on the South Carolina coastline that offers visitors the opportunity to engage in endless adventures and activities, or simply do nothing at all! Summer is a season of fun on Kiawah Island and each day brings new adventures, unique recreational experiences, and exciting summer events focused on the Lowcountry lifestyle and old-fashioned fun for the whole family!
Spend your days soaking up the sun at Beachwalker Park, exploring Night Heron Park’s trails and activities, kayaking the serene waterways, shopping our quaint summer farmers markets, honing your skills on Kiawah’s famous golf courses, and celebrating summer at Kiawah Island’s festive summer events & festivals.
Summer is the perfect season to stroll the farmers’ markets, pick up fresh produce and preserves for tasty homemade feasts, delicious desserts (go ahead – you’re on vacation!), and unique gifts and souvenirs of your Kiawah Island vacation. Our local farmer’s markets are traditionally Lowcountry and worth a visit during your summer stay on Kiawah.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES: View all events and activities HERE
RESERVATIONS: Call (843) 768-6001 for event and activity reservations
Night Heron Park abounds in natural beauty and is the epicenter of fun on Kiawah Island. The Night Heron Park Nature Center offers an exciting selection of eco-tours & adventures, cruises and charters, unique Kiawah Island experiences, and endless activities every day of the year, with an extra dose of fun in the summer season! If you need a little summer inspiration, here’s our top pick of Night Heron Park nature activities to add to your summer bucket-list adventures on Kiawah Island!
Kayaking & SUP Excursions
Coastal, Reef, Creek & Shark Fishing Charters
Eco Tours & Shelling Expeditions along the Kiawah River
Freshfields Village Cars & Coffee is a popular Kiawah Island event that runs throughout the year on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Classics, collectibles, and super cool cars and motorcycles line the Village Green, car enthusiasts network and share stories of their classics, and delicious coffee, pastries & breakfasts are served at Java Java in Freshfields Village.
Freshfields Village Music on the Green kicks off with a special two-night series on Memorial Day weekend and ends with a grand finale on Labor Day weekend. Throughout the summer locals, families, and visitors to Kiawah Island gather on the Village Green with blankets, chairs, and picnics to enjoy a night of local music on the stage. Freshfields Village Music on the Green is free, family-friendly, and a not to be missed Kiawah Island summer tradition with good, laid-back island vibes!
You can’t visit Kiawah Island without attending an Oyster Roast at Mingo Point on the banks of the Kiawah River – the beautiful setting alone is enough to make your mouth water! It’s the best way to sample the flavors of the Lowcountry and, while it’s a celebration of our fresh local oysters, you’ll find everything from BBQ ribs and pulled pork, traditional southern side dishes and delicious desserts, coupled with live music, exquisite sunsets, and loads of family fun.
Salute from the Shore is a 4th of July flyover of F16s, Military C17s, and vintage planes that stretches the entire length of the South Carolina coastline! Beachgoers head down to the 10 miles of coastline on Kiawah Island adorned in red, white, and blue to salute and honor America’s armed forces from the shore. Support the cause by purchasing your Salute from the Shore swag, record and share your salute (#salutefromtheshore) and be part of a 13-year Independence Day tradition on Kiawah Island.
The Fourth of July is a weeklong celebration on Kiawah Island! It’s our favorite time of year and Kiawah Island goes all out to celebrate the birth of our nation. Independence Day celebrations on Kiawah Island include a traditional Mingo Point Oyster Roast & BBQ on the Kiawah River, a patriotic bike parade led by local firemen down Sea Forest Drive, followed by family festivities at Night Heron Park with pool parties, jumping castles, carnival games, and loads of summertime fun! The evening ends with Independence Day fireworks at Sanctuary Beach.
Deep Water Vineyard on Wadmalaw Island is the Charleston area’s only vineyard, producing some of the best home-grown wine in South Carolina. Nestled amidst the marshlands and historic oaks on Wadmalaw Island, Deep Water Vineyard offers daily self-guided tours and tastings, private tastings and special events by reservation, and an annual Grape Stomp Festival. The festival features grape stomping contests, wine tastings, food trucks, live music, and a fun Lucille Ball look-a-like competition.
If you’re visiting Kiawah Island in the late spring – early summer season, the Spoleto Festival USA is not to be missed and Kiawah Island makes an idyllic basecamp! The Spoleto Festival USA is the American version of the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto Italy and features hundreds of events centered around the arts in several venues including Charleston’s historic theaters, churches, and open spaces.
Summer is the perfect season to stroll the farmers markets, pick up fresh produce and preserves for tasty home-made feasts, delicious desserts (go ahead – you’re on vacation!), and unique gifts and souvenirs of your Kiawah Island vacation. Our local farmers markets are traditionally Lowcountry and worth a visit during your summer stay on Kiawah.
Freshfields Village Green | Mondays – June, July & August | Time: 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Freshfields Village offers an upscale shopping experience on Kiawah Island with over 30 high-end stores, eateries for Lowcountry dining, fun events and a fantastic weekly summer farmers market. There are several unique vendors with organic produce, sweet & savory foods, fresh caught seafood, and Lowcountry arts and crafts. Pick up a southern style BBQ dinner to share from the comfort of your vacation home – or stop by one of the many restaurants at Freshfields Village for a night out on the town.
Charleston Collegiate Campus, St Johns Island | Every Saturday | Time: 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM
The Sea Island Farmers Market is on the Charleston Collegiate Campus grounds, a short drive from Kiawah on the scenic road to Charleston. It’s a true community market with local vendors selling their farm produce, local food stands, and unique arts and craft creations. It’s the perfect place to pick up tasty supplies for a picnic under the ancient Angel Oak Tree in nearby Angel Oak Park.
KIAWAH ISLAND SUMMER KIDS CAMPS
Kiawah Island is geared for family vacationers! Your kids won’t be clinging to the door handle feeling betrayed by mom and dad – they’ll be begging to go to Kiawah Island’s unique summer kids camps. Fun and dedicated counselors are assigned to engage your kids in island adventures (land and water!) that will send them home with lots of epic back-to-school stories.
Kamp Kiawah is designed for kids ages 3-7 with themed adventures, games, beach treasure hunts, arts & crafts, and interactive and educational nature activities in Night Heron Park. Camp Xtreme, Adventure Camp, and Kids Night Out (seasonal) are geared for older kids ages 8-15 with Xtreme fun, competitive sports games, team building activities, ninja warrior courses, adventures on the water, and nighttime fun twice a week at Kiawah’s seasonal Kids Night Out.
STAY NEAR KIAWAH ISLAND’S TOP SUMMER EVENTS
Kiawah Exclusives offers an exclusive collection of Kiawah Island condos, villas, cottages, and private vacation homes in West Beach, East Beach, and the luxury Vanderhorst gated community.
Each of Kiawah Island’s luxury villa communities is unique! Choose classic Lowcountry views on the Kiawah River, lagoon & wooded views in the maritime forests, golf course views on Kiawah’s famous fairways, or panoramic Atlantic Ocean views from the oceanfront dunes.
You can customize your stay to suit your style even further with a choice of cozy condos, luxury villas, and private free-standing cottages – all with easy access to Kiawah Island’s 10 miles of beautiful beaches. Our exclusive selection of Kiawah Island vacation rentals also includes spacious and private Kiawah family homes with swimming pools & spas, indoor & outdoor entertainment areas, private beach boardwalks, and all the essentials (and life’s little luxuries!) for a quintessential summer vacation on Kiawah Island.