Most travellers know Charleston, the darling southern gem just a stone’s throw from South Carolina’s coast. But few know about all the fun things to do in Kiawah Island, the naturally preserved escape that’s just a 35-minute drive from the city.
Home to a nature sanctuary, championship golf courses, a sprawling open-air market, and lively Lowcountry gatherings, Kiawah feels like a world of its own.
You’ll spot dolphins splashing in its river, families watching movies or dancing together on its village green, and cyclists pedaling through its miles and miles of bike trails.
Things To Do in Kiawah Island
Part sandy beach, part maritime forest, and part resort-style village, Kiawah Island has a lot to offer all different types of vacationers.
So whether you’re looking for a low-key and relaxing getaway to the beach or a coastal adventure for the whole family, check out this list of the top 10 things to do on Kiawah Island.
1. Watch The Sun Rise Over The Ocean
If you’ve visited (or live on) the East Coast, seeing the sunrise over the ocean is probably something you knocked off your bucket list a long time ago.
But because Kiawah Island is naturally preserved and more sparsely populated than other beach destinations, sunrise is a little more magical.
Wake at first light and bike down to the beach to spread a blanket, see the sun peek out over the ocean, and watch coastal birds swoop around searching for breakfast.
Better yet, reserve an oceanfront vacation rental and bring coffee out to the balcony for a moment to yourself before the world wakes up — you may even spot Kiawah’s white-tailed deer grazing in the dune grass during these quiet morning hours.
2. Chow Down at a Lowcountry Cookout
Every Monday night in the summer (and on most major holidays), islanders and visitors alike head to the banks of the Kiawah River for a long-standing tradition: the Mingo Point Oyster Roast and BBQ.
There’s plenty to pile onto your plate including Southern side dishes and desserts and mouth-watering mains cooked over an open fire — from fresh-caught oysters to smoked chicken and pulled pork.
While some feast, you’ll spot others kicking up their feet on the dance floor to local bands. Craft workshops and island hair braiding offer a chance for the little ones to get in on the Lowcountry fun, and local artisans set up shop to sell everything from jewelry to wood crafts.
Mingo Point Address: 876…
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