Let’s face facts: Winter is coming.
Whether you like it or not, pretty soon we’ll turn in our swimsuits and summer dresses for sweaters and boots.
But don’t fret too much — there are still 22 days left to enjoy summer.
Spend one of them at one of South Carolina’s beautiful beaches:
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In the past couple years, Hilton Head has made it to the top ranking of “Best Islands” in publications such as Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure. Editors noted Hilton Head’s pristine beaches, beautiful biking trails and retail choices.
When you visit either beach, be sure to bring your beach chair or rent one.
Must See: For you fashionistas, shopaholics and foodies, there are shops and restaurants galore in and around Coligny Plaza. And don’t forget that big, red-and-white lighthouse in Harbour Town.
Ranked No. 3 on Travel + Leisure’s world’s best islands in the continental U.S, this one is 25 miles southwest of Charleston.
The island features a top-shelf golf resort and The Sanctuary hotel. The Sanctuary includes a glorious spa — ranked No. 1 on Andrew Harper’s best US resort hotel list — and plenty of amenities, all by the water.
Must see: You can’t stay on Kiawah without getting a taste of the Lowcountry. Get your sleepy head out of bed and head to the Jasmine Porch around 6:30 a.m. to enjoy delicious food and a beautiful ocean view of the sunrise.
Home to Ripley’s Believe or Not, a pier filled with carnival games and arcades, Myrtle Beach is both a child’s and adult’s playland.
You’ll have the luxury of a beautiful beach and bustling nightlife.
Must see: If you want to take the perfect selfie or panoramic view of the beach, ride the Skywheel at Myrtle Beach’s boardwalk. Time it right and you might be able to get the perfect shot at sunset.
If you have friends in high places, you can escape to the private residential Deewee Island.
Deewee’s strict rules and regulations created a community where you can truly enjoy Mother Nature’s natural wonders.
Must See: Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens is one of America’s oldest working farms, according to its site. It opened its doors to the public in 1956, but still produces crops that visitors can take home — as long as it’s the U-pick section.
Neighboring the Isle of Palms is this beautiful, historic retreat.
The island sits at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, making it a perfect spot to enjoy water sports and learn about Charleston’s rich history.
Must See: Travel back to Revolutionary War times at Fort Moultrie. Sullivan Island’s first fort weathered a nine-hour invasion and battle by British forces, and the Confederacy’s reign during the Civil War, according to the National Parks’ site. Today, the fort has been restored to portray the major periods in its long life.
“A visitor to the fort moves steadily backwards in time from the World War II Harbor Entrance Control Post to the site of the Palmetto-log fort of 1776.”
Camping + beachlife = the best way to become one with nature in South Carolina.
Hunting Island State Park is one of the state’s most popular parks in terms of visitors.
You can go to the nature center to see alligators, enjoy beautiful views of the ocean and find the perfect opportunity to bond with friends and family on a classic camping trip.
Must See: Climb the stairs up to the top of the Hunting Island lighthouse — the only South Carolina lighthouse that gives public access.
7. Folly Beach — Charleston
Not to be mistaken for Hilton Head’s Folly Field Beach, Charleston’s Folly Beach has its own claim to fame due to its fishing pier, the 2nd longest fishing pier on the East Coast.
Must See: Obviously, the “Edge of America” Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier is a must for anglers and fisherfolk. You never know what you’ll catch in the deep, deep ocean.
Maybe crowded piers and commercial real estate aren’t what you have in mind when you’re planning your beach getaway.
Litchfield Beach is perfect for those who want to hear nothing but the ocean waves as they lie on the sand.
Must See: The beautiful ocean waves.
Honestly, there’s not much else to see. But frankly, that’s why you’d come to this quiet beach community.
9. Edisto Beach
Another South Carolina state park, this beach features plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore.
These trails are ones that anyone can enjoy, thanks to mile-long, ADA-accessible paths.
Must see: Learn about the ACE basin — stands for Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto — at the park’s Environmental Learning Center.
The area is also filled with Native American history, including an ancient shell midden on the park’s property.
10. Pawley’s Island
The former rice-plantation owners’ paradise is home to eight historic homes and calls itself the “oldest summer resort on the East Coast.”
Nestled between Georgetown and Myrtle Beach, this resort will pique your curiosity and wash your troubles away.
Must See: Those eight beautiful historic homes.
You can only do a slow drive by, but it’s worth seeing what 17th and 18th century homes looked like way back then.