Most travellers know Charleston, the darling southern gem only a stone’s throw from South Carolina’s coast. However few learn about all of the enjoyable issues to do in Kiawah Island, the naturally preserved escape that’s only a 35-minute drive from the town.
Residence to a nature sanctuary, championship golf programs, a sprawling open-air market, and vigorous Lowcountry gatherings, Kiawah looks like a world of its personal.
You’ll spot dolphins splashing in its river, households watching motion pictures or dancing collectively on its village inexperienced, and cyclists pedaling by way of its miles and miles of motorcycle trails.
Half sandy seashore, half maritime forest, and half resort-style village, Kiawah Island has rather a lot to supply all various kinds of vacationers.
So whether or not you’re on the lookout for a low-key and stress-free getaway to the seashore or a coastal journey for the entire household, try this checklist of the highest 10 issues to do on Kiawah Island.
1. Watch The Solar Rise Over The Ocean
In case you’ve visited (or stay on) the East Coast, seeing the dawn over the ocean might be one thing you knocked off your bucket checklist a very long time in the past.
However as a result of Kiawah Island is of course preserved and extra sparsely populated than different seashore locations, dawn is a bit more magical.
Wake at first gentle and bike all the way down to the seashore to unfold a blanket, see the solar peek out over the ocean, and watch coastal birds swoop round trying to find breakfast.
Higher but, reserve an oceanfront trip rental and produce espresso out to the balcony for a second to your self earlier than the world wakes up — chances are you’ll even spot Kiawah’s white-tailed deer grazing within the dune grass throughout these quiet morning hours.
2. Chow Down at a Lowcountry Cookout
Each Monday evening in the summertime (and on most main holidays), islanders and guests alike head to the banks of the Kiawah River for a long-standing custom: the Mingo Level Oyster Roast and BBQ.
There’s lots to pile onto your plate together with Southern aspect dishes and desserts and mouth-watering mains cooked over an open hearth — from fresh-caught oysters to smoked hen and pulled pork.
Whereas some feast, you’ll spot others kicking up their toes on the dance ground to native bands. Craft workshops and island hair braiding provide an opportunity for the little ones to get in on the Lowcountry enjoyable, and native artisans arrange store to promote the whole lot from jewellery to wooden crafts.
3. Trip Bikes On The Seashore and By means of The Marshlands
With over 30 miles of paved paths and 10 miles of hard-packed, bikeable seashore, biking is a most popular technique for getting round Kiawah Island.
Not solely are the bike paths a low-stress option to get from level A to level B, however they’re additionally typically a vacation spot in themselves.
Spend a day biking alongside tropical wetlands, then cease to tour the Marsh Island Park and climb the tower, which affords views out over Kiawah’s preserved marshes and coastal panorama.
Proceed pedaling alongside the Kiawah Island Parkway and out to Rhett’s Bluff to find the previous Shoolbred cemetery and the dock overlooking the Kiawah River. Or just coast alongside the tide line to see the size of the island’s whole shore.
4. E-book a Tee-Time at Championship Golf Programs
It’s no secret that Kiawah is house to a few of the nation’s finest golf. Hyperlinks Journal, Conde Nast Traveler, and Golf World have all acknowledged the island as a high golf vacation spot, and its 5 world-class programs appeal to golfers from close to and much.
Highlights of Kiawah’s golf choices embody Turtle Level, a Jack Nicklaus-designed course that blends seamlessly into the scenic panorama, and Osprey Level, that includes 4 pure lakes and dense forests.
However probably the most spectacular of Kiawah’s programs is the Ocean Course, which has been house to an array of championships together with the 2012 PGA Championship, and is scheduled to host the PGA Championship once more in 2021.
Each considered one of its 18 holes affords jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic — in reality, it boasts probably the most oceanside holes of any course within the Northern Hemisphere.
Nevertheless it’s not simply stunning; it’s additionally tough. Coastal winds make this course a formidable problem for even seasoned golfers.
5. Watch a Film within the Pool or Beneath The Stars
On Kiawah, watching motion pictures isn’t only a wet day affair. Throughout summertime, you’ll have two choices for alfresco flicks.
Dive-in motion pictures are a Tuesday evening custom at Evening Heron Park. Households collect with pool floats in tow to chill whereas a collection of kid-friendly favorites play on an enormous display.
And each Wednesday, Freshfields Village hosts Starlight Cinema, the place visitors of all ages huddle up on seashore chairs and blankets on the village inexperienced to catch family-friendly motion pictures on the massive display.
These occasions are a few of the finest free issues to do in Kiawah Island. It’s the perfect option to wind down within the night whereas nonetheless having fun with some exterior time.
6. Go Fishing
Everybody from novice anglers to seasoned execs can discover the proper spot to go fishing on Kiawah Island. Landlubbers can solid a line off the fishing dock at Bass Pond, a scenic and widespread spot close to Rhett’s Bluff, whereas these on the lookout for a little bit extra journey can fee a constitution out of Bohicket Marina.
Need to take to the waters? Cruise by way of Kiawah’s creeks and marshes on a four-hour inshore fishing tour. These catch-and-release charters maintain a most of six individuals, and visitors could have the prospect to hook flounder, redfish, and noticed trout.
For many who’d wish to enterprise a little bit additional offshore, close to coastal and reef fishing charters will whisk you as much as synthetic reefs and wrecks as much as seven miles out, the place massive sharks and black sea bass are widespread catches.
River creek charters additionally provide a family-friendly choice for younger anglers to attempt to catch widespread saltwater fish. And each Wednesday morning, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Bohicket Marina includes a fishing event only for youngsters ages 4-14!
7. Get pleasure from Stay Music and a Summer season Breeze
Chilly drinks, toe-tapping tunes, and a heat breeze — you’ll discover this excellent trifecta on summer season Thursday nights on the Porch Bar, an area favourite in Kiawah’s Freshfields Village.
Catch a sundown over Andell Lake, settle right into a southern swing or rocking chair, and order your favourite cocktail whereas native jazz bands present a very stress-free summer season soundtrack.
For a livelier expertise that’s match for the entire crew, Freshfields Village hosts weekly Friday evening Music on the Inexperienced live shows in the summertime.
Deliver your chairs and blankets and chill, or get up and bust a transfer to the tunes of southeastern musicians and teams. Every week brings a special act, starting from groovy jam bands to rock-and-rollers.
8. Witness Wildlife Up Shut
Whether or not you’re on the lookout for it or not, you’ll seemingly spot Kiawah’s native wildlife throughout your travels on the island. Chances are you’ll glimpse dolphins strand feeding within the Kiawah River, an alligator wandering throughout a golf course, or a white-tailed deer prancing within the dune grass.
None of these sights are unusual, they usually’re what makes Kiawah really feel just a bit bit completely different from extra typical seashore locations.
However for those who’d wish to be a little bit extra intentional in your wildlife search, register for a naturalist-led bike tour by way of Kiawah’s wetlands, a birding tour to distant island locations, a gator stroll, or a dolphin cruise.
Naturalists additionally set out on images excursions for many who need to take house reminiscences of the creatures they meet throughout their time on Kiawah Island.
9. Wine & Dine
Homey Italian eateries, traditional sports activities bars, high-class French institutions — there’s a little bit little bit of the whole lot in terms of eating in Freshfields Village.
Deliver the children for a laid again household dinner at King Road Grille, or deal with your self to a three-course meal ready with native components at Hege’s Restaurant.
In case you’re trying to enterprise a little bit additional out, John’s Island is house to genuine Mexican eating places, farm-style southern gems, and French-Southern fusion. And for die-hard foodies, the various eating scene of peninsular Charleston is only a 45-minute drive away.
For a very memorable eating expertise, ebook a trip rental with a full kitchen and rent an area chef for an at-home meal that rivals the island’s finest eating places.
Higher but, make a visit to Forty-Eight Wine Bar beforehand to pattern reds and whites and decide up a bottle to get pleasure from along with your connoisseur dinner.
10. Bask in Retail Remedy
Positive, you possibly can hit the mall again house. However purchasing’s a little bit extra enjoyable at Freshfields Village. This open-air market is Kiawah Island’s model of Predominant Road, and it’s lined with high-end retailers, native craftspeople, and quaint boutiques.
Spend the afternoon indulging in a little bit little bit of retail remedy, then end off the day with a glass of wine or a rejuvenating spa therapeutic massage.
Now You Know What To Do in Kiawah Island
Able to make your escape to Kiawah Island? Begin by searching Kiawah Island Getaway’s assortment of scenic-view and oceanfront trip leases on Kiawah Island.
From penthouses excessive above the seashore to cozy hideaways surrounded by maritime forest, take your decide of picture-perfect leases to function your house base throughout your time on the island.
Pack your baggage and luxuriate in!
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