Greenville is one of the top destinations in upstate South Carolina. Sitting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s one of my favorite places to visit.
But sometimes you need to take a beach trip.
Here are the 9 best beaches near Greenville, SC that you can visit on a day or weekend trip!
South Carolina Beaches Closest Greenville, SC
The five closest beaches to Greenville are located within the state of South Carolina and are a 3.5 to 4.5-drive away.
Each one of these SC beaches makes for a perfect day trip or mini-vacation on the weekend. These beaches are:
- Folly Beach (Charleston area):
- Isle of Palms (Charleston area)
- Edisto Beach
- Hilton Head Island
- Myrtle Beach
Before you hit the beaches, don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen and a sturdy beach umbrella like this one that’s wind-resistant up to 34 miles per hour.
1. Folly Beach, SC
The nearest beach to Greenville, SC is Folly Beach at 223 miles, which is a 3-hour and 35-minute drive.
Located in the Charleston area, Folly Beach has a rich history and beautiful, white sandy beaches. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Folly River, some of the top beach activities include:
- beachside strolls
The beach pictured above is on Folly Island. It’s a laid-back area and a popular surf spot.
But there is also plenty of local history and wildlife observation to experience. You could tour the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage or camp out on the shoreline for a great photography session.
After a long day at the beach, check out Folly Beach’s eclectic shops, local cuisine: maybe walk over to Chico Feo for fusion tacos, a cold drink, and live music on the patio!
Drive Time from Greenville, SC: 3 hours and 3 minutes
Distance from Greenville, SC: 223 miles
Vacation Rentals at Folly Beach
2. Isle of Palms, SC
The Isle of Palms is also in the Charleston area and is the second closest beach to Greenville, SC at a 3-hour and 37-minute drive (226 miles).
Beach Access: There are 50 beach access paths availalbe to visitors on Isle of Palms.
Other Things to Do: On the island, the Wild Dunes Resort has a golf course that can be played by the public and a beautiful pier that is fun to walk and relax at.
Downtown Charleston: Isle of Palms is 18 miles from downtown Charleston, where you can find additional shopping, entertainment, and dining.
Drive Time from Greenville, SC: 3 hours and 35 minutes
Distance from Greenville, SC: 226 miles
Vacation Rentals at Isle of Palms
If you want to bring a kayak, here are some top picks from Amazon worth checking out too.
- Top inflatable kayak for 1-person: Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series
- Top inflatable 2-person kayak: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- Best Budget & Sit-on-Top Kayak: Pelican Sentinel Sit-on-Top Kayak
3. Edisto Beach, SC
Edisto Beach is 234 miles from downtown Greenville, which is a a 3-hour and 50-minute drive. This choice is perfect for a quieter experience because Edisto Island is not as developed as many of the other South Carolina beaches.
Beach Access: Edisto Beach has37 public access points to the beach along Palmetto Boulevard.
- State Park: there is a 1,255-acre state park that borders the town and provides both camping and hiking trails.
Drive Time from Greenville, SC: 3 hours and 50 minutes
Distance from Greenville, SC: 234 miles
Vacation Rentals at Edisto Beach
4. Hilton Head Island, SC
Hilton Head Island is 251 miles from Greenville, SC, which is a 4-hour drive if you take I-26 to I-95.
Beach Access: You’ll find 8 points of access to public beach property at Hilton Head. From the more secluded Alder Lane to Coligny Beach Park’s shops and restaurants, Hilton Head offers a lot of variety and plenty of ocean access for the public.
Hilton Head is known for its great shopping and golf courses, but you could also try taking a camper to one of Hilton Head’s best RV parks.
Drive Time from Greenville, SC: 4 hours
Distance from Greenville, SC: 251 miles
5. Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach is 252 miles from Greenville, SC, which is a 4-hour and 20-minute drive. This is one of the most popular beach towns in the country and is worth visiting if you like lots of activities!
Main Beaches: There are three main beaches here.
- North Myrtle
This spot is full of ocean activities like jet ski rentals, banana boat trips, and parasailing.
Other popular activities include:
- Relaxing spa treatments at these resorts
- Indoor water parks
- Go on a deep sea charter fishing expedition in Murrells Inlet, SC (a 30-minute drive from Myrtle Beach)
- Visit a haunted house
Drive Time from Greenville, SC: 4 hours and 20 minutes
Distance from Greenville, SC: 252 miles
Vacation Rentals at Myrtle Beach
Georgia Beaches Closest to Greenville, SC
Georgia beaches are further away from Greeenville than the South Carolina beach options. However, Tybee Island and St. Simons are the two closest Georgia beaches to Greenville and are worth exploring if you don’t mind driving a bit further.
6. Tybee Island, GA
Tybee Island is the closest Georgia beach to Greenville, SC at 274 miles, which is a 4.5-hour drive.
Beach Areas: Tybee Island has five main beach areas:
- North Beach
- Mid Beach
- South Beach
- Back River Beach
- Little Tybee Beach
If you want to explore great restaurants or the arts in a historic downtown after visiting the beach, I recommend Tybee because it’s known as “Savannah’s Beach.” Tybee is only a 20-minute drive from historic Savannah’s downtown, where you can find plenty to do for the whole family:
- Amazing restaurants
- 9 rooftop bars
- Breakfast and Brunch Spots
- 20 golf championship golf courses in and around the area for the golf enthusiast
Drive Time from Greenville, SC: 4 hours and 30 minutes
Distance from Greenville, SC: 274 miles
Vacation Rentals at Tybee Island
7. St. Simons Island, GA
St. Simons Island is 336 miles from Greenville, SC, which is a 5-hour and 20-minute drive. This is the furthest drive of any beach on the list. However, you’ll find plenty to do here.
St. Simons Island is the largest of the Golden Isles, which are comprised of:
- St. Simons Island
- Sea Island
- Little St. Simons Island
- Jekyll Island
Drive Time from Greenville, SC: 5 hours and 20 minutes
Distance from Greenville, SC: 336 miles
Vacation Rentals at St. Simons Island
North Carolina Beaches Closest to Greenville, SC
North Carolina has two beach options that are close if you’re traveling from Greenville, SC. Oak Island Beach and Carolina Beach average a 317-mile and 5-hour and 10-minute drive from downtown Greenville, SC.
8. Oak Island Beach
Oak Island is the closest North Carolina beach to Greenville, SC at 314 miles, which is a 5-hour drive.
In addition to the beaches, you’ll find two dog parks on the island.
Drive Time from Greenville, SC: 5 hours
Distance from Greenville, SC: 314 miles
Vacation Rentals at Oak Island Beach
9. Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach is 319 miles from Greenville, SC, which is a 5-hour and 20-minute drive.
Drive Time from Greenville, SC: 5 hours and 20 minutes
Distance from Greenville, SC: 319 miles
Vacation Rentals at Carolina Beach
My Favorite Tools for Planning a Trip
Booking.com. They have great deals and free cancellation usually.
VRBO. I have been both a guest and renter for VRBO. 20+ experiences over the years. All great.
Viator. I’m newer to this, but it’s a great spot to get ideas or discounted tickets.