Mount Pleasant, SC is a suburban coastal town in Charleston County. It’s a large residential town with plenty of history, recreation and activities.
And, its location on South Carolina’s east coast means it’s a short drive to some of SC’s most amazing beaches!
There are 2 beaches in the town of Mount Pleasant, and 5 beaches that average a 1.5-hour drive.
These beaches are:
- Sullivan’s Island
- Isle of Palms
- Folly Beach
- Kiawah Island
- Seabrook Island
- Edisto Beach
- Hilton Head Island
Beaches in Mount Pleasant, SC
The two main beaches in close proximity to Mt. Pleasant are Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms. They are both a short distance from the city center of Mt. Pleasant and historic Downtown Charleston.
1. Sullivan’s Island
Sullivan’s Island Beach is one of two main beaches in Mt. Pleasant, SC. It’s only about a 10-minute drive from the town center of Mount Pleasant.
Sullivan’s has a small and relaxed beach town feel. It’s best known for its miles of pristine beaches, restaurants, and community events.
Although the island is only 3.3 miles long, there’s plenty to do here, like:
- Watersports: kayaking, sailing and paddling
- Try local dining like the classic gastropub Poe’s Tavern, known for its gourmet burgers, sandwiches and local craft beer
- Brush up on Revolutionary War history at Fort Moultrie
Sullivan’s Island Tourism Website
Distance from Mt. Pleasant: 6.3 miles, which is a 13-minute drive
2. Isle of Palms
The Isle of Palms is one of the top beach vacation destinations in SC. It’s only about 20 minutes outside of Mount Pleasant.
The island is home to many high-end resorts, which makes this the perfect spot for a romantic getaway or family vacation.
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.
Reasons to Visit: Attractions and entertainment at the Isle of Palms include:
- Shopping at boutiques and eclectic gift shops
- Kayaking and canoeing
- Boat tours and eco-tours
- Golf at one of the many public or private golf courses
For the Trip: 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.
Isle of Palms Visitor’s Website
Distance from Mt. Pleasant: 8.4 miles, which is a 20-minute drive
Beaches Near Mount Pleasant, SC
If you want to check out other beaches near Mount Pleasant, there are tons of great options on the coast without having to drive too far. Below are 5 beaches near Mount Pleasant that average a 1.5-hour drive.
3. Folly Beach
Folly Beach is about 30 minutes outside of Mount Pleasant on Folly Island.
It’s also close to John’s Island, which has a ton of recreation, entertainment, restaurants, and more! And, it’s one of the closest beaches to Downtown Charleston if you want to be close to the Holy City.
Folly Beach is best known for its laid-back vibes and “surf town” feel. It has miles of public beach with free parking and easy access for visitors.
There’s also the Folly River, which is an intercoastal waterway that’s great for kayaking or paddling!
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
Besides beach time and watersports, there are many eclectic shops and local restaurants and bars worth checking out.
Visitors’ Website for Folly Beach
Distance from Mt. Pleasant: 19.4 miles, which is a 33-minute drive
4. Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island is less than an hour away from Mount Pleasant. It’s a popular destination for people who want a resort-style stay.
Kiawah is best known for its 10 miles of pristine beaches, maritime forests, and world-class golf courses. Looking for the best way to spend your time here? Here are some ideas:
- Biking trails along the island and nature trails
- Shopping at local boutiques
- Waterfront dining
If you’re looking for more of a private getaway and fewer tourist attractions, Kiawah Island is the spot for you. This beach is kid-friendly but tends to attract an older crowd.
Distance from Mt. Pleasant: 33.8 miles, which is a 55-minute drive
5. Seabrook Island
Seabrook Island is less than an hour away from Mount Pleasant and only 30 minutes from Downtown Charleston.
This island is a private oceanfront community with miles of pristine beaches, marshes, and a maritime forest. It offers a more quiet and secluded beach experience.
Seabrook Island is the place to go if you’re looking for time to relax and unwind. Here are a few ways you can spend your time on the island:
- Horseback riding
- Golf on a championship golf course
- Dine with scenic views overlooking the ocean
If you’re looking for a chair to relax in during your long days on the beach, check out this ultra-comfortable chair with a built-in umbrella on Amazon.
Distance from Mt. Pleasant: 31.8 miles, which is a 52-minute drive
6. Edisto Beach
Edisto Beach is a little over an hour away from Mt. Pleasant.
The Town of Edisto Beach provides 37 public beach access points to along Palmetto Boulevard.
Edisto Beach is one of the best places for nature lovers or couples looking for a quiet and relaxing beach trip.
There is a 1,255-acre state park (Edisto Beach State Park) that borders the town. It provides both camping and hiking trails. (You can’t beat the views of the marsh and Southern Lowcountry feel here!)
One of our favorite ways to enjoy Edisto Island is pitching a hammock at the park before hitting the beach. Check out our favorite easy-to-pitch hammock on Amazon!
Distance from Mt. Pleasant: 58.8 miles, which is a 1-hour and 10-minute drive
7. Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head is the farthest beach from Mount Pleasant, at 112 miles or a 2-hour drive.
This is one of the most popular beach towns in the Palmetto State. Every year, between 2 and 3 million folks visit Hilton Head Island, SC.
If you want a bustling beach town, Hilton Head Island is worth visiting!
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. Or, have some fun in the sun and try out some watersports!
If you work up an appetite after spending the day at the beach, there’s some amazing casual and fine dining in Hilton Head. From pizza places to classic Southern seafood, there’s something for every appetite.
Hilton Head is also only an hour from Savannah, GA, which is home to some delicious dining, bars, shopping and more. Make a road trip out of it and hit both cities!
Visitors’ Website for Hilton Head
Distance from Mt. Pleasant: 112.5, which is a 2-hour and 9-minute drive
Other Beaches Around SC & GA
In short, there are many things that make Mt. Pleasant a great place to take your family on vacation. Not only is it close to a number of beautiful beaches, but there’s plenty to do within the town itself as well.
Want to check out some more of the best beaches in the Southeast? Browse through our beach guides below:
Top 10 dog-friendly beaches in Georgia
30 best beaches near Atlanta, GA