6 Most Scenic Beaches Near Port Royal, SC (2023)

Port Royal, SC

Port Royal’s location on SC’s coast means it is close to many beautiful Atlantic ocean beaches! In this post, I’ll look at 6 scenic beaches near Port Royal, SC that offer a quiet and relaxing atmosphere for your next family vacation.

The town of Port Royal is a great spot for nature lovers, history buffs, and anyone looking for a peaceful beach vacation.

Port Royal is an island in South Carolina’s Lowcountry between Beaufort and Hilton Head Island. The small beach town has a rich history that goes all the way back to North American tribes living on the land.

List of Scenic Beaches Near Port Royal, SC

BeachReasons to VisitLocationVisitors Website
Sands Beach-Drive-up beach
-Very family-friendly
-Great for finding shark’s teeth!
-The closest beach to Port Royal
Click Here for MapClick Here
Folly Field Beach Park-Small-town beach feel
-Metered parking
-Outdoor showers and public restrooms
-Close to Hilton Head
Click Here for MapClick Here
Tybee Island-Close to Downtown Savannah
-Quiet and secluded beaches
-Very family-friendly
Click Here for MapClick Here
Hilton Head Island-Many attractions for families
-Vibrant beach town
-8 public beaches
-Shopping, restaurants, and more
Click Here for MapClick Here
North Beach-A lively beach town in Tybee Island
-Home to GA’s oldest lighthouse
-Tybee’s premier spot for shopping
Click Here for MapClick Here
Hunting Island Beach & State Park-Great for families
-Public beach access and a large state park
-Tent and RV camping available
-Hiking, nature trails, a lighthouse, and more
Click Here for MapClick Here

1. Sands Beach

Sunny Day at South Carolina Beach

About Sands Beach: Port Royal’s main beach is Sands Beach, conveniently located at Port Royal’s Southern tip. The beach is open to the public and incredibly easy to access, making this the go-to beach spot for Port Royal visitors.

Reasons to Visit: Sands Beach is one of the more family-friendly beaches in the Beaufort/Port Royal area. The best part is that you can drive right up to the beach and park on the sand! 

A day at Sands Beach can be spent doing things like:

  • Searching for shark teeth (there are a ton of shark’s teeth here!)
  • Kite flying
  • Having a picnic out of your car
  • Swimming or taking a float out on the water

And, near the waterfront, there is a pier and observation tour that’s great for dolphin-watching and watching the sunset.

Fun fact: Sands Beach is a “tidal” beach, which means you won’t have to worry about large waves or riptides. That makes this the perfect beach for families with younger children.

Sands Beach Visitors’ Website

2. Folly Field Beach Park

About Folly Field Beach Park: Folly Field is a public beach park in Hilton Head Island, SC. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Port Royal. Folly Field has a relaxed, family-friendly environment, warm waters and soft white sands. It’s known as a “local’s” beach, and has a small beach-town feel!

Reasons to Visit: Folly Field has all the amenities families need for an easy day at the beach, like:

  • Metered parking
  • Public beach access
  • A long nature boardwalk
  • Outdoor showers
  • Public restrooms

Nearby in Hilton Head, you can also find delicious dining, shopping, and more.

Folly Field Beach Park Visitors’ Website

Tybee Island

Savannah Georgia Beaches

About Tybee Island: Tybee Island, GA is 57.9 miles from Port Royal, which is a little less than an hour and a half drive.

Tybee Island is known as “Savannah’s Beach” because it is only a 20-minute drive from historic Savannah’s downtown. This is a big draw for visiting Tybee Island, as you can explore great restaurants or the arts in a historic downtown after spending the day at the beach.

Reasons to Visit: There’s plenty of fun to be had for the whole family in Tybee Island and downtown Savannah, including things like:

Tybee Island Visitors’ Website

Hilton Head Island

About Hilton Head: 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.

Reasons to Visit: In addition to the pristine beaches, Hilton Head has something for the whole family. It’s known for its great shopping and golf courses.

Over the years, I’ve explored many of these, but there’s so much to do. Below are just a few things to check out.

Hilton Head Island Beach Visitors’ Website

North Beach

About North Beach: North Beach is a Tybee Island, GA Beach about an hour and 15 minutes from Port Royal. It’s one of the larger areas of Tybee Island and is home to many historic attractions, shops, restaurants, and sandy beaches.

Reasons to Visit: There’s truly something for everyone at North Beach, from history buffs to adventure lovers. Here are just a few of the fun ways to spend your time at North Beach:

  • Take in ocean views from the top of the Cockspur Lighthouse, Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse
  • Check out local boutiques, eclectic shops, and the Tybee Oaks Shopping Center. North Beach is known as Tybee’s premier spot for shopping!
  • Try deep-sea fishing or rent a kayak and spend a day on the water
  • Take a bike ride on the Colonial Coastal Birding Trail or along the McQueen Island Trail, for scenic views of the Savannah River

North Beach Visitors’ Website

Hunting Island Beach and State Park

About Hunting Island Beach & State Park: Hunting Island Beach is 20 miles, or a ~30-minute drive, from Port Royal.

The beach is located within the 5,000-acre Hunting Island State Park, with over 100 campsites available. That makes this a great vacation spot for families that love camping and outdoor adventure!

Of course, you can’t forget to pack your tent! For big groups, you can use something like this Coleman instant 9-person cabin tent on Amazon, that can easily be set up in 2-3 minutes.

Reasons to Visit: You’ll have all of your needs covered when you stay at Hunting Island State Park. Along with public beach access, you’ll have access to miles of marsh and forests, a pier for fishing, and more.

Pro tip: you can’t visit Hunting Island without checking out the publicly accessible historic lighthouse with its scenic views! You can climb up 130 feet to an amazing panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and maritime forest.

Best Things to do at Hunting Island State Park:

  • Hiking Trails and Outdoor Fun: Explore everything from saltwater lagoons to beautiful magnolia trees and live oaks along 9 different trails
  • Picnic tables throughout (as well as plenty of parking areas)
  • Historic Hunting Island Lighthouse and the lighthouse gift shop
  • Visit the Nature Center, which includes exhibits and live animal exhibits (more at their site)

Hunting Island Beach Visitors’ Website and Brochure

Other Activities and Entertainment in Port Royal, SC

1. Learn about the history of Port Royal, SC

Port Royal has a rich history dating back hundred of years. It was quickly taken over by forces during the Civil War, and left many fleeing the island.

Today, you can visit the Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve, one of the oldest forts in South Carolina. This is also the location of the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in America. Visitors can walk around the fort, learn about its history, and even have lunch under a pavilion at the preserve.

And for a full history of Port Royal, check out the Historic Port Royal Foundation’s Port Royal Museum. Here, you’ll learn about the history of this Lowcountry town and appreciate artifacts, old documents, and more.

2. Check out local events, entertainment, and more

If you’re looking for a little more excitement and adventure during your trip to Port Royal, you can check out some of the activities below:

The town also has a few longstanding annual events that bring together the community for food, music, and fun. The Soft Shell Crab Festival and Christmas Golfcart Parade are a few of the annual events you’ll find here!

Conclusion to 6 Scenic Beaches Near Port Royal, SC

In short, you can see that there are many reasons that make South Carolina’s Lowcountry and its beaches a perfect vacation spot. Next time you’re planning a family vacation, remember these 6 scenic beaches near Port Royal, SC!


My Favorite Tools for Planning a Trip


Booking.com. They have great deals and free cancellation usually.

Vacation Rentals

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.

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