Johns Island, SC: Best Beaches & Fun Activities (2023)

Boats in Harbor at Johns Island SC

Johns Island is located in Charleston County, South Carolina, and is a 20-minute drive from historic Charleston.

Johns Island is a great place to access some of the most beautiful beaches along the South Carolina coast. Folly Beach, Lighthouse Inlet Heritage, Kiawah Beachwalker Park, and Sullivan’s Island Beach are all in close proximity. 

In this article, we will discuss the beaches around Johns Island, things to do on the island, and where to stay when you’re visiting. 

About Johns Island

Johns Island is the largest island in South Carolina. In fact, it’s actually one of the largest islands in the US!

It is the fourth largest island on the east coast, behind Long Island, Mount Desert Island, and Martha’s Vineyard.

Johns Island is bordered by the islands of Wadmalaw, Seabrook, Kiawah, Edisto, Folly, and James.

South Carolina Beaches near Johns Island, SC

1. Folly Beach 

Folly Beach is located on Folly Island, just 25 minutes from Johns Island. It is a laid-back beach that offers one of the most popular surf spots on the east coast.

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Folly River, visitors can enjoy an array of beach activities from surfing, kayaking, and boating.

When you’re done with the surf and sand, you can take in the eclectic shops of downtown Folly. 

Folly Beach is home to the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage, which is a perfect spot to take in some history and other activities such as beachside strolls, wildlife observation, and photography.

2. Kiawah Beachwalker Pier 

Kiawah Beachwalker Pier is the only public beach access on beautiful Kiawah Island. Compared to other Charleston beaches, Kiawah Beachwalk Park has fewer crowds.

Additionally, Beachwalker Park has great beach amenities such as picnic areas, concessions, a boardwalk to the beach, free parking, and showers.

The calmness of Kiawah Beachwalker Pier offers the perfect spot for families.Just make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and a sturdy beach umbrella like this one that’s wind-resistant up to 34 miles per hour.

Kiawah Beachwalker Pier is a 20-minute car ride away from Johns Island. If you are interested in visiting this park, you can participate in activities such as fishing, biking, and relaxing in rented chairs and umbrellas. 

Additionally, Kiawah Island Golf resort is one of the best in the area. If you’re interested in other golf courses, check out this article.

3. Seabrook Island Beach 

Seabrook Island Beach is a private, gated area reserved for the residents and their guests of Seabrook Island.

This makes it the perfect small-town getaway for those looking to escape from the stresses of life. Seabrook Island Beach offers 4 miles of sandy stretch for beach-lovers to enjoy.

Seabrook Island is dedicated to preserving nature, so the island offers some of the best wildlife watching in the state. Additionally, it is famous for its breathtaking views during sunrise and sunset.

Seabrook Island Beach is a 24-minute drive from Johns Island.  If you are looking to bring your dog with you on vacation, you can head over to North Beach, where dogs are allowed off-leash during the summer months from 10 AM – 5 PM.

4. Sullivan’s Island Beach 

Sullivan’s Island is just 3.3 miles but offers big fun for the whole family.

Activities such as kayak rentals, fishing, kiteboarding, paddle boarding, and sailing can all be found on Sullivan’s Island Beach.

On top of a multitude of sun-based fun to be had on Sullivan’’’s Island, you can also immerse yourself in some Revolutionary War history at Fort Moultrie.

5. Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach is a town located alongside the scenic Edisto River and is a 47.1-mile and 1-hour drive from Johns Island, SC.

On Edisto Island, you’ll also find the ACE Basin Wildlife Refuge and miles of beautiful beaches to explore.

6. Isle of Palms

This beautiful barrier island is located near Mount Pleasant and North Charleston, SC. The Isle of Palms is 26.8-miles from Johns Island, SC and is about a 50-minute drive.

When you’re not visiting the beaches here, check out some of these attractions:

  • Charleston Harbor
  • South Carolina Aquarium
  • Local restaurants
  • Downtown historic Charleston (ex. Residential Neighborhoods like Rainbow Row)
  • The Tattooed Moose: Known for custom craft beers, special events & live music.

Things to Do In Johns Island SC

The 84-mile space of Johns Island offers rich history, beautiful wildlife, and a coastal paradise nestled between the Stono and Kiawah Rivers.

Johns Island provides close proximity to some of the best beaches in South Carolina, and other activities as well.

Let’stake a look at the top attractions on Johns Island. 

Angel Oak Tree Park

Angel Oak Tree in Johns Island SC

Angel Oak Tree Park is home to the world-famous Angel Oak Tree. This tree is over 400 years old and is said to be the largest tree on this side of the Mississippi.

It stands 65 ft. tall with a number of branches that span out and lay on the ground for support. Some of the branches have been measured to be 187 ft. long. This is the perfect spot for a photo opportunity! 

Location: 3671 Angel Oak Rd, Johns Island, South Carolina, 29455

Charleston Aqua Park 

The Charleston Aqua Park offers some serious fun for kiddos and parents. An inflatable obstacle course and ropes course sit on Trophy Lake. This is the perfect place to make memories.

You can also enroll in Summer Camp, and host birthday parties and private events.

Location: 3050 Marlin Rd, Johns Island, SC 29455

Places to Stay on Johns Island

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During your visit, you are surely going to want a peaceful place to rest your head at night. We’ve gathered a list of the top places to stay when visiting Johns Island.

There are not many hotels in the area, so the best way to take in the charm of Johns Island is to stay in an Airbnb. Plus, you’ll have plenty of room to spread out if you want to take the whole family. 

Take a look at the list below: 

  • Island Oasis Near Charleston – 3 bedrooms, 2 baths immersed in a lush forest. This stay has 4.93 stars with over 20 reviews. 
  • Captain’s Quarters – A 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath cottage that is sure to take your breath away with southern charm. This guest house is located on a property that is home to birds, turkeys, and deer. 
  • Kingfisher – This bungalow offers a modern coastal vibe that looks like it came straight out of Southern Living magazine. The house is positioned off a quiet creek that provides stunning views of the Kiawah River.  

Summary to Johns Island Beaches

Just like most places in the Low-Country state, Johns Island is in no shortage of southern comfort, charm, and natural beauty. 

Johns Island is one of the largest islands on the east coast and offers close proximity to South Carolina’s calm and inviting beaches. Folly Beach, Kiawah Beachwalker Park, and Sullivan’s Island Beach are among some of the top-rated beaches in the Johns Island area. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Guide to Johns Island and South Carolina Beaches! If you are interested in other beaches in the area, take a look here.


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