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What's the best beach in SC? Here's what the locals will tell you.

What's the best beach in SC? Here's what the locals will tell you.

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Stretching 187 miles, the South Carolina coastline is beloved features of this state.

That's why The Sun News should've known, when we asked readers where to find South Carolina's best beaches, the tea would be boiling hot.

Summer is around the corner and many people are probably really looking forward to soaking up the sun at the beach. As temperatures rise, however, so do visits to the emergency room. Here are some safety precautions you should keep in mind. Buzz60’s Johana Restrepo has more.

There's simply no universal favorite . No beach, nor region, in the very unscientific poll, received a clear majority. 

Here's what people said they love about South Carolina's beaches. Let this be a summertime sand guide. 

There's a lot of sand to visit.

Best beaches for families

Almost every beach along the coast had at least a few spots families loved to visit. Here are the top four.

— North Myrtle Beach: "It is quiet and family oriented. It is where you can come and just relax, my happy place!" Charles Seastrunk said.

— Hilton Head Island: "Family oriented, great walking beach (love seeing the dogs in the morning) and well maintained," Laurie Pagnotto said.

— Garden City: "Family and dog friendly, lots of public parking, not too crowded, allows large tents," Cornelia Zell said.

— Fripp Island: "Perfect for family vacations," Cody Greene said.

Quietest beaches

Hidden about an hour south of Charleston, Edisto Beach was the biggest favorite among people looking for a quiet place to go (great spot for families, too).

"NO NEON!!! Quiet, peaceful, relaxing, beautiful," Robert Owens told us.

Farther north, Litchfield and Pawleys Island were prized for their calm atmosphere and lack of crowds. Some stretches of sand in those areas are limited to residents, but there are still plenty of access points for the public.

Most popular beach in the Grand Strand

Cherry Grove sits as close to North Carolina as one can get without actually crossing the border. It was the most popular beach in the Grand Strand for our respondents. People loved it for how much space it provides and the (usual) lack of crowds.

"Large expanse of sand, quiet, great place to find sand dollars and seashells, and fabulous sunrises and sunsets. Waites Island across the inlet that is even more quiet and a great spot for a picnic after a kayak trip!" said Susan Wesmiller. Visiting Cherry Grove has been her family tradition for 30 years.

On the north end of North Myrtle Beach, Cherry Grove is still close to plenty of restaurants and hotels, making staying and visiting there easy, residents and visitors wrote.

"Love that I don't have to walk a mile to get from the parking lot" to the beach, Brenda Zumbaum said.

Best beaches for surfing

Folly Beach, in the Charleston area, was complimented for its laid-back environment, and in particular, its surfing. (Riding the waves requires a chill beach, doesn't it?)

Hilton Head Island was also a heavy favorite for surfing.

"VERY WIDE, SMALL CROWDS, GOO(D) SURF," Charles H. and Norma L. Wood wrote, rather enthusiastically.

Most unique beach

Hunting Island, located across the bay from Edisto Beach, held a similar appeal for many respondents. In particular, the Boneyard Beach, where hundreds of trees felled by erosion create an eerie landscape, stands out to longtime visitor Merranda Michels.

"Hunting Island is the most beautiful and peaceful beach in SC," she wrote. "During the day, we enjoy time on the beach looking for shells and finding all kinds, including sand dollars and hermit crabs. They have a lighthouse and the boneyard, which is dead trees that rest peacefully on the beach with their dried roots still attached. At night, you can see every star in the sky as well as many shooting stars."

Beaufort resident Emily Hulsey said she visits the beach, which is "in our backyard," often. She also frequently camps there and said it is "devoid of oppressive crowds found at other beaches."

Most heartwarming beach story

Scott French said he and his wife spent "many warm days" on Sullivan's Island when they were first dating and attending the College of Charleston. They fell in love with the beach and each other.

"Those memories are so special to us we named our son Sullivan," he said.

Ultimate secret beach

Not everyone wanted to tell us what the best beach is, preferring to keep it all to themselves. (Understandable.)

"I am not telling you what's the best beach in S.C. because then everyone would go there, and it wouldn't be the best beach anymore," Carl Roberts said.

Other beaches South Carolinians love

Melvin Poole said Atlantic Beach, the only one he could visit during segregation, is still his favorite decades later. The city has long been the heart of the Grand Strand's Black community, hosting events like Black Bike Week every Memorial Day.

Kiawah Island is great for dolphin viewing, several people said. It also hosts some of the biggest golf tournaments in the nation.

"The beaches are beautiful!" Parker Merritt said. "They are never crowded and you can always find a quiet spot to enjoy a good book, plenty of space to fish if you'd like to take your reel out there, and easy going waves for kids to enjoy. The wildlife there is stunning, too! You can see dolphins strand feeding and hang out with the turtle patrol in the early mornings."

On Hilton Head Island, Coligny Beach was the most popular destination. Residents and tourists told us that they pride it for the ease of access, cleanliness and proximity to businesses.

"You can be on the beautiful beach and away from it all, while still being just a short walk away from several great restaurants and bars," Pat Sheley said.

Isle of Palms, near Mount Pleasant, is a "very pristine" beach, Sherene Chavous said. Others said they love it because of how close it is to downtown Charleston. Bored at the beach? Go paint the town.

Or ... maybe go to the mountains?

At least one person, we're not going to say who, isn't a fan of South Carolina's beaches.

"They're all dumps. No waves and dirty water."


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