Sullivan's Island Beach
Sullivan's Island Beach
4.5
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Top ways to experience Sullivan's Island Beach and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
413 reviews
Excellent
242
Very good
116
Average
31
Poor
7
Terrible
17

Jill E
Easley, SC161 contributions
Love, love, love this beach. Super quiet, not crowded, and very family oriented. This is NOT a party beach like some others in the area. Signs are posted that alcohol is prohibited and will result in a $1,040 fine. On more than one occasion, we have seen other beach goers receive these tickets for having alcohol in coolers. If you're looking for a peaceful stretch of sand and surf to enjoy with family and friends, this is it. If you want to party, don't set up your beach chair here. (While the beach is totally amazing, parking is tough. Go early, especially on the weekend, as you're going to be fighting for parking spots on the side of the streets in the residential area. Be sure your tires are totally off the pavement, or you'll return to a ticket.
Written August 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cara
Archbold, OH3 contributions
Family
Great day at the beach! Arrive early for free parking on the street. We parked at Station 18 and because we arrived early in the morning, had no trouble finding a parking spot on the road. No bathroom facilities, so plan that into your day. We brought a cooler with food/drinks. Beach wasn’t crowded, like Isle of Palms. No lifeguards, but we have teens who swim and are aware of beach water danger. Wonderful beach to walk up and down. Slower paced town and just an all around great time!
Written August 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

esd87
Taylors, SC214 contributions
We live in the upstate of SC and have visited Isle of Palms/Folly beaches many times. Discovered Sullivan's Island beach and it is our new go-to beach. The biggest negative is no public restrooms or showers. But the trade-off is, it's a very quiet place and has nowhere near the crowds of the public beaches.

I highly recommend going at low tide - it is unreal how far out the water goes, and there are huge sandbars you can walk on forever.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Justin S
8 contributions
Couples
BEWARE the town is not a tourist friendly destination and is not the standard for South Carolina. We found out the hard way, we were celebrating my birthday and decided to check out the nature walk with our dog. We checked the hours and if dogs were allowed on the beach not seeing the small print (a visually disabled or anyone wearing sunglasses would not see) saying a dog permit was required. Within minutes we were stopped and given a $260 ticket for having our small behaved and leached dog without a permit. We explained we did not know and offered to leave an the beach, did not matter now have a $260 ticket. Honestly what we saw in the short time we were there was sad vegetation and unimpressive dirty water. Highly recommend the friendly, beautiful and hidden gems such as Garden City Beach with the intracoastal and Murrels Inlet Marshmalk much more pleasing area if you want to visit coastal SC
Written March 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lovethesurf22
6 contributions
Just an update since my last post this summer. I live just over the bridge in Mount Pleasant and try to go to the Sullivan's Island beach 3-4 times per week. Parking tickets as well as dog tickets (not having an island dog collar; $50 per collar) are still being handed out in mid-November. Last Friday I met some visitors walking their 2 dogs and they were given 2, $80 tickets for not having the local dog collars. They were warned that each ticket could have been over $1k. I stopped by the town hall to buy my new puppy a collar and they wanted me to pay for a full year when the new 2021 collars would be available in just over 2 weeks. Sorry...but if the city is that incompetent and not able to run a simple residual fee calculation for the remaining days, I don't give them much hope to fix much of the larger issues on the island, such as long-time, local business closings, etc.
Written November 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bill b
4 contributions
PARKING has become an issue at IOP due to Mayor Jimmy Carroll and City Counsel. The Mayor used Covid-19 as an excuse to eliminate free parking, which has been in place for years then Jimmy and counsel made a move to start charging for it. The Mayor does not want victors to 'his" island as quoted - "Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll said his job isn’t necessarily to make them happy. But he does say that since the island can’t handle the sheer volume of visitors it gets every summer, it might be a good idea for some to vacation elsewhere".

Wonder how the shop owners and Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau feel about this?
Written November 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jess
1 contribution
Couples
You can’t stop here for more than ten minutes without being made to feel like a criminal. We hadn’t walked 20 feet from the car park and sat on the sand to watch a ship passing by. My wife was holding our small dog on her lap and we hadn’t planned to stay any length of time , We waived at the female beach patrol on an orange gator and said “thank you for your service”. She stopped and immediately grilled us about a dog license...$50 fee or $500 fine. A dog license to stop on the way back to Charleston for ten minutes? We have been approached every time we stop at this ticket farm for one reason or other and this was the last straw. The Town of Sullivan’s Island government should consider regulating the restaurants who clearly don’t worry about social distancing or serving alcohol to drunks. I guess it’s easier to pick on families who just want to enjoy public space. It’s shameful how they treat people here.
Written August 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Laurie V
Raleigh, NC35 contributions
Nice place to visit, but a little tricky if you are not a resident or lodging over night. Just KNOW before you GO!
We cycled 4 days (April 2021) through the SC Islands, including Isle of Palms & Sullivan's Island. These two islands are quite pretty, but not so into day visitors. By the sheer number of warning signs, they’ve obviously had some issues...lots and lots of NOs, NOTs, Prohibited, KEEP OFF, Not Allowed, NO umbrellas or beach chairs, and pretty much zero free parking as well as a time schedule for dogs to be out and about. We slid into one of 6 free parking spots along Palm Blvd, but be absolutely sure, NO wheels on the pavement! Don’t even try to park at the grocery store, church or any business-TOWING very much enforced. That said, what a beautiful, leisure ride! We started at Isle of Palms and rode to Fort Moultrie at the end of Sullivans and back. Sullivans seems to have a little more side street parking but double check signage because they are ticket serious! If you can find a place to park, I highly recommend the Obstinate Daughter for dinner. Reservations suggested as we popped in on an early Wed night and it was standing room only. Luckily we were able to eat at the bar and the food was excellent! Somehow we escaped the island without a fine.
Written April 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Molly O
1 contribution
The good: A beautiful island, full of charming homes, and with several excellent restaurants. The beach is clean and not too crowded, and it's very close to Charleston. The not so good: There is a large sandbar that runs from the Isle of Palms side to the water tower, so that at the hours surrounding low tide there are no waves near shore. It feels more like being on the shore of a large, windy lake during those times, and with the strong currents, swimming out to the sandbar is difficult and potentially dangerous. Sullivan's a very popular place for kite surfing, since the sandbar forms an area with high wind and no waves. So instead of playing in the waves, we found ourselves spending time by what looked like a murky lake, watching kite surfers and waiting for high tide, when we could finally feel like we were at the ocean.
Written July 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

eaglesnesttraveler
Hammonton, NJ349 contributions
We were there at dusk and as a NJ shore native, I was disappointed at the beach. I would not enjoy it because it is so very remote. Some would love that, but not me. It felt dangerous, no lifeguards, many signs about the danger. Very natural, but loads of children and families inthe water at night. Very difficult to find ANY parking,even at dusk. VERY narrow roads too. Beautiful homes. More of a walking community. I wouldn't want my grandchildren swimming here.
Written August 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Sullivan's Island Beach - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Sullivan's Island Beach