Guide to the Islands Surrounding Charleston: James Island, Johns Island, Sullivan's Island, Kaiwah Island, Isle of Palms, City Marina and more!
photos and copy by Patricia Blackstock
My husband and I live in Myrtle Beach. We travel to Charleston several times a year. When visiting the islands surrounding Charleston, we usually spend a night in the Charleston area in order to get a morning start.
What will you see when you visit the
various islands around Charleston?
Don't miss the Angel Oak, one of the largest living trees,is located on John's Island , South Carolina. This oak has a diameter reaching 160 feet, a circumference of nearly 25 feet, and a height of 65 feet. It covers 17,000 square feet of ground. Reportedly the oldest thing, living or man-made, east of the Rockies. The Angel Oak is approximately 1,500 years old. It stands on a wooded area of Bohicket Road on John's Island, near Chraleston. Don't forget your camera! It's free to visit, and you will be amazed! If you have trouble locating the Angel Oak, just stop and ask anyone. All the locals can tell you exactly how to find the tree.
John's Island is west of the Charleston peninsula, and it serves as a gateway isand for its neighboring islands - Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. Technically an island because it is surrounded by the Intracoastal Waterway, the Stono River, the Kiawah River and Bohicket Creek. Johns Island is protected by the islands surrounding it. Freshfields Village brings neighborhood shopping to the crossroads of Kiawah, Seabrook, and John's Island. Newton Farms (owned by Piggly Wiggly) an upscale grocery store where we enjoyed a delicious lunch.
Sullivan's Island is a Barrier Island in the Charleston Harbor. It is comprised of approximately 2,000 residents in half as many households. These are primarily full or part-time citizens who enjoy the relaxed lifestyle of Sullivan's Island. Sullivans Island has a longg military history of protecting tthe harbor from invaders. Remnants of the Military are abundant in now privately held military housing. Former fortifications are now family homes. Most of these historic houses have withstood all kinds of weather, including hurricanes. The Ben Sawyer Bridge connects Sullivan's Island to Mt. Pleasant.
James Island is the home of many historic events. This is where the Civil War began on April 12, 1861. Nearby you'll find Morris Island and Folly Beach. You'll want to see Morris Lighthouse. It's a short walk from the parking lot to the point where you can view the lighthouse. At the 643 acre James Island County Park you'll find saltwater fishing, along the walking trails and picnic areas. Admission is currently $1. per person with additional fees for some amenities.
Isle of Palms is just above Sullivan's Island and it offers a rich history of significance during the Civil War. It served as a point of departure for the CSS Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel. Isle of Palms offers its six miles of white, sandy beaches, loved by visitors and locals alike. And we always stop at Trader Joe's on the way home to Myrtle Beach.
Kiawah Island is a 10-mile stretch of undisturbed Atlantic beach. It's a private community with access limited to property owners and guests or rental agencies. Beachwalker Park is located at the west end of the island. It's the only public beach access on the island...but it is not free unless you visit in Jan. and Feb. or Nov. and Dec. See Kiawah Beachwalker Parkf for more information.
Charleston City Marina was named "National Marina of the Year " (Marina Dock Age Magazine), and offers state-of-the-art amenities and facilities. The City's Marina Mega Dock extends 1,530 feet and is the longest free-standing floating fuel doock in the Southeast. For more information about this beautiful marina, please visit the Charleston City Marina Website.
Edisto Beach is about an hour's drive south of Charleston. Edisto Island photos are here.Edisto is a quiet family island. Its first known occupants were the Edisto Indians. The Spanish arrived in the 1500s followed by the English in the 1600s. Make it a day trip or spend the night at this family-friendly beach.
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