Welcome to Edisto Beach, a special place on the South Carolina coast that will make you want to return year after year. The picturesque and serene Edisto Beach is located on Edisto Island, just a short drive from Charleston and Beaufort. It’s the perfect place to vacation while in the Palmetto State, offering some of the prettiest scenery in South Carolina. Whether you’re visiting Edisto Beach for the first time or the hundredth time, the area offers plenty of things to do.
The beauty of Edisto Island can be found everywhere you look. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your car to enjoy its scenic treasures! The 17-mile drive down the Edisto Island National Scenic Byway on SC 174 will introduce you to more than 30 points of interest, from salt marshes to historical sites and lush maritime forests.
South Carolina natives and long-time vacationers will be familiar with Edisto Island’s nickname, “Edi-slow.” Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, Edisto is completely devoid of traffic lights and the top speed limit is 35 miles per hour. You might even decide to ditch the car once you arrive, opting to travel through the oak canopies and palmetto-lined sandy lanes on a bicycle.
Edisto Island is proud of its natural beauty, which is why you won’t find any hotels, motels, or high-rises on the island. There are many vacation homes, condominiums, and timeshares in Edisto Beach which provide comfortable accommodation for every price range, from budget to luxury. Edisto Island is also committed to limited commercial development, with a focus on safeguarding its family-oriented lifestyle and pristine views.
Coastal lovers will be delighted to know that Edisto Beach offers 37 public access points across almost five miles of beach, giving everyone plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the South Carolina sunshine. The beautiful Edisto Beach State Park offers an additional 1.5 miles of beach, as well as two campgrounds – one of which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
Things to do on Edisto Island
On Edisto Island, you won’t find the tacky tourist traps that line the coasts of other beach destinations. Instead, you’ll be able to relax and recharge your batteries without any distractions, while surrounded by nature. There’s something for everyone in Edisto Beach, whether you enjoy simply listening to the waves, visiting local shops, or exploring the great outdoors.
Many visitors love Edisto Island because it feels like a trip back to a simpler time. Instead of big box stores, shoppers are treated to a locally owned bookstore, art galleries, clothing boutiques, and gift shops. The community is full of talented artists and crafters who you can meet at the popular Bay Creek Arts and Crafts Market, which is open every Wednesday from April to October.
Visitors to Edisto Island can also immerse themselves in the area’s rich cultural history at the Edisto Island Museum, or watch an interactive show at the Serpentarium Reptile Zoo and Gift Shop.
Explore by Land and by Sea
South Carolina is known for its beautiful coastline, so you won’t want to miss the chance to explore the waters of Edisto Island. Off-shore and in-shore fishing charters present an opportunity to bring home dinner and truly experience Edisto’s waterways (information about licenses for crabbing, shrimping, and fishing is available from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources). Or you can bring your own boat to The Marina at Edisto Beach and enjoy fresh seafood at Pressley’s while you listen to live music and admire the spectacular marsh views.
You might want to explore Edisto Island’s creeks and marshes on a boat tour, eco-tour, or sunset cruise guided by an experienced local captain. You can expect to spot plenty of local birds, and you might even see a dolphin or two. You can also view plantation homes from the water and go shelling on secluded beaches.
Land tours which present lowcountry South Carolina history and legend from various perspectives are also available on Edisto Island. Be sure to visit Botany Bay Plantation where you can hike to “Boneyard Beach” or travel by car on the driving loop which offers plenty of access points for birding and nature enthusiasts.
Get Outdoors and Play
If you love keeping active while on vacation, Edisto Beach offers plenty of options. You may be interested in exploring the waters in a rented kayak, or on a stand-up paddle board. If you like to travel on two wheels, rent a bicycle and explore over four miles of biking trails that will take you on a scenery-filled loop through Edisto Beach and into Edisto State Park and Botany Bay Wildlife Conservation Area.
Those who feel most at home on the putting green will be happy to know that Edisto Beach offers excellent golf courses. Or you can always skip the game of golf and simply explore the island by golf cart!
Of course, you can also just sink your toes in the sand and perch under the shade of an umbrella with that book that has been calling your name. Life isn’t complicated in Edisto Beach. Simply sit back, choose your pleasure, and enjoy your South Carolina beach vacation.
Take a Day Trip
With so many things to see and do in Edisto Beach, you’ll probably find yourself wanting to stay a while. But we won’t blame you if you want to explore some of South Carolina’s other gems! The surrounding beaches, state parks, wildlife areas, and historic plantations of Charleston, Beaufort, Port Royal, and Hilton Head Island are well worth a visit. For additional day trip destinations and events, visit South Carolina Lowcountry and Resort Islands.
Accommodations and Dining on Edisto Island.