Isle of Palms Office

1400 Palm Boulevard Ste. M
Isle of Palms, SC 29451

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Folly Beach Office

31 Center Street
Folly Beach, SC 29439

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Dunes Downtown

11 Fulton Street
Charleston, SC 29401

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Kiawah Seabrook Office

1887 Andell Bluff Boulevard
Johns Island, SC 29455

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Mount Pleasant Office

835 Coleman Blvd Ste. 200
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

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How Important is a Termite Inspection (CL-100)?

The termite inspection process for buyers is 100% about risk tolerance. In SC, termite damage is not uncommon and I always counsel buyers to include a clear or “clearable” inspection as contract contingency. I believe it is as important as the home inspection. Inspectors not only check for evidence of active termites, but also evidence of wood destroying fungi and elevated moisture levels below the main living level of the house as both attract termites. Once the inspection is complete, a letter called a CL-100 is issued with the results. Often, there are items that once they are repaired or mitigated, they can be “cleared” by a General Contractor for damage or a licensed pest professional for treatment and buyers can then move forward confidently.

The SC contract gives buyers the option of having the seller or the buyer to select the inspector, and also the seller or buyer to pay for the inspection. I have always counseled my buyers to make their own selection and pay for it as well. In the economics of home purchasing, it is a small amount of money to ensure that the inspector is working on their behalf. Imagine if the seller selects the inspector and it’s his or her brother-in-law. Whose interest does that particular provider have at heart? It’s worth it to pay for it every time.

My newest resolution is to make every buyer contract contingent on the seller proving with the actual pest control contract (not just the seller’s disclosure) just how the property is covered and if the coverage is transferable to the new owners. Many of us have taken sellers and agents at their word on the disclosure just what the coverage is. I now require proof because pest control companies do not always have the same coverage and the amount that insurance provides.

There are also varying types of treatment such as liquid or bait, and buyers need to consult with their pest control provider to determine which type meets their particular need for reassurance. The other influencing factor is whether the warranty or bond includes coverage for damage repair or only retreatment in the case of infestation and destruction. They also need to determine if the existing bond or warranty can be transferred when the property changes hands.

If the inspection finds that repairs need to be made in order to correct any deficiencies, it’s important for buyers to approve the general contractor selected to make those repairs. I had one inspection where the repair was not correctly done and we had not insisted on a general contractor because it was minor repair, and in no way structural. On the final walk-through, with over 25 years in construction and real estate, I could see it was improperly repaired. Because the bank did not require the inspection however, the buyer opted to waive the inspection on the contract and have it repaired properly later. This was only advisable because we determined there was no evidence of infestation, just a bit of wood rot at the door jamb to be repaired properly later. The SC CL-100 inspection report requires using a general contractor – residential building licensees are not qualified to clear an inspection if there are deficiencies even if the licensee has completed the repairs.

For those who want to play the odds, like my neighbors who decided that continuing their termite bond retreatments were too expensive on an annual basis and stopped them. When termites eventually invaded, it cost them 12K plus to repair the structural damage. They were willing to take the risk.

Other final thoughts on termite inspections:
• Termite inspections may turn up evidence of previous infestations – don’t panic, as long as it is not active, we can still get it passed with proper documentation.
• VA loans always require proof of a clear inspection.
• My SC buyer was working with a NC lender who told her she did not need an inspection because it was not a VA loan. He did not realize SC buyers have different risk exposure and that it was written in the contract as a contingency for the sale. She nearly cancelled her appointment at the 11th hour however, she wisely called her REALTOR® who kept her on track to close!

Bottom line – get a termite inspection and use a knowledgeable, qualified
REALTOR® to best represent your interests.

– Terry Bell-Aby, Realtor®
Mobile  508-627-2988  |

Charleston Area Market Stats Through January (and other news)

CHS Market Stats thru January 2021

January started off strong for the housing market, with healthy buyer demand and strong market fundamentals. A robust increase in housing starts in December points to an active year for new construction, but higher material costs, especially lumber, and a limited supply of buildable lots will temper the number of new units.
~ Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® (CTAR)

Market Statistics by Area:

Closed Sales +22% | Median Sales Price +9.5% |  Months Supply -70.6%

Downtown Charleston

Upper Charleston Peninsula

Upper Mount Pleasant

Lower Mount Pleasant

Daniel Island

Folly Beach

Isle of Palms/Wild Dunes

Sullivan’s Island

Kiawah Island

Seabrook Island

James Island

West Ashley

Johns Island

North Charleston


Goose Creek

Featured Listing

134 North Plaza Court #204, Mount Pleasant
3 bed, 2 full and 1 half bath, 2577 sq ft   |  Offered for $1,350,000

This pristine waterfront condominium offers panoramic views of historic downtown Charleston, the Charleston Harbor and the Ravenel Bridge. Enter through a private, direct access code elevator with a secure interior door to the spacious 23′ living room. The living room boasts a gas fireplace and connects seamlessly to the expansive dining room and adjoining kitchen, perfect for entertaining. The Renaissance offers outstanding amenities including a pool, clubroom, premium workout room and multiple guest suites in each of the two buildings that can be reserved for a nominal fee. Other amenities include garage parking for two cars and a climate controlled storage room.⁠⁠ For more information, visit

Welcome New Agents

Welcome to our newest dunes properties agents, Nelson Lundberg, Heyward Bonner and Zoe Skinner! To find out more about these agents visit

Charleston Coast Vacations

New property alert! Book your summer stay at the Riprap Cottage featuring incredible views, a beachfront deck, and great proximity to shops and restaurants. Book your spring and summer vacay dates today! Book online at our website

Charleston Area Market Stats through November (and other news)

Charleston Market Stats through November 2020

“November saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average top 30,000 for the first time, while mortgage rates reached new record lows again. These new records have provided encouragement for buyers to move forward on home purchases, which continued to remain strong overall for the month. Showing activity remains higher than the same period a year ago across most of the country, suggesting that strong buyer demand is likely to continue into what is typically the slowest time of year. With inventory remaining constrained in most market segments, sellers continue to benefit from the tight market conditions.”

~ Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® (CTAR)

Market Statistics by Area:

Closed Sales +34.5% | Median Sales Price +18.4% |  Months Supply -61.5%

Featured Listing

1509 ocean club

1509 Ocean Club, Wild Dunes
4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths | 2,810 sq ft | Offered at $1,599,000
Welcome to 1509 Ocean Club, a premier oceanfront penthouse villa with spectacular 180 degree views from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean. This 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath villa is a rare find with the desirable ”B” floor plan, offering additional square footage, a breakfast room, private powder room for guests, and 3 of the 4 bedrooms facing the stunning view! For more information or to schedule a private showing, visit

Top 9 of 2020

Charleston Coast Vacations

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The Thanksgiving in Charleston that Changed my Life

moving to charleston sc

One of the reasons I made the decision to move to the island of Martha’s Vineyard from Pennsylvania years ago was the fact that the winters were milder than mainland New England, largely because water tempered the atmosphere and it was not subject to the kind of snow the rest of the northeast received. As time wore on however, the winters became increasingly severe. My last winter required hiring a front loader to open my driveway after snow plows stacked it more than 10’ high. I was over it, and began looking for a new adventure. I had criteria of course, my next home had to be near a beach, on the east coast in order to be near family in PA, and it had to have a lively arts community. It also had to have an economy that would support more than just the hospitality industry as we were coming with no firm employment. We studied cities up and down the Atlantic coast, and decided our first visit would be to Charleston. We took the longish holiday over Thanksgiving to make our first investigation to do some exploring on our own as well as arranging with a local REALTOR® to see some properties.

We drove around a bit and loved what we saw. It did not take long to know Charleston would be our next home. I found myself sitting in Waters Edge restaurant overlooking Shem Creek on Thanksgiving Day and that sealed the deal. It was 75 degrees and sunny, I ordered a rare tuna steak and declared this was the best Thanksgiving ever!

Shem Creek Charleston SC

The next day we began looking at homes. We were moving from a very remote location only accessible by boat or plane, so the idea of just running to Home Depot on a whim rather than planning it weeks in advance was an idea we needed to wrap our minds around again. We looked at homes in Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley, and Hanahan. They were very nice homes, but the neighborhoods were more suburban than we preferred. We had been living next to a 10 acre meadow and just two blocks from a state forest. Still, seeing them and their relative convenience helped us refine our requirements. Perhaps even tougher than the neighborhood feel, was the architecture. As a REALTOR®, every week I talk to people about growing older and wanting a master on the first floor at a minimum, and preferably eliminating most stairs altogether. Our New England saltbox was fine for our younger selves but in our forties, we knew that those days were numbered. Finding a single story, contemporary home where most folks want the elevated and more traditional architectural vernacular of the Lowcountry was not easy. Nothing seemed to fit the bill.

After a few weeks of searching I found a contemporary house on Johns Island. Rural to be sure, but just a 15 minute trip to Costco – by car! Anxious as we were, we had to wait until after Christmas to see it in person. We feared it would be snapped up but, it was just not feasible to get there sooner. Fortunately for us, because more people wanted the true Charleston character it had not yet been sold. We walked in the door and I knew it was my house. New construction – a spec home, and it backed up to wetlands and woods. We wrote an offer sitting on the floor in the empty living room. Now, I did have to give in on some things I thought I needed like a larger kitchen, but everyone does – no home is perfect and even if you build it yourself, there will be things that don’t turn out as planned. Remember, everything is a trade-off! Sometimes you get tuna instead of turkey and you can be very thankful.

charleston sc home

If you are thinking about making the Lowcountry your home, take it from a transplant – best decision ever! I’d love to help you find your next home.

Uniquely Charleston Tours

Working in downtown Charleston, the carriages and tour groups on foot are ubiquitous. dunes properties is located on the first floor of a famous former bordello so you can guarantee the tour guides are certain to point it out every time they pass.

If you however, are looking for something more Uniquely Charleston, I know just the guy for the job. Paul Garbarini’s Uniquely Charleston tours are walking tours customized to your party’s interests. Limited to no more than six people, he can take time to answer all of your questions and focus on the elements that pique your particular interest. “I’m old enough to only do things that are fun, and more than six people on a tour is not fun! The regular walking tours max out at 20,” Paul explains. He also works on your schedule to accommodate the stamina and needs on an individual basis planning shady walks, bathroom breaks, and water along the way.  And, if you want or need a driving tour, he’ll do that as well. In his eighth year now doing downtown tours, Paul is also an interpreter at McCloud Plantation Historic Site.

uniquely charleston tour

Word of mouth and reviews on Tripadvisor are virtually his only advertising. He has a website, but the business is built on the delighted customers who praise his knowledge and enthusiasm. Paul’s very particular charm and verve will entertain even the soberest tourist. When asked about the cost he declared “I base it on price per person and it’s 90 minutes long unless we are having too much fun or we’re all excited.

Self – taught over 20 years, his independent research means no one else tells the stories he does. Rather than focus on the rich people who owned the buildings or the statues of military leaders, he explains who built the city, how they lived, and worked. In the 21st century, the concepts of labor and work can be troublesome to process let alone an understanding of what enslavement has meant for our country. According to Paul “It’s an opportunity to raise awareness – I am a ‘brick geek’ – I know both the people who made the bricks and the people who owned them. Their descendants asked me to tell the whole story.

uniquely charleston tours

When asked who his clients were, he replied, “The universe has sent me philosophically compatible people.” One in particular was Dr. Ysaye Barnwell. She traveled from her home in New York to Charleston to make a presentation for the Avery Institute of African American History and Culture at her grandfather’s church – Central Baptist on Radcliffe Street. Because her family was originally from Charleston, she wanted a custom tour. Paul set about researching her genealogy and found that her grandfather, who died in 1907, was one of the richest African American men in town. Originally an enslaved person, Paul even found the original bill of sale from when he was sold in the public records. He went on to learn Dr. Barnwell’s grandfather, William James Parker, was known as the Tinsmith of Tradd Street. Church and census records showed he was also a founding member of Central Baptist Church, and that he donated the labor to put the tin roof on the new church and erect the metal steeple tower.  On her personal tour, Paul not only toured the church, but also two of the homes in which he had lived on Tradd. Paul was acquainted with the owner of 12 Tradd who welcomed her inside. Grateful and overwhelming was how she described her experience.

I’m pretty sure that was a tour no one else has ever given. Truly unique.

For more information, or to schedule your own Uniquely Charleston Tour, visit

Charleston Area Market Stats through September (and other news)

October Market Stats

“Strong buyer activity has continued into the fall, which is normally the start of the seasonal slowing of the housing market. With stronger buyer activity in the market this year and the continued constrained supply of homes for sale, speedy sales and multiple offers are likely to remain a common occurrence and will keep the housing market hot even when the weather is cooling.”

~ Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® (CTAR)

Market Statistics by Area:

Closed Sales +46.3% | Median Sales Price +8.8% |  Months Supply -56.1%

Featured Listing

2208 palm blvd

2208 Palm Boulevard, Isle of Palms
6 bedrooms, 6.5 baths | 6,182 sq ft | Offered at $6,500,000
Designed by architect Steven Herlong with interiors by Amy Trowman Design, this 1.3 acre oceanfront estate is the epitome of luxury. Nestled in the heart of Isle of Palms, the estate boasts captivating ocean views, circular porches, a 7 car garage, gorgeous infinity pool, gazebo, and a 500-foot Ipe boardwalk as you walk comfortably to the ocean. The interior is equally impressive with a 16 ft barrel ceiling in the great room, black walnut floors, mahogany ceilings, stunning chef’s kitchen and more. For more information on this one of a kind home, visit

2208 palm boulevard iop

Charleston Coast Vacations

oct vacations giveaway

We 💗💗💗 it when our guests have a great experience on Charleston’s beaches! We know some of your most cherished memories are made during your vacation time with us. Nothing makes us happier than seeing smiling faces and hearing about your stories. Whether you’ve been visiting us for years or you just got back from your first trip, we’d love to hear all about it! Submit your story at and we’ll feature it in our special blog series, on our Facebook Page, and you’ll be entered into our next Vacation Giveaway! 🏖️

Charleston Area Market Stats through July (and other news)

Charleston Area Market Stats August 2020

“Healthy buyer demand and constrained supply continue to be the story for much of the country. Nationally, showing activity in July remained substantially higher than a year before and multiple offer situations are a frequent experience in many markets. With the inventory of homes for sale still constrained, a competitive market for buyers shows little sign of waning…Despite this significant economic impact, home buyers remain extremely resilient. With mortgage rates remaining near record-low levels and home purchase mortgage applications up from a year ago, high buyer activity is expected to continue into the late summer and early fall market.”

~ Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® (CTAR)

Market Statistics by Area:

Closed Sales +31.6% | Median Sales Price +9.5% |  Months Supply -45.2%

Featured Listing

1126 Ocean Forest Ln Seabrook Island

🌴 1126 Ocean Forest Lane, Seabrook Island 🌴
5 bedrooms, 5 full & 2 half baths | 4,960 sq ft | Offered at $3,200,000
Set back from the beach with commanding ocean views of Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, this superbly renovated home features over 3,000 sq ft of covered porches, a three stop elevator, fabulous elevated pool, spa, and travertine sunning deck, rooftop terrace, and community boardwalk through the dunes directly to the beach.
For more information, visit:

1126 ocean forest lane

Dunes in the Wild

dunes in the wild loggerhead turtle hatchlings

Say hello to the cutest baby loggerhead hatchling! 🐢🌊 Dewees’ second sea turtle nest of the summer hatched a little over 3 weeks ago, and this little cutie was caught on 📷 at sunrise by our very own Judy Fairchild!

Charleston Coast Vacations

charleston coast vacations dunes properties destination guide

We pride ourselves in providing more than properties. We want to provide an incredible experience from start to finish, and that begins in the planning process. Check out our FREE Destination Guide for local tips about activities and attractions to fill your itinerary! 👉

How to Do a Comparative Market Analysis

One of the services I provide to my sellers is a Comparative Market Analysis, or “CMA” – free of charge, of course. This is a giant step beyond just looking at comparable properties (comps) that sold in the last year. Comps are necessary to be sure, however they do not tell the whole story or prepare sellers for what they should expect in the selling process.

I want my clients to have a realistic expectation of how many days they might likely be on the market, and how the existing inventory of similar homes will affect their pricing strategy. Many sellers want to start with a higher price and see if they can get any takers. I believe it is smarter to see what the market is “telling us” about the average, percentage of asking price sellers typically receive, and then price wisely from the start to avoid becoming stale or missing actual buyers at the right price. Price per square foot can be a useful tool, but only if the data is informed about condition – it’s another way to “listen” to what the market is saying. Depending upon how many comps are used, one outlier can distort the square foot price significantly. It’s also important to think about how many showings sellers might anticipate before receiving an offer.

home pricing strategy
Friends are always asking me “how’s the market?” as if Mt. Pleasant, Seabrook, Wagener Terrace, and Hollywood are all alike. It’s important to stay up to date on local news and understand what factors, besides a new roof or remodeled kitchen, might be affecting pricing and sales. I like to start with a big picture explanation of housing in the region, and then focus on a more granular analysis to make sure my clients have the whole picture.

In preparing a CMA, I start by determining their particular market. As I noted, the Charleston market is large and widely varied. It’s important to understand the idiosyncrasies of particular neighborhoods and when and where mere proximity does and doesn’t work. If I compare homes in Carolina Bay or another more homogeneous, larger subdivision, I can use just that neighborhood to determine pricing. Sometimes it makes sense to set a physical radius from a major employer or school and use that to determine their specific market. In other more rural areas, using a 10 – mile radius might capture a horse farm, house on the water with a dock, and older ranch homes from the ‘60s and ‘70’s. This is not a true “market” for my seller’s 6 – year-old home on a .25acre lot.

home cma
Finally, there are uncontrollable factors that affect pricing. Brand new construction with gleaming features throughout can be adversely affected by the next door neighbor’s hot mess in the back yard. If your Hampton Park home faces the park, real value can also be added that cannot be easily quantified. Establishing the market is certainly not an exact science, it requires experience, and it requires discernment.

6 Reasons to Use a Buyer’s Agent when Purchasing Your New Construction Home

New construction neighborhoods can be very appealing. You get to choose your floors and cabinets and they often have great design studios with lots of choices for light fixtures and counter tops; but, the one thing they don’t have is your back. When you sit down with a site agent you must always remember that they have the interests of the seller as their top priority. That’s why it is so important to have a Buyer’s Agent representing you. Think of it this way, the site agent wants to make sure that his or her client is protected against any potential harm. When you put all your trust in that agent you become the second most important client. New home builders are not actively working to harm you, but protecting you is not their first priority.

new construction

1. First and foremost, remember that this representation costs you nothing. Sellers pay the buyer’s agent’s commission, but that buyer’s agent works directly for you.

2. It’s not always a good idea to just “stop in” to check out a new home community. Make sure you have a signed agreement with a buyer’s agent before you visit. Site agents log you in and will note if you are working with an agent. If you don’t hire an agent before you go you could lose the opportunity to have your own representation.

3. South Carolina has an eight-page contract for the purchase of an existing home designed to protect consumers. Often there are addendums and disclosures so you are looking at 15+ pages of contracts. I know them in detail and use them every day, but your typical home buyer does not. In new construction the contracts are often 25+-pages of details you may or may not have ever considered. They are written by the builder’s attorneys and are designed to protect their interests. It’s important to have someone advise you who understands the implications of what you are signing.

new construction contracts

4. New home builders don’t typically negotiate price. They have sold 22 Magnolia floor plans in that neighborhood at $375,000 and that is the price they expect. The only real negotiation is on the lot you choose and premium lots have a premium price. A good buyer’s agent can help you find the places where they do have some wiggle room such as the selections. I convinced one builder to throw in the upgraded refrigerator and exchange carpet on the stairs for wood treads for my new construction client. In addition, I have been in thousands of homes and can help with selections to know what is on trend (and more importantly what’s no longer trending and why) and help identify punch list items you might not notice.

5. Builders also frequently offer enticing incentives like money for closing costs to make sure buyers use their preferred lender. Why not, it’s easier for them in the long run. Loans are actually products with lots of options to meet many different goals. Their preferred lender may not have the product that best meets your particular needs. Once again, you are not their number one priority in that relationship either, you are the second most important client. I have a fantastic team of lenders, real estate attorneys, home inspectors and more who will have your needs as their only priority.

new construction home buyers
6. Follow up is critical. I have a system for follow up that keeps me on top of my transactions. It’s my job. You probably have a great method for doing your job well, but you may not be as attuned to the timing of real estate transactions to stay on top of everything. Buyers are busy with their own jobs and lives, and packing to move. Let a professional handle the calls, reminders, headaches, and deadlines, and let the builder pay him or her to do it!

How Far Is Charleston from the Beach? Planning the Perfect Getaway Weekend

Many people who are looking to take a weekend getaway seek out coastal areas near beautiful beaches to enjoy the unlimited access to the ocean and water activities. Right now, one of the most popular coastal cities to visit is Charleston, SC because of its rich history, unique architecture, and, of course, the beaches.

If you’ve got Charleston n mind, there are dozens of great areas to explore. Folly Beach real estate is particularly popular for vacation rentals and those who want to be as close to the beach as possible, but, because Charleston is a relatively small city, it’s easy to visit some of the other great beaches and attractions in the area as well.

So, How Far Is Charleston from the Beach?

The short answer: not far. In fact, there are beaches in almost every direction from the downtown peninsula. If you head east toward the town of Mount Pleasant, you’ll find two popular beaches—Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. Sullivan’s Island is only about a 20-minute drive from downtown, while Isle of Palms is a bit deeper into Mount Pleasant, making your trip from the peninsula to the beach about 30-minutes long.

Folly Beach is a favorite place for locals and visitors to frequent as well. Head west to James Island during a quick 15-to-20-minute ride out to Folly, where you’ll find a beach town with plenty of restaurants and shops.

Beaches in the Area

• Folly Beach

Known as “The Edge of America,” Folly Beach is known to have a bit more of a bohemian vibe, with many surfers heading here to a spot known as The Washout to catch some waves. Folly stretches for six miles, giving beachgoers plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the sun.

how far is folly beach from charleston sc

If you want to stick close to Center Street, the road that takes you right into Folly, you can check out some of the restaurants like Snapper Jack’s or Jack of Cups, or sip a cocktail while looking out over the ocean at the Tides’ Blu Beach Bar and Grill. Don’t forget to take a walk down the pier and maybe stop for another cocktail on your way back at Pier 101.

If you’re looking for a more private area of the beach, you should turn left at the end of Center Street and follow the road until the end. Here, you’ll discover a path that has been decorated in colorful graffiti over the years and which leads to an area of the beach known as the Lighthouse Inlet Preserve. You can relax among the beach’s driftwood trees and get a peek of the Morris Island Lighthouse from the shore.

• Sullivan’s Island

When you arrive at Sullivan’s Island, you’ll be greeted by a row of great restaurants and bars with outdoor patios, giving visitors plenty of options for places to stop for happy hour or a post-beach meal. Park near Station 18 if you want the chance to admire the beach’s unique, triangular lighthouse that has been in operation since 1962. The lighthouse was initially created as a replacement for the Morris Island Lighthouse because the former was at risk of suffering damage from the island’s erosion.

To get to a more private area of the beach, head down to Station 10, but be sure to check the tides first as sometimes the sand is covered by the ocean during high tide.

• Isle of Palms

Although Isle of Palms is the furthest beach from downtown Charleston, there are dozens of beautiful vacation rentals along the beach and other areas nearby. A favorite activity for those visiting the Isle of Palms beach is to head to the Windjammer, where they regularly hold live music shows and beach volleyball games.

The Isle of Palms tends to attract more of a family crowd, though it’s the perfect beach for any kind of traveler. Wild Dunes rentals are the perfect places to stay for a beach getaway because you have easy access to the beach as well as all the amenities in the gated neighborhood such as tennis courts and a pool.

Other Nearby Beaches

edisto beach and botany bay

• Edisto Beach and Botany Bay

While Charleston county has three beautiful beaches to offer, there are a few other great beaches nearby that you can visit for the day. Edisto Beach is about an hour south of Charleston, but it has more of a sleepy, small-town vibe with a few great restaurants and cute stores.

If you decide to make the trip out to Edisto Beach, you absolutely must spend some time at Botany Bay. This nearby plantation has a gorgeous driving route that takes guests through avenues of live oaks before bringing you to a parking area for the Botany Bay Beach, which is truly one of the most unique beaches in the country. The sand stretches for nearly three miles and is covered in huge remains of driftwood trees. On any given day, you’ll see beachgoers posing for pictures on these beautiful beach decorations.

• Kiawah Island

Also about an hour from Charleston, Kiawah Island is one of the top destinations for golfers. You can spend the day on the beaches of Kiawah sunbathing and looking out for coastal creatures that dwell in these areas like dolphins and a variety of seabirds.

If you need a break from the ocean and sand, you can spend a day teeing off on one of the five professionally designed championship courses. Taking a day trip to Kiawah Island is the perfect way to explore more areas of the South Carolina coast while getting the chance to golf and still return back to enjoy all the city has to offer.

How to Find a Charleston Vacation Rental

Because the Holy City is such a hot travel destination right now, the options for Charleston, SC vacation rentals are abundant. While there are plenty of hotels in the area, most people prefer to stay in a vacation rental during their trip to Charleston because these types of properties provide more space, are closer to the beach, and give you the option to cook up your own delicious meal right where you’re staying.

charleston sc beach vacation rentals

If you’re looking for a vacation rental in the area, here are tips to keep in mind:

• Consider What Your Group Needs

The type of vacation rental you decide to book will have a lot to do with what kind of group you’re traveling with. If you’re taking a couple’s getaway, you won’t need as much space as an extensive group of friends or a family gathering would, so you might want to opt for something a bit more cozy and intimate.

For big groups, a beach rental is the perfect accommodation because you’ll have room for everyone, a place for people to hang out and congregate, and quick and easy access to whichever beach you choose to stay near; plus, you’ll have the downtown area within quick driving distance.

• What Activities Are You Planning?

Before you book a rental, determine what you want to spend your vacation doing. If you’re looking to lounge on the beach for days on end, you should stick with a beach rental, but, if you’re planning to spend your time exploring downtown, you may want to pick an area closer to the city and just plan to drive out or grab an Uber to one of the beaches during your trip. There are no shortage of water activities, so consider all the sports you may want to try from kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, to jet-skiing and parasailing.

• Check the Dates First

Although there are tons of great rentals in the Charleston area, these properties do book up quickly, particularly in the spring and summertime, so be sure when you’re searching that you’re entering the dates of your trip. This will give you a better idea of what is still available and prevents you from getting your hopes up when you find a really awesome accommodation, only to learn it has already been booked for your planned time.

If you’re flexible with the dates of your trip, you can try plugging in a few different dates to see how the options for vacation rentals change and then pick the property that’s right for you.

Places to Stop at the Beach

While the beaches of Charleston are beautiful on their own, there are a few local spots you should definitely check out during your beach getaway. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite places to stop when we’re near the water.

favorite beach spots near charleston sc

Folly Beach

Bert’s Market: This 24-hour local grocery store is a must-stop little shop with everything from freshly made desserts and sandwiches to grocery items like snacks, drinks, and more. If you’re looking to grab a few things before you hit the sand, Bert’s is your place.
Surf Bar: A very local spot, Surf Bar is just off of Center Street. While it may not have the gorgeous oceanfront views of the Tides hotel, it has a lot of local flavor. Stop in for a drink and sit by the fireplace on the patio or grab some food. The philly cheesesteak is cooked to perfection.
Wiki Wiki Sandbar: This three-level restaurant and bar is kind of a newbie on Folly Beach, but it’s a great place to grab some fresh Hawaiian-inspired dishes and some fun, beachy cocktails. Head up to the third floor to sit at the fully decked-out tiki bar or on the outdoor patio.

Sullivan’s Island

The Obstinate Daughter: Considered by many to be one of the best restaurants in the Charleston area, the Obstinate Daughter is owned by Chef Jacques Larson, the same owner of Johns Island’s Wild Olive, a highly recommended Italian joint. Pop into the Obstinate Daughter for a classy dinner of dishes like the Old Danger pizza, which features an egg, homemade pastas, and fresh oysters among other tasty options.
Home Team BBQ: If you’re looking for a good time, Home Team is the place to be. Their barbecue is delicious and their frozen drinks are even better. Throw back just one of their game changers, and you’ll be good for the rest of the day.
Mex 1 Cantina: Another great place to hit up for happy hour after a long day at the beach, Mex 1 Cantina has outdoor seating and delicious Mexican food and drinks.
Dunleavy’s: If you’re the kind of person who loves a good dive bar, Dunleavy’s is for you. It’s not the divey-est dive bar, but this Irish pub doesn’t put on frills, with a cool interior covered in old license plates and photos of the staff. If you want a quick bite to eat, they serve up all the simple things like hot dogs, burgers, and fries.
Poe’s Tavern: Inspired by the American writer and poet Edgar Allen Poe, Poe’s Tavern is one of the most popular places to dine while on Sullivan’s Island. Everything on the menu is named after one of Poe’s legendary stories. Select from a variety of burgers, chicken sandwiches, and tacos. And, don’t forget to ask about the time Poe spent in the area while stationed at Fort Moultrie.
The Co-Op: Before heading out to the water, stop by The Co-Op to pick up a few sandwiches to enjoy in the sun. Don’t forget to order one of their flavored frosé drinks while you wait.

Experience Your Dream Getaway

charleston sc beach getaway vacation

When you come to Charleston, SC, you’ll be surrounded by the best of everything: beaches, bars, restaurants, and history. If you’re thinking about planning a trip, look for Folly Beach real estate available to rent and stay near the water, or find a vacation rental closer to the city to experience the heart of downtown Charleston while also being just a short drive from three of the best beaches in the state. While you’re in town, consider taking a day trip to one of the other beaches as well, like Kiawah Island or Edisto Beach, and have the vacation of a lifetime.