Family Vacations: Kiawah Island

Since much of Kiawah Island is privately owned, visitors will find a quiet, naturally beautiful to behold.

Though the sand is so firm you can ride bikes on the beach, there are plenty of bike trails -- more than 30 miles worth -- interlacing Kiawah Island. Much of this South Carolina island is privately owned, and only visitors with a reservation at one of the homes or resorts on the island are allowed to access most of it. Beachwalker County Park is open to the public and offers 11 miles of unspoiled sandy beaches and a large swimming area.

Nearly 10,000 acres of natural woodlands, marsh, and pine forests are protected, and the islanders have worked hard to keep overdevelopment at bay. Consequently, it is one of the quieter and more peaceful places along the east coast.


As you might expect, beachcombing is a popular activity on any of the immaculate beaches. Families also enjoy golfing on Kiawah, with some courses offering family tee programs.

Canoe and kayak excursions through the creeks and marshes offer sightings of island wildlife, including alligators, loggerhead turtles, snakes, lizards, and a variety of bird species.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • South Carolina State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in South Carolina, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.


Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.