Labor Day has come and gone and for some, that means summer is officially over. Not here in the Southeast states, though! I'm not yet ready to pack away my whites and well-worn flip flops and reach for the sweaters and boots. No…there’s still many more beautiful beach days ahead and for me, that means another trip to Kiawah Island, recognized as one of the best beaches in South Carolina. And now that the 2012 PGA Championship is over (yes, the golfing here is that good! It is home to five world-renowned golf courses), I can’t think of a better time to visit.
Kiawah Island is blessed with 10 miles of unspoiled beaches and wildlife galore. While most of the beach is private and access is limited to resort guests, anyone can enjoy the island's Beachwalker State Park, which offers public parking, lifeguards and restrooms.
There really is something for everyone here. Nature lovers have miles of trails to enjoy, whether for you that means jogging, bicycling, or just exploring the natural beauty of this incredible island. If tennis is your game, this is the place for you because Kiawah was ranked #1 by Tennis Magazine in its list of the “Greatest U.S. Tennis Resorts.” And if you’re a water person like I am, besides the ocean there are creeks and other waterways to enjoy. The last time I was here, I biked down to the inlet and watched the dolphins strand feeding. If you've never witnessed this, it's pretty cool: strand feeding is when the dolphins swim in circles near the shallow water, creating a wave that forces fish up onto the sand. Then they beach themselves and have a feast! It's a feeding tactic that is unique to Lowcountry dolphins off the coast of S. Carolina and Georgia. As I stood on the beach and watched (joined by a few opportunistic pelicans hoping for a stray fish), the dolphins were so close that I got sprayed a couple of times from their splashing. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed!
Another remarkable thing about Kiawah is that every single worker I came in contact with was very nice, and did whatever they could to make my stay a wonderful experience. In fact, this area is so nice that many of the people who visit decide to stay and make this little piece of paradise their home.
Besides the many outdoor activities, Kiawah also has wonderful restaurants, children's programs, great shopping, and it is only 21 miles away from historic Charleston! (A wonderful trip in and of itself.)
Still not convinced? Well, Bride’s Magazine named Kiawah Island one of the world’s best honeymoon destinations, National Geographic Traveler called it the "Second Most Romantic Beach in America," and the Travel Channel honored the island as one of the "Top Ten Beaches for Families. But of course, the very best way to see if all the accolades are deserved is to come here yourself!