Our Beach

Beach Access 
Kiawah Island boasts 10 miles of pristine beach and is comprised of two areas commonly referred to as East Beach and West Beach. Behind the gate, many private beach accesses are available to property owners, their guests, and renters. Beachwalker County Park is the only public beach access on the island.

Beachwalker County Park & Public Beach Access
Beachwalker County Park is located on the west end (West Beach) of Kiawah Island at 8 Beachwalker Drive, Kiawah Island. The park is operated by Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission. Lifeguards are on duty seasonally along a beachfront designated swimming area. To contact the park office, call 843-762-9964.

The county park offers the following: 
  • Year-round Amenities: Dressing area, drink vending, and picnic area with grills, boardwalk, handicap-accessible ramp, and restrooms.
  • Seasonal Amenities: Beach chair and umbrella rentals, snack bar, lifeguards, outdoor showers, and beach-accessible wheelchairs
More about Kiawah Island Beachwalker County Park

Beach Rules
Kiawah Island private and public beach accesses have similar rules and regulations. For specific Beachwalker County Park rules, click here. The following are overall regulations on Kiawah private and public beaches:

Personal Belongings

  • No glass, metal shovels, plastic carryout bags, plastic straws, Styrofoam, balloons, or drones allowed.
  • No littering. Use waste receptacles at beach accesses.
  • No overnight storage of beach equipment (tents, chairs, toys, etc.).
  • No open fires or fireworks are allowed at any time except ones permitted by the Town. Fireworks are subject to confiscation.

Bikes and Motorized Vehicles and Vessels

  • No vehicles are allowed on the beach except emergency and authorized vehicles.
  • Bikes are allowed on the beach but must be walked across boardwalks. Reckless operation is prohibited. E-bikes are prohibited on the beach. Bikes must be stored overnight in an appropriate storage location where the bikes cannot be visible from the street or adjoining property.
  • Launching, retrieving, and beaching of motorized vessels, including jet skis, are prohibited except for authorized vessels.
Pets

  • Dogs are prohibited year-round in critical habitat areas on each end of the island.
  • For those with private gate access, there are designated year-round dog off-leash areas and seasonal leash restrictions for the remainder of the beach. Leash ordinances are enforced by Beach Patrol and/or Town Code Enforcement officers authorized to ticket offenders, including fines up to $500 plus assessments. For the beach lease map and designated areas, click here.
  • Beachwalker County Park requires dogs to be leashed at all times within the park. Read more here
Protecting Wildlife

  • No wading/swimming in Captain Sam’s Inlet (western end of the island).
  • Stay off the dunes and use public walkovers.
  • Never approach sea turtles, hatchlings, or their nests. Sea turtles are an endangered species. Do not interfere with them in any way.
  • May through October – all outdoor lighting visible from the beachfront must be turned off from 9 p.m. to dawn to protect nesting sea turtles. Hatchling turtles are disorientated by artificial light. Fill in holes dug in the sand before you leave the beach. If you see any adult sea turtles or hatching, call 843-768-9166 to report your sighting.
  • Changing the beach's contour and using metal shovels is prohibited.  Plastic shovels are allowed but can be no longer than 14” in length.
  • A saltwater fishing license is required for all recreational fishing. Licenses can be obtained at Seacoast Sports and Outfitters at 843-768-8486 (Freshfields Village) or online at the Department of Natural Resources website or call 843-762-5000.

Additional Regulations

  • Public nudity is prohibited.
  • No sleeping on beaches from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. 
  • Commercial business is prohibited on the beach except under license from the Town.

Beach Safety Considerations

  • Strong rip currents are common. Swim with caution. Charleston County Parks and Recreation provides lifeguards at Beachwalker County Park.
  • Beach emergencies can range from a wildlife sting to someone experiencing a life-threatening event such as a heart attack. If an emergency occurs on the beach, please call 9-1-1 immediately. Call Beach Patrol at 843-518-2880 for assistance.