A short 25-minute drive away from the heart of Charleston, Sullivan’s Island is a treasure trove of historical sites, Southern charm and activities that are fun for the whole family. This is my favorite beach-- after all, my dog is named Sullivan! Wider beaches and shifting shelves create a large sandbar which is easily reached if you’re a good swimmer.
Sullivan’s Island Activities:
Take a trip back in time by visiting Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter. While Moultrie is accessible by car, Sumter can only be reached by boat. Both forts have seen action from major wars in history, such as the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Besides historical value, both forts have a pretty stellar view of the Charleston Harbor area.
Have some fun in the sun on the beach! Beachcombers enjoy searching for shells and sand dollars that wash up with the tide, and you can usually find a fisherman hoping to get the catch of the day.
Visit the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, aka “Charleston Light,” on a self-guided bike tour. The lighthouse is not open to the public, but there are plenty of picture opportunities a few beach accesses down if you want to get a stunning shot of a unique landmark.
Best Breakfast on Sullivan’s Island: Beardcat’s Sweet Shop- For those with the mentality of ‘dessert for breakfast is never a bad thing’, be sure to check out Beardcat’s. Traditional breakfast options include scones, muffins and tasty breakfast sandwiches, but Beardcat’s gelato isn’t off the table for a sweet start to the morning.
Best Lunch on Sullivan’s Island: The Co-Op - Let’s be real: if you’re on Sullivan’s during lunch hours, you’re probably beach bound. Grab a made-to-order sandwich to go, and under no circumstances should you leave before trying the Frose on tap. Bonus: if you’re already ON the beach soaking up the rays, The Co-Op delivers! Just find the address of the house you’re closest to and meet the driver on the street or your station’s beach access.
Best Dinner on Sullivan’s Island: The Obstinate Daughter- Conveniently located right above Beardcat’s, The Obstinate Daughter offers guests a truly rounded lunch menu. Enjoy seafood dishes like Sicilian swordfish or a low country shrimp roll, order a duck confit pizza or sample a scallop pasta- the options are endless.
Poe’s Tavern - Worth the visit just to check out all the Edgar Allan Poe memorabilia. If they aren’t crowded, you can get a giant burger with your choice of protein (beef or chicken), or even go bunless! Fish tacos never dissapoint. If you can’t score a seat at Poe’s, bop across the street to Home Team BBQ instead, order a dozen wings and a frozen Game Changer or two (and be prepared to Uber home)!
Parking on Sullivan’s Island - Beach access points are called “stations,” so you may here someone refer to “Station 31,” for example, when regarding to their location on the beach. Always pay attention to the arrows on street signs indicating where it’s legal to park, and make sure tires are off the pavement.
Bonfires on Sullivan’s Island - you can actually have a bonfire on this beach! Just make sure you get a permit first.
Dogs on Sullivan’s Island - Dogs are allowed on the beach during certain times/seasons, however you will need to purchase a permit in advance.
Rules and Regulations for Sullivan’s Island: http://www.sullivansisland-sc.com/Default.aspx