Throw Lumber Jill’s | 4650 Ladson Road | Suite 205 Summerville, SC 29485

Axe throwing in Sullivan's Island SC

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The Most Exciting Live Entertainment Game in South Carolina

If you're looking for an adrenaline-filled, pulse-pounding way to have fun all day, grab an axe and get your throw on at Lumber Jill's! Axe throwing is the newest, most popular live entertainment game in the Lowcountry. It's kind of like darts...but with axes! Axe throwing is great for a few hours of amusement, stress relief, team building, and even corporate events in Sullivan's Island, SC. Whether you're looking for a great way to celebrate the weekend or want a new idea for your company event, Lumber Jill's has got you covered.

The Lumber Jill's revolution began after co-owners Jill and Heath spent a date night with friends throwing axes in Charleston. After having so much fun, the entrepreneurial couple quickly realized they could create their own take on axe throwing. Soon after, Lumber Jill's was born!

The name Lumber Jill's isn't just a play on our co-owner's name - it involves a really interesting piece of history too. Across the pond, the Women's Timber Corps "manned" the lumber yards in England while the men were serving in WWII. They affectionately became known as Lumberjills, Britain's answer to Rosie the Riveter. Without these brave ladies, Lumber Jill's wouldn't exist. We would be remiss if we didn't salute them for the example they set!

At the end of the day, we want to provide every one of our guests with an outstanding axe-throwing experience. So, grab your friends, co-workers, family, or favorite people and join us for an axe-throwing party you won't soon forget.

Service Area

Axe Throwing Leagues Sullivan's Island, SC

Why is Axe Throwing in Sullivan's Island, SC So Popular?

Axes haven't been this popular in America since "The Shining" hit theaters way back in 1980!

In cities all around the nation, axe-throwing facilities are popping up left and right as a fun, healthy way for people of all ages to congregate and enjoy a night of friendly competition and stress relief. In the last few years, the sport of axe throwing has exploded - so much so that the World Axe Throwing League was assembled in 2017 to coordinate international axe-throwing competitions. Since that time, many axe-throwing events have popped up on national TV stations like ESPN.

 Axe Throwing Sullivan's Island, SC
But why is axe throwing so popular? Here are just a few reasons why Lumber Jill's and axe throwing as a whole is a hit in South Carolina:
stress-relief
Stress Relief

Perhaps the most popular reason folks love axe throwing in Sullivan's Island is for stress relief. We've even heard some customers say it's a cheaper form of therapy! In reality, axe tossing gives you a therapeutic release that is hard to replicate. A few hard throws with an axe and your body releases a flood of endorphins, which help increase your energy, improve your mood, and facilitate healthy blood flow. If you have pent-up anger, nothing feels better than chucking a heavy axe at a target. Hitting a bullseye is even better!

exercise
Exercise

Since axe throwing is such an exhilarating activity, many people don't realize that they are exercising their arms, legs, abs, pecs, and even back when they come to Lumber Jill's. Like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, axe throwing works several muscle groups at once. These exercises strengthen your core and help define your muscles. When coupled with a healthy diet, regular axe-throwing activities can even help you shed a few pounds.

Corporate Comradery
Corporate Comradery

You might be surprised to hear that axe throwing is one of the most sought-after company event ideas in Sullivan's Island, SC. Sure, your colleagues might think it's a little weird to host a corporate meeting at an axe-throwing facility. But once your co-worker hits their target, they'll quickly understand how much fun they can have. Perhaps more importantly, axe tossing is a safe, fun way to conduct trust exercises and build team morale overall.

Unique Way to Have Fun
Unique Way to Have Fun

When you get right down to it, axe throwing is good, clean, healthy fun. Axe throwing helps relieve shoulder tension, while laughing helps engage your body's core. When you throw in an adult beverage or two, laughs become easier and fun flows more freely. You can't help but have the time of your life at Lumber Jill's in the Lowcountry.

Family Fun
Family Fun

Axe throwing isn't reserved only for adults - kids can get in on the fun and excitement too. Our warm, inviting atmosphere inspires people to embrace their inner champion, even if they're under 18. At Lumber Jill's, we can accommodate kids ages 10 and up. Before we pass them an axe, we will evaluate their skill level to ensure their safety. Contact us today for more info on birthday celebrations and whole facility rentals.

At Your Next Corporate Event

Status quote, average, ordinary...these are qualities that no employer would want out of their employees. So, why host a team-building event at a venue with the same characteristics?

If you're on the hunt for corporate event venues in Sullivan's Island, SC, you just hit the jackpot. We may be a little biased, but Lumber Jill's is a fantastic corporate event venue for companies looking to try something new.

Axe throwing for corporate events is fun, high-energy, and safe for all your employees. We're talking an adrenaline-filled day with your own private axe-throwing lanes. Get your clients or your team out of the office and give them something to be excited about!

Here are just a few reasons to reserve our facility for your company get together:

 Axe Throwing Center Sullivan's Island, SC
  • No Suit or Tie Required: Feel like taking a casual day? No judgments here! The only thing that matters is that you hit your target (or try your best to do so).
  • No Rain Delays: Unlike some outdoor venues, Lumber Jill's won't delay or cancel your event if it starts raining outside. We're here to make your corporate event more fun, rain or shine.
  • Skill Not Required: Never thrown an axe in your life? Have poor hand-to-eye coordination? Don't sweat it. Our coaches are know how to teach first-timers the positions and techniques they need to have a blast.
  • Large Groups Welcome: Do you have 20 or more people confirmed for your corporate event? We can make room for your whole team! Give us a shout and let us know about your upcoming event. That way, we can block off your desired day so you can have our entire facility to yourself.
  • Safety First: We take safety very seriously at Lumber Jill's. As such, we have implemented several safety rules to protect your team and ensure they have the best time possible.

Birthdays, Celebrations, and Reunions, Oh My!

In addition to our standard reservations, we are happy to offer celebration, corporate, and full facility rental packages. Planning a surprise birthday party for your best friend? Celebrating a life event with that special someone? Looking for a spot for your family reunion? Axe throwing in Sullivan's Island, SC is the perfect activity for your group! For the most memorable (or hazy) celebration, don't forget to ask us about alcoholic beverage service and additional lane time.

If you want to spice up your next birthday party or take your bachelorette party to the next level, our celebration package is the perfect fit. This package includes:
  • 2 lanes
  • 1 designated coach
  • 1.5 hours of axe throwing
  • Free shirt for a special guest
  • Table coverings
  • 1 drink for each guest
  • 12 axe throwers
  • 45 total minutes of throwing time
 Axe Throwing Location Sullivan's Island, SC

Please note that our celebration package is designed for customers over the age of 12. Two adults must be present at all times.

Common Questions. Helpful Answers.

We understand that axe throwing isn't your typical date night or even guy's night activity. We get it - you're hurling real axes at a target that is only a few feet away. On the surface, that can sound a little scary. But don't worry, many of our first-time guests have questions about how our process works too.

This is a great question and one that we receive quite often (crazy, right?). Axe throwing at Lumber Jill's is absolutely safe. In fact, safety is our #1 priority and has been since day one. Our knowledgeable axe-throwing coaches are trained to keep a keen eye on every axe thrower, whether they're solo or with a group. If, for ANY REASON our coaches feel like a person shouldn't throw an axe, they will not be permitted to do so. To help keep our facility safe, please refrain from bringing your own axe to Lumber Jill's. The same goes for any other kind of throwable object.
The easiest, fastest way to book your axe-throwing lane is to make your reservation online. Walk-ins are welcomed, but we cannot guarantee that we will have a spot open for you or your party. For inquiries about corporate events, facility rentals, or large celebrations, please contact us directly at (843)-879-3030.
We suggest you wear something that you find comfy and easy to wear for a few hours. Don't wear anything that will restrict your movement. The biggest "no-no" we have in terms of dress code is open-toed shoes, which are not allowed. If you pop in for a last-minute axe-throwing session, and need a pair of shoes, don't fret. We offer shoe rentals for $3 per person.
Unfortunately, we are not permitted to allow outside axes at Lumber Jill's. The same goes for any other object like throwing stars or throwing knives. We've got all you need to have the time of your life, including throwing axes.
Yes, absolutely. We are proud to have a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to keep you cool and hydrated. If you're feeling hangry, don't worry. We have plenty of tasty snacks to munch on if your tummy starts to rumble.

Axe of Kindness

One of the best parts of owning Lumber Jill's is our ability to give back to our local community. We are always on the hunt for new, inventive ways to serve our citizens. That's why, once a month, we host Axe of Kindness night to shine a light on an important organization, charity, or good cause. These exciting events give our customers a compelling way to make a real difference in someone's life.

If you have a donation request or are interested in hosting a fundraiser with Lumber Jill's, send us your info at

aok@throwlumberjills.com.

Latest News in Sullivan's Island, SC

Dominion Energy lists Sullivan’s Island Sand Dunes Club for sale with $19M offer in hand

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Dominion Energy hopes to sell the Sand Dunes Club to a company owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro for $19 million, with plans in place to make it a club for island residents and property owners.The historic beachfront venue was created in the 1950s after South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the 3.5 acres from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with Fort Moultrie were being sold.With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was us...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Dominion Energy hopes to sell the Sand Dunes Club to a company owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro for $19 million, with plans in place to make it a club for island residents and property owners.

The historic beachfront venue was created in the 1950s after South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the 3.5 acres from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with Fort Moultrie were being sold.

With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was used for decades as a corporate retreat, by island residents and rented out for events and meetings. Dominion Energy acquired the property when it bought SCE&G.

The energy company sought the state Public Service Commission’s permission to sell the property for $19 million to a subsidiary of Navarro’s Beemok Capital called SDCC Island Resident Club. In February the commission instead required Dominion list the property for sale and solicit bids.

“This simply means that Dominion Energy will need to determine whether other potential buyers exist,” said Rhonda Maree O’Banion, Dominion’s media relations manager.

“After the competitive bidding process is complete, Dominion Energy will report back to the commission and if necessary, update its request for approval to sell the Sand Dunes property,” she added.

The sale to Navarro’s company has been anticipated on Sullivan’s Island, a barrier island with fewer than 2,000 residents where the average home sale price in 2021 was nearly $3.2 million according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

One year ago the town signed an agreement with Navarro’s company that laid out plans to potentially renovate the club and operate it for island residents.

Beemok, the February 2021 agreement says, “desires to purchase the property from its current owner, renovate the clubhouse and operate the club.”

The agreement also says “the town believes a club with membership limited to town residents and property owners” would be desirable if the club were sold.

“That’s what we were expecting was going to happen,” Sullivan’s Island Mayor Patrick O’Neil said. “Mr. Navarro and his group have worked closely with the town.”

The agreement is non-exclusive and the same conditions apply to the property regardless of who were to buy it, he said.

The agreement says the price of membership in the club would not exceed the cost of operating the club, and the town would get to review confidential financial statements to ensure that provision.

Residents and town property owners could become members, and nonmembers could still use the pool for a fee comparable to what municipal recreation departments charge in Mount Pleasant or on Isle of Palms, the agreement says.

The address is considered a large property that’s most valuable as a potential site for new homes according to an appraisal submitted by Dominion, but the clubhouse is protected as an historic structure and could not be demolished without the town’s permission.

The property would not be the first iconic Charleston-area locale purchased by Navarro’s companies if his bid is successful. His companies own the Charleston Place hotel, purchased last year for $350 million, and the Credit One Bank Stadium on Daniel Island.

Efforts to reach representatives of Beemok Capital and the company’s public relations firm by phone and email were unsuccessful Friday.

The sale of the property would not change Dominion Energy’s utility rates or pricing according to the company’s Public Service Commission filing.

In 2021 Dominion turned over more than 2,900 acres of property as part of a $165 million tax settlement with the S.C. Department of Revenue, resolving a three-year dispute over taxes owed on parts and materials purchased to build the V.C. Summer nuclear plant, which was not completed. The Sand Dunes Club was not a part of that deal, but other former clubs and retreats in Aiken, Lexington and Georgetown counties were, and some of those will be added to the state’s park system.

Brian Symmes, spokesman for Gov. Henry McMaster’s office, said the state had been interested in the Sand Dunes Club property, but the cost was too high.

“There was interest in it being part of the settlement agreement, but at the end of the day it was just much too expensive,” he said.

The more than 2,900 acres South Carolina acquired, which included the Pine Island Club on Lake Murray, cost the state about $50 million — the amount Dominion’s tax debt was reduced in exchange for those properties. The Sand Dunes Club property, less than 4 acres, would presumably have cost at least the $19 million Beemok Capital has offered, and make for an unusually expensive park purchase.

The tax settlement was a part of the relief provided to ratepayers, shareholders and governments who sued after Dominion’s predecessor SCE&G abruptly ended construction at the V.C. Summer site in 2017.

Sullivan’s Island restaurant opens with fresh fish, ’1970s-inspired’ beachside aesthetic

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Sullivan’s Seafood Restaurant was an island staple from 1988 until Sept. 6, 2020, when owners Sammy Rhodes and Donna Rhodes Hiott permanently closed the local favorite. Ben and Kate Towill hope their restaurant — which opened in the 2019 Middle St. space May 17 — will honor the building’s past while ushering it into the future.Sullivan’s Fish Camp is now open, serving customers local seafood an...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Sullivan’s Seafood Restaurant was an island staple from 1988 until Sept. 6, 2020, when owners Sammy Rhodes and Donna Rhodes Hiott permanently closed the local favorite. Ben and Kate Towill hope their restaurant — which opened in the 2019 Middle St. space May 17 — will honor the building’s past while ushering it into the future.

Sullivan’s Fish Camp is now open, serving customers local seafood and beach-themed cocktails Tuesday through Sunday.

The Towills are the owners of design and hospitality firm Basic Projects. Kate, head of design for the Charleston-based company, has led the design of residential and commercial properties, including an athletic club and Basic Projects’ two other restaurants: Basic Kitchen and Post House.

Alongside her husband, Basic Projects head of operations Eva Suarez and other members of the team, Kate led the two-year renovation of Sullivan’s Fish Camp, where she set out to create a 1970s-inspired beachside aesthetic. Her goal was to give the space a fresh look with elements honoring Sullivan’s Seafood, like a framed flag and original menu.

A place that feels new and nostalgic all at once.

“That’s been the biggest compliment that we have received is (people saying) ‘Oh it feels like it’s been here forever,’ ” Kate Towill said.

Leading the kitchen as executive chef is Davis Hood, who grew up on Isle of Palms with his brother Nathan, culinary director of Basic Projects. Hood, who recalls walking by the Middle Street building on his way to Sullivan’s Island Elementary School, is focusing on sustainability at the new Sullivan’s Island restaurant.

Local purveyors like Abundant Seafood, Tarvin Seafood, Lowcountry Oyster Co., Vertical Roots and Peculiar Pig Farm dot the Sullivan’s Fish Camp menu.

“It’s not your average fish camp in my eyes,” Hood said. “The whole concept of snout to tail cooking, we’re trying to bring that vibe but with fish. Understanding that the ocean is such an important part of our lives and not trying to have any waste.”

If there is one dish that epitomizes this approach, it’s the Sullivan’s Island Gumbo that features Tarvin Seafood shrimp, clams, okra, lobster broth, dayboat fish and Anson Mills Charleston Gold Rice. The West African style gumbo’s gluten-free base is made using chicken bones, lobster shells, shrimp shells, fennel, celery, palm oil and Bradford Family Farm okra, which replaces a roux as the stew’s thickening agent.

Ben Towill said the gumbo, along with the pan-roasted fish of the day and tempura nori tuna with furikake aioli have been some of the restaurant’s top sellers in its first weeks of service.

“We feel like the menu’s been received really well,” Ben Towill said. “Guests and everyone have felt really comfortable which has been a big bonus.”

Fresh seafood isn’t the only element that gives Sullivan’s Fish Camp that desired beachside feel. Self-described “fruity” cocktails like the tequila-based Sumter’s Watch, rum-based Sullivan Swizzle and the frozen paloma will immediately put patrons on island time.

Sullivan’s Fish Camp is open for dinner from 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and lunch is currently served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The restaurant plans to eventually serve lunch and dinner daily.

For more information, visit sullivansfishcamp.com or call 843-883-2100.

Sullivan’s Island investigating illegal cutting of maritime forest

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The Town of Sullivan’s Island is searching for those responsible for cutting down part of the island’s maritime forest. Town leaders are hoping to establish stricter penalties to prevent future cutting while residents are hoping the trees can be replaced.An employee with the town noticed the cutting around February 9th and reported it to town leaders leading to the town opening an investigation. Town leaders say preventing future cutting might be achieved through jail time or st...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The Town of Sullivan’s Island is searching for those responsible for cutting down part of the island’s maritime forest. Town leaders are hoping to establish stricter penalties to prevent future cutting while residents are hoping the trees can be replaced.

An employee with the town noticed the cutting around February 9th and reported it to town leaders leading to the town opening an investigation. Town leaders say preventing future cutting might be achieved through jail time or stricter fines.

“This is the epitome of selfishness,” says Town Councilman Scott Millimet reacting to the cutting.

Island residents were also upset with the cutting. “It’s clear these trees weren’t cut by accident, I mean they were purposefully cut to someone’s benefit,” says one resident.

A number of trees along Station 26, the width of a house were chopped and dropped in the town’s maritime forest. The island’s forest has become the center of a debate to save the town’s accredited land over the last several years.

“It damages everybody, it doesn’t just (damage) the two neighbors,” the resident said.

Dozens of trees have been marked and documented by town employees after being cut down. Councilman Millimet says residents couldn’t believe it when learning of the illegal cutting.

“General shock, frustration – bitterness,” says Councilman Millimet when referring to what he’s heard from residents.

Each tree cut down comes with a $1,040 fine but residents and leaders say that might not be enough to prevent future cutting.

“This just proves that there are those out there that until the punishment is enhanced, it’s going to continue,” says Councilman Millimet.

Councilman Millimet believes the fines should be raised and jail time considered for those responsible. “We can try to do some replanting,” says Councilman Millimet. “And then I think we also need to focus on enhancing the punishment.”

Advocates fighting for the future of the maritime forest agree with the measure. “While there are penalties, they are not severe enough to disincentive someone from potentially doing this again,” says Karen Byko, President of Sullivan’s Island 4 All.

With the damage already done along Station 26, leaders and residents hope they can stop additional chopping in the future.

“At the very least, I hope they replant these trees,” says the resident.

“There’s quite a bit of work to do but like I said we’ve got to get the ball rolling because the longer we wait, certain residents have shown that they will act in their own best interest and we’ve got to figure out how to prevent that,” says Councilman Millimet.

Town officials declined to provide a comment on the latest in the investigation.

7 Gorgeous Beaches To Visit Near Charleston, South Carolina

All products featured on TravelAwaits are independently selected by our writers and editors. We may earn commission when you click on or make a purchase via our links.Charleston’s bustling downtown area is a major attraction in this historic coastal town; the King Street shops are the top of mind. But, the gorgeous beaches should be an integral part of your Charleston itinerary. The coastal islands offer some of the best beaches in South Carolina.With a short drive or wind-in-your-hair boat ride, you can be exploring a se...

All products featured on TravelAwaits are independently selected by our writers and editors. We may earn commission when you click on or make a purchase via our links.

Charleston’s bustling downtown area is a major attraction in this historic coastal town; the King Street shops are the top of mind. But, the gorgeous beaches should be an integral part of your Charleston itinerary. The coastal islands offer some of the best beaches in South Carolina.

With a short drive or wind-in-your-hair boat ride, you can be exploring a serene beach, frolicking at a family-friendly sandy locale, or enjoying a lively oceanside recreation zone. The beach towns and island playgrounds will add a relaxing vibe to your Charleston getaway.

Best For Lively Entertainment

When you want to be in the middle of all the action, Folly Beach is the best entertainment beach in the Charleston area.

Folly Beach, known to locals as “The Edge of America,” is a barrier island between the Folly River and the Atlantic Ocean. By day, Folly Beach is a fun, family-friendly beach frequented by Charlestonians and vacationers in search of some fun in the sun. By night, the lively main drag is a hot spot for sun-tanned revelers looking for the perfect beach day ending with great seafood, fun libations, and rockin’ music.

Of course, Folly Beach is blessed with a beautiful sandy beach to lounge away the day. The Folly Beach Pier is under reconstruction and is scheduled to open again in the spring of 2023. However, the deck and restrooms are open for public use and offer a great view.

Grab a nosh at The Crab Shack where you will be perfectly comfortable in casual beach togs and flip flops. Another fun Folly Beach joint is Rita’s Seaside Grill where you can kick back and enjoy a relaxing meal. When the sun goes down, the lights come up and Center Street’s rooftop venues turn up the music and party atmosphere.

Street parking with the Passport Parking app is plentiful for early beach goers. Using the app is easy and you can add time with your phone without ever leaving your blanket if you choose to stay longer.

Pro Tip: The Folly Beach County Park offers clean restrooms, picnic facilities, and dressing rooms. It is a good spot for families or groups with youngsters.

Best For Quiet Beach Walks

Some beach adventures require quiet and solitude, which can be challenging to find in popular vacation spots. Three island beaches near Charleston offer guests a place to soak up the southern coastal sunshine while maintaining their own personal, zen vibe.

Sullivan’s Island is a charming island accessible by a bridge. A smaller beach by barrier island standards at just over 3 miles long, the beach, at low tide, is exceptionally wide and welcoming.

In bygone days, visitors were shuttled around Sullivan’s Island on an electric trolley, stopping at public beach access points called stations. The station reference remains today, and you will notice each beach stop referred to by its station number. Plan a romantic sunset on the beach. Secure a blanket spot at station 18 by the lighthouse to watch the sun fade to orange over the horizon.

After the gorgeous sunset, head over to the Obstinate Daughter for exceptional lowcountry favorites served with a European flare. Consider their Miss Cina Pizza with red and green tomatoes topped with mozzarella and basil for a relaxing dinner.

Pro Tip: Explore Fort Moultrie while visiting Sullivan’s Island. This fort has been reinvented many times over the years and you can see a timeline that begins in 1776 highlighting the Fort’s evolution through World War II.

When you are longing for a slice of nature, the rough, uninhabited Bulls Island will soothe your soul with its rugged beauty.

The famous Boneyard Beach is home to fallen, sun-bleached trees. The expansive eerie sight is reminiscent of an abandoned burial ground strewn with gigantic bones. A slow and peaceful walk through the cemetery of trees is the perfect spot for personal reflection. Created by intense hurricane damage, the beach is a reminder of the ferocity of Mother Nature’s power.

Bulls Island is a naturalist’s escape and intriguing laboratory. It is an important stop on the migratory bird path and is home to a wonderful array of birds. The Carolina Bird Club has an extensive list of sited migratory and native birds. Rare bird sightings on Bulls Island include the masked bobby, magnificent frigatebird, common eider, western kingbird, fork-tailed flycatcher, and snow bunting.

Pro Tip: The Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge runs ferries to Bulls Island. The schedule varies by season and days of the week; refer to the website for the most up-to-the-minute schedule information.

Isolated and uninhabited, Capers Island is easily accessible by kayak or boat. You will find another boneyard beach on Capers Island reflecting the island’s weather-beaten history.

Rent a kayak from Charleston Kayak for a glorious on-the-water workout and a fairly secluded island to explore as your reward. For visitors who would prefer not to paddle, Barrier Island Eco Tours offers a half-day trip out to Capers Island with a focus on the local marine life and ecology.

Start Planning

Pro Tip: The coastline is heavily vegetative, so sunbathing is not the best reason to visit. Capers Island is the perfect island for adventurous explorers.

Best For Family Enjoyment

Bring the kids, grandkids, and best friends to these three Charleston beaches for a family fun beach vacation getaway.

Isle of Palms Beach is a vacation destination that invites families and friends to relax and enjoy oceanfront rentals, charming beachy establishments, and ample parking for day-trippers.

The 7-mile stretch of soft white sand is a playground for beach lovers along with a seemingly endless soft, wave-dodging walking path. Apply copious amounts of sunblock and build giant sandcastles. Isle of Palms is the prescription for bringing joy and laughter into your getaway.

During sea turtles’ nursery season (May–October), Isle of Palms is popular with loggerhead turtles nesting and caring for their eggs and hatchlings. These amazing creatures are making a comeback from severely dwindling numbers. You may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a nest in a cordoned-off dune.

Pro Tip: Public beach access paths are plentiful; narrow lanes sit between residential and getaway structures along Ocean Boulevard.

The beautiful island of Kiawah is one of Charleston’s worst kept secrets — everyone wants to be there when the sun is shining and the temperature is rising.

The public beach, Kiawah Beachwalker Park, is a long and lovely white sand beach. Access to the beach is provided by a wooden boardwalk that slowly meanders through the dunes from a small parking lot. If you want a parking space during prime season, plan to arrive early.

A large section of Kiawah Island is a gated community with no public beach access. Gorgeous rentals like this five-star ocean view property are the key to your private island getaway stay. Alternatively, the luxurious five-star oceanfront hotel, The Sanctuary, is an oasis of casual elegance and indulgence.

Enjoy a lovely lunch or relaxing dinner at The Sanctuary’s Jasmine Porch restaurant. Serving elegant dishes in classic southern style, the staff tends to guests like Carolina royalty. Another gorgeous setting to enjoy a light lunch or libation is the Ryder Cup Bar at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

Pro Tip: You need a plan when visiting Kiawah Island. Early arrival for a day at the beach or reservations at Jasmine porch and you will thoroughly enjoy your visit. Check out our Kiawah Island destination guide to get you started on the right path.

South of Kiawah Island and a little over an hour from Charleston sits Edisto Beach State Park. It features toes-in-the-sand fun for the entire family along with hiking, biking, an educational center, and lots of trails to explore.

Overnight campsites are available through the South Carolina State Park reservation system. You can enjoy the park with rustic tent and camper sites that allow you to immerse yourself in this wooded refuge.

If you need something a little less camping focused, this ocean view cottage sleeps 12 — perfect for a family reunion gathering at the beach. Spacious and family friendly, it comes with a five-star review from happy guests. What better way to enjoy your family getaway; everyone gathered together for a long weekend of beachy fun.

Charleston’s South Carolina Coast

You will be delighted when you visit these gorgeous white sand beaches in Charleston and the nearby area. Whether you are looking for a peaceful spot to rejuvenate, a romantic getaway, or a family reunion, you will find just the right vibe on these soft sand, sunshine kissed beaches.

While you are visiting Charleston, make sure you experience the amazing restaurants in the area. Our Best Restaurants in Charleston recommendations will point you in the right dining direction. When you are ready to plan your getaway to this delightful southern coastal city, Explore Charleston has all the up-to-date information about the city’s beaches.

For more South Carolina inspiration, check out these premier destinations:

Escaping the beach: Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island work to ease brutal summer traffic

The more popular Charleston’s beaches get, the worse traffic becomes. And there’s not a lot of room to grow.Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island, in particular, have little room for traffic control. They each have two ways to get off the island, and one of those ways is to go to the other island. The end of a day at the beach — or the second raindrops start to fall — turns the islands into traffic logjams where it can take ages to escape back to the mainland.While they know their critics want more a...

The more popular Charleston’s beaches get, the worse traffic becomes. And there’s not a lot of room to grow.

Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island, in particular, have little room for traffic control. They each have two ways to get off the island, and one of those ways is to go to the other island. The end of a day at the beach — or the second raindrops start to fall — turns the islands into traffic logjams where it can take ages to escape back to the mainland.

While they know their critics want more access to the beaches, the mayors of both towns say they are barely able to manage the current deluge of visitors.

Traffic is “the big nut that we’re all trying to crack, quite honestly,” Isle of Palms Mayor Phillip Pounds said.

To manage those visitors, Sullivan’s Island Mayor Pat O’Neil said he wants to see more support from Charleston County and the state with handling traffic congestion.

“We’re providing beach access in our own way to the greater population of South Carolina one way or another,” he said “We’ve been trying to stress that beach traffic, when you get it right down to it, is the same as after a USC football game or a Clemson football game or a big concert someplace.

“There are protocols for managing those kinds of events. We submit that a busy afternoon at the beach ... is an event. We should treat it as such, but we need help from the county and the state to treat it as such.”

For now, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island and Mount Pleasant are working together to better manage traffic flow on and off the islands. The local municipalities have also partnered with local TV station WCIV ABC News 4 to get traffic information to people.

“We’re working with (WCIV) at their initiation on a communications plan to really try to get the word out so people can get in the habit of, ‘Let’s check the traffic cameras. Let’s check the traffic reports before we start a 40-minute drive to the beach to avoid getting caught in traffic,’” O’Neil said.

The islands are also investing money in:

“We’re trying to enhance people’s visit to our island, knowing it’s going to be crowded and knowing there’s a lot of people that want to come here,” Pounds said.

Highest-rated barbecue restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina

Cooking meat low and slow over an indirect heat source—the only real qualifications for barbecue—is a truly American tradition, going back to indigenous cultures and picked up by early Spanish colonizers who also gave it the name the cooking style goes by now: barbacoa. Today, barbecue is a wildly popular staple across the U.S., with many cities and regions ...

Cooking meat low and slow over an indirect heat source—the only real qualifications for barbecue—is a truly American tradition, going back to indigenous cultures and picked up by early Spanish colonizers who also gave it the name the cooking style goes by now: barbacoa. Today, barbecue is a wildly popular staple across the U.S., with many cities and regions boasting their own take (and all claiming to have the best). Because barbecue meat spends hours upon hours cooking, restaurants are a go-to source for many Americans who would rather not spend all day and all night tending to their flames. Stacker compiled a list of the highest-rated barbecue restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina on Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor rankings factor in the average rating and number of reviews. Some restaurants on the list may have recently closed.

#16. Home Team BBQ

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (441 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 2209 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482-8780– Read more on Tripadvisor

#15. Smokey Bones N. Charleston

– Rating: 3.5 / 5 (182 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (3.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 7250 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29406– Read more on Tripadvisor

#14. Melvin’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (427 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 925 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464-3448– Read more on Tripadvisor

#13. Southern Roots Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (91 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Barbecue– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 2544 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29414-5325– Read more on Tripadvisor

#12. Cumberland Street Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (184 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 5 Cumberland St, Charleston, SC 29401-2603– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#11. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (35 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1622 Highland Ave, Charleston, SC 29412– Read more on Tripadvisor

#10. Melvin’s Barbecue

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (132 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 538 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412-3002– Read more on Tripadvisor

#9. Duke’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (94 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 331 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412-2548– Read more on Tripadvisor

#8. Bessinger’s Barbecue

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (578 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1602 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7869– Read more on Tripadvisor

#7. Home Team BBQ – Downtown Charleston

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (134 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Barbecue, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 126 Williman St, Charleston, SC 29403-3113– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#6. Rodney Scott’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (552 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1011 King St Corner of King Street and Grove Street, Charleston, SC 29403-4140– Read more on Tripadvisor

#5. Poogan’s Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,207 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Barbecue, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 188 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2123– Read more on Tripadvisor

#4. Home Team BBQ – West Ashley

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (476 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1205 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29407-5301– Read more on Tripadvisor

#3. Swig & Swine

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (2,182 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1217 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7826– Read more on Tripadvisor

#2. Queology

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,445 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 6 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-2062– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#1. Lewis Barbecue

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (839 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (5.0/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 464 N Nassau St, Charleston, SC 29403-3828– Read more on Tripadvisor

Why Confederate flags are flying in the middle of Charleston Harbor

Charleston’s contradictions often are clearly visible from the city’s harbor.Near the historic district, which has benefited from stringent preservation efforts over many decades, new hotels and apartment buildings rise. The soon-to-open International African American Museum located on Gadsden’s Wharf confronts Confederate flags flying above Castle Pinckney on Shutes Folly in the middle of the harbor.Those flags, when they appear, greet thousands of people a week on the water — vacationers on cruise ship...

Charleston’s contradictions often are clearly visible from the city’s harbor.

Near the historic district, which has benefited from stringent preservation efforts over many decades, new hotels and apartment buildings rise. The soon-to-open International African American Museum located on Gadsden’s Wharf confronts Confederate flags flying above Castle Pinckney on Shutes Folly in the middle of the harbor.

Those flags, when they appear, greet thousands of people a week on the water — vacationers on cruise ships, mariners on commercial vessels, tourists on harbor tours or private boat charters, visitors to Fort Sumter who take the ferry that passes Shutes Folly. The flags also are viewed from the land by thousands more every week who walk through Waterfront Park or along the East Battery.

Some visitors to Charleston who go on boat charters wonder aloud about those flags. Why are they there? Who decides to raise them? What message do they convey about the Holy City? Others voice their support.

Many don’t recognize the Confederate flags when they fly on Castle Pinckney because they are always the lesser-known divisional or national banners, never the Southern Cross that became the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, which is the one most closely associated with the Confederacy and the one that provokes the most controversy.

So it can come as a surprise when visitors learn that the flag on Shutes Folly is, say, the “Stars and Bars” or The Citadel’s battle flag, or South Carolina’s flag of secession.

On the water

The island has three parcels, according to Charleston County GIS records. The southernmost parcel is owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Fort Sumter Camp 1269. The other two are “undevelopable” and slowly fading away. One is deeded to Henry Laurens; the other to the Mary Simons Estate. The whole island now is a bird sanctuary. Visitors are forbidden.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans looks after the old fort, but restoring it and maintaining it would cost a fortune, so the installation is left to endure the elements and the nesting birds with little human intervention.

Every month or so, an SCV member rides a skiff to the castle and changes the flag. The idea is to raise flags that have historical significance, though sometimes one will see the Irish flag in honor of St. Patrick’s Day or the Italian flag to mark Columbus Day. At the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the group raised a blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag to show solidarity.

For Carolina Day, which marks the patriot victory over British forces at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in 1776, the state flag (or a historical version of it) will flap in the breeze. For the Fourth of July, the U.S. flag is hoisted.

But during other parts of the year, the SCV often raises a Confederate flag of some kind.

Sailboat charter captain Mark Stetler said he tries to avoid mentioning the flags until one of his guests ask about them, then he’ll strive to offer a neutral response, keeping politics off the boat.

“The discomfort starts with me,” he said. “I try to say as little as I can.”

But, often, he will feel the need to offer some explanation, so he tells his guests about Castle Pinckney, its history and its current status, and he’ll tell them that Confederate flags don’t always fly there.

The typical response is “stunned silence,” he said. Sometimes he will get an eye-roll or perhaps a question or comment alluding to the imposition of the Antebellum South and the Civil War onto the year 2022. He’s never hosted a guest who expressed support for the flags, he said.

Chris Rabens, a powerboat charter captain, said he passes by Castle Pinckney with his guests frequently. Usually, they are too immersed in the experience of being together on the water to pay much attention to serious matters such as South Carolina history, he said. A few will show interest.

Some guests are enthusiastic, uttering expressions of support for the Confederate cause (“The South will rise again!” they might shout); others question the motivations of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or voice mild disagreement, Rabens said.

“I get a broad spectrum,” he said.

Tamara Butler, director of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston, said the fort, its history and the Confederate flags that sometimes fly in the middle of the harbor are evidence of the city’s inherent contradictions and unresolved racial and economic tensions — and of the efforts among some to reconcile all that.

“It’s really important for people to see that Charleston is still trying to figure itself out,” Butler said. “My hope is that people will use controversial things (such as Castle Pinckney’s flags) to question their significance.”

The city is a place of public history, and it’s nearly impossible to ensure that all of it is presented and explained, she said.

“I can’t contextualize the fingerprints in the bricks; I can’t be there every time someone sees them,” Butler said. “So we need to have conversations about who’s responsible for public history work in the city.”

Charleston needs to invest more in the people who can do that work, and to ensure that African Americans are included, she said.

“Charleston sells itself as a progressive city, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Butler said.

The old fort

The island of Shutes Folly, little more than an eroding sandbar now, once was much larger and greener. Joseph Shute bought the island from Col. Alexander Parris in 1746 and tried to grow orange trees. The farm ultimately failed, but that’s not likely what gave the island its name. Rather, it was the manmade buildings that did so. A “folly” is a decorative structure, often grand and picturesque, that one might find in a large garden — or on a little-used island.

Shute’s “folly,” in this case, perhaps refers to Castle Pinckney itself, which has become solely decorative. Or it refers to the small grove of trees that once stood on the island’s highest ground.

The South Carolina Ports Authority acquired the island in 1958, but didn’t use it and soon tried to give it away.

It gifted the old fort to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269 in 1969, but it was returned to the state Ports Authority in 1984.

On June 21, 2011, the authority sold the remains of Castle Pinckney to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Fort Sumter Camp for $10. A year and half later, the nonprofit Castle Pinckney Historical Preservation Society was incorporated. Its website, castlepinckney.org, provides access to historical documents and photographs, and describes the history of the fort, a chronology of its use, and an accounting of efforts to preserve it.

Shutes Folly has had some sort of fortification on it since 1742. An early earthen and timber structure used during the American Revolutionary War was replaced with a larger log-and-sand fort in 1797, named for Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution.

An 1804 storm destroyed the log fort, but a replacement made of brick soon rose on the site. It was completed in 1810, and was used during the Civil War as an arms depot and a stockade — first for captured Union soldiers, then for Confederate blockade runners.

In 1878, a lighthouse was built there, along with a lightkeeper’s residence, providing its illuminated warning until 1917.

Castle Pinckney, though once armed and garrisoned, was not much used during conflicts and has come to be known as the poor stepchild compared with forts Sumter, Moultrie and Johnson.

Object vs. symbol

Philip Middleton, former commander of the SCV’s Fort Sumter Camp, said his group’s stewardship of Castle Pinckney includes keeping people off the island, protecting the nesting birds and what remains of the historic brick fortifications, and cutting back the profuse growth of vegetation each winter.

“We have been very circumspect,” he said. “We’re proud to be completely inoffensive.”

Unfortunately, restoring the old fort and doing more to interpret its history has been cost-prohibitive, Middleton said.

Messages left for four other SCV members in South Carolina went unanswered.

Castle Pinckney’s history cannot be contextualized properly without public access of some kind, said Michael Allen, a former National Park Service park ranger and former member of the S.C. African American Heritage Commission. Many people don’t realize they’re looking at a Confederate flag, he added.

A flag, if framed and labeled and hung on the wall of a museum, is merely an object for consideration. Flying it atop a flagpole in the public sphere effectively transforms it into an active symbol, Allen said. The banners, then, are not unlike Confederate monuments. Put a statue in a museum and one can provide the necessary context, he said. Put it on a pedestal in the public square and one is making a political statement, whether intended or not.

“So this raises questions about honoring the past,” he said. “Whose past do we honor, and how?”

Kyle Sinisi, a history professor at The Citadel, said Castle Pinckney is a historic installation and flying banners that had been raised above the fort in the past is appropriate. Fort Sumter also once flew a variety of flags, including Confederate flags, he noted.

Fort Sumter no longer displays Confederate flags of any kind.

“Flags add good context,” he said. “They turn (Shutes Folly) from a sand spit with some ruins on top of it into something that has a story. ... To me, it’s just a great shame that we can’t make it a tourist hot spot. It’s so tantalizing, it is so close and yet so far.”

Town leaders, advocates say cutting of Sullivan’s Island Maritime Forest likely illegal

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Sullivan’s Island leaders say they’re hiring an attorney to look at ways to overturn a plan that could lead to large portions of the island’s maritime forest being cut down. The vote to hire Attorney William Wilkin came just days after a portion of the forest was potentially illegally cut near Station 26 on the island.Drone footage provided by SI4ALL shows a section roughly the width of a house was cleared. The clearing is raising concerns for residents while town official...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Sullivan’s Island leaders say they’re hiring an attorney to look at ways to overturn a plan that could lead to large portions of the island’s maritime forest being cut down. The vote to hire Attorney William Wilkin came just days after a portion of the forest was potentially illegally cut near Station 26 on the island.

Drone footage provided by SI4ALL shows a section roughly the width of a house was cleared. The clearing is raising concerns for residents while town officials say they are investigating to determine if the cutting was illegal.

“We were heartbroken and devastated to see the extent of the cutting,” says Karen Byko, President of SI4ALL.

The clearing has town leaders and residents including Byko scrambling to stop the chop of the island’s accreted forest the say provides protection from storms and flooding while offering a home for native wildlife.

“Concern is that we are devastating the very thing that is protecting us and it provides a home to our wildlife partners,” says Byko.

A majority of the cutting happened behind a house near Station 26 on Atlantic Avenue. Zillow records show the house was listed for sale on February 10th, around the time the cutting was believed to have happened, for $2.9 million. The house was then taken off the market five days later on February 15th after concerns over the cutting were raised at a town council meeting.

News 2 went to the home in front of the cutting to ask the owners if they knew anything about the cutting, a housekeeper was the only person home at the time and declined to answer questions.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says they haven’t received any tree cutting permits from either the Town of Sullivan’s Island or private residents. The agency says they recommended more discussion at the local level late last year before permitting any clearing of vegetation.

Town councilmembers Gary Visser and Scott Millimet called the cutting illegal and disheartening to see.

“The disregard for our community that they are a part of,” says Visser. Millimet called the act “extremely selfish.”

Sullivan’s Island Mayor Pat O’neil says the town is conducting a serious and thorough investigation into the cutting to identify those responsible and hold them accountable. Town officials are hopeful stricter penalties for cutting trees will be adopted by Town Council moving forward.

“If somebody says you’re going to have to wear an orange jumpsuit for 30 days, that might be a bigger deterrent,” says Millimet.

“We hope that they will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” says Byko.

The Army Corps of Engineers says they have not been contacted to investigate the cutting. Town officials say they will continue to investigate the incident.

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