Top 10 Best Places to Live Near the Beach in South Carolina

homes near the beach in south carolina

South Carolina, with its sun-kissed beaches and warm Southern hospitality, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that makes it an ideal place to live for beach lovers.

If you dream of living where the ocean is just steps away, here are the top 10 places near the beach in South Carolina that combine coastal living with comfort, convenience, and high quality of life.

10 Best Places to Live Near the Beach in South Carolina in 2024, According to Local Real Estate Experts:

10 Best Places to Live Near the Beach in South Carolina, According to Local Real Estate Experts

Our team of real estate experts has meticulously analyzed data to curate a list of the finest communities in South Carolina, where the beach is conveniently within a ten-minute drive or less. To provide insight into our top picks, we've incorporated median listing home prices from Realtor.com and population data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

aerial view of myrtle beach

Myrtle Beach, SC

  • Median listing home price: $305,000
  • Population: 38,417
  • What locals love: The beach, endless entertainment, and award-winning dining are all just a golf cart ride away.

It would be an oversight to give Myrtle Beach anything other than the top spot on our list. Known for its location in the heart of the Grand Strand — a 60-mile stretch of stunning coastline at the northern end of the state — this beach town has come into its own in the last few years.

Though beach lovers cherish the resort-free section of the beach known as the “Golden Mile,” this vibrant community has much more to offer than blue water and sandy shores. Myrtle Beach is a hub for those seeking an active lifestyle. With iconic attractions and a wealth of golf courses, it's perfect for families, couples, and retirees who desire to live near the beach but don’t want to miss out on the action.

What's more to love? With plentiful housing options availible at all price points, Myrtle Beach topped our list of affordable beach towns in South Carolina.

Hilton Head Island, SC

  • Median listing home price: $624,000
  • Population: 38,076
  • What locals love: Harmonious integration of active hobbies (cycling, tennis, and golf) and 12 miles of beatiful shoreline.

Hilton Head Island is synonymous with luxury beach living, offering world-class golf courses, tennis facilities, and miles of bike trails. Its commitment to preserving the environment makes it a picturesque and sustainable place to live. Many know it as a vacation destination, but the island has a steady population of residents who opt to revel in its coastal charm year-round.

folly beach pier in south carolina

Folly Beach, SC

  • Median listing home price: $1,100,000
  • Population: 2,056
  • What locals love: The slow pace of life and friendly faces offering Southern hospitality.

Folly Beach is just a short drive away from Charleston, but it feels like a whole new world: a paradise for surfers and a laid-back retreat where life is governed by the tides. New friendships and tropical cocktails abound at easy-going beach bars in the town center, buzzing with locals and tourists alike. Its rich history, eclectic downtown, and the iconic Folly Beach Pier make it a unique blend of relaxation and adventure.

Surfside Beach, SC

  • Median listing home price: $410,600
  • Population: 4,253
  • What locals love: More affordable than other beach towns in South Carolina, offers a nostalgic, family-friendly vibe that's a throwback to beach towns of yesteryear.

Ask any local, and they’ll tell you Surfside Beach is the Grand Strand’s hidden gem. The beachside community offers a more laid-back atmosphere with two miles of pristine beach. It's an active town with plenty of local events. Dotted with parks, vintage arcades, and ice cream shops, it's no wonder the town is affectionately known as "The Family Beach."

Fripp Island, SC

  • Median listing home price: $679,500
  • Population: 887
  • What locals love: Lush coastal greenery and white sandy beaches, homes on private and spaced-out wooded lots within walking distance to the beach.

Fripp Island is a sparse and secluded community, and that's just how the locals like it. Known for its natural beauty, wildlife, and serene beaches, this island is a unique paradise for nature lovers. It's the perfect escape for those who wouldn't mind a long walk or golf cart ride through quiet streets or a calm afternoon lounging on untouched beaches.

aerial view of north myrtle beach

North Myrtle Beach, SC

  • Median listing home price: $392,400
  • Population: 19,485
  • What locals love: Perfectly balances proximity to fun things to do and relaxing tranquilty, easy access to Cherry Grove Beach.

Offering a quieter, more family-friendly alternative to Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach is known for its beautiful stretches of beach, charming Ocean Drive, and a variety of entertainment options suitable for all ages. Whether you dream of a home with ocean views, golf course views, or saltwater marsh views, you'll find it here in North Myrtle Beach.

Mount Pleasant, SC

  • Median listing home price: $977,500
  • Population: 92,398
  • What locals love: Amenities of a larger suburban center, convenience, and proximity to neighboring Charleston.

Joined with Charleston by the Ravenel Bridge , Mount Pleasant provides a mix of coastal living with the convenience of city amenities. Priding itself on delivering a high quality of life, the town is known for its excellent schools, beautiful parks, and rich history. Locals cross the marsh to frequent two stunning beaches on Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms.

aerial view of isle of palms south carolina

Isle of Palms, SC

  • Median listing home price: $1,800,000
  • Population: 4,307
  • What locals love: Quality of life, convenience, and proximity to neighboring Charleston.

If Mount Pleasant’s short drive to the shore is too far for your taste, Isle of Palms is an attractive alternative. It's an upscale community offering beautiful beaches, golf courses, and a relaxed lifestyle. Its proximity to Charleston adds to its appeal, providing easy access to city attractions while living in a peaceful beachside community.

Kiawah Island, SC

  • Median listing home price: $2,400,000
  • Population: 1,986
  • What locals love: Luxurious, resort-like atmosphere, 10 miles of quiet beach.

Kiawah Island is a private community known for its luxury living, pristine beaches, and championship golf courses. It's an exclusive retreat for those who value privacy and high-end amenities.

aerial view of pawleys island south carolina

Pawleys Island, SC

  • Median listing home price: $550,000
  • Population: 15,035
  • What locals love: Comfortable distance from Myrtle Beach, quintessential Lowcountry charm.

For a more laid-back and historical beach living experience, Pawleys Island offers a serene atmosphere with its unspoiled beaches, charming cottages, and rich history as one of the oldest summer resorts on the East Coast. Despite its relative seclusion, you’ll still find charming neighbors with life-enhancing amenities.

Find Your Perfect South Carolina Beach Home

Each of these communities offers something unique, from luxurious resort-style living to quaint, historic towns with a strong sense of community. Whether you're looking for adventure, tranquility, or a blend of both, South Carolina's coastal towns have it all. It's time to find your perfect beach home and enjoy the coastal lifestyle to its fullest.

Ready to explore South Carolina's best best towns for yourself? If you’re interested in Myrtle Beach, you start your search here.

Interested in other communities around the Palmetto State? Contact Right Find Homes to get connected with a local expert.

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