From Charleston, take U.S. 17 E. to S.C. 171 S. (Folly Beach Rd.); turn right onto S.C. 700 (Maybank Hwy.) southwest to Bohicket Road, which turns into Betsy Kerrison Parkway. Where Betsy Kerrison Parkway reaches a traffic circle, turn left on Kiawah Parkway, which takes you to the island. There is no public transport to the island.
The Kiawah Island Visitor Center, 21 Beachwalker Dr. (tel. 843/768-9166; www.kiawahisland.org), is open Monday through Friday 9am to 3pm.
Exploring Kiawah Island
Kiawah has the area’s most pristine beach—far preferable to nearby Folly Beach—and draws a more upmarket crowd. The best beachfront is at Kiawah Beachwalker Park, 8 Beachwalker Dr. (tel. 843/768-2395), on the western end of the island. Get here before noon on weekends; the limited parking is usually gone by then. Canoe rentals are available for use on the Kiawah River, and the park offers not only a boardwalk, but also bathrooms, showers, and a changing area. The park is open daily November to February 10am to 5pm, March to April and September to October 10am to 6pm, and May to Labor Day 9am to 7pm. Admission is $7 per vehicle March to October ($10 on Sat–Sun, May–Labor Day), and free November to February. You can rent a beach chair and beach umbrella for $10 per day.
Kiawah Golf & Tennis
GOLF -- Designed by Jack Nicklaus, Turtle Point Golf Course (tel. 843/768-2121; www.kiawahresort.com) is an 18-hole, par-72, 7,054-yard course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Greens fees range $175 to $225 (Kiawah Island Golf Resort guests pay less than day-visitors). The Ocean Course (tel. 843/768-2121), designed by Pete Dye, was home of the 1991 Ryder Cup, 1997 World Cup, 2003 World Cup, and 2012 PGA Championships. It’s an 18-hole, par-72, 7,296-yard course, the finest in South Carolina. It was even featured in the 2000 movie The Legend of Bagger Vance. Call for rates.
TENNIS -- One of the greatest tennis resorts in the South is also found at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort (tel. 843/768-2121), with 28 hard-surface or Har-Tru clay courts in two tennis complexes. The per-hour cost is $34 per hour for resort guests and $44 for non-guests. Racquet rental is $8 per hour. Open daily, from 8am to 8pm in summer, 8am to 7pm in spring and fall, and 9am to 5pm in winter.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.