Why Kiawah Island Is My Family’s “Happy Place”


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Kiawah Island is my family’s “happy place” and our go-to beach vacation. It prides itself on its natural beauty and wildlife, and you won’t find high rises or amusement parks here. Instead, you’ll find wide beaches, the occasional bobcat and lodging in one of their many villas or their luxurious hotel.

Kiawah Island is a gated resort community located roughly 45 minutes south of Charleston, South Carolina and a reasonable five and a half hour drive from Atlanta, Georgia. We love the wide 10-mile long beach and 30 miles of paved bike trails.

It also has a super fun pool with blazing fast slides, a small playground, disc golf, real golf, and a nature center that offers many programs. You can be as lazy or as active as you’d like.

Park the Car & Explore By Bike

As you drive across the bridge over the marsh to the resort entrance, unroll the windows to smell the warm, salty air and instantly relax. Once the car is parked, it stays parked. Your form of transportation for the week is by bicycle along the 30 miles of biking paths that criss-cross the island.

Delight in Nature

Nature is the main attraction here–it even has a nature center where families can report their latest sightings or learn about the wildlife found on the island.  Over the years, we’ve seen deer, white egrets, alligators, and even a bobcat on the dunes.

Experience Dolphins!

Our most unique experience at Kiawah was witnessing a group of dolphin’s “strand feeding” at Captains Inlet. Strand feeding is a most remarkable sight where a group of dolphins “herds” a school of fish onto the shoreline of the Kiawah River. The dolphins then beach themselves onto the shore to feed. Your best chance to witness this event is at low tide, and we were fortunate to experience this unforgettable display.

Enjoy Family Time

Aside from biking, we spend our time at the beach, the pool with the fun “super slide” and on our screened-in porch playing cards. It just doesn’t get much better than that. Kiawah Island is a terrific place to escape the daily grind and reconnect with the family—and that’s what a family vacation is all about.


Featured Photo Courtesy: Amy Ragsdale



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A researcher at heart, I love planning trips: Scouring guidebooks, websites and vacation rental listings is actually fun for me! For my family, a fantastic vacation gravitates toward scenic beauty and local food. I'm the creator of Simply Awesome Trips, a website providing family-friendly trip itineraries to cities and outdoor destinations.


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