5 drivable beach destinations from Columbia, SC

The view from an oceanfront condo at Cherry Grove Beach | Photo by COLAtoday team

Alexa, play “I Love Beach Music” 

They don’t call us Famously Hot Cola for nothin’ — and as temperatures continue to rise, we have vacations on the brain. If you’re in need of some vitamin D + suntan lotion soakin’, we’re listing five beach destinations along the SC coast within 3 hours of the Capital City. (Note: Use this navigational tool to find other SC beaches + how to access them.)

📍Cherry Grove Beach in North Myrtle Beach, 3500 North Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Bch. | ~3-hour drive

Access type: Public beach access 

Cherry Grove is one of the four beaches that make up North Myrtle Beach. If you get too burnt on the first day, go to the Cherry Grove Pier or whack a few golf balls. DYK — Myrtle Beach has more ranked golf courses than any other destination in the US? 

📍Edisto Beach State Park, 8377 State Cabin Rd., Edisto Island | ~2.5-hour drive

Access type: Public access + beach park access

If you want a classic condo beach vacation in Edisto, find public beach accesses here. If you’re looking for a different kind of vacay, camp oceanside at Edisto Beach State Park. Check out all of the outdoor amenities including biking + walking trails

📍Hunting Island State Park, 2555 Sea Island Pkwy., Hunting Island | ~3-hour drive

Access type: Beach park access

Hunting Island is the most visited state park in SC. Once in the park, visitors have access to 5,000 acres in the Lowcountry, 5 miles of beach, 100 campsites, 24-hour fishing off of the pier, and tons of outdoor activities. 

Sunset at the end of a day trip to Isle of Palms Beach  | Photo by COLAtoday team

📍Isle of Palms Beach, Isle of Palms, SC | ~2-hour drive

Access type: Public beach access 

Out of all the SC beaches, we believe this to be the most day-trip friendly. Pro tip — the earlier you get there, the better if you want free parking on the street. If IOP is too crowded, visit Folly Beach — a ~2-hour + 15 min drive from Cola.

📍Kiawah Island, 8 Beachwalker Dr., Kiawah Island | ~2.5-hour drive

Acces type: Beach park access

Kiawah Island is one of the more private beaches in SC. You’ll need to go through Beachwalker County Park to have access to the beach, which is the only public beach access on the island.