• Palmetto Scent Studio

Ultimate Locals Guide to a Family Vacation in Kiawah, Seabrook, and Johns Islands

Updated: Aug 11, 2019

Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Islands can be perfect destinations for everyone in the family. World class golf courses abound and downtown Charleston is only about 25 minutes away (depending on traffic) but the internet is full of information on those subjects. This article is for the rest of your vacation and offers a few hints and tips you may not find anywhere else. While we hope anyone planning a visit to our edge of America will find this article helpful, we’re writing this one with families in mind. We’ll draft similar posts for those of you planning a trip with girlfriends or a couples getaway, that will include our favorite watering holes and other more grown-up options.

Many visitors to our islands stay at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort so we’ll start there.


Mingo Point has a delicious BBQ & Oyster Roast weekly all summer. Photo Credit: Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Like we said, and the name implies, golf is king at this resort. You can find information about the courses here. Kiawah also offers a lot of other activities as well. Mingo Point, located before the gates of Kiawah, is open to the public. The Mingo Point Oyster Roast and BBQ is every Monday evening during the summer season, and on some holidays. The ticket price may sound a little steep at first but it is all you can eat and the quality of the food is top notch. The events also feature local bands, people to help you shuck oysters, face painting for kids and opportunities to shop for crafts, and products from local artisans. There is a small nature center at Mingo that is open all summer long. You can schedule tours there even if you aren’t a guest of the resort, but we suggest doing that in advance as availability is limited. Click here for info about dolphin encounter boat rides and here for kayak rental information.

You don’t need a boat to observe our area’s plentiful dolphin population though. We believe the best place to commune with these fascinating marine mammals is where the Kiawah River empties into the Atlantic, dividing Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. You’ll have the best luck seeing them in action an hour or two before low tide (check the paper for tide tables or download the free Tides Near Me app). You might even get lucky and get to see them strand feeding - a unique behavior captured here on video. Keep in mind, the resort restricts traffic onto most of the island but the public can access one of the nicest beaches in the Lowcountry at Beachwalker Park with a small parking fee during the summer season. The lot can fill up quickly during the busy season. When the beach lot is full, or your tan is starting to get a little pink, it is a great time to check out Freshfields Village at the traffic circle that connects our three islands.


The Village has shopping, dining & entertainment, and is where you can find us! Photo credit: Freshfields Village