Kiawah Island Attractions

Places to Visit

Uncover Kiawah Island’s Attractions and Places to Visit! This guide unveils its top destinations from nature centers and historic sites to walking trails and scenic lookouts.

Kiawah Island's Attractions and Places to Visit

Freshfields Market at Kiawah Island, a popular attraction for shopping and dining under a clear blue sky.

Freshfields Village Shopping Center

This shopping area is a terrific place to spend the afternoon. Whether you are there to pick up some bagels for breakfast, or to shop for that elegant new outfit to wear out for dinner at the Sanctuary. It has all the basics, such as a deluxe full-service grocery store, restaurants, banks, a gas station, a real estate office and a pharmacy, as well as many other wonderful shops. Something for everyone in your family.

The entrance to Kiawah Island Nature Center, nestled amidst lush greenery, inviting visitors to explore local wildlife and natural attractions.

Heron Park Nature Center

Open daily, the Nature Center is the heart of the Resort’s Nature Program and is a great first stop to get information about the various activities, or to make reservations for nature tours and programs. Inside the Heron Park Nature Center, you will find exhibits of the local wildlife, interactive displays and information about the ecosystems that comprise Kiawah Island. Resort naturalists and staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have and help direct you to Kiawah’s nature hot spots.

Wooden observation tower at Kiawah Island offering panoramic views of the marshland, a place to visit for breathtaking scenery.

Marsh Island Tower

Marsh Island is a nature park, located in Vanderhorst Plantation. This part of the island is only accessible by bicycle and makes for a perfect afternoon excursion. It has a nice boardwalk over the marsh that takes you to the island and the tower. This is a great place to take a little picnic lunch or just to pause and reflect on all the beauty surrounding you.

Breathtaking view from a Kiawah Island lookout, with the sun setting over the lush marshlands framed by silhouettes of trees.

Marsh View Tower

This tower overlooks the Cougar Point golf course and the marsh. If you look off into the distance, you can see the Kiawah Island bridge, which is the only car access to the island.

The historic Vanderhorst mansion on Kiawah Island, flanked by majestic oak trees and a sweeping driveway.

Vanderhorst Mansion

Located off Governor’s Drive, in Vanderhorst plantation (just past the second gate – you can bike into Vanderhorst, but you need a special pass to drive into it), this old house was originally the home of one of South Carolina’s first governors. The plantation house has since been reclaimed and is now privately owned.

Walk or bike down the Allee of the Oaks. This is the path that the Vanderhorsts used to reach the beach – it is a straight path that leads from the Vanderhorst Mansion, through the woods, to the beach – be sure to stop and read the plaque that tells you more about it.

Picnic table by the tranquil waters of Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, inviting visitors for a picturesque outdoor meal.

Beach Walker Park

Beachwalker Park includes a short stretch of Kiawah’s Beach that everyone, even those who are not staying on the island, can access. With lifeguards manning the beach from March through October, parents can allow their children to take to the waters without worrying about safety. There is a picnic area complete with grills so you can create your favorite barbecue to enjoy. The dressing area and clean restrooms all help to make the beautiful Kiawah Beachwalker Park more attractive to visitors. The ramp and boardwalk are both handicap accessible so everyone can enjoy the beautiful sights this stretch of sand and water offer.

Entrance sign of Night Heron Park surrounded by lush greenery on Kiawah Island, welcoming nature lovers.

Night Heron Park

Night Heron Park is a great place to bring the entire family. It has a playground, picnic areas, sport fields, a basketball court, walking paths and a nature center. It is a great place to bring the kids, throw a frisbee around, have lunch out or learn about the island’s wildlife at their nature center.

The elegant facade of The Sanctuary Resort at Kiawah Island, showcasing luxury accommodation amidst lush landscapes.

The Sanctuary Resort

The Sanctuary is a beautiful resort with shops, restaurants, a spa, a pool, a bar and much more. Shops at the island’s 5-star hotel include an art gallery, a pro shop, a gourmet shop, a logo shop as well as a few clothing boutiques. Have fun exploring!

Observation hut over a reflective pond on the Preserve Nature Trail at Kiawah Island, a spot of serene beauty.

Preserve Nature Trail

Explore the Nature Paths at the East End of the Island at Cinder Creek, by walking or with a bike. There are also several wooden bridges in this area. This part of the island is only accessible to guests by bicycle.

A lone bicycle stands on the smooth sands at the end of the beach on Kiawah Island, symbolizing peaceful solitude.

The End of the Beach

Explore the beach by bike with this exciting bike route! The sand is hard-packed, making it easy to bike on. 

Plan your ride for morning or late afternoon, when the tide is low and the wind is at your back and you’ll practically sail down the beach. Return to your property by taking a bike trail home. 

A family biking along the scenic wooden boardwalk at Eagle Point on Kiawah Island, enjoying the convenient bike rental service.

Bike to Kiawah's Most Scenic Spots

Bicycle to some (or all!) of the most scenic spots on Kiawah Island. Destinations are arranged from west to east and can be visited in order. Can you reach them all?!