As summer fades to autumn and the cool breezes start to blow, your mind might turn toward pumpkins and turkeys.
Not so fast! The beach is still calling your name. On Kiawah Island, fall offers the perfect mix of warm days and cool nights, with a distinct lack of summer crowds.
Most of your favorite summer activities are still available, plus a few more, just for the season. So without further ado, here’s your official guide for what to do on Kiawah Island in the fall.
Stretch Out on the Sand
Yes, we know you typically think of summer as beach season, but it can be crowded and hot during the peak months. Here’s a little secret: fall is the best time to visit the coast. The waters have already been warmed by the summer sun but the crowds have disappeared. So when we say stretch out, we mean it. S-t-r-e-t-c-h. The beach is all yours…
Throw out a Line
Whether you’re grabbing a spot on the pier or chartering your own boat, fall fishing on Kiawah Island can’t be beat. With the fish trying to fatten up for the winter, there’s a lot of extra activity in the water.
Inshore fishing charters will take you to Kiawah’s creeks and marshes for an unforgettable Lowcountry adventure (1 to 6 people, prices range from $550 to $750 depending on group size). Redfish, Spotted Sea Trout, Sheepshead, Sharks, Ladyfish, and Croaker are just some of the varieties you can expect to see.
Or head out for a Near Coastal and Reef Fishing Adventure. Boats transport you 1 to 3 miles off shore, where you can drop lines over sandbars, wrecks, and artificial reefs. Look out for Redfish, Weakfish, Cobia, Black Sea Bass, Triggerfish, Spadefish, Black Drum, and Sharks. ($650 for 1 to 4 people; $750 for 5 to 6 people).
Of course you can bike in any season, but fall may be our favorite time to pedal around the island. Not only can you avoid the summer heat, but you’ll be treated to fall’s changing foliage.
As temperatures fall, the sweet grass begins blooming and the marsh turns to gold—what better way to see it than by bike? The cool weather makes it an ideal time to make longer trips out to stunning natural areas like Eagle Point Landing and Rhetts Bluff.
With miles of trails and hard-packed beaches just waiting for you to cruise them, biking is the ultimate answer to what to do in Kiawah Island in the fall.
Get Fit for Fall
Every September, Kiawah Island hosts Tri-Kiawah, a USAT-sanctioned intermediate distance triathlon—the only one in Charleston with an ocean swim. Show your best stuff with a 0.7 mile swim, 25.1 mile bike, and 6.1 mile run.
Even the kiddos can get in on the fun with a children’s triathlon the day before. With three separate age groups and distances, there’s something to suit every skill level. The 2018 races are set for September 15th and 16th.
Prefer to cheer on the athletes instead? At Night Heron Park you’ll find a 21-acre spectator and family area with several walking-distance vantage points—making it easy for everyone to see the action.
What to do on Kiawah Island if you’d rather take things at a slower pace? Carolina Lowcountry is known for its diverse bird species, from the tiniest hummingbirds to the grandest birds of prey. Since fall brings on the start of a new migration, this can be one of the best times of year for birding.
If you’re a newbie, then the beginner’s walking tour (1.5 hours) will teach you the basics (ages 8+, $15/person). For the more advanced, sign up for a Back Island Birding trip: you’ll be transported by van to several remote spots, where you can learn about the native birds in their own habitats (ages 14+, $35/person).
Call (843) 768-6001 to make your reservations.
Sample the Southern Fare
Not only does autumn offer a feast for your eyes, but cooler day temps and less humidity, make this an ideal time to explore all the sights and tastes nearby Charleston. If you’re a foodie at heart, be sure to visit during early September for Charleston Restaurant Week, when you can sample an eclectic mix of prix fixe lunch and dinner offerings at hundreds of local hot spots. In 2018, Restaurant Week runs from September 5th to the 16th; visit Charleston Restaurant Association for more info or check out our favorite eateries.
What to Do On Kiawah Island in Case of Bad Weather
While you can still enjoy warm beach days well into late fall, there’s also a possibility for severe weather, including storms and hurricanes. Thankfully vacation insurance is available for purchase, and we recommend you take advantage so you can rest easy and focus on the fun, rather than the skies.
Gather Around the Fire
Nothing says fall quite like getting cozy by a fire. If you agree, then we have two properties you’ll definitely want to check out:
The Surf Shack on Sparrow Pond (sleeps 8) features charming shiplap walls and a cozy living room with two sofas facing each other in front of a gas fireplace. In the evening, enjoy lagoon views while you sip hot cocoa around the deck’s fire pit and watch the stars come out.
Three Cougar on Greensward (sleeps 6) remains sophisticated without losing any of that beachy charm and is great for families with small children. On a cool fall night, gather in front of the living room’s fireplace or head to the back deck and relax by the fire light. After the little ones are asleep you can slip out to the two-person hot tub.
To check out these and our other accommodations, visit our vacation rental gallery.