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Moving Company Kiawah Island, SC

If you have ever moved to a new house, apartment, or office by yourself, you know how much of a pain it can be. The moving process can be filled with many different emotions. On the one hand, you're probably excited about the new adventure that lies ahead of you. On the other hand, you're probably dreading the heavy lifting, pulling, packing, organizing, and logistical aspects of moving.

At Strong Men Moving, our goal is to remove that dread so you can focus on the fun and productive times ahead. With a team of hardworking, experienced moving professionals on your side, moving to a new home or office is easy, like Sunday morning.

The best part? As local, trusted movers in Kiawah Island, you won't have to take a loan out from the bank to pay for our moving services. We believe in hard work, friendly attitudes, efficiency, and fair pricing.

Service Areas

 Local Movers Kiawah Island, SC
 Professional Movers Kiawah Island, SC

Convenience is King

Strong Men Moving is a full-service moving company in Kiawah Island. We run our trucks at 110%, meaning we go above and beyond what other movers in Kiawah Island are willing to do.

Are you moving from out of state? Is your new house hard to find? Don't have the time or patience to pack and wrap all of your belongings? Don't sweat it – we've got your back. There's no job that's too large or too small for our strong men to handle, and there's no place in the Lowcountry that we won't go for you.

When we say convenience is king, we mean it.  We're talking nights, weekends, and availability 24-hours a day from Monday through Saturday. Our goal is to make your move as stress-free and simple as possible. That way, you have time to focus on enjoying your new home or office, while we worry about hauling your double vanity into the back of our truck.

When you bring in the Strong Men, you can rest assured that you're getting a full-service, friendly experience from the minute we pull into your driveway to the minute we shake your hand goodbye. Unlike some moving companies in Kiawah Island, punctuality is not our poison. We strive to arrive on time to each job that we are hired to perform.

Here are some of the most popular moving services our customers use:

 Packers And Movers Kiawah Island, SC

Residential Moving

Along with divorce and the loss of a job, moving is listed as one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through in their lifetime. When you consider the packing, the lifting, the scheduling, and the general disruption that moving can have on your life, it's easy to understand why.

As the premier moving company in Kiawah Island, our goal is to carry your moving burden, so you can stay focused on your daily life. You can rest easy knowing our movers in Kiawah Island will always show up to your home with a positive attitude, friendly smile, and motivation to work. We treat your property like it was our own and take great care in handling all the items we move for you.

In addition, we prep our team of movers for many situations and provide thorough training on the fundamentals of moving, packing, risk management, and more.

If you own specialty items such as art, antiques, or other valuables, we will take every precaution necessary to ensure your possessions arrive to your new home safe and sound.

Whether you're moving to a new home down the street or are coming from another state, we have the experience, tools, and professional movers to do the job correctly. We even offer additional residential moving services that include packing, unpacking, overnight storage, and much more.

Call or text us today to discover the full range of our residential moving specialties.

 Moving Services Kiawah Island, SC

Labor-Only Moving

Do you already have reliable transportation but still need a team of professional movers to handle your heavy lifting? Strong Men Moving now offers labor-only moving services in Kiawah Island for both residential and commercial moving projects.

A few benefits of labor-only moving include:

  • Reduce damage - our professional movers in Kiawah Island will make sure your belongings are properly loaded into your truck, reducing the probability of damaged or broken items.
  • Maximize Space - With years of experience in the moving industry, we have a sixth sense for space-efficient packing and loading. Our strong men will make the most out of your truck's usable space, which can help reduce trip time and save money on gas.
  • Quicker Moves - A team of Strong Men Moving will almost always be able to load and unload your belongings faster than a group of your friends. It's nothing personal! With our team of professionals, you can spend less time filling up your truck and more time on getting to your new home or office.
  • Save Money - Using your friends to help you move almost certainly means you will have to compensate them one way or another. Why spend your money on cases of beer and pizza when you can use it for a safer, quicker move?
 Movers Kiawah Island, SC

Commercial Moving

Kiawah Island and the surrounding metropolitan area is a hot spot for business. Dozens of companies scout Kiawah Island each year as a new place to call home, where they can broaden their horizons and find new clients. What some businesses do not take into account is the logistics and headaches involved with moving to a new location.

Strong Men Moving has built a reputation as a leader in commercial moving services in Kiawah Island. We have the tools, team, and experience necessary to facilitate a smooth move for your business at a reasonable price.

In our experience as a commercial moving company in Kiawah Island, we have discovered that it can be complicated to move to a new business location. During this transition, we know that you need:

  • Your office furniture, equipment, and supplies packed and secured safely
  • Storage space
  • A detailed, efficient plan of action to ensure an organized move
  • Minimal disruptions to your day-to-day operations

To make sure we meet the requirements above, we will speak with you at length about your upcoming commercial business relocation. That way, we get a better understanding of the logistics involved. We will also provide you with a free quote, so you can plan your budget ahead of time.

At Strong Men Moving, some common commercial moving services include:

  • Pickup and delivery of your office equipment and supplies
  • Loading and unloading office items
  • Packing and unpacking your office supplies
  • Assembly of your office furniture
  • Provide all necessary moving equipment and packing materials

Whether you have to move a few office chairs down the street or need help transitioning to a new location, we are here to serve.

 Long Distance Moving Company Kiawah Island, SC

Refuse Removal and Disposal

Did you find a bunch of unwanted junk after moving to a new office? Do you have an old, stinky couch taking up room in your basement? Don't sweat it - we will remove the old junk from your home or office quicker than you can say, "trash it!"

With Strong Men Moving's refuse removal services, we can haul away all the heavy, unusable items that your trash service won't pick up.

A few common junk removal items that we can remove for you are:

  • Couches
  • Chairs
  • Bed frames
  • Futons
  • Dressers
  • Mattresses
 Long Distance Moving Services Kiawah Island, SC

Professional Packing

If you're like most average folks living in the U.S., you probably have hundreds of items lying around your house that need to be packed before you can move to a new home. Packing can be a massive source of frustration, especially for busy families and professionals who don't have the time or patience to pack.

Why risk a sprained back or a throbbing headache when Strong Men Moving can handle all the packing for you? With our professional packing services in Kiawah Island, you can sit back and sip some sweet tea while we pack your keepsakes, furniture, electronics, clothes, and more. If you have valuable items like family heirlooms or fragile china, we will take extra care to make sure those items stay safe and unbroken during your upcoming move.

Why hire a moving company in Kiawah Island like Strong Men Moving to help you pack? Here's why most of our clients want us to pack for them:

  • Packing is a tedious, time-consuming chore
  • Professional packing minimizes the risk of injury
  • Professional packing reduces the risk of damaged items
  • Professional packing lets you focus on the more important aspects of moving, like setting up HVAC or internet service

Don't have many items to pack this time around? Ask us about our high-quality packing supplies like boxes, tape, furniture pads, and covers. We're here to help in any way that we can!

Moving Company Kiawah Island, SC

Cleanout Services

If you have a large-scale cleanout project, we can help with that, too. Our home and commercial cleanout services are great if you need to dispose of a large number of items in a short period of time.

All you have to do is give us a call, and we'll come to your location to remove your unwanted items, taking care not to damage your home or office. Once we have removed your refuse, we'll dispose of it in an environmentally-friendly fashion to help protect the Lowcountry we love so much.

A few common cleanout services in Kiawah Island include:

  • Estate cleanouts
  • House cleanouts
  • Basement cleanouts
  • Garage cleanouts
  • Foreclosure cleanouts
  • Apartment cleanouts
  • Office cleanouts
  • Commercial space cleanouts
  • Storage space cleanouts

General Labor Services

Are you working on a project that requires a team of strong laborers? Sometimes, hiring your friends just doesn't cut it. When you need a team that arrives on time, works hard, and does so with a smile, Strong Men Moving has got the help you need! As trusted movers in Kiawah Island, we employ seasoned labor professionals that can assist you with your next indoor or outdoor project. Ready to get started? Call or text us today so that we can get a good understanding of your upcoming project, and how our team can save you time, effort, and money.

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About Strong Men Moving

Established in 2019, Strong Men Moving has quickly become a leading moving company in Kiawah Island, SC. We have built our reputation on reliability, performance, price, and a positive attitude. We truly feel privileged to serve the residents of South Carolina. Our goal is to provide quality customer service with speed and diligence to all clients. We treat all of our customers the same, whether they hire us for a multi-facility commercial move or just need help loading and unloading a moving truck.

 Local Movers Kiawah Island, SC

Strong Men Moving offers service in the following communities and beyond:

  • Bluffton
  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Daniel Island
  • Folly Beach
  • Greenville
  • Hanahan
  • Hilton Head Island
  • Isle of Palms
  • James Island
  • Johns Island
  • Kiawah Island
  • Ladson
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Myrtle Beach
  • Nexton
  • North Charleston
  • Seabrook Island
  • Sullivan's Island
  • Summerville
  • West Ashley

Do you have questions?

Need a quote on your upcoming residential or commercial move? We are here to help however
possible. You can reach us via phone at 843-830-6305 or by email at [email protected].

We hope to hear from you soon!

Latest News in Kiawah Island, SC

My 7 Favorite Beaches To Visit In South Carolina

All products featured on TravelAwaits are independently selected by our writers and editors. We may earn commission when you click on or make a purchase via our links.There are so many amazing beaches to visit in South Carolina, it’s hard to choose a favorite. From the gorgeous scenery to the endless activities, there’s a perfect beach for everyone in this coastal state.There’s just something exceptional about South Carolina’s beaches keeps drawing me back. We usually enjoyed beach vacations in Maryland ...

All products featured on TravelAwaits are independently selected by our writers and editors. We may earn commission when you click on or make a purchase via our links.

There are so many amazing beaches to visit in South Carolina, it’s hard to choose a favorite. From the gorgeous scenery to the endless activities, there’s a perfect beach for everyone in this coastal state.

There’s just something exceptional about South Carolina’s beaches keeps drawing me back. We usually enjoyed beach vacations in Maryland or Virginia when I was a child. They were great, and I didn’t think a beach could get any better until I was in my 30s and took a trip to South Carolina.

Here are a few of my favorite South Carolina beaches, in no particular order.

1. Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach is a favorite because it was the first South Carolina beach I visited. Considered the most affordable and family-friendly beach in South Carolina, Surfside Beach is located 10 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach and north of Garden City Beach. There are 36 beach access points along 2 miles of beach coastline.

It’s not as touristy as some of the other beaches in the state, and it has a laid-back vibe. It is rarely crowded. The sand is like white powder, the beach is always clean, and the water is warm.

When we visited, we stayed in rental properties. We plan to stay at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront on our next visit. It has gorgeous ocean views, and you benefit from a full-service oceanfront hotel, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and newly renovated rooms without the hustle and bustle of more commercialized beach areas. It is ideal for a romantic getaway or a multigenerational family gathering. Plus, they have fun events happening, like “Date Night on the Beach,” and a communal fire pit at night around the pool.

The town area is a quiet beach town. You can find many family-friendly attractions like mini-golf, a water park, and delicious eateries within walking distance of most hotels and rental properties.

Surfside Beach is a short drive up the coast to the Myrtle Beach excitement, shopping outlets, the Coastal Mall, other fun entertainment, and the Myrtle Beach International Airport.

Surfside Beach is definitely worth visiting for a quiet and relaxing beach vacation!

2. Myrtle Beach

The most popular beach destination in the state, the Myrtle Beach area, is often referred to as the Grand Strand. It boasts 60 miles of beach and 1.2 miles of oceanfront boardwalk. Historical sites, outdoor adventures, and a mild annual average temperature of 73 degrees with 215 sunny days per year make the Myrtle Beach area a dream vacation spot.

This beach town has something for everyone to enjoy. From beachfront amusement parks to the Ripley’s Aquarium to shows at popular theaters, there is plenty to do and see in Myrtle Beach. It is the perfect destination for the 50+ traveler for many reasons. In fact, many people move to Myrtle Beach after vacationing there.

Myrtle Beach attracts more than 19 million visitors per year. It is a premier vacation destination with beautiful clean beaches, outlet malls, accommodations at every price point, scrumptious local cuisine, and more than 100 golf courses.

The gorgeous, powdery white-sand beach is the number one attraction in Myrtle Beach. You can enjoy mild waves and fun watersports, relax, and play in the surf. But there is so much more. There are many places to enjoy live entertainment with cocktails and great dining.

Head up to North Myrtle Beach, where you can enjoy great dance venues like Duck’s Nightlife and Fat Harold’s. In the north end of Myrtle Beach, there’s 3001 Nightlife, which is filled with the 50+ crowd.

They have several live theaters with great music shows, such as Carolina Opry Theater and the Alabama Theatre. Fun shopping experiences abound at nearby Barefoot Landing and Broadway on the Beach.

Calabash-style restaurants are prevalent along the Grand Strand, as well as Carolina/Lowcountry cuisine. In the area, you can find just about every kind of food imaginable, from steak to ribs to homestyle cooking and pizza.

Fun fact: Over 3.2 million rounds of golf are played per year in the Myrtle Beach area. That’s a lot of golf!

3. Myrtle Beach State Park

Just south of the busy Myrtle Beach is Myrtle Beach State Park. The thing I remember most about it was the beautiful flowers blooming all along the entrance road.

This state park covers 312 acres and has picnic areas, campground sites, a fishing pier, a nature center, equestrian facilities, surf fishing, nature trails, and nearly a mile of clean beach that is rarely crowded.

They have a large parking area and a beach concession stand for snacks or lunch. We often took a picnic lunch with us.

We usually spent at least two days on this beach to avoid the crowds when we were in the area. There is an entry fee per person to visit this state park, and they have a discount for seniors.

4. Huntington Beach State Park

If you enjoy history, wildlife, or fishing, Huntington Beach State Park is an ideal beach to visit, with more than 2,500 acres to enjoy away from the hustle and bustle of some of the more hectic beaches in the state. This state park boasts the 1930s-era Moorish-style Atalaya Castle, which is a national historic landmark. Over 300 species of birds live in the park.

Approximately 17 miles south of Myrtle Beach State Park, Huntington Beach State Park has a 3-mile-long beach and is a popular surf fishing location. There is a 2-mile hiking trail, picnic facilities, and campgrounds in the park.

There is a fee to visit the state park and an additional fee for visiting the castle.

Pro Tip: Brookgreen Gardens is nearby, and the gardens are gorgeous and well worth a visit.

5. Kiawah Island

Everyone loves an island experience. Many consider the private Kiawah Island in South Carolina to be paradise. It features 10 miles of spectacular beaches, sand dunes, maritime forestry, and lush marshes, providing gorgeous beach scenery that is simply unique.

While most Kiawah Island beaches are private, Kiawah Beachwalker Park has a public beach area. In addition to the beaches, there are waterfront golf courses, scenic trails, and some beautiful and luxurious resorts.

Editor’s Note: Really want to avoid the crowds? Our own Jeanine Consoli recommends these 9 Incredible Things To Do On Kiawah Island During The Off-Season.

6. Hilton Head Island

A step up from your average beach, Hilton Head is the perfect beach to visit when you want to indulge in a bit of luxury. Sitting approximately 30 miles from Savannah, Georgia, Hilton Head features gorgeous beaches, luxury spas, tennis, golf, and a leisurely-paced lifestyle. It is a huge draw for those seeking a touch of luxury.

Hilton Head is a 42-square-mile barrier island with 12 miles of beautiful sandy beaches. The most popular beach in Hilton Head is Coligny Beach Park. A scenic shoreline and a wealth of amenities make this park a favorite for beachgoers.

“Spa-ing,” golf, and tennis earned Hilton Head its elite reputation. But there are many other things to enjoy, including the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Coastal Discovery Museum.

Vacationers go to Hilton Head to relax. The nightlife consists primarily of leisurely sunset dinners and live waterfront music.

Pro Tip: Look before getting into the water. Jellyfish and stingrays are prevalent during the summer months.

7. Daufuskie Island

An oceanfront oasis, Daufuskie Island in South Carolina consists of primarily undeveloped conservancy land. This tiny island off the coast of Hilton Head is only accessible by boat or ferry. While it isn’t far from the mainland, its remote nature makes it feel like it is a world away. There are only about 400 residents on the island.

One could spend an entire week in Haig Point, the private community on the island, without seeing more than a dozen individuals. You have the beach to yourself.

The island is a historical hub and is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are self-guided tours and guided history tours.

Art studios and galleries and a rum distillery call the island home. The Daufuskie Island Distillery is one of only two island distilleries in the U.S.

Visitors enjoy a show of daily wildlife experiences: bottlenose dolphins leaping out of the water on the shoreline; loggerhead turtles nesting each spring on the shore; and the trotting sound of Marsh Tacky horses.

Horseback rides on the beach are offered year round, and golf lovers can tee it up with ocean views at Haig Point’s signature course.

The Daufuskie Island Ferry offers service every 3 hours to and from the island. Tour Daufuskie takes the stress out of a day at the beach with packages that include chairs, a tent, and beach items for the day, so you don’t have to schlep anything with you.

There are fun accommodation options for overnight visits on the island. Visitors can enjoy a secluded beach getaway by staying in a lighthouse dating back to 1873 or a 1910 mansion built as a summer retreat.

Pro Tip: Enjoy the island while exploring from your rented golf cart. There are no cars on the island.

Final Thoughts

South Carolina is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. From Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head, there are plenty of amazing beaches to choose from. Each offers its own unique charm and appeal. If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the sun and sand, visit one of South Carolina’s many world-class beaches.

Further Reading:

From the mountains to the ocean, list ranks best golf courses in South Carolina

South Carolina is blessed with an embarrassment of riches in golf courses, a fact on display in examining one organization’s ranking of playing opportunities in the state.From the brawny Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort to the Aiken Golf Club that measures less than 5,800 yards and everything in between, the Palmetto State offers a smorgasbord of links that whets every golfer’s appetite.The South Carolina Golf C...

South Carolina is blessed with an embarrassment of riches in golf courses, a fact on display in examining one organization’s ranking of playing opportunities in the state.

From the brawny Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort to the Aiken Golf Club that measures less than 5,800 yards and everything in between, the Palmetto State offers a smorgasbord of links that whets every golfer’s appetite.

The South Carolina Golf Course Rating Panel’s annual survey emphasizes the obvious again in this year’s rankings of the best classic courses, designed pre-1980, and modern layout, those designed since 1980.

The Ocean Course, scene of high-profile events ranging from the 1991 Ryder Cup to PGA Championships in 2012 and 2021, takes its usual place at the top of the modern category. Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head Island’s Sea Pines Resort, the home of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage each April, headlines the classics.

And those only scratch the surface.

“There are so many great golf courses in the state,” Aiken GC owner Jim McNair Jr. said. “There’s something from everyone. We have something like 37 acres of turf; I imagine a course like the Dunes (Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach) has 100 acres or more.”

McNair’s course, located within shouting distance of Aiken’s business district, ranks seventh in the classic category and drips with history. More than 100 years old, the club is among the first to have women’s tees and staged the Women’s Invitational Tournament (1937-39) that brought stars such as Babe Zaharias and Patty Berg to compete.

“We’re short by today’s standards, but we have members who say it’s too hard from the tips,” McNair said. “The green complexes are incredible. The course is about strategy, accuracy and position off the tee.”

Those are among the qualities the rating panel seeks and finds everywhere in the state.

Courses represented in this year’s rankings range from Aiken’s Palmetto Golf Club, which dates to 1892; Seth Raynor’s Lowcountry gems; Camden Country Club with Donald Ross’ influence and Robert Trent Jones’ beauties among the classics. The modern layouts include the handiwork of, among others, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Mike Strantz.

“Ranking the courses is really a challenge,” said Michael Whitaker, the association’s executive director. “As always, there are so many outstanding golf courses in South Carolina that you’re really splitting hairs in picking one over another.”

The top five in the classic category include Harbour Town, Yeamans Hall in Hanahan, Palmetto GC, the Dunes Golf and Beach Club, and Greenville CC’s Chanticleer Course. Joining the Ocean Course at the top of the modern list are the Secession Club (Beaufort), Congaree GC (Ridgeland), May River GC (Palmetto Bluff) and Sage Valley GC (Graniteville).

“To be included on a list with some of those exclusive private clubs is quite an honor,” McNair said. “That’s the beauty of the game. Courses such as ours and the Ocean Course are very different and yet are very challenging.”

The S.C. Golf Course Ratings Panel is composed of 125 golf enthusiasts who represent a diverse range of occupations, handicaps and backgrounds. The group’s objective is to promote excellence in the state’s golf course design and operation through competitive ranking, education and public advocacy. Criteria used in the judging include routing, variety, strategy, equity, memorability, aesthetics and experience. A panelist must have played the course to vote for it.

Classic Courses

(Designed Before 1980)

1. Harbour Town Golf Links

2. Yeamans Hall Club

3. Palmetto Golf Club

4. Dunes Golf and Beach Club

5. Greenville CC Chanticleer Course

6. CC of Charleston

7. Aiken Golf Club

8. Camden CC

9. Greenville CC Riverside Course

10. Surf Golf and Beach Club

11. Orangeburg CC

12. Florence CC

13. CC or Spartanburg

14. Myrtle Beach National King’s North Course

15. Columbia CC

16. Palmetto Dunes Resort R.T. Jones Course

17. Palmetto Dunes Resort George Fazio Course

18. Charleston Municipal Golf Course

19. Furman Golf Club

20. Pine Lakes CC

Modern Courses

(Designed Since 1980)

1. Kiawah Island Resort Ocean Course

2. Secession GC

3. Congaree GC

4. May River GC

5. Sage Valley GC

6. Cherokee Plantation

7. Kiawah Island Club Cassique Course

8. Long Cove Club

9, Chechessee Creek Club

10. Kiawah Island Club River Course

11. Bulls Bay Club

12. Caledonia Golf and Fish Club

13. Colleton River Plantation Dye Course

14. Old Tabby Links

15. Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards

16. Colleton River Plantation Nicklaus Course

17. Cliffs at Mountain Park.

18. Musgrove Mill GC

19. The GC at Briar’s Creek

20. Haig Point Club

21. Barefoot Resort Dye Course

22. Wachesaw Plantation Club

23. Belfair GC West Course

24. Reserve at Lake Keowee

25. Cliffs at Glassy

26. Tidewater GC and Plantation

27. Berkeley Hall North Course

28. Belfair GC East Course

29. True Blue Plantation

30. Grande Dunes Resort Club

31. Dataw Island Cotton Dyke Course

32. Wild Dunes Resort Links Course

33. Thornblade Club

34. Prestwick CC

35. Kiawah Island Resort Osprey Course

36. Cliffs at Keowee Falls

37. DeBordieu Club

38. Callawassie Island Club

T39. Oldfield

T39. Kiawah Island Resort Cougar Point Course

41. Reserve Club at Pawleys Island

41. Sea Pines Resort Atlantic Dunes Course

43. Daniel Island Club Beresford Creek Course

44. Kiawah Island Resort Turtle Point Course

45. Grande Dunes Members Club

46. Cliffs at Keowee Springs

47. Seabrook Island Club Ocean Winds Course

48. Berkeley Hall South Course

49. Cliffs Valley Course

50. Daniel Island Club Ralston Creek Course.

How South Carolina’s Kiawah Island strikes a balance between tourism and conservation

From inside of Voysey’s, the private restaurant that overlooks Kiawah Island’s Cassique course, a diner might be tricked into believing that this country club island is just like any other luxury destination. The windows that frame the course betray swaying grasses, moody greens and nearly imperceptible stick-figure golfers enjoying the splendor of one of the country’s most celebrated golf courses.But the barrier island of Kiawah, some 25 miles south of Charleston, S.C., is more than a golf destination with premier b...

From inside of Voysey’s, the private restaurant that overlooks Kiawah Island’s Cassique course, a diner might be tricked into believing that this country club island is just like any other luxury destination. The windows that frame the course betray swaying grasses, moody greens and nearly imperceptible stick-figure golfers enjoying the splendor of one of the country’s most celebrated golf courses.

But the barrier island of Kiawah, some 25 miles south of Charleston, S.C., is more than a golf destination with premier beachfront homes. Kiawah Island has solidified itself as one of the most eco-friendly residential areas and tourist destinations in the United States, with conservation efforts dating back nearly half a century. Visitors are the beneficiaries of these extensive efforts, and the island is a rare example of how tourism and ecological concern can coexist.

In 1973, Kiawah Island established the Kiawah Turtle Patrol, an organization that tracks and protects the island’s native population of nesting loggerhead turtles. Soon after, Kiawah Investment, a Kuwaiti-owned company, purchased the island from heirs to a lumber company operator and, in 1975, conducted an environmental inventory of the island over the course of 16 months, studying natural habitats, wildlife and archaeological history, said Donna Windham, executive director of the Kiawah Conservancy.

The widespread inventory led to a master plan, which has since been enacted by the town of Kiawah, that combines environmental activism with tourism and leisure. “It was a whole new environment for them,” Windham said of the Kuwaiti effort. “They took it very seriously that this island was special.” Today, Windham said, the Kiawah Conservancy operates as a nonprofit land trust for the island, encouraging the protection of the environment by working in conjunction with landowners.

The conservancy, established in 1997, can hold land and issue easements. It has, to date, preserved “2,273 acres of Kiawah’s 10,000 acres,” according to the island’s website. In January 2000, Windham said, 152 acres of land known as Little Bear Island — a nesting destination for coastal birds such as the piping plover, peregrine falcon and osprey — were preserved by the Wetlands America Trust, part of the Ducks Unlimited nonprofit conservation group. The easement was updated in 2007 to include protection from the trust and the Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy.

As a traveler, you may see no concrete indication of the infrastructure that governs the island’s conservation. Yet the influence is everywhere, evident in the clamoring hermit crabs at the shoreline, the robust oyster beds that climb upward on the riverbanks, and the petite raccoons that scale trees at dusk in search of their next meal.

Close to the island’s Ocean Course, where a strip of cerulean is just visible beyond the marsh, a passerby might be privy to any number of natural encounters: alligators with snouts just visible in the pond water; hook-necked blue herons staring out into the palmettos; white-tailed deer bedding down beneath the drapery of Spanish moss. These moments, despite their frequency, arrive as a surprise in a place where golf clubs and impeccable architecture are the local currency.

But you’re more likely than not to encounter a wild animal during your visit, and that’s because Kiawah Island includes 3,000 acres of tidal salt marsh and 10 miles of shoreline, providing shelter for a variety of wildlife. According to town of Kiawah Wildlife Biologist Jim Jordan — his position was created in 2000 and, eight years later, Assistant Wildlife Biologist Aaron Given arrived — there are 315 species of birds, more than 30 species of mammals, more than 40 species of reptiles, more than 20 species of amphibians, and thousands of invertebrates that call the island home.

“It’s pretty unique,” Jordan said. It is, he said, “a functioning, intact ecosystem that’s working the way it would have worked if there were no houses there.”

One of the island’s most fascinating predators is the bobcat; the current bobcat population, Jordan said, is between 15 and 20. Four to six bobcats are collared by the biology team each year, so their movements can be tracked via GPS. “Visitors and residents can look at the tracking maps online and see where they’ve been,” he said.

Take a boat out onto the serene Kiawah River — you can book tours through the island’s sole resort, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort — and you’re bound to see a dolphin or two, gray fin slipping in and out of the water. These are the island’s bottlenose species, and they’re friendly, tracking vessels and providing the occasional show, flippers aflight. They also engage in a unique behavior known as “strand-feeding.”

“In a coordinated effort, they will basically force a school of fish or a school of shrimp up toward the bank,” Jordan said. “They beach themselves.” The western end of the island makes for good viewing of this behavior, although he warned that disrupting dolphins during their strand-feeds can be harmful. “It’s a learned behavior,” passed down from generation to generation, Jordan said. Should a strand-feed get interrupted, dolphins could abandon the behavior entirely, thus keeping future generations from learning how to eat in this location-specific manner.

The serenity experienced on this island oasis is thanks to more than just the work of the conservancy. At the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, for instance, an AAA five-diamond resort that was built in 2004, live, mature oak trees were transplanted to help promote the maintenance of the natural environment. “This really wasn’t required. It was just something that we did voluntarily, because we thought it was the right thing to do,” said Bryan Hunter, director of public relations for the Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

The resort, he said, places a premium on conservation efforts, encouraging guests to immerse themselves in the local environment through organized boat trips to other barrier islands, alligator safaris and dolphin-viewing excursions. Visitors can also tag along with the Turtle Patrol in the morning in search of hatching and migration patterns (although that program has been greatly restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic). Some may even get to assist hatchling turtles, Hunter said. Those who join the Turtle Patrol outings look for nests, take notes and record observations about the year’s hatch.

One conservation effort enforced by island residents — including hoteliers — is the Lights Out for Sea Turtles initiative, which requires that beach-illuminating lights be turned off in the evenings during loggerhead nesting season. As Jordan pointed out, artificial light confuses hatchling turtles, often accidentally guiding them away from the ocean.

Low light pollution, Hunter said, is “vital.” “The resort, along with the rest of the island, through town ordinance, makes sure that we really carefully monitor light pollution along the beach, so that it doesn’t disorient nesting sea turtles or hatching sea turtles,” he said.

As the sun descends at dusk, there is a vibration in the air. Is it the cicadas, on their 17-year cycle? Or maybe just a faraway flock of birds? Whatever the origin of the ambient noise, it calls to mind a soothing bedtime melody, the kind you might slip into as you wind down into sleep.

This AAA five-diamond property has 255 guest rooms and suites, as well as multiple dining venues and direct beach access. Rooms from about $240.

Run by the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, this 1.5-hour boat excursion takes guests through creeks and marshes in search of the island’s native bottlenose dolphin population. $450 for up to six passengers.

Situated on the west end of the island, this ocean beach offers the only public access on Kiawah. Amenities include lifeguards, chair and umbrella rentals, restrooms, outdoor showers, a snack bar and a picnic area with grills. Parking $5 to $15 per vehicle.

Guests can ask resident wildlife biologists about the local ecology and visit with some of the native and nonnative species, such as diamondback terrapins and a 10-foot-long Burmese python. The center’s gift shop sells handcrafted items made by local artists. Free.

Walk or bike this one-mile scenic trail that extends over the marsh to a lookout tower. Part of the larger Kiawah Island bike trails system, which covers about 30 miles, this trail is suitable for all ages.

Kiawah Island sales topped $1B in 2021

The ocean-hugging upscale resort of Kiawah Island reached a new milestone in 2021 with more than $1 billion in property sales.Kiawah Island Real Estate, which handles the majority of sales in the gated community, ended the year with $795.7 million in sales plus others that will close in the new year for a total of $1 billion in sales, a 40 percent increase from 2020.When sales by other agencies are factored in, the total climbs to $1.05 billion, up 30 percent overall from the roughly $808 milli...

The ocean-hugging upscale resort of Kiawah Island reached a new milestone in 2021 with more than $1 billion in property sales.

Kiawah Island Real Estate, which handles the majority of sales in the gated community, ended the year with $795.7 million in sales plus others that will close in the new year for a total of $1 billion in sales, a 40 percent increase from 2020.

When sales by other agencies are factored in, the total climbs to $1.05 billion, up 30 percent overall from the roughly $808 million recorded the previous year, according to Kiawah Island Real Estate.

Last year, the agency saw 493 closings, a 21 percent increase from 2020 and a 165 percent jump from 2019.

The island as a whole reported 734 closings, up 12 percent and 130 percent from the prior two years, respectively.

The record-breaking year included the most expensive residential property to change hands in the Charleston area to date. The Vanderhorst Mansion, set on 16.5 acres on the edge of the Kiawah River and dating to the early 1800s, sold June 24 for $20.5 million.

Kiawah Island Real Estate also is handling sales and reservations for two other developments set to hit the market this year.

The Burn at Cassique will offer seven homesites along the Tom Watson-designed golf course at the private Cassique Golf Club. Pricing will be available in late January.

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On the inland side of town, the agency is handling reservations for Seafields at Kiawah Island, a luxury community for the 62-plus group.

The $180 million development, which broke ground last September, will feature 90 luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom residences, as well as 16 assisted-living units and continuing care services. It also will include a first-of-its-kind, in-house medical clinic operated by the Medical University of South Carolina.

The development is being built off of Seabrook Island Road near Freshfields Village Shopping Center. Construction is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2024.

As of early January 2022, 43 percent of the independent living units had been reserved.

NC deal

A Charleston-based real estate company will develop an $80 million grocery-anchored project in North Carolina.

Adams Property Group will build a 48,387-square-foot Publix, 19,800 square feet of retail space and a 290-unit apartment complex in West Edge in Winston-Salem.

Construction is expected to start in a couple of months. Adams is handling the leasing.

Exploring Kiawah Island, South Carolina’s private getaway, where day visitors are welcome (by most, anyway)

KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina – The young man behind the counter at the West Beach pool helped me pick out a bike, handed me a map and told me to have fun.What a contrast to the security attendant I encountered a few moments before, who made me feel like an interloper at the gated entrance to Kiawah Island.I brushed aside her grouchiness and headed out on two wheels, pedaling first through the island’s leafy interior before heading to the beach, where the sand at low tide cuts an incredible coastal path along the At...

KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina – The young man behind the counter at the West Beach pool helped me pick out a bike, handed me a map and told me to have fun.

What a contrast to the security attendant I encountered a few moments before, who made me feel like an interloper at the gated entrance to Kiawah Island.

I brushed aside her grouchiness and headed out on two wheels, pedaling first through the island’s leafy interior before heading to the beach, where the sand at low tide cuts an incredible coastal path along the Atlantic.

Kiawah, the mostly private barrier island about 25 miles south of Charleston, is often included on lists of the world’s most beautiful beaches. For that reason alone, I put the island on the top of my to-do list as I planned a short trip to South Carolina to try out the new Breeze Airways flights out of Akron-Canton Airport.

It’s not the simplest place to visit, however, especially if you’re not spending the night.

Staying overnight

There’s one hotel on the island, the tony Sanctuary, a gorgeous, ocean-front AAA five-diamond property with 255 rooms. Rates here run $500 and up during the summer, which was too steep for me.

Instead, I overnighted at a hotel on U.S. 17, a 30-minute drive away, and planned a day trip to the island. Shortly after arrival, however, I wasn’t entirely sure that my plan was a good one.

I had called earlier to make a reservation for the Jasmine Porch, inside the Sanctuary, one of the island’s numerous restaurants. It’s one of several ways that non-guests are encouraged to visit the island, owned primarily by the Kiawah Island Golf Resort and other real estate development companies.

I made it to Kiawah by 10 a.m. on a recent Sunday, told the woman at the gate that I had a restaurant reservation and asked for a map of the island. She told me I wasn’t to linger on the island and wouldn’t give me a map.

“But I’m planning on renting bikes,” I told her. “You’re not allowed to rent bikes,” she told me.

That came as news to the young man at the nearby West Beach pool, who told me I was welcome to rent a bicycle and to pedal anywhere I liked. “Security being security,” he said, and shrugged.

Indeed, non-guests are also welcome to sign up for recreational activities and nature programs, including dolphin encounters, kayak tours, art classes and more.

They’re even allowed to golf – and this island is well known for its spectacular and prestigious courses, including the waterfront Ocean Course, which hosted the 2021 PGA Championship in May. Five courses are open to the public, whether you’re staying on the island or not, including the Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course, Cougar Point, Turtle Point, Osprey Point and Oak Point.

I’m not a golfer, which kept my to-do list simple for my short visit: Explore the island by bike, enjoy a nice meal, check out the beach, maybe witness some wildlife.

I popped into the Nature Center, too, for some air conditioned-relief, where I saw numerous snakes, turtles, a stuffed bobcat and two infant alligators in tanks (the only gators I saw during my visit, despite omnipresent signage warning visitors to stay away from ponds and waterways).

I enjoyed almost all of it – the biking was terrific, with 30 miles of shady, flat, paved paths that rarely intersected with the roadways; and the Southern cuisine at Jasmine Porch was excellent, featuring she-crab soup and crab cakes plus bottomless peach iced tea. The beach, as expected, was absolutely stunning, massive at low tide, flat and perfect for walking, cycling, lounging, even bocce playing.

The attitude of the folks manning the security gates, however, was decidedly unwelcoming. Perhaps purposely so?

Cocktails at the Ocean Course

After we returned our bikes, my husband and I decided to have a drink at the Ryder Cup Bar, at the far east end of the island, overlooking the spectacular 18th hole of the Ocean Course. Our waitress at lunch assured us that the bar was open to the public.

There is a second security gate about midway down the island, which controls access to the eastern half of Kiawah. I told the woman at the gate that we were headed to the Ryder Cup Bar.

She saw the pass from earlier in the day on our car’s dashboard and asked us if we had been to the beach. “Um, yes,” I answered. She then told us that we should not have been on the beach. “If we let everyone on the beach, there wouldn’t be enough room for the people who pay a premium for access,” she said.

That did not seem to be remotely a possibility, given the size of the beach here. But I smiled and nodded.

In a more friendly tone, she said she would make an exception for us, and handed us a pass to proceed to the bar. I thanked her while controlling the urge to roll my eyes.

My husband was put off by her attitude that seemed to suggest we weren’t welcome. I was amused, but also confused.

Other than the security staff, everyone we encountered on the island – vacationers, homeowners, wait staff, shopkeepers – were all wonderful and welcoming. They seemed to want us around.

The drive out to the Ocean Course was stunning, past spectacular, multimillion-dollar-plus properties, along live-oak lined roadways that were draped with Spanish moss.

At the end of the drive: the Ryder Cup Bar, where I very much enjoyed a cocktail called a sweet tea mojito. I sipped my beverage and enjoyed the view.

Thirst (and curiosity) quenched, we made our way back west, toward the only public destination on the island, Kiawah Beachwalker Park, part of the Charleston County Parks system (note: parking here is $15).

While technically all beaches in South Carolina are public, private landowners can (and do) restrict access to those beaches.

Beachwalker park provides public access to Kiawah’s entire 10-mile stretch of sand. Theoretically, a visitor could access the beach here and traverse (by foot or bicycle) the entire stretch of the Kiawah coast.

I wasn’t that ambitious, walking perhaps a mile to the island’s western end, where the Kiawah River joins the ocean. I was hoping to see some dolphins strand feeding, a fascinating practice where the dolphins herd fish onto the sand then launch themselves out of the water to eat. Kiawah, nearby Hilton Head and other low-lying coastal regions are among the handful of places throughout the world where this occurs, typically just before or after low tide.

Alas, I didn’t see any dolphins, but the beach was engaging enough – wide and flat and glorious.

I could have walked longer, but my feet were tired, the sun was setting and my hotel was a half hour drive away.

If you go: Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Getting there: Kiawah is about 25 miles southwest of Charleston, an easy drive from the airport or downtown.

Staying overnight: The Sanctuary offers 255 oceanfront rooms, starting at about $500 per night during the summer. Other options include the Andell Inn, part of the Freshfields Village development, just off Kiawah on St. Johns Island.

The island also has hundreds of villas and private homes available to rent via the Kiawah Island Golf Resort or individual owners.

More information: kiawahresort.com, kiawahisland.com, charlestoncvb.com

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