Taylor-Kiawah-Island1

A woman enjoying a vacation on Kiawah Island, South Carolina

One of the top things to do this year is to visit a peaceful, stunning and memorable destination like Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Located less than an hour outside the charming Southern city of Charleston, Kiawah Island is a renowned golf resort that consists of 10 miles of beautiful oceanfront beach, pristine marshlands, incredible hotels and resorts as well as renowned restaurants.

The 2021 PGA Championship Golf Resort at Kiawah Island

From shopping, to Championship golf courses, Kiawah Island does not disappoint in terms of everything it offers. In fact, there is something for everyone to enjoy during a vacation to this stunning area in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The name Kiawah, which is pronounced as kee-a-wah is derived from the Native Americans who lived in the area during 1600s. The island is where they hunted and fished. Unfortunately, European diseases killed off a lot of the indigenous people who resided on Kiawah Island.

Two women enjoying the best things to do on Kiawah Island, SC

During May 2022, I did a fun girl’s trip with Caitlin of My Darling Passport to Kiawah Island, South Carolina. We stayed four nights at the luxurious Andell Inn, which is situated in the charming Freshfields Village, and the two of us had fun relaxing at the pool and beach on Kiawah Island, enjoying the dining scene and exploring the area.

Views of the marshlands at Kiawah Island.

Kiawah Island is an exclusive area in South Carolina’s Lowcountry and it’s the perfect destination to visit for a family vacation, couple’s getaway, bachelor/bachelorette party, girl’s/guy’s trip and more. In this article, discover over 11 things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. (This trip was a partnership between Caitlin and Freshfields Village. I was invited as Caitlin’s guest.)


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11 Things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Traveling to Experience Kiawah Island Activities:

A happy woman enjoying a South Carolina vacation.

Getting to Kiawah Island can be done by flying into Charleston International Airport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner!

It is important to note that Kiawah Island is around 45 minutes south of Charleston and you will need transportation to get you to the island golf resort, from the airport. (It is also two hours north of Hilton Head.) Unless you are stopping at Kiawah Island on a USA road trip, you’ll need to have a vehicle to get around, since everything is spread out in the area. It is best to rent a car if you want to experience all of the most memorable Kiawah Island attractions.

A sign in Freshfields Village, South Carolina

Another great way to get around Kiawah Island is through bike riding. I talk more about where you can rent a bike below, but some of the best spots that offer walk up services are The West Beach Bike Shop and The Sanctuary Bike Pavilion.

When you’re in Freshfields Village, which is considered the “downtown” area of Kiawah Island, it is best to get around by walking. Please note that even though Freshfields Village is part of Kiawah Island, it is physically on Johns Island.

(Click here if you are planning to road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.)

Things to do on Kiawah Island in May:

A woman enjoying an evening at The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah, Island.

A trip to South Carolina’s Lowcountry is not complete without experiencing all the best things to do in Kiawah from candle making to enjoying a fancy dinner. Kiawah Island is also where the 2021 PGA Championship was hosted, so if you’re a golfer, you’ll be in heaven!

Caitlin and I visited Kiawah Island in May and from our experience, I believe it is the best time to visit the area. Below is what to do at this beautiful destination:

Stay at Andell Inn at Kiawah Island, SC:

The Andell Inn at Freshfields Village.

One of the best places to stay at during a trip to Kiawah Island is Andell Inn by Marriott Bonvoy. What I loved about staying at Andell Inn is that it is a luxury, boutique hotel located right in the heart of Freshfields Village. We were able to easily walk to all the shops and restaurants in town! It’s also in a close driving distance to the Kiawah Island Beach Club, golf courses and more.

During our stay at Andell Inn, Caitlin and I got our own separate rooms and we both stayed in the One Bedroom King Suite that included a full kitchen and dining area, living room, spacious work space, a queen sleeper sofa and more. The bedroom also had a king size bed and bathroom with a separate vanity. There was also an HDTV in each room.

In addition to the One Bedroom King Suite, you can also stay in one of the Queen Guest Rooms, King Studio Apartments, Two Bedroom Suites and the Presidential Suite.

The Andell Inn on John's Island

I loved the décor throughout Andell Inn and I also enjoyed the continental breakfast in the morning that included free mimosas. Plus, the wrap around porch and outdoor pool area was nice to experience on a beautiful warm day! What I also loved about staying at Andell Inn on Kiawah is that the hotel has live music on certain evenings.

Visit all the Best Restaurants in Freshfields Village:

A restaurant in Freshfields Village, South Carolina

One of my personal favorite things to do on Kiawah Island that I know you’ll love as well is to enjoy all the best restaurants in Freshfields Village. You can savor everything from fresh Lowcountry seafood to Mexican cuisine.

Below are some great restaurants that you cannot exclude from your Kiawah Island vacation itinerary:

Vincent's Drugstore & Soda Fountain in Freshfields Village

Café Eugenia: A great spot to enjoy a hearty and healthy lunch is at Café Eugenia. From the salads to breakfast food, everything at Café Eugenia is locally sourced and seasonal! In addition to great food, you can also have wine at this lovely café.

When we had lunch at Café Eugenia, both Caitlin and I savored the Mediterranean veggie sandwich that included roasted vegetables, fresh mozzarella and arugula. I also had a jalapeno berry kombucha with my meal and savored a tahini butterscotch bar for dessert.

A healthy lunch at Cafe Eugenia in Freshfields Village.
A hearty meal from Cafe Eugenia on Kiawah Island.

Java Java: There is nothing like having fresh coffee and donuts during a beach vacation. Growing up going to the Jersey Shore, my family would always get fresh donuts and pastries on Sunday mornings. It always went so well with coffee! One of the best places to enjoy breakfast in Freshfield Village, during a Kiawah Island trip, is at Java Java.

This independently owned coffee shop is locally sourced from King Bean Coffee Roasters in Charleston. You can also savor breakfast sandwiches, different toasts, donuts, muffins and more. During our morning at Java Java, Caitlin and I split a vanilla frosted donut with rainbow sprinkles and I had an oat milk white mocha with the almond butter toast. Caitlin enjoyed the iced oat milk latte and green smoothie with a breakfast sandwich.

Everything was delicious and what’s awesome about this coffee shop is that everything is prepared as takeaways!

Breakfast from Java Java in Freshfields Village

Hege’s Restaurant: One of the best places to enjoy dinner in Freshfields Village is at Hege‘s. It is a casual and welcoming French bistro where you can savor fresh, seasonal dishes.

During our time at Hege‘s, we first started our dinner with some tasty cocktails. I had the Garden Spritz and Caitlin got the spicy pineapple margarita. We then savored local oysters, crab cakes, stuffed shrimp and grits and a French salad as appetizers. Everything was incredible!

Our main meals were even more mouthwatering! I had the special, which was halibut with Asian stir fry and Caitlin enjoyed the lobster tails. We also shared the profiteroles, which is a French cream puff that was garnished with chocolate sauce. No matter where you choose to eat in Freshfields Village you won’t be disappointed, but the dinner I had at Hege’s was one of my favorites!

Appetizers from Hege's in Freshfields Village
Enjoying a halibut meal at Hege's - one of the best things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Profiteroles from Hege's Restaurant in Freshfields Village

FortyEight Wine Bar & Kitchen: If you’re a wine lover and are looking for the best things to do on Kiawah Island, I recommend enjoying dinner and drinks at FortyEight Wine Bar & Kitchen. This fun spot offers 48 different wines by the glass every day as well as 48 craft beers and 48 food items.

I love the concept of FortyEight Wine Bar. When you make a reservation at this spot, which is encouraged, you’ll be given a WineStation SmartCard. From there, diners can select from three wine tasting sizes – 1oz., 3oz. or 6oz. All you do is scan your card! (You will be charged by how much wine you get.) There are wines from every major varietal and wine region of the world at FortyEight Wine Bar.

In addition to the wine, the food served at FortyEight Wine Bar is also delicious! We started our dinner with a charcuterie board to go along with our wine. From there, I had the famous crab cakes that FortyEight Wine Bar specializes in. Caitlin enjoyed the swordfish special. For dessert, we had key lime pie, chocolate truffles and champagne. Everything was delicious!

A charcuterie board and wine from FortyEight Wine Bar & Kitchen on Kiawah Island
Enjoying delicious seafood at FortyEight Wine Bar in Freshfields Village
Dessert from FortyEight Wine Bar in South Carolina

Cantina 76: A warm weather trip is not complete without tacos and margaritas! Cantina 76 is an awesome Mexican restaurant and bar that provides a fun experience for all.

Caitlin and I ate at Cantina 76 for lunch on our last day. We enjoyed the spicy margaritas and chips that came with salsa, guacamole and queso. For our main meals, we both got the three taco option. I savored the fish tacos, chicken teriyaki tacos and Peruvian shrimp tacos. Caitlin had the veggie tacos, fish tacos and blackened shrimp tacos. Everything was awesome!

Tacos from Cantina 76 in Freshfields Village, Kiawah Island

Fuji Sushi Bar & Grill: If you’re craving Asian food during your time in Kiawah Island, I recommend eating at Fuji in Freshfields Village.

We visited this wonderful Japanese restaurant on our last evening and everything was tasty! We ate some udon and sushi rolls, which hit the spot! You can also find other Fuji Sushi locations in the Charleston area.

A Japanese dinner in Freshfields Village

Shop around Freshfields Village:

One of the top things to do in Kiawah Island is to go shopping in Freshfields Village. This lovely downtown area is Kiawah Island’s stunning, open-air shopping village that provides a relaxing, Lowcountry setting.

A woman shopping in Freshfields Village - best things to do on Kiawah Island, SC

With more than 30 shops, you can find everything from high-end designer stores to pet shops in Freshfields Village. Some great stores to shop at in Freshfields Village are Bluemercury, Lilly Pulitzer, Lululemon, Vincent’s Drugstore & Soda Fountain and Vineyard Vines to name a few.

Freshfields Village also has great events, live music, farmers markets and fun pop-ups!

Relax at Urban Nirvana:

A luxury trip to Kiawah Island is not complete without treating yourself to a wonderful spa day. One of the best things to do on Kiawah Island, SC is to enjoy a massage, facial or other wellness service by expert massage therapists and estheticians at Urban Nirvana.

During our girl’s trip to Kiawah Island, Caitlin enjoyed a relaxing massage while I got a classic facial. My facial was well-needed and left my skin glowing, looking healthy and feeling smooth. The esthetician used a lot of natural and wonderful serums, scrubs, face masks and oils.

You can find other Urban Nirvana locations in the Charleston area.

Savor a Fancy Dinner at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island:

The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island

Another great spot to visit on Kiawah Island, that shouldn’t be excluded from your itinerary, is a visit to The Sanctuary, which is a luxury oceanfront hotel.

One thing to note is that safety is one of the top priorities on Kiawah Island and you will need to obtain a pass to get through the gates and onto the actual island where The Sanctuary, Kiawah Island Beach Club and Marsh House are situated. When you have a reservation at Jasmine Porch, which is the restaurant at The Sanctuary, you will be able to get through security when you show them your confirmation. (You’ll also be allowed to enter the security gates at Kiawah if you rent a home on the island.)

Visiting The Sanctuary - One of the best things to do on Kiawah Island

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort has its own beach and the hotel itself overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the perfect spot to be in the evening!

A visit to this 5-star resort is one of the most romantic things to do in Kiawah Island during a vacation to the Lowcountry. It offers more than a dozen restaurants, cafés and bars and there is also an indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center, shops and a chapel for a destination wedding ceremony.

She crab bisque from Jasmine Porch on Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Enjoying dinner at Jasmine Porch - top things to do on Kiawah Island
A brownie sundae from Jasmine Porch in Kiawah

During our first evening on Kiawah Island, Caitlin and I enjoyed a lovely dinner at Jasmine Porch, which features seasonal, Lowcountry cuisine. For dinner, I had she crab bisque as an appetizer and pan seared scallops with she crab pancetta, oyster mushrooms and green beans for my main meal. For dessert, Caitlin and I shared the brownie sundae. It was my favorite meal on the trip!

Take a Tennis Lesson at the Kiawah Island Sports Pavilion:

A fun activity to enjoy on Kiawah Island is a tennis lesson. Now, I did play tennis for one year in elementary school, so I am a little familiar with the sport, but taking a lesson as an adult at the beautiful Kiawah Island Sports Pavilion is one of the best things to do during a vacation in this area.

Our lesson was comprised of us learning from a professional tennis player. We were taught the basics of tennis, how to properly position our body, swing and serve. Both Caitlin and I had a blast and cannot wait to do it again!

Admire the Views at Kiawah’s Marsh House Pool:

A woman at the infinity pool at the Marsh House on Kiawah Island

The most breathtaking place on Kiawah Island that you must enjoy during a South Carolina vacation is the Marsh House. Located along a stretch of beautiful marshland, Marsh House allows Kiawah Island members and select guests, with a pass, to enjoy an incredible infinity pool.

At the Marsh House on Kiawah Island, you can enjoy stunning views as if you are in the middle of an African Savanna. In addition to the pool, there is also a grill, lounge, fireplace and bar. It is a wonderful location to spend time at on a vacation with friends and family.

Enjoy a Beach Day at Kiawah Island Beach Club:

A happy woman enjoying a beach day at Kiawah Island Beach Club

For those craving a day of sun, sand and relaxation, one of the ultimate things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina is to enjoy the Kiawah Island Beach Club. This beach club is beautiful and allows members and select guests, with a pass, to enjoy the beach, two pools and hot tub, restaurant, bar and more.

This exquisite beach club is perfect for all to enjoy! Caitlin and I loved being able to order food and drinks at our lounge chairs. When the tide is low, the beach is wide, making it perfect for a lovely walk along the scenic coastline. I also loved the Beach Club’s, rosé, spicy margarita and shrimp po boy!

Enjoying a day at Kiawah Island Beach Club - best things to do.

What I also enjoyed about spending the day at Kiawah Island Beach Club is that you can also enjoy food and drink service by the pool and you can also get a lounge chair on the lawn, that overlooks the beautiful Atlantic!

You also don’t have to leave the Beach Club early for dinner because there is a restaurant onsite where you can savor mouthwatering Lowcountry dishes.

Bike Ride around Kiawah Island, South Carolina:

Bike riding on Kiawah Island - one of the best things to do

Another one of the most fun and adventurous things to do on Kiawah Island in South Carolina is to rent a bike for a day or two and enjoy all the beauty surrounding the area.

Caitlin and I rented bikes from Seacoast Sports and Outfitters and rode along the different bike paths on the island as well as around the golf course and through various residential communities! I loved admiring all the beautiful homes and nature!

Bike riding around Kiawah Island is like being in a Spanish moss wonderland and we also got to see a few alligators along the journey! (It’s important to always be cautious of gators and try to stay away from them if you spot one.)

It costs $25 USD to rent an adult and children’s bicycle for the day. There is a $5 USD charge for each additional day you choose to keep the bike. You can also rent an adult bicycle with a child trailer for $50 USD. It will cost an additional $10 USD per day.

Go Frosé Tasting:

A woman enjoying rosé at The Co-op in South Carolina

A fun spot to enjoy a refreshing beverage during a vacation on Kiawah Island is at The Co-op in Freshfields Village. At this adorable spot, you can sip different flavors of frosé, enjoy delicious brunch and lunch foods, plus more.

If you’re a rosé lover, or better yet, a frosé connoisseur, then The Co-op is the perfect place to do a tasting! Not only is it a perfect spot to visit during a girl’s trip to Kiawah Island, it is also great for a 21+ birthday celebration, bachelorette weekend and more. Caitlin and I had a blast at The Co-op! My favorite frosé flavor was the cucumber watermelon.

You can also find a Co-op in downtown Charleston, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms, South Carolina.

Make Your Own Candle at Palmetto Scent Studio:

Making candles at Palmetto Scent Studio - best things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina

If you want to know what to do on Kiawah Island on a rainy day, I highly recommend visiting Palmetto Scent Studio where you can create your own, personalized candle by choosing from over 90 different scents.

What I loved about visiting Palmetto Scent Studio is that the staff is super friendly and will help you narrow down three scents to blend into your very own custom-scent candle. You also can design your own label! There are plenty of ways to express your creativity at Palmetto Scent Studio.

Not only is Palmetto Scent Studio a great place to visit during a vacation on Kiawah Island, it’s also a nice spot for a couple to create candles for their upcoming wedding. This store is a great way to build your business and brand as you can also launch your own line of candles.

A candle made in Kiawah Island

During our candle making session, I chose the fragrances sea foam, Spanish moss and balsam fir. I then named my candle Lowcountry Spring since the smell reminded me of my first trip to Kiawah Island.

Optional: Do a day trip to Charleston
Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina

Since Kiawah Island is located less than hour from the charming city of Charleston, I suggest doing a day trip to the Holy City. If you want to add a few days onto your trip, I recommend following this Charleston long weekend itinerary.

Below is a list of the best things to do in Charleston, South Carolina during a day trip:


A woman enjoying a day at the Marsh House on Kiawah Island

I hope you all enjoyed discovering all the best things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NC State Capital: Raleigh, Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Kiawah Island Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on July 2, 2022 at 11:15 am

    I really enjoyed reading about this beautiful island Kiawah in SC. I am definitely putting this on my bucketist to visit. This may be another potential area for dad and I to retire. Looks so beautiful and so much to do. Enjoyed all the stunning photos ~ awesome blog/guide. Love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo ♥️⚘️

    • Taylor Deer on July 5, 2022 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you mom! It’s a really beautiful area. Love you too!

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Taylor-Kiawah-Island1

A woman enjoying a vacation on Kiawah Island, South Carolina

One of the top things to do this year is to visit a peaceful, stunning and memorable destination like Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Located less than an hour outside the charming Southern city of Charleston, Kiawah Island is a renowned golf resort that consists of 10 miles of beautiful oceanfront beach, pristine marshlands, incredible hotels and resorts as well as renowned restaurants.

The 2021 PGA Championship Golf Resort at Kiawah Island

From shopping, to Championship golf courses, Kiawah Island does not disappoint in terms of everything it offers. In fact, there is something for everyone to enjoy during a vacation to this stunning area in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The name Kiawah, which is pronounced as kee-a-wah is derived from the Native Americans who lived in the area during 1600s. The island is where they hunted and fished. Unfortunately, European diseases killed off a lot of the indigenous people who resided on Kiawah Island.

Two women enjoying the best things to do on Kiawah Island, SC

During May 2022, I did a fun girl’s trip with Caitlin of My Darling Passport to Kiawah Island, South Carolina. We stayed four nights at the luxurious Andell Inn, which is situated in the charming Freshfields Village, and the two of us had fun relaxing at the pool and beach on Kiawah Island, enjoying the dining scene and exploring the area.

Views of the marshlands at Kiawah Island.

Kiawah Island is an exclusive area in South Carolina’s Lowcountry and it’s the perfect destination to visit for a family vacation, couple’s getaway, bachelor/bachelorette party, girl’s/guy’s trip and more. In this article, discover over 11 things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. (This trip was a partnership between Caitlin and Freshfields Village. I was invited as Caitlin’s guest.)


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

11 Things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Traveling to Experience Kiawah Island Activities:

A happy woman enjoying a South Carolina vacation.

Getting to Kiawah Island can be done by flying into Charleston International Airport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner!

It is important to note that Kiawah Island is around 45 minutes south of Charleston and you will need transportation to get you to the island golf resort, from the airport. (It is also two hours north of Hilton Head.) Unless you are stopping at Kiawah Island on a USA road trip, you’ll need to have a vehicle to get around, since everything is spread out in the area. It is best to rent a car if you want to experience all of the most memorable Kiawah Island attractions.

A sign in Freshfields Village, South Carolina

Another great way to get around Kiawah Island is through bike riding. I talk more about where you can rent a bike below, but some of the best spots that offer walk up services are The West Beach Bike Shop and The Sanctuary Bike Pavilion.

When you’re in Freshfields Village, which is considered the “downtown” area of Kiawah Island, it is best to get around by walking. Please note that even though Freshfields Village is part of Kiawah Island, it is physically on Johns Island.

(Click here if you are planning to road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.)

Things to do on Kiawah Island in May:

A woman enjoying an evening at The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah, Island.

A trip to South Carolina’s Lowcountry is not complete without experiencing all the best things to do in Kiawah from candle making to enjoying a fancy dinner. Kiawah Island is also where the 2021 PGA Championship was hosted, so if you’re a golfer, you’ll be in heaven!

Caitlin and I visited Kiawah Island in May and from our experience, I believe it is the best time to visit the area. Below is what to do at this beautiful destination:

Stay at Andell Inn at Kiawah Island, SC:

The Andell Inn at Freshfields Village.

One of the best places to stay at during a trip to Kiawah Island is Andell Inn by Marriott Bonvoy. What I loved about staying at Andell Inn is that it is a luxury, boutique hotel located right in the heart of Freshfields Village. We were able to easily walk to all the shops and restaurants in town! It’s also in a close driving distance to the Kiawah Island Beach Club, golf courses and more.

During our stay at Andell Inn, Caitlin and I got our own separate rooms and we both stayed in the One Bedroom King Suite that included a full kitchen and dining area, living room, spacious work space, a queen sleeper sofa and more. The bedroom also had a king size bed and bathroom with a separate vanity. There was also an HDTV in each room.

In addition to the One Bedroom King Suite, you can also stay in one of the Queen Guest Rooms, King Studio Apartments, Two Bedroom Suites and the Presidential Suite.

The Andell Inn on John's Island

I loved the décor throughout Andell Inn and I also enjoyed the continental breakfast in the morning that included free mimosas. Plus, the wrap around porch and outdoor pool area was nice to experience on a beautiful warm day! What I also loved about staying at Andell Inn on Kiawah is that the hotel has live music on certain evenings.

Visit all the Best Restaurants in Freshfields Village:

A restaurant in Freshfields Village, South Carolina

One of my personal favorite things to do on Kiawah Island that I know you’ll love as well is to enjoy all the best restaurants in Freshfields Village. You can savor everything from fresh Lowcountry seafood to Mexican cuisine.

Below are some great restaurants that you cannot exclude from your Kiawah Island vacation itinerary:

Vincent's Drugstore & Soda Fountain in Freshfields Village

Café Eugenia: A great spot to enjoy a hearty and healthy lunch is at Café Eugenia. From the salads to breakfast food, everything at Café Eugenia is locally sourced and seasonal! In addition to great food, you can also have wine at this lovely café.

When we had lunch at Café Eugenia, both Caitlin and I savored the Mediterranean veggie sandwich that included roasted vegetables, fresh mozzarella and arugula. I also had a jalapeno berry kombucha with my meal and savored a tahini butterscotch bar for dessert.

A healthy lunch at Cafe Eugenia in Freshfields Village.
A hearty meal from Cafe Eugenia on Kiawah Island.

Java Java: There is nothing like having fresh coffee and donuts during a beach vacation. Growing up going to the Jersey Shore, my family would always get fresh donuts and pastries on Sunday mornings. It always went so well with coffee! One of the best places to enjoy breakfast in Freshfield Village, during a Kiawah Island trip, is at Java Java.

This independently owned coffee shop is locally sourced from King Bean Coffee Roasters in Charleston. You can also savor breakfast sandwiches, different toasts, donuts, muffins and more. During our morning at Java Java, Caitlin and I split a vanilla frosted donut with rainbow sprinkles and I had an oat milk white mocha with the almond butter toast. Caitlin enjoyed the iced oat milk latte and green smoothie with a breakfast sandwich.

Everything was delicious and what’s awesome about this coffee shop is that everything is prepared as takeaways!

Breakfast from Java Java in Freshfields Village

Hege’s Restaurant: One of the best places to enjoy dinner in Freshfields Village is at Hege‘s. It is a casual and welcoming French bistro where you can savor fresh, seasonal dishes.

During our time at Hege‘s, we first started our dinner with some tasty cocktails. I had the Garden Spritz and Caitlin got the spicy pineapple margarita. We then savored local oysters, crab cakes, stuffed shrimp and grits and a French salad as appetizers. Everything was incredible!

Our main meals were even more mouthwatering! I had the special, which was halibut with Asian stir fry and Caitlin enjoyed the lobster tails. We also shared the profiteroles, which is a French cream puff that was garnished with chocolate sauce. No matter where you choose to eat in Freshfields Village you won’t be disappointed, but the dinner I had at Hege’s was one of my favorites!

Appetizers from Hege's in Freshfields Village
Enjoying a halibut meal at Hege's - one of the best things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Profiteroles from Hege's Restaurant in Freshfields Village

FortyEight Wine Bar & Kitchen: If you’re a wine lover and are looking for the best things to do on Kiawah Island, I recommend enjoying dinner and drinks at FortyEight Wine Bar & Kitchen. This fun spot offers 48 different wines by the glass every day as well as 48 craft beers and 48 food items.

I love the concept of FortyEight Wine Bar. When you make a reservation at this spot, which is encouraged, you’ll be given a WineStation SmartCard. From there, diners can select from three wine tasting sizes – 1oz., 3oz. or 6oz. All you do is scan your card! (You will be charged by how much wine you get.) There are wines from every major varietal and wine region of the world at FortyEight Wine Bar.

In addition to the wine, the food served at FortyEight Wine Bar is also delicious! We started our dinner with a charcuterie board to go along with our wine. From there, I had the famous crab cakes that FortyEight Wine Bar specializes in. Caitlin enjoyed the swordfish special. For dessert, we had key lime pie, chocolate truffles and champagne. Everything was delicious!

A charcuterie board and wine from FortyEight Wine Bar & Kitchen on Kiawah Island
Enjoying delicious seafood at FortyEight Wine Bar in Freshfields Village
Dessert from FortyEight Wine Bar in South Carolina

Cantina 76: A warm weather trip is not complete without tacos and margaritas! Cantina 76 is an awesome Mexican restaurant and bar that provides a fun experience for all.

Caitlin and I ate at Cantina 76 for lunch on our last day. We enjoyed the spicy margaritas and chips that came with salsa, guacamole and queso. For our main meals, we both got the three taco option. I savored the fish tacos, chicken teriyaki tacos and Peruvian shrimp tacos. Caitlin had the veggie tacos, fish tacos and blackened shrimp tacos. Everything was awesome!

Tacos from Cantina 76 in Freshfields Village, Kiawah Island

Fuji Sushi Bar & Grill: If you’re craving Asian food during your time in Kiawah Island, I recommend eating at Fuji in Freshfields Village.

We visited this wonderful Japanese restaurant on our last evening and everything was tasty! We ate some udon and sushi rolls, which hit the spot! You can also find other Fuji Sushi locations in the Charleston area.

A Japanese dinner in Freshfields Village

Shop around Freshfields Village:

One of the top things to do in Kiawah Island is to go shopping in Freshfields Village. This lovely downtown area is Kiawah Island’s stunning, open-air shopping village that provides a relaxing, Lowcountry setting.

A woman shopping in Freshfields Village - best things to do on Kiawah Island, SC

With more than 30 shops, you can find everything from high-end designer stores to pet shops in Freshfields Village. Some great stores to shop at in Freshfields Village are Bluemercury, Lilly Pulitzer, Lululemon, Vincent’s Drugstore & Soda Fountain and Vineyard Vines to name a few.

Freshfields Village also has great events, live music, farmers markets and fun pop-ups!

Relax at Urban Nirvana:

A luxury trip to Kiawah Island is not complete without treating yourself to a wonderful spa day. One of the best things to do on Kiawah Island, SC is to enjoy a massage, facial or other wellness service by expert massage therapists and estheticians at Urban Nirvana.

During our girl’s trip to Kiawah Island, Caitlin enjoyed a relaxing massage while I got a classic facial. My facial was well-needed and left my skin glowing, looking healthy and feeling smooth. The esthetician used a lot of natural and wonderful serums, scrubs, face masks and oils.

You can find other Urban Nirvana locations in the Charleston area.

Savor a Fancy Dinner at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island:

The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island

Another great spot to visit on Kiawah Island, that shouldn’t be excluded from your itinerary, is a visit to The Sanctuary, which is a luxury oceanfront hotel.

One thing to note is that safety is one of the top priorities on Kiawah Island and you will need to obtain a pass to get through the gates and onto the actual island where The Sanctuary, Kiawah Island Beach Club and Marsh House are situated. When you have a reservation at Jasmine Porch, which is the restaurant at The Sanctuary, you will be able to get through security when you show them your confirmation. (You’ll also be allowed to enter the security gates at Kiawah if you rent a home on the island.)

Visiting The Sanctuary - One of the best things to do on Kiawah Island

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort has its own beach and the hotel itself overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the perfect spot to be in the evening!

A visit to this 5-star resort is one of the most romantic things to do in Kiawah Island during a vacation to the Lowcountry. It offers more than a dozen restaurants, cafés and bars and there is also an indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center, shops and a chapel for a destination wedding ceremony.

She crab bisque from Jasmine Porch on Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Enjoying dinner at Jasmine Porch - top things to do on Kiawah Island
A brownie sundae from Jasmine Porch in Kiawah

During our first evening on Kiawah Island, Caitlin and I enjoyed a lovely dinner at Jasmine Porch, which features seasonal, Lowcountry cuisine. For dinner, I had she crab bisque as an appetizer and pan seared scallops with she crab pancetta, oyster mushrooms and green beans for my main meal. For dessert, Caitlin and I shared the brownie sundae. It was my favorite meal on the trip!

Take a Tennis Lesson at the Kiawah Island Sports Pavilion:

A fun activity to enjoy on Kiawah Island is a tennis lesson. Now, I did play tennis for one year in elementary school, so I am a little familiar with the sport, but taking a lesson as an adult at the beautiful Kiawah Island Sports Pavilion is one of the best things to do during a vacation in this area.

Our lesson was comprised of us learning from a professional tennis player. We were taught the basics of tennis, how to properly position our body, swing and serve. Both Caitlin and I had a blast and cannot wait to do it again!

Admire the Views at Kiawah’s Marsh House Pool:

A woman at the infinity pool at the Marsh House on Kiawah Island

The most breathtaking place on Kiawah Island that you must enjoy during a South Carolina vacation is the Marsh House. Located along a stretch of beautiful marshland, Marsh House allows Kiawah Island members and select guests, with a pass, to enjoy an incredible infinity pool.

At the Marsh House on Kiawah Island, you can enjoy stunning views as if you are in the middle of an African Savanna. In addition to the pool, there is also a grill, lounge, fireplace and bar. It is a wonderful location to spend time at on a vacation with friends and family.

Enjoy a Beach Day at Kiawah Island Beach Club:

A happy woman enjoying a beach day at Kiawah Island Beach Club

For those craving a day of sun, sand and relaxation, one of the ultimate things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina is to enjoy the Kiawah Island Beach Club. This beach club is beautiful and allows members and select guests, with a pass, to enjoy the beach, two pools and hot tub, restaurant, bar and more.

This exquisite beach club is perfect for all to enjoy! Caitlin and I loved being able to order food and drinks at our lounge chairs. When the tide is low, the beach is wide, making it perfect for a lovely walk along the scenic coastline. I also loved the Beach Club’s, rosé, spicy margarita and shrimp po boy!

Enjoying a day at Kiawah Island Beach Club - best things to do.

What I also enjoyed about spending the day at Kiawah Island Beach Club is that you can also enjoy food and drink service by the pool and you can also get a lounge chair on the lawn, that overlooks the beautiful Atlantic!

You also don’t have to leave the Beach Club early for dinner because there is a restaurant onsite where you can savor mouthwatering Lowcountry dishes.

Bike Ride around Kiawah Island, South Carolina:

Bike riding on Kiawah Island - one of the best things to do

Another one of the most fun and adventurous things to do on Kiawah Island in South Carolina is to rent a bike for a day or two and enjoy all the beauty surrounding the area.

Caitlin and I rented bikes from Seacoast Sports and Outfitters and rode along the different bike paths on the island as well as around the golf course and through various residential communities! I loved admiring all the beautiful homes and nature!

Bike riding around Kiawah Island is like being in a Spanish moss wonderland and we also got to see a few alligators along the journey! (It’s important to always be cautious of gators and try to stay away from them if you spot one.)

It costs $25 USD to rent an adult and children’s bicycle for the day. There is a $5 USD charge for each additional day you choose to keep the bike. You can also rent an adult bicycle with a child trailer for $50 USD. It will cost an additional $10 USD per day.

Go Frosé Tasting:

A woman enjoying rosé at The Co-op in South Carolina

A fun spot to enjoy a refreshing beverage during a vacation on Kiawah Island is at The Co-op in Freshfields Village. At this adorable spot, you can sip different flavors of frosé, enjoy delicious brunch and lunch foods, plus more.

If you’re a rosé lover, or better yet, a frosé connoisseur, then The Co-op is the perfect place to do a tasting! Not only is it a perfect spot to visit during a girl’s trip to Kiawah Island, it is also great for a 21+ birthday celebration, bachelorette weekend and more. Caitlin and I had a blast at The Co-op! My favorite frosé flavor was the cucumber watermelon.

You can also find a Co-op in downtown Charleston, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms, South Carolina.

Make Your Own Candle at Palmetto Scent Studio:

Making candles at Palmetto Scent Studio - best things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina

If you want to know what to do on Kiawah Island on a rainy day, I highly recommend visiting Palmetto Scent Studio where you can create your own, personalized candle by choosing from over 90 different scents.

What I loved about visiting Palmetto Scent Studio is that the staff is super friendly and will help you narrow down three scents to blend into your very own custom-scent candle. You also can design your own label! There are plenty of ways to express your creativity at Palmetto Scent Studio.

Not only is Palmetto Scent Studio a great place to visit during a vacation on Kiawah Island, it’s also a nice spot for a couple to create candles for their upcoming wedding. This store is a great way to build your business and brand as you can also launch your own line of candles.

A candle made in Kiawah Island

During our candle making session, I chose the fragrances sea foam, Spanish moss and balsam fir. I then named my candle Lowcountry Spring since the smell reminded me of my first trip to Kiawah Island.

Optional: Do a day trip to Charleston
Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina

Since Kiawah Island is located less than hour from the charming city of Charleston, I suggest doing a day trip to the Holy City. If you want to add a few days onto your trip, I recommend following this Charleston long weekend itinerary.

Below is a list of the best things to do in Charleston, South Carolina during a day trip:


A woman enjoying a day at the Marsh House on Kiawah Island

I hope you all enjoyed discovering all the best things to do on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NC State Capital: Raleigh, Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Kiawah Island Look:

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on July 2, 2022 at 11:15 am

    I really enjoyed reading about this beautiful island Kiawah in SC. I am definitely putting this on my bucketist to visit. This may be another potential area for dad and I to retire. Looks so beautiful and so much to do. Enjoyed all the stunning photos ~ awesome blog/guide. Love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo ♥️⚘️

    • Taylor Deer on July 5, 2022 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you mom! It’s a really beautiful area. Love you too!

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