Kiawah Island, S.C.

Kiawah, the 10,000-acre barrier reef island anchored 20 miles south of Charleston, S.C., is revered for its Ocean Course, the moated sand castle built by Pete Dye that hosted the 2012 PGA Championship, but the island is first and foremost a wildlife habitat and sanctuary. The eponymous resort fronts a glorious 10-mile stretch of firm-packed sand where guests can lounge under an umbrella—or beachcomb for sand dollars, moon shells, biscuit clams, and knobbed whelks. Beach toys and games (bocce ball to beach croquet) as well as boards (boogie, skim, surf, and stand-up paddleboards) and ocean kayaks can be rented on this pristine, family-friendly beach. If the Ocean Course is too big a tidal wave challenge-wise, take on one of the resort’s four other courses.

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