Voted #1 Island by Condé Nast Traveler Readers Readers’ Choice Awards Rank Kiawah Island #1 in U.S.; #2 in the World

Kiawah Island Marsh

Every year, Condé Nast Traveler reaches out to its savvy readers to determine the top cities, islands, hotels, resorts and cruise lines in the world. In its 2014 survey, the publication was flooded with more than one million votes.

Conde Nast Traveler AwardNot for the first time, Charleston, South Carolina reigned as the #1 City in the United States and—a mere shell’s throw away—is Kiawah Island, Condé Nast’s #2 Island in the World (placing it in the #1 position for North America). Let’s take an in-depth look at this coastal destination that has inspired so many…

Key Facts | Kiawah Island is accessible from the South Carolina mainland via causeway. It is 10 miles long and just 1.5 miles at its widest point—with 30 miles of paved paths and 10 miles of beach. The weather is pleasant year-round with an average high temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 85 in the summer.

A Natural Perspective | Kiawah is a refreshingly unspoiled barrier island boasting a lush maritime forest, tidal creeks, freshwater ponds, peaceful marshes, a scenic river and, of course, the powerful Atlantic Ocean. In addition to a variety of verdant greenery and vibrant flora, there are 18 species of mammals, more than 30 species of reptiles and 300 species of birds that call the island home. From the beginning, the island has been responsibly and sustainably developed, guided by a forward-thinking master plan. In fact, the island’s dense foliage and forest habitat looks much the same today as it did centuries ago.

Island Recreation | Within these serene surroundings, you will still find so much to do to fill your blissful days on Kiawah. Exploration on foot, by bike or via kayak is always popular. (You can even bike right on the beach’s hard-packed sand!) Getting out on the water is always fun too—whether you’re paddle boarding, canoeing, boating, boogie boarding or even fishing. Athletes will love Kiawah’s award-winning facilities as well—including top-notch tennis complexes and championship golf courses. In fact, The Ocean Course is slated to host the PGA Championship for the second time in 2021.

Living on Kiawah | People come from all around the world to enjoy the Kiawah lifestyle, marked by a true celebration of the island’s natural surroundings, a vast array of recreational activities for all ages and a nearly endless roster of luxurious amenities. If Kiawah sounds like the right fit for your family, you can find your dream vacation home now—whether that’s a cozy cottage, versatile villa, luxury estate or scenic building site—orcontact one of Kiawah Island Real Estate’s trusted advisors today.


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Area naturalists discuss Kiawah wildlife.
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