The Best Time of Year to Visit Kiawah Island
A Season-by-Season Guide to Visit Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island is a private island that offers both authentic Southern charm and upscale amenities. These elements perfectly come together to create a world-class destination in a league of its own. Visitors seeing the Island for the first time are amazed by the warmth of the locals, the elegant lifestyle, and the natural beauty that seems to be the central factor behind everything the community does.
Not only that, but as a result of the Island’s perfect weather, it makes for a great getaway anytime of the year. As you plan your visit to Kiawah Island, you will notice that with each season comes its own set of unique events and recreational opportunities to partake in. Depending on your preferences, you may choose to visit the Island at one time over another — as compared to other destinations that are only enjoyable one or two seasons per year. Being able to customize your trip in this way is a perk not many other places can offer.
Before you begin planning your visit to Kiawah Island, read our season-by-season guide to see what time of year would be best for you.
Winter on Kiawah Island
December through February is an idyllic time to visit Kiawah Island. With holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s being celebrated, this time of year is ideal for a romantic getaway or a family trip for those needing to get away from harsh winters.
For an unforgettable Christmas your kids will cherish well into adulthood, sign them up for the annual Polar Express event. They can look forward to wearing their pajamas while going on a special ride that takes them to the Night Heron Park. Once there, they can enjoy hot cocoa, dinner, themed crafts, and a showing of the Polar Express.
If you plan on visiting the Island for New Years, ring it in with elegance at the Kiawah Club’s annual New Year’s Eve Bash celebration. Taste from a selection of hors d’oeuvres and champagne while dancing to live music. Then, finish the night by watching a spectacular display of fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean. Or, partake in another Kiawah tradition and celebrate New Year’s at Voysey’s, where they feature a special dinner menu you will never forget.
Anyone with a love for bird watching should prioritize a visit to Kiawah in the wintertime. Unlike the Northern parts of the country, Kiawah’s temperate weather is comfortable enough for birds to stay here the entire season. Many species of birds migrate to the Island from colder areas in search of warmth and food. A few common migratory birds include American Oystercatchers, Bald Eagles, and the Common Goldeneye Duck. You can also keep an eye out for the other types of native wildlife that are still fairly active during this time. One example includes our very own herd of over 500 White-Tailed Deer. Although this species of deer is fairly common in other areas, Kiawah’s population is unique because of their small size that helps them cope with the warmer climate.
Spring on Kiawah Island
On the other hand, consider Kiawah in the Springtime if you wish to visit somewhere warm, rich in history, and surrounded by natural beauty.
While golf is a popular activity year-round, it’s especially popular here in the Spring. March through May are perfect months for playing outdoors as temperatures range from the high 60s to low 80s — perfect golfweather. Choose from five resort golf courses to book your tee time and spend the day playing holes with scenic views. Club Members have access to the Cassique and River Course, the Island’s two private championship-level golf courses. Afterwards, stop by The Ryder Cup Bar that overlooks The Ocean Course and Atlantic sea for a post-round cocktail.
Springtime is also the best season to experience the Island’s native vegetation in full bloom. In early March, the flowers are a sight to behold as they blossom and put on a show. As you walk through the town center or bike along the trail paths, be sure to keep an eye out for the dogwood and magnolia trees in their full glory.
In terms of wildlife, all of the Island’s animals are very active in the spring. Marine mammals like Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins are common to spot in their wild habitat. If you are lucky, you might even get to watch them strand feed with their entire pod. River Otters are another popular animal that live on the banks of the Kiawah River and can be seen throughout the day.
If you have been wanting to plan a fishing trip, there’s no better place than Kiawah in the spring. As the waters begin to warm up, the fish start to become more active. Take a charter or rent a private boat and head out to the water. Popular fish species include redfish, sheepshead, and even inshore sharks! You can also boat out to the man made reefs located several miles from Kiawah’s shore. The reefs are where you can catch flounder, black sea bass, spadefish, and several types of mackerel.
Summer on Kiawah Island
June, July, and August are hot and sunny, and therefore perfect for water activities! Being surrounded by water, the opportunities for a fun summer day are endless when you visit Kiawah Island.
Kiawah Club Members can enjoy a private — and recently renovated — Beach Club with three resort-style pools, a beachside food and beverage service, and an ocean-front bar — the perfect backdrop for post-worthy cocktail photos. Or, gather the family for a sun-filled day at The Sandcastle for access to a private beach, resort-style pools, children’s wading pools, a fitness center, and more. These are just a few of the luxurious amenities that accompany a Kiawah Island Club Membership. Learn more here.
Kiawah also has plenty of summertime spots that are open to the public. Check out the resort’s pools and order drink service, or better yet, stop over at the West Beach Cantina for one of their delicious margaritas.
If the beach sounds more appealing, lay out on the soft white sand at Beachwalker Park. Encourage your kids to search along the shoreline for washed up sand dollars and other seashells. Additionally, if they are up for a little adventure, enroll them in the surfing lessons for an exciting day of surfing right there on the beach.
To get into the swing of summer, go out and see the various festivals and events that celebrate the Island’s opulent lifestyle. The Oyster Roast River Cruise at Mingo Point is a great time for the entire family where you can savor fresh oysters roasted over a fire, along with a traditional Southern barbeque. After dinner, you can hop on a motorboat and take a scenic tour of the Kiawah River.
Did you know, the community’s most precious wildlife is the Loggerhead Sea Turtle? Their nesting season begins in early summer and the community puts in a lot of conservation effort to keep them safe. Keep in mind, summer is also when our American Alligators are highly active as they search for food and a warm spot to lay. So, remember to admire them from a safe distance only!
Fall on Kiawah Island
The fall is ideal for anyone looking to get away from everyday life and enjoy those rare one-of-a-kind experiences. Visit Kiawah from September to October for weather that offers luxuriously warm days and brisk cool nights.
Come to the Island to relax and recharge by getting pampered at The Spa and Salon at The Sanctuary. This world-class spa was rated 5 stars by Forbes Travel Guide and has received many other accolades. Take your restorative experience even further by practicing yoga on the beach for the ultimate relaxation getaway. Additionally, Club Members have access to another private perk — The Sasanqua Spa. Providing a total retreat from the outside world, this spa is where local residents go when looking for rejuvenation.
Fall events are also a fun way to spend the time. One experience to look forward to is the Gourmet and Grapes event. This fine food and wine festival combines local and national culinary talent to raise funds for cancer research.
Lastly, if you’re a fan of photography, book a nature photography tour where you’ll explore remote parts of the island with an experienced naturalist. These guided up-close encounters will give you the opportunity to photograph several species of wildlife as your personal subjects. From birds to marine animals to reptiles and more, you will get to see a variety of animals you would never find back home.
Enhancing Your Year-Round Kiawah Island Experience
As you can see, year-round destinations are one in a million. With so many amenities to be enjoyed every season of the year, it’s easy to see why residents choose to call the Island home. If you’re interested in learning more about what life on Kiawah is like, contact us to speak with one of our Sales Experts. Our team is happy to show what living on Kiawah can offer you season-by-season.