Kiawah Island  is a city in Charleston County, South Carolina
From Charleston International Airport (airport code CHS), you will need to drive out to Kiawah Island. You can either:
Chartered flights have access to Charleston Executive Airport (airport code JZI), a small airport located 18 miles from Kiawah Island on neighboring John's Island.
To drive to Kiawah Island:
It is a good idea to have your own transportation although the island does offer a shuttle service. There is an Enterprise car rental at Charleston airport. Visitors can travel by car across the island's well-maintained roads and to nearby locations outside of Kiawah.
While on the island though, bicycles are a popular mode of transportation. 30 miles of paved bike paths and 10 miles of hard-packed sand beaches allow visitors to easily traverse Kiawah Island by bike.
Kiawah is a private gated resort community. It has a 10 mile stretch of beach as well as acres of beautiful marsh and river scenery. Wildlife is abundant on the island. There are literally thousands of alligators, numerous species of birds, deer, bobcats, raccoons, and if you're lucky, you may get to see a loggerhead sea turtle come ashore to lay her eggs.
In addition to the beach, the island is also well known for golf. There are five golf courses on the resort, including the world famous Ocean Course (designed by Pete Dye), site of the 1991 Ryder Cup, 2007 Senior PGA and the 2012 PGA Championship. Additionally, there is Cougar Point (designed by Gary Player), Osprey Point (designed by Tom Fazio, Turtle Point (designed by Jack Nicklaus) and, just off the island, Oak Point (designed by Clyde Johnston) . There is also a 21 acre park and playground called Night Heron Park which offers a soccer field and basketball courts and a large swimming pool. There are also over 30 miles of paved biking trails on the island. You also have two tennis centers (Kiawah Island Golf Resort has been named the No. 1 tennis resort in the world by tennisresortsonline.com and the No. 4 tennis resort in the U.S. by Tennis Magazine (it's been in the top 6 in the U.S. for the past decade or so, including No. 1 a could of years ago) and a workout facility available. Kiawah is very convenient to Charleston which is only about a 40 minute drive from the island. There is a great deal to see and do in the city.
Stroll through the shops at The Sanctuary for personal gifts, art and fashionable clothing and accessories, or browse through the selection of golf apparel at the Signature Shop. The island also features pro shops at each of the five championship golf courses. You will find gifts and clothing at the Staw Market at West Beach as well as beach accessories and apparel at the market at East Beach Town Centre.
Freshfields Village is a new development located at the entrance to Kiawah Island. The Village offers a large, high-end grocery store, a vintage ice cream shop, resort wear shops, a sport and leisure equipment store, along with various boutiques and restaurants. A green in the center of the Village plays hosts to a number of concerts, arts & crafts fairs, boat shows, and other events throughout the year.
Kiawah has no shortage of restaurants nearby. There is a restaurant at the Turtle Point Golf club and the Ocean Course (though they only serve breakfast and lunch). The Freshfields village has a great restaurant, and the Bohicket Marina on neighboring Seabrook Island has several great restaurants which offer spectacular views of Horseshoe Creek. Some of these restaurants can be quite pricey so you may want to make the trip into Charleston for dining.
Here are a few of the highlights on or near Kiawah Island:
The Sanctuary offers several in-hotel dining options. Foremost among these are:
In Freshfields Village, check out:
Just outside Kiawah, try:
The Lobby Bar in The Sanctuary: Rich woods, soft leather couches and views of the Atlantic set the tone for drinks, including beer, wine and an array of cocktails, as well as light fare inside The Sanctuary lobby.
When selecting your Kiawah vacation accommodations, be aware of the following: All villas are individually owned and managed - thus, no two villas look the same on the inside.
Kiawah Island has a newly constructed hotel called the Sanctuary. Rooms at the Sanctuary can be expensive, particularly if you want one with an ocean view. They can be as high as $600-$800 per night. If you're going during the off season, you may be better off renting a private home or villa. You'll usually get a really good deal on one, particularly booking at the last minute. These homes and villas are privately owned and the owners will usually rent through one of several rental agencies on the island. However, when renting through a rental agency other than Kiawah Island Golf and Tennis resort, access to some of the amenities may be limited.
Charleston: Charleston is a beautiful and historic port city located just 27 miles inland from Kiawah Island. Carriage rides, harbor sailboat rides, historic sites, world-class restaurants, and a popular aquarium are just a few of Charleston's highlights.
Plantations: Several nearby plantations offer visitors a glimpse into their long histories and beautiful, expansive grounds. These plantations include: