You can't go to Kiawah without taking a day trip to Charleston - one of the most beautiful cities in America!
There are many things to do in Charleston, great shopping, restaurants, sight-seeing, etc. I recommend that you end your day in Charleston with a sunset walk along the battery.
There are many beautiful restored plantation homes around Kiawah Island that are fun to tour. Some are expensive - the ones that have been totally restored - but some are more moderately prices. The cheaper tours are of homes that are not completely furnished in the period, but they are still very interesting to see.
If you're staying on Kiawah you should rent a bicycle and bike the trails on the island. They are beautiful! There are sections that are easy to ride for the novice cyclist and other parts that are more challenging.
1 Sanctuary Beach Drive
Good for: Solo
12 Kiawah Beach Dr, Kiawah Island, SC 29455
Good for: Families
2 Beachwalker Dr., Kiawah Island, SC, 29455, USA
Good for: Couples
115A Freshfields Drive, Suite A, Kiawah Island, SC
Good for: Couples
115 Freshfields Drive,Suite A, Kiawah Island, SC,
Good for: Families
2 Great Beach Ctr, Kiawah Island, SC 29455
We don't eat out a lot when we visit Kiawah, though there are many great restaurants. We prefer to stop at a roadside seafood stand and buy some fresh shrimp or crabcakes (the best I've ever eaten!) and take them back to our condo to prepare.
Throughout the summer and early fall, the Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol is up early each morning and hard at work before most visitors to the island have ventured out of their villas yet. This corps of volunteers, mostly local residents, traverse the pristine Kiawah beach in the early morning hours scouting out particular turtle "crawls," or nests, laid by the island's famous Loggerhead turtles. The group monitors all the nests on the beach and calculates which need to be dug and when.
When a turtle crawl is dug, it means that the Turtle Patrol believe the eggs in that nest have hatched. Most baby sea turtles, once hatched, will struggle hard to crawl to the surface, through the layers of heavy sand atop their eggs, and once there, find their way towards the moon to the waters edge where their aquatic lives begin. Their fight to the surface of the crawl is a tough one, and some are too week or too deep down in the sand to make it on their own. That's when the Turtle Patrol comes to save the day!
About 3 days after a crawl hatches, these volunteers dig out sand on top of the eggs in search of survivors that haven't made it out. They then assist these tiny little troopers down to the water to give them a chance at survival. It's an incredible sight to see these tiny little turtles that will one day grow to enormous sizes flap their miniature flippers and take off in the surf.
Visitors to the island are welcome to watch the Turtle Patrol at work, you just have to be up early enough to spot them on the beach (usually around 6 or 7am) wearing their Turtle Patrol t-shirts. The volunteers welcome a chance to teach others about these remarkable creatures, so feel free to ask questions about the Loggerheads and their nesting habits while you're there. Little ones especially will love to see the baby Loggerheads.
Watching the Turtle Patrol in action is a great experience for visitors both young and young at heart. It's a fun and educational way to learn about the beautiful Loggerhead turtles.
Remember - The baby turtles that hatch find their way to the water during the night by heading towards the moon shining over the ocean. When lights are left on along the beach, though, they are easily confused and head the wrong way and the results are often fatal for them. Be sure to follow city ordinances and turn off all lights facing the ocean at night!