Wedged between swamps that edge metro Charleston and the North Edisto River, the oceanfront development of Kiawah Island, South Carolina, has some of the best golf courses north of Florida.
The private Kiawah Island Golf Resort boasts five quality courses, including the Ocean Course (host of the 1991 Ryder Cup and two World Cup of Golf events). Its holes were designed by legends such as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Pete Dye and Tom Fazio.
Kiawah Island was under private development until 1988. It is now a town, though the resort company has a lock on leasing villas, houses, and golf and amenity packages. It remains costly and thereby rather exclusive.
The island includes a 10-mi/16-km beach, a nature center, pool and tennis complexes, bicycling, more than 30 mi/48 km of hiking trails, kayaking and canoeing programs.
The Sanctuary, the first hotel on the island, offers 255 rooms, 90% with ocean views. The hotel, resort and spa, which includes two oceanfront restaurants, is one of the most expensive luxury developments built in South Carolina.
Kiawah Island is located 25 mi/40 km southwest of Charleston.
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