If you're like us at City Paper HQ, you've been thinking about summer ever since that freak ice storm shut down the Ravenel Bridge this winter. The minute Jim Cantore and his Walker, Texas Ranger moves showed up, we started gazing out the window dreaming of piña coladas and sun-kissed Saturdays on the beach. In fact, we've been so obsessed we wrote a whole book about it: S3 — Sun, Surf, and Sand. S3 is our guide to the best of what Charleston beaches have to offer, from new eats, like Sullivan's Italian seafood spot Obstinate Daughter, to recreational activities like kite surfing on Isle of Palms to the relaxational. Gamechanger cocktails at Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ on Sullivan's anyone? And to top off your seaside fun, we've also included insider tips for enjoying each beach, whether that means the lowdown on how to avoid a parking ticket or the scoop — emphasis on scoop — on bringing your pup to the shore. Plus, we've got a bunch of great get-out-of-town beach road trips ideas too, for a grand total of nine Lowcountry beaches to choose from. Better get that SPF ready, this summer's gonna be a hot one. —Kinsey Gidick

Gear up for summer in these beach-ready looks
Gear up for summer in these beach-ready looks Suit Yourself

Hit the beach this summer in these great suits from Las Olas and Salty Girls. And don't forget the sunscreen. — Jonathan Boncek


Charleston's best bet for a chill oceanside experience is at Folly Beach
Charleston's best bet for a chill oceanside experience is at Folly Beach Edge of America

Throughout the year, Folly Beach is a tale of two islands sharing space on a six-mile sliver of land. Visit in February and you'll encounter wide open beaches (at low tide, at least) where nobody is likely to utter a word of complaint if you throw a Frisbee for your unleashed dog while sipping a Pluff Mud Porter (although both of those things are still against the law, mind you). — Stratton Lawrence


Isle of Palms offers seven miles of summer fun
Isle of Palms offers seven miles of summer fun From Wild Dunes to the Windjammer

With magazine-worthy beach houses, world-class golf at Wild Dunes Resort, and plenty of beachy activities, Isle of Palms is a great family getaway. This serene, seven-mile stretch of a beach is also a local favorite. — Jennifer Dienst


Sullivan's Island is the Lowcountry's family-friendly beach town
Sullivan's Island is the Lowcountry's family-friendly beach town Oasis by the water

With no public bathrooms, no hotels or B&Bs, no public parking lots, and no garbage bins, you could be forgiven for thinking Sullivan's Island isn't very keen on visitors. — Courtney Davis O'Leary


Don't miss these spots:

Don't miss these spots:

Don't miss these spots:

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