We all love beautiful Charleston sunsets, but there’s something special about watching a Charleston sunrise that you can’t get from the Lowcountry golden hour. Watching the sunrise can be ambitious even for the earliest risers, but it gives you a moment of peace and adds a positive outlook to your day before beginning your daily activities. To make the most of your early morning adventure, you will want to get to your location 5-10 minutes before the actual sunrise time. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite places to explore and watch the sunrise in Charleston this summer.
Folly Beach. The closest beach to downtown Charleston, Folly Beach embraces the laid-back surfing lifestyle that welcomes everyone to come as you are. Most places along Folly Beach are prime spots for watching the sun come up, but you will get an excellent view from the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier. With tourists flooding from all over the world, you can still get some alone time on the beach, and a parking spot, when you arrive before the sun. It’s also a great opportunity to be the first in line to claim a beach spot for the day.
Breach Inlet. Situated between Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island sits one of Charleston’s best kept secrets. Breach Inlet is filled with tidal marshes, picture-perfect views and provides an amazing opportunity to watch for dolphins, stroll along the water’s edge and watch the golden sun rise over the water. With an attached parking lot, this makes the perfect place to access quickly to catch the sunrise. It’s also the site of a 1776 American Revolution battle, which you can read about while you’re there.
Sullivan’s Island. Sullivan’s Island beach is a relaxing spot to take in the sunrise and has less of a crowd than other beaches in the area, giving you plenty of privacy to take in the view. There’s nothing like the Sullivan’s Island light house with views of the rising sun behind it and it makes for beautiful photos. After brushing the sand off your feet, head to the Co-Op to enjoy coffee and a delicious breakfast sandwich.
Pitt Street Bridge. The Pitt Street Bridge is located on Pitt Street in the Old Village and was once the only means of crossing the water from Mount Pleasant to nearby beaches. This peaceful hidden gem is a great place to watch the sun come up. There is an excellent view of the Charleston Harbor, downtown Charleston’s church steeple skyline, the Ben Sawyer Bridge and Sullivan’s Island. Put your hammock up between the palm trees, sit on a bench or bring a blanket to lay in the grass and enjoy the fresh ocean air as you watch the sunrise.
Riley Waterfront Park. Waking up before the city comes to life is a great way to experience the Charleston charm before the area becomes crowded. With a prime location overlooking the Charleston Harbor and the Cooper River, and more than 10 acres of room to roam, this waterfront park is a serene and perfectly picturesque destination that will make anyone fall in love with our southern city.
Whether you are just visiting the Holy City or lucky enough to call Charleston home, check one of these sunrise destinations off of your summer bucket list.