With its quiet residential neighborhoods and semi-tropical terrain, Sullivan’s Island is a classic South Carolina beachfront community. This small barrier island, located just 10 miles from downtown historical Charleston between Charleston Harbor and Breach Inlet, is a safe place to walk or ride a bike; where neighbors know each other; and the pace of life is slow and easy.
Sullivan’s Island has inspired poets, painters and authors alike for generations. Once dotted with quaint sea cabins, where rich Charleston families would retreat to escape the summer heat, the island received a facelift following Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Sullivans’s Island was submerged during the storm, the town re-emerged sporting a number of magnificent beachfront homes. But much of the old character of the island remains, with restaurants and pubs lining two blocks of popular Middle Street, more than four miles of white sand beaches to tempt swimmers and sunbathers, and long sunny days spent fishing, crabbing and shrimping.
There is no public beach on Sullivan’s Island, but it is accessible by path on every block which leads to the beach. The community boasts an outstanding elementary school for the island’s children, as well as a popular park with tennis courts, a playground, soccer fields and a gazebo.
Like many communities throughout the Lowcountry, Sullivan’s Island enjoys a rich history. Fort Moultrie, located on the south end of the island overlooking the entrance to Charleston Harbor, is the site of a famous Revolutionary War battle in which the Americans used palmetto logs as fortification. British cannonballs sank into the soft wood rather than shattering the structure, while the American cannon fire made its targets on the British ships. South Carolina is known as the Palmetto State in commemoration of this rousing victory.
Near Fort Moultrie stands Sullivan’s Island most distinctive structure. Built in 1963, the Charleston Lighthouse features an unusual triangular shape, with upper black/lower white