Sunsets in Charleston: Best Places to Watch and Take Photos

Charleston’s waterfront location near multiple rivers and Atlantic Ocean make the city a prime spot for sunset viewing. Piers and islands greet guests with sun-kissed skies and an array of colors. Plus, visitors enjoy some fresh air while waiting for the perfect photo opportunity. If it’s time for a break, here’s where to watch sunsets in Charleston.

Best Places to Watch Sunsets in Charleston, South Carolina

folly pier sunsets charleston

Folly Beach Pier

Folly Beach, a.k.a. The Edge of America, features one of the most popular gathering spots outside Charleston. Folly Beach Pier stretches 1,045 feet into the Atlantic Ocean and has some of the best salt-water fishing in the area. It is also the second-longest pier on the East Coast.

After fishing, wait for the sunset. The pier has a 7,500-square-foot platform perfect for watching the ocean’s horizon. At the pier, have access to other amenities such as restrooms, oceanfront dining and equipment rentals.

For another option, watch the sunset from a private Folly Beach vacation home. Many vacation houses have private patios and screened porches, so everyone can enjoy the sunset in a comfortable setting.

Joe Riley Waterfront Park

While many come to this waterfront park to play and see the iconic fountains, this attraction also offers a top place to watch sunsets in Charleston. Visitors enjoy scenic views of Charleston Harbor as well as access to benches, swings and green space. Bring a blanket and picnic dinner, or stroll walkways for different angles. To find it, just head to downtown Charleston near the market.

sunsets in charleston bridge

Arthur Ravenel Bridge

It’s hard not to spot the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. It ranks among the largest cable bridges in the world at 2.5 miles. In addition, the bridge connects Charleston to Mount Pleasant, an ideal destination for day trips and more remote beach vacations.

While some 80,000 cars travel the bridge daily, pedestrians find a 12-foot-wide path used for bicycling and walking. Visitors can walk the entire 5 miles, or halfway and turn back. Regardless, pedestrians love watching sunsets over Copper River.

Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park

Located at the base of Ravenel Bridge sits Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. This park not only provides a top place to watch sunsets in Charleston, but also has ample green space for picnics and boat-watching.

While exploring the park, don’t forget to stop by River Watch Cafe and Gift Shop. This gem serves refreshments, snacks, ice cream and sandwiches. Guests will also find a selection of souvenirs and local goodies.

sunsets in charleston ocean

Shem Creek Boardwalk

Shem Creek – a community in Mount Pleasant – serves as a destination for waterfront dining and nightlife. The area has a park and boardwalk that features panoramic views of the marsh and Charleston Harbor. To see sunsets, head to the 2,200-foot Shem Creek Boardwalk. The boardwalk stays open until midnight, so come early and stay late.

Sullivan’s Island Beach

Looking for a place to connect with nature and watch sunsets? Come to Sullivan’s Island. This town sits at the mouth of Charleston Harbor and measures 3.3 miles. However, there’s plenty of space to relax, stroll and wait for picturesque sunsets.

Those who want to amp up the adventure have several water-sports options. Sullivan’s Island offers a top place for kayaking, sailing, kite-boarding, paddle-boarding and fishing.

charleston sunsets romance photography

Photo: iTrip Vacations® Charleston Beaches

Kiawah Island

Those who prefer a more remote place should stay on Kiawah Island. This coastal community has 10 miles of beaches and serves primarily as a residential resort option.

Visitors will see scenic views and sunsets from several viewpoints in Kiawah Island. Take a nature tour with a local guide. Ride bikes and cruise on the water. Or kick back at a private pool sipping a refreshing drink. In addition, many Kiawah Island vacation rentals are located near an award-winning golf course.

Charleston Harbor Tours

For a local experience, book an adventure with Charleston Harbor Tours. The company offers daily tours and cruises that range in length and adventure. One of the most popular is Sunset Harbor Tour, which runs Wednesday through Saturday. Due to availability, reservations are required.

Those who don’t have time for a tour still enjoy photo ops and scenery at Charleston Harbor. This historical attraction has space for walking, dining and people-watching.

After watching sunsets in Charleston, see South Carolina in a new way during these Folly Beach tours.