Travel Destination: Sullivans Island

Sullivans Island beaches

Location Description: A barrier island northeast of Charleston, South Carolina known for its pristine beaches

Atlantic Ocean waves


Famous American author Edgar Allen Poe was stationed at Fort Moultlrie under the name Edgar A. Perry and the barrier island became the backdrop for one of his famous books, The Gold Bug.


Personal Experience:

The warm environment and the fresh scent of salty sea air was a nice greeting for Ron and I as we were driving over the bridge towards the island. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect at all. I had never seen the Atlantic before, much less actually stepped into the ocean. I was eager with anticipation as I could see the Atlantic from the car window.


So close, yet it felt like an eternity. I was already feeling light from visiting underneath the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and on its walkway that came with its own wonderful views. At that time, I could only stare at the waves and even the tiniest ripples that raced across the surface in familiar patterns as a small breeze welcomed Ron and I. That same breeze is now welcoming me as we stepped out of the vehicle after finding a place to park.

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

Entryway to Sullivans Island beach

Entryway to Sullivans Island beach

The island is unique in that there is no munciple parking lots here. You simply park along the street and walk to your destination. The only small parking lot I had noticed was by the historic Fort Moultrie (A subject for another blog!). In this case, we parked along the side of a neighboring home where an entrance to the beach was at what felt a little hidden.


The mystery of what I will meet slowly increased in intensity as we stepped on a long wood walkway that stretched on for what could have been an eternity. The branches from the trees around arched over in a canopy above that shielded us from the sun and gave the area a peaceful glow to it. It felt like I was walking into some storybook setting with how perfect it looked. Of course both of us took this opportunity to get plenty of shots along the walk. How could we not?

Sullivans Island Walkway

Eventually the tree branches thinned out to reveal large sandy hills covered on grass that stretched up a couple of feet. A warm breeze from the ocean greeted my face as I stared at the numerous butterflies that flew around, trying to track all the hidden blossoms scattered among the grass. I zoomed my lens in as I waited patiently for one to land and stand still long enough. All that practice photographing insects at home is really starting to pay off at this point! I was excited to see the result later that day and it didn't disappoint!

Walkway to Sullivans Island and Crimson Butterfly

Ron moved forward and I followed over one last remaining hill and I was met by what I was waiting for my whole life. The Atlantic Ocean. Right there with no barriers preventing me from walking forward. Well, except for having to deal with sand. Ron already had his shoes and socks off and was already walking along the beach as I began to take off mine. Simply the sound of ocean waves crashing at a rhythmic rate already was having an effect on me.


My soul was already starting to feel at ease from the laid back atmosphere of the region as I watched Ron start taking his first steps towards the water. With at certain angle and the sunlight gleaming, I saw a wonderful photo opportunity that I couldn't resist. I took several snapshots as the small wave stretched thin across the sand and flowed around his feet.

Ron Delhaye at Sullivans Island Beach
Sullivans Island Coastline

Ron moved on towards the branches and trees that littered further back on the shore as I walked slowly towards that ocean shore. This was it. The moment of truth! Of course my feet met the wet and grainy sand that sank from the pressure of my weight and left a deep imprint. It didn't just sink down however. It also moved around and molded around my feet.


This texture my feet felt was something I was still trying to get use to after plain sand and the ocean wave was rushing ashore to greet me. What I didn't expect was feeling that force from the wave in such detail. What energy! For one reason or another, it also made myself feel more energized than I have felt in a long time. Went from feeling weary to being fully alive and rearing to jump into the waves.

Sullivans Island Driftwood

Unfortunately not only did I not know how to swim, but also was carrying electronics in my pockets and didn't want them getting soaked. Ended up standing close enough where the waves only splashed up towards the bottom of my shorts from running into my legs and feet. Already noticed Ron taking photos of me walking through each wave that came ashore and had me thinking what he sees from this. What is going through his mind with each shot taken? Maybe he will create a blog post on this experience in the near future.

Photographing Sullivans Island Beach

That was the main experience I've had at Sullivan's Island. Only other spot I have visited was Beardcat's Sweet Shop to get some unique ice cream flavors. If I remembered correctly I chose a combo of pumpkin spice and red velvet. Sounds weird but it tasted great together! Even better was sitting outside having this sweet snack. While we were there, a little girl came up and gave both of us a small flower she picked out of the yard. Rather random thing to happen, but very sweet of her. It just added to the friendly laid-back atmosphere the place provided. I would love to return to this little barrier island again in the near future!


Best Time To Go:


Places to Eat and Stay:

There are no hotels on the island so you'll have to rent/AirBNB if you want to stay there. One well known spot to eat is Poe's Tavern, a restaurant dedicated to famous author Edgar Allen Poe. Another spot that I did actually sat down at was Beardcat's Sweet Shop.



A great place if you're looking for a beach to hang out or for history buffs wanting to see something outside the usual spots. Even more so for fans of Edgar Allen Poe's work. Worth a visit!