Waites Island

A vacation from your vacation. One of North Myrtle Beach’s best-kept secrets is the serene Waites Island. One of the last undeveloped barrier islands in South Carolina, Waites Island is more than 1,000 acres of pristine land.

A Hidden Gem

Located at the northernmost point of South Carolina before you reach North Carolina, Waites Island can only be reached by land on horseback. You can kayak or paddleboard through some of our salty marshes, and once you get here you will immediately know it was worth the trip. 

Here, you go from a wild time to wildlife. Waites Island is a natural habitat for a host of creatures you won’t see once you go very far inland. The saltwater marsh is the perfect environment for bald eagles, blue herons, marsh hens, osprey, ducks, and more. In the summer you may be lucky enough to get a glimpse of loggerhead sea turtles and bottlenose dolphins.

Pack For Adventure

Pack a bottle of water, some sunscreen, and a towel so you can spend time relaxing on the beach of Waites Island, surrounded by the peaceful habitats of the island. Stress melts away and is replaced with serenity as you lay back under the sun. Just remember to pack up everything, including empty bottles, when you leave to help us keep the wildlife safe and the island clean.

Saddle up to explore the island at Inlet Point Plantation Stables. Take a guided horseback tour of the beautiful coastline and take in the sights you won’t get anywhere else. No prior horseback riding experience is required, but reservations are, so make sure you reserve your spot. You don’t want to miss out on this unique experience.

Great Escapes Kayak Expeditions has a dedicated tour for adventurers wanting to explore Waites Island. The three-hour excursion is led by an expert guide. Start times change to coincide with the best times to find shells and falling tides, which makes for an easier paddle.

Step Back in Time

Here’s a little history of Waites Island so you can impress your fellow travelers during the excursion. It was once home to the Waccamaw tribe of Native Americans. Burial mounds, ceramics, and artifacts have been found across the island. It was eventually claimed by its namesake, William Waites. The land was eventually sold to Horace Tilghman in the 1920s. His granddaughter, Anne, donated it to Coastal Carolina University with the requirement that it would continue as undeveloped land, preserving its natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.