In his short story, “The Gold Bug,” Edgar Allan Poe wrote of Sullivan’s Island, “This Island is a very singular one. It consists of little else than the sea sand, and is about three miles long. Its breadth at no point exceeds a quarter of a mile.” While much has changed on this island since Poe wrote that story in 1843, Sullivan’s Island has stayed true to the small, intimate feeling that Poe describes. Poe might be the island’s most famous resident (however brief—he only lived there while he was stationed at Fort Moultrie as a young man), but there’s much more to Sullivan’s that its brief moment in literary history.
Sullivan’s Island is different than other area beaches in that it has zero hotels, motels or bed and breakfasts; the only way to stay on the island overnight is to rent one of the sixty or so beach homes available. The two thousand year-round residents of Sullivan’s pride themselves on the natural beauty of their beaches and have made preserving that beauty for future generations a priority. The beaches there are much quieter than those found elsewhere in the area, and it’s a perfect getaway for families or anyone looking for a peaceful beach retreat.