Sullivan's Island

Sullivan’s Island is located to the south/southeast of Mt. Pleasant.

Welcome to Sullivans Island

Sullivan’s Island is one of Charleston’s barrier islands and although it’s a short drive to downtown Charleston, it feels a world away. If you’re thinking about moving to the Charleston area, and you have your heart set on living close to the beach, you should know about Sullivan’s Island and all it has to offer. 

Sullivan’s Island Location: On the Atlantic and Close to Mt. Pleasant 

The Town of Sullivan’s Island is located to the south/southeast of Mt. Pleasant, with miles of shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean curving in towards the Charleston Harbor on the westernmost end. Just to the northeast of the island is the Isle of Palms, another barrier island. 

From the post office on Sullivan’s Island, the average drive times in good traffic are: 

  • 20-30 minutes to downtown Charleston (more time the further south you go)
  • 25 minutes to the Charleston International Airport and Tanger Outlet
  • 1 minute to the beach on the Isle of Palms
  • 10 minutes to the beach on Sullivan’s Island near the IOP County Park

Life on Sullivan’s Island 

The feeling of laid-back luxury on Sullivan’s Island is due to what the island has as well as what it’s lacking. The island is home to a number of restaurants, churches, and historical sights as well as many beautiful houses and, of course, the beach. What’s missing from Sullivan’s Island is massive commercial development. You’ll find no tall condo buildings on the shore, no sprawling resort complexes, no hotels, no strip malls – not even a full-sized grocery store. The result is a beach town with a sophisticated and tranquil vibe.

The island is small, with a total area of just 3.44 square miles – less than half the size of the Charleston peninsula at around 8 square miles – and a population of around 2,000 people. Despite the small size, Sullivan’s Island has two historic districts and something of a “downtown” area on Middle Street featuring a handful of bars and restaurants including Poe’s Tavern and The Obstinate Daughter. Parents of little ones can send their pre-K through 5th grade kids to Sullivan’s Island Elementary School, newly constructed and opened in 2015, and the only elementary school in the country that’s perched above the beach. There’s also a private Christian preschool, a post office, a gas station, a small grocer and deli, and a few other such places. For all other shopping and amenities, residents and visitors typically find what they need over the bridge in nearby Mt. Pleasant or Isle of Palms. 

As for history and places of interest, there’s a surprising amount to see for an island so small. Fort Moultrie, a military fort with 171 years of history spanning the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and beyond, is located at the western end of the island and is open to visitors. Nearby is the Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park Visitor Center. Other worthwhile sites include the Edgar Allan Poe Library, the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, Mugdock Castle, and the Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church.

But the main attraction is surely the beach. The island boasts about 2 ½ miles of exquisite Atlantic Ocean coastline, and in addition to swimming and sunbathing, it’s also a spot for surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and more. Sullivan’s Island has a number of regulations for beachgoers in order to keep the area clean and to respect and protect wildlife, such as restrictions on dogs and prohibiting plastic straws and plastic containers. It sees itself as steward of the shoreline and works to keep it clean and well-preserved for everyone’s enjoyment, now and in the future. 

Homes: Gracious Homes for Beach Living 

Sullivan’s Island is an exceptional and exclusive place to live. Because the island is narrow, every house on it is a short walk to the beach, if not right on the water with spectacular views to boot. The prices of real estate here reflect this, with homes in the millions. 

In terms of style, many houses on Sullivan’s Island feature common Lowcountry architectural elements like elevated foundations, split staircases, double covered porches, and light exterior paint colors. Many were built in the early- and mid-1900s and have been well maintained and updated over the years, but you can also find homes that were built more recently, as well as the occasional new construction project, to suit modern tastes in home layout and design. Buyers on a budget may consider one of the limited number of smaller condos on the island that sometimes come up for sale.

What Makes Sullivan’s Island Special 

Of the three barrier islands that are close to Charleston (the others being the Isle of Palms and Folly Beach), Sullivan’s Island is the smallest and least developed. It has a quiet, relaxed atmosphere and a feeling of a close-knit community. For those lucky enough to live here, they can enjoy the beach life while being close to the Charleston peninsula. 

Looking to Buy on Sullivan’s Island or in the Charleston, SC Area? 

If you’re dreaming of living in a home by the beach on Sullivan’s Island, or a home in the greater Charleston, SC area, give me a call and I can help. My name is Kenton Selvey and I’m an experienced Realtor® with William Means. I help people buy and sell homes on Sullivan’s Island, Charleston, Daniel Island, Mt. Pleasant, James Island, and beyond, and I’m ready to help you find your dream home. Call me at 843-806-7222 or email me here. I look forward to hearing from you!



Search Sullivan's Island Homes For Sale

Overview for Sullivan's Island, SC

2,220 people live in Sullivan's Island, where the median age is 50 and the average individual income is $98,841. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

50 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Demographics and Employment Data for Sullivan's Island, SC

Sullivan's Island has 832 households, with an average household size of 2.67. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Sullivan's Island do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 2,220 people call Sullivan's Island home. The population density is 888.7 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

51.17 / 48.83%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Schools in Sullivan's Island, SC

All ()
Primary Schools ()
Middle Schools ()
High Schools ()
Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby Sullivan's Island. The rating and statistics can serve as a starting point to make baseline comparisons on the right schools for your family. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
School rating
Sullivan's Island Elementary
PreK - 5th
Work With Kenton

Work With Kenton

I know what it means to call the Lowcountry home. And it’s my mission to help you call it home too. It’s why we work so hard to make your real estate dreams come true. It’s why we build relationships, not databases. It’s why we treat everyone like a neighbor, because it’s our intention that one day you will be.

Follow Me on Instagram