Dog running on the beach

The Doggy Dozen

January 26, 2021

An advantage to owning the home you vacation in is your four-legged family member can come along. At Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club and Residences, we love including pets in the fun, and especially enjoy seeing many of them experience a beach vacation for the first time. Here’s a handy list of pet-friendly activities you can partake in together.

1. Beach Bonanza

Our enviable oceanfront location positions you directly on the beach — 10 miles of sandy bliss, wide and unspoiled. Together you can jump the waves, play ball, practice yoga, build sandcastles (put your dog in charge of digging the moat), and watch for dolphins under the shade of a giant umbrella. The beach area in front of Timbers Kiawah allows dogs to be off-leash from November 1st through March 15th. Farther east, closer to The Ocean Course, dogs can romp off-leash year ‘round. To protect wildlife, please don’t let your dog chase shorebirds, get into the dunes, or accidentally trample turtle nesting areas. You can both spray off at the convenient outdoor shower station as you come in from the beach.

2. Go on a Boat Outing

Consider taking your canine companion with you on a nautical voyage. If you don’t have a boat here already, our concierge team can connect you with the ideal vessel and captain (if needed). From sightseeing to nature expeditions to fishing,  your dog will love spending time on the water with you.

3. Paddleboard and Kayaking

With the ocean and scenic rivers here, abundant waterways are begging to be observed up close. Plus, you need the exercise! Borrow our available paddleboards and kayaks, or tap our friends at Water Dog Paddle Co for a guided tour with your dog as your copilot.

4. Do The Charleston

Travelers praise Charleston South Carolina for its history, architecture, culture, hospitality, and culinary prowess. When the weather isn’t too hot, it’s also an interesting place to visit with your dog. Check out the City Market, The Battery, King Street, Waterfront Park, Marion Square, The College of Charleston, and every nook and cranny you can. If you are there on days when Charleston Water Taxi is running, you can ferry across the Cooper River and back for outstanding views of The Ravenel Bridge and The Yorktown at Patriot’s Point — and your dog rides for free.

5. Special Staff Attention

Did we mention we love dogs? Even before you arrive, we prepare your residence with dog beds and bowls, and review your pooch’s preferences. Our concierge desk is very popular with the four-legged set, who seek it out for treats, extra pats, and belly rubs. We also can coordinate a dog walker if you are otherwise tied up playing golf, on an excursion, or enjoying a long evening out.

6. Hit the Trails

Kiawah has 30 miles of paved trails for your walking, running, and cycling pleasure. They are a great way to see the island. Be enchanted by the maritime forest. Gently wind around ponds and wetlands. Pass by gorgeous homes and the immaculate golf courses. Encounter diverse wildlife. And take in far-reaching vistas from one of the viewing towers along the way. Try our recommended routes or follow your own curiosity. (Bring a map for back-up!) Depending on how far you want to travel, and your dog’s fitness level, they can accompany you on leash or you can chauffeur them in one of our zippy bike trailers.

7. Visit Rustic Local Landmarks

Angel Oak, Charleston Tea Gardens, and Deep Water Vineyard are all pet-friendly and only a short drive from Kiawah. Read more about them in our blog post here.

8. Make New Friends

Your dog is likely to meet other Timbers Kiawah dogs in passing throughout your stay, but also keep an eye out for staff alerts announcing impromptu doggy playdates on the beach during the off-leash season. These are a fun opportunity for your dog to meet some new pals (same for you) as they wear each other out the way only dogs can.

9. Shop Till You Drop

Head over to Freshfields Village for some retail therapy. This open air, boutique shopping and dining destination exudes the relaxed feel of the Lowcountry and is as pet-friendly as they come. Window decals denote the many establishments where your dog is welcome to come inside with you. If your goodest boy or girl deserves something special, don’t miss stopping into Dolittle’s  to let them choose a colorful new toy or coastal-themed collar.

Photo credit: Charleston Max

10. Sniff Out Some Grub

Many of the terrific wine bars, coffee shops, cafés, and restaurants at Freshfields Village have outdoor patios that allow pets to join you for a beverage or bite to eat.

Alternatively, grab your food to-go and enjoy it on the Village Green together while doing some people (and dog) watching. This same courtyard hosts a variety of pet- friendly events throughout the year including Music on the Green, Starlight Cinema (outdoor movies), and Dogtoberfest.

11. Bark at a Park

Night Heron Park, home to Kiawah Island’s Nature Center, contains several sports fields and flat open areas within its expansive 21 acres. Bring a soccer ball or frisbee for some athletic one-on-one time with your fur buddy. Or they can accompany you while you play a round on the disc golf course, shoot hoops, or try your hand at shuffleboard. It’s only a mile down the road from your Timbers Kiawah residence, a perfect way to change things up.

Banded Painted Bunting

12. Let The Day Slip Away

You and your dog are on vacation, after all. Don’t forget to relax. Snuggle up with your pup for an afternoon nap on your balcony. Or stroll down to the beach to watch a majestic sunset together. Doing nothing at all is still quality time with your best friend.