Isle of Palms is located near Charleston. You can fish, swim, golf, go boating, sailing and play in the sand. Its a beautiful place to visit.
The Isle of Palms is located north of Sullivan's Island off the coast of Mt Pleasant which is just North of Charleston South Carolina. It has some beautiful wide beaches here. To get here, you have to go through Mt. Pleasant and cross the Isle of Palms connector bridge. My first visit to Charleston, we went to the Isle of Palms. My husband fished off the bridge while me and the kids played at the beach far from the bridge. (Be aware that its dangerous to swim near inlets.) You can watch the many boats, ships and barges that sail these waters too. When we were there, we saw a US Navy ship pass. You cant swim near the bridge cause of the currents.
On a more recent trip to the Isle of Palms, this past August, the island had changed little. It is a very small island. There is a private pier that is only accessible if you stay at the villa that owns it. We walked on the beach quite a lot. It was not very crowded during the week however on the weekend as expected it was more crowded. There were about 3 souvenir shops that had the same things available at every other beach resort. Parking was provided by the hotel we stayed at, for an a $6.00 fee added to the bill. Public parking is available for $6.00 a day near Ocean Blvd for day visitors. Public access to the beach is available throughout the area. There is a public county park that closes at 7:00 pm which is very nice. It has restrooms, a playground, beach access, lifeguards and a boardwalk to the beach.
The main reason I choose to go to the Isle of Palms instead of Hilton Head was the attractions. Simply put, there is more to see and do here. Charleston attractions are about 20 minutes away. We visited the SC aquarium, Patriots Point which included the USS Yorktown and then took a harbor cruise.
The downside of the vacation here was the price of the hotel room. I could not find one online for less than 200.00 a night.
When traveling to and from the Isle of Palms you cross over a bridge. Many people walk, jog and ride bikes along this bridge's shoulder. The town has two main roads which are Ocean Blvd and Palm Blvd. Between these roads are connecting roads interlocking across the island. Ocean Blvd runs the length of the island along the oceanside. It is lined with hotels, villas and beach houses. Everything on the island is in walking distance. The fire department and rescue squad are located not far from Ocean Blvd. We found we could walk to restaurants of our choice, visit the souvenir shop, get an ice cream cone, pizza and stroll on the beach all within a very short distance from our oceanfront beach hotel.
Isle of Palms Beach Pictures
Palm trees line the streets here. There are marinas, restaurants and souvenir shops. You can play golf. Rent a boat. Sail. People come through the area traveling the intracoastal waterways by boat from up North on their way to Florida and vise versa. You can rent a private home, villa or stay at a hotel. Visit historic sites, take a cruise, take a haunted tour, a culinary tour, a historic tour or pick and choose where you want to go. We chose the harbor cruise tour at Liberty Point next to the SC Aquarium, to get a general idea of the area. It lasted about one hour and a half. It was worth every penny. You get a narrated tour with interesting points about the sites you pass. The tour goes up to Fort Sumter, passes the Battery, Fort Moultrie, the USS Yorktown, the Harbor Bridge, the SC Aquarium, the Cruise terminal. Try to get a seat on the left side of the boat because all the sites you pass are on the left. Trying to stand and take a picture on the boat is shaky at the very least unless you have sea legs. If you are on the left side of the boat, you might not have to stand to take a picture.
Restaurants were very expensive for what it was and most were disappointing. Mainly because we did not know which restaurants were good. We did find one restaurant we repeatedly visited in nearby Mt. Pleasant, Burton's grill. They have both vegan and gluten free items on their menus. The price was very reasonably compared to other restaurants in the area we visited and the food was much better. My son and I ate for 30.00 dollars for 2. Other meals at other area restaurants averaged $45.00 for 2. We were very disappointed at the beachside restaurants in Isle of Palms. One restaurant on the beachside required reservations and it looked like you were expected to dress up. Another was casual dining but the food was just okay, not what you expect for a place where fresh seafood is readily available. The restaurants on the island seemed to be just tourist fare. You can eat it but its not great. We plan to return and take a culinary tour so we will get an overview of the best restaurants in the Charleston area instead of taking chances. Nothing irritates me more than to pay for a meal that is just okay or worse not edible.