Isle of Palms is just twelve miles from historic Downtown Charleston and is a hotspot for luxury living near the city. In terms of both vacationing and real estate investing, it’s a posh barrier island with classic Southern charm and an exclusive, sophisticated personality.
Just seven miles long — with extensive white sand beaches — the island packs more luxury per square mile than you might expect. A wide array of activities can also be found nearby, including exquisite dining, shopping, golf, and the nationally-ranked tennis courts at Wild Dunes Resort.
Whether you’re looking to relocate full-time or simply spend a relaxing weekend on the Isle of Palms, the list below will help you plan your next visit.
Rent a Bike or a Golf Cart
Isle of Palms isn’t large. Renting a car and navigating around the island can, at times, be more trouble than it’s worth. For those who call the island home, the main form of transportation is via bike or moped. Both can easily be rented for the duration of your weekend. Isle of Palms Bike Rentals offers free delivery and pickup. Whether you’re riding solo or toting around a family, the bike rental shop has an option to suit any circumstance.
For a more unique method of transportation around the island, why not try out a golf cart rental? Perfect for anyone who wants to travel in groups of up to four, golf carts are the ideal open-air vehicle to explore the Isle of Palms. Reach out to IOP Golf Cart Rental
to reserve your cart. Keep in mind that during the busy summer months of June, July, and August, you’ll need to make a reservation in advance.
Play a Round of Golf
Spend a day on the fairways at one of the two 18 hole courses at the Wild Dunes Resort. Both the Links and the Harbor courses are designed by Tom Fazio of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. The Links course is known for the palm trees which line the fairways, the magnificent blue skies, and for being one of Tom’s favorite course designs. The last of the 18 holes overlook the Atlantic Ocean and provides stunning views to accent the end of your round.
The Harbor Course is the more challenging of the two designs, but the views and ocean breezes are beautiful. Multiple water sources are prominent throughout the course. These include salt marshes and lagoons and environmental disadvantages such as soft ground, which come together for excellent, varied gameplay.
Hit the Beach
Spending time on an island wouldn’t be complete without making a trip to the beach. Activities range splendidly in terms of effort, from relaxing on a boat with a drink in your hand to chasing an adrenaline rush on a jet ski. Rent a boat or charter from the 50 slip marina, which doubles as your boat launch. Extra amenities provided to boaters include cable TV, city water, WiFi, and access to private showers.
If you like activities that are more low-key, consider kayaking, canoeing, and wildlife spotting. Isle of Palms is host to a variety of wildlife, including osprey, pelicans, dolphins, and giant Loggerhead sea turtles. The turtles are a common sight on the island in more ways than one. If you’re up for a scavenger hunt, there are six life-size sculptures of turtle hatchlings placed in different locations on Isle of Palms. Each location provides you with information about the life cycle of Loggerhead sea turtles.
Take surf lessons with the Salt Marsh Surf Company
. Introductory sessions are 90-minutes long, where students learn ocean safety and surfing basics. Stand-up paddleboarding eco-tours are an alternative to surf lessons and provide spectacular views. The sunset on the water is gorgeous from a paddleboard, especially when you get to watch dolphins at the same time.
Book a Spa Treatment
While exercise and outdoor adventure is a great way to spend your vacation, so is getting your sore muscles rubbed down by a professional. Visiting an Isle of Palms spa and booking an appointment with a technician is a surefire way to find tranquility in both your body and mind. Spa at Sweetgrass
within the Wild Dunes Resort is a luxurious retreat for locals and visitors alike. Through massage, bodywork, facials, and rejuvenating treatments, you’ll find it even easier to relax at the beach.
Feast on Delicious, Fresh Food
Though Isle of Palms isn’t the largest luxury community near Charleston, the island’s food is top-notch. From simple cafés to fine dining, your favorite cuisine is just around the corner. Go for breakfast favorites at the Sea Biscuit Café
. Try the traditional or seafood omelets, pancakes and French toast, corned beef hash, or crab cakes (and don’t be afraid to sample the local hot sauce with your food!)
If you haven’t already made Saturday evening plans, get dressed up and head to the airy Coda Del Pesce. This fine-dining seafood establishment features contemporary Italian food prepared by executive chef and owner Ken Vedrinsky. Chef Ken makes the elements by hand, including the menu’s abundant selection of pasta. Sit inside or outside as you dine on locally and sustainably caught seafood. Sample calamari anti pasta with fresh green beans and hearts of romaine.
takes “local” to new heights at their Isle of Palms location. With a world-famous frose that is absolutely unmissable, The Co-Op offers a selection of delicious sandwiches and breakfast items and even has a tasty kid’s menu. For fresh, locally-sourced seafood dishes, try The Boathouse
or check out the newly opened Islander 71
fish house and deck bar to enjoy southern seafood and classic cocktails right on the water, next to the Isle of Palms Marina. On another day, head over to the IOP Raw Bar to taste one of their stunning seafood dishes (lobster quesadilla, anyone?). Acme Lowcountry Kitchen
serves the best of South Carolina Lowcountry fare, sourcing their seafood sustainably and locally and serving their dishes in a restaurant with a casual beach atmosphere.
Looking for Isle of Palms Real Estate?
If you’re looking to buy an Isle of Palms home for sale — or property anywhere else in the Charleston real estate market — please reach out! I am an experienced, trusted local real estate agent specializing in finding my clients their perfect South Carolina luxury home. With much expertise in Isle of Palms, Mount Pleasant, and Charleston real estate, I will make your house-hunting journey rewarding and stress-free. Reach out to me today