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Things to Do in Isle of Palms: Vacation Guide

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Isle of Palms, a picturesque barrier island just off South Carolina’s coast, offers a perfect blend of nature, family-friendly activities, and southern charm. Known for its sandy beaches, warm ocean waters, and vibrant wildlife, it’s the ideal destination for those looking to unwind and explore. 

Whether seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences or simply soaking up the sun, Isle of Palms has something for everyone. Explore the best things to do on this incredible island, from water sports and golfing to dining and sightseeing and find luxury vacation rentals to make your trip unforgettable. 

Exploring Isle of Palms Beach

The crown jewel of Isle of Palms is its beautiful beach, stretching along the Atlantic Ocean. The sandy beaches, accessible from 57 public points along the 7-mile shoreline, are perfect for sunbathing, building sandcastles, or taking long walks along the shore. Renting a golf cart on Isle of Palms is also a fun way to get around the area.

Isle of Palms Beach offers safe swimming areas and ample beach parking for families. It is also pet-friendly, with dogs allowed off-leash between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. from April to mid-September. 

Try water sports like paddleboarding, kayaking, or jet skiing for a more active day. The gentle waves make it a great spot for beginners and experienced enthusiasts.

Adventure and Relaxation at Wild Dunes Resort

One of the top attractions on the island is the Wild Dunes Resort. This expansive resort offers a variety of activities for guests and visitors. Golf enthusiasts will love the two championship golf courses designed by Tom Fazio, providing challenging play with breathtaking ocean views. Tennis courts and a luxurious spa are also available for those in need of a relaxing respite from the daily grind.  

Despite spanning approximately 1,600 acres, getting around Wild Dunes Resort is easy with its complimentary shuttle service, bike rentals, and golf carts available for guests. Walking is also enjoyable, as the resort’s layout is pedestrian-friendly, providing scenic paths and convenient access to amenities.

Historical Tours and Cultural Experiences

Isle of Palms and its surrounding areas are rich in history, dating back to the Civil War. Take a short drive to nearby Charleston, where you can explore historical landmarks and learn about the region’s past. 

Located nearby, Boone Hall is one of America’s oldest working plantations, established in 1681. Visitors can tour the grand mansion, historic slave cabins and beautiful gardens and learn about the plantation’s complex history.

Visit Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired or take a tour of historic Charleston Harbor. For a more laid-back experience, stroll through Waterfront Park, enjoy the scenic views and take some Insta-worthy photos in front of the Pineapple Fountain.

Family-Friendly Activities

Isle of Palms is an ideal destination for a family beach vacation. Besides the beach, there are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. The Isle of Palms County Park offers picnic areas, playgrounds and beach access, making it a great spot for a family day out. 

Fishing and boating charters with companies like All in Charleston are also popular, allowing families to catch their dinner and enjoy a day on the water. Many of the island’s house rentals are family-friendly, with amenities like pools, game rooms and easy access to the beach.

Dining and Nightlife

After a day of adventure, indulge in the local dining scene on Isle of Palms. For a delicious meal, head to Sea Biscuit Cafe, a beloved breakfast and brunch spot known for its homemade biscuits, omelets and pancakes. Island 71 Fish House + Bar is a family-friendly spot with a menu focusing on seafood and American cuisine, featuring dishes like fish tacos, lobster rolls and fried shrimp, all with beautiful marsh views. 

For a fun night out, visit The Windjammer, a classic beach bar and live music venue. Enjoy casual bar food like burgers and wings while listening to live bands and soaking in the beachfront vibes. These spots provide a taste of the dining and entertainment options on the Isle of Palms.

Shopping and Souvenirs

No vacation is complete without a bit of shopping. Isle of Palms has several boutique shops with unique souvenirs, beachwear and local art. Stroll through the shopping areas and pick up a memento to remember your trip. 

Located at the marina, the Isle of Palms Marina Market has a selection of nautical-themed gifts, fishing gear and apparel. It’s a great spot for picking up practical items as well as fun souvenirs.

For more shopping options, head to downtown Charleston, where you’ll find The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place. Located in the heart of downtown, this shopping center offers luxury brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and St. John, along with locally owned boutiques.

Accommodations: Isle of Palms Vacation Rentals

Choosing the right accommodation is key to a great vacation. Isle of Palms vacation rentals offer a range of options to suit every traveler, from luxurious beachfront villas and cozy beach houses to spacious condos. Many rentals include private pools, direct beach access and stunning ocean views. 

Booking a vacation rental allows you to experience the island like a local, with the comfort and convenience of a home away from home. YourPad Isle of Palms vacation homes feature beautifully appointed kitchens where you can whip up homemade meals, luxury bed linens and bedrooms, each with their own ensuite and TV. Whether you’re seeking luxury or simplicity, vacation rentals on Isle of Palms have something suitable.

Plan Your Perfect Isle of Palms Getaway with YourPad

Isle of Palms is a destination with stunning beaches, a rich history, outdoor adventures and luxurious accommodations. Book your Charleston vacation rental today with YourPad and get ready to create unforgettable memories on South Carolina’s beautiful coast.