Inside Isle of Palms: Charleston's Barrier Island Retreat
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10 Jun 2020
As you make your way over the Isle of Palms Connector, you’re instantly surrounded by the city’s lush greenery and the sparkling waters of the Intracoastal Waterway. Upon arriving on the Island, you’ll see locals, island residents, and vacationers alike enjoying all that this city has to offer. For those that have never visited, or if you’re still getting to know the area, it can be a lot to take in. We’ve got you covered, with (just about) everything you need to know about the Isle of Palms!
Front Beach District
The Front Beach District is in the heart of the Island, with plenty of restaurants, shopping, and close proximity to the County Park. Here you’ll also find some of the Island’s most popular condo complexes: the Sea Cabins, Oceanside Villas, 1140 Ocean Blvd., Ocean Palms, and Dunescape.
The IOP Marina
The Isle of Palms Marina lies on the northern end of the island, near Wild Dunes resort. This is a popular spot to find boat rentals, dockage, fishing charters, and local business posts. You won’t want to miss checking out Tidal Wave Water Sports for activities like parasailing and jet skis, Barrier Island Eco Tours for excursions out to Capers Island, and Coastal Expeditions for paddleboard and kayak tours. If you’re renting a home on Goat Island, this is also where you can park your vehicle and either dock your boat or rent one to get over to your rental home.
Breach Inlet is the area between Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. This is a great spot to go paddleboarding or kayaking, catch the sunrise, fish, or enjoy a meal at the Boathouse. While the current is too strong in this area to swim, it’s still a favorite of locals and visitors alike for the stunning views.
Island life is a little different from the hustle and bustle of Mount Pleasant and Downtown Charleston. Here you’ll find that many people choose to get around on golf carts, bikes, and walking to get where they need to go! Ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft are common as well, for those that don’t want to worry about finding a parking spot to get to the beach or restaurants.
Restaurants, Attractions, and Shopping
Restaurants on the Island are clustered in the Front Beach District and nearby in the Harris Teeter shopping center. There’s a wide variety, from seafood to tacos, Italian and classic Southern favorites.
For shopping, you can find souvenir shops along Ocean Blvd., and boutiques inside Wild Dunes Village. There is also a seasonal farmer’s market at the island’s Recreation Center on 28th Ave where you can shop local produce, crafts, and homemade goods.
Explore Our Insider's Guide
For a robust list of restaurants and attractions, check out our Insider’s Guide to the Lowcountry. This guide includes more information about Isle of Palms, as well as other local areas.
Use the free guide for travel inspiration for your next trip!