Isle of Palms
This primarily residential area of about 5,000 people received the state’s first “Blue Wave” designation from the Clean Beaches Council for its very well-managed and preserved beaches. Like adjacent Sullivan’s Island, there are pockets of great wealth here, but also a laid-back, windswept beach town vibe. You get here from Mount Pleasant by taking the Isle of Palms Connector off U.S. 17 (Johnnie Dodds/Chuck Dawley Boulevard).
Aside from just enjoying the whole scene, the main self-contained attraction here is Isle of Palms County Park (14th Ave., 843/886-3863, www.ccprc.com, May–Labor Day daily 9 a.m.–7 p.m., Mar.–Apr. and Sept.–Oct. daily 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Nov.–Feb. daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $5 per vehicle, pedestrians/cyclists free), with its oceanfront beach, complete with umbrella rental, a volleyball court, a playground, and lifeguards.
The island’s other claim to fame is the excellent (and surprisingly affordable) Wild Dunes Resort (5757 Palm Blvd., 888/778-1876, www.wilddunes.com), with its two Fazio golf courses and 17 clay tennis courts.
Getting to Isle of Palms
Get here by taking the Isle of Palms Connector/Highway 517 from Mount Pleasant, going through the light at Palm Boulevard and taking the next left at the gate.
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition