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Isle of Palms

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A red sun rises over the Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms [1] is a city in South Carolina, near Charleston. It has a population around 5000. Over the years Isle of Palms has become a very popular vacation spot for families. Warm weather, an abundance of palm trees, and beautiful beaches make Isle of Palms the perfect location for any traveler.

Get in

Access to Palm Island by public transportation requires much perseverance as it's not covered by the scheduled routes of the regional transportation agency, Carta [2]. From Charleston jump on bus 40 at Mary St./Meeting St. bus stop to the Mount Pleasant town centre (46 minutes, every hour 6.38PM-9.08 on weekdays). Here you'll need to book a trip on one of the "Flexiroute" buses (lines 401/402, 6.30AM-8PM weekdays only), call +1 843 747-0922 for reservations. The whole trip should set you back $1,75. If you can't be bothered, a taxi from the centre of Charleston should cost around $22.

Get around

Aerial view of Isle of Palms

The main thoroughfare through IOP is Palm Blvd, which stretches from the Island's southernmost boarder to just past 57th ave to the North. The island is perfect for biking and walking, not to mention the fact that the entire island is accessibility by golf cart.

Be sure to use caution while driving on Isle of Palms. The local police force is snide and unfriendly, often acting militaristic in their enforcement of public safety and road regulations.

See

Big on water sports and beaches, short on attractions, if you insist on seeing anything but sand, the huge number of turtles which nests here during the summer is a unique attraction to the island. They are all carefully monitored and recorded by the community's Turtle Team [3]. While casual visitors will probably have more luck in a casino, than seeing one hatch, there is a good chance of spotting turtles while hanging on the beach (Jul-Aug?). Neighbouring Sulivans Island's Fort Moultrie is your best bet if that is not enough culture for you.

Do

Lonely kayaks longing for the summer to arrive
  • Front Beach, Ocean Avenue (10th-14th Ave). Is a very scenic beach that stretches on for miles and miles. Enjoy taking a walk, relaxing on the sand, going for a swim and collecting sand dollars. Fun for everyone, but leave the glass bottles and alcohol at home, or the beach guards will spoil it.
  • Isle of Palms Marina, 50 41st Avenue, +1 (843) 886-0209, [4]. Fishing charters and boat rentals available. Boat rentals can be hourly or day rentals. Prices range from $65-$475, depending on how long you have the boat, size of the boat, and number of people on the boat. Prices for fishing charters also vary depending on the size.
  • Isle Of Palms Recreation Center, 27th to 29th Avenue, +1 (843) 886-8294, [5]. M-F 8AM-5PM. The recreation center offers tennis courts, baseball and soccer field, basketball courts, children's playground, and gym. Something for everyone. It's within walking distance of the vacation homes and beach.
  • Tidal Wave Sports, 69 41st Avenue, +1 (843) 768 3482, [6]. 8AM-7PM. Enjoy parasailing, waverunners, wakeboarding, tubing, waterskiing, or even take a ride on the Banana Boat. Prices vary depending on activity.

Buy

  • My Favorite Things, 1009-D Ocean Blvd., 843- 886-6387. 9AM-9PM. Offers a large selection of souvenirs-clothing, hats, postcards, key chains, beach towels, and much more.
  • Red & White Grocery Store, 1513 Palm Blvd., 843-886-6250. Very convenient grocery store. Extremely short distance from vacation homes and the beach. Located right off the highway, so it's easy to find. They have everything you need and the workers are really nice.

Eat

  • Acme Cantina, 31 J C Long Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC, 29451, 843-886-0024. An inexpensive but tasty restaurant that has a mild Mexican vibe. Burritos, tacos, chimichangas, and quesadillas are always popular orders, but don't shy away from their seafood specials. Be warned, The Acme's extremely busy on weekends for breakfast, so plan ahead. At night, the bar's popular with local regulars and F&B crowd, and flooded with tourists during the high season. Voted best crabcake on the island in 2008.
  • Banana Cabana, 1130 Ocean Blvd., (843) 886-4361, [7]. Nice, casual restaurant that's great for the whole family. Enjoy classic favorites such as burgers, sandwiches, seafood, and quesadillas.
  • Ben & Jerry's, 1109 Ocean Blvd, 843- 886-6314, [8]. Can't go wrong with Ben & Jerry's. They have so many flavors to choose from.
  • The Boathouse, 101 Palm Boulevard, 843-886-8000, [9]. Once hailed as IOP's best restaurant, the quality and service has suffered over the last few years, leaving The Boathouse existing as nothing more than an overpriced tourist trap with an excellent view of the inter-coastal waterway. $$$$.
  • Coconut Joe's, 1120 Ocean Blvd, (843) 886-0046. hard to find because it sits back from the street. (32.785011,-79.789107)
  • The Lettered Olive, 5802 Palm Blvd, 843-886-7306, [10]. 6:30AM-10PM. Delicious cuisine and a very relaxing atmosphere.
  • Morgan Creek Grill, 80 41st Ave, 843-886-8980, [11].
  • Barefoot Bistro, 1101 Ocean Blvd, 843-886-4445. Casual beach food by day and casual upscale dining at night
  • Sea Biscuit Cafe, 21 J C Long Blvd, (843) 886-4079.

Drink

  • The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd., 843-886-8948, [12].

Sleep

One of the many vacation rentals found in Isle of Palms
  • Island Realty, 1304 Palm Blvd, 1-800-476-0400, [13]. Island Realty has a large selection of vacation homes, villas, condos, and sea cabins to choose from while staying on the Isle of Palms. Within walking distance of the beach, close to restaurants, and they offer many discounts.
  • The Palms Hotel, 1126 Ocean Blvd, +1 843 886-3003, [14]. While hardly luxurious by any standards, this hotel has access to the beach right outside the front door, and a pool if you don't fancy salt. A block away from the windjammer, and in a dark area by night it's probably best suited for the under 40 crowd. Avg. $173.
  • Sea Cabins Oceanside Villas, 1304 Palm Blvd., +1 843-886-8144, [15].
  • The Village at Wild Dunes, 5757 Palm Boulevard, 888-778-1874, [16]. The Village at Wild Dunes offers new, furnished studio, one, two, and three bedroom condos and penthouses.
  • Wild Dunes Resort, 5757 Palm Boulevard, 888-778-1876, [17]. Family-oriented vacation and condo rentals.

Get out


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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