Isle of Palms Travel Guide

Does falling asleep beneath the shade of a palm tree sound like vacation heaven to you? If so, you will love everything that Isle of Palms, South Carolina has to offer. Whether you want to spend your days lounging on the beach or staying active with volleyball, crabbing, or golf, this South Carolina destination will provide the relaxing environment you crave. With a little help from VacationRentals.com, you can find the missing puzzle piece of a beachfront villa.

What to Do in the Isle of Palms

isle of palms vacation

Pleasures on the Beach

The logical place for an Isle of Palms travel guide to start is with the beaches. This is the main draw to the South Carolina destination, attracting travelers who are seeking some R & R. The wide beaches are flanked by spacious vacation rentals, making it easy to stroll out your door and down onto the beach. If you forgot something or want a cold bottle of water, your rental will only be a short stroll away.

Sunbathing, building a sand castle with your kids, and catching waves with a little bodysurfing are all popular activities at this beach. If you have a competitive spirit, get involved in a game of volleyball or rent a jet ski for a thrilling ride. Generations of beach lovers have enjoyed this stretch of sand, and visitors can tell how loved the beach is by how well it is taken care of.

Pleasures on the Water

No vacation to Isle of Palms would be complete without getting out on the water. This destination is very popular for people with boats, and a full-service 50-slip marina is a great place to tie up your own personal boat. Here you can also enquire about boat rentals. Pack a gourmet picnic and set out for a romantic afternoon boat ride.

isle of palms golf

A complete Isle of Palms travel guide will also mention the popularity of fishing. At the marina, there are many opportunities for fishing charters, whether you are a beginner wanting to learn the basics or are an expert. Customized excursions are also a possibility, if you want to plan a special trip for a sunset, dining cruises, night fishing, dolphin watching, crabbing, or even a boat ride to watch the 4th of July fireworks.

More Fun for Families and Adults Only Recreation

This Atlantic barrier island offers fantastic beaches, and it isn’t only humans that agree. Isle of Palms is also home to turtles that come here to nest. Ecological sensitivity is a focus of the locals here, and if visitors plan a trip at the right time, they can encounter the turtle hatchlings and loggerhead turtles themselves. Visitors are reminded to stay far away from turtle nests and not to disturb this fragile eco system.

If you’re leaving the kids at home this vacation, there are many things in Isle of Palms just for adults. Golf enthusiasts will fall in love with the links courses on offer here. The Links Golf Course offers incredible ocean views as well as a challenging round of 18 holes. If you want to bring your relaxation to a higher level, plan a spa treatment. At Beach House Spa, indulge in a little pampering with a massage or other spa treatment.

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What to See in the Isle of Palms

The best Isle of Palms travel guide will point you in the direction of eco-tours. Here the main attraction is the environment and the wildlife. Take the time away from the beach to join an eco-tour and you will learn a great deal from a local expert. Some of the best eco-tour companies include Barrier Island Eco-Tours and Coastal Eco-Tours.

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Where to Shop and Eat in the Isle of Palms

Shopping in Isle of Palms

No Isle of Palms travel guide will claim that this is a shopping destination, but there are still some stores that will satisfy your itch to shop. Whether you forgot some of your beach basics at home or are looking to bring home gifts to loved ones, stores in Isle of Palms will tempt you with their offerings. Other than retail items, visitors will want to check out the markets as well. Stock your kitchen or purchase special items for your kitchen at home. Check out Hudson’s Market, the Marina Market, or Simmons Seafood for local and fresh items. If you’re more interested in traditional shopping, visit My Favorite Things or Splash.

isle of palms dining

Diverse Dining in Isle of Palms

Many visitors are surprised by the sheer amount of choices when it comes to dining in Isle of Palms. Options from a fun night at a Mexican cantina to more fine dining choices will make it difficult to pick a restaurant. A lot of travelers take advantage of the kitchen in their vacation rental, but you must also venture out to try the local seafood.

Some of the top restaurants in Isle of Palms include Acme Cantina, Boathouse Restaurant, and Morgan Creek Grill. If you’re looking for pizza try Luke n Ollie’s Pizzeria. Dunes Deli makes great sandwiches for picnics, and many visitors can’t resist a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s as a sweet finish to the day.

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When to Visit the Isle of Palms

The most popular time to visit Isle of Palms is between Memorial Day and Labor Day. These warm months are best for enjoying all that the beach has to offer. During the period when kids are off from school, Isle of Palms sees its biggest crowds. If you’re planning on visiting during this time, be sure to make a reservation for your vacation rental as far in advance as possible.

The fall is also a great time to plan a trip to Isle of Palms. In September and October the high temperatures are still in the 70s and 80s, meaning you can still enjoy the beaches. Bring a light sweater or jacket for evenings that can get a bit chilly. From November through February, high temperatures are in the 50s and 60s. If you’re looking for a place with mild weather to escape to, consider Isle of Palms, but it won’t exactly be sunbathing weather.

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What to Bring to the Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms has a laid-back, beach inspired vibe. This means that you won’t need to pack anything too fancy. Your packing list should include comfortable clothes, and for women, maybe a sundress or two if you choose to enjoy one of the local fine dining restaurants.

If you’re planning a family vacation, your packing list will of course will be longer. Be sure to pack sunscreen, beach toys, and some entertainment for the vacation rental. Most vacation rentals will have laundry facilities, so that will make the task of packing even easier. If you forget something at home, there are many local shops where you can pick up an essential item.

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Local Services in the Isle of Palms

Unlike some beach destinations, Isle of Palms is also home to year-round residents. Visitors will experience excellent local services as a result. Whether you need a dentist or a florist, you will be able to find one easily in Isle of Palms. All of your basic necessities, from ATMs to pharmacies and grocery stores will be widely available. A few photography studios and art galleries are also worth checking out if you’re interested in local art.

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What to Know About the Isle of Palms

Many vacation rentals are located right on the beach, allowing you to step out directly onto the sand. If you want to save a little money, there are also rentals that are not on the beach, and in some cases, a short drive away. Not every Isle of Palms travel guide will suggest staying away from the beach, but if you are trying to travel on a budget, this is one way to keep the cost down without sacrificing too much. Being a short walk away from the beach won’t influence how much you enjoy the beaches and boat tours during the day.

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Getting to the Isle of Palms

Most visitors to Isle of Palms arrive by car. You can drive your own car or rent a car at the Charleston International Airport. The Charleston Airport is located only 16 miles from Isle of Palms. The drive between these two points is a simple one, although a GPS might come in handy if you aren’t familiar with the area. While a car rental isn’t essential, many visitors find it to come in handy when they want to go to a grocery store or head to a restaurant in the evening.

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Why Isle of Palms Vacation Rentals?

Beach vacations are one of those trips that demand extra space. After a leisurely day spent sunbathing and swimming on the beach, the last thing you will want to do is return to a cramped hotel room and wait for a shower while every person in your family takes a turn in the single bathroom. A vacation rental provides the extra convenience of a kitchen, laundry facilities, and a living room. Once you choose vacation rentals, you’ll never go back to hotels for a proper beach vacation.

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