If several days in Charleston proper have you longing for a do-nothing day at the beach, Isle of Palms might be just the ticket. Located just 16 miles east of the city, visitors will find about 7 miles of shoreline, ideal for swimming, sailing, windsurfing or sunbathing. If you’re having trouble deciding between Charleston’s two closest shorelines (don’t forget about Folly Beach), your fellow beach bums might help you decide: Isle of Palms is known to attract more families than Folly Beach.
Recent beach-goers praised the wide, clean beach and said it’s a beautiful place to relax. Isle of Palms also boasts a few more beachfront vacation rentals, plus the sprawling Wild Dunes Resort and The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. What’s more, you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the two Tom Fazio-designed golf courses at Wild Dunes: both courses are open to the public. However, keep in mind Isle of Palms doesn’t offer as many bars or restaurants compared to Folly Beach.
You’ll find more than 50 beach access points dotting the shoreline. It won’t cost you anything to access the beach, but you should expect to pay a small fee for parking (between $5 and $10). Lifeguards are on duty seasonally from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about Isle of Palms, visit the city’s website.