News & Updates

Visiting Isle of Palms is a Day at the Beach

Posted: November 14, 2022

Located just 12 miles from downtown Charleston, Isle of Palms is a barrier island that has become a top tourist destination on the east coast. With over 50 beach access paths supplied by the city, IOP can accommodate thousands of beachgoers daily without getting crowded.

With plenty of stunning houses for rent on Isle of Palms and within Wild Dunes, a world-famous beach resort located on the island, IOP is filled with endless possibilities. Here are some of the reasons Isle of Palms should be at the top of your list of perfect beach destinations. 

Laid-back local vibe

Most beach towns are famous for their laid-back vibe, but Isle of Palms makes flip-flops and Tommy Bahama shirts a way of life. Charleston already carries with it a welcoming, unpretentious reputation, but its beach towns, like IOP, are where local Charlestonians go to really put their feet up. 

When you visit Isle of Palms, you will find friendly, helpful people, a casual style at every restaurant, and locals that rarely stick to a schedule. The only thing that really governs the action on IOP is the tide. Visitors to IOP should be familiar with the tides for their vacation here and plan their beach trips, boating, and fishing excursions accordingly. Believe us, it matters! 

Plan on exploring the marshes as well as the ocean

Isle of Palms is boarded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a stunning marsh on the other. You may notice a slightly pungent smell as you drive across the IOP Connector into town- don’t worry- you are smelling “pluff mud” and it is a succulent local signature. Pluff mud is a sign of life in the marshes, and locals celebrate the smell. 

We suggest planning at least one day of exploring in the marshes behind the island. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards at the IOP Marina, or you can reserve your own motorboat. Again, it is important to familiarize yourself with the tide before planning your trip or you risk having to spend an evening in the marsh waiting on the water to return. We told you it was important! 

World class dining options 

You may not need a sportcoat or tie to enjoy any of the fine dining options on Isle of Palms, but that doesn’t mean the restaurants aren’t world-class. Charleston has been enjoying a restaurant boom for the last decade, and a few of those incredible offerings have made their way to IOP. 

The Refuge is a popular breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot located right on Palm Blvd. 

The Dinghy is a famous local joint filled with character, craft beers, live music, and famous conch fritters.  

Some restaurants require reservations, especially in the summertime, and some are first-come-first-serve. We suggest you take a look at the places you would like to eat on Isle of Palms TODAY to see if you can make a reservation. Trust us, they are that popular! 

The IOP Chamber hopes you have a wonderful trip to Isle of Palms

Can you tell that we absolutely love living and working on Isle of Palms? And we cannot wait to see you on your next beach vacation. Drop us a line if you would like to learn more about local businesses on Isle of Palms or if you want information about joining us.