13 miles E of Downtown Charleston
A residential community facing the Atlantic Ocean, this barrier island, with its salt marshes and wildlife, has been transformed into a vacation retreat, but one that is more downscale than Kiawah Island. The attractions of Charleston are close at hand, but the Isle of Palms is also self-contained, with dining, an array of accommodations, and two championship golf courses. Seven miles of wide, white sandy beach is the island’s main attraction, and beach volleyball, sailing, and windsurfing are popular. The more adventurous will go crabbing and shrimping in the creeks.
The island’s original inhabitants were the Seewee people, now long gone. Charlestonians have been flocking to the Isle of Palms for holidays since 1898. The first hotel opened here in 1906.