Isle of Palms County Park

#3 in Best Things To Do in Charleston, SC
Isle of Palms County Park picture
Jacob Sjman Svensson / Folio/Getty Images

Key Info

First Street and 14th Avenue

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Beaches, Golf, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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.

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More Best Things To Do in Charleston, SC

The Battery1 of 20
Charleston Boat Tours2 of 20
Type
Time to Spend
#1 The Battery

Many visitors say you can't leave Charleston without seeing this stretch along the city's southern tip, which they call beautiful and a must-visit. This row of Southern-style mansions overlooking Charleston Harbor was formerly the heart and soul of the city's maritime activity. Today, the area attracts camera-toting tourists from all over the country.

As you explore this picturesque neighborhood, make sure to also spend some time in the nearby White Point Garden, where several Civil War relics and memorials commemorate the city's role in the battle. Start your tour of the Battery at the 12-acre Waterfront Park (home to the giant pineapple fountain featured on many Charleston postcards), then follow the walking paths on East Battery Street for the nearly mile-long stroll to White Point Garden. If you're staying at one of the hotels or bed-and-breakfasts located downtown, you can easily walk along the Battery from your digs. If you're driving to the Battery, you'll find some limited street parking, and some lots closer to Waterfront Park. Bus route No. 211 provides service to Waterfront Park and East Bay Street. Several of the city's best walking tours make stops along the Battery. If you're interested in the history of the mansions or the promenade's role in the Civil War, consider signing up for a tour.

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