The Best Isle Of Palms Places To Stay, Things to Do & Where Eat On Your IOP Visit

isle of palms

Visitors flock to the little slice of coastal heaven called Isle Of Palms (IOP) year round for a host of reasons. The weather is lovely. Even in the winter months daytime temps can reach the mid to upper 60s. The beaches of IOP are gorgeous, lined with beautiful homes, lush palmettos and live oaks. There’s great shops and restaurants too. And it’s close to so many things to do and see in the greater Charleston SC metro area. So, to help you get the full IOP experience, we put together a comprehensive guide. Below you’ll find our favorite Isle of Palms places to stay, what to do while visiting, and where to eat. Enjoy!

Isle Of Palms’ Wild Dune Resort

When it comes to the top Isle of Palms places to stay, Wild Dunes Resort has to be number 1. Isle of Palms is perhaps best known to travelers for the Wild Dunes Resort. The Wild Dunes Resort is a sweeping expanse of accommodations and dining. It also is home to one of the best golf courses in SC. There are 36 holes designed by golf course legend Tom Fazio and two courses open to the public. Because of this, Wild Dunes Resort attracts a hoard of golfers to its greens year after year. See how Wild Dunes ranks on our top 100 hotels and resorts of the Carolinas list.

After a day spent outside, find rest in one of the resort’s villa rentals, private home rentals, or hotel rooms. Dining opportunities abound at the resort. From casual to upscale, seafood to landlubber delights, there’s something on the property for everyone.

Isle Of Palms Places To Stay – IOP Hotels

The Palms Oceanfront Hotel is nice option for those looking for great location within walking distance to all the shops and restaurants on IOP. Here, you’ll find modern style and amenities appropriate for a summer getaway (such as a pool/sunning deck). When it comes to a blend of both location and affordability on Isle of Palms the Seaside Inn is a solid option. This is a casual, come-as-you-are place to rest your head in comfort, with direct beach access to please the sandy-minded.

Isle Of Palms Vacation Rentals

When it comes to our favorite Isle Of Palms places to stay, vacation homes are hard to beat. If home rentals are more your style or if you’re traveling with a larger group, spend some time looking at the homes available through Exclusive Properties. These luxury houses can have 4 to 12 rooms. They are often oceanfront or ocean view homes. Typically, these properties are known for their upscale perks like private pools, putting greens, and elevators. Dunes Properties also manages many rental homes on the island, each with their own style.

Five Luxury IOP Vacation Home Rentals For Large Groups

Isle Of Palms Beach Sunrise

Things To Do When On Your Visit To Isle Of Palms

How would you like to fill your sun-soaked, salt-encrusted days on this Lowcountry island? With an ocean on one coast and intracoastal waterway on the other, you get to have your pick of speed. Plus, choose from a selection of views, activities, and ecosystems.

Paddle in the waterway or through the marshes on the backside of IOP and get close to the incredible creatures of the tidal pools.

Alternatively, visit the Isle of Palms marina to charter a fishing expedition or an ocean-worthy boat for the day.

If you’re traveling with kids (or if you harbor a curious inner scientist) consider hopping aboard a Barrier Island Eco Tour. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and sea turtles. Wind your way from the marina to the Capers Island Heritage Preserve (a great place to do some remote camping too), while your naturalist guide describes passing ecosystems.

Visit nearby Sullivan’s Island to see some history at Fort Moultrie, where you and the fam can see real life canons. There’s also a great beach just behind the Fort with views of downtown Charleston.

And if you’re this close to Charleston, you have to make a day trip to the Peninsula to walk around and see all the beautiful homes near Rainbow Row and The Battery. Then enjoy some amazing shopping on King Street, delicious food on East Bay Street (we recommend 167 Raw), and gorgeous views of Charleston Harbor from Joe Riley Waterfront Park.

Isle Of Palms Places To Stay

What to Eat When Visiting IOP

The coastal frolicking is bound to work up your appetite. Fortunately, Isle of Palms has much to provide in the way of nourishment.

Swing through Hudson’s Market to pick up supplies for a beach picnic, such as ready-made wraps or cheese and fresh fruit.

For a tableside meal, visit Crave Kitchen and Cocktails, which supports local growers, uses seasonal and sustainable ingredients, and serves Southern/American classics in an upscale casual environment. 

If you’re craving Lowcountry fare on your Lowcountry vacation, head to Coastal Provisions and claim a place on the outdoor terrace.

Before your Isle of Palms weekend draws to an end, carve out time for an evening jaunt over to The Windjammer. Live music at this iconic beachside music venue is a must. Dance the night away with sand between your toes and be entirely present at the edge of the Atlantic, before the city calls you back home.

• For more info On Isle Of Palms

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• See where Isle of Palms ranks on our best beach towns in the Carolinas.