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12 Best Things To Do In Isle of Palms, SC - Updated 2020

things to do in isle of palms south carolina

This idyllic holiday destination is a must for anyone traveling through South Carolina. The Isle of Palms is like the Hawaii of the East Coast, featuring scenic sights and a tranquil atmosphere, allowing for easy picnics and spots to take a breather. Beyond that, the quaint isle has more to offer, with education-inspiring attractions, and adrenaline-inducing activities. It’s hard to believe that so much can fit onto such a small isle. Whether it’ll be with your family, or on your own, there’s something for everyone!

Read on to find out about the best things to do on the Isle of Palms in South Carolina:

1. Isle of Palms Beach

Isle of Palms
Source: Photo by user Linda Livvorn used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The main attraction on the Isle of Palms is its beautiful beach. The Isle of Palms Beach has been a hotspot for locals and tourists alike for generations. The tranquillity and serenity achieved at the Isle of Palms Beach is match only by the gorgeous daily sunrises and sunsets you can enjoy on the perfect white sands. No holiday to the Isle of Palms is complete without a nice relaxing day by the water’s edge.

Isle of Palms Beach

Address: Ocean Boulevard from 10th Avenue to 14th Avenue.

Website: Isle of Palm Beach

Also See: 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in South Carolina

2. Water Activities on the Isle of Palms

tidal wave water sport
Source: pxfuel

Surrounded by water, the Isle of Palms is the ideal place to get adventurous and try your hand at some of the many water sports on offer. You’ll be spoilt for choice for water sports companies as you’ll find one on almost every corner. Laugh with your friends on a banana boat, reach dizzying heights while you paraglide or hit some high speeds on a jet ski - you’ll never run out of things to do while you’re here.

Tidal Wave Water Sports

Address: 1285 Llewellyn Rd, Mt Pleasant

Website: Tidal Wave

3. Hire a boat

boat rentals
Source: Pixabay

Isle of Palms has been a popular holiday destination for many years with most of the vacationers making the most of the beautiful marina and readily accessible boats. The Isle of Palms Marina has a wide selection of boat rentals on offer. From dual consoles to deck boats you will be able to find something to suit your needs. No previous experience is necessary for boat rental and all boats are equipped with up-to-date safety equipment. Rent a boat and head out to sea. Explore the beautiful bays around the island and allows the calmness of the water to wash over you before heading back to the island to party all night.


50 41st Ave, Isle of Palms, SC 29451

Website: Isle of Palms Marina

4. Isle of Palms County Park

Waterfront park downtown charleston sc
Source: Photo by user Lee Keadle used under CC BY 1.0

Isle of Palms County Park was opened in 1996 after demands for improved beach access. The park is situated near the beach front and offers its visitors beautiful ocean views and a beachfront swimming area. It also includes a dog park, volleyball courts, a playground and picnic and BBQ areas. The County Park is the perfect place to chill out with friends while enjoying the spectacular sunsets.

Isle of Palms County Park

Address: 1 14th AVE Isle of Palms, SC 29451

Website: County Park

Also See: Top 10 Dog Friendly Restaurants in Charleston, SC

5. Fishing Tours

Source: Pexels

Isle of Palms is a fisherman’s paradise. Surrounded by open water, the fishing industry on the Isle of Palms is thriving. Tourists can choose to attend fishing tours on charter boats in the hopes of catching some big fish. Try your chances at getting the ‘Catch of the Day’ with one of the numerous fishing companies on the island.

Fishing Booker

Website: Fishing Booker

6. Barrier Island Eco Tours

Capers island 1
Source: Photo by user Cantbeatpie used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Find out about the beautifully undisturbed marshlands around the Isle and how to protect and respect the salt marsh eco system on these tours of the area. The Barrier Island Eco Tours provide eco-friendly tours for visitors to the Isle. Explore the Capers Island wildlife, discovery dolphins at sunset, take part in sustainable fishing and crabbing or kick back and relax at the beach side cookout. There are so many things you can do whilst helping to protect the local environment.

Barrier Island Eco Tour

Address: 50 41st Ave, Isle Of Palms, SC 29451

Website: Eco Tours

7. Port City Moped

scooter rental
Source: Peakpx

Sometimes two wheels are better than four and that is certainly the case on the Isle of Palms. Rent a scooter or a scoot coupe and explore the island at your own pace. Whiz around from scenic spot to scenic spot without the hassle of finding a parking space for your car.

Port City Moped

Address: 1202 B Palm Blvd. Isle of Palms, SC 29451

Website: Port City Moped

8. Coastal Expeditions (from USD 75.84)

According to the guys at Coastal Expeditions, the best way to see Charleston is by water. So hop in a canoe or a kayak and join their tour of the South Carolina waterways. They also have the latest craze on offer - paddleboarding! So test your balance and your core strength by paddleboarding against a backdrop of undisturbed salt marshes and swamps.

Coastal Expeditions

Address: 69 41st Ave, Isle Of Palms, SC 29451

Website: Coastal Expeditions

Charleston Harbor 2-Hour Speedboat Adventure

Duration: 2 hour

16 reviews

9. Shem Creek Park, just 12 miles from Isle of Palms (from USD 51.0)

Feel like taking a drive? Shem Creek Park is just a half-hour journey from Isle of Palms. Much of the drive shows very beautiful coastline views. The nice boardwalk at the park starts near the harbor, so keep an eye out for dolphins. At the end of the walkway, there are benches where you may relax and take in the ambiance of the ocean. While there are no concessions, take along a camera if you enjoy photographing boats, as there are plenty of them to see.

If you have an appetite after your walk, you could pop into the Pages Okra Grill for a bite to eat in a friendly atmosphere. People rave about their chicken waffles and pancakes. They have parking available and also sell takeouts.

Shem Creek Park

Address: Coleman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC

Website: Shem Creek Parke

Shem Creek Walking Bar Tour

Duration: 2 hours

5 reviews

10. Admire the view of Sullivan's Island Lighthouse (from USD 40.0)

Get a view of the historic lighthouse anchoring Sullivan Island to South Carolina, the 57-year-old lighthouse. This historic landmark currently does not accept any tours or visitors indoors but it’s definitely an Instagram post waiting to happen when in South Carolina.

The lighthouse is known to be some sort of an oddity for its unique architectural look with a triangular shape similar to the likes of a tapered cone, which ultimately is what makes it basically immune to gales and hurricanes in terms of its aerodynamics. It’s 140 ft (42.67 m) tall along with its focal plane at 163 ft (49.68 m) in surrounding terrain. Indeed, the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse is one to check out when in this part of the Carolinas.

Sullivan's Island Lighthouse

Address: 1815 Ion Ave, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482, United States

Charleston Harbor Sunset Cruise

Duration: 2 hours

10 reviews

11. Patriots Point and Maritime Museum (from USD 35.0)

Of course no coastal town is complete without its very own maritime museum. Patriots Point on the Isle of Palms is the final resting place for WWII warship the USS Yorktown. It’s also home to the Patriots Point Museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, the Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the U.S., the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and the agency’s official Medal of Honor Museum. Visit to find out why it has become one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions.

Patriots Point and Maritime Museum

Address: 40 Patriots Point Rd, Mount Pleasant 29464

Website: Patriots Point

Charleston: City Tour and Museum Combo

Duration: 2 hour

12. Fort Moultrie (from USD 185.0)

On the road between Isle of Palms and Mount Pleasant, is Sullivan’s Island. There, you will find Fort Moultrie. It’s open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This is the National Park Service’s historic properties headquarters. The fort was used during the colonial days right through WWII. The museum there is interesting and informative and has many armaments, a video to watch, and an excellent display booths.

If you enjoy walking and history, the self-guided tour will keep you entertained. The place has a nice gift shop where you can take away a memento of your visit.

Fort Moultrie

Address: 1214 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482-9748

Website: Fort Moultrie

Also See: 10 Must-Visit Historical Places In South Carolina

Private Historic Harbor Tour in Charleston

Duration: 2 hours

1 review

Paradise on the east coast

A view of Isle of Palms, South Carolina.
Source: Wikimedia

The Isle of Palms has been the top holiday destination for generations of South Carolinians and it should certainly be on every travellers list of places to relax. The isle is a dream location for those wanting a break from city life and for those who want to enjoy a typical American-style vacation.

Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Isle of Palms, SC

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Isle of Palms?

Isle of Palms is known for its beautiful beaches that’s why one of the top must-visit attractions here is the Isle of Palm Beach. A lot of people visit this beach for peace and to watch the daily sunset and sunrise. Also, you shouldn’t miss seeing the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse and the Patriots Point and Maritime Museum.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Isle of Palms?

There are plenty of outdoor activities to do here in Isle of Palms, including trying the many water activities the Isle of Palm Beach has to offer, bar-hopping at Shem Creek Park, and joining a coastal expedition.

3. What are the most popular things to do in Isle of Palms with family?

One of the most popular family activities here is visiting the Isle of Palms County Park, where the family can bond, play, and have a picnic. Also, if you’re children are a little older, you can go to the marina and rent a boat. And the most laidback thing to do here with family is just swimming and making sandcastles at the Isle of Palms Beach.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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