THe Best Things To Do On The Isle Of Palms

Your guide to fun things to do on IOP, from a day at the beach to a round of golf on an ocean-front course

This article shares the top things to do on Isle of Palms, from the best places to sit by the ocean to fun activities, like paddleboarding and fishing.

Though hanging at the beach is an excellent way to spend a day on the Isle of Palms, you may be looking for other activities and things to do. Or maybe you just need some ideas for how to spend a day at the beach.

This guide to things to do on Isle Of Palms shares everything from bike rentals to golf courses, a happy hour with a view, details on a fishing charter and even tips for enjoying a relaxing day the beach. Hint: it includes chair rentals and frosé!

Things to Do on The Isle Of Palms

Have a Beach Day On IOP

Sunrise over the Isle of Palms Pier with beach sand in the foreground.

The most popular thing to do on the Isle of Palms is to spend a day at the beach. There are several access points, so we’ll give you a bit of info to help plan your day at the beach.

If you’re unfamiliar with the island, there’s a main downtown area with many of the restaurants on Isle of Palms and a few shops. There’s also public parking, public beach access, an oceanfront playground and a few hotels.

Rightfully so, this area can get really busy during peak season. You can either embrace the crazy and plant a chair amongst the chaos, or walk down the beach a bit to escape the crowds.

Another option to access the beach at Isle Of Palms is to park at one of the many public access points. They are scattered along the island and there are typically a few parking spots nearby.

You may have trouble finding parking on busier days. Don’t be tempted to park where you aren’t supposed to, though! Parking tickets are common on the island. They’ll even get you if you don’t have all 4 of your tires off the road.

Umbrella and chair rentals are available through IOP Beach Chair Co. Just reserve ahead and they’ll have chairs + umbrellas set up and waiting for you at your preferred location.

Cool off with a frosé the Isle of Palms Co-Op. You can buy it by the bottle or get a flight!

Play A Round Of Golf At Wild Dunes

The Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms boasts two championship golf courses, both designed by renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio.

  1. Wild Dunes Links Course: This course, Fazio’s first design, opened in 1979 and is known for its challenging layout, beautiful oceanfront views, and iconic finishing hole overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
  2. Wild Dunes Harbor Course: Opened in 1985, this course features water on nearly every hole, with lagoons, salt marshes, and the Intracoastal Waterway coming into play throughout the round.

Both courses are open to the public and offer a variety of amenities, including a pro shop, driving range, and practice facilities.

Happy Hour With A View

Exterior of The Boathouse at Breach Inlet in Isle of Palms, SC

While there are several great seafood restaurants on the Isle of Palms, the one with the best view is by far The Boat House. It’s located at the south end of the island just before you cross over to Sullivan’s.

It is a well-known spot known for amazing sunset views over the Intracoastal waterway. They even have a rooftop area with an unobstructed view.

The Boat House’s menu boasts a variety of local seafood fare. It also includes several seafood starters, like pickled shrimp, fried calamari, PEI mussels and oyster rockefeller.

Live Music At A Beach Club

Beach stage at the Windjammer on Isle of Palms

The Wind Jammer is a lively beach club with a pub menu, two stages and a beach volleyball court.

There’s a beach stage (which doubles as the volleyball court) and another inside. You can typically plan for summer shows to be on the outside stage. There’s nothing like a sandy dance floor and the ocean breeze!

You can also enjoy outdoor shows on the deck above. It has an excellent view of the stage and ocean.

Fishing Charter

Charter fishing boat on the water

Chartering a fishing boat is a fantastic way to spend a day on the water, reeling in fish and creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a curious first-timer, there are several local captains ready to show you the ropes.

To start your fishing adventure, just pick out an expert guide from one of the many locals who know the waters. Many of the charters are kid-friendly, and you can bring your own drinks and snacks.

Oceanfront Dining

Oceanfront dining at Coda del Pesce in Isle of Palms, SC

There’s nothing like dining with an oceanfront view. Luckily for all of us, several restaurants on IOP offer excellent ocean views. It’s the perfect way to experience island life! Below are a few great spots:

  1. Coda del Pesce: upscale Italian perfect for a nicer evening out
  2. Coconut Joes: casual seafood spot that’s known for its coconut shrimp. It’s close to The Windjammer so you will often hear live music.
  3. The Boathouse: located on IOP’s Intracoastal waterway. Seafood menu, excellent sunset views and a perfect spot for happy hour!
  4. Lawrence’s Seafood Shack: casual seafood restaurant with a lobster roll, fried shrimp and cheeseburgers

Visit Sullivan’s Island

Lighthouse on Sullivan's Island

Sullivan’s Island is another barrier island just south of Isle of Palms. The two are connected by a bridge just past The Boat House.

Sullivan’s is more of a residential island than IOP, with no hotels and only a handful of rentals available. Nonetheless, it’s a culinary destination for all of Charleston. Several of the restaurants on Sullivan’s Island are worth making the trip over for. Start with Obstinate Daugter!

Sullivan’s is also home to Fort Moultrie, which was first used during the American Revolution. It was in operation through WWII and is now a National Historic Park.

Explore Isle Of Palms by Bike

Beach cruiser bike on sand

One of the best ways to spend a day on Isle Of Palms is to explore by bike. And don’t worry, you don’t need to bring your own! There are several companies that offer bike rentals on Isle of Palms. See below for details.

  1. Isle of Palms Beach Chair Co: 16″ to 26″ cruisers, as well as bicycle baskets, helmets, child seats and bike trailers.
  2. Isle of Palms Bike Rentals: 16″ to 26″ cruisers, pull carts, helmets, joggers, beach carts and more.

Go Stand-up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddle boarder in ocean

If you want to get into some water sports without the required skill, rent a stand-up paddleboard from IOP Beach chair. They also have surfboards and boogie boards available.

Stand-up paddleboards can be rented for $180 per week. The boards are 9′ long and rental includes a leash, paddle and USCG-approved type 3 personal flotation device. Additional days after the first week are $25 each.

If surfing is more your style, you can rent a 9′ board that comes with a leash. Rentals start at $120 per week.

Leave a Comment