Best Beaches in the Southeast USA: Isle of Palms County Park – Charleston, South Carolina
Isle of Palms is a South Carolina barrier island fronted by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and Intracoastal Waterway on the west. With its soft, yet walkable, packed sand and mild water, Isle of Palms County Park is a best beach for singles, couples, families, retirees, and dog lovers.
Beach Personality: Family Friendly With A Lot To See and Do Nearby.
Isle of Palms County Park beach is a gem with convenient access to Charleston and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The beach has been certified a Blue Wave Beach because of its cleanliness, safety, and public access every year since 2002 although erosion has narrowed the sandy part of the beach considerably. The good news is that Isle of Palms’ ocean frontage is long and all South Carolina beaches are public, so finding your perfect spot in the sand is never a problem.
Its combination of convenience, amenities, activities, and cleanliness make it a great beach for anyone in the Charleston area. So why did I rate it four rather than five beach chairs? Maybe I’m being a bit picky, but given the abundance of beautiful Charleston area beaches I deducted a star because of the narrowness of the sand zone between the dunes and the shore and the crowds even on the foggy day I visited Isle of Palms County Park.
For more information on Isle of Palms County Park, visit the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission’s Isle of Palms web pages at http://www.ccprc.com/index.aspx?NID=60.
- Boogie boarding
- Paddle boarding
- Walking on the beach
- Skim boarding
- Surf fishing (license required)
- Public bathrooms – Yes.
- Showers – Yes.
- Parking – Yes, for a fee.
- Food – Yes, a snack bar is open seasonally (see lifeguard schedule below and during Charleston County Schools’ spring break). Food is also available at the adjacent business district.
- Lifeguard – Yes, daily Memorial Day to mid-August. Weekends only in May and mid-August through the end of September.
- Dogs allowed on the beach – Yes, leashed only.
Chairs, umbrellas, and bag toss games are available for rent at the beach seasonally (see lifeguard schedule above and during Charleston County Schools’ spring break).
Chairs, umbrellas, paddle boards, boogie boards, and bicycles are available for rent at Island Mermaid in the adjacent business district.
Surfboards are available for rent at Island Surf Co. in the adjacent business district.
Rods and reels are available for rent at Island Time Beach Shop in the adjacent business district.
Isle of Palms County Park is a convenient drive, about 30 minutes, from Charleston South Carolina. Its address is 1 14th Avenue, Isle of Palms, South Carolina. To get to the beach park from Charleston, take US 17 North towards Mt. Pleasant. Stay on US 17 where it becomes Johnnie Dodds Boulevard after crossing the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. At the intersection of US 17 and Route 517 (Isle of Palms Connector) turn right and continue to Palm Boulevard where Route 517 becomes 14th Avenue. At the end of 14th Avenue turn left to access the parking lot.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Photos courtesy of Lisa Dworkin