“Serenity Now!” Leave your worries behind and come free your mind, body and spirit at peaceful Isle of Palms beach.
You can walk barefoot, walk your dog, lose yourself gazing at the blue ocean waters, swim, run, bicycle, collect shells, surf, run a kite, play volleyball, or just take a well-deserved nap…the possibilities for fun are endless and best of all it’s FREE! Now that’s something worth shouting about!
Tips to know before you go
1. Park for free at the Isle of Palms County Park and walk the half mile to the beach. There is a super-cool playground for kids to have fun and burn a lot of energy (the mini zip line is a winner); also there are restrooms, showers and changing rooms.
2. If you don’t want to walk, there is metered parking available downtown between 10 and 14th streets. You need to pay during beach season from mid-March to early October. However after 6:00 PM parking is free! You can also park on the streets or a special designated parking lot. See more info about beach access and parking here.
3. Once you’re done with the beach, if you want to rinse the sand off skip the showers by the restrooms; they are always crowded and it gets mushy on the ground pretty quickly. I always used the shower by the volleyball court one block down.
4. Best places to hunt for shells is as far away as possible from downtown.
If you parked at the Isle of Palms County Park go to your left once you get to the beach and pass all the residential buildings. Now you’re in for a treat: intact conks, crab, clams and horse-shoe shells…well formed sand-dollars…maybe a baby shark or even coins. Bird watchers enthusiasts go to the southern end of the island (shorter walk).
5. Boys and girls get a great kick with the little body surf boards. They don’t need to go far into the water so you can keep a close eye on them as they have fun. There are several shops on the island to rent beach equipment. Of course you can use the regular surf boards as well.
6. There are several places to eat on the island, including 2 restaurants featuring incredible ocean views (that’s reflected in the price). My favorite thing to do is get ice-cream from the little shop close to the restroom area. It’s cheap, cool and is a good enough bribe to keep my 3 years old in check.
7. If you plan to bicycle or come with the stroller be mindful of the tide calendar (published daily in the newspaper or given at the hotel). The water can get very high eating into most of the beach.
9. For more educational activities take the short drive to nearby Fort Moultrie (free admission), the historic park where the state’s Palmetto Tree symbol was born and legend has it we coined the phrase “We beat the pants off them“
10. Check this post for a detailed list of activities (grouped by price) you can do with the kids in and around Charleston.
Directions to Isle of Palms Beach:
From Hwy 17 N in Mt. Pleasant take the IOP connector (turn right at Bank of America) all the way till the end. Here is the Google Map.
Once you’re in town you can turn left to get to the Isle of Palms County Park, Marina and the road leading towards Wild Dunes golf resort. You can turn right to reach “downtown”, metered parking and most of the shops and restaurants. There are about 50 public beach access points on Isle of Palms.
Folly Beach is another great beach to visit, on the other side of Charleston. Very romantic and less commercial it’s a popular gateway for singles, weddings and people with dogs.
However if you’re planning to spend the week then camp out at Edisto Island State Park, the South Carolina kid friendly jungle! Take the night beach walks to spot Carolina’s most famous reptile the loggerhead turtles nesting and hatching along the shores. Discover the thousands years old Spanish Mound and visit the Interpretive Center for an awesome live show on native marine wildlife.
Have fun at the Isle of Palms beach!
Filed under: Biking, Boating and Fishing, Charleston, Daniel Island, Fort Moultrie, Free Things to Do, Isle of Palms, Swimming, Walking and Jogging | Tagged: affordable Charleston vacation, Charleston best kids attractions, Charleston free things to do, Charleston just for kids, Charleston super fun beach activities, Fort Moultrie, Isle of Palms kids activities, Isle of Palms things to do with kids, Isle of Palms vacation photos, top beaches for children between Charleston and Georgetown, what to do with kids in Charleston, where to go this weekend with the family Mount Pleasant |