Isle of Palms is a city on the barrier island of the same name along the Charleston County coastline, located about 15 miles to the east of downtown Charleston. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the south, its nearest neighbors are Mount Pleasant to the north, Dewees Island to the northeast, and Sullivan’s Island to the west.
A major access route to the island from the mainland is the Isle of Palms Connector, which is the bridge connector of South Carolina Highway 517 from Mount Pleasant, and is also known as the Clyde Moultrie Dangerfield Highway. Another thoroughfare is South Carolina Highway 703, which enters eastward from Sullivan’s Island.
Formerly known as Hunting Island and then Long Island, the island was renamed Isle of Palms by J.S. Lawrence, who purchased it in 1899. Development gradually continued during the 1900s, culminating with the establishment of the Wild Dunes Resort in the mid-1970s. The area transformed into an affluent residential bedroom community while retaining its natural beauty and appeal as a summertime getaway and major vacation destination.
Housing options in Isle of Palms are mostly single-family residences that include beach cottages, villas, and estate properties. There are townhouses and condos as well.
In many beach communities, the closer you are to the water, the more expensive the home. The Isle of Palms is no exception, with waterfront homes going up to $2 million and above. Most of the homes have excellent views of the Atlantic Ocean on the south side of the island or of the waterways on the north side of the island. Homes along the Intracoastal Waterway have private docks for boats, while homes along the ocean provide easy access to the beaches. If you’d rather build your home from the ground up, land and lots can still be purchased.
For rentals, the Wild Dunes Resort offers guest rooms, studio units, suites and penthouses at the Boardwalk Inn or The Village at Wild Dunes. Rental homes, condos, and cottages are also available, and all accommodations include easy access to five-star amenities and resort facilities like golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, a fitness center, spa, salon services, and marina.
Areas of interest
Wild Dunes is an exclusive oceanfront resort located near the center of the island. Developed in 1972, the resort encompasses about 1,600 acres, and features two championship golf courses designed by Tom Fazio:
- The Links Course at the eastern end of the island, with 18 holes on lush, rolling fairways and a finishing hole overlooking the Atlantic Ocean;
- and the Harbor Course at the center of the island, with 18 challenging holes that weave around lagoons, salt marshes, and the Intracoastal Waterway.
Wild Dunes also has a renowned tennis center with 17 Har-Tru courts including a stadium court, plus swimming pools, spa, fitness center, and dining facilities.
Isle of Palms County Park is a small park at the corner of 14th Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, offering some lovely ocean views along a beachfront designated swimming area with lifeguards on duty seasonally. The park also features picnic tables, a children’s playground, and volleyball court. Across the park, the area between Palm Boulevard and Ocean Boulevard is the island’s commercial and retail district, with numerous shops, boutiques, restaurants, and dining establishments.