The surrounding barrier islands and beaches of Charleston exude their own Southern charm. Each island, although equally beautiful, offers salty sea breezes, a relaxed lifestyle and a unique experience. Whether your inclination is toward the laid back and unassuming Folly Beach, the deeply drenched historical Sullivan's Island, or the six miles of white, sandy beach on the resort island of Isle of Palms, there's is an ideal island for everyone.
Sullivan’s Island is the quintessential in historic, Southern, island living. The island is neatly positioned seven nautical miles to the north of Historic Charleston. The island is easily accessible from Mount Pleasant via the Ben Sawyer Bridge (SC Highway 703) or the Isle of Palms Connector (SC Highway 517). Sullivan’s Island is home to nearly 2,000 residents.
The town was incorporated in 1817 as Moultrieville and later renamed Sullivan’s Island. The island has no motels or B&B’s and has just a few short-term rentals. The homes on Sullivan’s Island vary from classic beach cottages to aesthetically pleasing new construction.
Sullivan’s Island is famous for its sheer beauty, and rich history. It is home to historic Fort Moultrie that boasts over 171 years of history, from the early shots of the American Revolutionary War to WWII protection from German U-boats. Sullivan’s Island was also, at one-time, home to Edgar Allen Poe, and where he penned The Gold Bug. These moments are but a snapshot of the rich history of the island.
Before the comfort of air conditioners, many Charlestonians would spend their summers on the island enjoying the beach and cool summer breezes.
Today, Sullivan’s Island has added to the unique Southern mix great restaurants, quaint bars, art shops, and a centrally located park with basketball, tennis, soccer facilities and a children’s play park. Spending time on the island is a real joy and truly invites one to relax and slow down. Home prices for the island have steadily risen and most homes are priced well over $1 million.
Isle Of Palms
There is something to suit everyone’s taste on the Isle of Palms. One of Charleston’s premier barrier islands, Isle of Palms, offers visitors and residents alike numerous amenities including the beautiful beach situated on the Atlantic Ocean. No matter where you live on the Isle of Palms, you can walk to the beach. Front Beach offers many choices in cuisine, shopping or just a quiet stroll along the ocean. The Isle of Palms Recreation Department is great for the kids with its newly renovated facilities.
If it's fishing and boating that you prefer, the Intracoastal Waterway is just on the other side of the Isle of Palms beach. There are marinas and boat landings to accommodate the most avid boaters. There are great day trips offered that include an outing to Dewees Island or Capers where you can enjoy and experience South Carolina’s Coastal natural habitat.
The Isle of Palms is truly a wonderful place to live. Isle of Palms Real Estate is eclectic, offering a wide range of homes from the luxury executive beach house to the remaining small beach shanty. If you own a piece of Isle of Palms Real Estate, you own a gem.
Along with all that Isle of Palms Proper has to offer, is the Island Resort of Wild Dunes. Situated on 1,600 acres at the northeast tip of the Isle of Palms is Wild Dunes, the gated resort area was developed in the mid-1970s ). In 1980, the Tom Fazio–designed Links Course opened and in 1982, the Harbor Course, a second Fazio golf course, opened and catapulted the resort into the national golf-world spotlight.
Besides the two 18-hole golf courses, extensive amenities within the gates of the resort include numerous swimming pools, 17 Har-Tru tennis courts (5 of which are lighted for night play), all-inclusive vacation packages, club social events, fitness and spa facilities, nature excursions to uninhabited neighboring islands, a hotel, retail shops and fine and casual dining. Wild Dunes includes a mix of private homes, villas and condominiums, and Wild Dunes management makes it easy for owners to rent their properties on the vacation market. Wild Dunes is considered one of the state’s finest island resorts and is just minutes from Historic downtown Charleston and the Charleston International Airport.
Locals refer to Folly Beach as “The Edge of America” and the beach seems to grow in popularity more and more every year.
The six-mile long island, home to nearly 1600 year round residents, is neatly positioned at the south entrance to Historic Charleston harbor.
The island’s population is quite diverse, as are the many recreational offerings. One of the big draws for Folly Beach is its beachfront county park that encompasses some 2,500 feet of ocean frontage. Seasonally supervised by lifeguards, you can rent bikes, beach equipment, and easily access the Edwin S. Taylor fishing pier. The pier at Folly is home to some of the best fishing in the area. The structure stretches some 1,000+ feet into the Atlantic Ocean. The 24-foot wide pier offers spectacular views of the beach and surrounding homes. If fishing is not your thing, you may want to try the pier’s full-service seafood restaurant or just people watch as you soak in the scenery.
Folly Beach is also home to some of the East Coast’s best surfing. The “Wash Out” on the island's east end has played host to many surfing tournaments. The water fun expands to parasailing, water-skiing, surf-fishing or just plain sun worshiping.
After the sun goes down on your day at Folly, it's time to enjoy some food and your favorite beverage. My suggested place to start is Snapper Jacks Seafood & Sports Bar for its great food and spirits. It’s located in the heart of the Folly Beach business district. The local business owners have done a great job of revitalizing the center of town. People of all ages and walks of life can find something fun to do after a day at the beach.
Folly Beach also offers easy access to Historic Charleston. The island visitor is only a 15-minute ride from the “Holy City.” There are few places in the United States with the great history and recreational opportunities this area affords.