Isle of Palms offers an array of memorable experiences for visitors, from historical attractions like Fort Moultrie to a classic beach bar/hangout offering first-class beach volleyball competitions.
Here are some not-to-miss attractions:
A mecca for local beach volleyball players, music fans and beach lovers, The Windjammer has been entertaining IOP vacationers for half a century. Hit The Windjammer for great beach food and libations and experience a true IOP institution.
The original fort on nearby Sullivan's Island, constructed of palmetto logs and sand, was still incomplete when Commodore Sir Peter Parker of the Royal Navy and nine British men-of-war attacked it on June 28, 1776. After a nine-hour battle, the ships were forced to retire. Charlestown was saved from British occupation, and the fort was named in honor of its commander, Colonel William Moultrie. Today Fort Moultrie has been restored to portray the major periods of its history. A visitor to the fort moves steadily backward in time from the World War II Harbor Entrance Control Post to the site of the Palmetto-log fort of 1776.
Built circa 1740, some 40 years before the American Revolutionary War, Hopsewee Plantation was a major rice plantation and the birthplace of Thomas Lynch, Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Now a private residence, this National Historic Landmark is open for tours on Saturdays.
For more than 300 years, people in Charleston have been weaving baskets using locally-harvested bulrush, a strong yet supple marsh grass that thrives in the sandy soil of the Lowcountry. Originally used as winnowing fans to separate the rice seed from its chaff, sweetgrass baskets are regarded among the nation’s most prized cultural souvenirs. Baskets can be seen and purchased in downtown Charleston and across the Ravenel Bridge where roadside sweetgrass basket stands are the most visible aspect of the Gullah/Geechee culture displayed along U.S. Highway 17. A portion of the highway was designated as the Sweetgrass Basket Makers Highway in 2006, the same year the sweetgrass basket became South Carolina’s official state craft.
Between the Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island, water flows into and out of the tidal marshes through the Breach Inlet. The area on the west side is known as Thomson Park, which was the site of a historic Revolutionary War battle. Today, this is a nice place to walk around or relax in the sun. It is also a popular fishing spot, but the water is not safe for swimming. The highway bridge that crosses the inlet has sidewalks and bicycle lanes for those who want to venture across it.