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Isle of Palms is located on the Atlantic coast, 17 miles east of downtown Charleston. Charleston International Airport (CHS) serves many US hubs, as well as London. By car or taxi, it takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Isle of Palms from the airport, or 45 minutes by airport shuttle. Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) is the second-closest airport, 93 miles away, and flies to 50 domestic destinations. It’s reachable in about two hours by car. The island is easily accessible on foot and by bike — and golf cart, of which you’ll encounter many.
Like much of South Carolina, Isle of Palms has a humid, subtropical climate. That means summer can be hot and oppressive, even if it’s the most popular time to visit. If you visit between June and August, as most tourists do, you can expect temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s Fahrenheit. While it makes for a refreshing dip in the ocean, bring a sun hat and plenty of SPF to protect yourself from the sun. For more pleasant temperatures (and fewer crowds), late spring and early fall offer light breezes and more favorable temperatures. Keep in mind that hurricane season peaks around September, so for more reliable weather, spring is best: overall, April and May win out for the best weather.
This popular park is irresistible for its array of amenities and offerings, all of which are easily accessible. Spread out on a patch of grass, prop up a parasol on the fine sandy beach, unpack a homemade picnic at one of the scenic tables, or splash around in the warm ocean waters. When you want to stretch your legs, find your way to the boardwalk, which connects to the town’s namesake beach.
An oak-lined avenue welcomes visitors to the 17th-century Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens, just outside of Isle of Palms. This historic site serves up a slice of the region’s deep history, with preserved buildings and beautiful plants spread across 738 acres. Walking or driving tours are offered and, depending on the season, U-Pick Fields welcome visitors to pick your own peaches, grapes, and berries. There’s cultural programming throughout the year that informs about the plantation’s history and works to raise awareness about enslaved peoples.
Taking a boat tour is a great way to get another perspective of Isle of Palms, as much of the natural beauty here can’t be accessed by car or on foot. Secret coves, hidden wildlife, crabbing excursions, aquatic safaris, and even a haunted harbor are all on offer from one of the town’s several outfitters.