31 May 2022
A New Public Dock at the IOP
The City of the Isle of Palms is always working on making the island even better.
As more and more people discover how wonderful the Isle is, the City is constantly upgrading, updating and adding new programs. Just check the events page - the calendar is filled with fun events throughout the year, like Doggie Day at the Rec, the IOP Farmers Market, drive-through haunted house for golf cart trick-or-treaters, Christmas tree lightings, street festivals, classes galore and a whole lot more.
The Rec Center in the middle of the island is a real gem. It’s the site of many of these special events and classes. The Rec is also open all year round for residents and guests alike, with plenty of athletic facilities (soccer, baseball, basketball - both indoors and out, tennis, workout facilities and a huge outdoor playground for the kids). There’s also a popular Bark Park for our four-legged friends and their owners.
The Marina is another hub of island activity. And it’s undergoing some major changes lately, with a lot to show for all the work and money spent.
The Marina Makeover
The Isle of Palms Marina is located where 41st Avenue meets the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s a hub of activity of many kinds, on land and water. There’s a slew of slips for rent, and there’s no telling whose boat or sizeable yacht you might find docked there at any given time. You can hop on one of the Barrier Island Eco Tours or an Osprey Boat Charter. You’ll find a large boat launch as well as gas pumps for automobiles. There’s also an old school Marina Store where you can find an amazingly wide selection of supplies, groceries and gifts, along with a quite good breakfast and lunch counter inside.
Recently the City undertook a massive project, rehabilitating the marina area. The project began all the way back in 2018, when the Isle of Palms began the permitting, design and engineering process. It’s no small feat, as it involved securing permits from the likes of the Office of Ocean & Coastal Resource Management (SCDHEC-OCRM) as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The project has gone through many phases along the way. Instead of just rehabbing, they ended up replacing all the floating docks and rebuilding the facilities such as the fuel dock, fuel hut, and marine infrastructure. They also did major maintenance to the bulkhead.
Just this month, the City announced the completion of the project, with “all systems 100% functional.” Just in time for the busy summer season.
The Islander 71 is open!
Another huge component of the marina area is the main restaurant, located along the Intracoastal, as I blogged about recently.
For a couple decades Morgan Creek Grill stood in that prime spot, serving up drinks and food along with some of the prettiest views around. It closed a couple years ago, and the City took bids for a new establishment. They decided on “Islander 71 Fish House & Deck Bar,” created by a local group of islanders who are the driving force behind the popular Mex 1 Cantina restaurants.
We’ve watched with great anticipation as the old restaurant underwent a massive rehabilitation project - essentially a rebuilding as well, just like the docks.
Well, Islander 71 is open and doing a booming business! Half the seating is outdoors on decks and porches, and it was overflowing with happy customers this past weekend. The buzz is quite good about the food and the vibe of the place. Check out the menu here. They even have slips where you can park your boat while you eat.
And… a new City Dock!
And last but not least, there’s a big new dock for the public to enjoy. It reaches out into the Intracoastal Waterway, over to the left near where Tidal Wave used to be. It’s the perfect spot to do a myriad of things, like….
- Launch a canoe, kayak, or paddle board;
- Go fishing;
- Watch the sun set across the Intracoastal;
- Look for dolphins;
- Check out all the boat traffic going by, and people watch;
- Read a book;
- Sunbathe and hang with friends;
- Take a free meditation class on Thursdays at 8:00 a.m. Just bring a beach towel, yoga mat or chair. No registration necessary.
The dock has a long walkway leading to it, with a metal gate at the entrance. It’s open daily from sunrise to sunset. They ask that you not swim, moor motorized vessels, smoke or drink alcohol at the dock. Read more about it here.
So check out the Marina makeover. There’s a whole lot to discover and enjoy, right here on the island.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger