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29 Apr 2024
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The Lowcountry has lots of water, and lots of parks So it comes as no big surprise that it has a couple very well known waterfront parks.  

There’s Waterfront Park on the downtown Charleston peninsulaIt’s the long, lovely landscaped area that stretches along the Cooper River and overlooks the harborIt’s where you can find Charleston’s iconic pineapple fountain, along with the dancing waters fountain kids love to play in when the weather’s hot.  

Mount Pleasant has a beloved waterfront park too – Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, as it’s officially knownThis one’s located on the other side of the Cooper River, underneath the Ravenel Bridge, its pier extending out over the water into the harbor.  This waterfront park is the venue for many events like Cheers on the Pier, Dancing on the Cooper, the ever-popular Blessing of the Fleet, which just took place this past weekend. 

Well, the Isle of Palms is joining the clubWe’re getting our very own waterfront park, and it’s due to open very soon. 

IOP Marina Makeover 

The IOP Marina has been a fixture and local hotspot for decadesLocated where 41st Avenue meets the Intracoastal Waterway, it’s the primary water access point on the island. 

There’s been a major project afoot to renovate the Marina, surrounding areas and businessesIt started way back in 2018 and has involved countless planning stages, permits, rounds of funding, public input sessions, town council votes, and phases of completion.   

A good bit of it is finished – including the new public dock and the boardwalkYou can read more about the early stages of the project in this blog from May of 2022.   

They’ve also redone the Marina Store and cafe, aka The Outpost Marina Market, as well as the main restaurant on the water – Islander 71, which replaced the old Morgan Creek GrillBoth have become big hubs of activity year-round on the island.  Islander 71 is constantly hosting terrific special events, like oyster roasts and even a special Kentucky Derby party they have planned for May 4th. Well, they’re finally finishing up the Marina project, with what promises to be a very fun addition…   

Final Phase: IOP Waterfront Park & Greenspace! 

Construction is officially underway on the last two pieces of the puzzleWork is progressing quite fast, and they’re hoping to have it ready and open to the public by June 1st. 

IOP Waterfront Park will encompass an area of land that’s 325 feet long by 25 feet wideIt runs along the Marina and overlooks the scenic Intracoastal Waterway, with its abundant bird and sea life, sailboats, motorboats and other watercraft that pass by. 

Some cool new features of the park will include: 

  • A six-foot wide concrete walkway along the water; 

  • A large lawn area with lush landscaping; 

  • A series of benches along the area with views of the water and Goat Island; 

  • A prominent circular area with seating wall and flagpole, which will lead into the entrance to the public dock; 

  • A kayak launch area; 

  • A storage area for kayaks; 

  • Multiple areas with convenient parking specifically for golf carts;  

  • Areas for dedicated bicycle parking. 

Check out the conceptual plan above to get a better idea of the layout of the parkIt was designed by Kelly Messier, an architect who also happens to be a resident of the Isle of Palms. 

What’s the word on the street?   

Live 5 News interviewed Scott Toole, who is the General Manager of The Outpost, and asked what he thought of the project.   

Here’s what he had to say: “I think that it’s an added benefit to the island, to the residents, everybody, to have a space and to use the dock.  Kayak launching is a big thing that I think people will take advantage ofIt’s really going to help make this area kind of a place of interest for people, sort of a destination so to speak, for people to be able to get some food, get some drink, watch the water and use the dock that’s right thereWe’re excited to see this project take place.” 

For more info… 

You can read more about the project on the City’s website, which has a timeline and link to several of the design drawings.   

Or better yet, just drive, bike, ride a golf cart, walk, boat or kayak down to the Marina and see the progress for yourself.   


All best, 
Lowcountry Lisa  

your Isle of Palms vacation blogger