4 Aug 2020
The sun is out, the temps are warm, it's time to get in the water, wherever and however you can. Luckily, there are many options to get wet, right here on the Isle of Palms.
Get in the water - i.e., the ocean!
The IOP is surrounded on all sides by water. The most user-friendly and accessible water option is the beach, which runs along the Atlantic side of the island. There are no private beaches on the IOP, so you have access to the whole length of the island’s sand and the ocean that it fronts. In general, the IOP’s beach is wide and spacious, but of course that varies hour by hour and day by day. Your best bet is to keep an eye on the tides. There are some terrific apps for that; TideApp and Tides Near Me are both helpful options in planning. Speaking of apps, there’s a brand new and quite helpful one called Beach Reach. It was put together by the Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments, in cooperation with the Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach and Mount Pleasant. Basically the idea of Beach Reach is to help you get to the beach near Charleston, whichever one you choose, be it IOP, Sullivan’s or Folly. Just pick your beach, then check out live traffic cameras on your route to and from there, to help better plan your visit. You can also click on live beach cams to monitor the weather and local conditions at your preferred beach. The app also lists each beach’s current policies on practical things like parking and pets, which can change with the season.
Relax by your private pool
If you’d like the water without the sand, a pool might just fit the bill. The Isle of Palms doesn’t have a public pool. However, there are numerous private ones. Without a doubt, the most fun option is to rent a vacation home that has its own private pool. Exclusive Properties has been around on the Isle of Palms for quite some time. A locally owned company, we’ve amassed a portfolio of the finest rental homes on the island. You can take your pick from among thirty luxury vacation homes which have their own private swimming pools. Many of our homes are oceanfront, whose private pools face the Atlantic. That way you can enjoy swimming amidst ocean views and sea breezes, with none of the downsides of sand, sharp shells, jellyfish or crowds. Just like the homes themselves, our swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes. There are in-ground pools and elevated ones on upper pool decks. Resort-style and infinity pools. Many have hot tubs built in to the pool design. Most afford a great deal of privacy. As a bonus, they are generally near outdoor entertaining or cooking spaces, so you can have your own private pool party with food and drinks at the ready.
Get active with Tidal Wave Water Sports
Other water-based adventures on the Isle of Palms center around the IOP Marina, located near the end of 41st Avenue. It’s where it meets the Intracoastal Waterway. Tidal Wave has been on the IOP for many years now and offers all kinds of exciting and active ways to get in the water. They are based out on the docks over to the left along the Intracoastal, you can’t miss them. Yes, they have jet skis. In fact, they just purchased a beautiful brand new fleet of them for the Isle of Palms this season. You can rent jet skis by the hour. Or, if you’d prefer, you can go on a Jet Ski Adventure Safari. That’s a guided jet ski adventure tour, exploring South Carolina barrier islands and the wildlife found there. Tidal Wave also offers parasailing over the ocean, either solo or tandem. If you’re looking to spend the best day ever on the water, book what they call “The Ultimate Adventure” - both parasailing and jet skiing in one day. You’ll see the coast around Charleston from the sky and from the sea. You can even add a GoPro for just $25, and you get to keep the card to preserve evidence of your adventures. Tidal Wave also can hook you up if you’re interested in wakeboarding, waterskiing, tubing, surfing, or charter boat trips. You can reach them at (843) 886-8456.
Check out Coastal Expeditions
Although their office is in Mount Pleasant, Coastal Expeditions offers several water activities at their Isle of Palms Outpost. They also have a terrific tagline: “Do more than SEE the beauty of Charleston. Be a part of it.” They offer non-motorized ways of getting around on/in the water. Rent kayaks or SUPs (stand-up paddleboards) to explore on your own, from March through mid-September. They’ll provide all the gear you need, along with basic instruction. Their IOP Outpost is also located at the Marina. Walk-ups are welcome, or you can call or text them at (843) 884-7684. They also provide tours year-round, including daily kayak tours; full moon, sunrise and sunset kayak paddles; family kayak paddles; and paddleboard tours.
Go on an Ecotour
If you’d like to get out on the water, let someone else do the driving, and learn some nifty stuff in the process, check out Barrier Island EcoTours. They’ve been based at the Isle of Palms Marina for many years and have been leaving happy folks in their wake ever since. This is particularly good if you have a mix of ages in your groups, since it’s great for everyone. Trained naturalists lead these boat tours to area barrier islands. Head out to Capers Island, which is inhabited only by wildlife. Tour guides travel with real specimens onboard and narrate as they go, pointing out fauna and flora along the way. Chances are you’ll see dolphins and a whole lot more on your journey. They also offer tours where you catch blue crabs, have a beachside cookout, or even a day camp for budding young marine biologists. They’ll also arrange private charters and tours, family reunions or fishing outings, as well as group catering with a Lowcountry menu. So get in the water! The IOP offers you a bunch of great options for doing so. And when you’re ready to book one of those Isle of Palms luxury rentals with a private pool, just give us a call at EP. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger