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18 Aug 2023
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The Isle of Palms is a terrific place to live or to visit. And it’s fun when new things pop up to enhance island life even more.

A prime example is the brand new pickleball courts, which the City of Isle of Palms recently unveiled at the Rec Center. You can read all about them in this blog… or better yet, just go in person and check them out for yourself. The Rec Center’s conveniently located in the middle of the island at 24 28th Avenue, and its facilities are open to everyone.

In that vein of neat new upgrades - here are three to keep an eye peeled for, next time you’re here on the Isle of Palms. All are definitely worth checking out and can help make your time here even better.

Let there be light!

There’s a cool new project afoot on Isle of Palms’ popular Front Beach area of shops, restaurants, and live music.

The initiative is called “Light Up Front Beach,” and it’s being spearheaded and funded by the Isle of Palms’ Chamber of Commerce.

They’re working on Phase One right now - installing stylish café lights stretching between the palm trees that run down the center of Ocean Boulevard, in the commercial district of Front Beach. This first phase involves lighting from the Windjammer to Pavilion Drive. The talented experts at Carolina Landscape Lighting are handling the installation.

As landscape architects, theater people, photographers and designers know well, it’s hard to beat the visual impact of good lighting. It’s one of the things that make the holidays so enchanting - all the twinkling lights everywhere.

Thankfully, this project is not just for the holidays but will be up year-round. And it’s not just about looking good. Yes, the lights give a cheerful glow to the area - but they also enhance visibility on the sidewalks and when crossing the medians.

They’ll be especially helpful as days get shorter and after we set clocks back this fall.

Jaunt is in full force.

Want to go out for a night of fun on the IOP or Sullivan’s but don’t feel like driving? Want to save the hassle of parking, or worrying about having too many adult beverages? Jaunt is the answer!

Ride.Jaunt is a super cool idea that I first blogged about last fall. (You can read it here.) Basically, they offer free shuttle rides on cute electric vehicles that tool around and between the islands. The company is based in Charlotte, NC and have been working their way south.

Well, they’ve fully arrived here, and they’re a hit. Jaunt now offers rides as a public service to the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island communities. Colorful ads on the sides of the vehicles help cover expenses.

It’s worth noting that while the rides are free, the drivers do work for (and are very appreciative of) tips. Drivers tend to be neat people who will be glad to give you a local’s perspective or suggestions of great things to do/try/eat/drink, so don’t be shy to ask.

Another way cool thing - Jaunt shuttles are PET FRIENDLY! So be sure to bring your pup along for the ride.

Here’s how you Ride.Jaunt:

· Send a TEXT to (854) 837-3939;

· Include your pick up and drop off locations;

· They will respond by text.

· Hours of operation: 3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

You can find them on Instagram at Ride.Jaunt.

A new pizza place.

For years, Luke & Ollie’s was an IOP institution. It was THE local pizza place on the island. Yes, there’s been a national chain here too, but we’re all about supporting local businesses when possible.

The good folks at Luke & Ollie’s hung in there a long time, and even managed to make it through the pandemic. But the owners finally decided it was time for a change, and they sold the beloved establishment to new owners.

Well, I’m happy to report that the new place is getting really good buzz among locals.

It’s called IOPizza Co., located right on Front Beach, at 1101 Ocean Boulevard.

They have a full menu - salads and starters (including Caprese skewers and Italian meatballs), subs and sandwiches (like sausage & peppers or Philly cheesesteak), calzones, spaghetti and of course pizzas (like the popular Chicken Pesto and White Pies).

And get this - they also have a full drink menu… wines and prosecco by the glass; domestic, imported and craft beers, including local brews like Holy City Pilsner, Huger Street IPA and Palmetto Amber Ale; and an impressive lineup of specialty cocktails - Frozen Limoncello, a Bourbon Smash, Front Beach Tea, a Paloma, Pineapple Mojito, or a refreshing Strawberry Basil Lemonade that’s made with gin.

Hours are: Sunday thru Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m. for dine-in (with slices only from 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.); Thursday thru Saturday from 11:00 a.m. till 10:00 p.m. for dine-in (with slices only from 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.). They’ll even accommodate large groups and private parties.

You can call IOPizza Co. at (843) 242-8121, or check out their website.

So while you’re here on the IOP, why not ride Jaunt through the beautifully-lit Front Beach area, then enjoy a Chicken Pesto IOPizza and a Lowcountry brew with the locals.

All best, Lowcountry Lisa

your Isle of Palms vacation blogger