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Explore Isle of Palms: Tips For Every Family Budget

If your family loves the beach, you may have traveled to Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Isle of Palms is seven miles long, two miles wide, and has a nickname of “long Island.” Isle of Palms has a population of 4,609 full-time residents, but on Saturdays and Sundays the island population can swell up to 15,000 people.

As a current resident of Isle of Palms for the past four years, I am still discovering the many wonders of this island.  Here are a few suggestions if you and your family plan to visit the island.

Basic Explorer:

  • Explore Isle of Palms: Tips For Every Family BudgetFree Beach Access:  Arrive before 10:30 a.m. to “beat” the traffic. Parking in May-September can be at front beach (Ave 10-14th).
  • Tour the Marina: Located on 41st street, you can spend hours looking at the boats and water (for free!) The Marina also has bathrooms and snacks inside for purchase.
  • Morgan Creek Grill: Located on 41st street, you can let the kiddos dig in their outside sand area and music stage (typically live music is on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays).
  • Isle of Palms Recreation Center: This is our main family go-to besides the beach. Located on 29th Avenue, this is an amazing outside park with basketball court inside, bathrooms, and outdoor showers available.

Intermediate Explorer:

  • Beach Access: With this you get the use of Isle of Palms County Park, the entry fee is $10.00. You also get the use of the county park, which includes beach access, parking, restrooms, and outdoor showers. This is the best family value if you want to use the beach all day. Bring a cooler, but no alcohol or plastic bags are allowed on the beach.
  • Park and Rent a boat at the Isle of Palms Marina: Renting a boat from the Marina prices range from $65.00-$125.00 an hour.
  • Park and Rent Stand Up Paddle boards: Ocean Fitness, located at the Isle of Palms Marina, offers a variety of fitness  opportunities. Activities available are rentals, tours, SUP lessons, and SUP fitness classes.

Expert Explorer:

Reaching expert explorer will require a longer stay.  

  • Begin by staying at Wild Dunes Resort at The Boardwalk Inn, or The Village At Wild Dunes. Renting vacation homes is also an option through Beachside Vacations.
  • Private Beach Access: Available through Wild Dunes access.
  • Extreme Water Sports: Tidal Wave Water Sports, located on the Edge of the Isle of Palms Marina. This is a separate business that focuses on family fun. Services available include, wave runners, parasailing, wake boarding, banana boat, boat charters, and renting a variety of boats. Open year around, Tidal Wave is the ultimate water adventure.

No matter what Isle of Palms explorer your family is, there is always a family-fun atmosphere here on the local island. I am still working on that expert status, and I live here! Please come visit and see what all the fun is about!

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