Located 13 miles north of Charleston, the barrier islands of Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island are as rich in history as they are in beauty. Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan’s Island, was built in 1776 to defend Charleston against British attack. The soft palmetto logs that formed the walls of the early rampart absorbed the British shells during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, in which the Patriots emerged victorious. (After that battle, the palmetto tree was adopted as the South Carolina state symbol.)
Today the wide, sandy beaches on Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island each have a different feel. In high season, the public beach park on Isle of Palms has a resort ambience, while Sullivan’s is more laid-back and residential. Also on Isle of Palms, private Wild Dunes resort encompasses two championship golf courses, a tennis center, a host of accommodations for rent, and the resort’s only hotel, The Boardwalk Inn.
As you’d expect, eateries on Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island are overwhelmingly casual, with beach bars holding sway on several blocks of the Ocean Boulevard strip in the former and along Middle Street in the latter. There are, however, several options for fine dining – some even boast ocean views.