We’ll conclude our overview of Charleston’s beach communities this week with a look at Isle of Palms. This 4.5 square mile barrier island is Sullivan’s Island next door neighbor, separated by only a narrow patch of salty water. Out of all the coastal playgrounds we’ve highlighted, it’s one of the more densely developed. Before you stop reading because of the word “dense,” consider that this means a wider range of buying opportunities, as well as more amenities and conveniences. Here’s the scoop on the IoP.
Isle of Palms first gained attention as a vacation spot in the 19th century. Given the modesty requirements, it’s surprising people even bothered going to the beach during that period, but that’s another story. Development was sparse until after World War II, when JC Long bought up a sizable chunk of the island and developed modest housing for returning veterans. Not coincidentally, it wasn’t long after (1953) when Isle of Palms gained cityhood. Another round of large scale development would blow into town in 1975, when the Sea Pines Company of Hilton Head Island fame began work on the Wild Dunes resort. More on that in a minute.
Recreational activities abound on the island; volleyball in particular is a favorite Isle of Palms pastime. The IoP Marina is a popular spot for boat rentals and fishing excursions. Wild Dunes offers two 18 hole Tom Fazio golf courses, as well as a bevy of har true tennis courts for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. As it should, the island takes pride in being the first city in South Carolina to be awarded with the Blue Wave Designation, which recognizes exceptional environmental stewardship.
James Island Park hosts a great yearlong lineup of events, inclduing the Lowcountry Cajun Festival, the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival, and the Holiday Festival of Lights. Two shopping centers and a grocery store mean that one doesn’t have to drive over a bridge for every daily need. At the same time, anything you can’t find on IoP can be found minutes away in Mount Pleasant. The pleasures of Charleston are only 13 miles away.
The real estate conversation on Isle of Palms tends to be dominated by Wild Dunes. At 1,500 acres, it’s hard to ignore. The variety of housing at Wild Dunes offers a wide range of price points, from stunning waterway homes with yacht parking to more modest beach condos. As of this writing, Trulia has the average IoP listing price at $897,666, with the median sales price $402,500. You can search Isle of Palms listings here.