Day trips from Isle of Palms, South Carolina, Part 1.

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Day Trips for Adventuring from Isle of Palms, South Carolina, Part 1.

Are you considering a vacation getaway to Charleston, South Carolina?  Perhaps you are interested in a restful beach getaway but want a little more variety than - while wonderful - simply beachcombing and poolside lounging?  Or maybe the buzz around the low country food and historic scene has caught your attention over the years, but you are unsure where to start?  All excellent ideas for a unique and restorative vacation!  


1-  Sullivan’s Island - Our closest neighbor to the South.  Pack a picnic lunch and take the short drive over Breach Inlet to Sullivan’s Island.  Explore their shoreline and visit historic sites such as Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter.  Get out on the water by taking the ferry to Fort Sumter.  Note: free admission to the Parks is available on the select days, review calendar here (The ferry still requires a fee).

After a day of historic sightseeing, on your way home stop for a southern seafood, culinary treat at the quaint restaurant - The Obstinate Daughter, a favorite by locals and travelers alike.  The two-time nominated Chef Jacques Larson’s menu has led to a restaurant status of reservations recommended, although limited seating is available at the bar and on the patio!



2 - Seeking some shade a few days into your beach vacation?  We invite you to spend time exploring the lush forests of Francis Marion and Sumter National Forest.  By foot, mountain bike, kayak or canoe- your avenue is up to you!  Additional options include exploring the forest on horseback.  Green Bay Farm is located 30 minutes from Isle of Palm and can accommodate beginners.  Lastly, visit the Boggy Head Rifle Range for still target practice.

One your way home, stop at Page’s Okra Grill for some pimiento cheese grits and fried green tomatoes, a local favorite that was voted Best Overall Restaurant in Charleston by The Post and Courier Charleston’s Choice!


3 - Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge - Visiting the estuary is a unique, serene experience in contrast to the hustle of everyday life, and a quieter version to the ocean wave cadence of the shorelines nearby.  The estuary is known as a birder’s “hotspot” and bids visitors to soak in the quiet, take a stroll, find treasures of shells, and breathe deeply the salty marsh air.  During certain times of year bow hunting for deer is also an option.  A visitors center, non-motorized boating, hiking, the list goes on and on of all that is available here.  Pack a picnic lunch from, The Refuge  in Isle of Palms on your way out of town, it’s delicious and one thing they are well known for in the community! (We like it so much, we wrote an entire post on it - check it out here!)

4 - The Angel Oak on John’s Island is estimated to be the largest live Oak tree east of the Mississippi River and estimated to be between 300-400 years old.  While difficult to grasp the size and coverage of the tree, it is over 65 feet high, has a circumference of 25.5 feet, and shade coverage of over 17,000 square feet.  To protect the tree (and visitors), climbing is not allowed, but admission to the park is free.  A gift shop and picnic area for leashed pets is nearby.  



After strolling around the Angel Oak Tree and taking in its magnitude, we recommend the Wild Olive restaurant for dinner. An Italian restaurant with homemade pasta as the star of its menu, it relies heavily on the local bounty of Charleston and takes pride in sourcing and composting responsibly.  So not only is Wild Olive considered “Farm to Table,” but it is also “Table to Farm!”


5. And of course, beloved Downtown Charleston, for the traveler who loves history!  One could easily spend a week or more learning about and appreciating Charleston’s history, however there are definitely a few areas labeled “must do!”  Begin your day with a guided tour of the Historic Charleston City Market, dating back to the 1790s.  You’ll see local crafts and goods, but also get a glimpse into the Gullah culture when you see the Sweetgrass baskets and goods.  


Enjoy a lowcountry meal at Husk, located in a restored late 19th century home and appreciate the longevity and love that is Southern Cuisine.   

After lunch, tour another stunning home - a  National Historic Landmark, the Nathaniel Russell House, which has been restored as much as possible to its original grandeur when it was built in 1808.  The free-flying, 3 story staircase is an architectural marvel to behold!  


For dinner, we love FIG (Food Is Good!) Seasonally inspired and a creative menu make this restaurant a labor of love!  Maybe start with Broiled Steamboat Creek Oysters, followed by Cast Iron Wagyu Bavette and finish with a Sticky Sorghum Pudding for dessert!  

Take a post-dinner promenade along the downtown streets of Charleston and admire the well-preserved antebellum architecture and gas-lit alleys.

Add one of these day trips, or several, to your Isle of Palms beach getaway.  We are certain that once you get a taste of all that the area has to offer, you’ll be back!  And as always, at IOP Escapes, we would be honored to host you and your family and friends at one of our premier vacation rental properties.  Reach out today!