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Isle of Palms is a charming beachfront town located on the slender barrier island of the same name. Located just off the coast of historic Charleston SC, and surrounded by the lush landscape of the South Carolina lowcountry, Isle of Palms is a vacation destination unlike any other. Just 7 miles long and 1 mile wide, Isle of Palms is known for its wide, sandy beaches, making it a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Spend a day exploring the storied history of downtown Charleston, discover the beauty and awe of coastal birds of prey, paddle board with dolphins along iconic Shem Creek, or simply spend your days on the beach with nothing planned but to relax and unwind.
Every Vacation starts with Great Dining
In addition to six miles of beaches, Isle of Palms includes a quaint downtown retail and dining district along Ocean Boulevard. Popular restaurants and cafes along this stretch of the island offer a wide variety of delicious seafood and other local specialties, including Coda del Pesce, Coconut Joes Beach Grill, Acme Lowcountry Kitchen and the locally loved Sea Biscuit Cafe, that serves up only breakfast, but is well worth the wait.
You will find other upscale dining options dotted throughout the island, including Long Island Cafe which is located right beside Harris Teeter, The Boathouse, located on the water overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and Islander 71. Situated on the point where Morgan Creek meets the Intracoastal Waterway, Islander 71 overlooks the water and has spectacular views. With dock access available for boaters, a waterside bar, indoor-outdoor dining, and an outdoor stage with live music, Islander 71 is an island vacation must do.
Something for Everyone
Isle of Palms proximity to Mt. Pleasant, Charleston’s fast-growing suburb just over the Isle of Palms Connector, provides easy access to some great family friendly activities. Boone Hall Farms offers strawberry picking, a farmers market, a pumpkin patch, and haunted house (seasonally). There’s nothing like a ordering a hotdog with all the fixings and a hand dipped shake at Jack’s Cosmic Dogs, or taking a drive to Mt. Pleasant’s Old Village for a picnic on the Pitt Street Bridge. Whether you just want to spend some time relaxing on the beach, or are eager to go swimming, fishing and try out some water sports, Coastal Expedition is a local company that offers kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, so you can explore the waterways and tidal creeks around the island. The island is also home to many kid-friendly attractions, such as the Wild Dunes Resort and the Charleston County Park and Playground.
Water Water Everywhere
For the water lover who seeks adventure, the island is surrounded by the Intracoastal Waterway, which offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water activities. At Breach Inlet, the sliver of water that separates Isle of Palms from nearby Sullivans Island, you’ll find the skies above the Atlantic are often filled with the colorful kites of kitesurfers, as this end of the island delivers a strong and consistent ocean breeze.
In addition to the some of the popular spots in and around Isle of Palms, your vacation wouldn’t be complete without booking an excursion with Coastal Expedition to the nearby nature reserve at Bulls Island, where you will see alligators, herons, and other wildlife. The largest of four barrier islands found within the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Bulls Island is a 5,000 acre maritime forest with fresh and brackish water impoundments and a beach area. The six-and-a-half mile uninhabited island remains virtually untouched and is home to countless wildlife and endangered species. Just 45 minutes north of Isle of Palms, this makes for a great daytime outing to experience a breathtaking part of the coastal lowcountry. The Intracoastal Waterway and the tidal creeks around Isle of Palms also offer up some great spots for dolphin watching.
Music under the stars
When the sun sets and the night is heating up, head to the ever popular The Windjammer beachfront bar. Founded in 1972 and with a devoted following of locals and visitors alike, this longtime bar was the local home to Hootie & the Blowfish in the band’s early days, and with a reputation as a destination for great live music, the club has hosted other well know acts like Edwin McCain, Sister Hazel and the Zac Brown Band. Add in endless ocean views and The Windjammer will quickly become your favorite spot for enjoying bar bites and cold drinks while listening to live music at the beach.
Proximity to Charleston
It’s just about a thirty minute drive into Charleston from the Isle of Palms. If you’ve never been to Charleston before, with its wide variety of cultural and historical attractions and legendary southern charm, then spending a day in Charleston is a must. Explore cobblestoned alleyways, discover manicured gardens tucked behind intricate iron gates, browse the legendary shopping along King Street, dine at corner cafes along East Bay Street and experience harbor views from a scenic rooftop.
Start planning your vacation getaway to Isle of Palms, by booking a luxurious Isle of Palms vacation rental just steps from the beach. The team at Luxury Simplified Retreats goes above and beyond to offer guests an outstanding experience with beautiful beach rentals and unparalleled concierge services. Browse our Experience Packages to consider making your trip especially unique, then sit back, relax, and leave all of the planning to us. You’re going to love Isle of Palms laid-back, small-town vibe.
I was once in Paris and engaged a street artist to sketch my then fiancée, now bride. In perhaps 10 strokes of charcoal he captured her essence. I was indeed more amazed with the process than the image, it struck me as quintessentially, yet, unconsciously competent artistry.
Our business is tasked with overseeing roughly $100M of vacation rentals in Charleston and Palmetto Bluff. Over the years our team have settled in to the easy ways of unconscious competence. We see what an owner may not, we suggest improvements where others may see problems or indeed, nothing at all. It’s our version of that Parisian encounter so many years ago. It’s this trait that helps us stand apart from the crowd.
Our role in this is to aid them in exploring every avenue that might exist for increasing their revenue, whether it be simple updates to the interior decor, a renovation that modernizes the kitchen or baths, adding a pool, or increasing the size of the property to add additional bedrooms. Understanding the market data and the expected returns that come with the different enhancement scenarios allows us to develop a cost/benefit analysis and help to determine what is a valuable use of their money to maximize ROI.
Now words are easily crafted and certainly not costly to do so but how about a real-world example of what we can do and how it worked out? This exact scenario played out recently when we worked with owners interested in adding a bedroom to what had been a single-bedroom carriage house rental.
A 1-Bedroom/1-Bath Becomes a 2-Bedroom/1-Bath:
We have a one bedroom carriage house in our Palmetto Bluff portfolio. It rents well but based on feedback that we had received over time from guests, there would be high value to adding a second bedroom to this property to act as additional office space and somewhere for children to stay over, as previously there were only pull-outs in the living room. This being a 1-bedroom, 1-bath carriage house configured over a 5-bay garage, with no ability to add an additional bathroom, the expectation was a modest increase in rental return for a modest outlay and minimal disruption along the way. We sent our construction team over to look at the building and make suggestions. Now we can all do the math on this, i.e. cost of construction, potential increased rental rates, potential increased occupancy … but in this case, that’s not the whole story, please read on.
The Carriage House Interiors “BEFORE”
Bedroom was added where interior glass window overlooked the vintage car collection that was on display in the garage below.
This was to be a quick project for the owners as the loft space already existed. It could be easily enclosed and the new garage ceiling made suitably fire-resistant. A total of $15,500 was spent on the work, saving a few dollars by using building materials leftover from another recent project, plus the added benefit of an owner in the building industry. Seeing the opportunity that exists here is easy, and in this case, a seemingly straightforward update to be made, but important nevertheless to note that in any scenario, a market analysis is vital to understanding whether the addition will garner the expected returns.
The Carriage House interior “AFTER” new bedroom addition:
How we calculated potential ROI with increased rental rates for a 2-Bedroom/1-bath Carriage House:
$ 2,800 Project design and prep work
$15,500 Materials and labor (some work was done by the owner and reused building materials from previous project)
$21,600 Additional rental income @ $120 per night/projected 180 night occupancy per year. The project should be cash flow positive year one. Note: The carriage house was previously renting well with a nearly full calendar and a steady stream of return guests.
Potential ROI gained in overall property value:
As with any home renovation that increases the overall square footage of the house additionally, outside of the extra rental revenue, the owners will realize:
$156,000 Additional value to the house at 260 sq. ft. added @ $600/ft
That is a 700% return the minute the paint is dry, and before the next guests check-in!
Our Luxury Simplified Retreats team is a top 3 company in South Carolina for Average Daily Rate and Occupancy (AirDNA November 2020). With some of the top Revenue Managers in the coastal areas in and around Charleston, we aim to maximize our owner return and our renter experience, and our team is skilled at achieving both. Why not ask how we could help your own property achieve the same results? Contact our team and find out what we can do for you.
While Charleston, SC is known for its hospitality, it’s incredibly dog-friendly too! Whether you live locally or simply like to bring Rover along when you travel, the walkability and mild climate in Charleston make it a popular destination for spending time outdoors with your pooch. Charleston has a strict leash law in place, and good dog-manners are a “must have,” but if there’s a restaurant with a patio or porch, your dog is more than likely welcome — though it’s always a good idea to call ahead. But if you’re planning on bringing your dog to one of our beautiful beaches and giving your pup the full sun, sand and surf experience there are a few rules to know, and it starts with being a responsible pet owner and always cleaning up after your pet.
Folly Beach loves its pups! Many restaurants have outdoor spaces for you to dine al fresco with your dog by your side. However, if you’re looking for a fun walk on the beach, know that dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10am to 6pm from May 1st to September 30th. At all other times, dogs are welcome but must remain on the leash or under voice control.
If you’re looking for alternatives when the beach is too packed, there’s a dog park located on the island at 512 E Erie Ave!
Known as the widest beach in the Charleston area, Sullivan’s Island is a dog’s playground with tidal pools and expansive beach! However, all dogs, including those of both residents and visitors, must have a dog permit from the Town of Sullivan’s Island. Non-resident permits are $50 per dog annually and resident permits are $25 annually. Permits are issued at Town Hall at 1610 Middle Street. Make sure you have proof of your rabies vaccine as well!
Summer hours for dogs on the beach run from May 1st to September 30th. During that time dogs can be off leash from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., on leash from 6:00 p.m. to 5 a.m. No dogs are permitted on the beach between the hours of 10:00 a.m and 6:00 pm. Winter hours for dogs on the beach run from October 1st to April 30th. During that time dogs can be off leash from 5:00 a.m. to noon and on leash from Noon to 5:00 a.m.
Isle of Palms
The City of Isle of Palms recommends you obtain a dog permit if you plan to have your dog on the beach. Permits are free of charge, and you must have proof of up-to-date rabies inoculation signed by a licensed veterinarian.
Dogs are allowed to be off-leash during summer hours, from 5am to 9am from April 1st through September 14th and then for winter hours, 4pm to 10am beginning September 15th to March 31st. If you’re on the beach during other hours, just make sure your dog is on the leash!
You can also visit the spacious dog park on Isle of Palms located behind the Recreation Department at 24 28th Avenue.
Pet Safety Beach Tips
Remember, if it’s hot at the beach for you, your dog will be extra toasty underneath all their fur! Limit the time your dog has on the beach and make sure you provide plenty of water throughout the day. Additionally, never leave your dog in the car. Within minutes, a car can reach dangerous temperatures.
If you’re planning a Charleston vacation and wonder if you should bring your dog, we’ve put together some tips to help you and your furry friends have the best vacation possible. Whether they’re sniffing their way through charming and historic downtown Charleston SC or splashing in the waves and digging in the sand on Folly Beach, your dog will be happy that you brought them along – after all, their favorite place in the world is wherever you are! So grab their leash and book one of our pup-friendly luxury vacation rentals today.