Tourists and day-trippers from nearby Charleston, South Carolina, take full and happy advantage of Isle of Palms' fancy resorts, miles of unspoiled beaches, and the manicured links of its championship golf course. It's no surprise that the barrier islands' bars are packed with smiling visitors. They're a vision of relaxation: in flip flops and linen, with cocktails in hand, and live music merging with the rhythms of the gentle ocean waves. And you, wise wanderer, will do well to book hotels in Isle of Palms and join them in their contented merriment. However it's not the people you're there to see, but the remarkable marine life and birds, where the land meets the brackish fringes of the island's encircling waterways.
Make your first stop on Isle of Palms the Cooper River Marina. Depending on your seafaring experience you could rent a vessel of your own, or arrange a guided eco-tour by boat or kayak. However you take to the water, you'll quickly leave the pedestrian hullabaloo of the harbor, venturing gradually into quieter territory. Adjust your ears to the subtle sounds of nature and you just may encounter the shadow-signal of a bald eagle overhead, the pearly glint of an egret landing, or the streamlined swish of bottlenose dolphins cruising in your wake. While maneuvering through the tangles of salt marshes and creeks, keep a keen eye out for alligators. In summer a bulky shadow under the ocean surface could be an endangered and ancient loggerhead turtle. At the end of such an adventure, you'll retire to one of the many delightful hotels in Isle of Palms, SC with a new appreciation for the incredible ecology that exists so close yet so far from a city as big and bustling as Charleston.
When the serenity of nature's show has dwindled and you're ready to enjoy urban allurements again, Travelocity has great hotels in Charleston for you to choose from. You'll also find deals on Isle of Palms rental cars that make getting there a breeze.