South Carolina Picture Project

Isle of Palms – Isle of Palms, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Charleston County Photos  |  Isle of Palms

Edit This Page  |  Leave A Comment

Did you know that South Carolina has its own Long Island? Or at least it did at one time. Isle of Palms – one of several beautiful Charleston beaches – was called Hunting Island shortly after English settlers discovered it. The six miles of beach were later known as Long Island, a name credited to pirates. The island did not acquire its current name until 1899 when it was purchased by J.S. Lawrence, who gave it the name Isle of Palms for its abundance of native palmettos (Sabal palmetto).

Isle of Palms Pier

Steve Rich of Aiken, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

A resort hotel was built on the island around 1906, and by 1912 James Sottile had added an oceanfront pavilion and amusement park complete with a Ferris wheel (see postcard below). Though the amusements are now gone, a fishing pier takes visitors out onto the ocean.

Isle of Palms Beach Connector

Steve Rich of Aiken, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The island’s first inhabitants were Sewee Indians, who reportedly were friendly towards the English when their ships were sighted on the horizon of the Atlantic. According to local lore, the Native Americans swam out to greet the incoming ships, assisting with their safe arrival to shore. Pirates were also known to take refuge here, though beachcombers have yet to discover any treasure other than what the tide brings from the sea.

Isle of Palms Amusement

Isle of Palms is separated from neighboring Sullivan’s Island by a small channel called Breach Inlet. Breach Inlet is known for its dangerous currents, and swimming there can be deadly. Despite the beauty of the inlet’s beach, seen below, its waters are far less serene. In fact, many people have drowned over the years.

Breach Inlet Isle of Palms

Linda Conrad of Baltimore, Maryland, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In fact, during the Revolutionary War, 2,500 British troops never made it across the notorious Breach Inlet to neighboring Sullivan’s Island to attack Patriots at what is now known as Fort Moultrie. The inlet was too deep to wade across and too shallow to allow for boats. The geography of the inlet was one of several factors that helped Patriots secure a victory at the infamous Battle of Sullivan’s Island.

Isle of Palms Charleston County

Rusty Williamson of Isle of Palms, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

During the Civil War, the CSS H.L. Hunley entered the ocean at Battery Marshall on the Isle of Palms to sink the USS Housatonic, making it the first submarine to sink an enemy ship. The submarine itself sunk to the ocean floor soon afterwards, to be discovered and recovered in 1995 four miles off the coast of Sullivan’s Island.

Isle of Palms Connector

Steve Rich of Aiken, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

After World War II the beach town became a thriving residential area for soldiers returning from war and establishing homes. The addition of the Ben Sawyer Bridge in 1946 further connected people from Mount Pleasant to the beaches of Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms and created more housing demands. Prior to the construction of this bridge, people crossed to the islands by ferry. In 1993 the Isle of Palms connector bridge (seen above) was completed, making the beach even more accessible – and more populated. Today the town is a mixture of full-time residents and vacation home owners.

Isle of Palms Beach

Linda Conrad of Baltimore, Maryland, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Reflections on the Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms Seagull

Cindy Branscome of Isle of Palms, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Contributor Cindy Branscome says of her above photo, which she calls Tranquility: “This was taken on Friday the 13th of January, 2017. Lucky for me! There was a sandbar that this bird was perched on and it enabled me to get low enough to catch a great angle. There is nothing more peaceful and moving to me than catching a sunrise at the beach. There is no doubt in my mind that this bird was feeling the same thing!”

Cindy Branscome also says of another photo, seen below: “This sunset view is ever changing. It’s one of the locals’ favorite places to catch a beautiful Lowcountry sunset. You can see the Ravenel Bridge, the Charleston Harbor, downtown Charleston, numerous ships, and Fort Sumter.”

Isle of Palms Shoreline

Cindy Branscome of Isle of Palms, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Add your own reflections here.

Isle of Palms Info

Address: Palm Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451
GPS Coordinates: 32.787984,-79.78786

Isle of Palms Map

Isle of Palms – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Isle of Palms, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

Please Share Your Thoughts!

The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

3 Comments about Isle of Palms

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
January 31st, 2017 at 7:36 am

Thank you for your gorgeous photos!

SteveNo Gravatar says:
January 30th, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Thank you again SCIWAY for the additional images added this week. I love to share.

SteveNo Gravatar says:
March 15th, 2014 at 6:52 am

Many thanks for sharing my images. I love the information you have added.

Isle of Palms - Related Entries

Myrtle Beach Pavilion Building

Mosquito Beach
Mosquito Beach
James Island

Bird Key Sanctuary
Bird Key Sanctuary
Folly Beach

Cherry Grove
Cherry Grove
North Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Folly Beach Renourishment

Dewees Island
Dewees Island
Dewees Island

Isle of Palms Seagull
Isle of Palms
Isle of Palms

Second Avenue Myrtle Beach
2nd Avenue Pier
Myrtle Beach


Join Us on Facebook
Our 5 Goals
Our Contributors
Add Info
Add Pictures
Search for Pictures
Missing Landmarks


Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York

© 2017, LLC All rights reserved.