“The coconut trees, lithe and graceful, crowd the beach like minuet of slender elderly virgins adopting flippant poses.” – William Manchester
The quote above takes me straight to Isle of Palms (IOP), South Carolina. Not quite Charleston, as my title would suggest, but I figured its vicinity to Charleston gives me the right to make it part two in my three-part series of Charleston. My next post is on Folly Beach, which also isn’t exactly Charleston, but I wanted my readers to know you can spend the night in IOP or Folly Beach and easily venture to Charleston if you want.
Marc and I have stayed at Wild Dunes Resort the past two years. The resort has decent beach access and a slew of activities. You can hit the tennis courts, play a round of golf, workout in the fitness center, run the streets lined with palm trees, or play in the pool. One of the things I like most about Isle of Palms is that it’s a destination that can be as energetic or as relaxing as you’d like it to be. I personally like to do absolutely nothing when I visit IOP. I’m usually such a go-getter on vacations that they leave me exhausted rather than rejuvenated, but I always feel better after a trip to IOP. My typical day looks like this:
- Grab a latte.
- Eat breakfast.
- May or may not go for a run or go for a bike ride on the beach.
- Read a book on the beach.
- May or may not eat lunch.
- Read a book on the beach or at the pool.
- May or may not enjoy a daiquiri poolside (kudos to the resort for having decent mixed drinks).
- Escape the rays and get ready for dinner.
I loved our view from our condo this year. We were blessed with a couple of beautiful sunsets from our balcony which we enjoyed with Marc’s parents. Watching a sunset in Isle of Palms truly soothes the soul and is so enjoyable when surrounded by loved ones.
Wild Dunes Resort is a wonderful place to vacation; yet, I’d be lying if I made it out to be some amazing place without any little annoyances. We were a little bothered by the small, slow, and crowded elevators that we routinely shared with housekeeping and a big housekeeping cart (note: if Marc and I could make one change in all hotels, it would be this: have a separate service elevator).
We were also a bit annoyed by all the little kids. This is a very family-oriented resort so sometimes laying by the pool isn’t exactly relaxing. Kids were constantly shouting, splashing, and stealing our right to have silence. We love kids, but I suppose this trip made us realize we don’t want to visit a family resort again anytime soon. Can you blame us? We’re in our twenties and kid-less. I’ll be all about the family resort thing sometime in the future but I’m not there yet.
The last time we visited IOP, we made a point of spending an afternoon in Charleston. Marc and I finally took the time to meander through the Charleston City Market, which flaunts vendors selling high quality products. I fell in love with Charleston’s famous sweetgrass baskets, but I simply wasn’t willing (or able) to drop anywhere from $75 to over a $1,000+ to take a work of art home with me. I did manage to spend $20 for a gorgeous Charleston Christmas ornament, so that’ll be a nice touch to our tree this year.
Our last stop before heading back home to Charlotte was Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in downtown Charleston. I have exceptionally fond memories of dining at Bubba Gump on Pier 39 in San Francisco, so I wanted to introduce Marc to this glorious restaurant. Sadly, I ended up being wildly disappointed and completely regretted my decision to dine there. My experience in Charleston was nothing compared to my experience in San Francisco. The service was absolutely awful and the restaurant wasn’t even that busy. Our appetizer was delivered roughly 20 minutes after we ordered it and our lunches arrived 40 minutes after we ate our appetizer. It was an absolutely pitiful end to such a wonderful weekend.
While we love Wild Dunes Resort and have stayed there the last two years, I think Marc and I will enjoy other resorts at least until we have a reason to go to a super family-friendly resort. We will continue to visit IOP.
I’m off to write my post on Folly Beach!