Any beach is fam-friendly enough if you set out for a day on the sand and waves, but IOP in particular has a little something for everyone. Here’s the day we’re picturing …


Stay at Wild Dunes

1 Sundial Circle
(866) 359-5593.

Splurging on a staycation? Wild Dunes is your one stop shop on the island, with staycation packages — check out one for the Fourth of July — and all the conveniences a family may need. We’re talking golf for the ‘rents, pools for the kiddos, and an ever-evolving list of activities for visitors to check out, including interesting offerings like a sweetgrass basket workshop. Heck, for all you fans of local author extraordinaire, Mary Alice Monroe, Wild Dunes even hosts a special reading and book signing on Sat. July 6. Book any or all of the above online at

Eat breakfast at the Isle of Palms Marina …

50 41st Ave.
(843) 866-0209.

If you’ve never chowed down on a breakfast sandwich from the dockside deli, you’re missing out on a killer (greasy, in a good way) option to start the day. The breakfast biscuit is a classic choice, but when you’re really hungry the bowl, made with grits, bacon, sausage, cheese, and paired with a biscuit is equally amazing. Snag a hash brown patty for the road.


… Or fuel up at Sea Biscuit Cafe

21 JC Long Blvd.
(843) 886-4079

You can’t pick just one breakfast spot on IOP, (unfortunately, or fortunately, you be the judge) because there are several that are too good not to mention. Sea Biscuit is always a great choice (be prepared to wait during peak dining times, though), with killer biscuits, massive omelettes, French toast made with Challah bread, the list goes on. An island favorite, Sea Biscuit is family-friendly if your fam is patient — and hungry.

Hop on a guided water tour

Coastal Expeditions
50 41st St.
(843) 886-9590.

Tidal Wave Watersports
69 41st Ave.
(843) 886-8456.

There are a number of watersports companies operating out of all three area islands, so be sure to do your research to find the right one for you and your family. If you’re a paddler, check out Coastal Expeditions’ array of guided wildlife tours along the barrier islands near Isle of Palms. Check out kayak and sightseeing tours leaving from IOP each day and paddleboard and kayak offerings from surrounding beaches. For something a little more adventurous, we’ve got our eye on Tidal Wave Water Sports, which offers “Jet Ski Safari” outings; these trips explore the barrier islands and include a stop on Capers Island, one of the largest uninhabited islands on the East Coast. Safari passengers must be at least seven years old to ride and drivers must be at least 16. If you’ve got a group of up to six people you can also book adventures like waterskiing, wakeboarding, and our personal fave, tubing. Surf’s up.

Grab lunch at Coconut Joe’s

1120 Ocean Blvd.
(843) 886-0046.

They don’t say that they serve “food, families, and fun” for nothin’. The Caribbean-themed beach bar and grill has a kids menu and all the other stuff you’d expect from a fam-friendly spot, like soups, salads, sammies, and an extensive cocktail list.

Wind down at the Windjammer

1008 Ocean Blvd.
(843) 886-8596.

OK, so kids probably don’t want to chill at the Windjammer, but they’ll likely have a great time on the beach out front, playing a pick up game of volleyball, or just cheering on some players. Parents will be able to relax and sip on cold drinks on the deck; feel free to keep it simple with a nice cold beer, or mix it up and snag a speciality cocktail. We’d be getting the Unicorn Stinger. Don’t ask questions — just order. And, if you’re around on a Sunday afternoon during the summer, get a load of one of the Lowcountry’s longest running traditions — the summertime Bikini Bash. Hey, maybe mom will want to enter.

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