Isle of Palms Homes for Sale and Real Estate

Area Description

It’s easy to see how the Isle of Palms evolved into a high-end beach community with world-class amenities, given its scenic East Cooper locale.

What’s harder to fathom is that the island had few year round residents until after World War II, when developer J.C. Long built masonry housing for GIs.

Isle of Palms sits on the east side of a land spit it shares with Sullivan’s Island, only Breach Inlet and a connector road stand in between. It landed a hotel and tourist sites in the early 20th century; the population stood at 1,100 as recently as 1960.

The island’s growth pace has quickened in the past half century. By 1975, the island snagged what would become Wild Dunes resort. Isle of Palms grew into a city in the 1980s. But in Sept. 1989, the island suffered a massive setback when Hurricane Hugo struck the South Carolina coast. Although it took a few tough years, the community rallied. Wild Dunes, which sits at the eastern tip of the Isle of Palms, restructured damaged holes at its Oceanside golf course. Homeowners rebuilt, and the island reclaimed its tourist trade. The Isle of Palms Connector, erected in 1993 from Mount Pleasant, opened a direct route to and from the island.

More recently, many of the small homes constructed after the war have been torn down, replaced by large, two and three story residences. Today, the island posts an estimated population of close to 4,500. It counts million dollar homes and pricey condos and townhomes on the ocean and Intracoastal Waterway along with more modest cottages and some swanky houses in between.

Area Highlights

The Neighbors

Retirees, executives, college degrees, vacation homeowners, beach comers, well-traveled.


High-end prices notably in Wild Dunes and elsewhere on the oceanfront, a block back or on the ICW. A couple of inland neighborhoods are wooded and secluded.


Outdoorsy, beach activities, predominately residential with commercial strips near the Isle of Palms Connector, casual, resort-like.

You'll Love

Water games, tennis and golf, surfing, panoramic views, paddle boarding, boating and fishing, short trips to the mainland.

Perfect For

Boutiques, jogging, beachside nightlife, schools, organizational retreats, second home.

Around the Area

Ocean and waterway views; volleyball on the beach beside the Windjammer nightclub; and a resort boasting two championship golf courses, top-notch tennis courts and ample lodging are among the Isle of Palms’ highlight features.

The island multiplies in population during the spring, summer and fall months. Many beach homes are rented out, and locals come out for the day. Surfing and other water sports are popular. Real estate offices specialize in both new home sales and seasonal leases.

Isle of Palms markets itself as a family beach. Casual restaurants, ice cream parlors and a few bars dot main drag Palm Boulevard. Homeowners over the years have included a U.S. senator, stock car drivers and country musicians.

Goat Island, accessible only by boat, sits across the ICW from the Isle of Palms, while a ferry daily runs to and from the Isle of Palms Marina and pristine Dewees Island, which has about 50 homes.


Area Map

Area Listings