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A Long Week-end at Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms

The Wild Dunes Resort may be one of the sweetest spots on the Carolina coast.  Its situated on an expanse of beautiful beach in the quaint little town of Isle of Palms, and a short 2o minute drive to Charleston.  Since our summer of fun with guests from far away kept rolling, my sis and her family arrived mid-July and we planned some beach time.  We decided to take a long week-end and visit the Wild Dunes Resort because it looked like the perfect spot for unwinding near the ocean.

With 4 adults and 4 kids, we needed some space, access to the beach, a pool, and a kitchen for making breakfast and lunches for the gang.  We figured we’d make a few big dinners in as well, but wanted to make sure we were able to dine in Charleston, as well as check out the cool happs in Isle of Palms.  Wild Dunes is a community of private homes, condos, townhomes, and hotel units.  The hotel units are located in an area named the Boardwalk, and it offers a bar and grill, ice cream shop, upscale dining, as well as shops and delis.  One venue, The Lettered Olive, offers 25% off your meals after 9:00 pm.  Considering the options we felt were important, we chose to stay in a 3 bedroom condo.  It had two adult bedrooms upstairs, and a large ‘kids’ room on the lower level.  We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at our unit, Mariner’s Watch, and discovered we were just a 3 minute walk to the beach!  And the best part was, Mariner’s is a condo village in the Dunes that has a very private beach.  After coming from the 4th of July crowds in Myrtle, we felt like we had this beach to ourselves!

North Myrtle Beach

South Carolina Coast

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each condo village also has a ‘community pool’.  Wild Dunes has several bigger pools located near the Boardwalk, but we found the community pools to be a lot less crowded and more low key.

This is what we loved about Wild Dunes Resort:

  • The condos and townhomes on the beach (Mariner’s) were located in a very quiet and private section of the resort.  Right off the beach was a giant sandbar that appeared around 1:00 every afternoon (low tide).  Great for shelling!
  • Housekeeping was quick to respond to any issue — we had a patio door that wasn’t locking, and they sent someone by in 10 minutes.  Our fire alarm needed a battery (bleep, bleep, bleep) and again, someone was there in 10 minutes.
  • The bike paths — my sis and her family rented bikes one afternoon, and while they weren’t crazy about riding on the sandy beach, they loved the paths and the enjoyment of a family activity.
  • Isle of Palms is a great little beach town — fun restaurants like Coconut Joe’s, a corner ice cream shop, and some surf stores to browse make for a nice evening out near the water.
  • Loggerhead turtles nesting — after 10 PM at night its lights out and quiet time on the Wild Dunes beach, since the turtles need some R&R.
  • Easy check in and check out — including addressing some charges we weren’t expecting on our bill, the staff was quick to resolve and ensure we were happy.
Shells and a Jellyfish on the beach!

Shells and a Jellyfish on the beach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And maybe some room to improve:

  • Pools at the main hotel (boardwalk) were super, super crowded, as was the beach in front of the Boardwalk.
  • All of the kids activities have a cost, anywhere from $3 to $20 dollars.  So do the spin and yoga classes.  Since the resort is charging $35 per day for a ‘resort fee’, we thought the up charges were pretty un-cool.
  • Grills are not allowed on the private patios in condo units, only near community pools.
  • The prices in the deli are outrageous — hotel mark up.  A 12 pack of Fat Tire would run you about $24.99.

Cool Tips:

  • A Harris Teeter grocery is about 5 minutes away, heading toward Isle of Palms.
  • The 20 – 30 minute drive to Charleston is so worth it, some of the best low country dining available anywhere.  We took a trek in to visit Poogan’s Porch, which is a family favorite.  And haunted!
  • We love the drive into the area, the views from the bridges are spectacular.  If you aren’t behind the wheel, have your camera ready!

The Southeast really is a beautiful part of the country, and since living in the Carolinas we’ve had the chance to beach at some spots we’ve never visited before.  Myrtle BeachHilton Head, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms — they each have a unique character about them.  What we loved about Isle of Palms is just how laid back the little town is.  Its beautifully maintained, picturesque, and friendly.  And you just can’t beat the location, because having the historic city of Charleston nearby is a huge plus.

If you are planning a visit to Wild Dunes, and want to hear more about the resort, feel free to reach out!  I’m Amy, amy@plancooltrips.com.

Our kiddos enjoying the full moon over Wild Dunes

Our kiddos enjoying the full moon over Wild Dunes

 

 

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