The baseline of this barrier island has been more drumbeat than lapping waves ever since its days as a wildly popular big band tour stop in the 1920s, when “Hop Night” filled the ferry from Charleston with young, starry-eyed dancers. Although two iterations of a beachfront pavilion were lost to fire, a live music venue has been a near-constant fixture since the turn of the 19th century. From Lennie Hayton to The Drifters, James Brown to Hootie and the Blowfish, music has dominated this lively, vacation-minded island, where shacks and mansions, residents and tourists coexist. Since the 1970s, music central has been the Windjammer. During the day, the sand volleyball court attracts some of the hottest bodies on the beach, and at night, the Holy City’s best rockers keep the party going strong. Frequent visitors to the seaside stage include Better Than Ezra, Cowboy Mouth, Jupiter Coyote, and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. If boogying is your bag, this is the beach for you.
From yoga classes, community theater, and an honor-system library to coed sports and half-rubber tournaments, the offerings at the Isle of Palms Recreation Department are considerable. 24 28th Ave., (843) 886-8294, www.iop.net
FIND YOUR SPOT
MAKE A SPLASH
Tidal Wave Watersports: Adrenaline-inducing activities, from parasailing to wakeboarding. 69 41st Ave., (843) 886-8456, www.tidalwavewatersports.com
BEACH RULES PARKING
Make sure your tires don’t touch the road when parking off of the street or you’ll find a ticket waiting on your windshield. The front beach area, between 10th and 14th avenues, offers metered spaces.
Dogs are welcome on the beach year-round but must be on a leash. Be sure to bring your pooper scooper or bags!
Don’t even think about it. If you’re caught, the local peace officers will issue a $133 to $1,000 ticket, depending on your attitude.