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Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

Long Island, New...
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Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

My family which include two children (5 yr old & 1 yr old) are planning a trip to South Carolina the first week in April. We were planning on staying in Kiawah but just heard about Isle of Palms. So the question is which would be better for a family? And what is the weather in April? Thank you.

Greensboro, North...
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for Isle of Palms, Edisto Island, Charleston
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1. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

Both are excellent for families. Use the search engine for your topic and get lots of feedback. This question has been asked often.

Kiawah is a gated community 30 minutes south of Charleston. It has been developed to include the natural landscaping and is very green. Isle of Palms is closer to Charleston and has its own gated development, WIld Dunes. The beaches are great on both.

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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2. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

As mentioned, great beaches on both. Kiawah is more isolated in that it is about 40-45 min from downtown Charleston. There are restaurants and stores nearby, but not as extensive as Isle of Palms with it's close proximity to Charleston (15-20 min from downtown). IOP has about 5,000 full time residents. Between IOP and downtown is Mt. Pleasant, a nice town that has many shops, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. If you want more of a laid back vacation choose Kiawah, if you want many other options for activities (historic and otherwise) choose the Isle of Palms. I live on IOP, so of course I like it. The DE's for Kiawah will of course choose it. Really depends on what will best suit your needs, both are very nice.

At the top right of the Charleston Forum page is "Top Questions About Charleston" - read over this, as it will give you lots of suggestions for things to do and has a synopsis of the beaches closest to Charleston.

Long Island, New...
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3. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

Thank you both. Just to add a footnote, I diid stay in the Outerbanks last year and loved it. Which community is more like OB?

Ridgewood, New...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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4. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

You will find both Kiawah and IOP more "semi-tropical" in climate and vegetation than the Outer Banks. Kiawah is especially lush, green and densely vegetated. The beaches on Kiawah and IOP are more firm and flat; the water is warmer and the surf is more calm than in the OBX.

Long Island, New...
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5. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

Thank you. Both sound great. .Have to decide.

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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6. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

OBX are way more commercial than anything in the Charleston, IOP, Kiawah areas. We'll take any of the Charleston area beaches over OBX any day!!!

You won't find those huge t-shirt/novelty shops in Charleston, nor the huge chain restaurants, the whole area is much more laid back and beautiful than anything I've see in the OBX (we did enjoy one trip there a few years back and that was enough).

They're really not comparable.

Edited: 2:38 pm, January 17, 2011
Long Island, New...
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7. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

Thanks for the input. Both Isle of palms & kiawah sound great. Do you have any preference?

Ridgewood, New...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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8. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

As you might guess, Kiawahbeth and I prefer Kiawah and own homes on Kiawah, while Endosunshine prefers Isle of Palms and lives on Isle of Palms. Both islands are wonderful family vacation destinations. You need to consider whether you want to be closer to shopping, dining, and touring in Charleston (IOP), or want to spend most of your time on the beach, and enjoying natural, open spaces (Kiawah).

From my personal experience ... My husband and I first traveled from northern NJ (NYC suburb) to Kiawah when our two children were 3-years-old and 15-months-old. In that first summer, we made it a point to visit other islands, including IOP. We decided that Kiawah was the right place for us. Over the years, our children learned to swim, ride bikes, play golf and tennis, kayak, crab, and fish on Kiawah. Eventually, we purchased a home on Kiawah, and one of our daughters chose to have her wedding on Kiawah. Without doubt, I am prejudiced in favor of Kiawah, but IOP is a great place, too.

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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9. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

I just got back from spending a long girls weekend on Kiawah about 3 hours ago...just proves, as both Villa and I agree, that Kiawah is wonderful anytime of year!!!

We walked the beach for about 2 hrs. the other afternoon, enjoyed watching at least a dozen dolphins feeding right off the beach, they were popping up in between the pelicans, who were also feasting right there, very close in.

I too have 25+ yrs. of vacationing on Kiawah under my belt, my son was also raised enjoying Kiawah vacations. Now that he's an adult and on his own, he's troubled by the fact that he can't get there more often with us, he usually makes it about once a year these days. It is a wonderful place to make memories.

You can't go wrong w/any of the Charleston islands, you will have a great time whichever island you choose.

10. Re: Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island

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