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IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

Dayton, Ohio
3 posts
1 review
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IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

We have been to Hilton Head 3 times and love it - my husband is a history buff though and so I thought I'd check out staying closer to Charleston so he would have something more to sightsee.

The reason I love Hilton Head is because it is so safe I can give my 14 and 17 boys a long leash and they just enjoy the beach/kayak/and exploring. The main trouble they can get into is riding bikes on the beach and probably (although they would not admit) setting a few firecrackers off at night.

Is it the same sheltered environment over at Isle of Palms/Wild Dunes? I saw a post about beach erosion - is there a beach there?

Does anyone suggest another beach still safe like HH but closer to Charleston? thanks

Tidalwave Watersports
River Rafting & Tubing, Waterskiing & Jetskiing, Parasailing & Paragliding, Water Sports, Boat Rentals
Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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42 reviews
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1. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

I think Wild Dunes would be equally safe for the kids. I live on the island, but not in Wild Dunes. There is not any erosion elsewhere, but can't speak for that specific area.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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210 posts
23 reviews
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2. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

Hi HeartlandMama! We are from Knoxville, TN, and just got home from our second trip to IOP. We took my daughter, 17 yo, and her boyfriend, 20 yo, the first time we vacationed there. They loved it! The beach is wonderful and obviously the proximity to Charleston adds so much quality to the trip. My kids could/can drive and made several trips into Charleston by themselves. We were completely comfortable w/that both vacations. Charleston has great restaurants, shopping, tours, etc., and it's just a very charming place. I think your whole family would enjoy it, and it's so close to IOP.

IOP is a family kind of place. Our kids brought their bikes this time and they rode them every day. There are lots of bike lanes. As far as firecrackers go, I heard a few, but there are those pesky ordinances! Truly, we all love it there and I do recommend it highly. I plan to go back again which is the highest praise I can give!

Knoxville, Tennessee
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210 posts
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3. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

PS-We rented a house on Ocean Blvd. both times, so have not stayed in Wild Dunes. That is IOP beach and our red umbrella in my profile pic!

Edited: 11:00 pm, June 03, 2013
Hilton Head, South...
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480 posts
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4. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

The beaches of charleston are just as safe if not safer than anything at Hilton Head.

IOP, Folly and Sullivans Island are all fantastic beaches for any age.

Charlotte
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671 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

We spend a week at both HHI and IoP each year and would consider both having the same level of safety (and we don't stay behind the gate at Wild Dunes).

Isle of Palms...
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717 posts
16 reviews
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6. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

Our daughter (just turned 14) rides her bike all over IOP. Just be careful and stay on bike lanes and back streets especially on the weekend, when there is more traffic.

Charlotte, North...
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241 posts
4 reviews
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7. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

I think you should give IOP a try. There's definitely less to do in the direct beach area than HHI, i.e. Wild Dunes is nice and quiet, not much commercial stuff there, and the main commercial stretch on Ocean Boulevard only consists of 2-3 gift stores, a Ben & Jerry's, a pizza joint, and a couple of restaurants. But the proximity to Charleston is really great - also you could go to the Shem Creek area in Mt. Pleasant, they have a really great area to walk out to see the Cooper River and lots of awesome restaurants right on the water. Wish I could comment more on the 'safety' factor for teenagers as our kids are grade-school age, but without a doubt I always feel safe at IOP and there are lots of families to be found there.

Dayton, Ohio
3 posts
1 review
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8. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

Thank you for those that have commented and those that will comment - is the beach/surf much different? HH is very calm and only gets rough at high tide - not really rough even then. Also, are there lifeguards on the beaches?

Isle of Palms...
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717 posts
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9. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

The only lifeguard on IOP beach in in the county park area. Rough can be a realtive term. IOP at low tide is generally calm with few waves. At high tide, plenty of waves. Currents vary a lot. One day may have light currents and the next might have really bad currents. The ocean can be deceptive. Unless you are a strong, experienced open water swimmer, I strongly suggest not getting more than waist deep. Just last week, 3 teens got into trouble in the water on Sullivan's Island... one didn't make it.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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210 posts
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10. Re: IofP/Wild Dunes or Hilton Head

Thanks for that info! I've been reading about rip tides since I read your post. That is really just so awful and sad. I watch my family when they are swimming. I literally keep my eyes on them, but I will be even more vigilant after reading your post and my research. We stay oceanfront only so I can watch from the deck if I am not on the beach, which is a whole lot. Actually, the decks are great vantage points to keep a lookout for swimmers. I guess the most important action though is to educate everyone about safety. It seems many beaches don't have lifeguards or very few.

I must say that I did think the waves pretty tame and the kids and my husband could stand up w/heads way above water when they were way out, but as you say, it can all be deceptive.

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