Nestled at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor and nestled next to the Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island is an inviting mix of wide beaches, water sports, history and cool local restaurants and shops, peace and perfect – just minutes from my beloved city Charleston, South Carolina!
What makes Sullivan’s Island so special? At just 3.3 miles, what Sullivan’s Island lacks in sheer size, it more than makes up for in beauty and charm. The beachfront is owned by the town and protected under easements, forever preserving the beautiful, vital environment. Sullivan’s is home to historic Fort Moutrie where you can walk through and around the fort. You may even spot a few historians who are happy to share with you it’s grandeur and history. The fort was made of soft, Palmetto logs and was incomplete when nine warships attacked it in 1776. During a nine-hour battle, Charleston fired back the cannonballs that harmlessly “bounced” off the soft fort. The ships retreated, and Charleston was saved! Nearby Fort Moultrie is Sullivan’s Island Light House that shadows the expanse of beautiful sandy beaches. You won’t find any tourist types of souvenir shops lining this beach area. Only homes and narrow roads or “stations” where you can park along side and walk to any stretch of Sullivan’s Island beach. In its early days, a trolley system helped residents get from one part of the island to the other, stopping at various “stations” along its journey. The trolleys may be long gone, but the stations live on. When meeting a friend at the beach, one can reference where you are by the station…..such as “I am at Station 23”.
One of my favorite things about Sullivan’s Island are the restaurants. Most of them are situated along Middle Street. You will find amazing local eateries each with their own vibe. All have a very “laid back” island kind of feel. My favorite is Poe’s Tavern. You will often find a waiting line to get a table but it’s not a problem waiting on the outdoor bar and patio watching the beach life of this quaint little town. Writer Edgar Allan Poe was stationed at Fort Moultrie from November 1827 to December 1828 and used Sullivan’s Island as the setting for his short story, The Gold Bug…….such is the namesake for this restaurant!
Sullivan’s Island is definitely a place to come to whether you live close by or are just visiting!