Isle of Palms to Sullivans Island

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This 5.4 mile run is a gorgeous route that makes you feel like you are beach running, without the sand. Best time of day to go is at sunset, and keep an eye out for dolphins as you're crossing over the bridge to Sullivan's Island.

Written by

Lunden Herron

Destination Distance From Downtown

9.0 miles


2 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete

25 minutes



Dog Friendly


Fees Permits



If you would like to enjoy a beach run without the sand, then Isle of Palms to Sullivan’s Island is the route for you. Run a straight shot down Palm Boulevard and Middle Street on this gorgeous 5.4 mile run, and enjoy every bit of the beach feel, minus the sand slowing you down. Just 13 miles from downtown Charleston, this run will put you in close proximity to the water and the saltmarsh, with views that can’t be beat and restaurants close enough by to enjoy that craft beer when you’re done. 
The best place to start would probably be Isle of Palms Baptist Church. Ample parking (on any other day than Sunday) and just a few blocks west of Palm Blvd, starting here allows you to get that extra mileage in and gives you an easy parking space. From the Church, head down 24th avenue towards the beach until you hit Palm Blvd. From there, hang a right and then just cruise. This is a straight route, with little to slow you down. You will come to a bridge that connects the two islands, and then you will be on "Sully’s", as it’s affectionately known to the locals. Here, Palm Blvd also turns into Middle Street. Now, you have a choice to make. Either complete your run without any exceptions, or do the smart thing and head down to Poe’s Tavern, also conveniently located on Middle Street. It’s all about the burgers and beer here, but favorites are definitely The Tell-Tale Heart and the classic Gold Bug burger. Obviously, the Edgar Allen Poe references run deep in Charleston, where the poet lived briefly back in the day. 
What Makes it Great
While Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island are not technically “boroughs” of Charleston, they do feel like a little quiet neighborhood similar to the lifestyle of downtown. There are great eats here, beautiful sunsets, and easy running. What else could you ask for?
What You’ll Brag About
Perhaps you will remember the dolphins you saw on your run while you were crossing the bridge over to Sully’s. Or perhaps the food you enjoyed at any of the delicious eateries that inhabit the islands. But mostly you will appreciate the fact that you can have a beachy run, without the sand in your shoes to annoy you. 
Who is Going to Love It< 
Most road runners are going to love this run. With little in your way, you can hightail it to Sullivans Island for a PR, or you can slow your roll and enjoy the scenery as you experience one of the best spots for a sunset in Charleston. 
Parking, Trailhead, and Hours 
Parking is abundant on any of the streets here. But for accessibility, Isle of Palms Baptist Church is a great option. Just make sure it’s not Sunday, otherwise it might be hard to find a spot! Trailhead and hours are, of course, what you make them.

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Isle of Palms to Sullivans Island

Charleston, SC,
32.776437, -79.811908

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