Carefully preserved and minimally developed, the Town of Sullivan's Island is one of the best-loved destinations along the Carolina coastline. This small barrier island north of Charleston Harbor is a beach lover's dream, attracting vacationers and retirees with its relaxed island vibe. While you won't find any animal hospitals on Sullivan's Island, the closest facility is only 5 minutes away by car in nearby Mount Pleasant.
Pack your swimsuit and bring your pup with you to the beach, for four-legged sand frolickers are welcome on Sullivan's Island! The only time that dogs are not allowed are from 10 am to 6 pm during the summer, but there are designated off-leash and on-leash times for doggos on the beach, so check the town's website for the schedule.
Learn more about Sullivan's Island's past as you and Fido take a leashed walk around the historic grounds of Fort Moultrie, the site of the first major patriot victory during the American Revolution. Representing over 170 years of coastal defense, Fort Moultrie offers a great history lesson, as well as woofderful views of the ocean and Fort Sumter.
Note that all pups entering the island must have a town-issued dog permit, so be sure to stop by the town hall first before you go exploring with your pooch. Once that's been taken care of, you and Fido will be in for a puptastic island getaway!
Sullivan's Island is home to a number of dog-friendly restaurants, so eating out with your dog in tow shouldn't be a problem. For American grub, drop by Poe's Tavern, located just two blocks from the beach. Featuring decor and a menu inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, this watering hole welcomes well-behaved puppers on their fenced patio. Another pooch-friendly eatery to check out is Sullivan's Restaurant, which serves seafood and Southern dishes. Fido is allowed to join you in the alfresco dining area out front, where he can watch the people and cars passing by as you dig into your meal.
Just 3.5 miles east of Sullivan's Island lies the Isle of Palms County Park in the neighboring city of Isle of Palms. This beachfront park welcomes furry visitors as long as they are leashed, so go ahead and take a stroll on the boardwalks and let your best friend play among the waves. If you and Fido need to take a break, there are picnic tables and benches scattered around the area, or you can just spread out a towel and relax on the beach. Concession stands are available seasonally, so it's a good idea to bring your own snacks and drinks.
Head out 4.5 miles east of Sullivan's Island, and you and Fido will find yourselves at the Isle of Palms Bark Park! Located behind the city's recreation department, this fenced dog park is a pawrific place to let your furry buddy run off-leash and socialize with other puppers. The Isle of Palms Bark Park features a double-gated entrance, big trees, pet waste stations, toys, agility equipment, and water fountains for both canines and humans to ensure a fun time for all! Drop by anytime between sunrise and sunset, except on Wednesday mornings when the dog park is closed for cleaning.
About 10 minutes northwest of Sullivan's Island lies Pitt Street Bridge, which used to be a railroad causeway that connected Sullivan's Island to nearby Mount Pleasant. Today, it is a beautiful walkway lined with grass and palm trees, pawfect for taking your pooch for a leashed stroll by the water. As you and Fido walk along Pitt Street Bridge, you'll pass by a water fountain and pet waste stations, then at the end of it, you'll arrive at Pickett Park. Frequented by joggers, bikers, and fishermen, this greenway is a great spot to enjoy views of the harbor and sunset. Shade is limited in this area, so prepare accordingly!
The Shem Creek Park is a puptastic place to spend a beautiful afternoon with your pooch if you're in nearby Mount Pleasant. Located 4.5 miles northwest of Sullivan's Island, this park offers 1,000 feet of boardwalk, which is great news for doggos who love to walk. As you and your active best friend take a leashed stroll on the boardwalk, you'll get to enjoy the natural beauty of the creek, as well as pawsome views of downtown Charleston, Fort Sumter, and Crab Bank Island. Information stations are installed along the way to help you learn more about the history and ecology of Shem Creek.