Wild Dunes, Charleston’s Island Resort
If you just adore a penthouse view you will love the beach elegance in the towers of Wild Dunes, Charleston’s Island Resort. Lower level spacious rooms, balconied suites and ocean villas are enchanting as well in this Destination Hotel that stands tall in the charming low country of South Carolina. It takes a pastel Village Plaza, 17 tennis courts, trails, pools, 6 restaurants, unending beach, and Tom Fazio golf to make this an ideal vacation spot.
Follow the boardwalk to the sand for a sweet sunrise over the water, as surfers get pumped to ride the waves. Along the grass-tufted beach, the Links Course’s numbers 17 and 18 kiss the sandy shoreline the length of their fairways, defining the Wild Dunes. On occasion a golfer might play their drive from the beach. What could be better than a Tom Fazio Links ocean course? How about two Fazio championship golf courses? The Links course begins weaving around marshes and housing with several lakes. The back nine starts with an uphill tee shot challenged by massive bunkers. Uneven mounded fairways begin here and continue for a tunnel or canyon effect through the next three holes. Number 16 par 3 battles a marsh and ocean winds that set you up for a wild finish. Tee box views of the pounding surf of the Atlantic on the par 4 17 are accompanied by prevailing winds. The original 18th par 5 was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew and rebuilt not as a mere makeover, but a superior par 3 links design for a fantastic finish.
As our group teed off on the first hole of The Harbor Course along the water, a flock of white egrets flitted in and out of the tree. Salt marshes, channels and marinas connected by wooden bridges and boardwalks parallel tight fairways for a shot maker’s delight. On both courses, sunshine brings gators out to certain spots like the #8 tee box as if on cue.
At the Links Course Huey’s Southern Eats whose décor immortalizes the namesake goose serves as the 19th hole. The Dunes Deli by the Harbor Course serves food and brew next to the practice green and tennis court. For a beachside toast head to the Grand Pavilion Bar and Grill. Stroll or bike the beach, or surf the waves. Rent the beach bikes at the Islands Adventure Center in the Village Plaza of Wild Dunes. They schedule water excursions too. We went up Shem Creek with a paddle and ornithologist or self-proclaimed bird nerd, Eric with Nature Adventure Outfitters. Bottle nosed dolphins dove in and out of the water along restaurant row as we launched our kayaks, eye to eye with floating brown pelicans. It’s a party vibe at Tavern and Table and other dockside restaurants serving bar hopping boaters and sports revelers with laughter and music blaring. As we maneuvered the busy waterway, Eric pointed out royal terns with black hoods and returning ospreys that mate for life. He explained the plight of sea lettuce eating manatees and sea turtles that have a rehab center in Charleston. A freightliner’s waves had capsized kayaks the week before so we detoured away from one and turned into the serene Bay View Creek where double crested kingfishers swooped for their meal and a rare tri colored heron waded in the pluff mud.
Pluff mud adult floats are on the menu of the newly renovated Coastal Provisions seafood and chophouse at Wild Dunes. Fortunately, the creek mud is not a component. Pluff Mud Porter from Holy City Brewing Company mixes with peanut butter ice cream. A brew pairing dinner at Coastal Provisions also highlighted Westbrook White Thai and prompted a visit to the Westbrook brewery.
The Charleston area is the culinary capital of low country and that extends to the Isle of Palms in Wild Dunes. Off property, Code del Pesce’s Owner and Executive Chef, Ken Vedrinski appreciates his customers, customers appreciate him and we really appreciated the fresh halibut and red snapper.
When you stay at Wild Dunes, relaxation and recreation are limitless. Enjoy the ocean air by walking or biking the beach, surfing the waves or joining a scheduled workout session in the fitness room and golf, golf, golf. The courses are very repeatable. Special summer rates take 15% off May 29 through June 16 and 10% off from then until August 31st. Go for the beach, birdies, brews and gators too.
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