The Windjammer on the Isle of Palms is one of the most chill spots to kick back, relax, drink a beer and watch some waves. Or music, or the people or your kids. It’s a place for everyone, from College of Charleston kids, to their parents, grandparents and locals of all sorts. If you want to see one of the true sides of Charleston, away from the tours and fine dining restaurants during your Bluegreen vacation, head on over the bridge and towards The Windjammer.
The Windjammer has music on a nightly basis, cold beer, great burgers and excellent oysters. It’s right on the beach, with a two-story deck that overlooks the coast. Isle of Palms is just over the bridge from Charleston, and well worth the quick drive. As many places in Charleston come and go as often as the seasons, the Windjammer has been around since 1972 – attesting to its greatness.
The History Of Windjammer
The Windjammer was founded by two brothers, Malcolm and James Burgis in April of 1972. Originally named SurfDeck, the venue changed ownership a few times and went through another naming session before finally making it to the Windjammer. And since the 70s, the Windjammer has looked about the same. The front doors are on the west side of the beach, while the back patio overlooks the beach. And since the 70s, people have continuously been walking in and out of this breezeway in swimsuits, shorts and flip flops, happily waving to their friends and cheering on their favorite, almost family, bartenders. Volleyball has been a staple to the Windjammer’s backyard, and has attracted many loyal patrons over the years.
There have been a few setbacks to the restaurant, as occurs with any place that may sit in the way of a hurricane. In 1989, when Hurricane Hugo blew through, the sidings and porches that kept everyone together and happy were torn to shreds. In fact the entire place was nearly destroyed. (It was kind of a big storm). But thanks to insurance, the Windjammer came back with a vengeance. Sturdier patios were added to the backside and new siding made the place good as new. Parties were hosted to celebrate the rebirth of such a cherished place. And the parties still continue, day after day, season after season. It is a place you should not miss during your Bluegreen vacation to Charleston.
Here’s what you can get to eat. Gotta’ love that southern cookin’.
Start with some fried pickles and chilli poppers. Both are excellent. The chilli poppers are cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos, lightly breaded and fried. Yum.
Hamburgers are thick and juicy. Of course, you can add just about anything to those puppies, such as bacon, chilli and cheese. BBQ Is always good on a bun, and the Country Fried Steak sandwich will show you what it’s really like to be a southerner. If you want something not so filling, or fried, opt for a simple ham and Swiss or BLT.
Their beachside location makes for some great seafood as well. The Windjammer uses flounder for their fish and chips. You can never go wrong with Alaskan Snow Crab legs. Shrimp are easy to get and easy to serve in Charleston, so go ahead and get a pound of peel & eat here.
The great food, great atmosphere and great location are combined with great music. A constant flow of talented and fan-worthy musicians and bands stream through the Windjammer. JJ Grey & Mofro have played here in the past, as well as Xavier Rudd, Tea Leaf Green, The Wailers and Sister Hazel. The list of awesome shows is longer than this article, so check out their performance schedule to get an idea of what you may find during your next Bluegreen vacation.
To get to the Windjammer from your Bluegreen resort, The Lodge Alley Inn, hop onto US-17N towards Mt. Pleasant. Merge onto SC 703E/W Coleman Blvd towards Sullivan’s Island and stay on that road for about 5 miles until you see Jasper Blvd, where you will take a left. Jasper turns to Palm Blvd. and 1.4 miles after, turn right at 10th Ave and Left at Ocean Ave. And then, walk your way into a 30+ year tradition known as the Windjammer.