One of the best views of the Charleston area is from the air and I have always enjoyed taking clients up in my plane so that they can get a bird’s-eye view of the Charleston peninsula and the outlying islands. Until you see it from the air, it’s hard to conceive how much water there is all around us and the layout of the roads and streets.

Typically we leave from the Mt. Pleasant Airport, just a few miles north from the Isle of Palms connector on Hwy. 17, and immediately turn southeast to approach the Isle of Palms from the north. We usually set our cruise altitude at 1500 feet and fly straight down the coast of the Isle of Palms, watching Wild Dunes resort slide off our right wing. From this vantage point you can clearly see the golf course, tennis courts, and condos on the island-long public beach.

We then pass Breach Inlet, the small channel that separates the Isle of Palms from Sullivans Island, a smaller community without the tourist rush of her neighbor, but still home to restaurants and landmarks such as the Sullivans Island lighthouse and Ft. Moultrie, now a National Park and open to tours.  As we approach the southwest end, the island turns sharply into Charleston Harbor, which we generally cross to get a view of the jetties marking the entrance to one of the busiest ports in the country, Ft. Sumter, and the Morris Island lighthouse.

I usually will make a loop over Folly Beach, then, with permission from Charleston Approach, fly over the Charleston peninsula which allows us to take a peek at the checkerboard pattern parade grounds of the Citadel Military College and the Ravenel Bridge before we turn back to the Mt. Pleasant Airport- all in all, about a 30 minute flight, but in that time my visitors get a good grasp of how thing are laid out and where every community is in relation to each other. Buying a new home is a big decision, but I believe that once you’ve seen it from the sky, you have a better  understanding of the geography and history of this area and can make a more informed decision on your final purchase.

-Mike McCurdy