Visit the Charleston Peninsula and you will be surrounded by elegance and charm at every turn of the corner. But the historic downtown district is only the cake of the Charleston Lowcountry. Step outside of Charleston’s city limits and you will be covered in its sweet frosting. The Holy City is encircled by beautiful inlets, grassy creeks, pristine marshes and a host of barrier islands, each framed by water-soaked, sandy beaches. From Edisto Island in the ACE Basin to Bulls Island in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, it is a water enthusiast’s paradise offering an abundant assortment of boat tours and watersport activities including kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, jet skiing, and boating.
I have picked seven of my favorite boat excursions and paddleboarding locations for your consideration on your next visit and if you are a local, for your next outing.
1) Bulls Island Beach Drop With Coastal Expeditions--Thoroughly Enlightening And Deeply Soul Soothing
Uninhabited and secluded, Bulls Island is a place where civilization only makes periodic and scheduled visits. It is a natural maritime wonder teaming with wildlife and covered with pristine beauty. The Bulls Island Beach Drop offered by Coastal Expeditions is 5 hours of "wow" well worth the $40...Read more.
2) A Charleston Barrier Island Tour Highly Worth A Trip To The Past
With each step, the soft, water-soaked sand oozed through my toes and over my feet. I could feel and smell the fresh, salty island air as it encompassed me. Adding to the feeling of remoteness, I navigated around scattered piles of reddish-brown seaweed beached by the ocean's relentless waves...Read more.
3) Waverunner Safari Adventure with Tidal Wave Water Sports
We collectively mounted our assigned personal watercraft and familiarized ourselves with its various controls and buttons. After hooking the shut-off cord to our floatation vests, our slumbering high velocity watercraft were one by one gently nudged from their plastic cradles. After fully slipping into the warm, salty waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, I immediately depressed the start button. With my jet ski aroused to consciousness, I squeezed the throttle propelling it forward onto the first leg of an unbelievably riotous Waverunner Safari Adventure with Tidal Wave Water Sports...Read more.
4) Bask In The Aura Of Historic Charleston Harbor On The Wind And A Sail--Schooner Pride
The mooring lines were loosened and we drifted away from the murky tidal waters of the docks. The captain fired-up the Schooner Pride's cruising engine and we entered the bluer, deeper waters of the harbor where the crew, with the help of volunteers, unfurled the canvas sails and secured the running rigging beginning with the jib...Read more.
5) Stand Up Paddleboarding Picturesque Morgan Creek With Ocean Fitness
At the northern end of the Isle of Palms, on the edge of the island’s vast backwater estuary, is the rising and ebbing tidal waters of Morgan Creek—a meandering stretch of water with a dual personality. It is home to the IOP Marina and the Morgan Creek Grill—both located where the creek opens up into the Intracoastal Waterway from which visitors and diners are treated to an unparalleled panoramic view of the estuary’s saltwater marshes...Read more.
6) Firefly Friday Aboard The Palmetto Breeze--Intoxicating
Thunderstorms were scattered about the Charleston area but the Harbor around Mt. Pleasant's popular waterside mecca of watering holes at Shem Creek was luckily spared and was basking in a moisture-rich late afternoon sun. Departure time had arrived...Read more.
7) Walking On The Waters Of Shem Creek-Stand Up Paddleboard Style
We went down a ramp covered with pluff mud-soaked carpets to the edge of the creek, which was six feet lower than high tide levels. It was low tide. We proceeded to mount the boards one at a time starting in a kneeling position. With the water levels so low, standing would have been trickier. I pushed off with my paddle into the gentle current and pointed the board towards Charleston Bay...Read more.
Other paddleboard locations on Shem Creek are Coastal Expeditions and Charleston Paddler.