One of the most historic and visually impressive towns in all of South Carolina, Charleston is quite simply a must-visit location for anyone interesting in American history, beautiful buildings, great food, and more. It’s a superb tourist destination and part of what makes the city of Charleston so great is how it can appeal to so many kinds of people.
Whether you’re a history buff or a natural lover, Charleston has something to offer. It’s also a great spot to visit if you’re interested in ecotourism or outdoor activities of all kinds, boasting some of the best kayaking locations and tours in all of South Carolina. Charleston famously has the Atlantic Ocean right next door, offering incredible potential for sea kayaking, while also playing home to some beautiful rivers, lakes, and creeks as well.
Best Kayaking Spots in Charleston
There are multiple great kayaking locations to check out all around Charleston and you don’t need to leave the city limits to enjoy some superb kayaking adventures and expeditions. Kayaking can be enjoyed right in the center of the town at any time of year. Many people wrongly assume that sea kayaking is the best option at Charleston, but the city’s creeks actually provide some of the more varied and fun kayaking experiences in South Carolina. With that in mind, here are a couple of Charleston’s top kayaking locations. Things to Do in Charleston
· Folly Creek
With a seemingly endless array of tributaries and areas to explore, Folly Creek is undoubtedly one of the prettiest places in all of Charleston, and with so much water all around, it's clear that the very best way to explore this area is by kayak. Seasoned kayakers will love the twists and turns of the creek as they navigate the tight waterways and discover their new favorite spots. Meanwhile, inexperienced kayakers can simply let themselves float along the wider waterways and appreciate the impressive scenery in either direction.
Folly Creek offers a great range of kayaking routes for you to uncover and several kayaking companies offer guided tours in this area too. Morris Island is a must-visit location along the way, and there are all sorts of wildlife you might happen to spot as you paddle along including turtles, dolphins and many different kinds of birds.
· Shem Creek
The second of Charleston’s super kayaking creeks, Shem Creek is generally classed as the best kayaking spot the city has to offer. It’s not far away from the center of town and is a real congregation spot for locals and tourists alike. With live music and a whole host of restaurants lining the shoreline, there’s nothing better than enjoying an afternoon of kayaking with friends or family before coming ashore for some fine dining.
Shem Creek lets you enjoy both the rural and urban sides of Charleston, offering views of the city’s skyline while also offering some tranquil, natural areas that are rich in flora and fauna too. Crab Bank Island is definitely one of the spots you won’t want to miss out on, and the flat, calm waters of Shem Creek are perfect for newbies.
Kayaking Tours and Rentals in Charleston, SC
To help you enjoy your next kayaking session in Charleston, several kayaking companies have been set up around the city and surrounding area. Here are some of the most popular tour and rental companies.
1. Charleston Kayak Company - 4290 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414 (843 628-2879)
Located on the lovely Ashley River, surrounded by trees and wildlife, the Charleston Kayak Company runs an array of guided kayak tours around areas like Middleton Place and Folly Creek, as well as low cost kayak and stand up paddleboard rentals too.
2. Nature Adventures - 1, Shrimp Boat Ln, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464 (843 568-3222)
If you’re looking to get in touch with Charleston’s natural side and wildlife, Nature Adventures is the kayaking company to choose. They run paddleboard and kayak rentals, along with guided kayak tours through locations like Penny Creek, the Edisto River, Folly Creek, Morris Island, Shem Creek, and more. Nature-focused tours are also available for people who want to see and learn about the local flora and fauna.
3. Coastal Expeditions - 2223 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412 (843 406-0640)
Coastal Expeditions offers both rentals and guided tours for kayakers of all ages and abilities. Kayak tours can last anywhere from as short as three to as long as six hours in total and take in various natural landmarks and key locations around Charleston like Folly Creek and Shem Creek.