Finding an activity that is entertaining for all ages and interests can be difficult, but Charleston is a place that caters to everyone. Shopaholics can indulge in the King Street boutiques while sports buffs watch a Charleston Riverdogs baseball game. Foodies especially can hang out after hours with chefs and dine in the many highly-rated restaurants. But for the outdoors lovers, Charleston is an unexpected paradise, surrounded by beaches, marshlands and state parks.
It was with this in mind that I booked a kayaking tour of Mount Pleasant’s Shem Creek last year for my sister (and guest blogger) Sammi‘s birthday. She is an unabashed nature girl, loving all things hiking, rock climbing and kayaking. We woke up early one morning and met at the Nature Adventures Outfitters office on the creek for a quick orientation. She and I grabbed a tandem kayak so that she could paddle while I took pictures.
Shem Creek is known as one of the city’s best spots for seafood, which you can see by the number of restaurants lining the creek. It’s also a great place to watch the sunset and catch a glimpse of dolphins. There are dozens of barrier islands around Charleston, many of which are only accessible by boat. The Crab Bank is one such island, inhabited by seagulls and pelicans for half of the year until humans are allowed to dock.
Our guide showed us items he’d found in the ocean, including whale vertebrae and sharks teeth. Blue crab traps were set throughout the creek, just waiting for the trap owners to come by to sell them to local restaurants or make dinner for themselves. We were lucky enough to see some dolphins as we made our way back to the docks.
If You Go
If you’re interested in kayaking in Charleston, there are many companies to choose from. I knew Nature Adventure Outfitters had a great reputation, but Charleston Outdoor Adventures also leads tours from the Folly Beach side of town. Both companies also offer overnight trips to barrier islands, so you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
The Shem Creek Shrimping Harbor and Crab Bank Island Reserve Tour that I took is available in 2 hours, 3 hours or full day options, starting at $39 for adults and $29 for children. Nature Adventures Outfitters is located at 483 West Coleman Blvd, Mt. Pleasant. South Carolina. If you would like to make a booking, call directly at 843-568-3222.