Boat Tours
Boat Tours

Historic Charleston is one of the gems of the south. From centuries of history to romantic cobblestone streets, this city keeps tourists coming back for more. One of the best ways to spend time in Charleston is to get out on the water. 

The city is on a peninsula, surrounded by water and gorgeous islands on three sides. One of the Carolina Lowlands’ premier destinations for fun on the water is the Isle of Palms Wild Dunes community and resort

Charleston is a premier boating and water sports destination, whether that means historic boat rides, paddling on the intercoastal waterway or catching a wave on the beach. Here are some of the best water sports and boating activities on offer in the Holy City.

Paddleboat Dinner Cruise

Charleston is known for its delicious cuisine and breathtaking water views, and a dinner cruise on the paddleboat Spirit of Carolina offers the perfect combination. Sample local cuisine, like she-crab soup and oysters, while cruising around the harbor and taking in some of the sites at dusk. These sites include the storied WWII aircraft carrier USS. Yorktown, historic Fort Sumter and the graceful curve of Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge illuminated at night. 

The Spirit of Carolina is a beautiful boat with all the modern comforts but steeped in historic charm. 

Sunset Sail on the Schooner Pride

Few things make for a better backdrop for a sunset than the white cloth of billowing sails. One of the best ways to take in the legendary Charleston sunset is with a sail on the Schooner Pride. Considered to be one of the top 10 sunset sails in the United States, the voyage will show you all the sites of Charleston, from forts to shining steeples, all glowing in the light of the setting sun.

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The Schooner Pride is an 84-foot sailboat modeled on the coastal sailing ships that once populated the waters around this area. See the sunset and watch the local dolphin population play in the waves from the deck of an authentic tall ship. 

Historic Harbor Cruise on the Carolina Belle

The 80-foot Carolina Belle is the perfect way to see over 75 historic sites around Charleston harbor. The ship has an open deck for great views and a climate-controlled main room to beat the southern heat. 

The cruise will take you to see the USS Yorktown, the historic forts from the Battle of Charleston, St. Michael’s church which survived both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, historic homes on the Battery and the more modern architecture of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere. 

The cruise covers hundreds of years of history in just 90 minutes, so sit back, relax and watch history unfold before your eyes. 

Comedy Harbor Cruise

If you’re looking for a good laugh while in Charleston, check out the Friki Tiki Comedy Cruise. Characters like Captain Wackbeard will have you laughing your way around the harbor at sunset. The cruise is BYOB, so feel free to bring along some refreshments, one six-pack or bottle of wine per group, to quench your thirst after all that laughing. 

The cruise is every Wednesday and is the perfect way to end a day of tourist activities. The crew will show you the lighter side of Charleston, and you might learn a few fun facts about the area along the way.

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Surfing at Folly Beach

South Carolina is not known for huge waves, but Charleston’s Folly Beach is still a fantastic surfing destination. Whether you want to catch a wave at the famous Washout or the Folly Beach pier, there is ample surfing for all skill levels.  

If you are new to the sport, Carolina Salt offers lessons that can help anyone catch a wave and fall in love with surfing. The diversity of waves along Folly Beach makes it great for anyone looking to learn or improve their skills. 

Paddle Board Yoga

If you are looking for a unique activity that’s a good workout and a calming meditative practice, look no further than paddle board yoga. The tranquil waters of the intercoastal waterway is the perfect location for a peaceful activity for the mind and body. 

Don’t worry if you are new to yoga or afraid that the paddle board might affect your balance. The experienced instructors at Charleston SUP Safaris teach all levels and body types. 

Waterway Jet Skiing 

The intercoastal waterway behind the Isle of Palms is the perfect place for a jet-skiing adventure. These fast and fun watercrafts can zoom around the calm waters, helping you experience miles of beautiful backwaters and a huge adrenaline rush. Tidalwave Water Sports offers guided tours to uninhabited and secluded areas such as Capers Island while ensuring fun and safe operation of the jet skis.

The beauty of the Isle of Palms is unique among the barrier islands of the Carolina Lowlands, with loggerhead turtles and least tern populations living on the palmetto palm-strewn dunes. If you fall in love with the area and the numerous activities available, there is ample Isle of Palms real estate available for short- and long-term residents. 

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Sport Fishing

The warm Gulf Stream waters flow directly up the South Carolina coast. The warm currents bring with them abundant sea life. Tuna, sailfish and marlin swim past Charleston on their yearly migrations, making the city one of the top sport fishing destinations along the Eastern Seaboard. 

Captain Steve and the crew on his sportfishing boat, the Reel Interest, operate some of the best sport fishing cruises in the area. His crew’s combined 70 years of experience on the waters off Charleston will help you reel in some of the most famous Atlantic sports fish. Catch your dinner and hook a championship fish with Captain Steve. 

Enjoy the Coastal Highlights of Charleston

Charleston and the Carolina Lowlands are famous for their connection to the ocean. From colonial times, the city’s connection to the water has given it fame, wealth and a prime position along the Atlantic Coast. Coastal life has impacted everything in Charleston, from the food to the architecture to the unique Sea Island accent. 

Take a boat tour or try out some water sports to get the most out of your Charleston vacation. See the history of this old port city and discover why so many people come here to experience life on the water.