City Travel

Outdoor Guide To Charleston, South Carolina

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Charleston South Carolina beach pier

Image: Lindsey Brand

As we think about transitioning from summer to fall, now is the perfect time to plan a weekend getaway to Charleston, South Carolina. This charming Southern sanctuary will hold onto its warm weather throughout the fall, meaning you can still participate in kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, and more to extend your summer festivities. Charleston is full of character from its beach boardwalks and piers, to the colorful buildings and quaint shops in the city. We’ve got the perfect guide to enjoying Charleston’s best outdoor activities within the city and along the coast.

Paddle Board & Kayak

This coastal city is full of saltwater estuaries that provide ideal conditions for paddle boarding and kayaking. These beautiful inlets are also great places to spot Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins and other sea life. Folly Beach is a favorite spot among the local paddlers. Bowens Island is a beautiful location to embark from at sunset for an evening paddle. The Hammock Islands are a scenic kayaking destination near Folly Creek that features uninhabited land perfect for spotting dolphins and sea turtles. Visit Morris Island Lighthouse by kayak and explore the island’s many shells and historic scenery. You can also go kayak fishing in the Folly Creek area for Red Fish,  Spotted Sea Trout, Black Sea Bass, Black Drum, and Sheepshead.

Boating

Charleston is home to numerous marinas packed with everything from smaller sailboats to enormous yachts. Featuring both rivers and a harbor, Charleston allows for beginner to advanced sailing, as well as open waters for yachts and speedboats. Enjoy a weekend rental or stay longer in a luxury cabin cruiser to enjoy the finest of Charleston’s boat life. Book a sailing class or simply rent a boat for one day to fulfill your boating needs.

Camping

If camping is the kind of activity you’re seeking, then Charleston will provide you a variety of options in the low-country. Campgrounds like James Island, Johns Island, or Mount Pleasant feature some of Charleston’s top hiking, cycling, fishing, and kayaking spots, but they also happen to be near downtown Charleston so you can go from nature to sight-seeing in minutes!

 

Fishing

When you combine waterways, tidal waters, marshlands, black water, open-ocean and freshwater bodies and rivers all together, you get one of the world’s favorite fishing destinations. The mild weather provides great fishing year-round. Find everything from shrimp and crab to pond catfish.

Biking

From city streets to mountain biking, Charleston has it all. The 17-mile Marrington Plantation Mountain Bike Trail is just 20 miles of the Carolina coast—but don’t let that fool you. This mountain bike trail is full of sharp curves and steep drops to entertain even the most hard core mountain biker. The Swamp Fox Passage of the Palmetto Trail is another mountain biking trail that traces the footsteps of Revolutionary War General Francis Marion. Here Marion earned his “Swamp Fox” name by attacking British soldiers and retreating into the coastal forests. This 47-mile trail has campsites along the way for those making it an overnight trip. If you prefer to ride around downtown Charleston, try riding along the peninsula and across the famous cable-stay Ravenel Bridge.

So if you’re looking to extend your summer a little longer, Charleston is the place to go. We’ve only begun the conversation on Charleston outdoors, but you’ll have to visit for yourself to get the full experience of outdoor diversity, sea-life, and water sports.

Kate Wilke is the content manager at 301brands, and she's the editor of DailyBeautyHack.com, and the lifestyle editor at OhMyVeggies.com. When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on Instagram — @kateewilke