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Top Beaches in Charleston

Top Beaches in Charleston
The beach might not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning a trip to historic Charleston, but the shores of South Carolina’s Lowcountry are dotted with beautiful stretches of sand. Here are some of the best options for a day of sun, sand, and sea.

Kiawah Island
Situated about an hour outside of Charleston, Kiawah Island ranks among South Carolina’s top beach resorts. Visitors will find a public beach—considered one of the best in the country—at the southern end of this beautiful barrier island, as well as plenty of bike paths.

Folly Beach
Perhaps the most iconic beach in Lowcountry, Folly Beach has a little bit of everything: waves for surfing, lifeguards for safe swimming, a fishing pier, food vendors, and even a historic lighthouse (Morris Island) at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. Folly Beach is also a popular jumping off point for stand-up paddleboarding trips along the Carolina coast.

Sullivan’s Island
This largely residential barrier island north of downtown Charleston was once the stomping ground of poet Edgar Allan Poe. Today, visitors come for its broad beach where an offshore sandbar creates excellent conditions for swimming and kiteboarding.

Isle of Palms
Located just across an inlet from Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms attracts families with its lively beaches and collection of shops and oceanfront restaurants.Those with an interest in angling can head out to fish in the creeks of Charleston Harbor or out to sea to catch flounder and red fish trout.
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24 Tours and Activities | All Charleston Tours

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Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise

Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise

star-4.5
See the Charleston Harbor by boat with a leisurely sightseeing tour along the Cooper River to Fort Sumter National Monument. This fully-narrated tour focuses on Charleston history from Civil War sites to antebellum houses and landmarks, passes under Cooper River bridges, and explores a waterfront that’s home to bottlenose dolphins and pelicans.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$34.72
From
$34.72
Taking safety measures

Charleston's Tidal Creeks Eco Boat Cruise with Stop at Morris Island Lighthouse

Charleston's Tidal Creeks Eco Boat Cruise with Stop at Morris Island Lighthouse

star-5
Cruise through Lowcountry tidal creeks and marshes en route to the uninhabited Morris Island on this boat cruise from the Charleston area. A private boat company launches from Bowens Island for the scenic ride through an estuary rich in biodiversity before a soft landing on Morris Island. Spend free time to taking photos of the historic Morris Island Lighthouse, combing for seashells, and looking out for birds, sea turtles, and dolphins before your return.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$47.00
From
$47.00
Taking safety measures

Schooner Sunset Sail on Charleston Harbor

Schooner Sunset Sail on Charleston Harbor

star-4.5
Watch the sunset from the water on a 2-hour evening cruise aboard an 84-foot (25-meter) classic tall ship. As the crew hoists the sails of the schooner, you'll glide through Charleston Harbor to enjoy the glow of twilight over one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Drinks are available for purchase on board.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$68.50
From
$68.50
Taking safety measures

Charleston Harbor Speed Boat Adventure Tour

Charleston Harbor Speed Boat Adventure Tour

star-5
Get behind the wheel of an F13 speedboat for a guided tour of Charleston Harbor. Learn the basics of operating the speedboat from your guide, and then follow the guide boat past the Battery, under the Ravenel Bridge, to the USS Yorktown, and more, stopping for photo ops and to optionally change drivers. Small-group tour is limited to eight people or fewer.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$79.90
From
$79.90
Taking safety measures

Afternoon Schooner Dolphin Cruise on Charleston Harbor

Afternoon Schooner Dolphin Cruise on Charleston Harbor

star-4.5
Get out on the waters of Charleston Harbor during this cruise aboard an 84-foot-tall (25-meter) classic tall ship. As the crew hoists the sails of the schooner, you'll glide past some of the city's historical sights and watch for dolphins in the water. Drinks are available for purchase on board. Select a departure time when booking.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.88
From
$50.88
Taking safety measures

Charleston Sunset Blues & BBQ Cruise

Charleston Sunset Blues & BBQ Cruise

star-4
See Charleston from the water during a dinner cruise that includes a barbecue buffet and live entertainment. Watch the sky change color as the sun sets, and take in sweeping views of Charleston. Choose from classic dishes such as pulled pork, smoked chicken, mac and cheese, and coleslaw, and have the option to purchase drinks from the bar.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$55.66
From
$55.66
Taking safety measures

2-Hour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour in Charleston

2-Hour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour in Charleston

star-5
More than a welcome sight for sore eyes, the tidal marshes around Charleston are a hotbed for Lowcountry biodiversity. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of wildlife such as Loggerhead turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and more as you paddle down Folly Creek en route to the tidal creeks that wrap around the Hammock Islands. This leisurely paced kayaking tour is capped at 12 participants for a more personalized experience.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$48.21
From
$48.21
Taking safety measures

Charleston Land & Sea Combo: Historical Sightseeing Bus Tour with Harbor Cruise

Charleston Land & Sea Combo: Historical Sightseeing Bus Tour with Harbor Cruise

star-3.5
On this historical Charleston tour, journey back in time as your guide reveals the beauty and charm of one of America's most historic cities. Learn about the history of Charleston and discover its pivotal role in American history with visits to more than 100 points of interest including Rainbow Row, Colonial Lake, the Old Exchange Building and Whitepoint Gardens. This tour combines a 90 minute Historic City Tour with a 90 minute narrated, non-stop Harbor Tour. The harbor tour may be taken in conjunction with the city tour or you may choose to split them up and take them on separate days.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$48.00
From
$48.00
Taking safety measures

Narrated Haunted Ghost Cruise of Charleston Harbor

Narrated Haunted Ghost Cruise of Charleston Harbor

star-4.5
This Charleston ghost cruise brings you to the city’s spooky sites that can’t be reached on foot. Board a 45-foot catamaran and set sail on the Charleston Harbor, passing by the sites of pirate attacks, naval battles, and more. As you sail, your guide tells haunting stories of Charleston’s past.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.00
From
$30.00
Taking safety measures

Charleston Wildlife Stand up Paddleboard Tour

Charleston Wildlife Stand up Paddleboard Tour

star-5
Watch for turtles, dolphins and egrets on a 2-hour, stand-up paddleboard tour of Charleston with a local guide. Learn to steer your board, then paddle along low country coastlines that shelters a thriving population of birds and mammals. Identify pelicans and blue-winged teal with your knowledgeable guide, connect with North Carolina’s vibrant nature, and escape the city for Charleston's most perfect paddling.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

Charleston Sunset Stand up Paddleboard Tour

Charleston Sunset Stand up Paddleboard Tour

star-5
Steer a stand-up paddleboard through Charleston’s low country on a 2-hour sunset tour that explores South Carolina’s landscape, nature and wildlife. Learn to steer your board, then follow your instructor and guide along the scenic coastline. Watch for turtles and dolphins in the water while pelicans, blue-winged teal and egrets skim through the thriving habitat. Enjoy a warm, southern sunset as you paddle along, and escape the city to take in the wild, scenic side of Charleston.
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  • 2 hours
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

Private Sunset Cruise

Private Sunset Cruise

star-5
We offer a Private Sunset Cruise for up to 20 passengers. You and your family or friends enjoy being on the water with a Licenced Captain and Crew to attend to your needs. We provide unique local knowledge of Charleston Harbor. You play the music you want. Bring anything you would like to eat or drink. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a beautiful Charleston Sunset.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$769.24
per group
From
$769.24
per group

Charleston Harbor Stand up Paddleboard Tour

Charleston Harbor Stand up Paddleboard Tour

star-5
Explore Charleston’s harbor and historic sights on a 2-hour stand-up paddleboard tour with an experienced guide and instructor. Learn to steer your board, then paddle alongside a small group on a route that changes with the season. Cruise past island forts that saw decisive battles in the Civil War, and take in views of the stunning Ravenel Bridge’s diamond-shaped towers. Experience stand-up paddleboarding for the first time, or brush up your skills with help from an instructor on a tour that combines the best of Charleston’s culture and natural beauty.
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  • 2 hours
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

2-Hour Paddle Board Eco Tour of Charleston Lowcountry

2-Hour Paddle Board Eco Tour of Charleston Lowcountry

star-5
Exploring Charleston’s tidal marshes by stand up paddle board increases your chances of seeing wildlife hiding among the reeds while providing a fun and challenging activity. First-time paddle boarders love the personalized instruction and attention from your guide, while just about everyone appreciates getting close to dolphins, turtles, and more in the wild.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$48.21
From
$48.21
Taking safety measures

Charleston Paddleboard Rentals

Charleston Paddleboard Rentals

star-5
Paddle along the Charleston coast to see the sights from the water with a stand-up paddleboard rental in the heart of the low country. Get insider tips on the best places to paddle from an experienced and friendly staff, and enjoy free delivery service so you can explore on your own time, and at your own pace. Watch for wildlife and soak up the South Carolina sunshine while you experience the serenity of life on the water.
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  • 7 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.00
From
$50.00

Charleston Paddleboard Lessons

Charleston Paddleboard Lessons

star-5
Enjoy a workout and get close to nature at the same time with this guided, 1-hour paddleboard lesson in Charleston, South Carolina. Paddle boarding is one of the fastest-growing recreations today. Hop on board a lightweight paddleboard, then travel along the heart of low country, Folly Beach, on historic Folly Island. Learn on the river (flat water) or head out to the surf. Also, see landscape and local wildlife that’s only viewable from a paddleboard. Bring some sunscreen and a sense of adventure. Stand-up paddleboard and paddle included.
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  • 1 hour
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

Charleston Full Moon Stand Up Paddleboard Tour

Charleston Full Moon Stand Up Paddleboard Tour

See Charleston’s scenic waterfront light up under the full moon with a 2-hour stand-up paddleboard tour. Watch the sun set over the low country as you paddle alongside your experienced instructor and guide, and enjoy the warm, evening air. Enjoy views of the coast as the stars appear above the horizon, and steer your board by the light of the moon as you watch for the dolphins, turtles and birds that thrive along South Carolina’s coastline.
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  • 2 hours
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

Morris Island Lighthouse SUP Tour

Morris Island Lighthouse SUP Tour

star-1
Explore the Charleston waterfront on a stand-up paddleboard with a 2-hour tour to Morris Island Lighthouse, a historic structure that stands guard over the South Carolina coastline. Intermediate and advanced paddlers can brush up their skills as they paddle alongside an experienced instructor and guide. Watch for turtles and dolphins in the water and try to spot the diverse birds that flock to the coast, from blue-winged teal to egrets and geese. Enjoy the challenge of paddling to an iconic landmark, and capture unforgettable images of the low country.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

1-Day Surf Board Rental in Charleston SC

1-Day Surf Board Rental in Charleston SC

star-3.5
Paddle into the best breaks on the South Carolina coast with a full-day surfboard rental in Charleston that includes drop-off at the location of your choice. Work with experienced staff to choose the board and surf spot that’s right for you. Spend the day soaking up the Carolina sun, improving your surfing skills, and enjoying the waves that roll into this scenic stretch of coast. Watch for wildlife between sets; the Charleston area is home to turtles, dolphins, and a diverse range of migratory birds.
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  • 1 hour
From
$30.00
From
$30.00

Learn to Surf in Charleston!

Learn to Surf in Charleston!

Surfing is unlike anything else. Only those who have experienced it can truly understand. It’s exciting, surreal, and calming all at the same time. With a locals professional instruction you get a short cut to successfully surfing. Within minutes you go from a complete beginner to showing skills only an advanced surfer could perform. Come walk on water with us!
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.00
From
$60.00

Private Charleston Customizable Sailing Charters

Private Charleston Customizable Sailing Charters

star-5
We are a family owned sailing charter business. Come enjoy a day of sailing and seeing the historic sites of Charleston from the water in a 36' Beneteau Sailboat. We offer hourly, daily, or customized tours according to your desires for up to 6 guests maximum (USCG Rules & Regulations). Sit back and relax while a professional crew caters to your every need on your private yacht. Most tours are 2-3 hours in length and circle the entire Charleston harbor before returning to the docks where you boarded the vessel. Bring your favorite beverages, a picnic, or you can also request gourmet catering to fit your desires. A professional photographer can be requested as well. If you are looking for a romantic evening we can accommodate with a 3 hour sunset sail with downtown Charleston in the background. We want to make sure you have the 5 star experience you deserve and will do everything we can to ensure this. Book now to enjoy the Charleston views from your privately chartered yacht!
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$330.00
per group
From
$330.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Charleston Harbor Sunset Cruise

Charleston Harbor Sunset Cruise

star-4.5
Watch the sun set above Charleston, South Carolina with a 2-hour sunset harbor cruise aboard a 45-foot motorized catamaran. Find a comfortable seat on deck, spot the landmarks of downtown Charleston and the waterfront, and watch for the dolphins and sea birds that thrive along the South Carolina shoreline. Enjoy a relaxing break from the city while spending a romantic evening on the water.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$40.00
From
$40.00
Taking safety measures

Nature Boat Tour with Certified Naturalist in Charleston

Nature Boat Tour with Certified Naturalist in Charleston

star-5
Although Charleston may be more famous for its bars than its beaches, visitors would be remiss to overlook the Holy City's natural charms. Join a certified naturalist for a 2-hour nature boat tour through the waterways off Charleston Harbor, including a stop to explore the historical Morris Island. Throughout the tour, take in views of the Charleston skyline and spot wildlife like dolphins and seabirds with the help of your guide.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$40.00
From
$40.00
Taking safety measures

Shell Hunting Expedition

Shell Hunting Expedition

star-5
Depart for this 3 hour shell hunting excursion from Ripley Light Marina situated just less than a half mile outside downtown Charleston. Relax on a short cruise over to beautiful Morris Island while enjoying the sights and sounds of the breathtaking Charleston Harbor. Pass just feet from historical landmarks, wildlife, and natural habitats. Disembark onto this unspoiled barrier island while our naturalist amazes you with historical facts, ecology, tideline critters, and tips on finding wonderful seashells, sharks teeth and more. Departure times and dates may vary as this expedition is low tide dependent so to maximize your experience finding some awesome shoreline treasures.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.00
From
$50.00
Taking safety measures