Coastal Expeditions Charleston Kayak Tours

A guest enjoying a tour of Shem Creek. A guest enjoying a tour of Shem Creek. © 2013 Audra L. Gibson


When it comes to kayak tour experience in the Charleston area, Coastal Expeditions is the name to know. The family-owned business has been providing guests with stellar adventures since 1992, and has a variety of different tours and locations for patrons to take advantage of. The tour guides are dedicated naturalists who are eager to share the natural beauty and wildlife of the rivers, salt marshes, and blackwater in the Lowcountry for paddlers at most any level.



Guests who have visited the Traveling Ink website are eligible for a $2 discount on kayak tours. Guests may take advantage of the discount by mentioning Traveling Ink when they call to reserve a tour or by entering a Coastal Expeditions promo code at the top of the page when they book a kayak tour online. Promo code: traveling



Coastal Expeditions offers guests half day, full day and multi-day kayak tour options. Half-day tours last up to 3 hours and are a great option for guests wanting a taste of life on the water. Traveling Ink representatives took a half day tour on Shem Creek and had a fantastic time. There were folks from a wide age range attending, and children and adults alike seemed to really enjoy themselves. For parents of younger children (or couples that want to stick together) tandem kayaks are also available for most of the tours Coastal Expeditions offers. Traveling Ink highly recommends the half-day kayak tours leaving twice daily from Shem Creek, FollyCreek, and Isle of Palms, but a detailed list of additional half-day kayak tours can be found here. Half-day tours are $58 for adults and $38 for children under 12.

For guests who want to be on the water a little longer, Coastal offers full-day tours which last up to 6 hours. Adults can take advantage of full-day tours for $88 per person, while kids under 12 will kayak for $58. Guests can chose from a variety of blackwater or saltwater estuary tours. Details can be found here.

For patrons wanting to take their adventure to the next level, multi-day kayak trips are available. Guests will be surrounded by the natural beauty of South Carolina on an overnight expedition. Multi-day trips are available for Capers Island, Rimini Swamp, the Folly Hammock Islands, and exclusive trips to Bulls Island, with special permission from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. For details on multi-day trips, click here.

**All of Coastal Expeditions offerings include knowledgeable guides and all equipment necessary for kayaking. 


Crab Bank island is home to many varieties of birds including this Pelican, seen out on tour with Coastal Expeditions kayak tours.

A pelican rests on Crab Bank Island during a Shem Creek tour.                       © 2013 Audra L. Gibson



Find the location most convenient for your party or try a tour from each!

Shem Creek
514-B Mill Street, Mt. Pleasant, SC
Located at the Shem Creek Maritime Center by the dry stack marina
(843) 884-7684


Folly Creek
2223 Folly Road, Folly Beach, SC
Located at the Crobsy's Dock on Folly Creek
(843) 406-0640


Morgan Creek - IOP
41st Avenue, Isle of Palms, SC
Located at the Isle of Palms Marina
(843) 886-9590


Cape Romain & Bulls Island
498 Bulls Island Road, Awendaw
, SC
(843) 881-4582



The two most important things guests will want with them when taking a kayak tour or rental are water and sun protection. It is vital that guests stay hydrated on the water, so bring a bottle of water or your favorite Nalgene along for the ride (about 1 liter per person is recommended). It is also important that patrons protect themselves with sunscreen and a hat. In addition, guests should bring shoes they don’t mind getting wet (Teva or Chaco-style footwear works well). Paddlers should wear clothes they don’t mind getting wet (synthetic fabrics dry the quickest) and should dress in layers during cooler weather.


The Traveling Ink writers had the great fortune of seeing a variety of wildlife on their Shem Creek tour, including jumping shrimp, pelicans, egrets, herons, dolphins, and manatees. The natural surroundings would have made a great tour alone, but the addition of the wildlife was an extra blessing. Guests who are into wildlife may want to consider booking a tour time closer to low tide for an elevated chance of seeing more birds, fish, and mammals out on the water.


source: Coastal Expeditions

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Out on a Kayak Tour

Egret on the bank
Kayak guide shows off a blue crab
Dolphin off the bow
Pelican on Crab Bank Island
A guest enjoying a Shem Creek tour
Egret in flight

Coastal Expeditions Testimony

Our family of five went for a tour of Shem Creek and the Charleston Harbor. The staff was very helpful when we booked, and very friendly when we arrived. Our tour guide, Lonie, was great. I would recommend this to anyone and hope to go back soon!. 

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About Us

Traveling Ink is a website dedicated to the great city of Charleston, SC, the surrounding area, and those who love travel. It is part travel writing venture and part online concierge service. When it comes to travel, it is not just about the amazing places we explore, the summits we may climb, or the things we learn along the way, but who we share those adventures with. Let us know how we can help/inform/inspire/serve you today.

Traveling Ink Team

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