Outdoor Activities on the Charleston Coast

We love spring on the Charleston Coast! The weather is perfect for spending a day at the beach or exploring all the Charleston Coast has to offer. We have compiled a list of outdoor activities on the Charleston Coast so you can take full advantage of the beautiful weather!

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

The gorgeous Ravenel Bridge, as it is locally known, has quickly become a Charleston Icon. The Ravenel Bridge opened in July 2015 and connects Peninsular Charleston with Mt. Pleasant. The bridge has a pedestrian and bike path that provide outstanding views of the Charleston Harbor, Peninsular Charleston, and Mt. Pleasant. Walk, run, or bike your way across this Charleston Icon!

ravenel bridge Outdoor activities things to do Charleston

Fort Sumter

While we’re talking about the Charleston Harbor, why not take a tour of Fort Sumter? The tour includes a ferry ride of the Charleston  Harbor filled with Charleston History and beautiful views. If you keep your eyes peeled, you will likely see a dolphin or two (or three!). Fort Sumter is where the Civil War began and holds an important place in American History. See where the first shots were fired and learn about Charleston’s important, and lengthy, place in American History.

Fort Sumter Outdoor Activities Charleston things to do vacation

Charleston City Market

The Charleston City Market is a mix of open air and enclosed stalls. Vendors sell everything from sweetgrass baskets and handmade jewelry to homemade sweets and local art. If you’re looking for a gift for your family or friends (or yourself!) be sure to stop by. The Charleston City Market is open daily year round and opens for a night market on Fridays & Saturdays.

City Market Charleston Outdoor Activities things to do Vacation

Charleston Tea Plantation

While in Charleston, visit the only tea plantation in North America. A visit to the Tea Plantation is free! Tour the tea production building, visit the gift shop, and marvel at the acres upon acres of tea plants. The only charge (besides a souvenir from the gift shop!) is for the trolley tour. The trolley tour takes you through the tea fields and stops by the greenhouse. The closest tea plantations are in Asia, Africa, and South America making this a once in a lifetime visit!

Tea Plantation Outdoor Activities Charleston Things to do vacation
Photo: Instagram user @petermicu via @charleston_tea

King Street

King Street is a wonderous street that can be considered the Main St of Historic Charleston. The lower end of King Street is known for its outstanding shopping. You can spend the entire day just on this half of the street! Upper King Street (north of Calhoun Street) is home to numerous galleries, delicious restaurants, and fun bars. If you’re in town for it, we highly recommend Second Sunday on King. Taking place every second Sunday of the month throughout the year, Second Sunday on King shuts down the lower half of King Street to vehicle traffic. Pedestrians, dogs, vendors, and restaurant tables line the street for the day. Enjoy open-air dining, shopping specials, and more dog sightings than you can imagine!

King St Outdoor Activities Charleston Things To Do Vacation
Photo: Instagram user @charlestonlivability

What are your favorite outdoor activities on the Charleston Coast? Let us know! We are always looking for fun outdoor activities for ourselves, our families, and our guests!

Things to Do: April

Looking for things to do on the Charleston Coast this April? We’ve gathered some of our favorite local events and activities. Check them out and let us know which one is your favorite!

Migratory Bird Walk

April 14 & 21, May 12

Charleston Things to Do Birdwatching (2)
Photo: Instagram user @centerforbirdsofprey

Visit the Center for Birds of Prey for a Migratory Bird Walk with experienced birding guides. Recreational birdwatching is becoming a favorite past time across the country. Be sure to bring your binoculars and camera!

Charleston Outdoor Fest

April 21-22

Charleston Things to Do Outdoor Fest
Photo: Instagram user @charlestoncountyparks

April is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors in the Lowcountry. Head to the James Island County Park for a weekend of canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, rock climbing, and more! Enjoy live music and vendors all weekend. And even try your hand at archery or mountain biking with the Try It Pass!

Shaggin’ on the Cooper

April 28

Charleston Things to Do Shaggin on the Cooper
Photo via Facebook: Charleston County Parks & Recreation

Put on your dancing shoes and head over the Mt Pleasant Waterfront Park for an evening of shag dancing and live music. The Carolina Shag is a descendant of the Jitterbug and originated in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. You don’t want to miss this fun-filled evening! 

Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival

April 29

Charleston Things To Do Blessing of the Fleet
Photo via Facebook: Experience Mt Pleasant

Join locals and visitors alike for the Blessing of the Fleet. Spend the day celebrating the local fishing and shrimping industry. Watch the Boat Parade, enjoy delicious seafood tastings, and participate in a shag dance competition

The Charleston Coast is full of things to do year-round but things really amp up in Spring. What are some of your favorite Lowcountry events and things to do? Let us know in the comments!

Book Direct at Charleston Coast Vacations

February 7th is national Book Direct day. What does this mean? Well, when you book directly through a property management company, like Charleston Coast Vacations, you get the best price and the best service available. Third party sites, like Airbnb and VRBO, upcharge your reservation 10%-20%! This equates to hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars extra on your vacation. Save that money so you have more to spend during your Charleston Coast vacation!

Book Direct Charleston Coast Vacations

Booking through local companies means you get an insider’s knowledge of the area you are visiting, along with the property you are renting. Local property managers visit the properties they manage regularly, often once a week, and can tell you everything you want to know about the property! Does the house have a crockpot? Is there a grill? How many pillows are in the house? At Charleston Coast Vacations, our local property managers are here to help you have the best vacation ever.

But there is more to booking a vacation rental than the property. You must consider the area you will be staying in and what there is to do. If you’ve never visited the Charleston Coast before or if you’re a regular to our lovely seaside towns, booking directly through a local company ensures you get the best recommendations on things to do. At Charleston Coast Vacations, our guest services representatives are here to help you plan your vacation. We have restaurant recommendations, we know the best tours in town, and can tell you all the best spots for surfing on the Charleston Coast.

The properties we manage are listed on some of these third-party sites. This is so our homeowners receive national, and sometimes international, exposure. But, we are a local, family-run company serving the Charleston Coast for over 28 years. Our goal is for our guests to enjoy the Charleston Coast while creating beach memories to last a lifetime.  So sit back, relax, and book direct today.

Wish you were Beer: Low Tide Brewing

Wish you were Beer:  A semi-regular posting on charleston’s hoppin’ craft brewery scene

This week’s feature: Low Tide Brewing on John’s Island.

Low Tide Brewing
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

20 years ago, John’s Island had one stop light. It was the way to get to Kiawah but was overlooked as a destination in its own rite. Now, John’s Island is on the up and up with real estate development through the roof, and a restaurant scene that draws crowds away from the famous eateries of downtown Charleston. This rural island is quickly becoming home to many must-do attractions. Recently, we went to one of our favorite craft breweries, Low Tide, for a lowcountry oyster roast and the opportunity to talk to the owner, Mike, about what makes this destination so special.

Charleston’s love for oysters is as deep rooted as our live oaks and southern hospitality. Anyone lucky enough to visit our lovely city during the “off season” is in fact visiting during peak oyster season.  Low Tide Brewery takes advantage of this, hosting a monthly, all-you-can-eat oyster roast with live music and unique beer pairings at an unbeatable price of $15 – $20 per ticket. The time tested rule with oysters: they’re best to eat during months that contain the letter “r.” This means September through April, you’d be hard pressed to visit during a weekend when there isn’t a lowcountry oyster roast somewhere. While Low Tide is not the sole venue to catch a great oyster roast, it stands out from the crowd as a guaranteed good time with great drinks.

Low Tide Brewing Oyster Roast
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

Lowtide is unique in how their beer connects and exemplifies the things that make Charleston great: the people, the food and the environment. From the conception of the brewery’s name (which came to Mike while kayaking in Charleston’s tidal rivers), to the everybody’s-a-local atmosphere in the taproom, to the packed events and sought-after food trucks, the connection to this great city is enhanced by their beer. It’s a can’t miss destination for locals and newcomers alike.

Reflecting the mix between classic styles and fusions of flavors that the Charleston culinary scene is known for, Low Tide has produced over 120 distinct beers since opening. Mike gives a lot of credit to the “liquid engineer” of the operation, his partner, Andy. After accepting resumes from across the globe, Andy stood out from the crowd. Receiving a 4 year degree in fermentation, brewing was never a hobby to him but a profession. Because of Andy’s expertise, he is no one beer pony and a key ingredient in Low Tide’s success.

Low Tide Brewing Beer
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

While other breweries might have one or two experimental beers that are good or focus all their attention on one variety of beer, Low Tide strives to provide a range in styles and ace every one. They are constantly rotating and releasing new brews with names like “Gingerly Squeeze My Lemons”, “Coconut Pete’s Chai Ale”, and “Hush Your Mouth Triple IPA”, but typically only 12 or so are on draught in the taproom at a time. This keeps things fresh in the tap room, there is always something new to try.

Andy’s prowess allows Mike’s vision for Low Tide to become a reality through their beer. The “Coastal Harvest Gose” was a great example of the ingenuity going on behind the scenes. A gose is a sour beer originating in Gosland, Germany dating back 1000 years. While the original gose historically owes its unique flavor profile to the River Gose’s high saline content, Low Tide used “sea pickles” harvested by Mike from some of Charleston’s salt marshes to emulate the salty element of the classic. The beer was a unique twist on the classic and emphasized Low Tide’s ties to Charleston’s environment.

Low Tide Brewing Beers
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

While there has been talk about future plans for bottling, currently, you can only get their beer at the brewery itself or at restaurants lucky enough to have it on tap. It isn’t particularly rare to find them on tap at restaurants featuring craft brew selections because they ship kegs statewide. If you’re looking for a restaurant in Charleston that has them on tap we would recommend trying Bohemian Bull, Bay Street Biergarten, or Loggerheads. There are even some restaurants around Charleston that are lucky enough to have their exclusive, signature brew created by Lowtide as a compliment to their menu and atmosphere. So, only at Triangle Char & Bar can you find the delectable “Triangle Char & Bar Welcome Wheat” and out on Kiawah, the infamous Ocean Course Clubhouse features its very own “Ocean Course Ale”.

Mike’s original concept was to create a brewery to cater to Charleston’s rich restaurant scene focusing on creating those signature brews and the taproom was meant to be more of a bonus. Less than two years after opening the doors of the large converted warehouse that calls home, there are times when Mike wishes that there was more space. As the brewery evolved, it gained a dedicated following of both locals and visitors alike. The extent of their popularity is most astounding during their events, like their Oyster Roasts, when the whole front lot is closed off to allow for the crowds overflowing out of the taproom.

Apart from great beer and great times, the crowds grow because everyone is welcome here. No matter where you’re from you are treated like a local. Mike mentioned how important it is to him to make everyone feel comfortable, and it shows. When scanning the crowd at the oyster roast there wasn’t an obvious archetype for the typical low tide patron. Young, old, a number of families with their kids, people who have lived on John’s Island their whole life, others visiting for the first time, and (in the Charleston way) everyone brings their dogs. While Mike admits that he never thought that he would be so happy to have dogs and kids running around his brewery, it means a lot to him to see that there is such a sense of community that has developed around the taproom and their brews.

Low Tide Brewing
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

Take a trip out to John’s Island and stop by Low Tide Brewing next time you’re in town. You can follow them and check out all their upcoming events on their facebook page and find more information about them on their website. Hope to see you there!

Dewees Island Frequently Asked Questions

Today, we cover Dewees Island Frequently Asked Questions! 

Dewees Water Tower
Photo: Donnie Whitaker

What time is check-in? Check-out?

Check-in and check-out times are house specific. Please refer to the “Important Check-In Information” email that we send to you 15 days prior to your check-in date.

Occasionally, early check-in is available for a $100 fee. To arrange early check-in, please call or email us at least 72 hours prior to check in.

Do we have to bring all our groceries on the ferry?

Yes, but you don’t have to bring them all on the same run you are arriving on. Some families choose to have part of their group take all the luggage on the check-in ferry, while the rest of the group then shops and returns on a later boat. It is entirely up to you. We will assist the first group of arriving renters in each home; subsequent arrivals need to be greeted by your party.

Watch this video for helpful tips on how to pack for Dewees Island!

Does everyone in my party need to check in at the same time?

No, but you are responsible for picking up and orienting guests who arrive on later ferries.

Where should we stand while waiting for the ferry?

Please wait at the top of the ferry waiting area, and not on the dock. Be aware that your luggage carts should be under the awning and out of the way in order for passengers to disembark (think airplane).

Do I wheel my own cart down onto the dock?

Unless the mate tells you otherwise, able-bodied passengers should wheel their own carts on the dock to the loading zone of the ferry. The mate will help you get the cart onto the boat.

What’s with the Ferry Passes?

Dewees Island is a private island and access is provided via a ferry system. Ferry passes allow you to come and go as you please. The cost is a $53 pass, per person, for the week. Day visitors pay $27 (good up to 2 nights).

We will have called in all the names for the ferry. Board the ferry and find a seat. You will sign in on a clipboard once the boat pulls away. Sign in for Lot 200 – that’s the code for Charleston Coast Vacations! Please send names of all members of your party by 30 days prior to check in. You may add names here. Name additions within 72 hours of your check-in date are not guaranteed.

What are the Ferry hours?

The Dewees ferry runs hourly. The first run to the island on weekdays is 6:00 am and off the island is 6:30 am. Saturday, the first run to the island is 7:00 am and off the island is 7:30 am. On Sunday, the first run to the island is 8:00 am and off the island is 8:30 am. The last run to the island is 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, it runs until 12 midnight. To save money and fuel, the ferry does not run is there are no riders.

Ferry runs off the island are “on demand” on the half hour. Be sure to call the ferry at 843-568-3990 at least 45 minutes before you want to leave the island. For example, if you want to go off the island at 10:30 a.m., call the ferry BETWEEN 9:30 and 9:50 am and say, “I’d like to be picked up on the 10:30 am ferry.” Tell them how many people, carts of luggage, dogs, and wheelchairs/strollers you may be bringing. The captain will then decide which boat to bring. If you have not called for a reservation, then you may have to wait until the next ferry. Here is a link to the latest video about catching the ferry.

dewees island ferry schedule (1)

Can we ride on the top deck?

Yes! Be sure pets are leashed and kids are supervised. Hang onto your hat and have fun watching for dolphins, turtles, and manatees!

What if we are late catching the ferry?

The ferry leaves Isle of Palms on the hour and departs from Dewees Island on the half hour (as long as you’ve called to reserve). You are late if you arrive one minute after your scheduled ferry check-in time. It takes a few minutes to unload your cart and get your gear onto the boat. Please don’t stress out the captain by arriving at the parking lot exactly at departure and expect to get on the ferry. It is his job to depart on time. If you miss your scheduled ferry, Charleston Coast Vacations cannot guarantee there will be room for your party on the next ferry. Bottom line: if you’re not early, you’re late.

How much bottled water will I need for the week?

NONE! Please don’t stress out our resources by bringing bottled water to the island. The water on the island is perfectly safe to drink, and there is a great tasting R-O filtration system at the landings building. If you must, bring your own 3-gallon bottle– and leave it behind for the next guest to refill. Cases of individual bottles of water should not be on the ferry: you will be subject to a fine.

Speaking of water, can I take a 20-minute outdoor shower on Dewees Island?

Water is EXTREMELY expensive on Dewees! I know you’re on vacation, but being on an island with its own recycled water makes it unique. Only shower when needed and make it quick. Only do laundry when you have a full load. Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load. Make sure all outdoor hoses, showers, and fish cleaning sinks are OFF. If you notice a running toilet, shut that toilet off and email vacations@dunesproperties.com or call us at (888) 250-8730  IMMEDIATELY. If the owner is billed for excessive use of water, it’s possible that the bill will be passed along to you, the guest. So please be mindful of water usage!

How should I pack?

Please pack lightly. Most homes have basic beach gear and chairs. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions. You can use one or two of the rolling hand carts at the Dewees Marina to load your groceries and other belongings onto the ferry. Handcarts are limited to two per property so please be mindful. If you arrive at a crowded time, your luggage may need to wait for the next boat, or you can choose to hand carry your luggage onto the ferry. Click here for more packing tips.

Where do we go when we get off the Ferry at Dewees?

Once you land on Dewees, roll your luggage cart up the ramp and out of the way. Find your assigned golf cart and drive it up towards the front of the dock. Load your luggage onto your golf cart and return the luggage cart to the top of the ferry landing. Use your map to locate your lot number. If you will be arriving after the sun has set, please bring a flashlight to see the lot numbers.

Will we have house keys?

You will receive house keys in your check-in packet. Two keys are provided per property.

Where do we find the golf carts?

When the ferry arrives at Dewees, the mate will take your handcart off the ferry. You then roll it to the top, past the covered dock and out towards the golf carts. Leave the handcart at the golf cart loading and unloading area. Golf carts will be labeled with the Lot Number of the property you are renting or the reservation holders last name. They are labeled on the front and driver side. The golf carts are all individually owned. Please only drive the carts designated for your home.

BE SURE to plug the golf carts in overnight, every night. When plugged in correctly, the meter on the charger will move to the right and show how many amps are being used. If the meter doesn’t move, try plugging in the cart again. It can be a little tricky when you first learn to plug in the carts as it sometimes takes force to get the plug completely in.

Renters must have a valid driver’s license. All drivers must have a license on them while behind the wheel. Absolutely NO children behind the wheel of a golf cart. It is a motor vehicle and you are subject to a fine.

Dewees Golf Carts Frequently Asked Questions
Dewees Island Golf Carts. Photo: Donnie Whitaker

Does the house come with linens?

The house comes with sheets and towels. Clean towels and sheets will be stacked on the beds when you arrive.

What grocery items does the house have?

Each property has two rolls toilet paper in each bathroom, one roll of paper towels in the kitchen, a kitchen towel, dish sponge or brush, hand soap in the bathrooms, two dishwasher tablets, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, a standard coffee maker, coffee filters, and a few garbage bags.

These items are meant as a starter supply to get your vacation off on the right foot. If you are staying longer than a few nights, you will likely need to provide your own supplies to last the duration of your trip.

Does the property have wifi?

Every private house offers internet access through AT&T. As the island is remote, this service can be intermittent at times and should not be expected as an amenity.

Can I have a bonfire on the beach?

No. Bonfires, fireworks, and firearms are strictly prohibited on Dewees Island. If these items are found, you will be fined and asked to leave the island.

Does the property have a grill?

Propane grills are accessible for every property. Houses offer private grills and suites share a community grill. Public Safety refills propane as needed. They can be reached at 843 296 4952.

Where do I put my garbage and recycling?

Please separate and deliver all garbage and recycling to the on-island facility. Please reference your map for the garbage and recycling location.

Will my cell phone work on Dewees Island?

Cellular service is intermittent on the island, however, all private homes offer a phone for local calls.

Are there restaurants on Dewees Island?

Dewees Island does not offer restaurants or stores, however, excellent options are available on the Isle of Palms and surrounding areas.

Dewees Island Bike Ride Things To Do
The beach is great for biking! Photo: Judy Fairchild

What is there to do on Dewees Island?

Our Environmental and Social Committees have scheduled a wide variety of programs on the island, particularly in the summer. If there are events happening during your stay, they will be posted on a sign hanging from the Dewees dock as well as our Facebook page.

Check out our Sea Turtle conservation program. Every day a volunteer walks the island to look for turtle tracks and report to the island’s turtle conservation team. If you are interested participating in this, please call Judy at 843-259-1713. Here is a video about walking with the turtle team.

FISHING: Click here for specific tips. Anyone fishing on Dewees is required to have to a South Carolina Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anyone recreationally harvesting fish, oysters, clams, shrimp, and crab. For additional details, please see SC DNR’s website. Fishing licenses can be purchased online or by telephone, 1-866-714-3611, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; or by visiting fishing gear stores.Fishing gear and bait can be purchased at Haddrells Point Tackle, Charleston Angler, or the Isle of Palms Marina Store.

If you are not sure what you are doing and would like to rent a kit for a crabbing or fishing lesson, let us know and we can schedule that for you. Or you can hire a captain for a private inshore fishing lesson. Captains Ben Floyd and Chad Ferris will both pick you up at the Dewees Dock for a day of fishing.

Dewees Island
Photo: Donnie Whitaker

Here is a link to our island map. Print a copy and bring it along!

As always, if you haven’t liked us on Facebook or followed us on Instagram, be sure to do so! And don’t forget to download the Dewees Island app for the most up to date information.