5 Amazing Places to Go Paddleboarding in Charleston, SC
If you’re in the South, then it’s a must to go paddle boarding in Charleston, SC. A unique city built on the ocean, Charleston offers adventurer seekers a variety of amazing places to get into nature.
After taking a few weeks to vacation throughout Charleston, I found some amazing places to paddle around. I was impressed. After paddling around in Miami, I though there wouldn’t be another city that could compete when paddleboard vacations were of concern.
I was wrong. Paddle boarding in Charleston, SC is incredible. You have ocean waves, smooth channels, rivers, mangroves, islands, keys, and more. The diversity is one of the reasons that paddle boarding is so amazing here.
How to Paddle Here
If you plan to go paddle boarding in Charleston, SC – you need to understand a few things. First, we need to know if you’re a local or on vacation. If you live in the Charleston metro area, then you can buy a board and go from there. It doesn’t matter if you have an iSUP or a regular board.
For those on vacation in Charleston, you’ll have two options. You can either bring your SUP with you or rent one. For those traveling by car, bringing your paddleboard will be easy.
If you’re flying, it’ll be a little more difficult. If you have an inflatable SUP, then you certainly can check it on the flight. We recommend it, as you’ll be able to paddle as much as possible with your own board.
If you don’t own an iSUP or don’t feel like traveling with one, you can always rent when you’re ready to go paddle boarding in Charleston. Prices are a bit cheaper here than in Miami.
For a two-hour rental, you’ll pay around $35. A full day typically costs around $50 for a SUP rental in Charleston.
If you’re looking to rent a board here, we had good luck with these two outfitters:
Our 5 Favorite Places to Go Paddle Boarding in Charleston
Now, we already talked a little bit about all the amazing places to go paddle boarding in South Carolina. With such diversity, you’ll never get bored here. After spending a little time paddling around Charleston, these are my favorite places to paddle away:
1. Folly Beach
About a 20-minute drive outside Downtown Charleston, you’ll find the small beach town of Folly Beach. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll find a lot of water to paddle around in here. But it’s not a SUP spot for everyone…
Folly Beach offers a decent amount of waves. By decent, I mean a lot. While they’re a little small for getting some real surfing in, they’re darn near perfect for paddleboard surfing. If you’re an experienced SUP boarder who enjoys waves, you won’t find a better spot in Charleston.
2. Folly Creek
If waves aren’t your thing, no worries! There are still a number of other spots to paddle board in Folly Beach. Folly Creek runs from the ocean all the way through the mainland. The waters are calm, cool, and collected. If you’re a beginner SUP boarder just looking to relax and paddle around, this is the spot for you.
One of my favorite parts of paddling around Folly Creek was the unique wildlife. I saw a ton of aquatic creatures here, like turtles, the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin, and some ospreys. It was a unique paddle boarding experience.
3. Isle of Palms
Another fantastic place to paddle board, Isle of Palms is a bit north of Charleston. The area boosts a unique locale that allows SUP board fanatics to paddle in small ocean ways before operating through channels filled with wildlife.
If you’re looking to combine paddle boarding and eco-tours, then Isle of Palms may be the best spot in all of Charleston. Personally, I saw some incredible wildlife while I was paddling around this area.
4. James Island
Now, this isn’t your typical nature and relaxation SUP spot here. No, James Island is a little different. If you’re looking to get on a SUP board and enjoy a little fitness, then this is the spot in Charleston, SC.
Located in James Island County Park right outside downtown Charleston, you’ll find SUP fitness and yoga classes nearly everyday of the week. These classes are all the rage. If you’re looking for a unique paddle experience, I highly recommend checking one out.
5. Kiawah Island
A little off the beaten path, I found paddle boarding around Kiawah Island when I was looking for adventure. And boy did I find exactly that! This was the perfect location where river channels meet ocean. I enjoyed paddling around sunset here.
There was abundant wildlife and I was nearly alone. Kiawah isn’t too touristy. You’ll find the island a peaceful place to paddleboard and reconnect with nature. While I saw one rental spot here, it’s probably better to bring your own board here.
Charleston, SC gets its fair share of tourists each year. It’s a unique city that boosts stunning nature and Southern charm. If you’re in the area, make sure you hit the waves and paddleboard a little bit. You’ll be glad you did!
Here’s to hitting the water!