Charleston Travel Guide

Charleston Sports & Activities

Charleston is a great place to get outdoors. Called the Lowcountry because it’s at sea level—and sometimes even below—the city is surrounded by an array of tidal creeks, estuaries, and rivers that flow out to the deep blue Atlantic Ocean. The region's beaches are taupe sand, and the Carolina sun warms them nine months out of the year. Many are uncrowded, especially in the spring and fall, when it’s not hard to find the perfect spot.

Several barrier islands within easy driving distance of the city are studded with lacy palm trees and live oaks hung with Spanish moss. The islands are fairly extensively developed, but still shelter plenty of wildlife. Charlestonians will tell you (without bragging) that this is one of the most beautiful regions on this planet. Here you can commune with nature, perhaps like you haven't in years.

Sailing is an increasingly popular activity in this port city. If you already know how to sail, you can rent a small sailboat. If you don’t, you can take sailing lessons or head out on a charter boat. Among the annual sailing events are the Keel Boat Regatta and Charleston Race Week both held in April, and the much-televised Charleston-to-Bermuda Race in late May. Charleston's Harbor Fest, traditionally held during the third week in June, draws visitors from far and wide. The parade of Tall Ships is always a delight.

Many of the region's best outdoor activities can be expensive, and this may give pause to families on a budget. But regularly scheduled dolphin-watching tours make for inexpensive outings, and crabbing at low tide is free. You'll also find an amazing number of low-cost options, from biking to kayaking to nature walks. In the warm weather, the beach is the thing. Those looking for more of an adrenaline rush can rent surfboards and ride the waves.

The area’s golf courses are reasonably priced compared with, say, Hilton Head. The championship courses on the nearby islands are the most beautiful, though they can be costly. There are plenty of public courses where you can enjoy the region’s scenery without emptying your wallet.


Fans who like to hear the crack of the bat and the cheers of the crowd can plan on attending a game at "the Joe" (Joseph P. Riley Jr. Stadium...


There are glorious beaches just outside the Charleston city limits. You and your kids can build sand castles, gather seashells after high tide...


As long as you stay off the busier roads, the historic district is ideal for bicycling. Many of the city's green spaces, including Colonial...


Kayak through isolated marshes and estuaries to outlying islands, or explore Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Rates vary depending on your...


Fishing can be a real adventure in and around Charleston. If you travel offshore with an experienced guide, you’ll probably come back with enough...


With fewer golfers than in Hilton Head, the courses in the Charleston area have more prime tee times available. Even if you’re not a guest,...

Horseback Riding

Put your foot in the stirrup and get a leg up! You can tour the beaches, maritime forests, marshlands, and former rice fields all from horseback...

Scuba Diving

Experienced divers can explore the Cooper River Underwater Heritage Diving Trail, upriver from Charleston. The 2-mile-long trail has six submerged...


Charleston Battery. Charleston's soccer team plays at Blackbaud Stadium, the first privately funded soccer facility in the country. Games...


The Charleston area offers tennis options for every skill level. Spring and fall are ideal for play at the area’s inexpensive municipal courses...

Water Sports

When it comes to water sports, Charleston is a great place to get our feet wet. Surfboards can be rented for as little as $5 an hour. An hour...


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