Charleston and her collection of sea islands, including magnificent Kiawah, are entwined by countless waterways. The pristine beauty and rich diversity of the aquatic ecosystem convert even the most stalwart landlubbers into boating fanatics who can’t wait to get on the water.
And the options to enjoy it are endless. Go offshore fishing in the deep blue Atlantic Ocean. Take in the panoramic views and sights of historic Charleston Harbor. Cruise up and down our river systems. (The Cooper, The Ashley, The Stono, The Edisto, and The Kiawah River all await you — for starters.) Or maneuver through the winding creeks, past swaying seagrasses of the salt marsh as they change color with the seasons.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
Whether your goal is relaxation, exploration, or a celebration — the Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences concierge team will coordinate the perfect nautical outing for you and your family. Consider some of these popular themes, several of which can be combined into the same trip.
Immersion in Nature
Spending time outside is invigorating, especially when you have the chance to observe wildlife. Kiawah Island is home to 18 different species of mammals, 30+ species of reptiles, and more than 300 types of birds. You can often get closer to the animals via water than on land, because they feel less threatened, and as such there are a plethora of nature-related boating tours to choose from. “Must Do” wildlife expeditions around the island and nearby include dolphin discovery tours (featuring Kiawah’s own resident pod) and trips to one of the Lowcountry’s three bird sanctuaries (Crab Bank, Deveaux Bank, and Bird Key). Keep an eye out for loggerhead turtles and bald eagles along the way!
Looking to get off the beaten path? Ditch the crowds and visit distinctive destinations only accessible by watercraft. Spread out a delicious picnic next to the beloved Morris Island Lighthouse. Search for shells and sharks’ teeth on uninhabited barrier islands. Getting there and back is half the fun with much to see en route.
Fishing and Crabbing
The water quality, tidal deviations, and plentiful variety make fishing a winning pursuit here year-round. Knowledgeable boat captains and fishing guides will whisk you away to the most promising spots — off-shore and near coastal, or in the more protected estuaries, rivers, and bays — depending on your interests and experience level. Rod and reel? Fly fishing? Cast net? Crabbing? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
Boat tours of Charleston Harbor offer fresh perspectives of historic sites and famous local landmarks. Take in the grandeur of Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney, and the U.S.S. Yorktown aircraft carrier. Glide past postcard perfect views of antebellum homes on The Battery, White Point Gardens and Waterfront Park, and the many church steeples dotting the skyline of the “Holy City”. Zipping under the Ravenel Bridge, the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere, is a particular thrill.
Grab your camera and join a professional to photograph the area’s most alluring environs and elements, both large and small, with a unique viewpoint from the water. Receive helpful instruction on composition, camera techniques, exposure, and lens selection to ensure your images are as dramatic as their inspiration.
For Social Foodies
Many boat tours and private charters have snacks and beverages on board, or allow you to bring your own. For those with higher culinary and social ambitions, why not treat yourself to a dinner cruise with live entertainment and dancing? Or a boat trip to one of Charleston’s longstanding waterfront dining institutions like The Crab House, Bowens Island Restaurant, or California Dreaming? Perhaps your crew will jet on a powerboat over to Folly Beach for lunch and shopping in the eclectic surf town. Closer to home, if you attend one of the oyster roasts at Kiawah’s Mingo Point, grab a drink from the bar and head to the dock for a scenic motorboat cruise down the Kiawah River.
Speaking of scenic: you know sunsets are incredible on land, but have you viewed one from the water? The perfect end to any perfect day in this island paradise has to be a leisurely sunset sail (or paddle). With the dazzling colors of the sky reflected on the water, you’ll know you are in the right place at the right time. Wind down with Mother Nature and your favorite people, appreciative for this peaceful bit of quality time together.
O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
In this coastal city, whatever kind of vessel and experience you seek, there’s someone we can recommend to get you on the water. From solo kayak tours, posh overnights on a yacht, family fishing trips, cocktail cruises, teaching sailboats, and everything in between.
The tours and charters most popular with our Timbers Kiawah Owners are those offered by Holy City Sailing (sporting a gorgeous Beneteau 373), Tidal Trails (be sure to ask about tubing), and Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Each caters to smaller groups for a more intimate experience, with flexibility to customize your adventure. Their friendly captains are exceeding familiar with Kiawah Island itself and the bounty it has to offer.
You also have the option to be your own skipper. Sea Islands Boat Rentals at Bohicket Marina on neighboring Seabrook Island can hook you up. (Bohicket Marina is a destination in and of itself. Spend a pleasant afternoon checking out the boats, restaurants, and boutique shops.)
Whatever you choose, may you have “fair winds and following seas”. See you on the water!