Summer's here and it's time to slip into a pair of teeny-tiny gym shorts, pull up those knee-high socks, and slide on your Bjorn Borg autographed sweatband. If you plan to play outside in the Lowcountry heat and humidity, you're going to need it. In under five minutes out in the Charleston sun, you'll be sweatier than the sweatiest Sweathog in Mr. Kotter's class (if there's any doubt, it's Horshack). When all's said and done, be sure to take a shower. Vinnie Barbarino says the boys are heading to the disco tonight to meet up with Tony Manero and his crew, and you're invited to the mother of all dance-offs.
James Island County Park
871 Riverland Drive. James Island
(843) 795-4386, ccprc.com
James Island County Park offers a wide variety of opportunities for you to get your inner athlete on — biking, pedal boating, and kayaking. Admission to the park is a measly $1, and this little wonderland is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. They've also got a spiffy slippy waterpark, Splash Zone — $12 to get in — and one of the best off-leash dog parks in the Lowcountry. The park also doubles as a venue for the Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series (see page 36).
For a lot of folks, James Island County Park's big draw is its climbing wall. This 50-foot beauty is ideal for all experience levels, and an all-day pass is $12. They also rent out equipment at reasonable prices, such as harnesses for $3, shoes for $2, and chalk bags for $1. The climbing wall is open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.-Fri., and 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Charleston Sports and Social Club
(843) 327-5924, charlestonssc.com
The Charleston Sports and Social Club is in the business of hosting play dates, and we don't mean that in the grade-school sort of way. The folks at Charleston Sports want to help you make new friends, and they accomplish this by offering a wide variety of athletic activities — football, softball, volleyball, basketball, bowling, dodgeball, and kickball. Kickball? Consider us there.
Charleston Hurling Club
Hurling is not what you think. It's not something you do on a Saturday night after one too many Irish Car Bombs. Hurling is an old Gaelic sport that's like a high-speed combo of lacrosse and baseball, and it looks pretty doggone fun, perhaps even a little dangerous. You've got to see it to really understand it. The Charleston Hurling Club meets every Saturday at noon at Hampton Park.
Park Circle Disc Golf Course
Park Circle. North Charleston
Tidal Creek Disc Golf Course
Dead end of Mary Adler Ave. West Ashley
3050 Marlin Road. Johns Island
(843) 559-2520, trophylakes.com
It's safe to say that Charlestonians love disc golf more than J.J. Walker loves saying, "Dy-no-mite." OK, that's impossible. The point is that frolf has found a home in the Lowcountry. There's the Park Circle Disc Golf Course in North Chuck, where playing is always free, and you can grab a bite to eat or beer to drink just up the street at Sesame or Madra Rua or EVO. And then there's the Tidal Creek course in West Ashley, an 18-hole course through marshland and around live oaks. Again, playing is free. The folks at Trophy Lakes also offer one heckuva course — water obstacles are everywhere. For many, this is the Augusta National of the Lowcountry, but if you want to play this pro-grade course, you'll have to shell out five smackers. Or buy two new discs, and you don't have to spend a dime, while ladies get to play for free on Saturdays.
Buck Hall Landing Road. McClellanville
Wannamaker North Trail
Perhaps hitting the trails sounds better than taking aim at disc golf baskets? While the Lowcountry isn't exactly known for hiking opportunities, there are a few out there. They might not be of the same caliber as what you'll find in the Upstate, but we'd gladly trade the mountains for the beach. One of the standouts is the Awendaw Passage. This seven-mile section of the Palmetto Trail begins at the Buck Hall Recreation Area, follows the Awendaw Creek, and ends at the Intracoastal Waterway. A word of warning: bring some DEET. You're gonna need it. A $5 fee applies to parking at Buck Hall. If you're a mountain biker, then head on over to the brand spanking newish Wannamaker North Trail. The off-road, eight-mile loop through the woods only costs $1 per person.
Volleyball at the Windjammer
1008 Ocean Blvd. Isle of Palms
(843) 886-8596, the-windjammer.com
The Windjammer offers two summer volleyball leagues, but unfortunately the deadlines for both have passed. Don't sweat it though, because this IOP bar is home to pickup games throughout the summer.
534 King St. Downtown
(843) 789-3281, affordabike.com
With so much to see in Charleston, walking everywhere can take a toll. Charleston has numerous bike shops for bike rentals and purchases so you can enjoy cruising around downtown or on your favorite nearby beach. Affordabike offers bike rentals starting at just $20 a day or $45 a week. They also make custom bikes in their shop if you're looking for a long-term form of transportation.