6 ways to get cool on Charleston's waterways 

2017 Summer Guide

A Mer-mance To Remember

Synopsis: One of Ramon's many primal cravings is a delicious dip in the sea at precisely the golden hour. It's Friday and his desire for immersion drives him to the boozeless but boobful shores of Folly Beach as the sun begins to slip beneath the horizon. Lathered in suntan oil, his lips cooled from a La Croix, Ramon succumbs to the water's call and swims daringly out to sea, farther and farther until he's breathless and burping up a lot of ocean water. Undeterred, Ramon ensures his snorkel is firmly in place and begins to search beneath the surface, for adventure, for life, for something of substance — or even a quarter or crab claw would do. But he senses something else, something warm. 'Did I piss myself?,' he wonders, then turns to discover a beautiful mermaid, and the man is gobsmacked. Unforts, she's also in search of something of substance, so she totally blanks him and swims off to find the merman of her dreams.

Ah, Charleston summer. You are so wonderful and so very, very hot. Thank goodness for all of your waterways — from oceans to rivers we love to splash around this city. Here are some of our top picks for cooling down around town.

Urban Swell
urbanyogachs.com

We get it, surfing's intimidating. Urban Flow Yoga is here to help with their summer series, Urban Swell, which, you guessed it, pairs yoga with surfing. Start with a 45-minute all-levels yoga class to get your blood flowing and then join the teachers of Charleston Surf Lessons for a 90-minute surfing lesson. Meet at 3rd Block West on Folly at 9:15 a.m. with your your yoga mat (surfboard and rash guard are included in the $45 ticket) on June 24, July 29, and Aug. 26.

Coastal Expeditions
coastalexpeditions.com

Phew. We just got exhausted reading over all of the water fun that Coastal Expeditions offers. Listen to this y'all: kayak tours of Shem Creek, Folly Creek, and the Ace Basin; stand-up paddleboard tours of Shem Creek and Folly Creek; Cape Romain tours via the Bulls Island Ferry; and summer kayak camps for young naturalists, aquatic adventurers, and tidal trekkers. You can also rent SUPs and kayaks and create your own adventure — prices start at $35.

Freedom Boat Club
freedomboatclub.com

Always wanted a boat but never liked the idea of upkeep, not to mention the cost of ownership? Freedom Boat Club, founded in 1989 in Sarasota, Fla., has 125 locations nationwide, including right here in Mt. Pleasant. If you've never heard of a boat club (a.k.a. the bougiest thing to hit Charleston since Vineyard Vines), essentially, the premise is that you become a member, like any club, and have access to a fleet of vessels that you can sign up to use at your leisure. Needless to say this venture isn't cheap, but hey, maybe you and your pals can go in on it together.

Tidal Wave Water Sports
tidalwavewatersports.com

Banana boat rides. Need we say more? You can catch one at Tidal Wave Sports, along with jetski rentals, custom charters, tubing, parasailing, and dolphin watching tours. Based on IOP this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink watersports company is open seven days a week, year round.

Nature Adventures
kayakcharlestonsc.com

Get both your kayak and your stand-up paddleboarding on with Nature Adventures. You can rent your own kayak or board or take a tour — how about the company's most popular tour of the historic Shem Creek shrimping village? There's a good chance you'll see dolphins and tons of shorebirds, and who knows what kind of fish will pop out of the water. Nature Adventures also offers overnight expeditions to Capers Island and hiking tours through Francis Marion National Forest.

Palmetto Breeze
aqua-safaris.com

If you live in Charleston and have never been on the Palmetto Breeze, you're missing out on a fun boat ride with sweet views — and a cash bar. The Palmetto Breeze, docked at Shem Creek right in front of Tavern & Table, takes guests on number of Charleston Harbor cruises including dolphin sails, sunset sails, historic Charleston sails, and more. Current themed cruises include margarita Monday ($35/person, $25/ladies only), which features $2 "ritas," as well as three-for-Thursday ($35) wine tasting, which features a complimentary taste of three wines paired with appetizers.


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