Welcome to the Charleston Adventure Guide’s Perfect Weekend section. Below you will find information on things to do in Charleston, SC including nightlife, attractions, and outdoor adventure.
Head to the Ravenel Bridge
We suggest kicking off your Perfect Weekend by heading to Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge which is considered by many the “Golden Gate Bridge” of the East. A trip to Charleston just would not be complete without a run, walk, or bike over the bridge which includes expansive views of downtown, the Charleston Harbor and Mt. Pleasant. The 12 foot wide bike/pedestrian lane makes it that more appealing.
Bird’s Eye View
After some early morning views atop the Ravenel Bridge, time to get a serious bird’s eye view of the entire Charleston area with an aerial tour. Give Jim Ellison and Flying High Over Charleston a call to get a private flying tour and to hear some colorful, Lowcountry stories. The aerial tours offer unforgettable views of historic Charleston, the barrier islands, Charleston Harbor, the plantations, and anything else you want to see. Don’t forget your camera and the best time for these tours is usually between 10 AM and 2 PM.
Info: Flying High Over Charleston / 843-569-6148 / www.flyinghighovercharleston.com
Since our next adventure takes you out to Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island for some paddleboarding, we suggest hitting Jack’s Cosmic Dogs for some killer hot dogs and fresh cut fries. We recommend the Sky or Galactic dog. We also like the fact they offer several veggie options.
Info: Jack’s Cosmic Dogs / 2805 Hwy 17 N / Mt. Pleasant / 843-884-7677 / www.jackscosmicdogs.com
Paddleboarding on the Barrier Islands
It’s time to spend the afternoon in the water learning one of the hottest watersports around-paddleboarding. This relatively new board sport has become all the rage in Charleston and is fairly easy to pick up. The concept is simple: take a large board, stand up on it, and use a paddle to maneuver waves, creeks, and any other water you can think of. The Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island are your best bets to try this out. We suggest checking out the various rental/lesson options found in the Watersports Adventures section.
Get Cleaned Up and Head Downtown
Your reward for trying your hand at paddleboarding is the vibrant downtown Charleston nightlife. Start the evening with a few cocktails at Salty Mike’s, grab some authentic Lowcountry cuisine at the Hominy Grill, skip the dessert and head to Chai’s Lounge for a mojito nightcap.
Info: Salty Mike’s / 17 Lockwood Dr. / 843-937-0208 • Hominy Grill / 207 Rutledge Ave. / 843-937-0930 • Chai’s Lounge / 462 King St. / 843-722-7313
Morning Paddle Around Folly
Just like the Ravenel Bridge is a must see while in town, paddling the waters of Charleston is a must do activity. We recommend a rise and shine morning paddle near Folly Island. There a number of tidal creeks to explore but we suggest heading toward Stono River from the Folly landing to check out Bird Key, one of the largest rookeries in the state. See Paddling Adventures section for more details. For a guided tour give Paddlefish Kayaking (843-330-9777 / www.paddlefishbasecamp.com) a call.
After your morning paddle, head in to nearby Folly Beach for a real beach town experience. First, fill your belly with some grub at Surf Bar (killer black bean burger) or at Center St. Kitchen (meat and three). After lunch, grab your surfboard and head to the 6th to 9th blocks on the island’s east side.
Info: Surf Bar / 103 W. Cooper Ave. / 843-588-2009 • Center St. Kitchen / 11 Center St. / 843-588-2737
Head Inland to Explore the Palmetto Trail
After a little beach time, head inland to get a taste of the Palmetto Trail-the state’s largest bicycle and pedestrian project that will run from the mountains to the sea. We like the Lake Moultrie section which runs along the banks of the lake. The trail is optimal for hiking and biking and even has several primitive campsites for overnight camping. Don’t forget to bring your fishing rod to catch some fat catfish in the lake. See Family Friendly Adventures section for more details.
Info: Palmetto Trail Information / 803-771-0870 / www.palmettoconservation.org
Sunset Over Charleston
Head back towards town to cap the Perfect Weekend with a sunset at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island. Fort Moultrie sits on Charleston Harbor, so walk out on the rocky beach for an excellent view of Fort Sumter and the sunset over the Holy City. Fort Moultrie is dog friendly so bring your canine pal (on leash of course) to soak in the views. See Dog-Friendly Adventures section for more details.