From an expansive coastline to winding waterways, Charleston offers countless ways to cool off on hot summer days. As a peninsula, downtown Charleston is surrounded by water and with miles of Atlantic beaches on the surrounding sea islands, a visit isn’t complete without exploring on the water. Whether you are a sun seeker, adventurer, or workout enthusiast, Charleston’s waterways has activities for all levels of water lovers.  With warm summer days right around the corner, here are the best ways to cool off from Folly Beach to Isle of Palms!

Test your balance

The eclectic little beach town of Folly Beach is home to some of the best surfing on the East Coast. Whether you are a professional ready to ride the SC waves, or a beginner eager to leaner the sport, Folly can fulfill your surf dreams. You can join (or just watch!) the experienced surfers at Folly’s renowned surf spot, “The Washout” at the north end of the island. And if you want to hop on a board for the first time, you can take a lesson from Isla Surf School– they’ll teach you to surf like a pro in no time!

group of surfers on surfboards in a surf lesson on Folly Beach SC


For a more leisurely board ride, paddleboard through the endless creeks and rivers on the backside of Folly Beach. Or on the Mt. Pleasant side of downtown, Shem Creek offers another picturesque place to start your paddle tour or rental with Coastal Expeditions – you’ll likely have pods of dolphins popping up next to your board! If you’re looking for more of a workout, SUP Safaris offers paddleboard yoga.

For the adrenaline junkie

If you have a need for speed, jet skiing through Isle of Palms high grass marshlands and intercostal waterways is an absolute MUST.  The words “guided tour” may turn off the adrenaline junky, but with Tidal Wave Water Sports, they know how to show you a good time on the water.

A new sport is talking the water sport community by storm. Flyboarding is your chance to hover up to 20 feet above the water’s surface. HydroFly brings you out on the water with their floating tiki hut on the Ashley River that not only allows you to try this thrill seeking sport, but is also the perfect place for you and your friends to spend an afternoon on the water.

Hit the open water

There is no doubt that Charleston summers can get a bit warm, so one of the best ways to remedy the summer heat is a day on the boat. Charleston offers both fishing tours or boat charters that zip you around the Intracoastal Waterway and to beaches you can’t get to by car. Cruising on a boat while sipping on a cold one is the perfect way to spend the day in the South.  Want to experience Charleston’s STUNNING sunsets with a drink in hand? Hop aboard a catamaran, The Palmetto Breeze, or a sailing yacht, Fate, for a private sunset cruise you won’t soon forget.


If your idea of a water sport is more along the lines of lounging by a pool, you can choose from our portfolio of luxury vacation rentals with their own private pools.

Rear view of pool at Deep Water Days luxury rental on Folly Beach SC

Stay in Luxury

The charm of this coastal city is that a vacation to Charleston offers something for everyone, the history lover, the foodie, but especially the water-lover. Whichever way you decide to stay cool in Charleston, just remember to pack your swimsuit! For any of these water excursions, our Luxury Simplified Retreats Concierge team is on hand to make all of the arrangements and provide a worry-free vacation while you’re in town. With a selection of luxurious homes located along Charleston’s beloved beaches, let the team at Luxury Simplified Retreats help you plan a getaway filled with water-centric activities.  Contact us today to start planning!