Charleston, South Carolina is renowned for its warm hospitality, rich history, and excellent cuisine. It is also widely recognized as being one of the premiere boating cities along the Eastern Seaboard. With the Ashley and Cooper Rivers spilling into spacious Charleston Harbor, boaters can enjoy both river and coastal water activities during their stay.

Boating in Charleston

With beautifully-preserved, colorful antebellum homes lining its scenic waterfront, cobblestone paths that are at least as old as America itself, and a reputation for friendliness and exceptional cuisine, it is no wonder that Charleston is one of the most desirable vacation destinations along the Eastern Seaboard. In addition to a myriad of sights, entertainment, and experiences to enjoy in the city, Charleston offers boaters the chance to enjoy the beautiful waters of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, as well as historic Charleston Harbor where the rivers converge and flow out to sea. Boaters are sure to be delighted by this lovely coastal city renowned for its Southern charm and nautical culture.

Landside Attractions in Charleston

All over the city are exquisite examples of well-preserved architecture that offer samples of many different eras of design over the course of American history – some even dating back to the 1700s. Founded in 1670, Charleston has a long and colorful past that few other cities in the country can rival. Many museums pay tribute to the city’s history, and horse-drawn carriage tours that detail the incredible people, places and events that have shaped Charleston are especially popular. The Battery is an area of the city that is of particular interest to many history buffs. Located in downtown Charleston, the seawall and promenade that make up the Battery feature beautiful antebellum homes and views. It is close to many well-reviewed restaurants that dish up delectable, varied fare. Local seafood dishes are among the many culinary highlights to be found in the city.

Charleston also has a well-deserved reputation for hosting a thriving artistic community. Multiple theatre companies make their homes within the city’s limits, and there are many art museums that feature a wide variety of mediums. It has a storied tradition of contributions to music, particularly during the gold age of jazz. To keep this tradition alive, an event called “The Sound of Charleston” is hosted every week at Circular Congregational Church, during which local musicians and vocalists can showcase their talents. Charleston also hosts numerous festivals throughout the year to celebrate many art forms. The Spoleto Festival is an art festival that runs the curse of 17 days, and is considered to be one of the country’s most prestigious performing arts festivals. Other festivals celebrate everything from art and music to fashion, film, food, wine, antiques, and even wildlife.

Water Activities in Charleston

Boasting one of America’s largest ports, Charleston is arguably one of the best boating cities on the Eastern Seaboard. Charleston Harbor is one of the largest ports in the country, and since it is formed by the convergence of two rivers, it ensures that the city of Charleston functions as the ideal jumping-off point for a plethora of watery adventures. During a boating vacation in Charleston, boaters can enjoy:

Charleston Marinas

With so many waterways around Charleston to explore, chartering a local boat or bringing in a private one is one of the most appealing options when it comes to staying in this beautiful city. Boaters who decide to charter a craft during their stay in Charleston (or who bring their own boat) will find plenty of excellent marinas to choose from, no matter what side of the city they boat on.

Along the Ashley River, there are two excellent marina options that are spacious and well-maintained.

Dolphin Cove Marina:

  • Powerboat marina
  • 350 dry stack spaces
  • 125 wet slips
  • Travel lift
  • Boat yard
  • Fuel pumps
  • Service department
  • On-site certified technicians
  • Shore power
  • Monthly maintenance program
  • Trailer repair

Charleston City Marina:

  • 19,000 feet of dock space
  • Concrete floating dock
  • Fuel dock
  • Floating bathhouse with restrooms and showers
  • Laundry facility
  • Parking
  • Cable television
  • Convenience store
  • Free WiFi
  • Shore power
  • On-site maintenance and repair

On the Cooper River, boaters might consider renting a slip with even more amenities, including gated security and a jacuzzi.

Cooper River Marina:

  • Deep water slips
  • Shore power
  • Floating concrete docks
  • Pump-out service
  • Captain’s lounge
  • Laundry facilities
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Ship’s store/convenience store
  • Wi-Fi
  • Fax and email service
  • Free parking
  • Gated security
  • Boat yard storage

Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina:

  • 459 slips
  • Fuel dock
  • Shore power
  • Showers and restrooms
  • Laundry facilities
  • Pool and jacuzzi
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Two on-site restaurants
  • Trolley
  • Water taxi
  • Children’s programs

Enjoy the Hospitality of Charleston

Whether being drawn along the centuries-old streets by a horse-drawn carriage, sitting in a cozy restaurant enjoying incredible local cuisine, or out on the water enjoying all of the aquatic activities that Charleston has to offer, boaters are sure to remember their visit to one of the most charming cities in the United States. Historic and cultural experiences abound, and there is never a lack of diversions on the water to keep any boater active. There are many beautiful sights to see on the scenic streets of Charleston, but from no vantage point is she more lovely than away from the shore.