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Charleston Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended Charleston Safaris & wildlife activities

Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

1. Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

Cruise through the Charleston Harbor on an old-fashioned 1920s-Bay-Steamer-replica yacht. Enjoy live narration from the captain and purchase treats from a fully-stocked drink and snack bar. See the Civil and Revolutionary war sights and keep an eye out for dolphins. Relax in the enclosed observatory or on the partially-covered upper deck. Listen carefully as your captain guides you on a journey through more than 300 years of American history. You’ll pass by 75 landmarks and points-of-interest on this 20-mile trip. Get close-up views of the “Holy City,” including Fort Sumter - where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Glide past Confederate and Union army forts and see the famous “Fighting Lady” of World War II. Pass by remnants of the Civil and Revolutionary wars and look for local wildlife like dolphins and pelicans splashing nearby. Choose between indoor or outdoor seating.

Charleston: Magnolia Plantation Tour and Transport

2. Charleston: Magnolia Plantation Tour and Transport

Witness a slice of living history at Magnolia Plantation and its world-famous gardens, owned by the Drayton family for 12 generations. Visit the Historic Gardens, Petting Zoo, and The Conservatory. Begin your half-day tour by boarding a climate-controlled coach in Charleston. Meet your professional guide and ride to Magnolia Plantation, dating from 1676 and the time of the British colony. Step into one of America's first tourist attractions and first public gardens, which have been open to the public since 1870. Take a guided walk through America's last large-scale romantic garden. Experience history on a 45-minute narrated tram ride through the Audobon Swamp Gardens and visit important locations like Drayton Home (not Drayton Hall), Orientation Theater, and the Old African American Cabin.

Charleston: Harbor Bar Pedal Boat Party Cruise

3. Charleston: Harbor Bar Pedal Boat Party Cruise

Hop on board and experience Charleston’s favorite party cruise. Enjoy the spacious boat and mingle with your group or private party on a 39-foot pontoon boat in style. Check out local landmarks from the water such as the Ravenel Bridge, Fort Sumter, and the USS Yorktown. Meet your guide and crew at the meeting point and step aboard the comfortable vessel. Feel the ocean breeze swirling around and experience the area's natural beauty on a river tour with the iconic Charleston coastline as the backdrop. Try to spy the abundant local wildlife including majestic pelicans and frolicking dolphins. Take in unparalleled views while taking a turn on one of the optional 12 pedal stations. Equipped with a bar lined with coolers, feel free to bring your own drinks and appetizers.

Folly Island: Guided Dolphin Boat Tour in Folly Beach

4. Folly Island: Guided Dolphin Boat Tour in Folly Beach

Step onboard and explore the amazing coast behind Folly beach. Be amazed while you watch the local wildlife, especially the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that populate the area year-round. You can choose between the boat tour in the morning or the sunset boat cruise. Your experienced captain will share their knowledge about the beautiful ecosystem and local history of Folly Beach. Hear about the famous dolphins as you safely cruise on your boat while respecting the wildlife. Also be on the lookout for strand feeding, a dolphin hunting technique that is unique to this part of the world. Strand feeding is usually seen from July to September. Explore the backwaters and navigate to the historic Morris Island, where you can hunt for fossils, seashells, and sand dollars. Join this signature dolphin tour for an experience you’re not likely to forget.

Charleston: Folly Beach Stand Up Paddleboard Dolphin Safari

5. Charleston: Folly Beach Stand Up Paddleboard Dolphin Safari

Learn the basics of stand up paddleboard surfing on this 2-hour introductory lesson as you explore the peaceful Folly River. Glide alongside beautiful flora and fauna while keeping an eye out for bottlenose dolphins. Following the tides and wind direction, your expert instructor will help you go with the flow for a great beginning paddle. Your instructor will point out all the amazing sights in this truly unique landscape. You can commemorate your experience with a group photo at the end of the tour. Choose your perfect experience with the morning, afternoon, and sunset tour options. Paddleboard, paddle, and a personal floatation device will be provided. Just bring your water shoes or flip flops, swim trunks, and a positive attitude and enjoy two amazing hours on the water.

Charleston: Private Sightseeing & Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

6. Charleston: Private Sightseeing & Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

The only way to see Charleston is the local way from the water! Your tour will begin at the beautiful Remley Light Marina from there we will head over to the waterfront park to view Charleston's Historic Mansions. What I really like to do is customize the adventure for each guest. Here's a few examples: Dolphin tour (they move around) (: Fossil hunting for the adventurous- Shark teeth antique bottles and maybe even a Megalodon! Charleston is a mecca for all kinds of lost treasures. Lunch on a private sandbar Gorgeous Sunsets Shem Creek is a must with the fleet of Shrimp boats and gorgeous scenery Sand Dollar hunting If you have the time I'll take you to Capers Island to see Boneyard beach simply amazing! As your Captain, I will make sure your tour is filled with the beauty that is Charleston by the water.

Charleston: Schooner Sailing Harbor Tour & Dolphin Watch

7. Charleston: Schooner Sailing Harbor Tour & Dolphin Watch

Experience the wonder of sailing on a classic, 84-foot tall ship in the idyllic setting of Charleston Harbor. As you cruise, marvel at the power of the wind filling the sails and the tranquility of the sea. Catch glimpses of historic landmarks, like Fort Sumter, and dolphins gamboling on the waves. Begin your sailing excursion at the Aquarium Wharf. There, meet your captain and crew of the striking, 3-masted ship known as the Schooner Pride. Admire the character and class of this authentic model of the classic coastal trading schooners. Next, prepare to set sail and help the crew as you begin to pull away from the dock. Once the sails are raised, sit back and relax on the benches lining the main deck. Enjoy views of Charleston Harbor stretching out before you. Continue your tour as you cruise past Charleston highlights, such as Fort Sumter, Fort Johnson, and Yorktown Point. Onwards, discover the historic waterfront area of Castle Pinckney. Sail further on waters that Blackbeard once traveled before returning to Aquarium Wharf.

Frequently asked questions about Charleston

Other Sightseeing Options in Charleston

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What people are saying about Charleston

I highly recommend visiting this place. It’s beautiful even during the winter. Is just a short and trip from Charleston. The house is beautiful and you will see original furnitures and china. My main purpose was to see how was such a place organized and how slaves lived back there.

We loved touring the property and everyone was very helpful. The tour guide at the main house was excellent, as was Mike, our bus driver. The plantation was beautiful even in December.

Our tour guide was phenomenal he was funny he was interesting and I would love to do another tour him next time we go.

Capt Mike treated us to a wonderful afternoon and sunset. Super nice, knowledgeable and great behind the wheel!

One of the best harbor tours we have taken! Highly recommend!