Shem Creek Kayak & SUP Reviews

Family Shem Creek Tour

Hi!  Two weeks ago, we took a family kayak guided trip with you from Shem Creek.  

I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone- we had a lovely time and will remember it for a long while and we will be back when we next visit Charleston.  Attached is a photo of one of my kids-- you can see how much he enjoyed it!

Simon L.
August 2016, E-mail

Shem Creek Kayak Tour


Awesome Kayak Lessons for All Levels

We took a kayak lesson with Olivia as our instructor. She was incredibly knowledgeable about the mechanics of kayaking and the marine life. She was confident, (but not egotistical), patient and very calm. Her nature was kind, friendly, positive, and reassuring. It was an windy day and we had beginners and advanced people in our group. She went over water rescues and self rescues with us and practiced these techniques. She stayed late and ensured we all got our needs met. There were 2 other employees there that day that were also very accommodating and nice.

April 2016, TripAdvisor Review


Shem Creek Kayak Tour & Exploring Bulls Island

This was our first trip to Charleston. We only had four days to spend, so we researched fun things to do in and around the city. We wanted to kayak and looked for an outfitter that would do more than just put us on the water. The Coastal Expeditions website was informative and offered a variety of activities. We took a two-hour kayak tour on Shem Creek. Aaron was our guide. He was knowledgable of the area and enthusiastic for its preservation. We learned a lot and had fun in the process. As soon as we were done, we booked a trip to Bulls Island for the next day. It was incredible! On the way to the island, we saw dolphins, American oyster catchers, and laughing gulls. Our captain Will and first mate Nick continued our education of the estuarial ecosystem. Once at Bulls Island, they pointed out the best paths to encounter the unique wildlife. We were not disappointed. We saw coastal birds, marsh plants, mud turtles and alligators! For a couple of land-locked midwesterners this was an amazing experience. Thank you, Coastal Expeditions for making our first trip to Charleston extraordinary. It won't be our last.

April 2016, TripAdvisor Review


Kayaking Guide, Dallas was Great!

My family of four took a three-hour kayaking tour with guide, Dallas. We had a wonderful time. He was caring and provided wonderful instruction and explanation of the wildlife. We were also excited to see dolphins in the harbor. I would highly recommend Coastal Expeditions when you visit Charleston. Ask for Dallas! You won't be disappointed!

April 2016, TripAdvisor Review


Shem Creek/Charleston Harbor Private Tour

My husband and I live in Mount Pleasant and in the busyness of having young children, never really get time to ourselves and time to enjoy the outdoors! We contacted Coastal Expeditions for a private kayak tour, and they were so accommodating through the entire process! When I called to book the tour (a day in advance-- shame on me!) they were so happy to make the timing work for everyone (even in the dead heat of Summer). They arranged a special tour just for us, and our tour guide, Henry, could not have been more knowledgeable and passionate about his job and the beauty of Charleston's nature. We learned so much about the area in which we live and couldn't have had a better experience. We will definitely recommend this activity to our local friends and out of town guests. It's a great way to explore the waters surround Charleston, and in turn, learn a lot about the wildlife and history of the city. Thank you, Henry, for being such an awesome guide. You do an incredible job of teaching kayak basics and guiding throughout the waters. Wonderful experience!

July 2015, TripAdvisor Review


Excellent Kayak Adventure in Charleston Harbor

Enjoyed a great morning on Charleston Harbor in a rented kayak through Coastal. Everything went smoothly and they are friendly with reasonable rates. 

I walked in on a Tuesday morning and was able to immediately rent a kayak (4 hours = 38 dollars) All the employees were helpful and friendly and worked efficiently. I did not take a tour, but on the water was nearby a tour for the first half hour as we had departed at the same time, and that guide talked to me and pointed out animals (we saw a manatee!) for me as well!

The equipment was in great condition and they also have a shower on site which was super helpful since I had already checked out of my hotel and was getting on a plane after my morning trip on the water - Only suggestion would be to have towels available, but one employee even checked her car to see if she had her own towel to loan me which was very considerate! 

I went from the Shem Creek location and this gave good views. Got to see lots of birds, dolphins, and manatees, as well as paddle around to a great view of Ravenel Bridge and the USS Yorktown. 

I would definitely rent from them again and the tour guides seemed great if you would like a little more support.

July 2015, TripAdvisor Review

Great Morning Kayaking

Easy to get to. Fairly priced. Great job of adjusting our trip based on "rush hour" due to 4th of July boat traffic. Wonderful guide teaching how to use tandem kayak, local history and sea life all around us. We will go again - hopefully soon. Thank you Eric and front desk staff/customer service.

July 2015, TripAdvisor Review

Amazing Year After Year

I have been using coastal expeditions for 4 years. They are wonderful. Their guides and leaders are well trained and knowledgable. Not sure it could get better. A++

June 2015, TripAdvisor Review

Shem Creek Tour

Geoff was awesome! Very knowledgable of the area and got to see all kinds of beautiful sights along with some history of the area and info on the local wildlife. Got to see some Dolphins close up on the return trip. Simply amazing, if you're looking for something to do, go see these guys!

June 2015, TripAdvisor Review



I took 3 14 yr old girls on the 3hr kayak tour and 2 days later the 2 hr paddle boarding on Shem creek. The owner was exceptionally helpful as was our superb tour guide (olivia) a recent College of Charleston biology grad. Olivia was excellent at instruction and tour knowledge and great at engaging teens. We highly recommend both activities. Great organization staffed with professional and friendly people.

June 2015, TripAdvisor Review


Huges Net Summit

My husband and I were a part of a large group for the paddle board and kayaks. The guides were very informative and helpful. I would recommend this for family or groups. We saw several Dolphins and wildlife. It was an awesome experience!!

June 2015, TripAdvisor Review


Shem Creek Kayak Rental

Fast and easy. We were in the water in less than 10 minutes. Friendly helpful staff. Great location to paddleboard or kayak through Shem Creek. Dolphins everywhere.

June 2015, Yelp! Review


Shem Creek Kayaking Tour

This tour was my favorite part of our weekend in Charleston. I got to see parts of the creek and harbor that I would have otherwise missed out on. Our guide Caroline was fantastic as she knew so much about the wildlife we were surrounded by. Would highly recommend this if you are looking to explore the area in a unique way.

June 2015, TripAdvisor Review

Shem Creek

Went on the shem creek tour with my parents who had never kayaked before and everyone loved it! Caroline was an awesome guide. You could tell she was passionate about the history and culture of Charleston. We learned a lot. All of the other staff were super friendly also. Would definitely do another tour with them.

June 2015, TripAdvisor Review


First Time and We Had a Blast!

We wanted an active group outing that would also teach us about the beautiful South Carolina coastline. Jeff our tour guide was awesome helping us navigate while sharing with us his knowledge & passion for the costal waterways. We would do another kayak tour next year for sure! Thanks Jeff for the great afternoon!

June 2015, TripAdvisor Review


Kayaking Trip

My boyfriend and I came for a kayak trip with Henry, and it was absolutely the highlight of our trip to Charleston. Henry is super knowledgeable and friendly and we had an amazing time! We had such a great time. Henry taught us so much and we got to see a ton of dolphins and birds and other beautiful sights. I would come again for another trip in a heartbeat. Definitely recommend!!!

June 2015, TripAdvisor Review


Great Staff and Great Time!

The younger generation of our family persuaded us to try sea kayaking for the first time. Not being big outdoors people, my husband and I were not sure what to expect, but as soon as we arrived at the Coastal Expeditions office, we were immediately put at ease by the very friendly and helpful staff there. 
Chris was our guide, as well as our paddling instructor, safety lecturer, and (along with the lovely Olivia) all-around helper in getting us situated into our vessels.
We paddled inside some estuaries ("Sea-kayaking" is a bit of a misnomer, since we weren't out on the open water, which is probably for the best considering our lack of experience!) and Chris was a fantastic guide! He seemed to know everything about the ecosystem and its sea life, birds, history - you name it, and Chris knew it - so we actually learned some things about the areas we were enjoying while on the water. He was also well-prepared, with a water pump for one of the kayaks that got swamps, and first aid skills for someone who cut his finger. 
This company offers a variety of coastal experiences, and based on our experience, I would highly recommend them! Thanks for a super afternoon, folks!


April 2015, TripAdvisor Review


Shem Creek Kayak Tour

Organized, informative kayak tours led by gregarious, knowledgeable guides. Met a few of the guides and they were all that way, but me thinks we hit pay dirt with Henry. He was fun and generous with his vast knowledge of the area, it's flora and fauna. We were fortunate to see numerous Dolphins while out, which boosted the excursion to a 5 star (though these guys have no control over the Dolphins, of course).

May 2015, Yelp! Review


Wonderful Kayaking with a Great Tour Guide!

We were a party of 5 adults and 2 kids and kayaked Shem's Creek. It was a good tour, but Rachel, our tour guide, made it very special. She told us about the wildlife and interesting facts about Charleston, and was attentive to each one of us. I highly recommend this tour company. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, but ask for Rachel for a great tour.

April 2015, TripAdvisor Review


Perfect for Active Seniors!

We are 3 sixty year old women and took a Shem Creek tour. Geoff and Lisa were our guides and they were knowledgeable about the Eco system and history of the area. The entire staff at Coastal Expedtions were attentive to our needs while paddling and getting in and out of the boats. We would recommend a tour without hesitation.

April  2015, TripAdvisor Review


Kayak Tour

We had a wonderful experience. Caroline was very thorough with her instructions. She had a wealth of knowledge about the Shem Creek/Charleston Harbor Eco System. She very attentive and her bubbly personality made our trip very enjoyable.

March 2015, TripAdvisor Review


Shem Creek Kayak Tour

Seeing Charleston from the water is the perfect way to appreciate the city and its history. Eric and Josh were the perfect guides - knowledgeable, fun, smart and informed. Make an opportunity to paddle with them.

October 2014, Yelp! Review


Shem Creek Paddleboard Rentals

This place was great!  They gave us full instructions and watched us as we paddled out.  They had showers when we got back to wash the salt off and had cubbies for our things.  They were super nice and even helped me when I came back in to dock.  We will be bringing our friends here for paddle boarding from now on!

September 2014, Yelp! Review


Shem Creek Kayak Tour

The good vibes started while my wife was making arrangements by email an phone. It was January after all. We picked the best day in the 10 day forecast and they picked the "nature themed" trip. My wife and I were the only guests. Eric took us out. He was friendly and engaging and we got a good mix of history and nature. We were having a great paddle so Eric asked if we had to be back on time. No. So he took us up in a salt marsh inlet and showed us the transition zone between march and lowland forest. Eric used the breeze and tides effectively to make for an easy trip. We beach on a sand bar and to straighten our legs and look for sharks teeth.  The trip was just what we were looking for.

January 2014, Yelp! Review


Shem Creek Kayak Rental

On a recent trip to the Charleston Area we used Coastal Expeditions for both kayak rental & the ferry to Bull Island. We had great costumer service for both services. Kayak Rental - they outfitted my boyfriend and I in the perfect boat & gear for the water & weather conditions and made sure we had enough guidance to have a magical & safe paddle through Sherm Creek & the harbor.  Gates was great to help us get comfortable in our boat. 

I would used this company for all my Coastal excursion needs!

December 2013, Yelp! Review


Shem Creek Kayak Tour

Knowledgeable and friendly staff. Great tours, packages, adventures for all ages. Shem creek is a natural beauty , dolphins are always playing there and the sunsets are magical. Never a bad time! Check them out for sure!

August 2013, Yelp! Review


Kayak Tour

We had a"My son wanted to go paddle boarding for his birthday so we headed to Coastal Expeditions for the afternoon. This is the second time we've been paddle boarding with them and both times they couldn't have been any nicer. But today was even better....they were so sweet to my son on his special day. He was ready to kayak as soon as we finished paddle boarding! The boards were great, the fellow at the dock was so informative and kind and Mary and the owner (I'm sorry I can't remember his name) were just great. Highly recommend Coastal Expeditions to experience Charleston from the water. Great location too.

April 2013, TripAdvisor Review


Shem Creek Kayak Tour

My boyfriend and I did a kayaking trip through Coastal Expeditions on a recent vacation in Charleston. The trip was originally supposed to be on a Sunday, but was postponed twice because of bad weather, so it ended up happening on a Tuesday. Because of the postponements, we were the only people on the trip, which was great! Our guide, Wick, was fabulous. He gave us a brief lesson on how to kayak (I had been once before, but not using an ocean kayak, and my boyfriend had never kayaked before). He explained everything very well and got us situated in the kayaks properly, etc.

Coastal Expeditions offers a variety of different tours. The one we went on was 3 hours (11-2). We paddled through the creek/estuary area out to some open water (though not exactly open ocean) and headed out to an uninhabited barrier island. We spent about an hour there collecting fossilized shark teeth on the beach. Wick has spent many years finding these teeth, so he knew exactly what to look for. He was spotting them right and left! It took us a while longer to get the hang of it, but eventually my boyfriend and I found some on our own as well. We collected probably about 30 teeth or so.

After spending time on the island, we paddled back the way we had come. Wick was a great guide and told us all kinds of fascinating facts about the wildlife we saw and the history of the area. He was also very patient with our novice kayaking abilities!

This was a superb kayaking adventure and the perfect way to wrap up our trip. I would definitely like to return and do another kayaking trip through Coastal Expeditions. I highly recommend it.

February 2012, Yelp! Review