Kiawah Island Water Activities for Up-close Adventures

The top Kiawah Island water activities explore the area’s 10 miles of beaches and remote areas in South Carolina only seen via boats, canoes and kayaks. Kiawah serves as a popular barrier island located only 25 miles south of Charleston in between the Kiawah River and Atlantic Ocean. This location appeals to water lovers of all ages, and families will find several exciting ways to see the area. Read more about our top picks for the top Kiawah water activities.

5 Top Kiawah Island Water Activities for the Family

kiawah island water activities itrip vacations

Photo: Maggie Arden

Start at the Beach

Pack up the group and head to Kiawah Beach Park located on the west end of the island. This park offers the only public beach access point on the island, and families will see both ocean and river views. Kiawah Beach Park welcomes guests year-round and serves as a top spot for beach days and picnics. During the summer, the park offers chair and umbrella rentals and has lifeguards and a snack bar. Online reviewers praise this beach for its quiet, clean atmosphere and lots of space to play.

Book a Boat

Whether you enjoy renting a boat for the day or planning a guided adventure, Kiawah Island provides guests the ability to do both. One company that rents boats is Bohicket Creek Boat Rentals, which offers 19-foot Sea Pro Bay boats. Each boat comes equipped with a 115-mph Yahama engine, GPS, two-way radios and safety gear. While boating, families can spend a full day fishing, dolphin watching, sightseeing and cruising the area.

kiawah island water activities fishing

Fish With the Pros

It wouldn’t be a beach vacation without fishing with an expert. Top-rated Sonny Boy Charters provides everything families need to do just that. Lead by Captain Brad, a U.S. Coastguard Certified Captain and native resident, guests can head into the water and try offshore, nearshore or inshore fishing. Some fish species in the area include sharks, red fish, trout, snapper, cobia and grouper, to name a few. Couples should also book a sunset cruise for a more romantic experience, and beer and wine are permitted on this tour.

Another top fishing charter in the Kiawah Island area is SaltFisher Charters. This company is also managed by a longtime local, Captain Mike, who has fished the Charleston area for 40 years. With SaltFisher Charters, families can fish, look for dolphins, watch birds and take history tours of the harbor.

kiawah island water activities kayak

Photo: Cliff N

Try Tidal Trails

Tidal Trails has provided visitors with Kiawah Island water activities and fun for more than 40 years. For boating adventures, take one of the guided cruises including dolphin discovery, pluff mud plunge and sunset cruise. Additionally, two-hour kayak cruises offer a more relaxed experience where guests can see dolphins, natural habitats and saltmarshes. Other popular options include the Kiawah Island surf school and stand-up paddleboarding, with lessons and packages available for all ages.

Tours at the Resort

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort also offer several adventures that explore the water and Lowcountry culture. In addition to dolphin, harbor and tidal tours, families will enjoy the Sandy Point Getaway, Kiawah’s Deadliest Catch cruise and shelling expeditions. The Sandy Point tour explores the island’s most remote beach, while Deadliest Catch offers visitors up-close looks at Atlantic Blue crabs. The shelling expedition takes families to a spot known for shelling, and there are collecting limits as shells serve as an important part of the ecosystem.

Visiting the area? Check out these Isle of Palms activities located near Kiawah Island.