Beat the Heat with These Cool Tours, Activities

The Rooftop at Vendue InnCocktails with a view: Enjoy an evening breeze and a sunset view at one of Charleston’s rooftop bars. Some cool spots include the Rooftop Cocktail Bar at the Vendue Inn near the picturesque Riley Waterfront Park; Pour Taproom at 560 King St. serving beer and wine samples; and The Watch: Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits serving great food and great views atop the Restoration Hotel.  

Share a pint: The Charleston area is home to almost 30 local breweries. Whether you like IPA, reds, stouts, ciders or porters, there’s something for every beer lover. If you’re visiting downtown Charleston, check out what’s known as the Charleston Brewery District – a short stretch of the northern end of the peninsula where the brews are flowing. Neighboring breweries there include: Palmetto Brewing Co., Revelry Brewing, Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co., Fatty’s Beerworks, Cooper River Brewing, Munkle Brewing Co., Tradesman Brewing Co. and LO-Fi Brewing. 

Wind down in nature: No ‘whining’ about the heat here! Deep Water Vineyard grows muscadine grapes, a fruit native to the Southeastern United States, and then turns those grapes into refreshing muscadine wine. Visit Deep Water on Wadmalaw Island for tours and tastings – all in a beautiful Lowcountry setting.  

Sunsets on Shem Creek: Enjoy a seafood dinner with spectacular views on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant. Try one of these restaurantsTavern & Table, Red’s Ice House, Vickery’s Bar & Grill, Saltwater Cowboys, Water’s Edge, R.B.’s Seafood Restaurant. 

Shem Creek - Charleston, SCRelax on the water: Spending time in the water is the best way to beat the summer heat. Take a boat tour, go fishing or try your hand at kayaking for a cool summer experience. Barrier Island Eco Tours offers naturalist-guided eco tours to some of the Lowcountry’s most pristine spots as well as fishing charters. Book a tour of the Charleston harbor (including specialty tours and dinner cruises) with Charleston Harbor Tours or SpiritLine Cruises. Get a taste of Charleston’s maritime history with a sail aboard The Schooner Pride, an 84-foot tall ship modeled after the 18th-century coastal trading schooners that once sailed the Charleston harbor. How about a sunset cruise with Sandlapper Water Tours to wind out a day of Charleston sightseeing? 

Wet and wild adventures: Looking for some adventure on the water? Tidal Wave Water Sports on the Isle of Palms has tubing, jet ski and wakeboarding options. Or, go parasailing for a bird’s eye view of the Atlantic Ocean. Visit Isle of Palms Marina for boat rentals or book a charter tour to go fishing, watch for dolphins or visit the undisturbed Capers Island. Feeling the need for speed? Book a 13-mile Speed Boat Adventure Tour with Speed Boat Adventures. Or slow down and soak up the scenery on a kayak tour with Nature Adventures on Shem Creek. Rent kayaks or book a guided kayak tour for two or three hours on the water. The Reel Deal Charters offers inshore and offshore fishing charters or take the family on a dolphin watching tour or go hunting for shark teeth. 

Sightseeing in comfort: Learn about Charleston history and see the city’s best sites – all from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus. Adventure Sightseeing offers a 90-minute “See It All” city tourGray Line Tours has a 90-minute historic city tour. 

Zoom through the treetops: Fly high with Charleston Zipline Adventures, located just north of Mount Pleasant. Start your adventure zipping from a 65-foot tower through the trees on seven zip line cables between tree platforms. Make your way across three swinging bridges before the grand finale zip of 750 feet. A kids’ zip line course is available for ages 5-13 and zip line beginners. 

charleston county waterparks

Charleston County Waterparks

Family fun: The Charleston County Park system operates three water parks in the area. Splash Island in Mount Pleasant has a shallow-water play area just for toddlers and separate areas with a wave pool and slides for older children and pre-teens. Splash Zone at James Island County Park has a Caribbean theme with island-style play structures and slides. Whirlin’ Waters in North Charleston is designed for children of all ages and is the largest of the three water parks. Don’t miss The Washout raft ride: two slides 65 feet in the air offer near-vertical climbs, twists and turns.