By far one of Charleston’s most charming creeks, Shem Creek is a long and winding waterway that is famous for its shrimp-boat-clad docks, waterfront seafood restaurants, stunning scenery, abundant dolphin population, and relaxing water sports.
Shem Creek traverses Mount Pleasant, which is just a 15-minute drive or boat ride from downtown Charleston and is a MUST visit for travelers on a Charleston vacation.
Shem Creek is accessible by both boat and car. The Charleston Water Taxi offers rides from the Maritime Center in downtown Charleston to Shem Creek (and back) every Friday and Saturday. Click here to view more information on the Charleston Water Taxi.
Below are some of our favorite ways to soak in the charm of Shem Creek:
Paddle Boarding: Many Charleston visitors and locals alike write paddle boarding off their list because they think it’s too hard. Well think again because it’s super easy and fun, and it’s one of the best ways to soak in the beauty of Shem Creek (and get up close and personal with dolphins!).
Coastal Expeditions, which is located right next to Shem Creek Bar & Grill on Shem Creek, offers 2-hour paddleboard rentals. And if you’ve never done it before do not fear. It’s easy and the staff will show you how to operate one (and not fall off!).
Once you’re all set on your paddle board you can choose to go right or left. If you go right you will end up in the hustle and bustle of Shem Creek, which can be a little intimidating. Therefore, I suggest going right where you will paddle through the winding Shem Creek waterway, past beautiful homes and docks. This is one of the most relaxing places in Charleston as there are not many boats that pass through and all you hear are the beautiful sounds of nature.
Kayaking: Also offered by Coastal Expeditions, kayaking rentals are another fantastic way to relish in the beauty of Shem Creek and you can get a nice arm workout for the day! The kayaks are rented from the same located as the paddle boards, so you have the same options in terms of which direction you want to paddle through Shem Creek in.
Eating: One of the greatest attractions to Shem Creek are its wide selection of seafood restaurants and eateries. All casual, the Shem Creek restaurants offer fresh and locally caught seafood, as well as other famous Lowcountry dishes. Our favorite seafood restaurant on Shem Creek, though, has to be The Wreck. It’s not much to look at but it has great seafood!
And, if you’re not in the mood for food, almost all of the restaurants have bars where you can enjoy a beer, cocktail, or glass of wine as you overlook the water.
Walking along Shem Creek Park Boardwalk: As one of the area’s most popular parks, the Shem Creek Park Boardwalk parallels Shem Creek, offering spectacular views of the shrimp boats coming in and the liveliness of the working docks. If you are patient enough, you’ll also witness dolphins feeding along the creek. The boardwalk is dog friendly, as well, so make sure to bring your furry friend for a little walk if you happen to swing by.