The Learning Center
Plan a Boat Trip
While we’ve had a fairly mild winter, we still yearn for the longer days of spring and more time on the water. Now is a good time to make plans for venturing away from Charleston for a weekend boating adventure this spring or summer. With the Intracoastal Waterway, making one day boat trips is relatively easy. To the south lies Beaufort, about 65 miles or Hilton Head about 90 miles. Beaufort is a great trip. The Downtown Marina is right in the historic downtown district with a Hotel and plenty of restaurants and bars within easy walking distance. Just a few miles further south gets you to Hilton Head. While it is a bit more pricey, staying at Harbor Town will be a weekend you’ll never forget.
To the north from Charleston lies Georgetown, about 65 miles. If you want to stay in the Historic Riverwalk District with restaurants and night life, stay at the Harborwalk Marina, but be prepared to take a short Uber to the closest hotels. Georgetown Marina is just a couple of miles further north, but it is walking distance to a Hampton Inn. Traveling north from Georgetown, cruise through the beautiful Waccamaw River up to Myrtle Beach, about 90 miles north of Charleston. There are numerous areas to stay in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Little River. While doable in one day in most power boats, a trip to Myrtle Beach is best when coupled with a layover in Georgetown.
When planning a weekend excursion, be sure to make your plans well in advance. Know and understand how to travel the ICW. Plan your trip ahead of time using charts or your GPS. It is safer and more fun to go with several other boaters. Don’t forget to make reservations at the marina and the hotels well in advance. These are popular trips and space on the weekends fills up fast, particularly if you want to go to the Beaufort Water Festival, July 17-26, 2020.
There are a few extremely shallow spots, especially on the southern route, so check the tides and be prepared. Also, either trip is mostly through protected rivers, but there are several open water areas to consider. To the south is the Coosaw River just before Beaufort and Port Royal Sound, just before Hilton Head. To the north, Winyah Bay is the most open area. These areas can be quite rough in smaller craft if the winds are a bit strong.
Rest assured that whichever adventure you decide to take, the ride is beautiful and it makes for great family time on the water.