Your vacation can be much more than a trip to the beach. Pull out your cameras as the whole family flies across the water in an air boat, soars 500 feet over the Atlantic, searches for shells on an uninhabited island, zooms down a water slide or learns to surf. And there is nothing like the smile on a child who just caught their first fish. The hardest part will be choosing which photo to frame first!
Boating, fresh air and the possibility of catching dinner! A family fishing trip always becomes a happy memory. It also builds confidence in children and helps them develop a respect for the environment. Georgetown Charters offers inshore, near shore, offshore, jetty and flats fishing charters for families of all sizes. Captain Matt Wilkinson has the knowledge and equipment to find the best spots possible and 37 years of experience guiding sportsmen young and old. Imagine the proud smile on your child’s face when she catches a fish! All you have to do is bring a cooler and write your own family fish story.
If any place knows about fishing in the Pawleys area – it’s Pawleys Island Outdoors. They offer all the gear you will need, as well as a variety of individual or group fishing instruction classes. When the family is ready to head out on its own, Pawley’s Island Outdoors offers johnboat rentals.
Older children can get a true back-to-nature experience with kayak fishing. Black River Outdoors Center offers half-day trips that go into shallows where the big fish feed and powerboats can’t go. Experienced guides will lead the adventurous family down hidden saltwater creeks with some of the best fishing in the area. Imagine how proud your kids will be when they come home with dinner!
For kayak anglers who know the area and want to venture out on their own, Surf the Earth offers fishing kayaks for rent.
NATURE – LOWCOUNTRY STYLE
Hop aboard Plantation River Tour’s Waccamaw Cooter, the area’s only airboat, for a ride your family will never forget! Airboats are able to access back waters that most boats can’t travel through, allowing you and the kids (age 4 and up) to get an up-close look at the Lowcountry’s amazing wildlife. Cruise right next to alligators, egrets and ospreys!
No resort beach can parallel the raw beauty of the Carolina Coast. The Sea Shell and Lighthouse Cruise will show your family the area as it looked be- fore development. This three-hour tour takes passengers along the marshes and river to uninhabited North Island. On the way, you might glimpse sea turtles in the water alongside the boat or even an alligator resting on the nearby shore! Once on the island, disembark to explore the quiet, pristine beach. If you have been disappointed by shell hunt- ing on the public beaches, you won’t be here. Starfish, horseshoe crabs and whelks abound, and the tours are scheduled at the best time to find these treasures.
Get up close and personal with some of the ocean’s smartest, friendliest natives at Express Watersports’ Ocean Sightseeing and Dolphin Watch Cruise. Head out on the open water on a comfortable 46-foot vessel complete with a top deck and full bathroom. Kids of all ages will gasp in delight as expert guides help them spot dolphins and, perhaps, a sea turtle!
Black River Outdoors Center offers a variety of kayak tours. Shadowing the first Lowcountry explorers, you and your family can paddle around cypress-tupelo swamps, inland islands, salt marshes and historic harbors. If you are lucky enough to be on vacation during a full moon, the four-hour Full Moon Tour is great for teens and older kids. Youth kayaks are available for children fewer than 5 feet tall, and some tandem kayaks can be equipped with a special seat so that very young kids can ride between two adults. This is an adventure your kids will never forget!
FUN ON THE WATER
When your kids have to write next fall’s “summer vacation” essay, they can honestly claim they swam with the fishes and learned to fly. Express Watersports has an extensive menu of the best ways to catch some waves (or some air!). Join skilled captains on a parasailing excursion and see the stunning Atlantic Ocean up to 500 feet in the air. Or show your children a different view of the sea! Scuba lessons are offered by expert teachers to adults and children age 8 and older. The Express Banana Boat lives up to its name – a giant, inflatable banana pulled by a super-fast jet ski; it’s the perfect family activity for a hot summer day! Jet skis, paddleboards and kayaks are also available for rent.