Dolphin watching at Folly Beach

The intricate network of salt marsh creeks and hammock islands behind Folly Beach offers an almost endless possibility of kayaking and boating options. Quickly escape the crowds of the beach and venture out into the marsh wilderness. These marshes are one of the best places in the Charleston Area to observe and paddle with the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. We offer 2-3 hour private guided kayak tours in the salt marsh of Folly Beach. We suggest booking your kayak tours from Folly at low-tide, sunrise or sunset. We also offer Full Moon Kayaking trips.  Most activities meet and depart from the county park boat landing on Folly Beach. We do not operate a physical store-front location at the departure point for this tour. Private kayak and boat tours can be scheduled by request and customized to fit your needs and interests.


Salt-Marsh Sampler Guided Tour
This 2.5 hour guided kayak tour departing from Folly beach is the perfect amount of time to get out and get a taste of all the wonders of the salt marsh estuary. Bottlenose Dolphin are a regular highlight on this tour, among the other diverse wildlife abundant to the area. No experience necessary, as your guide will introduce you to basic paddling techniques and safety protocol before launching. Choose from our high quality Boreal Designs single or double touring style kayaks. For the more seasoned paddlers, we can tailor the trip to be suitable to your skill level. Schedule it for a sunrise, sunset, or full moon paddle for a truly unique experience on the water!

2.5hr Private Guided Tour Rate:

2-4 @ $60 per person
5+ paddlers @ $55.50 per person

Kids 12 & under @ $42 per person *must be in tandem kayak with adult and have at least 2 adults at full price to be eligible for discount

Contact for group rates

Schedule: Summer= Monday-Friday 8am, 9am, or 6:30pm Twilight or call for low-tide departure times.

With the exception of our special event trips, all of our kayak tours from Folly are arranged as private guided tours. As such, scheduling can be flexible, but recommendations can be made based on tidal considerations for your particular date. Please call or see online booking calendar for specfics.

Morris Island Lighthouse Full Day
Between the mouth of the Charleston Harbor and the north end of Folly Beach, lies one South Carolina’s undeveloped barrier island jewels. The important role Morris island has played in Charleston’s history, and its undeveloped beaches, make it a special place to visit any time of the year. We plan this tour to follow the outgoing tide to the Island, usually departing from the county park boat landing on Folly Beach. We will land on the south side beach and have time for shelling and hunting for sharks teeth. Enjoy your lunch on the beach in view of the lighthouse. As the tide turns around, we will depart for the return journey through the Marshes. Typical paddle time each direction is 1.5-2 hours (up to 4 hours total paddle time with up to 1.5 hours on the island). Due to the longer nature of the trip, some paddle experience is recommended. If you want to visit Morris Island but 3-4 hours of paddling is too much, our private charter boat is also a great way to see it.

Full Day Private Guided Tour Rate:
1-3 paddlers @ $325 (minimum rate)
4-5 paddlers @ $95 per person
6-8 paddlers @ $85 per person
Contact for group rates

Schedule: This trip has a couple of departure point options, all of which are very important to plan according to the tide for a good experience. For this reason, reservations well ahead of time are strongly recommended.

Do we need advance reservations?- Yes! All of our activities from Folly are private trips requiring advance reservations. We recommend at least 48 hours in advance to secure availability, but we will certainly do our very best to get you on the water regardless. [/accordion]

When do the tours depart? Departure times can vary based on seasonal and tidal conditions, however, with advance reservations our 2-3 hour trips can usually be scheduled at your convenience. For the summer months, we usually recommend either a morning departure, or the sunset trip, to beat the heat of the day. Full day trips must be scheduled more in accordance with the tides, so call for additional info.

Where do the activities depart from? Our trips from Folly depart from the Folly Beach Public Boat Landing on Folly Island. It is appx. a 20 minute drive from the Downtown Charleston area. When you cross the final bridge onto Folly Beach, the parking area will be on your right, take first right into lot.We do not operate a physical store-front location at the departure point for this tour.

What does private tour really mean?  All of our trips from Folly are scheduled as private naturalist guided tours. This means that only you and your guests will be participating in the tour. The advantages of a private tour are numerous. No waiting on late arrivals, ability to tailor the trip to your skill and experience level, personal attention from the naturalist guide, and a more intimate experience on the water. That is the Charleston Kayak Co. difference.

Do we need experience to kayak?  No! We can tailor our tours to any skill level. If you are new to kayaking and not sure what to expect, our stable tandem (2 person) kayaks are just the thing. For more seasoned paddlers, we have you covered too! Just let us know if you have any special concerns or agendas, and we can create a program to suite your needs.

How do we make a reservation? You may make a reservation or get answers to your other questions by giving us a call at 843-628-2879. Please understand that we are a small company, and try to spend as much time on the water as possible. If you don’t reach someone please leave us a message, and know that your message will be received quickly and returned promptly. You may also book through our online calendar. This method will allow you to secure your date and spaces immediately. You will receive a confirmation email with your booking details, and have the option of indicating if you would like one of our staff members to contact you to answer further questions about your reservation.

What types of boats do you use? We use closed-cockpit touring kayaks with optional rudder systems for maximum efficiency and ease of paddling. If you are new to kayaking, they will give you plenty of stability without compromising performance. More experienced paddlers will enjoy the long water line, and edging ability of these touring kayaks. Both single and double kayaks are available.

Do I have to go on a guided tour? We primarily offer guided tours from Folly, but for groups of 6 or more, rental packages with delivery can be arranged. Otherwise, we do offer kayak rentals from our location at Middleton Place. Kayak Rental Page for more info.

What are your rates? Although we don’t necessarily have a minimum number of people to schedule a trip, there is a minimum rate of $130 for the first 2 people. (Our most affordable option for groups of 2, is our tour from Middleton Place) For 3 people it is $60 per person, and groups of 4 or more are eligible for $55 per person. Groups of 8 or more may be eligible for additional discounts. If you can get them to us, we can get them on the water! These rates are for the 2-3 hour events.

What are your payment options? Our activities from Folly must be reserved with a Visa or Mastercard, and that card will be charged the full amount after the tour at our main office, unless other arrangements are made prior to your trip.

What does the Cost Include? All prices include kayak, PFD’s, Paddles, safety gear, dry bag(s), tax, and guide (on tours). Gratuity is optional and appreciated if you find your guide provided exceptional service.

What is your cancellation Policy?  A credit card is required to hold your reservation. Cancellations made 48 hours prior to trip will not result in any cancellation fee, however we certainly appreciate more notice when possible. Cancellations made within 48 hrs of trip may be subject to 50% cost of trip. Cancellations made after 5:30pm on the day prior may result in full Charge. Weather cancellations are at the discretion of Charleston Kayak Co. and its guides. Certainly if there is severe weather, heavy rain, or strong winds, we will cancel the trip. Light rain or forecast of scattered showers typically will not result in cancellation.