Adventure | Area Guide

A Field Guide for Exploring the Lowcountry by Kayak

There’s nothing like life on the water. And at Kiawah River, the waterfront embodies the heart and soul of our community. Ideal for a lifestyle centered on outdoor pursuits, Kiawah River draws its inspiration and its name from the broad tidal river that runs along the community’s edge. With no shortage of water access points, the Kiawah River provides the perfect opportunity to bait a fish, cruise around by boat or spend a sunny afternoon weaving through the Lowcountry marshes in a kayak. 

Local tour operator Coastal Expeditions offers scenic and educational tours at Kiawah River along the river’s inlets with paddleboard and kayak schools for residents and visitors seeking to explore 20 miles of scenic shoreline. Guests can also explore the surrounding 2,000 acres of land, half of which will remain open green space for the community. From a dolphin and birding kayak tour to a safari cruise and naturalist-led hike, there’s no shortage of ways to explore Kiawah River. 

Perfect for families and nature lovers, Coastal Expeditions Kiawah River Kayak Tour begins with a short lesson in sea kayaking and from there, the adventure begins. Glide through a maze of salt marsh and tidal flats, keeping an eye out for the abundant wildlife that call Kiawah River’s ecosystem home. With no prior kayaking experience needed, all ages are welcome on this exciting exploration. 

For a longer kayaking trip, consider Captain Sam’s Spit Dolphin Kayak Tour, which includes a four- to five- mile paddle with a well-deserved break on Captain Sam’s Spit. On the wildlife-rich land, walk the tide line for seaside treasures and enjoy birdwatching with a beachside picnic. Expect to see gregarious pods of bottlenose dolphins and a myriad of birds such as herons, eagles, roseate spoonbills and more. 

Coastal Expedition’s Paddle and Hike trip offers the perfect combination of sport and leisure. The adventure begins with a kayak venture through intimate creeks before setting off on a naturalist-led hike through the maritime forest of Kiawah River’s spectacular Lowcountry oasis. The ecosystem changes dramatically as the oaks and pines yield to the smooth cordgrass fields of the salt marsh. 

Pack your binoculars for the Kiawah River Safari Cruise, a relaxing, wildlife boat tour down the Kiawah River. Resident dolphins are likely to make an appearance as they slowly work their way through the estuary to hunt. With a dedicated naturalist on board, you’re sure to spot something you may not have noticed, like a deer feeding along the edge of the river or marsh sparrows hidden in the grass. 

Coastal Expeditions will soon staff an outfitter shop at Kiawah River, where outdoor enthusiasts can stock up on bait and tackle, brand-name retail gear, kayak and paddleboard rentals and other essentials for a day exploring the sea islands. 

In our commitment to protecting and preserving the community’s surrounding marsh flats and enchanting natural spaces, Kiawah River seamlessly blends the Lowcountry’s landscape with a life centered on sustainability, outdoor pursuits and a passion for exploration.