We just took a wonderful trip to Charleston about two weeks back. Put in at Georgetown, SC, at public boat ramp that was quit nice. It adjoined a public park, and no posted restrictions from overnight parking, so we left the truck and trailer there and went on our way. Traveling south through the ICW was a delight. Was a little tricky navigating down Winyaw Bay to the waterway entrance. Quite honestly had it not been for the little red line on the GPS, I would likely have missed the turn, in spite of the chartbook I was also using. Trip was marke by fair amount of boat traffic on the waterway, mostly southward bound "snow birds" doing their annual migration! Trip was marked by several encounters with very playful dolphins, jumping and tail slapping, always a great sight no matter how many times I see it.
Waterway was more congested where you come through the Isle of Palms area and into the harbor area east of Charleston. Very narrow there and appears to be some serious shoaling near the old bridge. Approach to Charleston was beautiful, such a pretty city from the water. We stayed at the Charleston City Marina on the Ashley River side. Very nice marina, great dock hands to assist. Upon check-in, they gave us a tote bag filled with local information, coupons and a copy of Southern Boating Magazine. Facilities are very clean and neat, restrooms, showers and laundry were very convenient. For those of you with bigger boats, they boast the "Mega Dock", with umpteen amp service and high speed fuel delivery. My wife and I walked the mega dock each morning with our coffee, and did the fuel pump review, big "pumper" during our visit was about $3,400.00 in fuel! That is more that I paid for my first boat!! Makes me glad to only have to fuel up our little 2452 Ciera. If you are going to the area, I would highly recommend this marina. They have a minimum charge, even though we are only 24 foot, they charge for a 27. I don't recall the per foot per night rate, but it was fairly competitive. The neighboring marina, The Ashley Marina would not even allow us to stay there due to our size, regardless of payment!! The City marina has a convenience store in the parking lot, where coffee, drinks and limited groceries are available. The marina also operates a free shuttle van that will pretty much take you anywhere you want to go in the down town (historic) area, it was very convenient and we used it several times.
Having a son down there in law school, we are somewhat regular visitors. However each time we go he has a few new restaurants and shops for us to visit. Some of our favorites are Poogans Porch, 811 Queen, A W Shucks, and a trip is never complete without a dinner at California Dreamin', a great restaurant with a world class view, if you can go at sunset, it is breathtaking. The straw market is always fun, and if in that area after dinner stop at Kaminski's for the desert of a lifetime.
The trip is very enjoyable, if you are in range for a day or weekend trip, I highly recommend it. I would also like to highly recommend the City Marina, with it's helpful staff and wonderful facility, it make for the perfect boating weekend in one of the South's most beautiful historic cities.
One note, the City Marina does not have gas, only deisel. But gas is available at several other marinas in the area.
They even emailed me a few days after our visit to ask how our stay was, I guess they are interested in the feedback from their customers. It was a nice touch. I took a few pictures, but do not know how to post them!! DUH:confused:
Download the pictures there on your account. Nobody else can see them. Then use the photo feature here to post them. Our email them to me, I'll be glad to host them on my photobucket and post them for you.
Send me a private IM if you want my email.