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15 restaurants in Charleston you can get to by boat

Take the boat out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with this list of spots you can get to by boat.

The light from the sunset reflects off Shem Creek, while the sky fades from a fire orange to pale blue.

Who needs dessert, when you can enjoy this Shem sunset sweetness?

Photo by Chrissy F.

Table of Contents

There are many reasons to love Charleston, and the water is one of them. So... let’s do more on the ol’ salty brine. What about heading to dinner via boat? Especially when the weather is nice, the sun doesn’t set until ~8:30 p.m., and you get to escape the bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-26 (major bonus).

City Editor Callie here. I’d like to thank reader Dan P., who emailed asking for a list of restaurants folks can get to by boat. If there’s a spot you know about and would like to share, let us know.

Shem Creek

We know the restaurants on Shem Creek are no secret.... so we’ll keep this section brief. The creek is lined with docks where you can tie up.

Tavern & Table | This spot takes pride in using seasonal ingredients to round out its menu and offers fine dining... in a casual way.

Saltwater Cowboys | Everyone raves about this spot’s barbecue, seafood, and drinks. We recommend trying the famous trash can nachos.

Vickery’s | Enjoy your southern cooking with beautiful views and good vibes.

Sunsets Waterfront Dining | Love sushi? Then you’ll definitely love this spot. They also offer cooked seafood options.

Red’s Ice House | Looking for laid-back vibes? You’ve found the perfect spot. This friendly waterfront location is all about taking it easy.

This is just a portion of what Shem Creek has to offer, here’s a closer look at all the dining options in the area.

Isle of Palms

Islander 71 | This spot serves southern seafood and cocktails + there is free boat docking while you dine.

The Outpost | Right next door is a gem tucked in the Isle of Palms Marina; it’s open for breakfast + lunch. Try this: “the goat” breakfast bowl.


California Dreaming | You can enjoy panoramic views at this Holy City spot that is easily accessible by boat. It sits on the edge of West Ashley + the Ashley River.

Charleston Crab House, Wappoo Creek | First come, first docked. This popular James Island location has stunning views of Wappoo Creek.

Marina Variety Store Restaurant | You’ll dock at the Safe Harbor Marina (typically costs $5 an hour) before digging into a classic Charleston spot that serves fresh local seafood.

Fleet Landing (soon) | There is currently no public boat parking. But, right next door, The Cooper (a hotel under construction) is adding a marina facility with day boat parking. Try this: stuffed hush puppies.

Bowens Island

Bowen’s Island Restaurant | This spot on the Folly River has a dock to park your boat + is the epitome of Lowcountry. It’s rustic, and did we mention it’s a James Beard Award winner?

No boat, no problem

Don’t have a boat? No worries, you can still take a boat to your dinner; check out the Charleston Water Taxi.

  • There are trips to the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina where you can visit the Fish House Restaurant, Tiki Bar, and the Reel Bar & Grill.
  • You can also take a water taxi to the Waterfront Park, which is steps away from tons of options on East Bay Street and Historic Market Street.
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