“Fall is harvest season on the Lowcountry waters,” says Mike Overton, owner of Outside Hilton Head. “The creeks and inlets are bubbling with life. Do not be surprised to have a shrimp jump into your kayak, to see the tail of a red fish, or dolphins strand feeding.”
Outside Hilton Head offers a variety of kayak excursions. Let’s start with my favorite–the Full Moon Paddle. This guided paddle offers a unique opportunity to experience the Lowcountry saltmarsh. The light of the moon reflects off the water to illuminate evening dwellers like the Night Heron, as the silence of nighttime heightens the paddler’s ability to listen to the sounds of other nocturnal animals.
The Full Moon Paddle ($40 for adults $12 for kids) runs two hours. Because the trip leaves out of Shelter Cove Marina, I would recommend dining first at:
- Alexander’s Seafood Restaurant
- Bistro 17
- Ela’s Blu Water Grille
- Giuseppi’s Pizza and Pasta
- Santa Fe Café
- San Miquel’s
Another rock out way to enjoy the water is the 4-hour Pinckney Island Birding & Beachcombing Paddle ($75 per person). Offered Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., this extended excursion explores the nature, history and culture thriving along Skull Creek and the banks of the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. Paddlers stop at a shell bank or remote beach for bird watching and hands-on discovering. Afterward, enjoy a lunch at Hudson’s Seafood or Skull Creek Boathouse.
For 32 years, Outside Hilton Head has been a leading outfitter on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton.
“What you will find at Outside Hilton Head are exceptional people,” says Overton. “We have a staff of expert guides and naturalists who are dedicated and passionate about what they do. Their energy is contagious.”
All tours include instruction, equipment, a well-trained guide and light refreshments.
What to bring (Keep in mind Outside Hilton Head’s retail store has an amazing sales team and outdoor apparel):
- Comfortable, beach clothes. (I recommend a swimsuit underneath.)
- Sport sandals such as Tevas or Chacos or old sneakers. (No flip-flops.)
- Sun protection, such as a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Bottled water
- Bug spray