The bird songs, ample sunshine and warmer temperatures can only mean one thing: the best time of year in Charleston has officially arrived! The months of April through November provide outdoor enthusiasts across the city various opportunities to engage in outdoor activities of all kinds, including some that are particularly unique to Charleston. As a former Midwesterner, I had no idea about the different types of outdoor activities that could fill my time; in fact, I had to ask friends and neighbors about the best things to do during the spring and summer months.
Lucky for me, the annual Charleston Outdoor Festival and East Coast Sea Kayak Symposium is this weekend – April 15 through April 17 – so what I am doing with my free time this weekend is most definitely answered through this post.
The three-day festival is geared toward both the devoted outdoor enthusiast as well as the newbies by offering visitors the opportunity to discover different outdoor activities, like kayaking, paddle-boarding, canoeing, rock climbing and slacklining, archery, mountain biking…the list goes on! The Try-It Zone, $10 for the pass, enables visitors to literally try out the different activities they find interesting. There are instructors available to provide guidance for each activity, so you will walk away with beginner’s knowledge of your new favorite pastime.
Once you have your activity (or activities) picked out, you can head to the Vendor Village to pick out your new gear. The festival features manufacturers, dealers, outfitters and outdoor adventure organizations from around the country, giving visitors the ability to chat with gear experts about the best products for them. Some of the vendors attending the festival this year include ACA/Canoe-Kayak-SUP-Raft-Rescue, Astral, Bellyak, BIC, Bishop Boards, Cooper River Cycles, Eagles Nest Outfitters and Low Country Paddlers, just to name a few.
While wandering around the Vendor Village, you’ll be likely to hear some great tunes from the live music stage featuring local acts like Return of the MAC, Dark & Bitter, Shrimp City Slim and Calhoun’s Calling. And if you’re feeling competitive, you can participate in multiple competitions taking place including the Island Toss Disc Golf Tourney, Sherwood Forrest Archery competition and King of the Hill Mountain Bike Race. Once you’ve reached the point of exhaustion, you can relax during a sneak peek of the Reel Paddling Film Festival, which showcases award winning paddling films in 10 different categories.
With the conclusion of this year’s festival, I have no doubt that I’ll find some new answers to the “what is there to do?” question as well as add to my list favorites. I can’t wait to find new ways to explore the natural playground that I call home. If you want more information regarding the Charleston Outdoor Festival and East Coast Sea Kayak Symposium, please visit the Charleston County Parks and Recreation website.
If you’d like more information about joining the MCOM program and making Charleston the place you call home, please visit our website.