With a plethora of picture-perfect beaches, lakes, creeks, rivers, and waterfalls, we could come up with a fabulous water thrills in NC and SC calendar for every day of the year! For summer 2024, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten aquatic adventures in the Carolinas. Find the perfect way to stay cool in the summertime based on your group’s ages and preferences.

Siblings posing in front of river tube stacks

If you've never gone river tubing in summer, add that to your Carolina Traveler bucket list!

$25 and Under Water Thrills in NC and SC

Canoe the gator-infested Old Santee Canal Park cypress swamp in Moncks Corner SC | The nearly 200-acre park commemorates the construction of the first real American canal. Don’t skip out on the Interpretive Center, which captures the region’s history dating back to 4000 BC. Only partly kidding about the gators… | Year-round | oldsanteecanalpark.org

Take a tubing trip to a secret swimming hole on the Oconaluftee River in Cherokee NC | Book tubing gear through Cherokee Rapids Tube Rentals and “go with the float” down to Piney Grove Beach. You’ll feel like you stepped into a children’s book when you grab hold of the rope swing and jackknife into the swimming hole adjacent to the river. | Year-round | cherokeerapids.com

Go Behind the Scenes of Shem Creek Shrimp in Mount Pleasant SC | Discover the evolution of the Lowcountry shrimping industry on a captivating walk through the “Old Village” led by Captain Bryan, a 7th-generation Charlestonian and licensed tour guide with local insights and a narrative style you won’t find on any other Charleston tour | Year-round | shorturl.at/AX3ue 

“Dock and dine” at Fayz at the Lake on Lake Marion in Manning SC | Dine and dash? Try dine and dock! Drop your anchor and saddle up to Fayz for fluffy hot pancakes, a piping hot fried catfish sandwich, or an obscenely large and delicious fried chicken platter. | Year-round | facebook.com/FayzAtTheLake

3 friends posing on the Downeast Rover schooner

All aboard the Downeast Rover!

$75 and Under Water Thrills in NC and SC

Charter a private sail aboard the 55-ft Downeast Rover topsail schooner in Manteo NC | Accommodating up to 25 guests, the Downeast Rover is ideal for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other fun gatherings! | May through October | downeastrover.com

Go surf fishing at Huntington State Park in Murrells Inlet SC | Learn how to rig a fishing pole and hook live bait. Once you reel in a whopper, a guide will model how to measure and weigh your catch. Practice cleaning and icing the fish before taking it home to enjoy for dinner! | Friday mornings through September 13 | ages 8+ | shorturl.at/mezqL 

Go on a mindful yoga and meditation waterfall hike in Marion NC | Embark on a spiritually thrilling excursion led by a 500 RYT-trained yoga instructor who has hiked parts of the Himalayas, Alps, and Andes | Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings through September 29 | Call beforehand if children are attending | shorturl.at/u1D9q

Ultra Flight on the Outer Banks

There's “regular” flight, and then there's ULTRA flight!

$100+ Water Thrills in NC and SC

Witness shipwrecks and the First Flight Monument with Coastal Helicopters in Manteo NC | Customize your tour to include vistas of Jockey’s Ridge, follow schools of fish and dolphins, or circle the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Remember to take aerial photos! Year-round | Call beforehand with passengers ages 2 and under | obxhelicopters.com

Ride an open-air “Ultra Flight” hang glider over the OBX coastline in Maple NC | From a 15-minute introductory flight to a 60-minute “Island Expedition,” customize your “trike” ride to fit your preferences! These fun contraptions are controlled by shifting your weight. | Year-round | ultraflightobx.com

Experience jet-propelled watersports on the OBX Jetovator or Hoverboard in Avon NC | Channel your inner “Green Goblin” on a jet-powered hoverboard or launch 10-30 feet in the air at 25 mph on the jetovator, even if it’s your first try! | Year-round | outerbanksjetovator.com

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