The Atlantic Coast is known for its treasure trove of beautiful, storied lighthouses from Maine all the way down to Florida. The Holy City is no exception to the amazing collection of coastal beacons beckoning ships to safety. Lighthouse tours in Charleston, SC are a great way to explore the shoreline and learn about the city’s exciting history. With so many things to see, places to eat, and activities around Charleston, you’ll need our free Isle of Palms Vacation Guide! It’s jam-packed with our very own suggestions and tips on everything you need to do during your trip.
The Best Lighthouse Tours Around Charleston, SC
Morris Island Lighthouse
Exploring the Morris Island Lighthouse is one of the more underrated things to do in Charleston. This 160-foot structure opened in 1876 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Morris Island sits between Folly Island and the main channel into Charleston Harbor. This lighthouse is unique in that it sits on a lone concrete structure off of the coast, meaning that you can only access it by boat. You can’t go into the lighthouse and it is no longer in use due to years of erosion from the ocean, but you can take boat tours around it that give you a full history of the building.
A Coastal Expeditions tour is an excellent way to get up close and personal with the lighthouse. Cruise down the coast in a boat as your captain tells you facts and stories about Morris Island Lighthouse and its former caretakers. These tours leave from Folly Island which is under an hour drive from Isle of Palms.
Charleston Outdoor Adventures
Charleston Outdoor Adventures also offers boat tours through the tidal creeks of Morris Island and around the lighthouse. The intimate setting of the Carolina Skiff bay boat allows you to get to know your captain for a more personalized tour. While riding through the tall grass and wetlands, keep an eye out for dolphins, oyster beds, and sea turtles! You also get 45 minutes to get off the boat and explore the island.
Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse
While you can’t take a tour of Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, it is worth the easy 10-minute drive to take a quick visit. This beacon, known as the “Charleston Light,” replaced the Morris Island Lighthouse in 1962. Structural difficulties keep it closed from the public, but the unusual look and design make it an interesting spectacle. While you’re on Sullivan’s Island, check out some of the fantastic restaurants down the street from the lighthouse!
After an exciting day of Charleston Lighthouse tours, grab your beach chairs from your East Islands Rentals house and relax on the beautiful IOP beach. Our stunning vacation rentals are perfect for a family trip to the beach! Whether you want an oceanfront home or a rental with a private pool, we have the best selection of luxury beach houses on Isle of Palms.