As any visitor to the Lowcountry's beaches knows, you're missing out if all you do is lie on a towel all day reading Fifty Shades of Grey for the 50th time. There are plenty of real-life aerobic activities you can do. You can ride a bike, take to the skies with a kiteboard, or paddleboard your way to inner peace. Read on and learn about a few local business that will help you get your butt moving.
Nature Adventures Outfitters
438 W. Coleman Blvd.
Located right on the water at Shem Creek, Nature Adventures Outfitters is one of the oldest and most respected outdoor guide services in the area. With over 10 enthusiastic and experienced guides, their daily saltwater kayak tours are well worth the price ($29-$89). They also offer blackwater tours and overnight expeditions, with prices varying depending on the length of the trip and equipment needed. If you just want to do your own thing, Nature Adventures Outfitters has what you need. You can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards for a half or full day of adventure. A half day of paddleboarding will cost you $25, and a full day costs $40. Kayak and canoe rentals cost anywhere from $24 to $40. If you need some time alone for you and a loved one, check out their couple's retreats, which include lodging, meals, and adventures. And you can get away from the beach for a day and attend one of their off-the-beaten-path hiking tours at various surrounding locations ($10-$35 per person). —Haley Thomas
Sol Surfers Surf Camp
A wise old beach bum once said, "Give a kid a boogie board and they'll be happy for a day. Teach a kid to surf, and they'll be happy for a lifetime." This summer, skip the babysitter and send your kids to Sol Surfers Surf Camp. They have weekly lessons from June 3-Aug. 16, weekend clinics from May 25-Aug. 10, $100 two-hour private lessons all summer, and birthday parties for $300. They offer a five-day camp at Folly Beach with a six-to-one student-teacher ratio. Lessons are open to ages eight to 15 (but your child must be able to swim). Each instructor is a certified lifeguard, so campers are in good hands. "I have an education degree and I'm an ex-teacher, and I think that helps us offer something unique," says head instructor Kai Dilling. —Davin Turkewitz
Odyssey Board Shop
217 Lucas St.
With an easy location right off of Coleman Boulevard, Odyssey Board Shop offers a great selection of apparel, boards, and accessories. "We're a family-oriented old-school surf shop where everyone's welcome," says owner Jenny Shipper, who runs the store with her husband Brian. They offer SUP board rentals for $35 a day, and surfboard rentals for $25 a day with free delivery and pickup to Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan's Island, and the Isle of Palms. They will also take you on a tour of Shem Creek for $15 an hour. —DT
Air & Earth
1313 Long Grove Drive
For over 10 years, Air & Earth has been supplying the Lowcountry with quality surf gear and lessons. They offer surfboards, paddleboards, skateboards, kiteboards, accessories, and apparel. The shop also has daily rentals for SUP boards for $30, surfboards for $20, skim boards for $10, and body boards for $10 (additional rates apply for overnight, 24-hour, and extra-day rentals). They offer beginner and advanced SUP board and surf lessons for $55 an hour, kite-boarding lessons for $99 an hour, and skate lessons for $30 an hour. "We have great customer service and a staff that represents all levels from beginners to experts," said Elea Faucheron. —DT
James Island: 808 Folly Road
Mt. Pleasant: 709 Coleman Blvd.
If you're looking for a bike when you're vacationing, Mike's Bikes just might have what you need. With stores in Mt. Pleasant (709 Coleman Blvd.) and James Island (808 Folly Road), Mike's is conveniently positioned on the way to Charleston's favorite beaches and has one of the best selections of beach cruisers in town. Their rental rates are also very reasonable: $5/hour, $15/day, and $40/week. The best part: If you rent two or more bikes for the week, they'll deliver them to you for free. "We stick behind what we sell," says owner Mike Kack. "We try to be more family-oriented, but we really carry everything and have great service." Although beach cruisers and children's bikes are what Mike's is best known for, they also offer a great selection of BMX bikes, mountain bikes, commuter bikes, road bikes, and bicycle accessories. —Brooks Brunson
Carolina Bikes and Beaches
The motto of Carolina Bikes and Beaches is pretty simple: "Bicycles are not just for recreation, but the primary form of transportation on the islands." Not surprisingly, they're committed to providing such island essentials in the easiest way possible, and that means delivering to your front door. Delivery is free to Isle of Palms, Sullivan's, Folly, Daniel Island, Kiawah, and Seabrook. Carolina Bikes and Beaches provides a selection of beach cruisers for adults and children; they even have tricycles and child carriers for the really little ones. In addition to bikes, Carolina Bikes and Beaches also offers an array of beach accessories such as beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers, fishing poles, and strollers. Bike rentals are $25/two days, $32/three days, and $38/four-seven days. Check their website or give them a call to find out the prices for other items. —BB
McKevlin's Surf Shop
8 Center St.
McKevlin's is a Folly Beach institution, and for many, it's the premier surf shop in the area. From surfboards to wetsuits to Mr. Zog's Sex Wax, they've got just about everything a surfer needs aside from a nice big wave (which, to be honest, is pretty doggone rare on Folly). They also offer rentals at reasonable prices: bodyboards are $5/hour, $20/full day, and surfboards are $7/hour, $30/day, and $75/week. And if you're in the mood to watch a surfing movie, McKevlin's has got you covered too. Pro-tip: Be sure to check out their daily surf report. —Chris Haire