Shem Creek is a quaint little fishing village about six miles outside of downtown Charleston in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Filled with water-view restaurants and sun-bleached shrimp boats, Shem Creek is a wonderful place to spend the afternoon relaxing while listening to the caws of seagulls and shore birds as they fly overhead. The gentle, rhythmic clinking of metal fills the air as breezes blow the riggings of the uplifted trawlers on vessels that have been tucked in for a rest after an early day’s dawn. This tranquility will wrestle even the most anxious soul quickly into quiet contemplation.
An “Old Village” charm exists amongst the restaurants and eco-friendly tourist activities available on Shem Creek. And when the shrimp boats return in the afternoon, the gulls and pelicans gather for a show as the fishermen separate and size the day’s bounty for sale. Even the resident dolphins get in line for a free meal!
The importance of the shrimping industry in South Carolina is evident in the most common of Lowcountry culinary dishes, all of which can be found at the local eateries on the Creek – Shrimp and Grits, Shrimp Boils, Fried Shrimp, Steamed Shrimp, Grilled Shrimp…(ok Bubba Gump, we get the picture!) And they say the sweetest shrimp are found in the brackish waters of the channels where the fresh water of the small creeks meets the saltwater of the ocean. That, to me, sounds like Shem Creek is the place to be!
Kayak and paddle board tours are a great way to visit the creek and will typically allow you to get a front row view of the wild dolphins that call Shem Creek home…as well as the occasional summer residents visiting from Florida- the manatee! Traveling up the creek (don’t lose your paddle!) will carry you through the less traveled marshlands for you to explore. The tide is strong so plan ahead!
MUST VISIT: Shem Creek Bar and Grill, Red’s Ice House, and Coastal Expeditions for kayaking and paddle boarding.