Discover Charleston

To Enjoy Charleston Harbor, Head to Shem Creek and the Old Village

See local shrimp boats in action at Shem Creek and get a nostalgic feel for the 1940s and ’50s at the Old Village of Mount Pleasant.

For a true maritime, harbor-like experience, navigate your way to Shem Creek and the Old Village in Mount Pleasant, just southeast of Patriots Point.

Founded only 10 years after Charles Towne (Charleston) in 1680, the Old Village of Mount Pleasant today offers a ’40s-and-’50s-nostalgic sort of feel with old-fashioned drug store Pitt Street Pharmacy and other shops, while nearby Shem Creek lends plenty of recreational opportunities and Charleston Harbor views.

Along with waterfront views of the harbor and shady paths among live oaks, you’ll find hidden gems along Pitt Street's old downtown storefronts. They include such delights as the Village Bakery, where you can get a fresh pastry from the display case or soups, salads and sandwiches at lunchtime; Pitt Street Pharmacy, where you can take a break at the old-fashioned soda fountain and order a handmade malt, float or an ice cream cone; and Old Village Post House, a restaurant and six-room that serves up Southern favorites.

For a maritime feel, try Shem Creek Walking Tours to get a close-up view of the shrimp industry and its longtime importance along the harbor here; these 2- to 2.5-hour tours that are about a mile long even end with guests enjoying a hearty shrimp boil. For a closer study of the Old Village, Segway of Charleston Day Tours presents one- and 1.5-hour tours, after a half-hour of instruction on that motorized touring option.

Recreation lovers will want to find their way to Nature Adventure Outfitters for kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals, plus daily blackwater and saltwater tours. To go along on a pleasurable ride, try Aqua Safaris, headquartered at nearby Patriot's Point, for fishing charters, public sails, sunset sails and eco tours. It offers a spacious catamaran, the Palmetto Breeze, plus the sailing yacht Serena and a fleet of smaller vessels.

After some shopping and finding stylish beach and resort wear at such stores as Vivi and Kate, refreshments at sunset just may be in store; head to such Shem-area eateries or watering holes as Tavern and Table, The Shelter Kitchen and Bar, or Red’s Ice House for seafood and other bites.