Dating back to the 1670s, Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina and boasts a deep history to match – from the dark days of the slave trade (which are remembered at nearby plantation museums) to its fascinating and colourful links to the so-called Golden Age of Piracy. Its harbour is also home to Fort Sumter - where the first shots of the US Civil War of the 1860s were fired. The city’s age means there are plenty of historic architectural charms to enchant visitors, from the aforementioned Fort Sumter National Monument and Charleston’s famed cobblestone streets to the pastel shades of the historic houses in the Battery and French Quarter. Other top attractions include the Patriots Point naval museum, which is home to retired World War II aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown, among other vessels. And, speaking of water-based attractions, the city’s coastal location makes it a great place to find houseboat and yacht accommodation. So, if you’re a fan of the water and you’re looking for a non-touristy thing to do, book a party boat or a simple houstboat. Enjoy a picturesque coastal or river view, and find a unique place to stay during your visit. Read on for some of the top ways to rent a boat in Charleston, South Carolina.
Set on a 31-ft (9.5-m) sailboat, this 2-bedroom accommodation option is another that will appeal to families – as it can sleep up to 6 people, but would also serve as a great base for a romantic retreat. Located in the award-winning Charleston City Marina, it is handily-placed and close to a nearby rooftop restaurant and bar, as well as convenience stores for stocking the kitchen, should you wish to whip up your own meals.
It also enjoys unrestricted views out across the Ashley River. And, speaking of location, its position on the west side of the city’s peninsula means you’re only a 15-minute walk from downtown attractions. There’s even a free shuttle service, should you wish to save your legs.
Sleep on a Boat / Historic Downtown CharlestonCharleston, South Carolina, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsthe tv and wi-fi worked greatvery nice sailboat with heat and air conditioning well stocked with snacks and coffeewe used ac heat just fan and nothing at all during our staythe boat has incredible amenities that made it very comfortablebiloxi was so comfortable the bed and kitchen were greatclean comfortable and very thoughtful touches better than advertised thanks again christianthe marina area is clean and feels very safevery comfortable and cleanbiloxi is impressively clean roomy great craftsmanship with updates of the boatit was a great stay the boat was incredibly clean and while cozy had great space
Host:christian was an amazing host and msgreat host great boatchristian was an amazing hostour host was very easy to reach and accommodatingthe absolute best christian is truly a super hostRead more reviewsa fantastic location for a 2 night staydefinitely a must stay locationclose to downtown with a shuttle and bikes to make it easy to get aroundfirst of all the location is greati would recommend this location as a fun place to visit
This restored vintage yacht has a charming teak-panelled interior for that added nautical flavour. Capable of sleeping up to 4 people between its 2 bedrooms, it would appeal to romantic couples or small families seeking a unique holiday on the water. Those who love their home comforts will likely find plenty to enjoy – with the yacht featuring everything from 2 flat-screen TVs and a full galley kitchen to Wi-Fi access for keeping up to date on your travels. Enjoying a near-perfect location, the yacht is located in the City Marina on the Ashley River and is handy to downtown attractions and Charleston’s amazing seafood restaurants.
Restored Vintage Hatteras YachtCharleston, South Carolina, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewswonderful boat all necessary amenities great marina super comfortable bed & pillowsthe a/c worked good and gave us a break from the weatherit was comfortable convenient to downtown with viewsbeautiful master state room with an extremely comfortable and roomy bedwe chose to sleep on the couch/futons instead of the bunks and they were very comfortableour floating home was just as advertised; it was neat tidy clean and spaciousit yacht was clean and the master bed was so comfortableit was clean comfortable and very convenient to exploring charlestonmarina was clean and conveniently locatedthe legacy is spacious and gorgeous shower on board and a very nice bath house nearby
Host:dan was a great hostexcellent stay the yacht was amazing and dan was a great hostdan was a great host and the boat was exactly as describeddan is a great hostthank you dan for being an outstanding hostRead more reviewsgreat place and close to everythinglocation is also convenient - only a short drive or a nice walk from the heart of charlestongreat location and a unique charleston experiencegreat place to stay fantastic location beautiful setting marina shuttle makes getting around town easy loved itnice relaxing quiet marina location
Southern Comfort by name – southern comfort by nature. Vacationers seeking real comfort on the water will likely find much to enjoy about this spacious motor yacht. Capable of sleeping up to 8 people between its 4 bedrooms, this accommodation option features a spacious salon - complete with formal dining area - for relaxing with the family when not out exploring the city.
Boasting all-new furniture, it also comes with a fully-equipped galley, Wi-Fi and cable TV. Its Charleston City Marina location also places it just 3 blocks from the historic Battery area. Guests may also wish to opt for a sunset cruise around the harbour aboard the host’s sister Hatteras ship.
Motoryacht Southern ComfortCharleston, South Carolina, United States
Top guest reviewshuge yacht with plenty of room and everything you will need on boardeverything was clean and the linens were noticably softclean and lage boatthe yacht was very clean and well kept
Host:very nice boat and great hostkudos to the owner and crew for making this a unique experience for usthe boat was clean and comfortable but the host was always very responsiveRead more reviewsgreat location and unique experiencegreat location in the marinalocation for getting around charleston was greatgood location with a short walk (or uber) to downtownbeautiful location private peaceful environment
If it’s nautical vintage charm you crave, this half-century-old houseboat is sure to appeal to you. Dating back to 1968, the Grand Banks is a grand old vessel by nature, complete with classic wooden floor interior and light decor. Despite its age, this 1-bedroom vessel comes with plenty of mod cons, including Wi-Fi, a well-equipped galley and cable TV. The main deck, which includes a sun awning for added shade in the summer sun, will also make for a charming spot to unwind with family while enjoying views of Charleston Harbour and Ravenel Bridge.
Located in a marina on the Cooper River, it is just 1.5-2 miles (2.4-3.2 km) from the attractions of downtown Charleston and, as well as free on-site parking, the host also throws in free use of bikes, for added ease of getting about.
The Grand Banks: ‘VINTAGE’ Houseboat Downtown.Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Top guest reviewsthe cushions on the deck dried quickly so we were able to enjoy breakfast outside on topthis authentic yacht is very comfortable and quaintac and fans felt so good very clean and comfortablethe boat was clean spacious and the bed was really comfortablethe boat was very clean and comfortablewhat a neat idea i stayed on the sapphire hemingway and loved itthe boat was clean stocked with necessary essentials and was ready for check -in as promised
Host:justin was a fantastic hostjustin is a great hostjustin was a great hostjustin was a great hostjustin was a great host responded quickly and worked with me on requestsRead more reviewsperfect location for being super close to everythingthe location is perfectgreat experience and a convenient locationits in a great location and feels very privatethe location is perfect for getting to the beach or downtown which we did
Another option that boasts a memorably-stylish interior, this 2-bedroom yacht features a galley boasting leather seating and teak panelled walls for that added touch of luxury. Suitable for up to 4 people, but ideal as a romantic bolt-hole, this stationary vessel’s main cabin boasts a spacious bed and its own climate controls for added comfort.
The yacht’s location, on the western shore of the Ashley River, also places it close to a seafood eatery and bar - just 600.4 ft (183 m) away. It is also not far from the delights of downtown Charleston by road, which is just a 3 to 4 USD Uber journey away. There is also free parking, should you plan on using your own transport.
Private 2 bedroom Yacht on the water in CharlestonCharleston, South Carolina, United States
Top guest reviewsvery clean and great proximity to downtown as well as shem creek and folly beachshaun’s boat was clean as a whistlevery clean boat and everything was just as detailed in pictureswe had no issues finding the boat and it was very fun and clean
Host:great host with excellent accommodationshost is responsive with sharp attention to detailhe was a great host and we would certainly book this againshaun was an amazing hostRead more reviewsa great alternative to a hotel in an amazing locationthis is a great place to stay if you like being on the watergreat place to stay when spending a weekend in charleston
Relive your inner Miami Vice with a stay on a vessel that is the same as Crockett and Tubbs’ in the classic 80s show. One of the smaller options on the list, this stationary 1-bedroom vessel will nevertheless make a suitable choice for couples on a romantic getaway. What’s more, it can sleep up to 4 people and comes with plenty of amenities. These include a full galley – complete with range and microwave – as well as air conditioning for added comfort.
Those wanting to take to the water will also find a range of charter boat options just steps away – so even though your boat won’t be going anywhere during your stay, you won’t be restricted. The location, on the western flanks of the Ashley River, places it close to popular eateries like BBQ joints and kayaking and fishing spots.
"Sleep On The Water In The Holy City"Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Top guest reviewsa clean sleek miami vice yachtRead more reviews
Host:alan was a nice hostalan was a great hostalan was an amazing host he was very easy to communicate with and very accommodatingwe had an awesome stay here alan was easy to communicate with and very accommodating
Enjoying a glowing reputation, this one-bedroom houseboat suits everyone from couples on a romantic getaway to small families, thanks to its second berth. Boasting blue and white interior decor, which apes its nautical setting, this houseboat comes equipped with plenty of amenities, despite its cosy size. These include Wi-Fi access, an indoor fireplace and a kitchen for whipping up foodie delights before tucking into them inside or on the inviting deck.
What’s more, it is only 1.5 to 2 miles (2.4 to 3.2 km) from Charleston’s historic district, making it easy to reach either via road or using the houseboat’s free-to-use bicycles. The marina is also close to a range of popular eateries - should you wish to eschew the kitchen.
A Pirates Life For Me: Private Houseboat Downtown!Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Top guest reviewsthe bed was fantastic though as was the air conditioningamazing views of the water and a cozy space once in a lifetime experiencethe houseboat has everything you need to feel comfortable and nothing more- keeping things simplevery clean and well appointedclean quiet and so uniquethe space was very clean and well organizedthe boat was clean and very nicely decoratedthe houseboat was more spacious than expected squeaky clean and comfortable
Host:justin is a great hostjustin is a great host and very attentivejustin is friendly and welcomingjustin was a great host responded to all the detailsand justin the host is friendly and lightning-fast with replying to any questionsRead more reviewsgood location to down townlocal eats are close by and deliciousthe location worked out great for usthe location was great the marina was nicegreat location fun stay very peaceful on the water
Ideal for families, but also suitable for couples or friends, this two-bedroom houseboat has been fully renovated and boasts an array of home comforts - from Wi-Fi access to a kitchen. There’s also a TV and air conditioning, for added comfort at night. The houseboat comes with free on-site parking at the marina, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty exploring the wider Charleston area by road. What’s more, it is one of just six boat rentals offered by the host in the area – should you plan on bringing a larger group and need multiple options, or seek something a little different. Past guests were hugely impressed, giving the site very high marks for location, cleanliness and value.
Last Toy - Houseboat Heaven Downtown. Sleeps 5.Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Top guest reviewsfantastic views and comfortable accommodationsac is really good and the master bed is super cozy right at the water’s edgethe last toy was a great alternative to a hotel roomvery comfortable to sleep invery clean and room for several peopleplenty of hot water clean linen clean boat and safe isolated area at a marinaa wonderful place to spend some time plenty of space very clean extremely welcoming host and a unique experiencethe last toy was a beautiful houseboat that was very nicely decorated and cleanboat was very clean and just as stated
Host:justin was a fantastic hostjustin was an excellent hostjustin was an excellent hostand justin was a great hostjustin was very responsive to questions & minor issuesRead more reviewsgreat stay in a unique locationcool house boat really close to downtownthe location is great a peaceful environment just close enough to the downtown sceneclose by shopping area and nice restaurantsgreat accommodations and fantastic location
Another of the options owned by the previous host, this 2-bedroom houseboat would suit larger families or groups – comfortably sleeping 6 adults in its 3 beds and up to 8 guests at a push, thanks to additional sofa beds. It also comes with plenty of mod-cons to make you feel at home – from the kitchen and indoor fireplace to bicycles and Wi-Fi access.
Its light and bright interior, which boasts decor influenced by its nautical location, would also make a charming base for a couple’s retreat. Other notable additions include a large awning on the bow for lounging in the Carolina summer sun. Guests loved the downtown marina setting and its cleanliness.
MASCOTA 53’ Yacht DOWNTOWN! Sleeps 6—HGTV FeaturedCharleston, South Carolina, United States
Top guest reviewsthe boat was incredible the views were awesome the beds were comfortable and the location was convenientit was very clean and openeverything was clean and functioned wellstylish very clean comfortableit was clean modern and had ample relaxation opportunitiesthe boat was as expected very clean nice touches very comfortable slept great
Host:justin was a great hostjustin was a great hostjustin was a great host/communicatorjustin was amazing and a pleasure as our hostjustin was a great host and very accessible when neededRead more reviewsthe location is greatthe location is super convenientgreat place to stay and very close to downtownthe location is amazing and so close to anything you could want to dofar away enough to enjoy peace and quiet
One of the most spacious options to date, this stationary 5-ft (15.5-m) yacht features 3 bedrooms and can sleep up to 7 people – making it an ideal option for families or friends. What’s more, it was remodelled in 2019. Speaking of the interior - it features high ceilings, granite counters and a large kitchen for cooking up family meals.
Amenities include Wi-Fi, TV and free parking. There’s also an inviting sundeck and patio area with a grill – ideal for a lazy summer evening in good company. Guests should note, however, that there is a 1 to 2-ft step to get on board, which makes the site unsuitable for infants or those with trouble swimming. Past guests loved the boat, which is located on the west side of the city peninsula.
Spacious 51' Yacht Downtown! Remodeled in 2019!Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Top guest reviewswe also really loved having wifi and access to smart tvs to stream music and showsthe beds were comfortable the ac worked well and it was fairly easy to get tothe inside of this yacht is immaculate and the beds are so comfortableit's clean comfortable and well-furnished with good amenities and plenty of roomit was super clean and much more comfortable than i expectedthe yacht was clean and our group had a great timethe yacht was super cool clean comfy and local to charleston
Host:david was an awesome hostdavid is an awesome host and does everything he can to accommodate his gueststhe yacht was amazing and david was very responsive and helpfulvery nice host fun place to host out of town guests well stocked with all the essentialsliving area & galley are spacious and having two bathrooms is helpful tooRead more reviewswhat a great location and valuegreat place good location great stayit’s a perfect close to a hot charleston afternoonthis was a fun place to stay and a great locationgreat location outstanding sunset from comfortable deck
Time to hit the waterfront
Charleston’s waterfront setting means there are plenty of popular houseboat accommodation options available – from vintage classics to modern vessels with plenty of space for larger families. Whatever your needs, there’s a rental boat accommodation option to suit you on our list. Choose one and explore the top things to do at night and romantic activities in Charleston.
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