You can't reach the scenic salt marshes, backwater creeks and rivers, and barrier islands of the Grand Strand by vehicle, and boats and jet skis disrupt the serene, natural settings. The best way to find these hidden gems is by kayak, and local outfitter Glass Bottom Kayak Tours of North Myrtle Beach allows patrons to explore the off-the-beaten-path beauty in just this way.
Offering standard kayaks and unique, transparent kayaks that give paddlers an excellent view of the marine life below their feet, Glass Bottom Kayak Tours has a wide variety of guided trips to choose from and provides all the equipment and gear you need for a fun day on the water. Guests at Long Bay Resort can find the right tour to meet the criteria for their family or party:
* Cherry Grove Salt Marsh Tour: This 2.5-hour tour is ideal for families, especially those who have never experienced the natural beauty of the Heritage Shores Nature Preserve. Featuring scenic salt marshes, light paddling and abundant wildlife, including a diverse variety of shorebirds, this journey is sure to provide great photos and memories.
* Private Island Shelling Tour: Located just off the coast from Cherry Grove, Waites Island is an uninhabited nature preserve that can only be accessed by kayak. The 3.5- to 4-hour trip involves paddling out to the island and spending a couple of hours searching for souvenirs, like sand dollars, sharks' teeth and other rare seashells. After soaking up the island's scenery, head back to the mainland with a smile on your face and a pocketful of shells.
* Sunset Tour: Because of Myrtle Beach's East Coast location, visitors get a beautiful view of the sun rising over the ocean every morning. However, sunset is a bit trickier. You need to have a clear view of the western horizon, which can best be found on the water. There's no better way to see sunset than aboard a kayak, and this tour provides a memorable image of your beach vacation.
* Sea Turtle Tour: Few miracles of nature are more amazing than the life cycle of the sea turtle. Adult females make their way to the coast under the cover of darkness to dig a nest and deposit their eggs in the sand. Waites Island is a major nesting grounds for the loggerhead sea turtle, and this tour allows patrons to see the nests — and if you’re lucky, a procession of hatchlings heading out to sea.
* Waccamaw River Tour: Paddle through a winding nature preserve on the blackwater Waccamaw River, which is teeming with wildlife and natural beauty. Paddlers take a shuttle upriver before paddling their way back to their cars at the end of the 2.5- to 3-hour tour. The paddling is easy, and the slow-moving current makes it perfect for inexperienced kayakers.
No matter which tour you choose, you and your crew are sure to have a thrilling adventure with Glass Bottom Kayak Tours. Offering solo and tandem kayaks, as well as a nice mix of tour times, distances, locations and degrees of difficulty, the perfect getaway from your Myrtle Beach vacation is only a short paddle away. For more information or to book your tour, visit www.myrtlebeachkayaktours.com.