Going Places: Adventure Adviser

Sea kayaking along the Eastern Seaboard

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Question: Where do you recommend going sea kayaking on the East Coast (near North Carolina)?

Heather Lyons
Charlotte, NC

Adventure Adviser: The experts at Nantahala Outdoor Center, an adventure travel company based in Bryson City, North Carolina, have two recommendations.

The first is to kayak the Georgia Coast starting at Savannah. Skidway Island State Park, 6 miles down the coast, makes a great place to set up a base camp. From there, you can paddle the beaches of Little Tybee Island or to the Skidway Institute of Oceanography to see turtles and alligators. If the ocean’s too rough, you can paddle up Ebenezer Creek, a freshwater stream that runs into the Savannah River. You need to be aware that the Savannah area has the greatest tidal variation along the Eastern Seaboard, which means you need to plan carefully and pack a tidal chart. Nantahala offers trips to this area every April for approximately $725.

A second option, and closer to home for you, is the Outer Banks of North Carolina. These barrier islands—extending from Virginia to Cape Lookout—are separated from the mainland by shallow sounds. There are nine major islands that protect the mainland from the Atlantic, but water and wind shifts constantly change their topography. The Albemarle Sound—a finger reaching into the mainland with access to rivers and lakes—is a great stretch of water to explore, with historical settlements and countless species of plants and animals.

Nantahala offers two week-long trips there in the fall for approximately $1,295. For more information on either trip, call 888-662-1662.

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