Shem Creek: Eat, Play and Stay

Shem Creek - Mount Pleasant, SC

Shem Creek – Mount Pleasant, SC

If you want to experience a quintessential, Lowcountry morning or afternoon, spend some time at Shem Creek. Its name is quite deceiving. I once suggested to a tourist that he spend his afternoon on Shem Creek and he quickly replied, “A creek? How can I spend my entire afternoon at a creek?” It was his first visit to the Lowcountry and he soon realized Shem Creek isn’t just a creek.


For starters, Shem Creek offers 6 restaurants, 3 outdoor outfitters, 3 event venues, 2 marinas, a gorgeous hotel, a handful of local shrimp and crab distributors and the newly built Shem Creek Park! Nestled just a mile from the base of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge on Coleman Blvd., this area of Mt. Pleasant is a hotspot that is sure to excite foodies, fishermen and adventurers alike! And with many residential neighborhoods lining Shem Creek, the area is full of energy and known to be a prime location in the Lowcountry.

Shem Creek has been a hub for activities dating back to the 18th century when Andrew Hibben obtained a ferry charter which became the first mode of public transportation from Mt. Pleasant to the city of Charleston. It wasn’t until the 1900’s, however, that Shem Creek became the epicenter for shrimping in the Lowcountry and it still known for this honor today!

Shem Creek - Mount Pleasant, SC

Shem Creek – Mount Pleasant, SC


The gorgeous shrimping boats are impossible to miss when you drive, ride or walk over the Shem Creek Bridge. Nestled right against the docks of just some of the restaurants they serve, dining on Shem Creek is picturesque and an experience in itself. My personal recommendations include Vickery’s Bar and Grill for casual dining, Red’s Icehouse for a cold beer and The Wreck to experience a local hole-in-the-wall!

Vickery’s Bar and Grill is perfect for great views, a relaxed atmosphere and amazing al fresco dining year round. Vickery’s also offers first come-first served public docking for its customers so if you’ve been on the water all day, Vickery’s is a great place to stop for a bite. The fried Calamari is some of the best in Charleston!


Fresh oysters - Vickery's on Shem Creek

Fresh oysters – Vickery’s on Shem Creek

Red’s Icehouse has known for its awesome live music in the past 5 years, hosting both local and country superstars alike! With multiple levels of dining and drinking, most of the space is outdoors and your four-legged friends are welcome in the outdoor areas. Red’s also features weekly drink and all-you-can-eat specials, oyster roasts and other various public parties. Red’s Ice House is also home to the The Palmetto Breeze, Mt. Pleasant’s premier sunset cruise sailboat, offering cocktails, snacks and live music from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesdays.


The Wreck is Shem Creek’s best kept secret – a hole in the wall with some powerful history. Featuring authentic Lowcountry cuisine, the owners of The Wreck pride themselves in serving up coastal dishes indigenous to South Carolina. Overlooking Shem Creek’s weathered shrimp boats and unmistakable marsh views, this little gem showcases the physical beauty the Lowcountry offers. A little about the history of The Wreck, found on the restaurant’s website:


“When the monster [Hurricane Hugo] had finally passed and the water receded, the trawler [named Richard & Charlene] had impaled its enormous bulk on the bare pilings. For nine months the ruined trawler sat in place, immovable, washed over daily by the tides until finally removed by salvagers, never to sail again. It is in memory of this indelible event that the existing restaurant on the same site has been named The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene.”


Abundant Seafood, a new business owned and operated by Mark Marhefka, is one of the Lowcountry’s only sustainable fishing operations that works similar to a co-op. Residents sign up for a 12 week catch which includes 15 pounds of seafood, and each week fisherman Mark leaves Shem Creek to fish for his members! On Fridays, Mark cleans, fillets and packs his catch for each member! Get to his dock early though – Abundant Seafood now has more than 140 members!! Mark also provides local seafood for many of Charleston’s top restaurants.



There is so much to do on Shem Creek. You could spend an entire day having fun in the sun on its beautiful waters and surrounding marsh. It is common to see stand-up paddle boarders cruising the waterway, kayak tours meandering in and out of the marshes and walkers and joggers enjoying the boardwalks of Shem Creek Park.

The Charleston Paddler is a local paddling outfitter that offers SUP, kayak and mini-boat rentals, along with paddling tours and SUP Yoga! With expert instructors and guides, Charleston Paddler gives its customers a fun, safe and beautiful atmosphere for a killer workout or a relaxing time on the water! Check out the view from a regular day on the creek with Charleston Paddler:

Shem Creek Park is Mt. Pleasant’s newest public outdoor space, featuring a series of long boardwalks built over Shem Creek’s marshes and waters. Spend time walking the boardwalks and wandering through its short marsh trails. You’ll be able to see Shem Creek and The Charleston Harbor from a vantage point no one has been able to experience until now! You can fish off the boardwalks as well! And it has public bathrooms – always a plus!



Shem Creek offers travelers gorgeous hotel accommodations at Shem Creek Inn, in addition the area is home to some of Charleston and Mt. Pleasant’s most coveted neighborhoods to live in. Old Village, Cooper Estates, Shemwood and Bayview Acres are just a few neighborhoods that are nestled along Shem Creek’s shorelines, perfect for families looking for a safe, mature area to raise their children in. Shem Creek’s neighborhoods are zoned for the best public schools in South Carolina – Mt. Pleasant Academy (elementary), Moultrie Middle School and Wando High School. Homes for sale in these Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods typically start in the low $400’s and go up to the high $600’s in value.


Real Estate listings near Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant:
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