St. Phillips Island Safari Book Now

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
October 11,12,13
November 8, 9, 10

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For nearly 40 years, St. Phillips Island was a beach retreat for conservationist Ted Turner and his family.  During that time, trails were thoughtfully carved through the maritime forest and habitats for species like fox squirrels, loggerhead sea turtles and indigo snakes were restored. With ancients dunes and a mature forest dominated by Spanish moss-draped live oaks, Southern magnolia and saw palmetto, St. Phillips Island is a nature lover’s paradise, providing critical habitat for alligators, sea turtles, bobcats and a myriad of seasonal and resident bird species, including bald eagles, roseate spoonbills and painted buntings. In 2017, Hunting Island State Park acquired St. Phillips Island.

Coastal Expeditions is excited for the opportunity to provide ferry service and naturalist-guided tours to St. Phillips Island in partnership with South Carolina State Parks.  It is the only National Natural Landmark in the park system, and one of only six in the state.  This rare designation is awarded by the National Parks Service to conserve sites that contain outstanding biological and geological resources.

Departing from the Hunting Island State Park Nature Center, the boat tour to St. Phillips Island is a naturalist-led ecotour along the Story River to the St. Phillips Island dock. Once we reach the island, a park ranger will welcome everyone to the island before boarding the tram to the beach.

During the 3.5 mile ride through the forest to the beach and picnic area adjacent to the Turner House, a naturalist guide will share information about the human and natural history of the island.  Once at the picnic area, there will be a couple of hours to beach comb, hike interior trails or simply relax on the beach with  a picnic.  After your ramblings on this pristine barrier island, the tram will take you back to the dock for the return trip to the mainland.



Love the sound of this adventure but want to stay on the boat? Try this dolphin-watching tour on the Story River.

Things to Know

SEPTEMBER TOUR SCHEDULE
Two Tour Times:

Departs 9 a.m./Returns 3:30 p.m  
Departs 10:30 a.m./Returns 5 p.m.

ARRIVE EARLY
The St. Phillips Ferry departs as scheduled and will not wait for late arrivals.  Arrive 15-30 minutes early and meet at the Hunting Island State Park Nature Center for registration.

WHAT TO WEAR
St. Phillips Island is a remote barrier island, so dress for hiking.  Dress in layers and wear a hat for sun protection.  Once you get to the beach, you can ditch your shoes and dip your toes in the Atlantic, but you’ll want closed-toe walking shoes while you are hiking the roads and trails of the island.

WHAT TO BRING
Small backpack with plenty of drinking water, lunch, sunblock, insect repellant.  Don’t bring anything that is difficult to carry or that takes up excess space.

ACTIVITY LEVEL
Once you reach the island, you’ll board a tram and ride 3.5 miles to the beach.  From there, you can explore the shoreline or head into the interior island trails.  You’ll need to be able to walk 1/4 mile from the tram to the seashore. The captain and mate can help you plan a route that fits your expectations and time on the island.

PARK ADMISSION
Admission to Hunting Island State Park is not included in your tour price. Admission is $5/adult; $3.25/SC seniors; $3/child 6-15; Free for children 5 & younger

NEED TO CANCEL?
You’ll need to call at least 7-days ahead or you will be charged for the trip.  There is a waiting list for this trip.

 

St. Phillips Island and Hunting Island are part of the South Carolina State Park Service. Read more here

You Could Say This Tour Is...

Featured, Adventurous, Birding, Dolphins & Wildlife

Trip Advisor Reviews

My husband and I went with Coastal Expeditions to St. Phillips Island (via the Nature Center at Hunting Island State Park) this past Saturday. Every minute of our experience was top notch - Captain Henry and first mate TJ were friendly, knowledgable, and very skilled. The boat ride there and back was smooth and scenic, with Capt. Henry making frequent stops to allow us to see dolphins, pelicans, black skimmers, etc.
Olivia was our guide and she was assisted at St. Phillips by J.W., a state park ranger. I cannot say enough good stuff about Olivia! We are local and thought we knew a lot about our ecosystem, but Olivia taught us several things we did not know! Her knowledge is thorough and she was clear, engaging, and a ton of fun!
Once on St. Phillips, Olivia helped us plan our day and we hiked every inch of every trail - the trails are well marked and the topography is absolutely beautiful! Because there are/have been so few humans on St. Phillips we were able to get up close to alligators (not in a scary way!), raccoons, fox squirrels, a big buck, and countless birds.
By the end of the 6-hour day we were dirty, sweaty, happy, and absolutely mesmerized by St. Phillips Island. We could not recommend this trip more!
-Jennifer D.

St. Phillips Island Safari

Explore. Chat. Visit. And come on back, y’all.
@coastalexpeditions

Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant Rentals

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Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our kayaks or SUPs. Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

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Isle of Palms Rentals

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Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our kayaks. Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

Call or text 843.884.7684 to book.

Outpost Location

Need A Guide?

If you really want to get a feel for the local history, identify the native wildlife, and get to special places, you'll need someone experienced to show you the way. We'll get you there.

Check out our Isle of Palms tours.

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Folly Beach Rentals

Offering Kayaks and Paddleboards

Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our kayaks or SUPs. Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

Call or text 843.884.7684 to book.

Outpost Location

Need A Guide?

If you really want to get a feel for the local history, identify the native wildlife, and get to special places, you'll need someone experienced to show you the way. We'll get you there.

Check out our Folly Beach tours.

Rent a Kayak or Paddleboard Click to Book via Text