The smell of salt air, cooling sea breezes and beautiful views beckon visitors and locals alike to the Charleston area’s shores. Famous for abundant local seafood, locally grown veggies and world class cuisine, there is no shortage of places to please the palate. But, waterfront dining is a premium and finding the best places takes a little bit of advice from a local. Not a seafood lover? Not to worry. All of these restaurants also offer alternatives for land lovers, so the whole gang will be happy!

Charleston Crab House, 145 Wappoo Creek Drive, James Island 843-795-1963,

A long-time lowcountry favorite is the Charleston Crab House on Wappoo Creek. You can arrive by land or by boat and be treated to spectacular seafood and stunning views of the busy Wapoo Creek. You may even get lucky enough to see the draw bridge open to allow a tall sail boat pass through. Famous for their she-crab soup, crabs and hushpuppies, the Crab House (as locals call it), also offers a bring your own rarity- “You hook it, we cook it!” Now, that’s service!

Morgan Creek Grill at Isle of Palms Marina, 80 41st Avenue,, Isle of Palms 843-886-8980,

Another boating favorite is Morgan Creek Grill on the Isle of Palms. Arrive by car or venture by boat up the Intracoastal to this unique dining destination.  Dine indoors or out and enjoy watching the boats cruise by, weekend anglers haul in their catch and a great view of Goat Island. Their Creekside stage also offers great local and regional music acts.

Fleet Landing, 186 Concord St, Downtown, 843-722-8100,

Waterfront dining in Downtown Charleston is few and far between. The best by far is Fleet Landing. Located on Charleston Harbor, the restaurant is located inside a former US Navy landing used from 1942-1970 for offloading sailors, supplies and more. Now, diners enjoy scrumptious seafood and our personal favorite, fried pork chops with mushroom gravy. You’ll almost always see a few dolphins playing nearby and can even catch a view of Ft. Sumter.

Shem Creek, Mt Pleasant

If there is one place that can be called a waterfront dining “destination” it would be Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant. At least half a dozen restaurants line the creek alongside local shrimpers, recreational kayakers and paddle boarders. There is an abundance of parking on both sides of the creek. Vickery’s, Red’s Ice House, The Wreck and Shem Creek Bar and Grill are just a few of the restaurants that await you on this picturesque creek.