Art, Nature & Adventure in Charleston

In celebration of the Gibbes Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, Artist, Scientist, Explorer:Mark Catesby in the Carolinas, Charleston, SC’s Coastal Expeditions is offering blackwater and saltwater tours to examine the habitats, flora and fauna that Catesby first discovered during his journey throughout the southern East Coast. Offered monthly on select dates June through September, Coastal Expeditions’ naturalist guides will offer groups choice from four distinct kayak and boat tours showcasing the coastal birds and plants that Catesby illustrated in his work “The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands.”

Mark Catesby in the Carolinas is on display at the Gibbes now until September 24 and features 44 watercolor paintings by English artist, scientist and explorer Mark Catesby, generously lent by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from the British Royal Collection. The Gibbes presentation marks only the second exhibition of his watercolors in the United States, showcasing the years Catesby spent exploring the coasts of the Carolinas, Florida and the Bahamas.

Coastal Expeditions, established in 1992, is Charleston’s original outdoor outfitter and has been navigating these east coast saltwater estuaries and blackwater rivers of the Lowcountry by boat, kayak and paddleboard for almost 25 years while keeping their mission of environmental stewardship and education paramount.

Coastal Expeditions will be offering four Catesby tours

Crab Bank Bird Rookery Kayak Tour:

With views of the Holy City as a backdrop, this guided kayak tour combines natural and human history, taking paddlers on a journey to see nesting shorebirds in the Charleston Harbor. $65/adults, $45/ children 12 and under

Catesby Blackwater Kayak Tour:

Kayakers explore the different blackwater ecosystems with a guided naturalist to see migratory songbirds, birds of prey and wildflowers. Trip locations vary depending on date including Black River (June), Penny Creek to Willtown Bluff (July), Echaw Creek (August) and Quinby Creek & Pompion Chapel (September). $95/adults, $75/children 12 and under

Catesby Charleston Harbor Boat Tour:

This evening guided expedition will showcase nesting activity on Crab Bank Rookery followed by a ride up the Ashley River, a location Catesby explored over 300 years ago. $45/person

Catesby Cape Romain Tour:

Guests are led on a naturalist-guided boat tour into a landscape that has remained virtually unchanged since Catesby’s first time in Charleston- the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge to Bulls Island- with excellent opportunities for birding. $40/adults, $20/ children 12 and under

For more information,  visit or call 843-884-7684.


The Gibbes Museum of Art:

Established in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art is recognized among the oldest arts organizations in the United States. Housing one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present, the museum’s mission is to enhance lives through art by engaging people of every background and experience with art and artists of enduring quality and by providing opportunities to learn, to discover, to enjoy and to be inspired by the creative process. For more information, visit


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