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Charleston Sports

While recreational facilities within the historic district of Charleston are limited, the surrounding area offers ample choices for the outdoors enthusiast. Nearby state and county parks and the Francis Marion National Forest provide a variety of activities such as picnicking, boating and hiking and are only a few minutes' to an hour's drive away. Camping is permitted at Givhans Ferry and Edisto Beach state parks.

The barrier islands that line the coast are the focus of much of Charleston's recreational activity. Once favored as a summer retreat from the threat of yellow fever, many of these islands now sport major resorts. Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island, east of Charleston, and Edisto, Folly and Kiawah islands, south of the city, all have fine beaches for swimming, sailing and surfing.

The area is popular for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Surf fishing is permitted on many beaches. Deep-sea fishing charters depart from Charleston City Marina. Some of the best fishing is in estuarine creeks. Bass, sheepshead, flounder and trout can be taken in fall and winter; crabbing is good in spring and summer. For information about fishing regulations write South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202; phone (803) 734-3886. Alternatively, you can check out Fish Call Charters at (843) 509-7337.

Golf can be played at a number of 18-hole courses: Charleston Municipal Golf Course, (843) 795-6517, and Shadowmoss Golf Club, (843) 556-8251, in Charleston; Crooked Oaks and Ocean Winds, (843) 768-2529, on Seabrook Island; Turtle Point Golf Club, (843) 768-2121, on Kiawah Island; Patriots Point Golf Links, (843) 881-0042, in Mount Pleasant; and Wild Dunes, (843) 886-6000, on Isle of Palms.

Baseball fans can watch the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' minor league team, the Charleston Riverdogs, in action at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, 360 Fishburn St.; phone (843) 723-7241. Charleston also is home to the Charleston Battery soccer team, an A-League championship team that plays at Blackbaud Stadium, 1990 Daniel Island Dr.; phone (843) 971-4625.

For a quiet stroll in an urban setting, Charleston has several city parks, including White Point Gardens on The Battery, Waterfront Park along the Cooper River, and Colonial Lake at Broad and Rutledge streets. Many of the parks have trails for bicycling. Rentals are available at The Bicycle Shop at 280 Meeting St.; phone (843) 722-8168.