Unless you think out of the box. Instead of looking for a room with a view of the river, why not stay on the river?
For less than half the cost of a moderately priced waterfront hotel room, you can stay in a 35-foot sailboat with two comfortable cabins. Bringing your family or friends? A 44-foot yacht with four cozy cabins is available for $200 a night.
The floating accommodations are part of Charleston Sailing School & Yacht Charters' fleet of sailboats docked at Charleston City Marina on the Ashley River. There's no roughing it here. Each boat has central heat and air, a fully equipped galley and a salon with flat-screen TV, DVD player, stereo, wireless Internet and cable.
Cabins come with linens, towels, pillows, blankets and the usual toiletries found in a hotel room. While every boat has at least one head, guests also are welcome to use the private shower rooms in the marina's well-appointed bathhouse.
But what makes it so much fun to stay on a yacht is being able to lounge on the deck and enjoy the cool breezes that come off the water. From the comfort of the cockpit, you can watch the flurry of activity as boats cruise in and out of the marina. Big brown pelicans in search of dinner also provide plenty of entertainment as they make their less-than-graceful plunge into the water for fish.
When you're ready to get out and explore the historic district in Charleston, you can hop aboard the marina's courtesy shuttle, offering drop-off and pick-up at several popular downtown locations.
During your stay, be sure to take a walk along the 1,530-foot MegaDock - the longest freestanding floating fuel dock in the Southeast. Visiting yachts have included a 332-foot super yacht equipped with a helicopter and Tiger Woods' $57 million "Privacy" yacht.
Charleston Sailing School & Yacht Charters requires a two-night minimum stay. If you make a reservation for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, or during special events or holidays, you'll also need to book the boat for a three-hour minimum private charter. Sailing trips run from $125 to $150 an hour depending on the size of the yacht. It's a great way to see Charleston's beautiful skyline with its elegant antebellum homes, historic Battery and many church spires. You can even sail by Fort Sumter, site of the first shots fired in the American Civil War.
More information on the sailboat accommodations offered by Charleston Sailing School & Yacht Charters is available on the company's website or by calling 843.277.4236. For more information on accommodations in South Carolina, visit DiscoverSouthCarolina.com/hotels-and-motels.