Charleston
Architecture

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Our most recommended Charleston Architecture

Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

1. Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

Experience Charleston on board a 1920s-Bay-Steamer-replica yacht. Listen carefully as your captain guides you on a journey through more than 300 years of American history. You’ll pass by 75 landmarks and points-of-interest on this 20-mile trip. Get close-up views of the “Holy City,” including Fort Sumter - where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Glide past Confederate and Union army forts and see the famous “Fighting Lady” of World War II. As you pass by remnants of the Civil and Revolutionary wars, don’t forget to look for dolphins and pelicans splashing nearby. Choose between indoor or outdoor seating. There is also an enclosed observatory and a partially-covered upper deck in case of rain.

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Charleston: Historical Downtown Tour by Horse-drawn Carriage

2. Charleston: Historical Downtown Tour by Horse-drawn Carriage

This 60-minute narrated carriage tour covers more than 2.5 miles and 30 blocks of historic downtown Charleston. It really is the best way to see the “Holy City” and learn about its rich and vast history. The tour begins at our stables just one block from the city market, where a number of our horses live. Restrooms and water are available as well as a loading ramp to easily board one of the custom-built carriages.  Departing from the barn, you will continue to the city gate located in the Old City Market. Historic Downtown Charleston is split up into a number of areas that each tour is directed to travel to. Some highlights of these areas are Charleston Harbor, Rainbow Row, 4 Corners of Law, King Street, White Point Gardens, and the Charleston Battery.  A licensed tour guide will be narrating the entire tour with informative and entertaining commentary. At the end of the tour you will arrive back at the stables, where you will get off the carriage using the unloading dock.

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Charleston: 1-Hour Carriage Tour of the Historic District

3. Charleston: 1-Hour Carriage Tour of the Historic District

This tour begins at the Big Red Barn in downtown Charleston, where you'll meet a knowledgeable driver-guide and settle into a carriage drawn by either horses or mules. Follow a route that takes in some of the historic downtown district’s most elegant mansions and gardens, learning about the architecture of each place as you drive along. Catch the scent of jasmine flowers from deep, shady porches, and pass by rows of bristling palmetto trees. Get an overview of Charleston’s dramatic history, from long-ago pirate raids to plantations, Revolutionary battles, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. The city was founded in 1670, and Charleston's historic buildings have been meticulously preserved and restored. Guides combine humor with history for a lighthearted experience of Charleston’s atmospheric center, and you'll cover between 25 and 30 blocks of the downtown district. This tour concludes with drop-off at the Big Red Barn.

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Charleston: Tour Pass with 40+ Attractions

4. Charleston: Tour Pass with 40+ Attractions

Save 40% or more off of Charleston's top tours and attractions, pay zero to enter, simply show your Mobile Pass! Choose a 1, 2 or 3-day pass. Includes admission to Fort Sumter, Ghost Tours, Plantations, Museums, Carriage and Bus Tours, Historic House Museums, Cultural sites and many more. After purchase we'll send you a text and email to start using the pass on your smartphone where you can choose from a selection of hand-selected tours, attractions, and historic sites. The Mobile Pass provides instant access to over 40 of the city's top tours, attractions and historic sites where admission is included. Reserve tours in advance before arriving. Multi-day passes can be used on non-consecutive days.Choose from: 1-Day pass: Choose 2 featured tours + visit unlimited "Walk-in or Standard" attractions for 1 day. 2-Day Pass: Choose 3 "Featured Tours" + visit unlimited "Walk-in or Standard" attractions for 2 days. 3-Day Pass: Choose 4 "Featured Tours" + visit unlimited "Walk-in or Standard" attractions for 3 days. FEATURED TOURS (requires reservations which can easily made within the mobile pass) Fort Sumter Tour Downtown Carriage Tour Boone Hall Plantation Drayton Hall Charleston Harbor Tour Haunted USS Yorktown Guided Tour Charleston Strolls History Walking Tour Historic Charleston Walking Tour Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour Ghost & Dungeon Walking Tour Chilling Charleston Walking Tour The Hunley Submarine Tour (Weekends only) Narrated City Bus Tour WALK-IN or STANDARD ATTRACTIONS (no reservation required, can be visited anytime during operating hours): Aiken Rhett House Museum Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site Caw Caw Interpretive Center Nathaniel Russell House Museum Charleston Fun Park ($20 value) Charleston Museum Gibbes Museum of Art Charleston Tea Plantation Charleston Water Taxi (all day ride pass) Confederate Museum Deep Water Vineyard (free tasting + wine glass) McLeod Plantation Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon Slave Mart Museum Powder Magazine South Carolina Historical Society Museum The Grit Counter ($7 lunch voucher per person) Palmetto Brewery (free flight per person) Verde Salads & Wraps ($5 voucher per person)- Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts (free doughnut per person) North Charleston Fire Museum

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Charleston: 90-Minute Historic City Highlights Tour

5. Charleston: 90-Minute Historic City Highlights Tour

The tour departs from Charleston Visitor’s Center where you’ll hop on board a deluxe, climate-controlled shuttle for a 90-minute tour of the city’s historical highlights. Accompanied by a knowledgeable, local guide, visit over 100 of Charleston’s most iconic sights of the past and present whilst listening to amazing tales and anecdotes about the city. On your tour, travel through some of the city’s most historic parts. Visit Charleston’s Historic Homes, The Battery Sea Wall, the Four Corners of Law, and Rainbow Row to name but a few. Other highlights of the tour include several historic churches, old markets, and picturesque neighborhoods.

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Charleston: Historic City and Southern Mansion Combo Tour

6. Charleston: Historic City and Southern Mansion Combo Tour

Take a journey through Charleston's 300 years of living history with passionate licensed tour guides. Experience the Old Market area and the historic homes and churches where generations of Charlestonians worked, lived, and worshipped. Step out of the air-conditioned minibus onto the famous Battery Seawall to admire the wonderful views. See and hear about Fort Sumter, the Harbor of History, and the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown at Patriots Point. Enjoy a tour through the elegant interior of a fully-restored historic home - Joseph Manigault House. Come and enjoy the beauty and hospitality of one of America's most historic cities.

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Charleston's French Quarter Guided Walking Tour

7. Charleston's French Quarter Guided Walking Tour

The tour highlights include the imposing 4 corners of Law and its four nationally historic registered buildings of St. Michael’s Church (ca.1752), where President George Washington, General Charles Pinckney, and Marquis de Lafayette worshiped, Charleston's Federal building (ca. 1896), Charleston County Courthouse (ca.1790) designed by John Hoban who designed The White House in D.C., and Gabriel Manigault's City Hall (ca. 1800). The tour swings back down Charleston's longest cobblestone road to see a glimpse of the Dock Street Theater (ca.1735), the oldest French Huguenot Church (ca.1681), St. Phillip's Church (congregation's history dating back to 1680), the Bermuda stone-built Pink House (ca.1688-1712),  historic baracoon / slave hotel, Unity Alley, and ends with the breathtaking view of the harbor castle, forts, islands, and Atlantic Ocean. Two Hour Option: Spend an enjoyable 2 hours walking along the old walled city perimeter with its cobblestone roads and alleys in the steps of Charleston's French merchants and other European forefathers. Your native storyteller/guide will show you some of America's earliest architecture and national historic landmarks. Visit the oldest burial grounds to see the final resting place of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, and take in the remains of a 17th-century drawbridge. Admire beautiful parks with historic monuments, and expansive views of Charleston's great harbor with its castles and forts that shaped much of America's maritime and military history. Charleston's French Quarter is home to many fine historic buildings, including: • the Pink House (c. 1688-1712) • the Old Slave Mart baracoon where slaves were confined in the 1850s • many of America's first churches dating back to the 1600s • Dock Street Theater, where the first theatrical performances were held in the U.S. • the imposing 4 Corners of Law with its 1752 St. Michael’s Church attended by George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette • the headquarters of General Robert E. Lee • the Old Exchange Building • and many more!

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Charleston: Downtown Evening Carriage Tour

8. Charleston: Downtown Evening Carriage Tour

Palmetto Carriage Works, family owned and operated, has been leading tours since 1972.   They are the oldest and largest carriage company in town and boast the most experienced guides.  Their 35-minute evening tour is great way to get in a quick overview of Charleston's world famous history and charm.  Sights include the Charleston City Market, The Old Walled City, Waterfront Park and The Forner Corners of Law. Tours start and end in The Big Red Barn at 8 Guignard street where all are invited to visit with the animals and learn about their world class animal welfare program.   Carriages are easy loading and handicap accessible.  

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Charleston: Haunted History Walking Ghost Tour

9. Charleston: Haunted History Walking Ghost Tour

Explore the most haunted places in Charleston on this guided walking tour. The tour offers a raw look at the festering underworld of the jewel of South Carolina. You will experience Charleston’s truly horrifying history; like the waters of the Cooper River, history runs deep and dark around here. From pirates, native Americans, and a host of invading nations, this old shipping town is full of conflict, disease, and the finest hauntings west of the Mississippi.  This unique collection of captivating and unnerving historical stories reveals what makes Charleston one of the most compelling haunted locations on the East coast.

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Charleston: 1.5-Hour Historic Walking Tour

10. Charleston: 1.5-Hour Historic Walking Tour

Take a historic walking tour around Charleston, a place free of carriages and motorcoaches. Take a fascinating tour and hear stories revealing Charleston’s rich history and colorful past.  This tour will go south into one of the largest historic districts in the nation and will guarantee a visit to Rainbow Row and to the battery. Your tour guide will show you some of Charleston’s most famous landmarks as well as give you glimpses of this historic city that you can only see on foot. The pace of our walking tour is leisurely and your guide is there to answer any questions that you may have as you stroll through the “cradle of Southern charm and hospitality.” Some historic highlights on the Charleston Stroll walking tour will include: • Rainbow Row • Historic Waterfront Battery • Antebellum Mansions • A visual tour of Fort Sumter • Hidden gardens and courtyards • Historic churches and graveyards and sites important to both the Revolutionary and the Civil War

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Other Sightseeing Options in Charleston

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What people are saying about Charleston

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 59 reviews

Our guide did an exceptional job of rendering the necessary historical facts and adding in a little fun and humor when appropriate. It made the experience a pure pleasure and I’d highly recommend this tour to all visitors.

Thoroughly enjoyable tour of a few of the hidden and not so hidden gems of Charleston’s food scene. Gia, our tour guide was tons of fun and knowledgeable of Charleston’s rich history and diversity!

Easy 5 stars for this Tour....food was excellent and Guide great was outstanding, very knowledgeable personable and accommodating.... highly recommended

Mike was our guide and he was both knowledgeable and fun! The ride was VERY enjoyable and I highly recommend it to visitors AND locals.

In 90 minutes we saw the most important sights with a history lesson in the comfort of a air conditioned closed vehicle.