Charleston
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Charleston Nature & Adventure

Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

1. Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

Enjoy 2 convenient ferry departure points: Liberty Square in downtown Charleston or Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant. See the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge as you ride the ferry along, and take in sights of Charleston’s stately Rainbow Row and Battery homes.  As you approach Fort Sumter, graceful sailboats and playful dolphins add to the photogenic scene. If you depart from Mt. Pleasant you will enjoy views of the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier from up-close, while tours embarking from downtown will see Aquarium Wharf as they depart and return. Arrive at The Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park, which sits prominently at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, a strategic location that was crucial to its defense.  While here, explore the grounds of Fort Sumter. Stand on the grounds where America’s deadliest war began at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park. The first shots were fired here, igniting a conflict that saw more than 700,000 casualties. Experience the opening battle of the American Civil War and explore its origins with a National Park Ranger. Your approximate 1-hour visit to Fort Sumter allows ample time to explore well-preserved fort ruins and browse Museum Store souvenirs. A visit to Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park provides a window into the life and trials of America’s heroes, from the Civil War to today’s modern conflicts. Learn about the events leading to the war from knowledgeable National Park Rangers who will relay stories of courageous heroes in action from the Civil War’s first battle. Walk in the steps of those who shaped this nation alongside a National Park Ranger. Then enjoy the beautiful views of the city as you ride the ferry back to Charleston.

Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise

2. Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise

Embark on a true Charleston Harbor dining experience aboard the Spirit of Carolina. Enjoy a three-course dinner, made to order from local seasonal ingredients. As you dine on a delicious multi-course plated dinner, cruise through the beautiful Charleston Harbor, past Fort Sumter, along the Battery and beneath the Ravenel Bridge. Take in the views from the large enclosed air-conditioned dining decks or the open-air observation deck. Enjoy music throughout the cruise, as well as a full-service bar.

Charleston Harbor: Narrated Harbor Sightseeing Cruise

3. Charleston Harbor: Narrated Harbor Sightseeing Cruise

Take in the amazing sights of Charleston Harbor on a 1.5-hour boat tour with live narration from an expert guide. Pick up insight into the fascinating Charleston history while you glide through the gentle waves of the harbor. Your knowledgeable and entertaining guides have been licensed by the City of Charleston and are eager to share their knowledge with all guests aboard the cruise. Make sure to bring your camera for famous American landmarks, such as Fort Sumter, the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, the Battery, the Ravenel Bridge, Castle Pinckney, and other sites from Charleston's past and present. This relaxing and fun tour departs from Patriots Point and Aquarium Wharf daily. Get ready to hear enthralling tales of the city’s colorful past as well as scintillating facts about its most interesting former citizens. Perfect for all ages, the whole family can enjoy cruising along the coastline of the beautiful “Holy City”. Do you know why it's called the "Holy City"? Find out on this trip around the Charleston Harbor.

Charleston: Historic City Tour and Harbor Cruise

4. Charleston: Historic City Tour and Harbor Cruise

Discover 300 years of Charleston history from land and sea with passionate licensed tour guides. Experience a 90-minute narrated tour of Charleston in a climate-controlled luxury coach and then head to the water for another perspective of the city from Charleston Harbor. Learn fascinating historical facts about Charleston while you cruise the gentle waves of her harbor. Knowledgeable and entertaining tour guides are licensed by the City of Charleston and are eager to share their knowledge with all guests aboard the cruise. Don't forget your camera as you will see all that the Holy City has to offer: Charleston's Historic Homes and Churches, the Old Market, Rainbow Row, Fort Sumter, USS Yorktown, and incredible views from Charleston Harbor.

Charleston: Magnolia Plantation Tour and Transport

5. Charleston: Magnolia Plantation Tour and Transport

Witness a slice of living history at Magnolia Plantation and its world-famous gardens, owned by the Drayton family for 12 generations. Visit the Historic Gardens, Petting Zoo, and The Conservatory. Begin your half-day tour by boarding a climate-controlled coach in Charleston. Meet your professional guide and ride to Magnolia Plantation, dating from 1676 and the time of the British colony. Step into one of America's first tourist attractions and first public gardens, which have been open to the public since 1870. Take a guided walk through America's last large-scale romantic garden. Experience history on a 45-minute narrated tram ride through the Audobon Swamp Gardens and visit important locations like Drayton Home (not Drayton Hall), Orientation Theater, and the Old African American Cabin.

Charleston: Supernatural 90-Minute Ghost Tour

6. Charleston: Supernatural 90-Minute Ghost Tour

"There is only one essential ingredient in a ghost story: death." So say Charlestonians Ed Macy and Geordie Buxton in their introduction to their book about the haunted streets of Charleston. By rambling through the oft-forgotten enclaves of the Holy City, the paranormal authors bring guests face to face with a group of orphans who haunt a dorm of a Charleston College, a Citadel cadet who haunts a local hotel, and an angelic spirit in a Freedman Methodist graveyard, to name just a few. We will hear tales of a bookstore phantom, notorious for rearranging books in perfect vertical stacks, and a gruesome 19th century amputation taking place in a medical student’s apartment. This tour is not for the faint-hearted! Based on historical events and specific details that are often lost in our general notion of ghosts, each haunting encounter will send chills down your spine.

Charleston Harbor 2-Hour Speedboat Adventure

7. Charleston Harbor 2-Hour Speedboat Adventure

Take the wheel and become the captain of your very own speed boat with this one-of-a-kind adventure tour. Experience driving your own boat while taking in the views from the Charleston harbor. This fully narrated tour takes you 13 miles through the world-famous Charleston Harbor. See everything while listening to a highly trained and professional guide through a two-way communication system.   You will have a once-in-a-lifetime view of the Battery, USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier, Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge, the downtown Charleston skyline, Waterfront Park, South Carolina Aquarium, the cruise ship terminal and all the wildlife that call Charleston Harbor home.  This is a great adventure for all ages.

Charleston: Haunted Bar Crawl with Tarot Reading

8. Charleston: Haunted Bar Crawl with Tarot Reading

Get an insider's view of Charleston's paranormal history on a walking tour with an expert local guide. Begin your urban walking adventure by meeting your guide on the steps of the US Customs House. Make your way to one of Charleston's most notorious bars and listen to ghost stories and tales of Charleston’s darker side while enjoying your favorite beverage. From the bar, walk towards a graveyard where you will learn how to spot a ghost and the spirits of those who still roam the streets. Turn the corner and walk towards a very different, but equally spooky bar. Finish the evening with more history and ghost stories and a tarot reading.

From Myrtle Beach: Charleston Historic Tour

9. From Myrtle Beach: Charleston Historic Tour

Leave from Myrtle Beach in an air-conditioned motorcoach. Once in Charleston, your all-day itinerary includes Palmetto Carriage Works Tour, Hop on a mule driven carriage for a historic old city tour. Learn about Charleston’s rich history from your knowledgable guide. Relish the sight of magnificent homes and gardens. See the historical sites of the old city on a mule-driven carriage ride. Visit the Charleston harbor. Board the Carolina Belle for a 90-minute tour of the harbor, narrated by your captain. See 75 points of interest including the USS Yorktown and the Battery while enjoying in a delicious deli-style boxed lunch. Explore the Boone Hall Plantation, a 738-acre plantation. See the historic brick slave cabins, a smokehouse, and a cotton gin. Receive a guided tour from a costumed hostess and learn about Southern elegance, strife, and charm. Time permitting, you'll be able to browse the open-air Market as you make your way back to the bus. See where the original settlers purchased their daily needs. Take home a souvenir ranging from hand-woven baskets to one-of-a-kind artwork before heading back to Myrtle Beach.

Mount Pleasant: Charleston Harbor E-Bike Tour

10. Mount Pleasant: Charleston Harbor E-Bike Tour

See Mount Pleasant's attractions and get to know its neighborhoods on this guided E-bike tour. Have a one-of-a-kind riding experience as you cycle through historic areas and along the Charleston Harbor. Meet your guide and have a quick demonstration of how to use your e-bike. Once ready, ride into the old village towards Pitt Street Bridge and check out Fort Sumter in the distance. Bike along Pitt Street to Shem Creek Park and pass restaurants, dockside bars, watersports, an active shrimp boat fleet, and regular dolphin sightings. Work your way toward the Ravenel Bridge. Cycle through quiet neighborhood streets and head directly to Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. From here, start the trip to the USS Yorktown Naval aircraft carrier along a connected walkway that includes meandering boardwalks and gravel pathways. Get a broadside view of USS Yorktown with its deck filled with fighter planes and sometimes helicopters that take off from this point. On your way back to the meeting point, pass by Patriots Point Cold War Submarine Memorial, a large submarine that has been buried inland to become a memorial to submariners.

Frequently asked questions about Charleston Nature & Adventure

What are other things to do than Nature & Adventure that are worth visiting in Charleston?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Charleston

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What people are saying about Charleston

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 205 reviews

The history surrounding Fort Sumter is so interesting. The walk around this place and hearing the significance it plays in our history is worth the ferry ride out there. Seeing the site in person is so moving. The ferry ride could be more interesting. Some sites were pointed out along the way.

We were fortunate to be the last tour of the day (4 p.m. ), and our group was able to witness the lowering of the flag and helped fold it. The museum was very informative and interesting.

Interesting, beautiful ride to and from Fort Sumter. Perfect amount of time at the fort.

Slave cabin tour was well done and informative. Beautiful grounds and great staff.

Comfortable. Very knowledgeable narration. Covered all the sights well.