Charleston
Tours

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Our most recommended Charleston Tours

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: 90-Minute Ghost and Dungeon Walking Tour

3. Charleston: 90-Minute Ghost and Dungeon Walking Tour

Test your nerve and explore the dark edges of Charleston's haunted historic district, deeply steeped in South Carolina's culture of voodoo and low country superstitions! This spook-tacular tour includes an exclusive after-dark opportunity to venture into one of the city's oldest graveyards. If you dare, step across the graves and inspect the headstones to unravel the personal histories of the souls buried there. You'll hear fun and chilling stories of Charleston ghosts and haunted houses, as well as tales of voodoo magic and folklore. Visit the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon to learn about Charleston's terrifying history of piracy on this eerie and entertaining tour.

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Charleston: Patriot's Point Haunted USS Yorktown Tour

4. Charleston: Patriot's Point Haunted USS Yorktown Tour

Come aboard the USS Yorktown and hear the stories of the American heroes who lived, died, and are still rumored to be here today. Commissioned in 1943, the Fighting Lady was once manned by over 3,000 people and designed to fight off enemies all over the globe during WWII. Learn about the ultimate sacrifice and heroism of the people who once inhabited this ship.  This tour gives you exclusive night time access to areas of the ship that are usually closed to the public, including the flight deck after dark. Don't forget your camera, you never know who or what you might capture.

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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.

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Charleston: 1-Hour Carriage Tour of the Historic District

6. 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: 90-Minute Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour

7. Charleston: 90-Minute Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour

Take an up close and personal look at the spooky history of Charleston, known as the Holy City. On this 1.5-hour walking tour, allow your guide to take you where others don't dare to tred. With this exclusive opportunity, you will walk inside the gates of one of Charleston's oldest graveyards after dark. Explore its corners, check out the headstones, and take a moment to step across the graves, if you dare. Listen as your experienced guide gives you a full history of Charleston’s graveyards, focusing on the stories of the famous individuals who found their final resting place in the Holy City.

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Charleston: Haunted Carriage Evening Tour

8. Charleston: Haunted Carriage Evening Tour

Listen to spine-tingling tales of prisoners, rogues, and pirates that make up the history of Charleston. Cover over 300 years of history from the comfort of your carriage. Mysterious alleys and cobblestones await as your expert guide leads you through Historic Charleston on a 40-minute Haunted Carriage Tour. Start the tour at Old South Carriage Company's stables where the tour explores the 15 block core that comprises Historic Charleston. Along the way you will see Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon, Circular Congregational Church and Graveyard, Charleston City Market, and St. Michael's Episcopal Church. All tour guides of this activity are members of the Palmetto Guild, which indicates that they have successfully passed a comprehensive examination of the history of Charleston.

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Charleston: Supernatural 90-Minute Ghost Tour

9. 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.

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Charleston: 90-Minute Historic City Highlights Tour

10. 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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Other Sightseeing Options in Charleston

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What people are saying about Charleston

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 508 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!

The tour was great and the guide was awesome. Very entertaining and knowledgeable. My teens also really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone while in Charleston.

It was a fun experience and we learned a lot about Charleston history and the ride around town gave us a chance to see the historical locations and shops up close.

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