Charleston City Guide

By: Janice McDonald

Charleston Organized Tours Overview

©2006 Charleston CVB A historic carriage tour is the perfect way to experiencethe many historic landmarks in Charleston.

Charlestonians love to show off their city and they've been creative in many ways in which to do it, offering everything from carriages to pedicabs to boat tours. They also offer every genre you can imagine, from basic history to the specialized tours highlighting the towns ghost history, African-American heritage, or pirate-filled past.

Given Charleston's narrow streets, the two most popular and effective ways to get around on the tours are by foot and by carriage. The Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau (375 Meeting St) provides a good list of what's available as well as special offerings.


Old South Carriage Tours and Classic Carriage Tours are the classic way to start at the Old City Market and receive a tour of Charleston's Historic District.

Charleston Harbor Tours provide 90-minute tours of the city and its harbor, including circling Castle Pinckney Island, across to Patriots Point and back.

Sandlapper Tours offer sunset, nature and ghost tours on a 45-foot catamaran and even offer charters for groups that include a touch of Low Country with an oyster roast or a crab boil on the beach of a Barrier Island.

Charleston's Finest Tours will take you on a bus through several plantations along Ashley River Road.

Charleston Walks offers a wide variety of tour themes, including strolling through historic homes to walking through several former slave sites. Charleston Peninsula Tours lets you design your own tour based on your interests in the town's history.

The Charleston Tea Party Tour (843-577-5896) is a two-hour walking tour through the city's Historic District that ends with a spot of tea at King's Courtyard Inn (198 King St).

Bulldog Tours are walking tours in the evening and at night aimed at making your hair stand on end. They offer several options including cemetery walks, haunted jail tours, and dungeon tours at historic buildings.

Accommodations in Charleston include historic bed and breakfasts as well as more traditional hotels. Keep reading for our guide to Charleston hotels and lodging.