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The 15 Best Charleston Tours | Travel

Note: Some tour suppliers on this record could have restricted or ceased operations as a result of COVID-19. Check together with your tour operator about availability earlier than you e book.

History lovers will relish a visit to Charleston, South Carolina, for its number of historic church buildings, forts and mansions that rank as Charleston’s hottest sights. Or, maybe you are most serious about its delicacies or the ocean creatures that populate its waterways. Either approach, these excursions – recognized by U.S. News utilizing each knowledgeable opinion and traveler sentiment – provide simply what you want for a satisfying go to to the Holy City.

Palmetto Carriage Works – Daytime Carriage Ride

This tour from Palmetto Carriage Works focuses on the residential district of downtown Charleston. During the hourlong journey, the horse-drawn carriage winds via 25 to 30 metropolis blocks, passing homes, mansions, parks and gardens, whereas the driving force shares info relating to structure, the panorama and regional historical past. Patrons constantly laud the guides for his or her data, friendliness and good humor. They additionally respect how nicely the corporate cares for its horses. Palmetto Carriage presents a wide range of “add-ons,” reminiscent of a plantation tour at Middleton Place or a harbor boat tour. Daytime excursions go away each half-hour between 9 a.m. and 4 or 5 p.m., relying on the month. Ticket costs begin at $40 for adults and $30 for kids 4 to 11. The firm additionally presents night carriage excursions and strolling excursions.

Take the title of the Two Sisters Tours actually: sisters, who’re seventh-generation Charleston natives, lead each tour. Along the roughly two-hour, 2 1/2-mile strolling tour, you will traverse 18 metropolis blocks and go to St. Michael’s Church, the Battery and varied centuries-old homes, amongst different sights. The sibling guides earn effusive reward for the historic info and colourful anecdotes they share with vacationers. Groups are restricted to twenty contributors. Tickets for the excursions begin at $25. Tours are provided at 10:30 a.m. Monday via Saturday. Afternoon weekday outings beginning at 2 p.m. might also be out there, climate allowing.

Adventure Harbor Tours – Morris Island Boat Tour

To attain the uninhabited Morris Island, hop on this boat tour provided by Adventure Harbor Tours. After setting sail from the Charleston Harbor, you will head to Morris Island the place you will have 90 minute to discover. You can roam the island by yourself, or heed the recommendation of earlier tourgoers and observe your information to study extra concerning the island’s ecology, animals and tidal mechanics. Your information will even assist you to spot attention-grabbing shells and shark tooth that you may take house with you – a specific spotlight for reviewers. Tickets begin at $55 for adults and $30 for kids ages 3 to 12. Due to unpredictable tidal circumstances, excursions are usually not provided every single day and are usually not out there on the identical time (excursions could depart at 8:30 a.m. sooner or later and 11 a.m. the subsequent). You will have the ability to see the assorted departure instances when reserving. Adventure Harbor Tours additionally presents personal charters, in addition to sundown cruises.

Old South Carriage Company – Historic Charleston Carriage Tour

Old South Carriage Company’s Historic Charleston Carriage Tours cowl about 30 blocks of the town. During the one-hour excursions, guides present information concerning the church buildings, mansions and gardens handed on the roughly 2 1/2-mile route (which can range from tour to tour). Tour-takers benefit from the guides’ persona and intensive data of the town. Visitors additionally say each guides and horses are pleasant. Tours happen a number of instances every day between 9 or 10 a.m. and 4 or 5 p.m. (relying on the month). Tickets value about $40 for adults and $30 for kids ages 4 to 11. Groups are restricted to 16 passengers. Old South Carriage Company additionally presents a haunted carriage tour, along with a wide range of strolling excursions.

Best Charleston Tours

See a few of Charleston’s intricate particulars on the Alleys and Hidden Passages tour from Lowcountry Walking Tours.(Courtesy of Lowcountry Walking Tours)

Lowcountry Walking Tours – Charleston’s Hidden Alleys and Passages

Go behind the scenes, because it had been, with Charleston’s Hidden Alleys and Passages tour. You’ll discover varied cobblestone and brick pathways which might be largely inaccessible by automotive and infrequently ignored, however provide a novel perspective on the town. Tour guides constantly obtain fulsome reward for his or her perception and enthusiasm. Even Charleston residents report they discovered one thing new about their hometown and its historical past. Plus, because the tour takes place largely within the shade, reviewers say the stroll presents a pleasant reprieve from the town’s sweltering warmth. Outings depart from the Old Exchange Building every day at 9:30 a.m. and a couple of p.m. Tickets begin at $25 per particular person. Lowcountry Walking Tours additionally leads a Charleston’s Most Beautiful Walk Tour and a Historic Downtown Tour.

Charleston Outdoor Adventures – Dolphin Eco Tour

If you hope to see dolphins of their pure habitat, then Charleston Outdoor Adventures has a tour for you. Its Dolphin Eco Tour takes guests over the creeks, inlets and marshes close to Folly Beach, the place roughly 300 wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins reside. During the 90-minute boat rides, the captain imparts info relating to the native surroundings, wildlife and historical past. Reviewers ceaselessly report studying fairly a bit about each dolphins and Charleston’s ecosystem. Tickets for the excursions, which depart a number of instances every day (together with round sundown), begin at $42 for adults, $29 for kids 3 to 12 and $8 for infants. Charleston Outdoor Adventures additionally presents a Morris Island Lighthouse boat tour and a number of other kayak and paddleboard excursions.

This boat tour presents views of most of the metropolis’s standard landmarks, together with forts Sumter, Moultrie and Johnson, St. Michael’s Church and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. During the 90-minute journey aboard the Carolina Belle, the captain gives commentary on the assorted sights and Charleston’s historical past, which reviewers discover informative and entertaining. Plus, many report seeing dolphins through the journey. Charleston Harbor Tours depart a number of instances every day; actual instances range by season. Tickets for adults value about $35, whereas these for kids 4 to 11 value roughly $20. Food and drinks can be found for buy on board. Charleston Harbor Tours additionally presents cruises with reside music.

Charleston Culinary Tours – Downtown Charleston Culinary Tour

The Downtown Charleston Culinary Tour focuses on the town’s historic French Quarter and consists of visits to 4 eating places. During the two 1/2-hour strolling tour, samples could embody basic southern fare like hush puppies, barbecue, or shrimp and grits. Guides share their data of regional meals and Charleston historical past alongside the way in which. Reviewers enthusiastically describe guides as equally entertaining and informative. Tours are provided every day at 11 a.m., with further afternoon excursions out there on choose days. Specific eating places visited and assembly factors range by tour time. Tickets, which embody all meals and nonalcoholic beverage tastings, begin at $75 per particular person and likewise cowl admission to the Powder Magazine museum. Charleston Culinary Tours additionally presents a pub tour, in addition to a meals tour of Upper King Street, amongst different choices.

Best Charleston Tours

Take a calming kayak journey (and possibly see a dolphin!) with Coastal Expeditions.(Courtesy of Coastal Expeditions)

Coastal Expeditions – Shem Creek Kayak Tour

Coastal Expeditions’ Shem Creek Kayak Tour, which travels its namesake waterway into Charleston Harbor, affords views of Castle Pinckney, the Charleston Peninsula, Fort Sumter and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. Along the roughly three-hour journey, you might also spot native creek residents, reminiscent of pelicans, dolphins, manatees and sea turtles. The firm’s guides and workers frequently obtain excessive marks for his or her friendliness, helpfulness and professionalism. Tickets, which value about $65 for adults and $45 for kids age 12 and youthful, embody use of all essential gear (together with a kayak and paddle). Tours depart every day at 9 a.m. Coastal Expeditions additionally presents kayak excursions to Isle of Palms, together with boat and paddleboard excursions.

Walks of Charleston – Charleston History Tour

The Charleston History Tour guarantees to take guests to a few of Charleston’s most vital constructions. While the routes of the roughly two-hour walks could range, websites visited sometimes embody St. Michael’s Church, St. Philip’s Church and the Battery. Patrons say guides have great historic perception, humor and storytelling talents. The excursions begin at metropolis corridor twice every day at 10 a.m. and a couple of p.m. Tickets value round $20 for adults and $15 for kids 7 to 12. Children 6 and youthful tour free of charge. Walks of Charleston additionally conducts excursions of the town’s alleyways and likewise presents personal excursions.

Carolina Polo and Carriage Company – Group Carriage Tours

Carolina Polo and Carriage Company’s group excursions present guests the historic streets and constructions of downtown Charleston. During the hourlong rides, guides provide info relating to the assorted gardens, properties, parks and church buildings on show. Routes range, however particular sights seen could embody the Battery, the Edmondston-Alston House, the Old Exchange constructing and the Nathaniel Russell House Museum. Patrons say guides are informative and entertaining. Other tour-takers categorical frustration about probably prolonged wait instances, as the corporate doesn’t allow advance reservations for particular instances. The horse-drawn carriages depart from the Charleston City Market roughly each half-hour between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. between March and November, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. November to February. Tickets value roughly $30 for adults and $15 for kids 4 to 11. Carriages carry not more than 16 riders. Planning a particular outing? The firm additionally presents personal excursions.

Best Charleston Tours

Learn all about Charleston’s haunted historical past with Tour Charleston.(Courtesy of Tour Charleston at Buxton Books)

Tour Charleston at Buxton Books – Ghosts of Charleston Tour

The Ghosts of Charleston Tour is a 90-minute stroll to and thru the Unitarian Church graveyard throughout which guides recount tales from “The Ghosts of Charleston” e book, written by the corporate’s founder, Julian T. Buxton III. No two excursions are alike, as guides change up the tales shared throughout every outing. The storytellers obtain accolades for being each entertaining and informative. Nightly excursions depart at 7:30 p.m. Additional 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. excursions are additionally out there on choose days. Tickets begin at $28 for adults, with reductions for seniors, youngsters, service members and college students. Tour Charleston additionally has a number of different excursions, together with a Lost Stories of Black Charleston historical past tour.

Bulldog Tours – Savor the Flavors of Charleston Tour

The Savor the Flavors of Charleston Tour takes foodies via varied bakeries, markets and eateries to pattern native low nation fare like collard greens, fried inexperienced tomatoes, grits and candy tea. Tourgoers respect the standard and amount of meals. They advise future contributors to eat mild (if in any respect) earlier than the tour to take full benefit of the meals on the tour. The 2 1/2-hour guided excursions are provided at 10 a.m. and a couple of p.m. every day, with further tour instances out there in the summertime months. Tickets value roughly $75 per particular person and have to be reserved prematurely. Tickets cowl the tastings and a few nonalcoholic beverage choices. Alcoholic drinks may be bought individually at some stops. Bulldog Tours additionally presents excursions that information guests via the eateries of Upper King Street, in addition to ghost excursions.

SpiritLine Cruises – Charleston Harbor Tour

The Charleston Harbor Tour directs tour-takers’ consideration to among the metropolis’s important historic landmarks, together with the Battery, Castle Pinckney, the USS Yorktown and extra. As you glide via the harbor, your onboard information will share particulars of Charleston’s historical past and former residents. Patrons usually reward the guides for his or her data and humor. What’s extra, snacks and beer can be found for buy on board. The 90-minute cruises depart from two websites a number of instances every day (besides in winter). Tickets begin at $32 for adults and $20 for kids 4 to 11. Children 3 and youthful journey free of charge. SpiritLine additionally presents dinner cruises.

Charleston Footprints Walking Tours

Charleston Footprints Walking Tours highlight most of the metropolis’s distinctive traits, together with its outdated church buildings, graveyards, parks and gardens, wrought iron gates, distinctive structure, cobblestone streets and alleys. Among the precise locations on these two-hour walks, which cowl about 18 blocks, are the French Quarter, the Charleston harbor and the Battery. Michael Trouche, a seventh-generation Charleston native, leads every tour. Patrons describe him as educated, pleasant and humorous. Tours start at 10:30 a.m. Monday and Friday, with occasional Saturday excursions. Afternoon excursions are provided in choose months. Tickets value $25 per particular person and reservations are required.

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