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20 Best Charleston Tours | Walking, Boating & Food Tours

20 Best Charleston Tours | Walking, Boating & Food Tours

When you think of Charleston, South Carolina, the first thing that comes to mind is usually its rich history and Southern charm. But there’s so much more to this amazing city than just old mansions and cobblestone streets.

There are many different tours in Charleston, South Carolina. Some of them are about the history of the city. Others are more fun and unique, like tours that involve getting to know animals or learning about how to cook food. Charleston is a great place to visit, and these tours can make your time there even more enjoyable.

This article will cover the best Charleston tours and what makes them so special. We’ll take a look at some of the more unique tours that are available, as well as some of the more traditional ones. And we’ll explore why these tours are so popular with visitors to Charleston.

Best Tours in Charleston, South Carolina

These are the top-rated tours in Charleston, SC.

Lost Stories of Black Charleston Walking TourListen to the lost stories of black Charleston on this 2-hour walking tour. Hear forgotten folktales and learn about the heroes and heroines who were left out of the history books. Gain more understanding about Charleston's role in the nation's history on this enthralling walking tour.
Charleston's French Quarter Guided Walking TourExplore Charleston's fabled walled city in the oldest French Quarter in the United States. This pleasant 90-minute walk with a storyteller/guide takes you to the highlights of Charleston's historic district, national landmarks, and the majestic harbor.
Charleston Historical Walking TourExplore North America's only English walled city - Charleston. Accompanied by an expert guide, stroll though quaint cobblestone streets while learning about the city's fascinating, turbulent past and its unique place in the history of the United States.
Charleston's Alleys and Hidden PassagesExplore some of Charleston's enchanting alleys and hidden passages on this guided, small group, 2-hour walking tour. With our small group tours, you are guaranteed a more intimate and up-close experience. The city's alleys are distinguished by their beauty, and occupy spaces that blur the line between public and private areas. These pedestrian passageways are often overlooked in favor of grandiose homes, but walking along these cobbled paths is an opportunity to appreciate Charleston's hidden, more intimate charms.
Charleston: 1-Hour Carriage Tour of the Historic DistrictDuring your 1-hour horse or mule-drawn carriage tour through Charleston's beautiful historic district, you will see beautiful buildings, churches, houses & gardens. All tours are narrated by an experienced certified tour guide.
Charleston Mystery Walking TourGo on a "whodunit" murder mystery game tour in Charleston. Can you solve the crime?
Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic TourTravel by horse-drawn carriage along the picturesque streets of Charleston and take in the history of this South Carolina city. See highlights such as historically significant homes, churches and gardens while listening to informative commentary about the city’s role in the Civil War from your knowledgeable guide. Enjoy the relaxed pace of a carriage tour as you soak up the southern charm of Charleston. Please check in with Old South Carriage 15-minutes prior to tour.
Charleston: Sightseeing by Carriage & Classic Carriage WorksExperience the historic district of Charleston by horse and carriage on a 1-hour narrated history tour. Be guided around the beautiful residential area by a Percheron draft horse. See stunning architecture and end at Charleston's oldest active stable.
Supernatural Charleston 60 or 90-Minute Ghost TourJoin paranormal author Geordie Buxton on this unique tour. Get thoroughly spooked as he tells of a series of mysterious hauntings – from orphan poltergeists to a lost cadet inside the old citadel to an angelic reverend, and many more!
Historic Charleston Small Group Walking TourExplore the revolutionary history of the oldest city in South Carolina on a 2-hour walking tour of Charleston. Marvel as the colonial days are brought back to life.
Charleston: Small Group Food Tour – Savor the FlavorsLearn how Charleston's unique cuisine has evolved over the past 300 years as expert local guides help you walk, talk and taste your way through the historic city center. Sample delicious specialties and become immersed in the history and culture.
Charleston: 90-Minute Historic City Highlights TourDiscover the very best that Charleston has to offer as you visit more than 100 points of interest in the city’s historic district. Traveling in a climate-controlled shuttle, admire the sights of the city including High Battery and Rainbow Row.
Downtown Charleston Culinary TourThis 2.5-hour Charleston food walking tour features the area surrounding City Market in the historic downtown district. Learn about Charleston's history as you enjoy tastings of traditional favorites and contemporary innovations, all of which highlight the cuisine of locally owned restaurants. With a guide, you'll visit at least four eateries that provide samples of Lowcountry dishes.
Charleston: Historic Harbor CruiseClimb aboard the historic “Carolina Belle” and coast along the Charleston Harbor for a relaxing cruise. You’ll learn about the rich history of Charleston, passing a multitude of landmarks and points-of-interest.
Historic Downtown Walking TourThis 2-hour, small group walking tour explores Charleston's Historic District by visiting the streets of the French Quarter and the area South of Broad. Hear the tales of historic churches and view the city architecture, and learn the story of this beautiful city—from its first settlers to today.
Chilling Charleston Ghost TourExplore Charleston from a different perspective on a 1.5-hour walking tour by gas light. Hear tales of ghosts and the paranormal from the chilling history of South Carolina's oldest town.
Charleston: 45-Minute Haunted Jail Walking TourPrepare to be scared as the lines between reality and fantasy blur on this 45-minute walking tour of Charleston's Old City Jail. Make your way through the building as your guide shares stories of the infamous criminals once housed in the jail's walls.
South Carolina Aquarium AdmissionAt the South Carolina Aquarium overlooking the Charleston Harbor, connect with more than 5,000 amazing animals and learn how you can protect them. Come face-to-face with sick and injured sea turtles in rehabilitation in the Sea Turtle Care Center™, and follow their journeys from rescue to rehab to release. Visit our two touch tanks for a hands-on experience with stingrays, sharks, horseshoe crabs, sea stars and urchins. Learn fascinating details about the natural world at daily dive shows and animal encounters. Discover the wonder of water, wildlife and wild places at the South Carolina Aquarium.
Charleston: 90-Minute Ghost & Graveyard Walking TourLearn about the history of Charleston’s graveyards and hear the stories of the famous individuals who found their final resting place in the Holy City on this 1.5-hour walking tour. Listen to the legends and prepare to be spooked by stories of ghosts
Charleston: 90-Minute Ghost and Dungeon Walking TourVisit the spooky underbelly of Charleston with a 90-minute tour of the Holy City's haunted historic district. Explore one of the region's oldest graveyards, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, to unravel a history of voodoo, piracy, and superstition.

Things to Know Before Booking a Tour in Charleston

Sidewalk In Charleston South Carolina

When planning your visit to Charleston, be sure to consider booking one of the many excellent tours available. Before booking a tour, there are a few things you should know.

First, be aware that not all tours are created equal. Some are more comprehensive than others, and some focus exclusively on certain aspects of the city (e.g., history or architecture). So be sure to do your research and choose the tour that best suits your interests and needs.

Second, booking in advance is always recommended, as many of Charleston’s popular tours tend to fill up quickly. Finally, be sure to dress comfortably and wear comfortable shoes, as most tours involve a fair amount of walking.

See Related: Do You Need a Car in Charleston?

Types of Tours in Charleston

There are many different types of tours in Charleston, SC. Some of the most popular are walking tours, boat tours, history tours, and ghost tours. This historic city is filled with all forms of group tours so you’re sure to see the city in a variety of ways.

Charleston Walking Tours

Aerial View of Charleston

Walking tours offer an excellent means of getting to know South Carolinas oldest city. Walks of Charleston has an excellent tour guide that is licensed with the town so they can tell the truth about their work in short (even the stories that are not found in a history book).

The group provides many walking tours including a Charleston History Tour, a private tour, and a Hidden Path Tour. The popular Charleston History Tour offers a chance to visit the historic city of Charleston, the French Quarter, and the Battery.

Charleston boat tours offer a different perspective on Charleston. You’ll get to see the waterfront and some of the beautiful homes and gardens from the water.

Charleston Plantation Tours

Plantation in Charleston

There are numerous plantations in Charleston, some of which provide wonderful Charleston plant tours including the Charlestown Tea plantation and Magnolia Garden. Each of those plantations offers its own itinerary. They give tractor excursions from one farm to the next on Boone Hall Plantations.

Taking a 30-minute trolley tour to the Charleston Tea Plantation and learning about tea culture is an unforgettable experience.

Charleston Carriage Tours

Carriage Tours In Charleston

In Charleston, there are numerous businesses providing carriage transportation. They’re all fantastic. Is there anything wrong? The company is managed by locals of Charleston. Can you imagine the family dwelling in Charleston from the 1600s to today?

It’s incredible. I adored seeing the area from a local perspective and learning new things about it every day!!! You may choose to go on a group trip or a private tour. We were invited to take part in a group tour, which was thoroughly recorded by an excellent guide for one hour.

Charleston Ghost Tours

Image from Bulldog Tours Facebook Page

The Bulldog Tours Ghost Tour is a great option for those interested in the supernatural side of Charleston. This tour takes visitors to some of the city’s most haunted locations, including jail cells where many notorious criminals were incarcerated, the Provost Dungeon, and centuries-old graveyards.

Those interested in ghosts and other supernatural phenomena will definitely want to check out this tour.

Charleston Food Tours/ Culinary Tours

Charleston Upper King Street Food Tour
Image from TripAdvisor

If you’re looking for a way to explore Charleston’s culinary scene, look no further than the city’s food tours. From King Street tours to downtown Charleston tours, there’s a variety of options to choose from, each offering its own unique mix of local dishes and drinks.

No matter which tour you choose, you’re sure to have a delicious time exploring Charleston’s culinary scene. So what are you waiting for? Book your tour today and get ready to taste your way through the city.

If you’re interested in history, there are several history tours to choose from. And if you’re looking for a spooky experience, the ghost tours are sure to please.

Charleston Boat Tours / Charleston Harbor Tours

Charleston Harbor Boats

If you’re looking for a unique way to see Charleston, consider taking a boat tour. There are a number of companies that offer boat tours of the area, including Schooner Pride Charleston.

These boat tours offer a different perspective on the city and its surroundings and provide a great way to get up close and personal with dolphins if you’re lucky.

One evening during a trip to South Carolina’s first beach, I was greeted by Schooner Pride and enjoyed seeing the region through the eyes of the sea. The sunset was spectacular, but we also got close and personal with two dolphins who were jumping beside the ship.

They provide a beverage service onboard and ample seating. Despite being in the cockpit of the ship, you can easily go on a stroll through the ship and enjoy its surroundings. Book your tour on Schooner Pride to ensure an unforgettable experience.

See Related: Best Breweries in Charleston

How long do Charleston tours last?

Charleston South Carolina Bridge

Most Charleston tours last between 1-2 hours, though some may be shorter or longer depending on the tour company and the specific tour you choose.

Are Charleston tours kid-friendly?

Pineapple Fountain In Charleston

Yes! Many Charleston tour companies offer child-friendly tours that are perfect for families.

Some companies may even offer discounts for children. Please contact the tour company directly to inquire about their specific policies.

See Related: Ways to Get Free Hotel Rooms

Final Thoughts

The best Charleston tours are definitely the ones that give you a comprehensive view of the city. There are a number of great tours available, so be sure to do your research and find the one that best suits your interests.

With so much to see and do in Charleston, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience on any of these tours.

If you’re looking for a great way to see Charleston, then be sure to check out one of the city’s comprehensive tours. There are a number of different tours available, so it’s important to do your research and find the one that best suits your interests.

These tours will take you to all of the important landmarks and give you a chance to see the city from a different perspective. If you’re looking for a unique way to explore Charleston, be sure to check out one of these tours.

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What are the best Charleston tours?

There are many great Charleston tours, but some of our favorites include the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour, the Charleston Tea Plantation Tour, and the Boone Hall Plantation Tour.

How much do Charleston tours cost?

Charleston tours range in price depending on the tour company and the specific tour you choose. However, most tours fall within the $20-$30 per person range.

Where do Charleston tours depart from?

Most Charleston tours depart from the Visitor’s Center, which is located at 360 Meeting Street. Some companies may offer pick-up and drop-off services from other locations around town for an additional fee.

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