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City Market, Charleston

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City Market, Charleston: Our most recommended tours and activities

Charleston: Historical Downtown Tour by Horse-drawn Carriage

1. 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.

Charleston: 90-Minute Historic City Highlights Tour

2. 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.

Charleston: Haunted Carriage Evening Tour

3. 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.

Charleston: 90-Minute Ghost and Dungeon Walking Tour

4. 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 low country superstition. Venture through Charleston's haunted historic district, one of the oldest places in America, and learn about its terrifying history. Continue along the eerie back alleys and churches to find out why the Charleston is known as "The Holy City." Visit the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon to learn about its harrowing past, confining enslaved people, American revolutionaries, and British soldiers.

Charleston: Magnolia Plantation & Historic City Tour

5. Charleston: Magnolia Plantation & Historic City Tour

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. Witness a slice of living history at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and get an amazing perspective on Charleston's past and present. The Magnolia Plantation and its world-famous gardens have been owned by the Drayton family for 12 generations. Enjoy your visit to 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, and experience history on a 45-minute narrated nature tram ride through the Audobon swamp gardens. Step out among the Romantic gardens and Spanish moss to see wildlife such as alligators, egrets, herons, and turtles on the nearly 600-acre plantation. Cap it all off with a 30-minute tour of the Magnolia Plantation Home before boarding your bus back to Charleston. Back in the Holy City, your deluxe, climate-controlled shuttle will take you for a 1.5-hour 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 most historic parts of the city and 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 a number of historic churches, old markets, and picturesque neighborhoods.

Charleston: 1-Hour Carriage Tour of the Historic District

6. Charleston: 1-Hour Carriage Tour of the Historic District

Explore Charleston's historic district on a horse or mule-drawn carriage tour. Listen to your guide tell you local stories and anecdotes as you go past iconic landmarks, buildings, churches, and more. Begin your tour at the Big Red Barn in downtown Charleston and meet your local driver/guide. Then, settle into a carriage drawn by either horses or mules for your guided tour. 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. Conclude your tour with drop-off at the Big Red Barn.

Charleston: Historical Walking Tour

7. Charleston: Historical Walking Tour

An exciting walking tour of the only English walled city in North America - Charleston! Once the leading seaport of the thirteen colonies and later the United States, historical Charleston is waiting to be discovered. On this 2-hour walking tour, you will learn about the intriguing history of Charleston from veteran guide Al Ray. See pre-and-post colonial homes, storefronts, churches and public buildings while Ray recounts the rich tales and legends of Charleston's proud and turbulent past. Learn the meanings of the ancient symbols on the tombstones, the city's history of rapid growth and rampant piracy, and the rise of the rice planters. Listen to your charismatic guide describe the numerous disasters, such as seven major fires, numerous hurricanes, epidemics, sieges and bombardments, plus a major earthquake, that have struck the city over its long and colourful history.

Charleston: 3-Hour Secret Food Tour

8. Charleston: 3-Hour Secret Food Tour

On this secret food tour, you'll get to sample grits, fried oysters, fried green tomatoes and so much more. Charlestonians are extremely passionate about their local food, city, and its history. You'll get to learn all about the best southern foods and the unique culture behind them. By booking this tour, you'll get to try delicious food all around the beautiful historic district of Charleston. Plus, you'll also be able to discover the best shops and restaurants, and learn many other great local tips to make your experience truly memorable.

Charleston: Private Carriage Ride

9. Charleston: Private Carriage Ride

Experience Charleston on a private carriage ride. See the “Holy City” in a more intimate setting with your own personal tour guide, who will tell you all about the historical buildings, parks and plazas of the city. You'll get to see more than 25 blocks of this historic town.  For a truly memorable experience, choose the evening option to see the sun set over the city and the city lights coming on.  You will be travelling in a Palmetto vis a vis carriage, where two benches face each other, offering a wonderful experience for a small group or family.

Charleston: 90-Minute Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour

10. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in City Market, Charleston

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What people are saying about City Market, Charleston

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,514 reviews

Eric was an awesome tour guide. He was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about history and Charleston. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting.

Great tour in a confortable air conditioned little bus. Wonderful guide. Really enjoyed it!

Very knowledgeable and friendly guide. Most enjoyable tour we had on vacation.

A fabulous way to tour Charleston! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable!

Really engaging, fun and interesting. We loved it.