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Charleston

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Our most recommended Charleston Activities

Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

1. Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

Enjoy a ferry ride to the grounds of Fort Sumter and explore the grounds at your own pace. Pass by the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and take in the sights of Charleston’s stately Rainbow Row and Battery homes. As you approach Fort Sumter, graceful sailboats and playful dolphins add to the photogenic scene. If you depart from Mt. Pleasant you will enjoy views of the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier from up-close, while tours embarking from downtown will see Aquarium Wharf as they depart and return. Arrive at The Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park, which sits prominently at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, a strategic location that was crucial to its defense.  While here, explore the grounds of Fort Sumter. Stand on the grounds where America’s deadliest war began at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park. The first shots were fired here, igniting a conflict that saw more than 700,000 casualties. Experience the opening battle of the American Civil War and explore its origins with a National Park Ranger. Your approximate 1-hour visit to Fort Sumter allows ample time to explore well-preserved fort ruins and browse Museum Store souvenirs. A visit to Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park provides a window into the life and trials of America’s heroes, from the Civil War to today’s modern conflicts. Learn about the events leading to the war from knowledgeable National Park Rangers who will relay stories of courageous heroes in action from the Civil War’s first battle. Walk in the steps of those who shaped this nation alongside a National Park Ranger. Then enjoy the beautiful views of the city as you ride the ferry back to Charleston.

Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise

2. Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise

Embark on a true Charleston Harbor dining experience aboard the Spirit of Carolina. Enjoy a three-course dinner, made to order from local seasonal ingredients. As you dine on a delicious multi-course plated dinner, cruise through the beautiful Charleston Harbor, past Fort Sumter, along the Battery and beneath the Ravenel Bridge. Take in the views from the large enclosed air-conditioned dining decks or the open-air observation deck. Enjoy music throughout the cruise, as well as a full-service bar. Dinner menu: Soup: Charleston she-crab soup Salad: Edisto green salad with a blend of baby lettuce, dried cranberries, crumbled feta cheese, and toasted almonds with herb vinaigrette (gluten-free) Entrées: (All entrees include freshly baked bread and butter) • Braised short rib of beef (gluten-free, dairy-free) with cabernet reduction, roasted garlic whipped potatoes (gluten-free), and seasonal vegetables (gluten-free)• Seared wing tip chicken breast (gluten-free) with white wine lemon sauce, sautéed spinach and feta cheese fillings, roasted garlic whipped potatoes (gluten-free), and seasonal vegetables (gluten-free)• Low country shrimp and grits (gluten-free) with sautéed shrimp, tasso ham, and andouille sausage. Served on creamy stone-ground grits and topped with aged cheddar cheese and bacon jam garnish• Roasted sliced cauliflower (dairy-free, vegetarian) with roasted red pepper drizzle, wilted spinach, lemon and olive oil mixed ancient grains of quinoa, farro, toasted barley (dairy-free, vegetarian), and grilled asparagus (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian) Desserts: • New York-style cheesecake with strawberries and whipped cream • Chocolate pot de crème (gluten-free) with whipped cream and chocolate shavings ($6.00 each) Food is not prepared in a nut-free, shellfish-free, or gluten-free facility.

Charleston Harbor: Narrated Harbor Sightseeing Cruise

3. Charleston Harbor: Narrated Harbor Sightseeing Cruise

Take in the amazing sights of Charleston Harbor on a 1.5-hour boat tour with live narration from an expert guide. Pick up insight into the fascinating Charleston history while you glide through the gentle waves of the harbor. Your knowledgeable and entertaining guides have been licensed by the City of Charleston and are eager to share their knowledge with all guests aboard the cruise. Make sure to bring your camera for famous American landmarks, such as Fort Sumter, the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, the Battery, the Ravenel Bridge, Castle Pinckney, and other sites from Charleston's past and present. This relaxing and fun tour departs from Patriots Point and Aquarium Wharf daily. Get ready to hear enthralling tales of the city’s colorful past as well as scintillating facts about its most interesting former citizens. Perfect for all ages, the whole family can enjoy cruising along the coastline of the beautiful “Holy City”. Do you know why it's called the "Holy City"? Find out on this trip around the Charleston Harbor.

Charleston: Historical Downtown Tour by Horse-drawn Carriage

4. 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: Historic City Tour and Harbor Cruise

5. Charleston: Historic City Tour and Harbor Cruise

Discover 300 years of Charleston history from land and sea with passionate licensed tour guides. Experience a 90-minute narrated tour of Charleston in a climate-controlled luxury coach and then head to the water for another perspective of the city from Charleston Harbor. Learn fascinating historical facts about Charleston while you cruise the gentle waves of her harbor. Knowledgeable and entertaining tour guides are licensed by the City of Charleston and are eager to share their knowledge with all guests aboard the cruise. Don't forget your camera as you will see all that the Holy City has to offer: Charleston's Historic Homes and Churches, the Old Market, Rainbow Row, Fort Sumter, USS Yorktown, and incredible views from Charleston Harbor.

Folly Island: Guided Dolphin Boat Tour in Folly Beach

6. Folly Island: Guided Dolphin Boat Tour in Folly Beach

Step onboard and explore the amazing coast behind Folly beach. Be amazed while you watch the local wildlife, especially the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that populate the area year-round. You can choose between the boat tour in the morning or the sunset boat cruise. Your experienced captain will share their knowledge about the beautiful ecosystem and local history of Folly Beach. Hear about the famous dolphins as you safely cruise on your boat while respecting the wildlife. Also be on the lookout for strand feeding, a dolphin hunting technique that is unique to this part of the world. Strand feeding is usually seen from July to September. Explore the backwaters and navigate to the historic Morris Island, where you can hunt for fossils, seashells, and sand dollars. Join this signature dolphin tour for an experience you’re not likely to forget.

Boone Hall Plantation: Admission & Day Trip from Charleston

7. Boone Hall Plantation: Admission & Day Trip from Charleston

Tour the historic Boone Hall Plantation, a beautiful gem nestled in the town of Mount Pleasant, just across the harbor from Charleston. Enter through the Avenue of Oaks and take a guided tour of the historic mansion. Enjoy a self-guided tour through the original slave cabins and learn about the experience of enslaved people with a presentation by a knowledgeable guide. Learn the history of the area, tour the grounds and homes with expert storytellers and guides.

Charleston: Boone Hall & Historic City Tour Combo

8. Charleston: Boone Hall & Historic City Tour Combo

Hop aboard a comfortable coach have and uncover local history with a tour of Boone Hall Plantation. Afterwards travel through over 100 of Charleston’s most iconic sights and get up close to the past with some stops along the way. Meet your guide in Charleston and depart for Boone Hall in a deluxe on a climate-controlled coach. Upon arrival, enjoy a 30-minute guided tour of the main house. Have free time at the plantation to enjoy tours of the house or garden, or listen to presentations on history or culture. Choose to take the house tour and begin on the front porch with a guide in historical dress. Be introduced to the history of Boone Hall Plantation and its evolution through several owners since 1681. Select the garden tour to see antique varieties of roses that are over 100. Travel back in time if you select the 'Slave Street and History' presentation. Look at the living quarters, historic relics, and hear about what life was like for the enslaved people that lived and worked at Boone Hall. Immerse yourself in local culture if you choose to participate in the 'Exploring The Gullah Culture' presentation. Boone Hall Plantation is the only plantation in the state's Lowcountry to present a live presentation of this unique culture adapted by African slaves. Drive back to the city for a guided 90-minute tour of the city’s historical highlights. Listening to amazing tales and anecdotes about the city as you ride through some of the most historic parts of the city. 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.

From Charleston: Wadmalaw Island Low Country Highlights Tour

9. From Charleston: Wadmalaw Island Low Country Highlights Tour

Set off from Charleston and see some of the highlights of Wadmalaw Island and the low country. Admire the 500-year-old angel oak tree, enjoy some tea at the Charleston Tea Garden, and savor wine at a local vineyard. First, visit Angel Tree Park and see the famous angel oak tree, thought to be one of the oldest organisms east of the Mississippi. At 65 feet high and with a circumference of 25.5 feet, this beautiful 500-year-old tree is an awe-inspiring sight. Stop by the Charleston Tea Garden, with hundreds of thousands of tea bushes stretching as far as the eye can see. Take the trolley ride, which makes a stop at a state-of-the-art greenhouse. Enjoy complimentary tea samples as you stroll the beautiful grounds and learn all about how tea is made. Finally, visit Deep Water Vineyard. They grow and harvest their grapes, as well as bottle their wines directly on site. Explore the vineyard which also includes walking trails, many different animals, a garden, a large pond, and a gift shop. Return to the pickup point at the end of the tour.

Charleston: Private Carriage Ride

10. 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.

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Frequently asked questions about Charleston Activities

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Other Sightseeing Options in Charleston

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What people are saying about Charleston

The views of Charleston Harbor, the cotton candy colored sunset, and the Ravanel Bridge, especially after dark, were beautiful. The service of the wait staff was prompt and friendly. The food was quite tasty and satisfying. The live music was very soothing as we enjoyed the cruise. It was a very relaxing, enjoyable evening! So glad we chose to take the dinner cruise!

Our guide was so wonderful! Everyone in our group really enjoyed everything he had to share. Lucky we had great weather too.

Very interesting. The introduction at the raising of the flag, we were the first visit of the day, was well-written.

Had a great time. Enjoyed seeing Charleston in one day. Wish we had more time to see everything. Driver was great!

It will transport you to the 1860’s to a sad time in history.