Charleston
Urban Exploration

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Our most recommended Charleston Urban Exploration

Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

1. Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

Experience Charleston on board a 1920s-Bay-Steamer-replica yacht. Listen carefully as your captain guides you on a journey through more than 300 years of American history. You’ll pass by 75 landmarks and points-of-interest on this 20-mile trip. Get close-up views of the “Holy City,” including Fort Sumter - where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Glide past Confederate and Union army forts and see the famous “Fighting Lady” of World War II. As you pass by remnants of the Civil and Revolutionary wars, don’t forget to look for dolphins and pelicans splashing nearby. Choose between indoor or outdoor seating. There is also an enclosed observatory and a partially-covered upper deck in case of rain.

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Charleston: Historical Downtown Tour by Horse-drawn Carriage

2. 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.

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Charleston: 90-Minute Historic City Highlights Tour

3. 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.

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Charleston: Historic City and Southern Mansion Combo Tour

4. Charleston: Historic City and Southern Mansion Combo Tour

Take a journey through Charleston's 300 years of living history with passionate licensed tour guides. Experience the Old Market area and the historic homes and churches where generations of Charlestonians worked, lived, and worshipped. Step out of the air-conditioned minibus onto the famous Battery Seawall to admire the wonderful views. See and hear about Fort Sumter, the Harbor of History, and the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown at Patriots Point. Enjoy a tour through the elegant interior of a fully-restored historic home - Joseph Manigault House. Come and enjoy the beauty and hospitality of one of America's most historic cities.

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Charleston: African-American History & Simmons House Tour

5. Charleston: African-American History & Simmons House Tour

Start the tour at the Philip Simmons House where one of the greatest African-American artists of the 20th century created a lifetime of beauty. Led by museum docents, learn more about the humble life of a great Charleston artisan. After the museum visit, walk down America Street, the heart of Charleston’s African-American community. Along the way, learn about and witness the trials and tribulations of the past and present. Briefly stop at the edge of the African-American community where you'll see a powerful visualization of class division. Finally, walk to Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest AME church in the southern United States. Learn about how free African Americans came together to form flourishing communities and houses of worship.

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Charleston: Haunted Bar Crawl with Tarot Reading

6. Charleston: Haunted Bar Crawl with Tarot Reading

Get an insider's view of Charleston's paranormal history on a walking tour with an expert local guide. Begin your urban walking adventure by meeting your guide on the steps of the US Customs House. Make your way to one of Charleston's most notorious bars and listen to ghost stories and tales of Charleston’s darker side while enjoying your favorite beverage. From the bar, walk towards a graveyard where you will learn how to spot a ghost and the spirits of those who still roam the streets. Turn the corner and walk towards a very different, but equally spooky bar. Finish the evening with more history and ghost stories and a tarot reading.

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Charleston: Haunted History Walking Ghost Tour

7. Charleston: Haunted History Walking Ghost Tour

Explore the most haunted places in Charleston on this guided walking tour. The tour offers a raw look at the festering underworld of the jewel of South Carolina. You will experience Charleston’s truly horrifying history; like the waters of the Cooper River, history runs deep and dark around here. From pirates, native Americans, and a host of invading nations, this old shipping town is full of conflict, disease, and the finest hauntings west of the Mississippi.  This unique collection of captivating and unnerving historical stories reveals what makes Charleston one of the most compelling haunted locations on the East coast.

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Charleston: 1.5-Hour Historic Walking Tour

8. Charleston: 1.5-Hour Historic Walking Tour

Take a historic walking tour around Charleston, a place free of carriages and motorcoaches. Take a fascinating tour and hear stories revealing Charleston’s rich history and colorful past.  This tour will go south into one of the largest historic districts in the nation and will guarantee a visit to Rainbow Row and to the battery. Your tour guide will show you some of Charleston’s most famous landmarks as well as give you glimpses of this historic city that you can only see on foot. The pace of our walking tour is leisurely and your guide is there to answer any questions that you may have as you stroll through the “cradle of Southern charm and hospitality.” Some historic highlights on the Charleston Stroll walking tour will include: • Rainbow Row • Historic Waterfront Battery • Antebellum Mansions • A visual tour of Fort Sumter • Hidden gardens and courtyards • Historic churches and graveyards and sites important to both the Revolutionary and the Civil War

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Charleston: City Tour and Museum Combo

9. Charleston: City Tour and Museum Combo

Feel the past come alive on this combination tour in Charleston. Ride in comfort on a climate-controlled coach and discover Charleston's 300 years of living history with passionate licensed tour guides. Follow your bus tour with a visit to the Charleston Museum, one of the oldest museums in the United States. On your bus tour, experience the Old Market area and admire the historic homes and churches where generations of Charlestonians worked, lived, and worshipped. See and hear about Fort Sumter, the Harbor of History, and the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown at Patriots Point. Make sure to take your camera as you will have the opportunity to stop at the famous Battery Seawall and enjoy the spectacular views. Keep your camera handy when you pass by the colorful houses on Rainbow Row, too. Finally, dive into the history of the Holy City at the Charleston Museum, which was opened to the public nearly 200 years ago. Explore the exhibitions that cover the American Civil War, the natural history in the area, and much, much more.

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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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Other Sightseeing Options in Charleston

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What people are saying about Charleston

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 4 reviews

The captain and his crew was fantastic. They had snacks and alcholic and non-alcholic beverages. The captain should have been a stand up comedian. My wife and I toured the historic area and we had a blast.

Mike was our guide and he was both knowledgeable and fun! The ride was VERY enjoyable and I highly recommend it to visitors AND locals.

My husband and I had a great time! Captain JP was awesome. He knows everything about the area and made the cruise a really fun time.

In 90 minutes we saw the most important sights with a history lesson in the comfort of a air conditioned closed vehicle.

Nick was very knowledgeable and gave some personal insights.