These 41 Charleston Tours Let You Make the Most of the Holy City

One of the oldest cities in the United States, a trip to Charleston, South Carolina is full of history, beauty, and a whole lot of fun. With so much to see an do in the Holy City, a tour is a great way to get an introduction into what makes this city so special. Whether you want to learn the about the history or the ghosts, or see the city from the water or from a horse-drawn carriage –one ( or three) of these Charleston tours is sure to work for you.

Walking Tours

Walk through the streets of Charleston on these guided tours and get up close and personal with the people, views, and famous landmarks that make this historical city so amazing.

Charleston History Tour

If you’re looking to discover everything about the history of this fabulous town, taking the Charleston History Tour is a great choice! You’ll start at Charleston City Hall, and visit the Historic Charleston Market, the French Quarter, the Old Exchange Building, St. Philip’s Church, St. Michael’s Church, take in view of Fort Sumter, and visit White Point Gardens (also known as “The Battery”). This tour is an amazing introduction to the Holy City.

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Prices from: $10
Duration: 2-2.5 hours

Private Charleston Tour

If you’re looking for a tour with just your friends and family, Walks With Charleston offers a great private tour! You can customize your experience, ask in-depth questions, and visit places larger groups cannot. They offer private tours for groups up to 10 people.

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Prices from: $200
Duration: Varies

Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passages Tour

Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passages tour is a 2-hour walking tour that will take you to some of the charming cobblestone alleyways that are often overlooked by visitors and residents alike. You’ll really get an in-depth look at all the Holy City has to offer, and how beautiful this historical town is.

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Prices from: $25
Duration: 2 hours

Charleston’s Most Beautiful Walk Tour

Charleston’s Most Beautiful Walk Tour will take you to see some of Charleston’s most beautiful sights and places. The 2-hour walking tour will take you to historic neighborhoods, charming private gardens, to the waterfront, and so much more! There is no shortage of beauty in Charleston.

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Prices from: $25
Duration: 2 hours

A Walk Through Charleston

This tour will give you a complete overview of Charleston through the centuries! You’ll hear about its founding, pirates, the architecture, the Civil War, and so much more while walking through the streets and gardens of the city. The perfect way to learn a lot about what makes this town so charming.

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Prices from: $15
Duration: 1.5 hours

Amazing Ladies of Charleston

Girls rule! And this tour proves it. This walking tour highlights some of the women of Charleston worth remembering. As you’re walking through the streets of Charleston, you’ll hear amazing stories of the women of this town. From female politicians and artists and entertainers (and ghosts!), to an African American leader worthy of her own national holiday — they’re all covered on this tour.

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Prices from: $14
Duration: 2 hours

Love Stories Of Charleston

Everyday is Valentine’s Day on this Love Stories of Charleston tour! You’ll get to look out the window where Noah spotted Ali with her new beau in The Notebook, see the house that inspired Porgy & Bess, find out who bewitched John F. Kennedy while he was stationed in Charleston with the Navy, and more. Hear love stories — and stories on love gone wrong — on this romantic tour.

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Prices from: $14
Duration: 2 hours

High Society Tour

Grab your hoop skirts (just kidding, you don’t have to) and get ready to learn all about the lavish lifestyles of Charleston’s elite. You’ll tour the historic district, and the South Carolina Society Hall, while enjoying sweet tea and treats! Sounds MAHvelous!

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Prices from: $48
Duration: 2 hours

charleston-schooner-pride

Sailing Adventures

Sail away, sail away, sail away…but not really, because you’re not going to want to get too far away from those beautiful views of Charleston!

Holy City Sailing

Take a 3-hour private charter and explore the beautiful waters around Charleston. Choose from either the Private Day Sail or the Private Sunset Sail — you can’t go wrong either way.

You won’t have to fight for beautiful views — only 6 passengers at a time take part in these private sails. You’ll sail down the Bohicket River to North Edisto and beyond. Such an amazing way to see the city!

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Prices from: $395
Duration: 3 hours

4-Hour Sail With Picnic and Swim

Spend the day out on the water with family and friends on this 4-hour private, customized sailing excursion! BYOB and a picnic lunch and enjoy swimming and sailing around the harbor. You’ll enjoy comfortable seating, a cabin, and a bathroom on a modern yacht while taking in the sights! It’s a totally unique way to enjoy Charleston.

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Prices from: $475
Duration: 4 hours

Private Sailing Lesson

Learn the ropes of sailing with a private, 2-hour lesson. The sailing lesson is tailor-made for you — whether you’re a beginner or have previous experience. You and a friend (or two) can learn the basics of sailing, or improve your skills.

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Prices from: $300
Duration: 2 hours

Sunset Cruise On Charleston Harbor

Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres aboard a 45-foot catamaran on this sunset harbor boat cruise. Take in the sights of Charleston from the water, while relaxing on the boat. You’ll see forts, lighthouses, private islands, the Ravenal Bridge, and the Battery at sunset. There’s also a cash bar on board for you to enjoy. Sounds like a perfect way to end the day!

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Prices from: $30
Duration: 2 hours

Schooner Sunset Sail On Charleston Harbor

Enjoy the sunset views of the Holy City from the comfort of an 84-foot classic tall ship. You’ll cruise the waters of the harbor while passing famous sights like Fort Sumter and the Ravenal Bridge. Drinks are sold for an extra fee on board. We did this and LOVED it when visiting Charleston. The photo above is from our sail!

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Prices from: $62
Duration: 2 hours

Boating Tours

A day on the water is a day to remember — and Charleston has plenty of boating tours to choose from. In this section, you’ll find so many great tours, including ones with ghost stories, sunsets, and dolphins!

BYOB Harbor Cruises

Bring your own beverage on one of these private, customized harbor cruises! Choose between the daytime harbor cruise, or the sunset harbor cruise — you can’t go wrong either way! You’ll enjoy complimentary water and cookies — and whatever beverages you choose to bring with you — while relaxing on a modern yacht. They’ll be a lot of photo opportunities, views of Charleston’s waterfront, comfortable seating, and a whole lot of relaxing.

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Prices from: $275
Duration: 2 hours

Haunted Ghost Tour and Cruise of Charleston Harbor

Take this nighttime cruise around Charleston Harbor while learning about the haunted history of the town on this tour! You’ll board a 45-foot catamaran and tour secluded creeks and the harbor. Along the way, you’ll hear spooky stories about pirates, fisherman lost at sea, the Holy City’s history of wars and storms, and more. No children under age 3 please!

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Prices from: $20
Duration: 1.5 hours

Charleston Harbor Tour

How about exploring Charleston by boat? Charleston Speed Boat Tours offers a Charleston Harbor Tour! You’ll explore 13 miles of Charleston Harbor during this fully narrated tour. Enjoy beautiful views of some of Charleston’s most famous spots from your unique vantage point.

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Prices from: $120
Duration: 2 hours

Guided Nature Tour and Cruise of Charleston Harbor

Join a local naturalist on a relaxing cruise of the harbor while looking for coastal wildlife. Look out for dolphins, troll the ocean floor, pull crab pots, add to the touch tank on board, and see shore birds up close. You may even have the opportunity to walk the beaches of Morris Island — an uninhabited barrier island with lots of shells!

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Prices from: $30
Duration: 2 hours

History and Cultural Tours

Charleston is a city that is full of history. With so much to learn and see and experience, these tours give you an in-depth look at what makes Charleston’s history so special.

Strong Women of the South History Tour

Holy City History Tours offers some unique historical views of Charleston. The Strong Women of the South History Tour examines Charleston’s history and the women who helped build this city and America. It’s a 2-hour walking tour, and will include information about how women’s rights were born in this town.

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Prices from: $25
Duration: 2 hours

Seven Eras of Slavery History and Museum Tour

The Seven Eras of Slavery History and Museum Tour takes you to a 300-year-old African American community in Charleston’s east-side neighborhood. Highlights of this tour include the Aiken-Rhett House and Emanuel AME Church. A tour of the Philip Simmons House is included.

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Prices from: $25
Duration: 2 hours

A Patriot’s Story History Tour

This tour gives you a general overview of the history of this beautiful city. You’ll explore Charleston’s most beautiful places, while learning how the city played an integral role in the formation of the United States!

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Prices from: $25
Duration: 2 hours

History Walking Tour

The History Walking Tour offered by Ashley on the Cooper Walking Tours is a 2-hour tour hitting major historical spots in Charleston. Starting with the founding of the city during the colonial days, you’ll also learn about the revolutionary history and the Civil War. You’ll see mansions, gardens, churches, and so much more!

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Prices from: $10
Duration: 2 hours

A Day at Middleton Place

Spend the day touring America’s oldest landscaped gardens with this tour. You’ll visit the House Museum, Plantation Stableyards, and Eliza’s House while here, and a low country meal is included!

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Prices from: $94
Duration: 4.75 hours

Life On The Battery: The Edmondston-Alston House Walking Tour

Tour the historic district around The Battery on this walking tour. Starting and ending at the Edmondston-Alston House, you’ll walk through the streets of Charleston, learning about the history of the area along the way. At the end, you’ll tour the Edmondston-Alston House, which still contains 90% of the furnishings originally owned by the family.

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Prices from: $40
Duration: 1 hour

Magnolia Plantation Tour

The Magnolia Plantation Tour begins with a professional guide picking you up from Charleston. You’ll enjoy a narrated (and air-conditioned!) drive out to Magnolia Plantation — one of the oldest plantations in the south. Once there, you’ll be able to tour the gardens, take a tram tour of the property, and tour the house, before being driven back to Charleston.

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Prices from: $66
Duration: 4.5 hours

Boone Hall Plantation Tour

Transportation to and from Charleston is included in this Boone Hall Plantation Tour. Boone Hall Plantation is one of the oldest working plantations — they still grow crops there. A guide in period costume will lead your small tour group through a tour of the house, and you’ll be able to visit and learn about the history of the slave quarters on the property. A self-guided tour of the gardens is included.

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Prices from: $57
Duration: 4.5 hours

Carriage Tours

Is there a better way to tour the cobblestone streets of Charleston than by horse drawn carriage? I think not! Carriage tours are a fun and unique way to see the sights and learn about this historical city.

Group Carriage Tours

A great way to experience a historic city is by historic transportation. Enter: a carriage tour! The carriages seat 16 people and leave every 30 minutes from the Historic City Market. You’ll learn all about the history of the city, enjoy spectacular views, and relax in the carriage with your new friends. It’s a really neat way to see the Holy City.

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Prices from: $28
Duration: 1 hour

Vis-a-Vis Private Tour

Experience Charleston from the comfort of private horse drawn carriages. The Vis-a-Vis Private tour is an intimate tour for you and three others to enjoy together. “Vis-a-Vis” is French, meaning “face-to-face,” because that’s the way the carriage seats face! See mansions, gardens, churches, and historical places with your closest friends, while learning all about what makes Charleston so wonderful.

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Prices from: $200
Duration: 1 hour

Large Group Private Tour

Just want to spend a day hanging with your friends and family? Then a large group private carriage tour is the answer! A private group carriage tour seats 16 people, and you’ll enjoy learning about this historical city with just the people you love most. All ages are welcome.

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Prices from: $400
Duration: 1 hour

Bus Tours

Take a break from the heat, and sit back in your seat while you enjoy learning about this awesome southern city.

Daily Bus Tour

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the air conditioning on this Daily Bus Tour of Charleston. You’ll learn about the history of the Holy City from your guide, while taking in the views from the comfort of your seat!

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Prices from: $18
Duration: 1.5 hours

Private Bus Tour

Ready to have a tour tailor-made for your group? A private bus tour is the way to go! You get to choose what most interests your group, while relaxing in the air-conditioned bus with your family and friends. A perfect way to take in the city!

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Prices from: $275
Duration: Varies

The Charleston Comedy Bus

Tour Charleston while laughing uncontrollably on this Comedy Bus Tour. Comedians of Charleston will entertain you while driving through the streets of Charleston. This tour is only for adults over the age of 21, and includes some explicit content.

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Prices from: $30
Duration: 1.15 hours

Photography Tours

Charleston is such an amazingly beautiful town, and you’re going to want to take pictures to remember your adventures! These photography tours will help you get that perfect shot.

Lowcountry Photo Tours

Unleash your inner photographer, and let someone take you to all the best photography spots this beautiful area has to offer. On the Lowcountry Photo Tour, and local photographer will pick you up from your hotel, and take you to all the best places. They’ve done the research for you! Choose from half-day or whole day packages, and they offer sunrise and sunset packages too.

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Prices from: $185
Duration: Varies

Lowcountry Private Photo Workshop

Work with a local photographer one-on-one to learn the tricks of the trade! Your photographer will work with you and meet you at your skill level. You’ll be able to customize your day, so you can photograph the things and places important to you, while learning photography tricks along the way. Both half-day and full-day packages are available.

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Prices from: $250
Duration: Varies

Ghost and Pirate Tours

Aaaargh you ready to be spooked?! Whether you’re looking for pirate stories, or ghostly ones, there’s a tour in Charleston for you!

Charleston Pirate Tour

Your pirate guides and their parrot companions will take you through a history of pirates in Charleston on the Charleston Pirate Tour! You’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the action during this 2-hour walking tour. Includes admission to the Powder Magazine Museum.

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Prices from: $13
Duration: 2 hours

Children’s Treasure Hunt Tour

If you’re looking for a tour for the kids, then the Children’s Treasure Hunt Tour is for you! Kids will practice sword drills, make their own pirate flags, and search for treasure in White Point Gardens! At just 1 hour long, is the perfect length of time for the little ones. Includes admission to the Powder Magazine Museum.

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Prices from: $12
Duration: 1 hour

Charleston Pirate and Ghost Tour

Take a nighttime tour with guides dressed in period costumes to learn more about pirates, ghosts, and Gullah legends on the Charleston Pirate and Ghost Tour. You’ll learn all you need to know about one of America’s most haunted cities! Includes admission to the Powder Magazine Museum.

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Prices from: $13
Duration: 1.5 hours

Chilling Charleston Macabre Ghost Walking Tour

Looking for a little fright in your life? The Chilling Charleston Macabre Ghost Walking Tour is a 1.5-hour tour through the gas-lit streets of Charleston. You’ll peer into cemeteries, learn about pirates, hear stories of murder and paranormal events, and probably have a tough time going to sleep afterwards.

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Prices from: $12
Duration: 1.5 hours

Murder Walk: A “Whodunit” Walking Tour

The Murder Walk: A “Whodunit” Walking Tour puts you in the role of detective. During this interactive game tour, you’ll stroll through the streets of Charleston while trying to solve a murder by uncovering clues, and (hopefully) bringing justice! Ages 12+ for this one!

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Prices from: $20
Duration: 1.5 hours

Food and Drink Tours

Charleston is a southern city that has no shortage of great food and drink. Take one of these tours to try the best!

Scandalous Charleston Tour

Ready for a Scandalous Charleston Tour? I hope so, because that’s literally what this tour is called! Also known as the “Drinking in Charleston” tour, this is the perfect tour is you’re looking to “drink in” Charleston’s history. It’s a historic tour that focuses on what made the Holy City not-so-Holy at first. After learning all about its scandalous background, you’ll end the tour at a bar where you can try out the famous Charleson’s Light Dragoon’s Punch for an extra fee.

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Prices from: $25.50
Duration: 1.5 hours

Downtown Charleston Culinary Tour

A combination history and culinary tour — you’ll learn about the city of Charleston through its cuisine. This walking tour through Charleston’s historic French Quarter district will take you to four local restaurants for food tastings. You’ll discover local landmarks, while enjoying local food favorites! The perfect introduction to this southern food capital.

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Prices from: $68
Duration: 2.5 hours

Charleston Food History: Tour, Cooking Demo, Wine, & Lunch

Part walking tour, part interactive lunch — this is one tour that has it all. You’ll take a walking tour with local chef Forrest Parker, who will tell you all about the Lowcountry cuisine of the region while you explore the historic district. He’ll then perform a cooking demo for you, before you enjoy a lunch paired with wine! A perfectly yummy tour!

Purchase Tickets Here!
Prices from: $154
Duration: 4 hours

 

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Opinions here are all our own.

Kate Gelsthorpe is a former TV news writer, and a born and raised Georgia girl who grew up camping with her family at state parks around central and south Georgia. After 18 years in Atlanta, her family recently moved to Athens, and in their spare time you can find them exploring their new hometown. She and her husband, Kevin, are the proud parents of an 8-year-old dinosaur expert, and a 6-year-old outdoor-loving fashionista.

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