City Market, Charleston

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City Market, Charleston: Our most recommended tours and activities

Charleston: 1-Hour Carriage Tour of the Historic District

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

This tour begins at the Big Red Barn in downtown Charleston, where you'll meet a knowledgeable driver-guide and settle into a carriage drawn by either horses or mules. 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. Guides combine humor with history for a lighthearted experience of Charleston’s atmospheric center, and you'll cover between 25 and 30 blocks of the downtown district. This tour concludes with drop-off at the Big Red Barn.

Charleston: Magnolia Plantation & Historic City Tour

2. 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: 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.

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: Historical Walking Tour

5. 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: Dark Side of Charleston 1.5-Hour Walking Tour

6. Charleston: Dark Side of Charleston 1.5-Hour Walking Tour

Explore the dark side of Charleston, South Carolina, on a 1.5-hour walking tour through the streets of the Holy City. You will see the city in a different light, as you learn the truth hiding just beneath the surface, and new meaning is attached to places of historical significance. Charleston has long been a place where high society life is shadowed by scandals, temptations, and unruly behavior. Listen as your guide shares the side of the city that is not talked about often. Learn its complicated history of brothels, prostitutes, corruption, crime, scandal, and sordid affairs. You will emerge at the end of your tour with a deeper understanding of the two complex and conflicting sides of the city.

Charleston: 3-Hour Secret Food Tour

7. 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: 90-Minute Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour

8. 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.

Charleston: Magnolia Cemetery Nighttime Tour

9. Charleston: Magnolia Cemetery Nighttime Tour

With an expert guide, enjoy a 90-minute walking tour to uncover the best of Magnolia Cemetery’s history, mystery, and spirits. Hear startling stories such as the unsolved murdered socialite, an outraged politician that ordered his butler’s execution, and scandalous tragedies that are never told in history books. Originally a 1790’s rice plantation, Magnolia Cemetery was founded in 1849 on the banks of the Cooper River in Downtown Charleston. Home to 35,000 permanent residents, including authors and poets, artists, Confederate generals and soldiers, prominent politicians, bootleggers, prostitutes, and socialites. Magnolia Cemetery served as a Confederate encampment to defend the city from the Union bombardment during the Civil War. Over 2,000 Confederate soldiers lay at rest in Magnolia, including the eight-man Hunley crew, eighty-four soldiers who fought in the battle at Gettysburg, and six confederate generals.

Charleston: City Tour and Museum Combo

10. 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.

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 1,006 reviews

Dylan is absolutely amazing!! Very knowledgeable about Charleston. We appreciated the thought that was put into each place we visited. The food was amazing! Dylan truly has southern hospitality down pat!

We made our reservations for a typical large carriage, holding many travelers. We took the opportunity to upgrade to a private carriage for two and a perfect, individualized experience

The nature and wildlife at Magnolia beautiful. The Tour was interesting and informative.

Great tour guide! Very interesting and knowledgeable!! Highly recommend this tour.

Darkside was great. Tour guide Randy made it alot of fun.