Things to do in
French Quarter, Charleston

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Our most recommended things to do in French Quarter, Charleston

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: 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: 90-Minute Ghost and Dungeon Walking Tour

3. 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: Guided Pub Crawl and Haunted History Tour

4. Charleston: Guided Pub Crawl and Haunted History Tour

Embark on a guided pub crawl through the city of Charleston and hear the dark history lurking behind each turn. Learn about the colonists, pirates, and bootleggers that shaped the city over a few drinks. Visit Charleston's important sites, including Joe Riley Waterfront Park, The Pink House, the Old Exchange Provost Dungeon, and Powder Magazine. Follow in the footsteps of the pirates and bootleggers, and learn about the ghosts that linger in the dark corners of the city from your guide. Make stops along the route for a refreshing drink at The Griffon, Bar Vaute, Blind Tiger Pub, and Tommy Condon's Irish Pub. Trade stories over a few drinks and learn about local life and culture in Charleston.

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: Small Group Food Tour – Savor the Flavors

6. Charleston: Small Group Food Tour – Savor the Flavors

Taste your way through Charleston on a comprehensive food tour. Visit a variety of local eateries, culinary landmarks, restaurants, and bakeries, each with its own story. Experience more than 300 years of history while sampling delicious specialties. Gain a unique perspective on the area and food culture from your guides, each with their own culinary credentials. Enjoy small samples at each location that will equal a large meal. Typical tastings include:• Stone ground grits• Charleston benne wafers• Locally-made gourmet chocolates• Southern pralines• Sweet tea• Collard greens• Lowcountry barbeque

Charleston: True Crime Stories Guided Pub Crawl & Cocktails

7. Charleston: True Crime Stories Guided Pub Crawl & Cocktails

Bay Street Bastards is Revelry’s hair-raising True Crime experience in Charleston. We've got the scoop on the Holy City’s evildoers and their nefarious deeds, and we're willing to share. Charleston is a city steeped in history and stained with blood. You’ll get a taste of both, as well as a few cocktails. We wouldn’t want you to be thirsty now, would we? Seriously, you might need a few adult beverages to handle some of these stories. Charleston’s mild climate and brisk river breeze make a perfect backdrop for an extraordinary evening. Join one of our guides and sample your choice of cocktails from some of the finest bars Charleston has to offer.

Charleston: Downtown Evening Carriage Tour

8. Charleston: Downtown Evening Carriage Tour

Palmetto Carriage Works, family owned and operated, has been leading tours since 1972.   They are the oldest and largest carriage company in town and boast the most experienced guides.  Their 35-minute evening tour is great way to get in a quick overview of Charleston's world famous history and charm.  Sights include the Charleston City Market, The Old Walled City, Waterfront Park and The Forner Corners of Law. Tours start and end in The Big Red Barn at 8 Guignard street where all are invited to visit with the animals and learn about their world class animal welfare program.   Carriages are easy loading and handicap accessible.  

Charleston: Speakeasy Sagas Prohibition Cocktail Tour

9. Charleston: Speakeasy Sagas Prohibition Cocktail Tour

Learn more about Charleston during Prohibition on a lively guided tour. Hop from bar to bar and sip on delicious cocktails as you hear funny and outlandish stories from the 1920s. Meet your guide in downtown Charleston for a combination of a history tour and bar crawl. Hear more about the lesser-known characters who made names for themselves in the era of Prohibition. Discover the wild and wacky legends that you may not have heard of before, but you’ll never be able to forget. As you explore the bars and cocktail lounges of the present day, enjoy 4 delicious cocktails to get your night off to a great start. Get an accurate picture of the nightlife of the city in the present day as you explore its most vibrant streets.

Charleston Harbor 2-Hour Speedboat Adventure

10. Charleston Harbor 2-Hour Speedboat Adventure

Take the wheel and become the captain of your very own speed boat with this one-of-a-kind adventure tour. Experience driving your own boat while taking in the views from the Charleston harbor. This fully narrated tour takes you 13 miles through the world-famous Charleston Harbor. See everything while listening to a highly trained and professional guide through a two-way communication system.   You will have a once-in-a-lifetime view of the Battery, USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier, Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge, the downtown Charleston skyline, Waterfront Park, South Carolina Aquarium, the cruise ship terminal and all the wildlife that call Charleston Harbor home.  This is a great adventure for all ages.

Frequently asked questions about French Quarter, Charleston

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What people are saying about French Quarter, Charleston

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,175 reviews

The pace was perfect for the warmth of the day, Erik stopped us in the shade which helped. I appreciated Erik’s knowledge of Charleston and the variety of information and places he took us. It was fun having pictures to take us back to the time in history we were learning about. I keep remembering all the different things from Earthquakes, trees, cobblestone streets, grave yards, Cemetary’s and historical places. Erik was personable with a good sense of humor.

Great experience with a very knowledgeable tour guide! Was able to answer almost every question had as well as go in depth on whatever was being discussed.

Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and very personable. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience.

Great insights into the city. Very knowledgeable tour guide.

Knowledgeable and enjoyable guide. Great experience