Things to do in
South Carolina

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Our most recommended things to do in South Carolina

Hilton Head Island: Guided Dolphin Tour

1. Hilton Head Island: Guided Dolphin Tour

Take in the beauty of Hilton Head from the perspective of the water on a 1.5-hour, fully narrated boat tour. Delight in up-close encounters with dolphins, and find out about their habits, eating patterns, and more with a local guide. As you explore the island's waterways, learn about the history of the area and the surrounding islands from your guide's narration. Hear about oysters, spartina grass, tides, mud, and more. As well as dolphins, keep on the lookout for other wildlife including pelicans, osprey, stingrays, herons, turtles, and many more besides.

Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

2. Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

Enjoy 2 convenient ferry departure points: Liberty Square in downtown Charleston or Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant. See the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge as you ride the ferry along, and take in 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

3. 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.

Hilton Head Island: Pirate Cruise on the Black Dagger

4. Hilton Head Island: Pirate Cruise on the Black Dagger

Search for sunken treasure with this incredible pirate cruise. Head to the docks, where you'll be given a new name and learn to speak like a real pirate. Then board the Black Dagger and set sail on the Calibogue Sound. Stinky Pete, the island’s smelliest pirate, knows about the treasure map and he stole the key. The race is on, to find Stinky Pete before he gets to the treasure. The crew will man the water cannons and blast Stinky Pete until he gives back the key.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

5. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

Take a sightseeing cruise to explore the incredible nature around Hilton Head Island and the surrounding waterways. Hear about the island’s history from your expert crew as you search for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Admire the coastal landscape as you learn about the lifecycle of these mammals. Discover why this region is the perfect place for dolphins to settle. With sightings guaranteed, this tour is sure to be a highlight of your vacation.

Charleston Harbor: Narrated Harbor Sightseeing Cruise

6. 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.

Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dolphin Cruise

7. Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dolphin Cruise

Sail towards the open ocean in search of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins on an amazing sightseeing cruise. After seeing these animals in open water, travel to Daufuskie Island and up Bull Creek to Dolphin Hole to watch the setting sun. Admire the incredible landscape of salt estuaries at sunset. Listen to live commentary from your expert captain, and ask the crew any questions you might have. Beer, wine, snacks, and drinks are available for purchase throughout the trip.

Charleston: Historical Downtown Tour by Horse-drawn Carriage

8. 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.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Tour at Sunset & Fireworks Show

9. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Tour at Sunset & Fireworks Show

Once you've met your group at the meeting point, travel first around the Hilton Head coast and take in stunning views of the shoreline. Look out for resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins as they play, feed, and swim around the boat, and make the most of this incredible opportunity to see these friendly creatures in their natural habitat. Along the way, pass by the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse, an impressive, 90-foot (27.4-meter) tall beacon renowned for its candy-striped exterior. Learn about the rich history and diverse ecosystem of the island from your expert tour guides as you soak in the scenic views and sail past breathtaking landmarks. Then, sit back and relax as the sun begins to set, painting the water’s surface in a vibrant array of hues. Find out why Hilton Head has been named one of the best destinations for sunset viewing along the East Coast of the USA. Finally, after the sun has fully sunk below the horizon, get ready for Hilton Head’s weekly fireworks.

Beaufort: Historic City Tour by Bus

10. Beaufort: Historic City Tour by Bus

Beaufort town, located on Port Royal Island, remains the Queen of the South Carolina Sea Islands thanks to its charm, natural beauty, fascinating history, and rich, diverse cultural heritage. On this 1.25-hour driving tour, explore the historic district of Beaufort, including the famous Old Point area and The Bluff with its antebellum houses and churches.  As you drive around in air-conditioned comfort, your guide will introduce some of these beautiful, historic sites. See townhouses up close and learn about the architecture and people behind them. Discover what happened to the houses and the people of Beaufort during the Civil War Union Occupation. See filming sites made famous by the over 24 Hollywood films shot in the area. Gear up for an exciting and fascinating tour of South Carolina's second-oldest city. Discover an area that delights visitors with its breathtaking natural beauty and impressive colonial and antebellum architecture.

Other Sightseeing Options in South Carolina

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What people are saying about South Carolina

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 4,029 reviews

Scott, our Grayline driver, was extremely knowledgeable and told us exactly where to go and what to see once we arrived at the Magnolia Plantation. Beverly gave us a wonderful tour of the house, and she too, was extremely informative and witty. The nature train is a great experience. All the gardens are gorgeous, and a walk along the river is not to be missed.

Our guide Meghan was terrific! She was informative, interesting and entertaining. She gave us great local tips to use on the rest of our trip. The foods were very good at each stop but I would have liked more classic southern foods to try - shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, she crab soup. But overall it was very good and I would recommend this tour.

This tour of historic Charleston was well worth the time and money. The views from the bus were good, and we saw more historic buildings and areas than I will ever remember. The guide talked non-stop about what we were looking at and why it was important, including the years involved. The 90 minutes went by very quickly.

Guide for grey line shuttle was very good ! It was full .. we purchased tickets the day before on line and glad we did … lots to see skilled driver much better vantage point … then we took the free bus to go back to the city market ! Full day

Great first day to get the lay of the land! Eric the guide couldn't be more qualified with his multiple degrees in Carolinian history.