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Charleston History Tours


Charleston history tours are a great way to get to know the Holy City! 

Learn about Charleston’s rich history while taking in the sights. Most tours pass through some of the most iconic areas of the city, and you’ll get to hear the stories of its past from local Charlestonians. 

Just some of the Charleston history tours offered include walking tours, carriage rides, and food tours.


What to Expect on a History Tour of Charleston

First and foremost, don’t expect history tours in Charleston to be boring. 

Charleston tour guides are expert storytellers, who are either native Charlestonians or have lived in the Holy City for a significant amount of time. 

You won’t get a bunch of facts or dates thrown at you without context here. The people of Charleston are what makes this city’s history so rich. 

On a typical Charleston history tour, you might hear stories about:

  • Pirates
  • Politicians
  • The Civil War
  • Ghosts
  • Lowcountry food
  • Stunning architecture
  • And more!

Our European history spans back to the 1600s and our indigenous history spans back thousands of years. 

The Battle of Fort Sumter (April 12–14, 1861) was the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, that started the American Civil War.

Types of Charleston History Tours

  • Walking Tours
  • Carriage Rides
  • Food Tours
  • Architecture Tours
  • Plantation Tours
  • Boat tours

Charleston History Tours

Walks of Charleton history tours guide you through Downtown, the French Quarter, and the Battery. 

We offer several different history tours, so there’s something for everyone. 

Whether you want to get an overview of Charleston’s history, see some of the off-the-beaten-path spots, or stick to only the most beautiful neighborhoods, you can get a better understanding of the city on a Walks of Charleston tour. 

a river with a city in the background

The Charleston Battery at Dawn

Charleston History Tour

The Charleston History Tour is our classic tour.

This tour is ideal for anyone who wants to get an overview of the city’s history, check out some of the most famous sites, and hear the stories of the people who made Charleston what it is today.

We pass by some stunning architecture as well as a few iconic structures, including:

  • Rainbow Row
  • French Quarter
  • Old Exchange Building
  • St. Philip’s Church
  • St. Michael’s Church

Rainbow Row

St. Michaels Church

Our tour guides don’t just show you the sites, they tell you the stories of the people who lived here — which is what makes our history come alive!


Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passages

Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passages is an alternative tour to the Charleston History Tour.

You’ll see most of the iconic sites you would on our standard tour… just from a slightly different perspective.

The alleys and hidden passages of Charleston are how some of the city’s elite, as well as the lower classes, have always gotten around the Holy City.

Since these passages aren’t large enough for vehicular traffic, you’ll get a view of the city you wouldn’t be able to see by bus or car. This is what also makes this tour an intimate experience. 

a group of people standing in front of a building

Alleys and Hidden Passages Tour

a brick wall

Private Charleston Tours

Private Charleston tours are available to anyone who wants to dig a little deeper into Charleston’s neighborhoods or architecture. 

Since our public tours were designed to appeal to everyone, we can only scratch the surface of Charleston’s history on these tours.

Book a private tour to learn more about your favorite Lowcountry niches, including architectural history, plantation history, and even the history of nearby cities, such as Savannah. 

Charleston Carriage Rides

One of the most iconic ways to see Charleston is by horse and carriage. 

a man riding a horse drawn carriage on a city street

Carolina Polo & Carriage Co. Horse Drawn Carriage Tour

Charleston Culinary Tours

Charleston’s food history is Charleston’s history. There’s no way to separate food from our city or its people — no matter what era you’re interested in.

That’s why Walks of Charleston has partnered with Charleston Culinary Tours, the leading food tour operator in the city. 

On a Charleston Culinary Tour, you’ll still see most of the city’s iconic sites. But you’ll also get to taste its iconic food at every stop. 

Just some of the foods you’ll try on one of these tours include fried chicken, barbecue, biscuits, and pork belly. 


Charleston Boat Tours

One of our favorite ways to see the city is by boat, mainly because Charleston’s historic city center is almost surrounded by water. 

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to see Charleston by boat, including Charleston Harbor Tours, Spiritline Cruises, and the Charleston Water Taxi

No matter your budget, you’ll be able to get out on the water to learn about Charleston’s history from a different angle. 

Check out the full list of our favorite Charleston boat tours.


Charleston Beer Tours

After your Charleston history tour, take a brews cruise to learn a little bit about Charleston’s beer history — and to enjoy tastings of local beers. 


Charleston Pirate Tours

Pirates have been a part of Charleston’s history since the 1600s. 

Famous pirates, such as Stede Bonnet and Anne Bonny, all walked Charleston’s cobblestoned streets. 

While our guides ensure that Charleston history is fun for everyone — even kids — Charleston Pirate Tours creates an immersive experience that swashbucklers of all ages will love.

Some of the tours offered by Charleston Pirate Tours include:

  • Children’s Treasure Hunt Tour
  • Charleston Pirate History and Ghost Tour
  • Daytime Ghost Tour


Check out our list of partners to book a pirate tour, food tour, carriage ride, or beer tour.  

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