Tours & Attractions in Charleston/Downtown

Charleston: adventures of historic proportions.

Stand on the site of the first shot in the Civil War. Come face to face with a giant sea turtle. Take a tour of an antebellum mansion. Climb aboard a WWII aircraft carrier. There are so many blossoming gardens, so many photo opportunities and so many reasons to come back to see us again.

Charleston Tours & Attractions Image
Search Results
Map

Charleston’s largest private home & house museum, with exquisite gardens and a vast collection of fine and decorative arts. An unequaled, Tiffany decorated, Gilded Age gem.

Website

Travel back in time to the site where the Civil War began with Fort Sumter Tours. Comfortable, spacious boats boarding daily at Liberty Square downtown & Patriots Point.

Website

Voted Charleston's "Best Tour Company" the last six years, Bulldog Tours offers the best history, culinary, and ghost tours in town. Located a block from the City Market.

Website

Learn about Charleston’s rich history aboard this relaxing tour. The only harbor tour offering a live narration by a licensed tour guide. Departing from two great locations

Website

As seen on “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Adventures”, this tour explores Charleston’s most haunted building, the Old City Jail. Tour sells out often so reservations required.

Website

Charleston's only 3-mast tall ship. Modeled after an 18th century coastal trading schooner. Sails daily for dolphin sails, sunset sails and events. Private charters too!

Website

CharlestonTours.com is your one stop web portal for the best tours & events. Harbor tours, sailing excursions, plantation tours and Charleston's best value combination tours.

Website

Featured in Southern Living, NY Times, and AAA, this two-hour tour is the best overview of Charleston’s rich history, culture, antebellum homes, architecture, and gardens.

Website

Come and explore Morris Island and go shelling with our naturalist. Learn while exploring Charleston’s Harbor marine life. 45 ft. Catamaran, USCG-certified for 49 people.

Website

The museum’s outstanding collection tells the story of the Lowcountry, addressing everything from early southern culture and decorative arts to military and natural history.

Website

Jewish Charleston from 1695 with a classical city tour. Founder of SC Jewish Historic Society, Southern Living’s “Top 5 City Tours”- A “me-chai-yeh”. Private car or strolls.

Website

Barrier island ecology expeditions with hunting shells and sharks teeth, daily Eco/Science trips, pirate & history tours, nightly BYOB sunset cruises & private charters to 80.

Website

Together we customize your tour beforehand to reflect your interests & needs. 44 years of knowledge, wit, and charm. Top 5 Southern Living, CNN. Private car or group strolls.

Website

Educational & fun tours designed for your students interests: U.S., SC African-American, Civil, Revolutionary wars, architecture, pirates and more. Call for tailored planning

Website

City’s most intact antebellum urban complex (c. 1820). Historic interiors, surviving virtually unaltered since 1858, have been conserved & stabilized. Many original objects.

Website

In 1864 the Hunley became the world’s first successful combat sub & then suddenly vanished. Found over a century later, you can see this amazing artifact during weekend tours.

Website

Charleston is an important place to learn more about African-American history and culture. Key events have shaped the city's growth and development.

Website

Historic City tour features the Market, Rainbow Row, the mansions South of Broad, Edmondston-Alston House and the Battery with the most experienced guide in the industry.

Website

Our private-guided tours of Charleston are second to none! Experience one of America's most beautiful and historic city. All About Charleston has just the guided tour for you.

Website

The Battery is a landmark promenade in Charleston. Stretching along the shores of the Charleston peninsula. From it view Ft. Sumter, Castle Pinckney, Ft, Moultrie & more!

Website

See Charleston from the water on a private 36’ Hatteras yacht with accommodations for up to 6 people. Bachelor/bachelorette parties, sunset cruises & romantic getaways.

Website

Locations: inside the Doubletree Hotel (181 Church St.,) & our stables (45 Pinckey St.,). Owned & operated by native Charlestonians whose families arrived here in the 1600’s.

Website

Built between 1890 and 1907, the building is constructed of Connecticut Brownstone with star shaped indentations on the surface. The land was purchased in 1820 by Bishop England who was the 1st bishop of the diocese.

Website

4th-generation Charlestonian and author Mary Coy guides you through the city’s history, architecture and culture! Featured in Fodor’s. Walking, driving or plantation tours.

Website

Get ready for an awesome experience. Our guides will entertain and educate you. We are here to provide a perfect experience. Weddings, groups, specialty tours and more.

Website

Open M-Su. Built in 1841 to sell produce and meats, it features small shops, restaurants and flea market with everything from produce to antiques.

Website

Charleston Culinary Tours combine the best of lowcountry cuisine, cocktails & history with five tours including Culinary, Chef Showcase, Chefs' Kitchen, Distillery & Mixology.

Website

Small batch distillery making award winning handcrafted spirits using local grains.Tours and tastings: Monday - Saturday 11am to 7pm. Reservations recommended via the website.

Website

Discover Charleston’s “must see” historic and cultural sites while saving nearly 40% off regular admission – with the Heritage Passport! Available ONLY at the Visitor Center.

Website

Sail through the harbor aboard Prevailing Winds, a fast and ultra-stable Stiletto catamaran. See historic sights & playful dolphins. 1.5 hour trips available for up to 6. BYOB

Website

Charleston native, Brian Simms, takes you on a two hour tour covering our remarkable history, fascinating stories and hidden gems, making this such a special place to visit!

Website

Originating from Marion Square, this 90 minute tour covers approximately 3.5 miles of the historic district, and includes 10-12 stops at pertinent landmarks along the way.

Website

With downtown van pick-up for up to 14 people, Charlestonian guide takes discerning visitors by van to her friends’ private historic homes and gardens, ending with lunch and a silver tea at her house served on Cantonware overlooking the Ashley River.

Website

Original plantation specialists offers guided plantation & city tours. African-American history. Recommended by N.Y. Times & the late CBS Charles Kuralt. Free hotel pickup.

Website

All tours conducted by the owner. We offer the BEST prices in town. FREE pickup at Mt. Pleasant & Isle of Palms and for parties of 10 or more. Tours depart the Visitor Center.

Website

Get spooked with our nighttime ghost tour as seen in AAA Magazine! Your guide will share site-specific, well-documented stories & other recent sightings. Operating since 1999.

Website

We have been living SC history since 1690 and we’d like to share it! Combine our historic city tour with the Magnolia Plantation. Downtown Pickup at Hotels & Visitors Center.

Website

A locally owned tour service with guides who are Charlestonians that have a great love of this city. Let us show you this beautiful flower that we are so proud of.

Website

Nine hands-on exhibits, including a two-story medieval castle, a pirate ship and an art room, allow your children to explore the arts, sciences and humanities through play.

Website

Open to visitors when tour guides are available. Organized in 1681, this church became The Independent Church of Charles Towne. Meeting Street adopted its name from the Meeting House built to house the independent congregation. In 1806, a unique circular building, designed by Robert Mills, became known as the Circular Church. In 1861, a fire destroyed the building. In 1891, the fourth and present building on the site integrated the brick from the burned building of the 1886 earthquake into the new building. The Circular Church established the first Sunday School in South Carolina.

Website

Experience Charleston's rich history with our knowledgeable licensed tour guides as they take you on a residential tour through historic downtown Charleston.

Website

This church was organized in 1731 by Caledonian immigrants who would not become members of the Anglican faith. The present church, built in 1814, displays the seal of the Church of Scotland in the window over the main entrance. The bells, which the congregation voted to give to the Confederacy in 1863, were replaced in 1999.

Website

Sunday services, 8:45am worship, 9:45am Bible school, 11am worship and 6:30pm vesper service. First Baptist Church is the oldest Baptist Church in the South, founded in 1682. The present sanctuary building, designed by Robert Mills, was completed in 1822.

Website

Experience Charleston's history through art! Come face-to-face with stories of the Lowcountry as seen through painting, miniature portraiture, sculpture, photography & more!

Website

Built in 1846, Grace Episcopal has one of the four English Changing Ringing (bell ringing) towers in the city. Tours may be arranged in advance.

Website

Explore the sites relevant to the culture & traditions of the African-Americans history in Charleston. Given by a Gullah speaking Charlestonian whose relatives were slaves.

Website

A historic park with camellias and azaleas in bloom in spring, roses bloom in the summer; 1-mile nature trail; Charleston's mounted horse patrol stables nearby.

Website

Explore Charleston from the Water! Dolphin Watching, Eco Excursions, Fishing, Harbor Tours, Sunset Cruises, Shelling & more! All tours/charters are private, educational & fun.

Website

We make premium, handcrafted, small batch spirits including gins, rums, whiskeys and vodkas using premium, specialized ingredients. Tours and tastings Wednesday-Saturday.

Website

Housing the largest private collection of historically significant manuscripts in the world (more than 1 million). Philanthropist David Karpeles supported museum. Free.

Website

Oldest cemetery in Charleston, founded in 1849 on the banks of the Cooper River, inhabited by generations of southern leaders. On the National Register of Historic Places.

Website

In 1791, the Free African Society, composed of both slaves and free Negroes, was formed in Charleston and later became known as the Bethel Circuit. In 1865, the church was reorganized and the present edifice was erected in 1891.

Website

Service at 10am on Sunday. This is the first brick church building owned by Blacks in Charleston. The building was purchased in 1882 by members of Emanuel A.M.E. Church to alleviate its overcrowded conditions. The 54th & 55th Massachusetts regiments worshiped here while stationed in Charleston.

Website

Mile long corridor stretches along Meeting Street from Visitor Center to the Nathaniel Russell House. Comprehensive array of historical and cultural attractions in Charleston.

Website

The most intimate and sophisticated tours in the city with highly experienced guides. History, ghost, Civil War and slavery walks. Tours start in Washington Square Park.

Website

Built in 1771, American Patriots were held prisoner here during the War of Americas' Independence. One of the 3 most historically significant buildings of colonial America.

Website

Learn the story of Charleston's role in this inter-state slave trade by focusing on the history of this particular building & site and the slave sales that occurred here.

Website

It's educational & it's fun! Give us an hour, and we'll give your students the most memorable part of their trip. Carriage tour aligns with S.C. Social Studies Standards.

Website

Tour Charleston at 10 AM and 1:30 PM with Al Ray and his cadre of seasoned guides. Walking and driving themed tours like Slavery and Freedom or Ghost Walk are a specialty.

Website

Opened in the 1850’s & operated through War, earthquakes & hurricanes only to close for Prohibition. We reopen in 1993. Today our beer is truly handcrafted in small batches.

Website

The premier tour company servicing Charleston. Our expert tour guides combine the beauty & excitement of Charleston while sharing the most historic areas & it's rich history.

Website

Established in 1991 by the Vestry of St. John’s Reformed Episcopal Church to develop and maintain a commemorative garden and preserve the legacy of the master craftsman.

Website

Charleston’s postal history. The Post Office Building circa 1896 at Meeting & Broad is the oldest continuously operated post office in the Carolinas.

Website

Explore Charleston's Black history and Gullah/Geechee culture from a Black perspective in our 1, 2 & 2 1/2 hour motorized Black History, Porgy & Bess and Sea Islands Tours.

Website

Founded in 1855, the state’s oldest and largest historical society invites researchers to explore its vast research library and nationally renowned archival collections.

Website

Open to visitors M-Th 10-4. “An architectural gem in the heart of historic Ansonborough”, built in 1842. Current congregation was founded in 1878 and conducted worship in German until 1910. In 1913 the Art Memorial Stained Glass Windows were dedicated.

Website

St. John’s is the mother church of Lutherans in South Carolina and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1992. Founded by German immigrants, the first recorded service was held May 26, 1734. The congregation was established in 1742 by Henry Melchior Muhlenburg. The first building on the site was begun in 1759 and replaced by the present building in 1817. Handicapped accessible on Sunday, weekdays by request.

Website

The oldest Roman Catholic Church in South Carolina and the Mother Church of the Dioceses of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, it was established in 1789. The present building, replacing an earlier one which was destroyed by fire in 1838, was completed in 1839.

Website

M-F 8:30am-4:30pm. The second Lutheran congregation organized in Charleston in 1840, primarily for German-speaking settlers. The present Gothic building, with its 297-ft. steeple, was erected in 1872 and was rebuilt following a devastating fire in 1965. Spectacular stained glass windows tell Biblical stories.

Website

Completed in 1761, this is the oldest church edifice in the city and one of the few city churches in America to retain its original design. It was here that George Washington worshipped during his tour of the South in 1791. The clock and ring of eight bells in St. Michael’s steeple were imported in 1764. Except for short absences (during the Revolution they were returned to England as a prize of war, and during the Civil War they were burned and had to be sent to England for recasting), these bells have enhanced the lives of Charlestonians for more than 200 years.

Website

Est. 1670, St. Philip’s is the Mother Church of the Province, and originally stood on the site where St. Michael’s stands today. The second structure at the present site was completed in 1724 but destroyed by fire in 1835. The present building was constructed 1835-1838. During the Civil War, its bells were converted into cannons. On July 4, 1976, new bells were placed in the steeple, and again St. Philip’s was known as the lighthouse. In St. Philip’s churchyard are the graves of John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War and Vice President of the United States; Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence; Charles Pinckney, signer of the Constitution; and Dubose Heyward, author of “Porgy.”

Website

Opened in 1815, it was known in its early years as the “Third Episcopal Church of Charleston” and the “Planters Church” as its founding families were primarily from outlying plantations. The Cathedral’s design is typical of the period, and the interior has been restored to appear much as it did in 1815. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is one of the two oldest church buildings currently serving as an Episcopal / Anglican Cathedral in the United States. The Cathedral is the site of major cultural events, including concerts during the Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto festivals.

Website

Museum portrays the history of The Military College of South Carolina & Corps of Cadets from 1842-present. Dress Parade at 3:45 almost every Friday during the academic year.

Website

Located in the Council Chamber of Charleston City Hall (1801), the gallery contains portraits of many important leaders, including one of George Washington by John Trumbull.

Website

Founded in 1770, the first municipal college in America was built in 1724. Present main building designed by eminent Philadelphia architect William Strickland, built 1828.

Website

Market Hall was built in 1841. Since 1898, the Daughters of the Confederacy has operated the Confederate Museum, which contains flags, uniforms, swords and other Confederate memorabilia.

Website

Services are held each Sunday at 10:30am. Built in 1844-45, the fourth church at this site was designed by Edward B. White. As early as 1687, French Huguenots, fleeing France to avoid religious persecution, were worshipping in a church on this site. An annual French Liturgy service is still held each spring. info@frenchhuguenotchurch.org.

Website

“America’s First Theatre,” home to Spoleto Festival USA and Moja Arts Festival. Charleston Stage the theatre company in residence presents a full season of plays each year.

Website

Formerly Bethel Methodist Church, this church was dedicated in 1798 to accommodate the expanding congregation of the Blue Meeting House on Cumberland Street. When the congregation of Bethel Methodist Church began construction of its present church in 1852, the earlier church was moved slightly to the west and used for class meetings of Black members. In 1880, it was moved across the street and given to the Black congregation.

Website

Oldest public building in the Carolinas. Replaced by a newer magazine in 1748, it served effectively until the American Revolution. Now open as a National Historic Landmark.

Website

This building is the oldest edifice of this faith in the historic section of Charleston, built in 1809 by James and John Gordon and dedicated on April 3, 1811. The sanctuary was so immense that it was a strain on the ministers’ voices to be heard. In 1833, the floor was raised three feet, the ceiling lowered 16 feet, and part of the sanctuary cut off to make an enlarged vestibule. The entrances on the north and south sides were closed. The old box pews were replaced in 1849. The Presbyterian Church of the United States designated this church Historical Site Number One.

Website

During its two and a quarter century history, The Unitarian Church in Charleston has survived wars, earthquakes, fires and hurricanes. Sunday services begin at 11am in the sanctuary of our National Historic Landmark church. Forums begin at 10am in Gage Hall next door to the church. Sanctuary tours available starting 3rd week of September through 2nd week of June, every Saturday 10am-1pm and the 2nd Sunday of each month 12-3pm. Dress is casual.

Website

History, mystery and wonder. Local family operated history/ghost/private walking tours for 19 years. Headquarters/gift shop on corner of Concord and Cumberland.

Website

This park is an eight-acre linear park and pier along the Charleston Harbor entry. The park masterfully combines spectacular fountains, spacious lawns, intimate gardens.

Website

Sign Up To Access Favorites

Login to Access Your Favorites

No Account Yet? Sign Up & Plan Your Trip

to
×

Share Your Favorites

×

Would you like a free, 180 page, full color Charleston Visitors Guide mailed to your home?

Published annually, the official Charleston Visitors Guide is full of gorgeous photography, insider tips, maps, and resources to help you plan your Charleston vacation.

No, thanks. Yes, please!