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Rainbow Row Tours

star-4.5
4 Reviews
Rainbow Row
This street of brightly colored homes in Charleston is easily the most photographed spot in the city, and it’s easy to see why. The 14 colorful Georgian row houses along East Bay Street date back to 1730, when they were built as merchant stores.

The Basics
Situated in near Waterfront Park in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, Rainbow Row features on just about every Charleston walking tour and carriage ride, along with other popular points of interest like the Dock Street Theatre, White Point Gardens, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, and the Waterfront Battery. Once commercial buildings, the houses today have all been converted to private residences—meaning you can only gawk at them from the outside. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Rainbow Row is a must-see for architecture lovers and first-time visitors.
  • Don’t forget your camera; Rainbow Row make for one of Charleston’s best photo ops. 
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, especially if you’re visiting as part of a walking tour.
  • Guided tours that stop at Rainbow Row last anywhere from 80 minutes to three hours, depending which you’ve chosen.

How to Get There
Rainbow Row is located on the stretch of East Bay Street between Tradd and Elliot streets in Charleston. It’s located a short walk from Waterfront Park, and it’s easily accessible on foot from just about anywhere in the historic district. 

When to Get There
For the best light for your photo—and sparser crowds to interfere with shot—plan to visit early in the morning or around sunset. In summer, expect hot, humid weather with highs in the upper 80s.

Why the Pastel Colors?
No one’s sure just why the Rainbow Row houses got their signature sherbet-hued paint job. One theory posits that the houses were painted like this so drunken sailors returning from the port could easily find the right one. Another suggests the colors once indicated the type of goods sold within each house, making it easier to attract illiterate shoppers. 
Address: 83 to 107 East Bay Street, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
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34 Tours and Activities to Experience Rainbow Row

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Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More

Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More

star-5
Experience the charm and beauty of Charleston on a morning or afternoon walking tour. With an entertaining guide, take a leisurely stroll through the city’s Historic District, passing antebellum mansions, hidden gardens, historic churches and graveyards, as well as famous sites like Fort Sumter, Rainbow Row, and the Waterfront Battery. Along the way, learn about Charleston’s rich history and contemporary culture.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.13
From
$30.13
Taking safety measures

Daytime Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Charleston

Daytime Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Charleston

star-5
Ride a horse-drawn carriage through the heart of historic Charleston on a guided tour through the heart of the city. Soak up the old fashioned charm of cobblestone streets lined with antebellum houses, lush gardens, and landmark churches as you listen to stories about Charleston history, architecture, and culture.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.00
From
$35.00
Taking safety measures

Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour

Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour

star-5
Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities—Charleston, South Carolina—on this guided walking tour. Visit points of interest including Charleston City Hall; the Dock Street Theatre, America’s first theatre; the Old Exchange Building, South Carolina's most historic building; White Point Garden, in the heart of Charleston’s historic district with a spectacular view of Fort Sumter, and many more.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$21.06
From
$21.06
Taking safety measures

Charleston's Alleys & Hidden Passages Guided Walking Tour

Charleston's Alleys & Hidden Passages Guided Walking Tour

star-5
Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities—Charleston, South Carolina—on this guided small-group walking tour. Explore some of the city’s most enchanting alleys and hidden passages. Visit the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, a colonial building with a 300-year history; Rainbow Row, the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States; plus historic Philadelphia Alley, and many more.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.65
From
$25.65
Taking safety measures

Charleston in a Nutshell Private Tours

Charleston in a Nutshell Private Tours

star-5
This private sightseeing tour of Charleston offers a local perspective on the most charming city in the South. Beat the crowds of bus tours and go where carriage rides can’t as your licensed guide drives you around the peninsula in the comfort of a private vehicle. As you drive past top sights like Waterfront Park and the Battery, hear stories of Charleston history and culture in the Holy City.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$76.93
From
$76.93
Taking safety measures

Charleston History Sightseeing Bus Tour with Optional Joseph Manigault House

Charleston History Sightseeing Bus Tour with Optional Joseph Manigault House

star-4
Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities—Charleston, South Carolina—on this guided sightseeing tour. Visit a plethora landmarks including Rainbow Row, the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States; the Old Exchange Building, South Carolina's most historic building; White Point Garden, in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, with a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and many more. Upgrade option available to include a tour of the famous Joseph Manigault House, one of Charleston's most exquisite antebellum structures.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.00
From
$25.00
Taking safety measures

Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Charleston

Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Charleston

star-4.5
Explore Charleston in an intimate horse-drawn carriage during this private tour. Get personalized attention from your guide while riding through the historic streets of the old walled town.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$225.00
per group
From
$225.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Charleston City Sightseeing Bus Tour

Charleston City Sightseeing Bus Tour

star-5
An air-conditioned sightseeing bus offers a refreshing Charleston Sightseeing Tour for summertime visitors trying to escape the heat or those with limited mobility. Roll by popular "Holy City" sights like Rainbow Row, the Battery, White Point Gardens, Nathaniel Russell House, and St. Michael's Church from wide viewing windows while your guide informs and entertains with stories from Charleston's rich past.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$39.00
From
$39.00
Taking safety measures

Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour

Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour

star-5
Without a guided walking tour, you might miss some of the eclectic history and hidden nooks and crannies around Charleston that make this city such a gem. This walking tour takes you through the French Quarter and South of Broad neighborhoods to top sights such as the Rainbow Row, the Old Slave Mart Museum, and the Old Exchange, all while your guide shares stories from Charleston history and lore.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$21.80
From
$21.80

Fort Sumter Admission Ticket & Self-Guided Tour with Roundtrip Ferry Shuttle

Fort Sumter Admission Ticket & Self-Guided Tour with Roundtrip Ferry Shuttle

star-4.5
Visit historic Fort Sumter in Charleston, the site of the battle which signified the start of the American Civil War. This tour is provided by the only operator within the city that includes both round trip ferry service in addition to entry into Fort Sumter. Enjoy a scenic 30-minute cruise each way along Charleston Harbor from two convenient departure locations, Liberty Square and Patriots Point. On the way, view top Charleston sites such as Rainbow Row and the Battery from your ferry. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by National Park Rangers who will relay stories of America's deadliest war before your 1-hour self-guided tour of Fort Sumter National Monument. Make sure to leave time for a stop at the museum and souvenir shop before making your way back to Charleston or Mt. Pleasant.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$24.00
From
$24.00
Taking safety measures

The Best of Charleston: History, Culture & Architecture Tour

The Best of Charleston: History, Culture & Architecture Tour

star-4.5
Your guide brings history to life during this Charleston walking tour of the city's historical downtown. See notable buildings including the Nathaniel Russell House, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, and the Old Slave Mart Museum. As you walk over the flat and easy terrain with your guide, discover the history that occurred right under your feet and around every corner from Rainbow Row to the Battery.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$27.25
From
$27.25
Taking safety measures

High Society II: Combo Walking Tour with Art & Wine

High Society II: Combo Walking Tour with Art & Wine

star-4.5
This original Charleston walking tour is not offered anywhere else in town! You'll stroll the most beautiful streets and lanes learning of the artisans, artists, architects, and landowners who built the rich city of Charleston. Lead by Travel Writer and Licensed Tour Guide, Jill Paris, Owner of Eclectic Tours of Charleston, this unique tour experience ends with a special visit to one of Charleston's premiere Art Galleries where you'll learn about local artists connected to the city and sip sparkling wine. The building itself holds some mysterious aspects you won't want to miss! Highlights * Unique Historic Charleston walking tour PLUS a visit to an exceptional Art Gallery and Wine Reception * Subjects cover History, Art, Culture, Civil War, Flowers and Trees, and unusual facts that make Charleston so charming * Tour lead by Travel Writer and Licensed Tour Guide, Jill Paris * Plenty of time to stop and take Instagram-worthy snaps
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$38.00
From
$38.00

Historic Carriage Tour of Charleston

Historic Carriage Tour of Charleston

star-4.5
Travel back to Colonial times aboard a horse-drawn carriage and discover more than 300 years of history on this guided, 1-hour tour of Charleston. See the many mansions, churches and gardens of yesteryear on this narrated tour around historic Charleston. Enjoy the romantic clip-clop sound as this educational adventure winds through the streets and learn about this ‘Holy City’ and its rich history and role in Civil War times. See the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, one of the most historic buildings in America, and much more.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.00
From
$30.00
Taking safety measures

High Society: Combo Walking Tour & Gibbes Museum

High Society: Combo Walking Tour & Gibbes Museum

star-5
I am the only licensed tour guide in Charleston that is also a docent at the Gibbes Museum of Art. Charleston may not have been the largest city in the colonies, but it certainly was the richest. Art is what made Charleston. This tour connects the stories around the city throughout the Historic District, covering all the iconic landmarks you need to see, followed by a private guided tour of a wonderful museum that showcases the foremost collection of American art that incorporates the story of Charleston. You will be pleasantly surprised at how charming the Gibbes is!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$48.00
From
$48.00

Charleston Historic Downtown Guided Walking Tour

Charleston Historic Downtown Guided Walking Tour

star-5
Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities — Charleston, South Carolina — on this guided, 2-hour walking tour. Visit points of interest including Chalmers Street and the Old Slave Mart; the Dock Street Theatre in the historic French Quarter neighborhood; Rainbow Row, the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States; the Old Exchange Building, South Carolina's most historic building; plus St. Michael's Alley, Washington Square and White Point Garden, in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, with a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and many more.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.65
From
$25.65
Taking safety measures

Downtown Charleston Walking Tour with Certified Local Guide

Downtown Charleston Walking Tour with Certified Local Guide

star-5
Tour the city like a local! This 2-hour historic walking tour of historic downtown Charleston is the perfect introduction to the city. You will walk through the historic streets and scenic alleyways of the famous French Quarter and South of Broad neighborhoods, covering nearly 350 years of amazing history, architecture, culture, and geography! City-Certified Guide and member of Palmetto Guild. ONLY OPERATING JUNE THROUGH AUGUST YEARLY.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$20.52
From
$20.52

Charleston Chicora Walking Tour

Charleston Chicora Walking Tour

star-5
This is a 2 hour walk through 350 years of the history of the beautiful city of Charleston. We tell an accurate, interesting, sad, tragic, uplifting, dramatic, sometimes funny, tale.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.65
From
$25.65

Charleston City Walking Tour with Edmondston-Alston House Admission

Charleston City Walking Tour with Edmondston-Alston House Admission

star-5
This Charleston walking tour not only takes you to top sights around downtown Charleston such as the Battery and South of Broad Street, but also includes access to the Edmondston-Alston House, a gorgeous 19th century home with unobstructed views of the Charleston Harbor. After learning about Charleston history on a guided walking tour, visit the house for a peek inside the lives of Charleston’s elite class—and an unforgettable view.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.00
From
$50.00
Taking safety measures

Charleston Historical Walking Tour: Pirates, Patriots, and More

Charleston Historical Walking Tour: Pirates, Patriots, and More

star-5
Discover the "Holy City" with a professional Guide on this comprehensive Walking Tour through the popular sites of Charleston, South Carolina. Follow your guide on a leisurely stroll down cobbled alleyways and boulevards lined with grand antebellum homes as you listen to a highlight reel of Charleston history. Stop long enough to snap photos at top landmarks like the Battery, Rainbow Row, Waterfront Park, Old Customs Exchange, Nathaniel Russell House, Whitepoint Garden, and St. Michael's Church. Walk with us and learn about bawdy taverns & pirates, heroic patriots, the grandeur of antebellum architecture, the devastation of the Civil War, and much more! History will come alive as we stroll through the historic streets and gardens of the “Holy City.”
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.00
From
$35.00
Taking safety measures

Bruce Knows Charleston: Insider Walking Tour of Downtown

Bruce Knows Charleston: Insider Walking Tour of Downtown

Bruce Burris a 7th generation Charlestonian represents a look into Charleston’s past from the inside of Ft. Sumter to South Of Broad Street the tales of by gone years. Please join us everyday in Downtown Charleston for Tours.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$25.65
From
$25.65

Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking Tour

Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking Tour

star-5
This exclusive historic walking tour highlights the essential streets of downtown Charleston and highlights many trailblazing women worth remembering. While strolling down the charming streets and hidden alleys of the French Quarter and South of Broad with Travel Writer and Licensed Tour Guide, Jill Paris, you'll be privy to the secrets of local characters and learn about the southern culture through heartfelt tales, not lectures. You can almost hear the desperate plea of captured lady-pirate Anne Bonny pleading for her life; badass women abolitionists, writers, artists breaking down barriers; a young girl-spy's quick-thinking cool under pressure; a pioneering preservationist; a female ghost's sad story; and an African American leader worthy of her own national holiday. Let's face it. Girls rule. Highlights * Plenty of time to take Instagram-worthy snaps * Tour covers History, Culture, Architecture, Plants & Flowers, and more * Tour starts and ends next to convenient parking
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$32.00
From
$32.00

Best of Historic Charleston Walking Tour

Best of Historic Charleston Walking Tour

star-5
This is the perfect walking tour for the first-time visitor or repeat guest. We’ll cover iconic landmarks such as St. Philip’s Church, the French Quarter, the Dock Street Theatre, Rainbow Row, The Battery, White Point Garden, Calhoun Mansion, and so much more. You’ll get a comprehensive view of Charleston’s architecture, churches, culture, history, people, and even the hidden alleys and lanes often overlooked on other tours. I’ll highlight historic downtown extensively at an easy pace with lots of photo stops and interesting facts you’ll always remember. More ground covered = more beauty experienced. Charleston is the star.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$32.00
From
$32.00

120 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Photographer in Charleston

120 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Photographer in Charleston

Flytographer 120 Minute Vacation Photoshoot Connect with a local professional photographer in Charleston and capture your most memorable moments during this private photoshoot. Get insider tips on the best things to do in Charleston, including where to eat and what to see from your vacation photographer.  Return from your trip with beautiful, high-quality, vacation photos. The best souvenir ever.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$736.67
per group
From
$736.67
per group

Pirates of Charleston Walking Tour

Pirates of Charleston Walking Tour

star-5
History tells us early Charlestonians had a healthy relationship with the Pirates. This is a lie. Early Charlestonians didn't have a healthy relationship with the pirates! Early Charlestonians were the Pirates! This is an exploration of Charleston and a discussion and discovery of piracy's impact on the birth of the city and our nation. We start our history trip at Oyster Point and make our way through the old fortress into the heart of the city marketplace. Along the way, we will walk the streets and alleys that the Pirates of America roamed. We'll hear the story of the greatest American Pirate no-one has ever heard of and the women who show up in history manning the helms of pirate fleets. Along with them, we'll hear the story of the Pirate who's actions had a direct impact on the birth of America. Together, they are the early Charlestonian pirates, and here is where they gave birth to America.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.49
From
$29.49
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Rainbow Row?