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How to Spend 1 Day in Charleston

How to Spend 1 Day in Charleston

Centuries-old mansions, flowery gardens, ironwork balconies, and palmetto palms accentuate the old-world charm of Charleston, a city where American history and Southern hospitality meet. While you could easily spend a week or more exploring, here are some tips for how to make the most out of a single day in the Holy City. 

Morning: Historic District

Much of Charleston’s appeal lies in its immaculately preserved historical district, so spend time this morning soaking up the scenery of this romantic neighborhood. Visit some of the city’s many mansions, gardens, and churches by horse-drawn carriage, or lace up your shoes for a walking tour of its historic streets. Most sightseeing tours, whether on foot or by bus or carriage, include a historical introduction to the city, with stops at points of interest such as Rainbow Row and the Waterfront Battery.

Afternoon: Forts and Plantations

This afternoon, take your pick of one of the city’s star attractions to focus your attention. History buffs might want to hop on a boat and visit Fort Sumter National Monument to see where the Civil War began. Another option is to spend the afternoon at one of Charleston’s antebellum plantations, such as Magnolia Plantation with its romantic gardens or 17th-century Boone Hall Plantation, among the oldest working plantations in the US.

Night: Sunset Sail

Some of the best views of Charleston are from the water. This evening, board a classic tall ship for a sailing excursion through picturesque Charleston Harbor and sip a cocktail as the sun sinks below the horizon. Once back on solid ground, head to King Street to sample some of the city’s famed Low Country cuisine, such as shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, po’boy sandwiches, or pimento cheese (aka the caviar of the South). Let your stomach lead the way, or join a local foodie for a guided tasting through the city streets. 

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8 Tours and Activities | All Charleston Tours

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Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour

Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour

star-5
Experience more than 300 years of history on this guided carriage tour of Charleston. See the many mansions, churches, and gardens as your horse-drawn carriage tour covers more than 2.5 miles and 30 blocks of historic Charleston. Belgian and Percheron draft horses will you lead you through the streets while you learn about this “Holy City” and its role in the Civil War.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.00
From
$35.00
Taking safety measures

Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour

Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour

star-4.5
Combine Charleston’s history with unique food samplings on this small-group culinary walking tour. Explore Charleston’s Old and Historic District, discovering the local landmarks and cuisine of locally owned and operated restaurants. Enjoy enough local favorites to make a meal for most visitors. All food tastings are included on this fantastic introduction to the ‘Holy City.’
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$73.24
From
$73.24
Taking safety measures

Magnolia Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

Magnolia Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

star-4.5
Pickup and drop-off from downtown Charleston make it easy to tour Magnolia Plantation, one of the oldest plantations in the South. This 4-in-1 tour includes a narrated drive out to the plantation, a walking tour of the garden, tram tour through the property, and tour of the house itself, providing incredible value.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$70.77
From
$70.77
Taking safety measures

Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

star-4.5
Visit Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens on this 4.5-hour tour from Charleston. One of the oldest working plantations in the United States, Boone Hall was founded in 1681 and still grows crops. During your tour led by a guide in period costume, you'll see the plantation's slave quarters and learn about its history and modern-day use. Select a morning or afternoon departure time when booking. Enjoy a personalized experience on this small-group tour of just 15 people.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.50
From
$60.50
Taking safety measures

Schooner Sunset Sail on Charleston Harbor

Schooner Sunset Sail on Charleston Harbor

star-4.5
Watch the sunset from the water on a 2-hour evening cruise aboard an 84-foot (25-meter) classic tall ship. As the crew hoists the sails of the schooner, you'll glide through Charleston Harbor to enjoy the glow of twilight over one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Drinks are available for purchase on board.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$68.50
From
$68.50
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

Charleston's Upper King Street Culinary Tour

Charleston's Upper King Street Culinary Tour

star-4.5
Get to know Charleston through its food on this walking tour of Upper King Street. Meet with culinary innovators and learn about their edgy and creative styles that have turned this once off-the-beaten-path area into a lively destination for food lovers. Along the way, sample dishes at local restaurants and eateries.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$74.11
From
$74.11

Charleston Harbor Sunset Cruise

Charleston Harbor Sunset Cruise

star-5
Watch the sun set above Charleston, South Carolina with a 2-hour sunset harbor cruise aboard a 45-foot motorized catamaran. Find a comfortable seat on deck, spot the landmarks of downtown Charleston and the waterfront, and watch for the dolphins and sea birds that thrive along the South Carolina shoreline. Enjoy a relaxing break from the city while spending a romantic evening on the water.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$40.00
From
$40.00
Taking safety measures