History And Hauntings: 3 Great Ways To Spend Your Evening In Charleston

horse carriage

There’s a reason Charleston, SC is considered one of the best vacation spots in the nation: from its 90 miles of coastline to its 300 years of history, the seaport city is bursting with a wide variety of entertaining and fun activities for the whole family. Whether you’re interested in horse-drawn carriage tours through the historic downtown or want to check out one of the many restaurants offering mouthwatering southern foods, you will not be disappointed with your visit. If you’re a night owl and prefer to spend your waking hours in the evening, here are a few excellent ways to pass the time.

 

  1. Carriage rides: Evening horse carriage rides provide magical views of this enchanted city. If you’re with the family, your kids will be delighted at the opportunity to spend before- or after-dinnertime traipsing around the lighted Downtown region with a beautiful horse or two at the reigns. Charleston is also one of the most romantic cities by night, so celebrating the end (or beginning) of a romantic outing with that special someone can be made even better by a private horse carriage ride.
  2. Ghost tours: Charleston has seen a lot of American history; it was one of the most important economic seaports during the 19th century and saw the first bullets of the Civil War fired on Fort Sumter. As a result of this vast and bloody past, there are a number of spooky ghost tours available for those individuals who love history or love the supernatural — or both!
  3. Clubbing: At a certain point, the adults have to put the kiddos to sleep and go have a little fun themselves. There are a variety of options to choose from depending on your personal taste; do you prefer bass-bumping rhythms or more classy establishments? Both are open and ready to help you end the day on a high note.

 

From the haunted sites to the bustling nightlife, Charleston is sure to provide a wonderful and relaxing break from the routine of working life. Whether you’re traveling with your family, your spouse, or just yourself, you’re guaranteed to stay busy and have fun!

History In The Making: Great Moments From Charleston’s Past

horse drawn carriage tour

The great and beautiful city of Charleston was founded in 1670, boasting over 300 years of fascinating history. Though now famed for its bustling and colorful streets as tourists come from near and far to visit, it wasn’t always full of horse drawn carriages and buggy rides. Here is a look at some of the most important moments in Charleston’s history, from the very beginning to the present.

 

  • 1670: In the Spring of this glorious year, 150 English colonists, indentured servants, and slaves sailed into the Charleston harbor. The proprietors of Albemarle Point flattered their king, Charles II, by naming the settlement Charles Town in his honor.

 

  • 1740: Thanks to the many wharves along East Bay Street, Charles Town had become a busy seaport. Ships carrying all manner of goods (from deer skins to indigo to rice and cotton) traded back and forth, also bringing the luxuries of Europe — which lent a cosmopolitan air to the growing community. By 1740, it was considered one of the most critical ports in North America for exporting, and the colony benefitted greatly from the economic success.

 

  • 1776: The Revolutionary War ended Charleston’s Golden Age. That year, a British fleet failed to take Colonel William Moultrie’s palmetto fort on Sullivan’s Island, but two years later they attacked by land. As the surrounding countryside was torched, the British took control. By 1783, Charles Town had become Charleston.

 

  • 1860: Charleston lay divided concerning state’s rights; the Ordinance of Secession was signed in December 1860, making South Carolina a separate entity from the United States. The first shots of the war were fired upon Fort Sumter on April 21, 1861 and would continue to ravage the state until it ended in 1865.

 

  • 1900s: Charleston once again was established as a cultural center. Preservation effort went into effect in the 1940s, allowing this beautiful city to retain her natural charm, distinction, and tradition.

 

These days, you can stop by such historic sites as Sullivan’s Island, or walk along the beaches and focus on the feeling of the sand between your toes rather than its history. With horse drawn carriage tours that can show you these historic areas (or bypass them for the food and nightlife hotspots), you’ll be sure to have a wonderful experience no matter what your interests are. So come on down, find the perfect horse drawn carriage tour for you and your family, and experience all this history for yourself.

Busting Myths About Carriage Horses

horse carriageCities that are well-known for their beauty and history usually offer horse and buggy rides or carriages tours. The gentle clopping of horse hooves and the easy pace at which they travel provides a wonderful way to view the scenery and learn a little bit about local culture. Plus, the revenue keeps the city thriving (one out of nine jobs in America depend on travel and tourism).

Unfortunately, the use of animals in any industry, even ones in which they are well-cared for, can cause people to get fired up over their rights. Horse-drawn carriage tours are some of the easiest targets as spectators view the horses as being “overworked” and sent to glue factories once they reach a certain age. We are here to tell you the truth about carriage horses.

Myth: The average working life of a carriage horse is four years, after which time they are all sent to slaughterhouses.

Fact: There is no evidence to support these assertions. In fact, the majority of carriage horses experience long, happy, and healthy careers of 10 to 15 years, or even more! When do reach that age, they are retired, not auction: many return to the carriage owner’s personal property, go to private homes found through networking, or head to retirement facilities (like Blue Star Equiculture).

Myth: Carriage horses are forced to carry heavy loads for long hours, overworked to the point of exhaustion.

Fact: Just because humans would be exhausted pulling carriages all day doesn’t mean horses — the name of which is used to refer to the power in a car engine — would suffer the same result. As a general rule, horses are capable of pulling two to three times their body weight; a horse pulling a 900 lb carriage, even fully loaded with passengers, is the equivalent of the average person pushing a shopping cart with a few gallons of milk in it. Additionally, the typical shift for a carriage horse is no more than nine hours, and usually much less than that. Plus, most carriage horses also get a least two days off per week.

Myth: The lowered head position and body language of a carriage horse indicate that they are tired, sad, and depressed.

Fact: A horse in a horse carriage that is standing with its head at withers level (the highest point of the rump) and one hind-leg cocked is relaxed and well-adjusted. As a result, they often “tune out” their surroundings and nap standing up. On the contrary, a horse whose head is up high with its ears pricked back and eyes bulging is stressed or frightened: they are trying to take in as much information as possible.

Don’t let misinformation about carriage horses prevent you from riding in a horse carriage. And the next time you hear someone complaining about “these poor horses” as you’re getting in your horse carriage, share this information with them.

3 Historic Neighborhoods You May Experience During Your Trip To Charleston

private carriage tours

Charleston, SC boasts a great many attractions to encourage visitors; after all, there’s a reason it continues to secure the number one spot on Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “World’s Best Cities” list. With a thriving culture surrounded by history, color, and life, the southern city possesses a little something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want to embark on any number of the private carriage tours available, or simply stroll along the seemingly endless beaches, you’ll find yourself wandering along or nearby these three Charleston neighborhoods.

 

  • South of Broad: Located in the southern tip of the peninsula below Broad Street lies the nation’s first historic zoning ordinance. Peppered with architectural wonders and fine gardens, this area will make you fully understand what “Southern charm” really means. The elegant and expansive mansions that line the Battery are as costly as they look, but there are several cozy carriage houses around for those still interested in the 18th Century look without any of the upkeep.

 

  • The Old Village: Acting as a retreat for the city’s wealthy planters, this old shrimping village has dozens of beautiful homes shaded by moss-draped oaks. Real estate in this area is coveted (and pricey) as a result of the cool harbor breeze and stunning location, and the coziness of the neighborhood makes those who live there feel safe and at home.

 

  • Sullivan’s Island: If an entire island can be considered a neighborhood, Sullivan’s Island is one of the best. Home to those like Stephen Colbert (part-time, of course) and Edgar Allen Poe, the Sullivan’s zip code is considered one of the priciest in the nation. However, the community is far from pretentious; full of small beach cottages and 3,000 sq. ft. mansions alike, people come from far and wide to visit — and secure a home in — this beautiful location.

If you’re unable to take a walk through any of these magical residential areas, consider private carriage tours or classic carriage rides; you’ll get to see the beauty and history of Charleston up close and personal, without needing to make an extra trip far out of your way.

Packing for Your Trip to Charleston: 3 Essential Items

charleston carriage tours

Charleston boasts about 90 miles of Atlantic coastline, making it the ideal vacation destination at any time of year. But in order to truly make the most of your stay, you’ll have to know exactly what to pack. Here’s a quick guide to help ensure you bring along the right gear during your trip to Charleston.

Proper Clothing

Charleston has an average daily temperature of 65.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but depending on the time of year, it may help to bring a variety of gear for day and nighttime. The spring and fall seasons usually call for lighter layers, while in winter you may need thicker layers or a jacket — but rarely will you need a hat or scarf. In summer, however, prepare for the heat and humidity by bringing cotton materials and shorts and t-shirts. If you’re considering taking evening Charleston carriage tours, you may also need a light sweater. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit if you’re planning on heading to the beach!

Sunscreen/Bug Spray

Charleston attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and those who visit during the hot and muggy summer season inevitably need to stay protected from both the bugs and the sun. Make sure to bring along plenty of sunscreen and bug spray so that you can enjoy every item on your itinerary without fear of getting sunburnt or bitten by pesky bugs.

Camera

Finally, you can’t forget to bring along a high-quality digital camera on your trip so that you can document every moment and make memories. If you have no other options, your smartphone camera will work, but for higher resolutions, you may want to consider a DSLR or another high-quality camera option. For maximum transportability, make sure it has a secure strap to carry it on your neck everywhere you go.

Charleston attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and regardless of when you visit, bringing the right gear with you can truly make or break your trip. And of course, don’t forget to leave some extra space in your suitcase to bring back souvenirs! For more information about Charleston carriage tours and other horse tours, contact Charleston Carriage Works.

New Cambria Hotel Set To Contribute To Charleston’s Celebrated City

evening carriage tour in charleston

A beautiful new hotel, the Cambria Charleston Riverview, is nearing the end of its long construction in downtown Charleston. The luxury hotel is the 32nd to be opened in Cambria’s name throughout the country, boasting 1,300 square feet of multi-function meeting space, a full-service bar offering local craft beer, a fitness center, and 126 guest rooms.

It sits along the bank of the scenic Ashley River, across the street from the marina and mere minutes from Charleston’s Historic District; horse carriage rides and buggy tours beckon vacationers to their very doorstep, encouraging newcomers and old acquaintances alike to explore the beauty and history of the popular city. Trevor Stratton, general manager of the Cambria Charleston Riverview, understands that importance.

“Travelers seek out local relevance when choosing hotels and soon, Charleston’s nearly 5 million annual visitors will have a brand-new upscale option that pays tribute to [its] celebrated culture and history when they visit this iconic city.”

Charleston was founded in 1670 and has over 300 years of fascinating history. An evening carriage tour in Charleston can show you ancient haunts — quite literally — as you tour near some of the city’s most ghostly sites: from the USS Yorktown, a WWII aircraft carrier that’s been investigated by Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, to a trip past the Old City Jail.

Discover the nation’s history and South Carolina’s role in it when you explore Magnolia’s Plantation and Gardens, the most visited plantation in the entire state (and one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens”). An evening carriage tour in Charleston, especially in the scenic Commercial District, learning about history and architecture as you pass through the peaceful Waterfront Park.

The new Cambria Charleston Riverview certainly picked an excellent location to establish itself. Its centrally located positioning provides access to everything that the area offers, including the Medical University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston; parents can easily sleep in style and luxury when they inevitably come to visit their studious children. Brandon Miller, president of RRHEAF Holdings (one of Cambria’s partners), stated:

“Charleston is a very popular destination and we’re looking forward to being an integral part of the local community.”

Horse And Buggy Service Coined ‘Amish Uber’ Solves Michigan Taxi Shortage

private carriage toursIn the United States, one out of nine jobs depends on travel and tourism. We have private carriage tours and horse and buggy rides around the lovely city of Charleston. Not every city is as fortunate as ours, but they get by just fine.

Colon, Michigan is a relatively small area and the taxi options are limited. In a time when opening an app for Uber or Lyft is commonplace in larger areas, Colon is left without such conveniences. That is until one day, Amish man Timothy Hochstedler thought to solve the problem himself by providing Amish Uber. Completely unaffiliated with Uber, Hochstedler is providing horse and buggy rides for people trying to get from point A to point B.

With a $5 flat rate, you can get around Colon, Michigan via drawn carriage. Of course, as the Amish are forbidden technological devices, his advertising must be stumbled upon in person.

“I don’t think there’s Uber down here, so it’s pretty cool. It gives people that option that can’t drive or don’t want to drive or shouldn’t drive,” said a regular Amish Uber passenger.

Most people who take the horse hailing service around Colon aren’t from the area, utilizing Amish Uber as private carriage tours of little Colon, Michigan. Hochstedler certainly doesn’t seem to mind. He’s happy taking people, local or visiting, to where they’d like to go, all the while giving them a taste of something different.

“It was fascinating. It’s not an activity you typically associate with the Amish,” said a visiting rider who toured with his grandchildren.

We’re left to wonder if it was Hochstedler who even made the first Uber reference to his horse and buggy service or if the locals coined that one. Either way, it’s a unique and interesting solution to a transportation shortage with some cultural experience attached.

We aren’t affiliated with Uber and Charleston has Uber, but if you’re trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of ridesharing apps, our private carriage tours  are the perfect means of transportation. Add a little history, scenery, and horses, and moving from place to place will have a little extra magic for you while you visit.

Time Travel in Charleston: 3 Historic Things To Do And See

private carriage toursFounded in 1670 by English colonists, Charleston, SC is approaching its 350th birthday. Although the town can’t blow out any candles on a large cake, you can help ring in this major milestone by exploring Charleston’s most historic landmarks. To get the full 18th-century experience, the best way to travel is in a horse-drawn carriage tour. Luckily, private carriage tours are numerous in Charleston. So while you choose where you want to explore, picture you and your family bundled into a Charleston carriage tour.

 

    1. Middleton Place: Owned and operated by the Middleton Place Foundation, this house and its 110 acres of land are a National Historic Landmark. As a landmark that must acknowledge its history, Middleton Place tells the stories of both the aristocratic white family who owned and operated the homestead, as well as the enslaved Africans, forced to work there. The House Museum at Middleton Place features the everyday objects that surrounded all the people who lived on this land. By touring the museum you are transported to the mid-19th century, just before the Civil War took hold of Charleston and changed their lives forever. The surrounding grounds at Middleton place are a joy to walk through and feature America’s oldest landscaped gardens. Located right on the water, and even among small lakes and rice fields, the breathtaking scenery will show you the beauty of natural Charleston.
    2. Fort Sumter: The first shots of the Civil War were shot by Confederate soldiers at Union soldiers occupying Fort Sumter. This shooting did not end in many casualties as the Union soldiers evacuated the Fort the next day, but it marked the start of the Civil War, America’s deadliest conflict. If you want to visit Fort Sumter now, you’ll have to hop off of any private carriage tours. It is only accessible by boat, but you can take tours that stop there specifically. Traveling by boat will give you another, beautiful view of Charleston that can include dolphin spotting and gorgeous sunsets.
    3. The Charleston Museum: Founded in 1773, the Charleston Museum is considered America’s first museum. The museum features collections of artifacts from historic Charlestonians, such as textiles and silver. It also has an exhibit on life in the South Carolina Lowcountry, which delves in the lives of Native Americans who occupied the land before the colonizers as well as the enslaved African Americans who built the strong South Carolinian economy. The museum also operates two historic houses ready for you to explore: The Joseph Manigault House and the Heyward-Washington House.

Exploring Charleston is a very rewarding adventure, teaching you history you never knew before and showing you parts you never thought to go. Private carriage tours around Charleston wrap you in a lovely, historic bubble that you can carry with you across the city.

,

Transportation in Charleston: 5 Unique Ways to Get Around

evening carriage tours

If you’re planning a visit to Charleston, South Carolina, you’ve no doubt been drawn in by this city’s fascinating history, incredible architecture, and phenomenal culture. With so many sights to see, it’s easy to become so focused on the attractions themselves that you forget you’ll need to find a way to physically get there. Fortunately, Charleston has numerous ways to get from point A to point B. In fact, many of these modes of transportation are ones you won’t find just anywhere. You can certainly rent a car, reserve a car service, or take a shuttle while you’re here. But you can also enjoy several unique ways to get around our fair city.

Unique Ways to Get Around Charleston, SC

  1. Bike Sharing: Charleston’s official bike share program, Holy Spokes, has 27 locations throughout the city. You can reserve a bike using their mobile app or on the physical bicycle itself, unlock it, and explore on two wheels. When you’re finished, just return the bike to one of their many locations. It’s a seriously simple (and healthy!) way to take in Charleston’s breathtaking views and experience the city like a local. May we suggest one of the city’s many bike trails?
  2. Trolley: If you’re in town for a business conference or are planning to get hitched in Charleston, you can get a taste of traditional charm by booking a private trolley rental! Explore Charleston in perfectly restored vintage splendor by arranging a tour and catching some of the city’s most beautiful views. While you can’t take a trolley downtown and it isn’t a spur-of-the-moment option, it can certainly make your visit or occasion even more special.
  3. Boat: Since Charleston boasts approximately 90 miles of Atlantic coastline, your transportation choices don’t have to be limited to what’s on land. You can embark on a fishing charter or hop on a boat at any time by using the HOBA app, which directly connects you with local captains. It’s sort of like Uber for the water. If you need an innovative way to entertain and impress clients or you simply want to enjoy a relaxing ride with your family, a boat ride may be the way to go.
  4. Water Taxi: Speaking of water-based transportation, you definitely need to check out Charleston’s water taxis while you’re here. Charleston Water Taxi offers ferry service, dolphin-watching, and sightseeing cruises at extremely affordable prices. And because these water taxis depart from several locations, you’ll be able to get out on the open water no matter where you are. You don’t even have to make a reservation.
  5. Horse Drawn Carriage Tours: Of course, you can’t discuss Charleston’s unique transportation options without mentioning horse carriage rides! By reserving daytime or evening carriage tours, you’ll be able to appreciate what makes this city so extraordinary. You’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time when you experience our fully-narrated, hour-long tours led by our expert guides. And because our daytime and evening carriage tours have several different routes available, each time you ride will offer different sights and bits of history. This is a truly special way to get to know what makes Charleston so different.

When you visit a new city, making an effort to see this destination from different viewpoints will definitely pay off. There’s no better way to do that than by exploring different transportation methods. To find out more about booking our daytime or evening carriage tours during your visit to Charleston, please get in touch with us today.

,

Fun For Young And Old: The Perfect Day In Charleston, SC

private horse tour

Charleston is the perfect vacation destination, as proven by its number one spot in Travel and Leisure Magazine’s “World’s Best Cities” list. It especially excels in full family events, providing entertainment and delight to people of all ages. With a little something for everyone, all it takes is proper planning to create the ideal day in this historic city.

Start Your Day With A Little Magic
Everyone who has ever seen Cinderella has fantasized about their own fairy godmother gifting them with a beautiful horse drawn carriage. In Charleston, that dream can easily become a reality, delighting children and adults of all ages. Even if your child has no interest in the horse carriage tour itself, they will be captivated by the elegant power of the horses, keeping them entertained for the entire ride.

With private horse tours offered along educational, historic routes, your parents will be able to learn while they take in the sights. Keeping an entire family involved and enthralled is no small task — especially if you’re trying to please a eight-year-old as well as an 80-year-old — but with Charleston’s private horse tours, you’ll be able to sit back, worry-free, and enjoy the ride with the rest of your family.

Laugh (or Sing!) Your Way To Dinner
Tickle your family’s funny bone with a trip to the theater after lunch. Take in a live comedy show or a musical thanks to Charleston’s own 34 West Theater Company, nestled in the heart of the city. The perfect way to pass the time until dinner, the happiness your family experiences will last long past that.

Travel Back in Time…
…And scare your socks off with one of Charleston’s famous ghost tours! See the Old City Jail — which housed pirates, infamous criminals, and Civil War prisoners — or stop by one of the city’s beautiful yet spooky graveyards. These tours are as historic as they are unsettling, and are even available in private horse tours!

Charleston truly is a fantastic vacation spot, providing endless fun and entertainment for the whole family, young and old. Don’t waste another moment; book your trip down today.