Charleston Historic Carriage Tours

A carriage tour is a great thing. You get to sit and enjoy a leisurely pace as you experience a new city to the clip-clopping of powerful horses. But in Charleston, you might be surprised to see that this trip is about more than mere relaxation or sight-seeing: it’s also about history. Charleston historic carriage tours can be one of the best ways to learn about the Holy City’s rich and varied past!

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A Short and Sweet History of Charleston, South Carolina

horse and buggy rides

Charleston, South Carolina is a city with an incredible history. There is no wonder it attracts thousands of visitors each and every year — with its incredible past, awesome activities, and wonderful cuisine, there is everything anyone could ever want in a destination!

Here is a quick history of the dynamic city of Charleston.

A seaport to a city
Founded originally by English colonists in 1670s, the city of Charleston was first a colonial seaport that specialized in fishing. It then was transformed into a bustling city by the mid-eighteenth century simply due to thriving agriculture. The geographical area around Charleston is great farmland known for producing cotton, rice, and beautiful indigo.

The start of the Civil War
Located in the South, Charleston was actually the starting point for the U.S. Civil War. In April 1861, Confederate Troops fired at Union soldiers occupying Fort Sumter, located in Charleston’s harbor. However, during the end of the same year, Union forces started to blockade Charleston and restricting anything from going in or coming out. Despite the restrictions, South Carolinians fought passionately in the Civil War until the war came to an official end in April 1965.

Reconstruction
The city was slow to recover from the devastation of the war, as its prized farmlands were ruined when they were turned into battlefields. However, this slow recovery has actually turned out in Charleston’s favor — since the city was slow at rebuilding itself, it was forced to repair ruined buildings rather than replace them completely. These pre-Civil War buildings are still around today and are perfect for horse and buggy rides, and private carriage tours that will help you explore the city!

The emergence of the Navy
With the construction of the Charleston Navy Yard in 1904, Charleston was thrust into a bustling, twentieth-century harbor city. As the city became bigger and bigger, tourism increased, and the Charleston we have come to know and love today was established.

The best way to see all Charleston has to offer is by horse and buggy rides around the city. You’ll be able to see the city as its patrons did in the past, and feel transported back in time in the process.

If you are looking for the best carriage tours Charleston has to offer, please contact us today!

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The Horse And Buggy: A Brief (But Fascinating) History

buggy toursBelieve it or not, the horse and buggy has a very interesting history. About 2.7% of the United States’ gross domestic product is attributed to travel and tourism, and the horse and buggy has come a long way in its development and is now being used for buggy tours and other attractions in countless cities.

Concorde Buggy
The Concorde Buggy, originally made in Concord, New Hampshire, is known for its low-hanging sides. It also has side-spring suspension to make it more comfortable for riders.

Stanhope Buggy
The Stanhope Buggy, on the other hand, is known for its higher seats and enclosed back. It was originally named after Captain Hon. Henry FitzRoy Stanhope, who was the son of William Stanhope, a renowned athlete in his era.

Horse And Buggy Rides
Horse drawn carriages were among the most popular forms of transportation between the years of 1815 and 1915. During the same time period, horseback riding itself was growing in popularity but required more specialized skills and expertise. It also seemed to be reserved for the more affluent members of society. It’s also important to note that at this time, the automobile hadn’t yet been mass produced, which made it extremely unaffordable for the vast majority of people.That’s why it was mostly the lower and middle class citizens that took advantage of the benefits of the horse and buggy method of transportation.

According to mnn.com, “The automobilizing of America was inevitable, especially because it soon became cheaper to keep a car. In 1900, only 4,192 cars were sold in the U.S.; by 1912, it was 356,000.”

However, an essay titled From Horse Power to Horsepower explained that “The equine was not replaced all at once, but function by function. Freight haulage was the last bastion of horse-drawn transportation; the motorized truck finally supplanted the horse cart in the 1920s.”

Transition From Horse Carriage Rides To Automobiles
Experts cite 1910 as the year that automobiles finally outnumbered horses and buggies. Nowadays, the Amish still use horse and buggy rides to get around. They’re also popular in New York City in addition to a number of different cities all over the world.

Ultimately, horse and buggy tours have a very rich history, and that makes taking a ride all the more enjoyable. For more information about horse and buggy tours, contact Charleston Carriage Works today.

Edmondston-Alston House in Charleston, SC

Those who know the history of Charleston know that it has no shortage of historic homes and sites worth checking out on a visit. But there’s something singular about the Edmondston-Alston House in Charleston, SC that warrants a closer look. Why? Well it’s certainly visually striking, but its connection to Charleston’s intriguing history is what really makes it a must-see attraction. History and Civil War buffs can gain a bird’s eye view of the war from the place it all started! Read more

3 Reasons You Should Experience a New City in a Horse Drawn Carriage

horse drawn carriage

If you’re planning on taking a vacation to Charleston, South Carolina, you’ll soon find out that there are countless ways to explore the city. With a city as vibrant, unique, and momentous as Charleston, there’s no shortage of things to do. But while many families opt to take a walking or boating tour to see the sights, horse carriage tours can provide a whole new level of appreciation in a city known for blending the old with the new.

Here are just a few reasons why you might find that horse drawn carriages are the best possible way to experience the old world charm of Charleston — or any new city, for that matter.

  • They’re historic
    There’s no better way to appreciate a historic city than through a historic means of transportation. The city of Charleston was founded in 1670 and has over 300 years of fascinating history. Horse drawn carriages are also a classic mode of transportation that can actually be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and Romans. While those chariots and early carriages aren’t quite the same kind we use today, you’ll truly feel transported back in time when you take a carriage ride through the heart of Charleston’s Historic District.
  • They’re romantic and fun
    If you’re looking to reconnect with your partner, this intimate tour is a great way to enjoy your time together. Our charming guides will let you in on the stories and secrets of the city while you enjoy the beautiful views of the South. Alternatively, tours on horse drawn carriages can be fun for the entire family. Because our carriages seat up to 16 people, your whole group can share this experience together. With so much to see, there’s sure to be something to capture the attention and imagination of every passenger.
  • They’re relaxing
    You deserve to get some rest on your vacation. But many folks find that there’s a lot of pressure to rush around the city. This doesn’t give you much of an opportunity to actually enjoy yourself! But when you’re on one of these horse tours, you get to sit back, relax, and take in everything around you. All you have to worry about is keeping your eyes and ears open. Safety and satisfaction are part of our mission, and above all, we want you to be able to enjoy your time in Charleston on our carriage rides.

Whether you’re visiting Charleston for the first time or want to see a beloved destination in a whole new way, classic carriage tours are ideal. Don’t forget to check out all of the incredible attractions our city has to offer, including historic buildings, shopping, dining, nightlife, sports, and more.

Family Fun Ideas In Charleston, SC

 carriage tours

Did you know that 37% of families say that vacations make them happy? With summer right around the corner it’s time to start planning! Many families struggle with picking out activities and destinations that are entertaining for everyone on the trip. It is crucial to plan in advance and have a list of ideas (with plenty of back-up options) so that everyone can enjoy their getaway. Charleston, South Carolina is a very popular tourist destination for families because it has something for everyone. The history, the charm, and endless amounts of family approved activities make it the perfect choice. Here are just a few options for you and your loved ones to enjoy during your visit.

  1. South Carolina Aquarium
    The South Carolina aquarium is a family favorite. This could easily take the whole day to explore too! It has a touch tank for the kids to put their hands on horseshoe crabs, sea urchins, and stingrays. According to the South Carolina aquarium website their main attraction is a 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank. The tank has sharks, sea turtles, an array of tropical fish, and even divers who interact with the visitors during their daily dive shows.
  2. Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
    Your wife will feel like Cinderella and your kids will enjoy an adventure around the city in their very own horse drawn carriage ride, also known as buggy rides. History is always more exciting when you feel like you are a part of the past. These authentic carriage tours will make you feel like you’ve been transported to another time. This unique outing gives you a chance to sit back and relax as you clip clop along the cobblestone streets while your guide tells you about the stately homes and buildings in Charleston. Find a company that has knowledgeable guides, extensive experience, glowing reviews, and some will even let you tour their stables. The stable tour gives the kids a fun opportunity to meet the majestic animals responsible for their fun trip around the city. Private carriage tours will please the history buffs, animal lovers, and adventure seekers in your family for sure!
  3. Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
    This museum has it all: hands-on exhibits, pirate exploration, art room fun, water play stations, an interactive food market, fishing boat replica, and even a medieval castle with puppets and costumes! Let the kids run wild so that you can take a break too. It’s located in the historic district so it is the ultimate relaxation destination for the adults after a day of walking and exploring the city. After your kids have created a masterpiece in the art room and have tuckered themselves out playing princesses and knights you will feel recharged and ready for your next ADULT outing in the city.

Charleston, South Carolina is a travel destination that really has mass appeal. Now that you know the kids are going to be happy with an aquarium visit, carriage tours, and hands on museum don’t forget to make plans for yourself too! There are still so many activities to consider including the many beaches, forts, plantations, and captivating waterfront. A family vacation can provide memories that last a lifetime and with all there is to see and do in Charleston, this family vacation will do just that.

Charleston, SC & The American Revolution

charleston sc american revolution

When it comes to the rich history of Charleston, SC there is much to talk about. We can talk about Fort Sumter and the Civil War. We can talk about the colonial days, in which the roots of Charleston’s architecture and style began to take hold. But Charleston, SC is also a city rich in the history of the American War of Independence, which is one of the reasons so many people come here to learn more about our nation’s founding days. Read on to learn more about Charleston’s role in the American Revolution. Read more

Charleston Duels of Philadelphia Street

philadelphia alley charleston sc

The Charleston County Courthouse, located near Washington Square, stands as a testament to how justice was done in historic Charleston, SC. But “justice” in Charleston wasn’t always handled so prettily. For many years in the United States, the duel was considered a last resort for resolving issues between two parties—perhaps nowhere more intensely than in Charleston. One Dr. David Ramsey, a physician at the beginning of the 19th century, blamed the heat for “an irritable temper which made men say and do things thoughtlessly.” Whatever the reason, pistol duels are no doubt a part of Charleston’s rich history—and it’s made for some notorious legends along the way. Read more

4 Must-See Attractions You Can Only Find In Charleston

carriage ridesWhen it comes to exploring the good old U.S. of A., it can be difficult to decide which of the beautiful 50 states you want to venture to next. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect place for you to relax and see some sights, you should highly consider visiting the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina. Here are some of the best sights to see in Charleston.

  1. Charleston Museum:
    The Charleston Museum is famous for being America’s first museum, and it was founded in 1773. Their mission statement is, “To educate Charleston area residents and visitors about the natural and cultural history of the South Carolina Lowcountry through collections, exhibitions, preservation, programs and research,” and that’s exactly what they do. Located in classic downtown Charleston, the Charleston Museum boasts exhibits like The Armory, Lowcountry History Hall, and City Under Siege, which feature exclusive artifacts from the Civil War.
  2. H.L. Hunley Submarine:
    Built in 1864 for the Confederate Army, H.L. Hunley is known as the world’s first successful submarine. It became lost at sea during the late 1800s, but it resurfaced in 1995 off the coast of Sullivan’s Island. Visitors today can explore the historic submarine at the Old Charleston Naval Base. If you’re a fan of nautical history, this is a must-see attraction.
  3. Charleston City Market:
    Located in the heart of downtown Charleston, many people view the city market as an interesting glimpse into old southern life. The market is constantly buzzing with tourists and residents alike, and visitors can browse stalls filled with clothes, toys, historic souvenirs, and much more. If you love to shop til you drop, this is the perfect place for you!
  4. Isle of Palms County Park:
    If you get tired after days of sightseeing, relax and unwind at the beautiful beaches of Isle of Palms County Park. The park boasts about seven miles of shoreline that are ideal for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and sailing. Isle of Palms is known for being particularly family-friendly, so if you’re traveling with the kids, this is the place to go.

Ultimately, Charleston is filled with interesting and historical landmarks. One way to see plenty of beautiful sights is to take horse carriage rides through the city to explore unforgettable attractions. Classic carriage tours are available year round and are very affordable. They also mix up their routes, so you’ll never see the same thing twice! For more information about horse drawn carriage rides, contact Charleston Carriage Works.

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5 of the Best Charleston Landmarks to Visit on a Buggy Ride

carriage rides

Charleston is a great vacation destination for families, couples, school trips — and earned the number one spot on Travel and Leisure Magazine’s “World’s Best Cities” list in 2016.

So when you are there, you will want to see the best the city has to offer. The best way to do so is by taking horse carriage rides around the city as you’ll be able to see so many exciting landmarks along the way. Don’t know where to start? Here are some outdoor destinations that are best traveled to by horse and buggy rides!

The Historic District and Charleston city market
Visiting this area will make it seem like you have stepped into a time machine and are seeing Charleston back at the turn of the century. There are plenty of historic homes and churches to see and don’t forget to stop by the Old Exchange Building or the Old Slave Mart Museum. After these, ride on down to the city market where you will be introduced to local foods and handmade crafts.

Middleton Place Plantation
The “Old South” is riddled with plantations that are fantastic examples of how life used to be before the Civil War. This plantation has a fully furnished plantation house built in 1755, one of America’s oldest landscaped gardens, and a full stableyard.

The Waterfront Park
This 12-acre park will give you sweeping views of the Charleston Harbor. There are plenty of different fountains sprinkled across the park but make sure to check out the Pineapple Fountain, with the pineapple being a traditional symbol of friendship and welcome.

The Battery and White Point Garden
History buffs, this is the place for you. Located right by the Charleston Harbor, this garden has Civil War mortars and cannons along with the stoic Confederate monument. Perfect for access by our buggy tours!

Historic Churches
There are plenty of historic buildings to see in Charleston, with churches being no exception! Some churches to see include St. Michaels Episcopal Church, which is a National Historic Landmark, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, and the Circular Congregational Church.

So next time you’re in Charleston, make sure to check out these sites on your carriage rides! We promise you won’t be disappointed!