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.

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.

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Transportation in Charleston: 5 Unique Ways to Get Around

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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.

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

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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.

3 Ways to Incorporate a Horse Carriage Tour into Your Wedding

horse carriage tour

Did you know that travel and tourism account for 2.7% of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP)? People travel for countless reasons. Family vacations, solo adventures, and weddings all count for a huge portion of recreational travel.

People travel for weddings all the time. Even if you have your wedding locally, there is still a lot of travel required on your big day. You have to get to the ceremony location, travel to the picture backdrop, and then make your way to the reception. Some people are fortunate enough to have all three of those activities take place on in the same spot, but those are few and far between.

Brides and grooms typically want to ride around in style on the happiest day of their lives. What’s the best way to do that? It’s not a limo, it’s actually with a horse carriage tour. Horse drawn carriage tours are a great way to parade around on your wedding day. If you want to incorporate a horse carriage and you’re not sure how, fear not. Here are three great ways to include a horse drawn carriage for your wedding.

Element of Surprise
Use the carriage as a way to surprise your future spouse to make a lasting memory of the day you said I do. Seeing the look on their face when they view the beautiful horse and carriage outside of the church for the first time will be priceless.

The Bride Has Arrived
If you want to use a carriage for your wedding but don’t know how, have the bride arrive at the ceremony site in the carriage. The wedding guests will be in awe when they see the bride exit the unique vehicle and walk down the aisle. It may also be sentimental to include the person that is giving the bride away in the carriage alongside her. That way they can walk right into the ceremony as soon as they arrive.

Photo-Op
Not only can you ride in style with a horse drawn carriage, you can take some beautiful pictures as well. You and your bridal party will look stunning posing in front of the majestic horse and romantic carriage in all of your wedding photos.

If you or someone you know is getting married, consider using a horse carriage tour to make your wedding fabulous!

What You Need to Know Before Your First Charleston Carriage Ride

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If you’re exploring downtown Charleston, South Carolina this spring or summer, then the best way to do so is via carriage rides. You’ll get to experience the fresh-Charleston air, see all of the sights slowly (and really be able to take them all in), and hear about the area’s fascinating history from knowledgeable guides.

Before you head out on your very first Charleston carriage ride, there are a few things you should know to be fully prepared. Here’s what you should know.

The Earlier You Take the Tour, The Better
The earlier in the day that you’re able to take a horse carriage tour, the better experience you will have. In the spring and summer, Charleston afternoon’s can become extremely hot. It can hit anywhere from 98 degrees to 125 degrees (although the average high in July is just 91 degrees). The humidity isn’t the greatest during those times either. Even though it can get really hot, the city has an average daily temperature of 65.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s too hot out, the carriage tours will be stopped so the animals aren’t put at risk. Keep this in mind when booking your Charleston carriage tours.

You Don’t Have to Book Ahead of Time
Even though you do have an option to book your carriage tour ahead of time, you can do it day-of. However, it’s important to note that weekends are often super busy times, as Charleston is a popular stop for cruise ships. To avoid the rush, booking ahead of time is a good idea. If you do make the reservation in advance, you might also have access to certain tour perks and access to certain places that might not be available if you purchased the day of.

What You See Isn’t Determined by the Carriage Company
You might think that the path you’re going on is determined by the carriage company. However, it is in fact determined by the City of Charleston. While carriage rides are fun and a great part of the city, traffic has to be considered. To reduce any potential traffic issues or risk to the animals, the city has come up with four different paths the carriage company can take you on. Each ride isn’t always going to be the same, so take a few of them to see different parts of the city.

Carriage rides are the best way to see the city of Charleston, and with these tips in mind, you will be all set for this fun adventure!

5 Iconic Southern Dishes to Try With the Foodie in Your Life

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Whether you know a foodie or you are one yourself, there’s no denying that American Southern cuisine is some of the most famous. From fresh seafood to exceptional barbecue, this region of the U.S. has created some of the most iconic cuisine in the nation. Let’s take a look at a few dishes you absolutely need to try if you’re traveling and taking buggy tours through a Southern city like Charleston, South Carolina.

Shrimp and Grits
Although this dish might be widely available throughout the nation now, there’s no comparison to eating it where it was created. Many restaurants in the South keep this dish traditional with fresh caught shrimp over stone-ground grits, but there are plenty of chefs who put their own spin on the classic dish. Whether you’re looking for a twist or want to try the classic, check out Slightly North of Broad in Charleston.

Peaches
You might be familiar with talk of Georgia peaches, but the truth is that these sweet beauties are popular all around the South, especially during the summer. Peaches are in season from May through August, and you can eat them in a pie, on top of ice cream, or right out of your hand.

Boiled Peanuts
At first glance, this might seem like a strange snack. But there’s nothing better to munch on after taking one or two horse drawn carriage tours around the historic city of Charleston! Most often sold at roadside stands, this is South Carolina’s official state snack. Try a bite between July and September when the freshest peanuts are in season.

Barbecue
If there’s one thing you need to know about the American South, it’s that they take great pride in their barbecue. And for good reason! South Carolina is actually the birthplace of American barbecue. It’s also the only state in the U.S. that boasts four official, unique barbecue sauces. One is even mustard-based!

Roasted Oysters
If you’re one of the 42% of travelers who feel more romantic on vacation, make sure you make a date for roasted oysters. Cooked just to the point of opening, these beautiful pieces of seafood pair best with a partner and a few good brews.

Whether you’re walking to your dates or taking horse drawn carriage tours around the city, make sure these dishes are on your Charleston vacation itinerary.

How to Relive Your Favorite Movie Scenes Shot in Charleston, SC

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Founded in 1670, Charleston, South Carolina boasts over 300 years of history. From historic battles to America’s first ever museum, this city has a long list of stories to tell its visitors. So many, in fact, that many a filmmaker has set and filmed here!

Hollywood classics like The Patriot and The Notebook were filmed in part or 100% in Charleston and the surrounding area. If you, like many other fans of these films, want to get a taste of what the actors saw while filming, here’s where you need to go!

The Patriot
While critics haven’t taken kindly to The Patriot as a historically accurate film, there’s no doubt that this fictional retelling of a father and his family during the American Revolution is a tearjerker. If you’re one of the film’s many fans, here’s where you can go to relive a piece of the magic:

  • College of Charleston – Randolph Hall, the college’s administrative building, was used to film a number of assembly scenes in this movie.
  • Cypress Gardens – This location served as the militia’s hidden meeting place in the movie. Spoiler: this is a popular filming location in Charleston!
  • Middleton Place Plantation – Of course, private carriage tours around this historical mansion are a safer bet than a swamp. This location is one of the most beautiful in the film and is open for daily tours.

The Notebook
If you’re any kind of romantic at all, chances are you’ve seen this movie. Set in gorgeous 1940s era Charleston, there were very few scenes in this movie not filmed in or around Charleston. Here are some of the locations you might want to visit:

  • Boone Hall – This location offers a combination of architectural beauty and romantic nostalgia. It served as Allie’s house in the film! Just imagine taking Charleston horse carriage tours around this beautiful property!
  • Corner of King and Mary Street – Noah and Allie decide to dance and lay in the middle of this intersection in the movie, but we recommend private carriage tours or admiring from a sidewalk. This busy intersection is also close to the American Theatre, another location from the film.
  • Cypress Gardens – We did say that this is a popular filming spot. And it just so happens to be the location of Noah and Allie’s swan-filled boat ride. To relive some of the magic, you can rent a boat yourself.

Whether you choose private carriage tours through historic Charleston or a romantic boat ride through Cypress Gardens, there’s no denying that this city is filled to the brim with amazing scenery. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and visiting one of these locations could make your visit something truly special.

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3 Haunted Charleston Locations Every Horror Buff Should Visit

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There’s no denying that Charleston, SC has a long and rich history. In fact, it’s home to America’s very first museum, which was founded in 1773. But with over 300 years of fascinating history, a city like Charleston is sure to have its fair share of ghost stories.

Fortunately, Charleston has an abundance of places simply filled to the brim with ghost stories. You may not see all of these locations on your Charleston horse carriage tours, but here we’ll discuss a few of the city’s most haunted locations that every horror buff needs to see in person.

Old Exchange Building
Not only is this building one of the city’s most famous haunts, it’s one of its most well-known historic landmarks. It served many purposes in its time, including as a prison during the Revolutionary War, and even housing infamous criminals like Blackbeard. Now, its fame lies in the spooky sights visitors report when touring the establishment. Tales of floating orbs and rattling chains have been circulating for quite some time now. In addition, there are rumors of a spirit that won’t leave the dungeon below the main building.

The Blind Tiger Pub
If you’re interested in a few good drinks and ghosts, this is the pub for you. During the Prohibition era, this pub acted as a speakeasy. It continues to serve patrons to this day, but there are more spirits than just vodka and rum here. In fact, there have been several reports of a woman dressed in black promptly appearing and disappearing! Some regular customers also report experiencing strange events such as having their hair pulled and hearing phantom footsteps when there is nobody else in the bar.

Dock Street Theatre
This theatre has quite the story behind it. Originally a theatre that burned down and was converted into a hotel, it has recently been converted back into a theatre. It also has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Charleston, with both actors and audience members reporting ghostly sightings throughout the location’s tenure. Many speculate that these are the ghosts of people who perished in the 1809 fire.

Whether you take a horse carriage tour or simply walk around to see the sights, make sure these three locations are on your itinerary! You just might catch a spirit in your next vacation selfie.