Four Sights You Shouldn’t Miss in Charleston, South Carolina

carriage tours

Charleston, South Carolina is unlike any other place on earth. Founded in 1670, the city of Charleston — sometimes known as “the Holy City” and often selected as one of the most hospitable cities in the world — is a growing tourist destination in this day and age. It presents beautiful beaches, Southern hospitality, great food, and remarkable history. Though there are plenty of things to do in Charleston, the trouble might be figuring out what to prioritize, and how to fit as many sights into your vacation as possible. With an average daily temperature of 65.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the city presents a tempting opportunity to spend a lot of time outdoors, and it’s often easier to see and learn about Charleston’s history when you’re outside, rather than being shut up indoors. This is one of the reasons why carriage tours have gained so much popularity in the city. Horse-drawn carriages give visitors the opportunity to get a glimpse of what it would have been like to travel around Charleston centuries ago. At the same time, it enables them to see as much of the area as possible. Let’s look at some of the best sights to visit on private carriage tours throughout Charleston!

 

1. Rainbow Row

 

Perhaps one of the most iconic locations in Charleston is Rainbow Row. As the name suggests, this location features thirteen brightly colored historic homes, which make for a distinct neighborhood that you’ll never forget. The houses gained their current colors when they were renovated in the 1930s and 1940s, and certainly remind one of the experience of being in the early half the twentieth century. Although these homes are among the most photographed historic buildings in Charleston, they’re not so much meant to be toured like museums, as admired from outdoors. Therefore, they’re hugely popular on any carriage tours, and there is, perhaps, no better way of viewing them.

 

2. The Battery

 

Perhaps one of the most iconic parts of Charleston is the battery. Originally built as a defensive seawall, the battery borders the city and divides between land and sea. When taking a tour around the battery, it’s easier to see the ocean. Many walk the battery, but if you’d rather take one of the city’s carriage tours, you’ll be able to escape measure of the sun’s heat, while at the same taking in a beautiful and historic view. Keep your eyes peeled — it’s quite common to see pods of dolphins playing in the surf from the battery! The battery is central to the city, so it would be an easy sight for you to squeeze into your tour.

 

3. Old Charleston Jail

 

Originally established in 1802, the Old Charleston Jail, or Old County Jail, is famous for its ghost stories and the well-known criminals it housed. You can view this site as a historic building — and a legendary location. The Old Charleston Jail was once where John and Lavinia Fisher, along with members of their famous highway robbery gang, resided. For that matter, it was the place where some of the last seafaring pirates stayed as they awaited their executions. There are many different stories to be told about the jail, which makes it a popular stop on private carriage tours. One of the great advantages of taking these types of tours is that you’ll be regaled about Charleston’s history by talented storytellers!

 

4. The Historic Charleston City Market

 

One of the country’s oldest marketplace complex, the Historic Charleston City Market is a wonderful place to visit during a stop on your tour. You’ll find plenty of different souvenirs, as well as delicious snacks and sometimes even works of art! If you can find a tour that puts time aside for the market, don’t miss out — you may bring home a treasure you’ll keep for life!

 

No matter how long you have in Charleston, try to fit in a carriage tour. It’s an experience that’s bound to make memories during your time in the city!

What You Should Know Before Your Charleston Horsee Tour

horse tours

Summer and spring are the best seasons for a horse-drawn carriage tour around Charleston, South Carolina. Each year, Charleston attracts tourists from all over the world in hundreds of thousands. Horse tours are among the most exciting ways to explore the beautiful and bustling city of Charleston. Carriage tours enable you to experience the diversity and fullness of the city while taking in the sights slowly and breathing the fresh city air. You may also occasionally catch a whiff of Charleston’s finest confectionaries from the many bakeries across the city.

 

If you’re about to embark on your first carriage tour of Charleston, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind. This piece will highlight some important stuff you should know to prepare you better for this iconic experience and make it worthwhile.

 

1. You Should Book the Tour Early

 

With the hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking Charleston each year, there is likely to be a long list of tourists willing to go on horse tours. Even though there are plenty of carriage tour companies in Charleston, it doesn’t hurt to do your booking early. If you do not book your tour early, don’t fret. You’ll still have an enjoyable experience that is worth the wait.

 

You’ll also have a much nicer experience when you take the tour in the early morning hours. Early morning tours have a much nicer experience with cool temperatures and an environment free of the usual city hassle. During spring and summer, temperatures could skyrocket to up to 125 degrees, which is very hot, even for the horses. The city can also become very humid, which creates this clammy atmosphere that isn’t great for horse tours.

 

Please note that the city stops all horse carriage tours when temperatures are too high for the safety of the horses.

 

2. The City Determines the Tour Route

 

While the carriage tour companies tailor the tour experience for your ultimate enjoyment, comfort, and pleasure, the city has the final say on which tour routes to use. Despite Charleston being a green, thriving metropolis, it is still a city with lots of traffic. To avoid any traffic disruption, Charleston is divided into four different historical zones. The route your carriage tour takes depends on a randomly drawn bingo ball. Each section, nonetheless, is equally fascinating, beautiful and exciting as the others.

 

3. Different Experiences with the Same Tour

 

When it comes to horse carriage tours in Charleston, no two tours on the same route are ever the same. Tour guides are the highlight of these horse tours, and they’re great at what they do. These patriotic fellows are smart, knowledgeable, bubbly and extremely funny. They also don’t have a particular handbook they follow during the tours but go with the flow. The stories they make up during the tour will have you rolling on the carriage floor with laughter. Because of the different tour guides, your overall carriage tour experience is likely to be very different from the next man’s, but enjoyable all the same.

 

Book a Horse Carriage Tour Today

 

Once you’re acquainted with these three points, you’re now ready for your first tour of Charleston on a horse carriage. Remember to bring your friends and family for a more pleasurable experience and don’t forget to tip the tour guide.

See the Best of SC with a Carriage Tour

sc carriage tours

Taking a vacation is a great way to infuse some excitement and relaxation into your family’s hectic life. Every day can be a struggle in a world more and more inundated with pressures and expectations. It can get to the point where it impacts the happiness of your family. But 37% of families feel that vacations contribute to their happiness. Vacations are therefore the activity most responsible for the most happiness in families. Choosing the right vacation makes the deal even sweeter, however. Many families decide to opt for SC carriage tours to the delight of their families. Here are some reasons why.

It’s the Horse, of Course!

Horses, one of the largest domestic animals on earth, have long been a source of fascination and joy for people of all ages. Many people have horses simply because it helps them feel more relaxed. They are good for mental health and just as great for entertainment, given you treat them well in the process. Horse-drawn SC carriage tours give you and your loved one the joy of being with a horse as well as the intrigue of discovering all that the city has to offer. You can feed the horse and pet it—with the permission of the driver, of course. The driver can also give a brief lesson on the horse and its personal history. Also, information may be available about the breed of the horse as well as how it was bred and where it comes from. Horse-drawn SC carriage tours add the pleasure of having another living being along for the ride—and lots of learning to go along with it. This is especially useful if you’re taking a young one along for the ride. Some kids never get to even pet a horse in their lifetime. Others may not have the space at home to care for one but would love to get in touch with these majestic animals. SC carriage tours can be a rare opportunity for kids to get exposed to one of the most beautiful creatures in the country.

Take Your Time to Slow Things Down

The crazy rigmarole of life can be a significant challenge to the peace of a household. SC carriage tours can provide a respite from the insanity. As you slowly trot around the city, it feels as if you are being escorted back in time, to an era when transportation was safer, slower, more reliable and better for the environment. While you can certainly drive around Charleston, SC carriage tours give you a better perspective of the city. You are able to take in more because you’re taking your time. You may notice elements of buildings are landmarks that you completely missed before.

Perhaps one of the best features of SC carriage tours are the tour operators who give you such a good education regarding this historic, iconic city. Classic carriage rides like these come with explanations of important landmarks and what they mean to the history of South Carolina as well as the history of the United States. Horse and buggy rides give you a great chance to also check out things to do in Charleston. As you enjoy the tour, you can check out other stuff to entertain you and your family with after the tour is finished. This is especially fun if you take evening carriage tours. You can scope out cool things to do afterward like hit up a fine restaurant, the theater, or check out a movie.

Things You Can See

You can enjoy the sights and sounds of City Market. There is also the 1771 Old Exchange Building, which is the last building the British built before the Revolutionary War. People also enjoy taking in the Battery seawall and the promenade found at White Point Garden. There is a nearly unlimited number of options when you are in Charleston, from sprawling mansions to quaint symbols of a time gone by. Either way, the best way to enjoy it all is by way of horse and buggy. You can get the best that SC has to offer in relaxing, enjoyable, easy-going style.

Horse Carriage Etiquette: The Do’s And Don’t’s Of Horse Carriage Ride Behavior

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Charleston, SC, is a splendid vacation spot. With over 400 years of fascinating history and an average daily temperature of 65.6 degrees Fahrenheit, you can’t go wrong. Visitors to the city love to take advantage of both of these qualities via horse carriage tours; whether you’re interested in Charleston’s historic district, bustling Downtown, or spooky sites, horse tours allow you to explore each option to your heart’s desire! However, you can’t simply hop into the nearest buggy and demand that they take you where you want to go; let’s take a look at some rules of etiquette regarding horse tours that you should abide by.

  • Be respectful. This is a good standard when dealing with any business. When animals are involved, it’s all the more important to listen to your driver and follow their rules. Most horse drawn carriage tours are led by drivers well-educated on the city’s history; feel free to ask questions, but don’t interrupt or be rude. Respect the carriage as you do the person driving it; do your best not to damage your ride.
  • Don’t jump out. Carriage tours follow designated routes assigned by the city, and they are very precise in their timing. This means that you can’t deviate from your path, even if you see something in the distance that you want to check out. Jumping out is never a good idea; you could end up hurting yourself or scaring the horse in the process. If you decide you want to get off, respectfully inform your driver and they’ll find a safe place for you to do so.
  • Don’t touch the horse without permission. Though they can be quite exciting to look at and be near, the horse at the front of your carriage may not want to be touched. They are far stronger than other animals, so only your driver will be able to tell you if you can give it a little pat. Although most are fine with a little contact, you should always follow your driver’s wishes.

If you can master the above rules of etiquette, both you and your driver (and your horse!) will have a wonderful ride throughout the city. Remember, just because you’re on vacation does not give you the right to do whatever you want; these people and their animals are working, and you should treat them just as how you would like to be treated.

4 Romantic Activities For Couples To Enjoy This Summer

horse carriageSummer is just around the corner and with the temperatures heating up you and your partner can finally start looking at places the two of you can go out and explore together. From classic restaurants to the beach, there are many activities you can enjoy with your partner on a romantic getaway.

To help you consider your options, here are four romantic activities for couples you might enjoy on your next vacation together:

  1. Horse carriage rides. In Charleston, SC, you can find plenty of romantic activities including horse carriage rides to take you around the town. Consider booking a private, evening ride for you and your partner to take in the sights and sounds of the city.
  2. Explore local eats together. You can always go to for a romantic evening out at a restaurant. But it can be fun to explore new foods together and try something both of you have never tried before. Consider trying something new with each meal to make a day-long activity out of it and expand your palette.
  3. Have a picnic under the Angel Oak. The Angel Oak Tree is a majestic tree on John’s Island just 12 miles away from downtown Charleston. It’s said to be approximately 400 years old and its long, lovely branches stretch out more than 17,200 square feet. Angel Oak is a big hit for couples, making it a wonderfully romantic spot for you and your partner.
  4. Take a walk through Middleton Place. If picnics aren’t your thing, but you still love the idea of walking with your partner in a beautiful setting, consider taking a stroll through Middleton Place. Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and is considered the country’s oldest landscaped gardens, built in the 17th century. The house is filled with gorgeous furniture, portraits, and china that will make any history-lover swoon.

Where can I find horse carriage rides during my Charleston vacation?

Up to 42% of travelers say they feel more romantic when they’re on vacation, which makes the horse carriage rides Charleston SC has to offer a great idea for you and your partner.

Charleston Carriage Works offers evening carriage tours to help make your South Carolina getaway feel as romantic as ever. To learn more about our private carriage tours and horse drawn carriage rides, contact Charleston Carriage Works today.

Are Horse Carriage Rides For You?

classic carriage rides

Charleston SC is an amazing city with an active tourism industry. In fact, one in nine of all U.S. jobs are dependent upon the travel and tourism industry. Three boons for Charleston are almost 90 miles of Atlantic coastline, Americas very first museum ever, and a history that stretches over 300 years into the past.

In 2016 Charleston earned the top rank of Travel and Leisure Magazine’s “World Best Cities”. A great way to view this great place is from a horse drawn carriage.

Who Should Experience Classic Carriage Rides?

There is a specific type of person who should go on a horse drawn carriage tour. The easiest definition of that type of person is someone that wants to have fun! However, that does not truly explain who it would be the right activity for.

Statistically speaking 2.7 percent of all gross domestic product in the United States comes from travel and tourism. Of travelers, roughly 42 percent want to experience romance on a vacation. Around 37 percent of all family travelers say that vacation activities make them the happiest.

In other words, if in Charleston SC an activity that can enhance romance or happiness then consider a horse drawn carriage tour for fun.

Saunter With Classic Carriage Rides

Whether it is the Calhoun Mansion, Philadelphia Alley, or Two Meeting Street Inn a refined approach is classic carriage rides. Charleston carriage rides are an enlightened historical experience as the tour guides are certified by the city.

That means across a 3 mile journey that spans over 300 years memories are made in the historical neighborhoods of the Holy City. Companies offering this service alter their carriage routes regularly allowing for an ever changing experience narrated by a certified professional guide.

The folks that operate these tours understand the importance of offering a quality experience to their customers. It is usually possible to book online in order to reserve a spot on the carriage. Arriving around 15 minutes early is a safe bet as well.

Final Thoughts

Charleston carriage rides are best for those looking to learn some history. Families seeking to create lifelong memories, tourists wanting to feel romantic, and really just good people wanting to have fun are the best candidates.

Remember on the ride though it is a team working to create an experience for the rider: the certified driver and the horses working for their fare’s entertainment. It can be a high quality experience for the right people to ride in a horse carriage.

4 of Charleston’s Best Attractions and Activities

things to do in charleston

Traveling to South Carolina and looking for things to do in Charleston? This great city hosts hundreds of thousands visitors with every passing year and, with over 300 years worth of history for people to explore, there is enough to keep tourists busy for days on end.

Unfortunately, most guests will not have the time to visit every sight and attraction the area has to offer, so narrowing down your list from the beginning is always a good idea. We have four great options for you to consider, all of which offer something to enjoy for everyone in your group.

Visit a Museum

Did you know that the Charleston Museum, which was founded close to 250 years ago, was America’s first museum? This, along with the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, the Corrigan Gallery, LLC, the Gibbes Museum of Art, and more are all great places to visit. You can immerse yourself in great art and history, all while getting a true taste of Charleston culture.

Take a Tour

From walking tours to boat tours to nighttime tours and more, learning about the city from a trained guide is one of the best ways to get the most from your Charleston experience. When it comes to things to do in Charleston, investing in at least one tour is a must. Book yours today to ensure you get the most out of your trip.

Invest in Some Carriage Rides

Speaking of great ways to see the city, why not stroll through town in a horse-drawn carriage? This is a unique and classy way to relax and take in the sights in a manner that is not rushed, crowded, or hard on your feet. Whether you would like to invest in a laid back horse and carriage ride or you want to embark on one of the many carriage tours, there are endless options for you and your vacation pals.

You could even get a private horse tour, ensuring you the peace, quiet, and comfort you deserve on your time away from home and work. Book your spot today. You owe it to yourself.

Make Time for Recreation

Charleston is home to all kinds of boat tours, nature sightings, water-based activities, and more, so there is no shortage of recreational opportunities for those that like to mix in a little adventure with their vacation. Between kayaking, fishing, boating, golfing, and more, there is no shortage of options for you and your loved ones.

Having Trouble Deciding?

Having trouble narrowing down your list? When it comes to exciting things to do in Charleston, the options truly seem endless! Well, just visit what you can and always remember that you can easily come back again sometime in the future to see more. The city is always happy to have you.

Charleston’s Iconic Battery Needs Nearly $1M In Repairs After Irma

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In August of 2017, the east coast experienced the wrath of Hurricane Irma. Ranked the fifth-costliest Atlantic hurricane of all time, the damages up and down the coast totaled around $64.8 billion. Charleston, boasting around 90 miles of that coast, is still recovering from Irma’s immense power; one of the most iconic areas of the historic city, the High Battery, has recently begun repairs.

Charleston, South Carolina, is known for a lot of things: over 300 years of history, horse drawn carriage tours, sandy beaches, and a bustling life all its own. The High Battery is one of its more famous locations: named for the civil-war coastal defense artillery battery on site, the area reveals views of the city’s most memorable and beautiful locals such as Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney, the World War II aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, and Sullivan’s Island.

After Irma let loose on the region, the Battery received the brunt of the damage. As a result, the city has decided to spend nearly $1 million ($935,000 to be exact) to repair its structure. The project is focused on removing around 7,800 tons of granite that had cracked and weakened under Irma’s fury; officially, the repairs will be 1,200 feet long, two feet deep, and 40 feet wide. The Federal Emergency Management Association is expected to reimburse about 70% of the repair costs, lightening some of the burden off of the city.

Fortunately, the efforts are only supposed to span 60 days; the tourism industry in Charleston is one of its biggest forms of income and support, so no real disruptions will occur — people will still easily be able to ride in a horse carriage, visit plantations and museums, and enjoy a night out on the town. Though access to the Battery and Battery Park will be restricted for the coming weeks, there are plenty more historic and beautiful places in Charleston to visit.

The city has had to face a lot due to its ideal coastal location. Though perfect for attracting sunbathers, the risk of damage from hurricanes (which have been appearing consistently within the last few years) is high.

To take your minds off of it, we recommend you take a ride in a horse carriage; after all, spending the afternoon with a knowledgeable guide will have you thinking more about the fascinating past than the unknown future.

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.