At Charleston Carriage Works, we’ll be the first to admit it: Charleston, South Carolina is big on impressing its visitors with a major charm offensive. The clippety-clop on cobblestone streets sets the tone as your Charleston horse drawn carriage tours around the city. Discover these top 10 ways you’ll be completely charmed by America’s Favorite City.
1. Charleston Carriage Works
Your guide is looking forward to sharing Charleston’s unique history with you on your one-hour carriage tour. We guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this breathtaking city by the end of your tour; just the same as so many others have done before you.
Singled out as one of the top five best hotels in the U.S. by TripAdvisor travelers, the French Quarter Inn at Market Square has everything you’d imagine in charm and Southern hospitality. For every one of life’s special occasions, from romantic getaways to destination weddings to family reunions, visitors to Charleston can choose comfy, cozy inns or cosmopolitan luxury…or something in-between. Expect smiles and southern hospitality anywhere you stay.
3. Centuries-Old Homes
Many 18th and 19th century stories come to life behind the brick walls, iron gates and oak lined driveways leading to Charleston’s outstanding collection of historic homes. Perhaps our horse and carriage guided tour will pull you slowly past the colorfully painted landmark houses of Rainbow Row on the Charleston Battery. Or, you’ll tour the gracious interiors and stunning gardens at the 1808 Nathaniel Russell House and learn stories from the past at the Aiken-Rhett House. Spot the oldest one of all, the Pink House at 17 Chalmers Street. Spend another day visiting one or more authentic antebellum plantations, such as Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens or Drayton Hall.
4. Church Bells’ Chimes
One glimpse at the gracious city skyline from Charleston Harbor makes it clear how Charleston earned the nickname “Holy City.” Numerous and prevalent steeples dot the shoreline, reminders of the importance that diverse cultures and places of worship have held since the city was founded in 1670. The city’s oldest religious structure, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, is at the corner of Broad and Meeting streets. With architecture so very reminiscent of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s Trafalgar Square, the gravestones of two signers of the Declaration of Independence are in St. Michael’s Churchyard. Aim to be out and about on Sunday morning to appreciate the glory of all the bells in action.
5. Casual Lifestyle
As the children play on the white sandy beaches near Charleston, it’s hard to imagine that the city life is only 20 miles away. Choose your favorites among beaches with watersports, lifeguards, volleyball, kite surfing, boardwalk or a historic lighthouse. The Travel Channel has frequently named Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island as one of America’s top 10 beaches. Also just a hop, skip and jump away you’ll find Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, Seabrook Island and Isle of Palms.
6. Creole-Style Cuisine
Lowcountry cuisine has strong influences from Creole, Cajun, Caribbean and Gullah traditions passed down over generations. The bounty of the coastal estuaries and marshlands suitable for growing rice means that dishes like shrimp and grits have strong regional ties. From food trucks to fine dining establishments, oysters are a local favorite. Charleston is upping the stakes as a dining destination on a national level…and there’s no stopping our outstanding local chefs.
7. Citadel Cadet Traditions
It may not be the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, but it’s a strong tradition and a visitor draw. At The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, most every Friday afternoon there’s an impressive Corps of Cadets uniformed parade complete with pomp and circumstance, including bagpipes. Take a guided tour to fall in love with the immaculate campus and lovely chapel on the shores of the Ashley River.
8. Crafted-by-Hand Sweetgrass Baskets
Each one of these beauties is one-of-a-kind, since handmade with love is the only way they’re made. Browse the different and intricate designs, tight enough to hold water, as the local sweetgrass basket makers display their craft at the Charleston City Market. Learn how these unique native baskets, now highly prized, were once used to separate rice seed from its chaff. Their scent, texture and overall allure are almost magical.
9. Canopy of Angel Oak Tree
Undisputedly charming and impressively ancient, the canopy of Angel Oak Tree on Johns Island produces shade that spreads across 17,200 square feet. Bring a picnic hamper and a blanket to revel in her majesty, estimated at 500 years of age. We do know that the beloved tree stands 66.5 feet tall and measures 28 feet in circumference at her base, sporting branches up to 187 feet in length.
10. Cycle Across The Ravenel Bridge
Coast over the Cooper River, catching a bird’s eye view of passing vessels on bike or foot across Charleston’s great Ravenel bridge. North America’s longest cable stay span bridge rises 800 feet above the Charleston Harbor. The modern bridge opened in 2005, connecting Charleston and Mount Pleasant, with a cycling and pedestrian-friendly path that offers observations sites and benches to stop and gaze. It’s a challenging ascent and an exhilarating downhill on a bike path that provides a special way to appreciate fantastic views from the crest of the bridge.
Enjoy…and see you onboard one of our charming Charleston Carriage Works tours!