Local Routes

The carriage tour industry is regulated by the City of Charleston, so all carriages are assigned specific routes (zones) at random upon departure. Charleston’s Historic District is immense, and it is not possible to tour all of with a carriage ride, even in an entire day.

There are five zones within the Historic District, and the carriage tour system is designed to present an informative cross-section while minimizing our impacts on traffic. To this end, and for the purpose of carriage tours, there is no zone that is any better than any other, UNLESS there are specific historic Charleston sites you want to see, as they may be in one zone or across zones. If there are specific buildings or specific areas that you feel you must see, a Charleston horse carriage tour unfortunately will not meet those goals. Due to the city-mandated lottery system that determines routes for carriage rides, there is about a 25 percent chance that you will see any specific site.

No matter what route you take, our Charleston carriage tours are designed to give you insight into the history of our great City and to help you explore what makes Charleston unique through a mode of travel older than the City itself. The pace is perfect for going into just the right amount of detail!

How it Works

Per the City of Charleston’s rules, each horse-drawn carriage tour begins with a quick stop at the check-in gate before departure. Here, the Tourism Officials will take a head count of passengers, note the carriage number and randomly assign the route via an old bingo machine filled with colored balls. The color of the ball indicates the zone and route that your group will take. Each route is as good as the next, and our knowledgeable, entertaining guides will ensure you will have a fulfilling, memorable time on your carriage ride through Downtown.