Things To Do in Charleston

Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates believes their beautiful city can be explored in many humane ways without abusing animals that work in urban environments. If you plan to visit Charleston, check out alternative ways you can enjoy the city in place of a horse carriage tour.

Plan your trip around local festivals.

 
 
Schooler Pride  in the harbor during sunset.

Schooler Pride in the harbor during sunset.

Want to tour the city in style?

Tour this amazing city with knowledgeable guides or explore on your own. Whether you prefer to travel by boat, bus, or foot, tour the city in style without the inhumane practice of horse carriages. See Charleston from the sky with private helicopter tours or charter a boat with one of many boat tours available, like the 84' tall ship Schooner Pride. To get up close and personal with the harbor's marine life, paddleboard and kayak tours are the way to go.

Bus tours like Gullah tours will give you special insight into the rich cultural history of the Lowcountry, but walking tours will let you get up close and personal with the city’s incomparable history and culture.

 
The Adventure, a replica 17th century trading vessel at   Charles Towne Landing  .

The Adventure, a replica 17th century trading vessel at Charles Towne Landing.

Looking for fun for the whole family?

Beautiful Southern weather allows outdoor play and exploration year-round. Spend your day learning about regional history at Fort Sumter, an iconic island fortification notable for two battles of the Civil War, Fort Moultrie, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, which offers a train tour, or Charles Towne Landing, the birthplace of the Carolina colony. Discover the beauty of avian and marine life at The Center for Birds of Prey: The Avian Conservation Center and the South Carolina Aquarium. Bond with the family over engaging outdoor activities like Big City Hunt, a city-wide scavenger hunt, or Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park, a high ropes course. Or, visit any one of the city’s 33 county parks. Museums like Patriots Point, a maritime museum on the harbor, Charleston Museum, Gibbes Museum of Art, and Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, a hands-on museum for kids, also give families the opportunity to learn together and keep the little ones occupied with interactive exhibits.

 

In town for a conference?

When you come to Charleston for a specific event, you shouldn’t count out all other fun. The historic city has plenty of engaging and interesting activities for individual adults. Shop the historic streets of The Market area, a 200 year old market complex that spans 4 blocks. Make new friends at local distilleries and brew houses or find the perfect place to meet colleagues after panels on any one of Charleston’s rooftop bars and watch the sun set over the city skyline. If you just want to waste time or get away from the busy conference center for a bit, stroll through White Point Garden, a public park with stunning views of the Harbor and Fort Sumter.

 
The tasting room at  Mira Winery .

The tasting room at Mira Winery.

Enjoying a romantic weekend getaway?

Voted the best city for a romantic escape in 2015 by Travel + Leisure, Charleston’s cobblestone streets, moss-draped Avenue of Oaks, waterfront swings, and charming gardens makes it the perfect destination for your couple’s getaway. Escape to Morris Island, an uninhabited island accessible only by boat, or watch the sunset from a sailboat in the harbor over dinner for 2. Expand your tastes at Mira Winery Charleston Education Center and Tasting Room or take cooking classes together.

 
Drayton Hall , a Palladian plantation house open to the public.

Drayton Hall, a Palladian plantation house open to the public.

Interested in the city's vast history?

Settled in 1670, the city of Charleston led the South in the American Civil War, maintaining a strong economy in the region over hundreds of years. Explore the long and diverse history of Charleston at Charleston Museum, H.L. Hunley Submarine, Charles Towne Landing, and North Charleston Fire Museum. Step back in time at one of the Lowcountry’s antebellum plantations, such as Drayton Hall, McLeod Plantation, Middleton Place, Boone Hall, and more. Submerse yourself in the beauty of Southern religion by visiting the historic churches of the city, including St. Phillips Church and Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Tour the city’s rich history at Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, or Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon. Dive into Southern architecture at Rainbow Row, a street of pastel row houses, and tour Calhoun Mansion and Nathaniel Russell House for their ornate build and decor.

 
Private tastings by reservation available at  Deep Water Vineyard .

Private tastings by reservation available at Deep Water Vineyard.

In town for your bachelor(ette) party?

The wild night out is a given - but what about the daytime? Gather your friends and get creative with your last experience single! Master the waters and charter a fishing boat. Or, relax on the Schooner Pride with a drink in hand and 360 degrees of views. Take a paddleboard or kayak to Morris Island, an uninhabited island in the harbor, or head out to Wadmalaw Island for vineyards, distilleries, and more. Hit up the Historic District and shop The Market, spanning 4 blocks of downtown Charleston and trendsetting King Street, or bond with your wedding party at Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park, a high ropes course for every experience level.


For more indoor activities, master southern cuisine with group cooking classes or hang out at a winery tasting room or one of the city’s many rooftop bars.

 

 

Whatever your reason for visiting our enchanting city,

take in the history and views with one of our alternative ways to enjoy the jewel of the South.

Learn how you can take action for a safer, cleaner, more humane visit.