Charleston Walking Tours

Explore Charleston's food, history, haunted spots and more.
By: Janet Maragioglio

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Charleston, SC, is called "the Lowcountry" for a reason. This Southern gem’s lack of hills makes it an especially easy city to explore on foot. Whether a spine-chilling ghost hunt or a stately stroll past historic homes and gardens, walking tours are the perfect way to see Charleston up close. Lace up your comfortable shoes and join one of these walking adventures.
Pirates Once Walked These Streets
The South Carolina coastline and walled city of “Charles Towne” played host to buccaneers and swashbucklers of many sorts. Blackbeard himself preyed upon merchant ships in the Port of Charleston from his flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. These pirate-themed walking tours give any Charleston visit a seafaring flavor.

Join Eric (a blue-and-gold macaw) and his master, Captain Bob, from Charleston Pirate Tours for a walk that brings Charleston’s pirate past to life. Captain Bob leads every tour in full pirate regalia and shares colorful stories of the real-life pirates who once plundered and partied in Charleston.

Or book a pirate adventure with Old Charleston Walking Tours. Each stop shares an exciting chapter in Charleston’s pirate adventure story, complete with a cliffhanger that makes visitors anxious to reach the next destination. Walks end up at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon for a guided tour.
Sample Southern Fare as You Stroll
Hungry? Culinary Tours of Charleston immerses visitors in the unique flavors of the Lowcountry. Sample Southern specialties and taste food and drink from local restaurants, shops and bakeries along the walking route, including benne wafers, sweet tea, pralines, collard greens and, of course, Southern barbecue.
Architectural Wonders Abound
From majestic church spires to charming “Charleston Singles” and sweeping antebellum mansions, walking through Charleston provides a firsthand look at an array of architectural styles.

Charleston Sole leads walkers past the oldest and most historically significant buildings in Charleston, including the Old Exchange Building, St. Michael’s Church and Rainbow Row. Charleston native Brian Simms guides visitors along a memorable 2-hour walk as he provides a unique perspective on the famous landmarks and hidden jewels that make Charleston special.

Old Charleston Walking Tours “History and Homes” explores main roads and hidden alleys, winding past churches, mansions and monuments, as well as offering an inside tour of one of Charleston’s historic homes.

Walk through National Historic Landmarks the Edmonston-Alston House and the Nathaniel Russell House for a glimpse of what life was like for Charleston’s elite on the "Historic Homes of Charleston Tour" with The Original Charleston Walks.

For building buffs, Charleston Footprints guide Michael Trouche, a seventh-generation Charleston native, explains the architectural styles of historic Charleston on his walking tours, including Georgian, Regency, Italianate, Greek Revival, Eastlake and many more.
Troubled Spirits Call this City Home
Discover the real people who lived and died and still haunt the Historic District – on the Ghosts and Legends of Charleston tour. Search for a glimpse of Sue Howard’s ghost, the Whistling Doctor or the spirit of Colonel Isaac Hayne as you walk by overgrown cemeteries and tour Charleston’s famous “Bloody Alley.”

Historian Mike Brown’s expert research gives the Old Charleston Ghost Tour a particularly authentic feel. These evening tours pass by Charleston’s most haunted spaces, including graveyards, alleys and a few unexpected sites.

Take an adults-only stroll through the seamier side of the Historic District with "The Dark Side of Charleston" from Bulldog Tours. Or explore the spookier side of the “Holy City” with the "Charleston Ghost and Dungeon Walking Tour." Stories of ghosts, haunted houses, voodoo and superstition might make you walk a bit faster.
Historical Sites Beckon
Sign up for an Original Charleston Walks historical tour, such as "Slavery and Freedom," "The Patriots of Charleston" or the "Civil War Walk" for a chance to learn surprising facts while walking by the exact spots where significant events in American history occurred.

Old Charleston Tours offers a Civil War and Slavery walk that takes foot travelers past the sites where this turbulent period in US history got its start. For a more genteel perspective, try Charleston Strolls from Bulldog Tours. Highlights include Rainbow Row, gardens and courtyards, antebellum mansions and a view of Fort Sumter.

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