Palmetto Carriage Works Blog

4 Things to Do This Fall in Charleston

a close up of a horse drawn carriage in front of a building

As the summer comes to an end, Charleston locals and visitors are looking forward to adding some fall activities to their to-do lists. From historical city tours to harbor cruises and aquarium visits, the list of choices feels seemingly endless as the weather begins to cool down and being outside is enjoyable again. Here are five ideas of ways to get the family out and about in Charleston this fall.

1. Book a Public or Private Carriage Tour of Charleston

Horse and carriage tours are a must-do for anyone who is interested in learning some of the history of Downtown Charleston and seeing the beauty in the cobblestoned streets, hidden gardens, and historic churches and theaters. These one hour tours offer a glimpse into what living in Charleston might have been like in the 19th century, while exposing those on board to a timeless horse drawn carriage experience. Public tours can be booked daily, every 30 minutes from 9AM – 5PM through October, and 9AM – 4PM November through February. Click here to book a public tour of Charleston.  Private tours can also be booked during the day or in the evening, offering the same rich historic experience in a more intimate setting. Click here to book a private carriage tour. 

2. Take a Self-Guided Tour of Rainbow Row

With cooler weather on the horizon, exploring Charleston on foot seems like a manageable task. One of Charleston’s oldest (and most photographed) places to visit is historic Rainbow Row. Many flock to the area on East Bay Street flanking the battery to take in its beauty, but are often surprised to find out that when these houses were originally built around 1740, the area was considered run-down and the houses were not brightly colored at all. There is some speculation surrounding the real reason for the color transformation that Rainbow Row underwent. Some say that the pastel colors helped sailors find their way home from sea, while others say the bright colors helped keep the homes cool during summer. Whatever the real reason, Rainbow Row remains a beautiful piece of bright-colored history in Charleston.

3. Visit the International African American Museum

Charleston’s International African American Museum opened its doors to the public on June 27, 2023, welcoming guests to learn the full story of the African American journey. The museum is intentionally built on scarred and sacred land; an area known as Gadsden’s Wharf, which was the arrival point for nearly 50% of all enslaved Africans shipped to the U.S. The museum holds nine galleries which demonstrate the ways in which enslaved and free Africans shaped the economic, political and cultural development both locally and beyond. After 20 years of planning, this incredible nod to history is one not to miss. Make your plans to visit by clicking here.

4. See a Play at the First American Theater: Dock Street Theatre

Known as the first theater building designed solely for theatrical performances in America, the historic Dock Street Theatre is a popular attraction for residents and visitors alike. Built on the corner of Church Street and Dock Street (now known as Queen Street) in the early 1700s, this site has seen countless performances including the first ever opera in America. Now, the beautifully preserved theater provides the city with vibrant theatrical performances regularly, offering locals and visitors the chance to experience a little slice of history for themselves. To view a show line-up and purchase tickets, click here.