Palmetto Carriage Works Blog

The Charm of Charleston: Exploring the Historic District with Palmetto Carriage Works

Downtown Charleston is filled with endless activities that attract the attention of locals and visitors alike. From a classic house tour to a carriage ride exploring the general history of the Holy City, there is something for every type of guest to enjoy. At Palmetto Carriage Works, we offer combination tours that allow guests to experience both a carriage ride around Charleston as well as another local historic attraction of their choosing. Guests can choose to take a boat ride to Fort Sumter, explore the gardens of Middleton Place & Plantation, or tour the historic Battery home, the Edmondston-Alston house.

Palmetto Carriage Works offers a variety of horse and carriage tours around Downtown Charleston. Group daytime tours depart every 30 minutes (and last for one hour) from 9:00AM – 4:00PM daily. Along the tour, the dedicated carriage driver acts as the personal tour guide of this historic city, giving guests a compelling and thorough history of Charleston in general, as well as the specific area where the tour happens to take place. These tours are worth doing over and over again because there are several different routes; it’s possible to have a completely different tour the second time around! If guests are looking for a more intimate ride, they can opt to schedule a private tour in one of our smaller, vis a vis carriages or slightly larger wagonettes. These tours are also one hour in length and come with a personal tour guide for the private party in attendance. Palmetto also offers an evening carriage tour that is 35 minutes in length that explores the commercial district, which includes historic churches, public buildings, and the Waterfront Park area along the Cooper River.

One popular add-on that is worth exploring before or after a carriage tour is a tour of historic Fort Sumter. Guests are invited to sit back and enjoy the relaxing 30 minute boat ride out to the site where the first shots were fired in the American Civil War. Upon arrival, National Park Rangers will greet and take guests on a journey through the iconic fort while answering any questions that arise during the hour-long tour. Once time is up, guests will take the boat journey back to the departure point. For guests who want to experience Charleston’s history by sea, this is the add-on to consider. Tours of Fort Sumter are offered from Downtown Charleston’s Liberty Square daily at 11:00AM and 2:00PM or from Mt. Pleasant’s Patriot’s Point daily at 12:30PM. Reservations are encouraged.

Another option that many guests consider after completing their carriage tour is a journey out to Middleton Place to see and learn about one of Charleston’s historic plantations. Made up of 65 acres of America’s oldest landscaped gardens, beautiful Middleton Place is a sight to see, especially while in full bloom. Learn about the land, the flora, and the many stories of the people who designed, created and maintained them. Middleton Place is open daily from 9:00AM – 5:00PM and has a restaurant on site for those who choose to enjoy some refreshments while touring. There are a few different tours included with admission; so time spent at the plantation can be tailored to the guests’ particular interests.

Finally, if guests would prefer to stay in Downtown Charleston, they may choose a house tour at the Edmondston-Alston house along the Charleston Peninsula’s famed waterfront, known as the High Battery. This house is the only house tour in the city that offers spectacular views of Charleston Harbor. Built circa 1825, the Edmondston-Alston house presents a unique history of the people, both free and enslaved, who once lived on this property. Many of the items in the house are original to those who owned it in the 19th century. As one of the oldest surviving homes in the area, the Edmondston-Alston house has withstood the tests of time, including the American Civil War, the Earthquake of 1886 as well as many hurricanes. Tours of this historic home are offered Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00AM – 4:00PM and Mondays from 1:00PM – 4:00PM. Hours are subject to change.

There is no shortage of historic tours to take in the Charleston area. Between touring the city in a horse drawn carriage, boating out to Fort Sumter, exploring a plantation, and touring one of the city’s most historic homes, guests can accomplish just about all of the most important historic tours in one visit. In order to purchase a combination tour that includes a carriage ride, plus one of these add-ons mentioned, navigate to the combinations page on our website and follow the instructions to book. Once a combo tour is purchased, you will have the date and time of your carriage tour confirmed and you’ll have the opportunity to coordinate a date and time with the second tour group that works for your party. Click here to reserve your combination tour.