One of the most iconic things to do in Charleston, South Carolina is to take a carriage ride through the historic streets. On our recent visit, we partnered with Palmetto Carriage Works to explore the city streets on a carriage tour. If you are planning a trip to Charleston and looking for things to do in the city, here are some tips. Palmetto Carriage Works is the oldest carriage tour company in town and is the place to go for your carriage tours!
This post includes affiliate links. Hobbies on a Budget received tickets or discounts for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was received.
Things to Know: Carriage Tours in Charleston
Recently we had 24 hours to spend in the city of Charleston so we knew we had to make every moment count. Since we we were on a tight schedule, we knew we had to make every moment count. I started doing my planning of places we wanted to see and quickly realized that the city of Charleston is full of history dating back to the early days of the United States and even before. We knew we wanted to hear the history of the city from someone who knew the city better than we did.
That’s why the idea of a carriage ride or city bus tour is such a great idea. Last year we toured Washington DC on the Old Town Trolley tours and learned so much about the nation’s capital by listening to the tour guide so we knew that a carriage ride through the historic city of Charleston was the perfect option for our family.
Palmetto Carriage Company is the oldest carriage tour company in town! Come tour historic downtown Charleston by mule or horse-drawn carriage with some of the most experienced personnel in the Charleston carriage industry. We are a family-owned company and pride ourselves on providing authentic carriage tours that your family and friends will remember for years to come!
When you take a carriage tour in Charleston, you will have a new experience every time. The carriage companies all work together to make sure the streets are not flooded with carriages so they have a system in place that helps to spread out the tours. That means that each time you take a carriage ride in Charleston, you will have a brand new experience.
One of the common questions people have about carriage rides in historic cities is the health and welfare of the mules and horses that pull the carriages. Palmetto Carriage Company takes great care of their animals. They have limited hours that each of the animals gets to work and the health of each animal is a high priority.
On our tour, we were able to see and experience the Charleston City Market where the locals create their goods and sell them to the tourists. Historic Charleston City Market is a long row of vendors offering all their crafts, baked goods, souvenirs and of course the famous Sweetgrass Baskets made by the people in Charleston for more than 300 years. These baskets are created using locally-harvested bulrush, a strong marshgrass that thrives in the sandy soil of the Charleston area.
There is so much history in the Charleston area and tourists like us can really benefit from the knowledge of the carriage drivers. Take time to appreciate the architecture and buildings on your tour.
Things to Know
- Get your tickets early because the tours do fill up on busy days.
- The ride will take you through the downtown area of Charleston, but you won’t know which tour you are getting till after you get started. They keep the carriages moving through different routes in order to keep the traffic flowing in historic Charleston.
- Tips are not required but much appreciated by the drivers.
- Tours can range from 30 minutes to about an hour depending on traffic and how many stories the driver can share.
- There are restrooms and snacks in the barn when you arrive.
- You are welcome to move around the barn and see the horses and mules but just ask one of the guides first. The animals are friendly but you should respect their space.
Have you ever taken a carriage ride in historic Charleston? What is your favorite part of the city?
Find Palmetto Carriage Works
8 Guignard Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Looking for more unique ways to tour a city? Check out the Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tours in Washington DC.