CHARLESTON SC THINGS TO DO

CHARLESTON

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1 Pass 1 Price | Choose from 41 attractions full admission is included

Save up to 40% or more visiting Charleston's top attractions

More than pays for itself by visiting 2 attractions per day!

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Day #1 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 2 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 1-Day.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

1-Day per Person Savings = $64

Save 41% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

Day #2 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 3 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 2-Days.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

2-Day per Person Savings = $111

Save 44% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

Day #3 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 4 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 3-Days.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

3-Day per Person Savings = $159

Save 48% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

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Stress Free Touring Convenient Organized Easy to Use We Handpicked the Top Tours Make Instant Reservations Saves Money Includes 100% Admission Instantly Receive After Purchase 

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  • 100% full admission to the top tours and attractions.
  • Over 40 attractions to choose from (view included tours below).
  • Same tour…same experience as if buying direct from the tour company.
  • Easily make reservations for tours in advance after purchase with the Mobile Pass you’ll receive.
  • Skip the ticket lines access. Just present your Mobile Pass!
  • There are 2 categories of tours, Featured and Standard:
    • Featured: The number of feature tour reservations per person allowed is determined by the number of day pass you purchase (1 day – 5 days). Number allowed is in total…not per day. (For example: 3-Day Pass choose a total of 4 featured…not 4 per day)
    • Standard: Visit as many as you wish (no limit) for the number of day pass you purchase (1 day – 5 days).
    • See chart below

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Tour Pass Tour Selection Grid 5 days

  • Within seconds after purchase you’ll receive the Mobile Pass which helps you organize, plan and make reservations before you arrive.
  • It’s best to make reservations as early as possible to secure the most desirable tour times which can fill up fast. Instantly after purchase you can make tour reservations for when you’re visiting.
  • View tour availabilities before purchasing a pass. Visit this page and search the dates you’ll be visiting: Featured Tour Availability Search
  • Only certain Featured Tours require reservations. Standard attractions do not require reservations. Just show your pass for entry!
Save up to 40% or more off retail ticket prices
  • You can save 40% or more off of retail ticket prices by visiting a reasonable number of tours.
  • View saving example

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Break-even by visiting just 2 attractions per day.
  • The more you do the more you save.
  •  It’s easy to visit more since Charleston attractions are close to each other.

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Stress-Free Touring
  • Everything is paid for with Tour Pass. Don’t worry about what an attraction costs to visit..just go and have fun. 
  • No research needed. Only the top tours are allowed on Tour Pass.
  • Stay organized with the Mobile Pass you’ll receive where you can make reservations, includes maps and detailed info.

Tour times can fill up fast. With Tour Pass you can make tour reservations now for when you’re visiting.

End of Featured Attractions

Standard Attractions

Reservations NOT required. Visit as many as you wish 1x for # of day pass purchased

  • Visit as many Standard Attractions as you wish for the number of day pass purchased (see image below).
  • Standard Attractions do not require reservations…just walk-in and show your pass.
 
(Click image below to enlarge)

tour pass tour selection grid

  • Transportation is not provided. You can use the free trolley bus in the historic district.

 

For groups of 10 or more advance notification is required. Please call McLeod to schedule your group visit.

INTERPRETIVE TOURS

Included in your admission are 45 minute guided tours offered at 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm.

An amazing place to experience history in Charleston. Established in 1851, McLeod Plantation has witnessed some of the most significant periods of Charlestons and our nations history. Tour this 37 acre Gullah, Geechee heritage site that has been careful preserved and is recognized for its cultural and historic significance. McLeod Plantation was built on the riches of sea island cotton and on the backs of enslaved people whose work and culture and told and preserved through this site.

Established in 1851, McLeod Plantation has borne witness to some of the most significant periods of Charlestons – and our nations – history. Today McLeod Plantation is an important 37-acre Gullah/Geechee heritage site that has been carefully preserved in recognition of its cultural and historical significance. The grounds include a riverside outdoor pavilion, a sweeping oak alley, and the McLeod Oak, which is thought to be more than 600 years old.

It is a place like no other, not frozen in time but vibrant, dynamic, and constantly evolving, where the winds of change whisper through the oak trees and voices from the past speak to all who pause to listen. McLeod Plantation was built on the riches of sea island cotton and on the backs of enslaved people whose work and culture are embedded in the Lowcountrys very foundation. It is a living tribute to the men and women and their descendants that persevered in their efforts to achieve freedom, equality, and justice. McLeod Plantation Historic Site is a South Carolina National Heritage Corridor site

All of their stories, black and white, enslaved and free are given their due. After years of careful research and restoration, McLeod Plantation Historic Site invites visitors to embark upon an in-depth exploration of the lives of those people whose stories are essential to understanding Charlestons complex past and helped shape who we, as a nation, are today.

  • Tour the homes and compare the McLeod family home with those built for enslaved families.
  • Learn about daily life and the relationships among the men, women, and children who lived and worked here before and after slavery.
  • Study the cultivation and importance of sea island cotton.
  • Gain insight into the plantations strategic importance during the Civil War and the role of the free black Massachusetts 55th Volunteer Infantry in emancipating enslaved people.
  • Examine the influence of the Freedmens Bureau at McLeod Plantation and throughout the South.
  • Trace the emergence of Gullah Culture in the Lowcountry.
  • Explore worship and spirituality in the lives of McLeod Plantations residents.
  • Draw parallels between the changing relationships among McLeod Plantations residents and in American society during the 20th century.
  • See how people dramatically changed the natural history of the plantations landscape through time.

The struggle for freedom…personal, cultural, and political enacted over the centuries at McLeod Plantation provides new insights to anyone interested in American history.

Featured Attractions:
  • Number of Featured allowed is determined by pass duration purchased more info
  • Reservations are typically required for Featured Attractions.
  • You can make reservations  in advance of arriving which are easily made from within the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchase.
  • View tour availability before purchasing TourPass

Standard Attractions:
  • No reservation is required, just show up and present your Mobile Pass for entry.
  • Visit as many as you wish 1x.
Transportation to attractions is not provided. In the Historic District you can use the Trolley.
$6 per Child without Tour Pass. (Pay $0 at the gate! Tour Pass includes full admission)

In the spring of 1861, thousands of young men were pouring into Charleston to become Confederate soldiers and defend the South. They were given supplies, weapons and their orders. It was here in this building where many of these young men had danced not long before they became soldiers.

In 1894 the Charleston Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy was founded. They immediately began to collect relics and the collection grew quickly. By 1898 this group of ladies became Charleston Chapter #4, United Daughters of the Confederacy. In 1899 the reunion of the United Confederate Veterans was to be held in Charleston. The men decided to help these ladies form a permanent Confederate Museum in Charleston. A call was sent out asking former soldiers to bring their war-time possessions to the reunion for donation to the new museum. The enthusiastic response showed that a large building would be needed to house the collection. Since the Mayor and the city councilmen were all former Confederate soldiers, it was only natural that they selected Market Hall for this purpose. The same building where they had gone to become young soldiers became the place they brought their relics to be preserved for the future. The museum opened here is 1899

Featured Attractions:
  • Number of Featured allowed is determined by pass duration purchased more info
  • Reservations are typically required for Featured Attractions.
  • You can make reservations  in advance of arriving which are easily made from within the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchase.
  • View tour availability before purchasing TourPass

Standard Attractions:
  • No reservation is required, just show up and present your Mobile Pass for entry.
  • Visit as many as you wish 1x.
Transportation to attractions is not provided. In the Historic District you can use the Trolley.
$3 per Child without Tour Pass. (Pay $0 at the gate! Tour Pass includes full admission)

A National Historic Landmark, the Nathaniel Russell House Museum was built over a five-year period and completed in 1808 by Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell. The house cost $80,000 to build, at a time when the average value of a home was $262. The homes graceful, free-flying, three-story staircase is an architectural marvel with each cantilevered step supporting the one above and below it.

The graceful interiors with elaborate plasterwork ornamentation, geometrically shaped rooms, formal gardens and collection of 18th-century decorative and fine art speak to the wealth of Charlestons elite in the early days of the American Republic. The homes graceful, free-flying, three-story staircase is an architectural marvel with each cantilevered step supporting the one above and below it.

Restored to its original splendor using forensic analysis and cutting-edge conservation technology by our curatorial staff, we ensure the highest standards of old-world expertise to replicate the finishes, fixtures and textiles appropriate for this 200-year old townhouse.

Because restoration is an ongoing process, visitors have the opportunity to see and learn about the meticulous care, craft and consideration that goes into every detail. The 18 enslaved Africans that lived on and maintained the property during the Russell occupancy are an integral part of the history of this one-of-kind house. An exhibit in the original kitchen house features archaeological artifacts, educational panels and stories of the people vital to the history of this property.

Featured Attractions:
  • Number of Featured allowed is determined by pass duration purchased more info
  • Reservations are typically required for Featured Attractions.
  • You can make reservations  in advance of arriving which are easily made from within the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchase.
  • View tour availability before purchasing TourPass

Standard Attractions:
  • No reservation is required, just show up and present your Mobile Pass for entry.
  • Visit as many as you wish 1x.
Transportation to attractions is not provided. In the Historic District you can use the Trolley.
$7 per Child without Tour Pass. (Pay $0 at the gate! Tour Pass includes full admission)
North Charleston Fire Museum is a remarkable and unforgettable destination for the firefighter in all of us!

Collection
The North Charleston Fire Museum and Educational Center is proud to house the largest collection of professionally restored American LaFrance fire apparatus in the country. With over 20 vehicles in our collection, dating as far back as 1780’s, the North Chareston Fire Museum has become renouned as destination for fire history and the preservation antique fire apparatus. All the pieces in our collection still run and can fight fire just like the day it was produced.

Exhibits
The Fire Museum offers its guests the opportunity to get as close to a fire as possible without getting burned. In addition to our collection of antique fire apparatus, the museum offers hands on and interactive exhibits and theater presentations that children and adults will love. From our “Home Fire Hazard Theater” complete with live smoke to our newest show “Are you an Esacape Artist”, guests to the museum will gain an enhanced knowledge and understanding of the history and science of fire and firefighting.

Featured Attractions:
  • Number of Featured allowed is determined by pass duration purchased more info
  • Reservations are typically required for Featured Attractions.
  • You can make reservations  in advance of arriving which are easily made from within the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchase.
  • View tour availability before purchasing TourPass

Standard Attractions:
  • No reservation is required, just show up and present your Mobile Pass for entry.
  • Visit as many as you wish 1x.
Transportation to attractions is not provided. In the Historic District you can use the Trolley.
$0 per Child without Tour Pass. (Pay $0 at the gate! Tour Pass includes full admission)

Completed in 1771, the Old Exchange Building is a Charleston landmark and the site of some of the most important events in South Carolina history. Over the last two and a half centuries, the building has been a commercial exchange, custom house, post office, city hall, military headquarters, and museum. Previously the property of the British, United States, Confederate, and Charleston city governments, the Old Exchange Building is today owned by the South Carolina State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and operated by the City of Charleston.

Admission to the Old Exchange includes a self-guided exhibition on the top two floors of the building and a 25 minute guided tour of the bottom floor cellar, otherwise known as the Provost Dungeon. Docents and other staff members are available throughout the building to share more of the site’s history with visitors of all ages and answer guest questions.

Most visitors spend between 45 minutes and 1 hour on site, though guests are welcome to take as much or as little time as they like exploring the self-guided exhibition.

The Old Exchange is handicap accessible, with an elevator providing access to all three floors of the building. If someone in your party needs to use the elevator to enter the building, please feel free to call us at 843-727-2165 or speak to a cashier, and one of our docents will be glad to assist you.

Featured Attractions:
  • Number of Featured allowed is determined by pass duration purchased more info
  • Reservations are typically required for Featured Attractions.
  • You can make reservations  in advance of arriving which are easily made from within the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchase.
  • View tour availability before purchasing TourPass

Standard Attractions:
  • No reservation is required, just show up and present your Mobile Pass for entry.
  • Visit as many as you wish 1x.
Transportation to attractions is not provided. In the Historic District you can use the Trolley.
$5 per Child without Tour Pass. (Pay $0 at the gate! Tour Pass includes full admission)

The Old Slave Mart Museum, located at 6 Chalmers St., recounts the story of Charleston’s role in this inter-state slave trade by focusing on the history of this particular building and site and the slave sales that occurred here.

History of The Old Slave Mart

The 1808 ban on the United States’ participation in the international slave trade led to a renewed demand for slave labor, which was satisfied, in part, by the creation of a domestic slave-trading system in which Charleston functioned as a major slave collecting and reselling center. The Old Slave Mart Museum, located at 6 Chalmers St., recounts the story of Charleston’s role in this inter-state slave trade by focusing on the history of this particular building and site and the slave sales that occurred here. In the seven decades between the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and the Civil War, more than one million American-born slaves were sold away from plantations in the upper South to work the rapidly expanding cotton and sugar plantations in the lower South.

In Charleston, enslaved African Americans were customarily sold on the north side of the Old Exchange Building. An 1856 city ordinance prohibited this practice of public sales, resulting in the opening of the Old Slave Mart and a number of other sales rooms, yards, or marts along Chalmers, State and Queen Streets. Other Uses Possibly the only known building used as a slave auction gallery in South Carolina still in existence, the Old Slave Mart was once part of a complex of buildings known as Ryan’s Mart that occupied the land between Chalmers and Queen Streets. The complex consisted of a yard enclosed by a brick wall and contained three additional buildings: a four-story brick building partially containing a “barracoon,” or slave jail, a kitchen, and a “dead house,” or morgue. More Recently

Slave auctions at the Old Slave Mart ended in November 1863. The property changed hands many times after the Civil War, and between 1878 and 1937 the building was used as a Negro tenement and as an auto repair shop. In 1938 Miriam B. Wilson purchased the building, which by then, had come to be known locally as the Old Slave Mart, and established a museum featuring African and African-American arts and crafts.

Judith Wragg Chase and Louise Wragg Graves took over the Old Slave Mart in 1964, placed it on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and operated it until its closure in 1987. Recognizing the significant importance the institution of slavery has had in Charleston’s history, the City of Charleston acquired the property in 1988.

Featured Attractions:
  • Number of Featured allowed is determined by pass duration purchased more info
  • Reservations are typically required for Featured Attractions.
  • You can make reservations  in advance of arriving which are easily made from within the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchase.
  • View tour availability before purchasing TourPass

Standard Attractions:
  • No reservation is required, just show up and present your Mobile Pass for entry.
  • Visit as many as you wish 1x.
Transportation to attractions is not provided. In the Historic District you can use the Trolley.
$5 per Child without Tour Pass. (Pay $0 at the gate! Tour Pass includes full admission)

Completed in 1713, The Powder Magazine is South Carolina’s oldest government building. The building was used as an arsenal from 1713-1748 and during the American Revolution in order to defend the city. After 1780, it was retired, and by the early 19th century, it was privately owned. During this period, The Powder Magazine served as a print shop, livery stable, wine cellar, and carriage house.

In 1902, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of South Carolina purchased the building, saving it from demolition. Within a year, it was opened to the public. Today, it is a museum where you can explore colonial military history in the last standing component of Charleston’s original fortifications.

Featured Attractions:
  • Number of Featured allowed is determined by pass duration purchased more info
  • Reservations are typically required for Featured Attractions.
  • You can make reservations  in advance of arriving which are easily made from within the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchase.
  • View tour availability before purchasing TourPass

Standard Attractions:
  • No reservation is required, just show up and present your Mobile Pass for entry.
  • Visit as many as you wish 1x.
Transportation to attractions is not provided. In the Historic District you can use the Trolley.
$3 per Child without Tour Pass. (Pay $0 at the gate! Tour Pass includes full admission)
Save 0 %
or more off of retail ticket prices

Day #1 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 2 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 1-Day.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

1-Day per Person Savings = $64

Save 41% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

Day #2 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 3 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 2-Days.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

2-Day per Person Savings = $111

Save 44% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

Day #3 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 4 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 3-Days.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

3-Day per Person Savings = $159

Save 48% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

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Charleston Frequently Asked Questions

There is never a bad time to visit Charleston, however it is much more hot and humid in the summer season of course.

Most consider spring (March – May) and fall seasons (September – November) to be the best because of the more temperate climate.

Charleston, SC is known for many things such as: 

  • History: from Colonial times to Revolutionary War, the Civil War and Fort Sumter along with it’s unfortunate connection to the Slave trade.
  • Food, culinary experiences.
  • Amazing tours
  • Beaches (Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, Folly Beach and Kiawah)
  • Kiawah Island and the championship golf course.
  • Amazing weather and climate
  • Charleston Harbor and water activities
  • Manners: Charleston has won awards for the most mannerly city in the U.S. 
  • The Ports: Charleston has one of the busiest ports on the east coast. 

You can certainly visit a handful of Charleston’s famous sites in 1-day, however the general consensus is that a minimum 3-days is the optimal time to really experience the city.

Yes Charleston is walkable. We recommend parking near the historic district in Charleston or at this parking garage (25 Prioleau St, Charleston, SC 29401). Start walking east, towards the Battery. There you’ll find antebellum mansions, rainbow row and a network of very walkable historic streets.

TV Shows & Movies filmed in the Charleston, SC area:

  • The Notebook
  • North & South
  • The Patriots (featuring Mel Gibson)
  • Ace Ventura
  • Cold Mountain
  • Halloween
  • Outer Banks
  • Army Wives
  • Southern Charm
  •  Vice Principals
  • The Righteous Gemstones
  • Die Hard with a Vengance
  • The Legend of Bagger Vance
  • The Inspectors

That all depends on what your budget allows. If budget or cost is not an issue then we recommend the following in order: 

  1. Downtown Historic District: This area allows for easy walking to all the top attractions, restaurants and nightlife. (20 minute drive from airport).
  2. The Beaches: There’s nothing better than staying on or near the beaches. There are 4 beaches to choose from: Isle of Palms, Folly, Sullivans and Kiawah, with Kiawah being the furthest away from downtown. 
  3. Mount Pleasant: safe area just minutes away by driving across the picutresque harbor to downtown…and close to the Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island beaches.
  4. West Ashley: safe area as well that’s closer to Folly Beach.
  5. North Charleston: fairly safe and located within minutes of the airport. We recommend staying near Tanger Outlets in this area. 
  6. Summerville: safe and newer properties, however almost 30 minutes away from downtown and the beaches.

Yes, Charleston is known as a safe city. The historic district is extremely safe along with Mount Pleasant and the beach area. As in every metropolitan area there are areas that are not recommended for Visitors, however you would have no reason to visit since attractions and hotels are not located in those area. 

It’s always best to be “street-smart” and be aware of your surroundings no matter where you are in an unfamiliar city. Don’t get overly intoxicated or walk alone at night and ask hotel staff of areas to avoid if concerns persist.

Yes, Charleston has the following beaches nearby: 

  • Isle of Palms: 15 minutes from downtown.
  • Sullivans Island: 10 minutes from downtown.
  • Folly Beach: 25 minutes from downtown.
  • Kiawah Island: 40 minutes from downtown.

Not necessarily since downtown Charleston has a free trolley that transports visitors around the Historic District. If you would like to visit the beaches or plantations then transportation will be needed. Charleston does have Uber and Lyft service.

For more information read this article which includes printable maps

Charleston, SC isn’t more or less expensive than most other popular tourist destinations such as Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head or Savannah. To save money on the top tours and attractions, buy a Charleston TourPass which includes the best Charleston SC things to do