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One Day Only - Free Carriage Tours for Locals

Carriage tour guests learn about the Calhoun mansion on a residential tour of the historic district.
Carriage tour guests learn about the Calhoun mansion on a residential tour of the historic district. @ 2017 Jennings King

As long as Traveling Ink has been recommending tours and attractions in Charleston, I've been recommending historic carriage tours as a great way to see the city. January 27th, locals can join in on the fun. Palmetto Carriage Works will be hosting a free carriage tour event to say thank you to locals for their support throughout the year.

Carriage tours are a fantastic way to learn about the history of the downtown peninsula area. The residential tours cover 25-30 blocks of the historic district and help inform guests on everything from architecture, to wartime history, to botany in the Lowcountry. Want to find out why there are pineapples all over the city? Curious what those circular bolts on the side of so many downtown buildings are for? Did you know that Charleston was home to the first golf course in the US? These are all things you might learn about while on a carriage tour.

Palmetto Carriage Works group tour of downtown Charleston Battery
Photo by: Robbin Knight.


The historic district is so big (it's the second largest continuous historic district in the world) that it is impractical to tour the whole thing via carriage. To make tours a reasonable length and relieve traffic burden on any one particular street, the city split the histroic district into multiple zones and devised a lottery system for tours. The smallest government "building" in South Carolina is located on the corner of Church and North Market Streets. It is the onsite office of a city official (often times two) who monitor how many carriages and people go out on tour on a daily basis. These city officials also run a bingo machine (that's right...high tech stuff here) to determine which route each carriage departing will take.

Pair the lottery system with the fact that different tour guides like to focus on different subject matter (there is no shortage of history, buildings, or landmarks to discuss in Charleston), and guests are likely to learn something new each time they experience a tour.

Palmetto Carriage Tour Group Tour
Image courtesy of Palmetto Carriage Works.


I often reccomend these tours to Charleston visitors because it gives guests of our fine city a fantastic overview of the rich history we are surrounded by on a daily basis. However, much like New Yorkers who haven't taken the opportunity to visit the Statue of Liberty or the Met, there are a number of Charlestonians who haven't really explored the well preserved history of downtown Charleston. On Sunday, January 27th, Palmetto Carriage Works will give locals a good reason to do just that.


Carriage Tour Battery Park Waterfront Charleston, SC
Photo by: JB McCabe


For one day each year, PCW, located in the Big Red Barn at 8 Guignard Street, Charleston, SC 29401 gives back to the community by offering local residents free one hour carriage tours. If you live in the Charleston area and would like to get up close and personal with some fascinating history and some wonderful animals, simply show up at the barn with a valid ID. Tours will run from 9:00am-4:00pm and free parking will be available (while it lasts) at 22 Anson Street.

Guests are encouraged to come early, as tours are first come, first served, and Locals Free Day is a very popular event in town. If you have any questions regarding the event, please call Palmetto Carriage directly at (843) 723-8145. Enjoy yourselves and give the horses and mules a little love from me.

Audra Gibson

Audra Gibson is a Christian, photographer, surfer, and a lover of teriyaki steak bites. She enjoys live music, doesn't like to be cold, and she's a bit of a cheese snob. Traveling Ink was her little brain child and she's very happy that you're here. She'd be oh so happy to recommend her favorite tours and attractions in town, help you with a team building event, or organize a day (or week) of fun for you and your group.


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