There is no doubt that Charleston SC is one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities to explore – even for a local, it never gets old. Around every corner and back alleyway, there is likely something beautiful you haven’t noticed (as many times as you’ve walked the city). The colonial architecture has successfully maintained its character and quite possibly become even more charming over time. Whether you’re here for a weekend or a month-long getaway, there is always something new to explore in Charleston SC. Here are 5 ways to jazz up your exploration methods and see the Holy City from all angles.
For just $12, you can explore Charleston and the steeple-filled skyline from the water on an hour-long sightseeing tour with Charleston Water Taxi. The boat cruise will take you around four different attractions on the Cooper River – Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, the U.S.S. Yorktown, the Ravenel Bridge, and Waterfront Park. With each stop you can see and photograph some of Charleston’s top tourist spots – the Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park, Civil War fort Castle Pinckney, and retired WWII naval aircraft carrier, the U.S.S Yorktown.
Beyond the boat tour, there are plenty of additional ways to see Charleston by sea. Download the HOBA app and charter a boat for your and your friends with the push of a button. From Harbor tours and dinner cruises to sunset sails, dolphin excursions and kayaking or paddle boarding, you can get your fill of salt water exploration.
Perhaps the most exciting way to see Charleston is from above. You can take a tour by helicopter with Fly-In Helicopters at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. There are several different helicopter tours offered ranging from 15 minutes around Charleston Harbor, to a 30-minute flight out to Folly Beach or Isle of Palms and back. Seeing the Holy City from the sky and flying next to the Ravenel Bridge is an experience you can’t pass up – for only $35! You get a bit of a history lesson while in flight so you may find out a fact or two you never knew.
By Two Wheels
If you’re only in town for a weekend, then biking allows you to see the most of the city at your own pace. You don’t have to worry about the one-way streets throughout the Historic District, or finding a place to park, and you can sneak down the charming alleyways. With several bike rentals around Charleston (Affordabike Bicycle Shop) and even two complimentary bikes that come with our “uptown” downtown rentals Upstairs At Studio 36, you will quickly find this as a preferred transportation method. If you’re not a big biker yourself, hail a pedicab through Bike Taxi and be chauffeured around this jaw-dropping city.
By Exotic or Classic Car
If you live life in the slightly faster lane, hop in one of Dream Classic Rentals classic or exotic cars. Take your pick between an electric blue ‘66 Ford Mustang, a ’68 Camaro or a ’70 Mercedes 280 SL, and cruise around Charleston in true style. With the year-round warm weather always suitable for the top down, you can take in the historic backdrop in a vintage car.
By Horse and Carriage
One of the most classic and elegant ways to travel around the Holy City is by horse and carriage. Charleston is well-known for its carriage tours meandering their way through the cobblestone streets of the Historic District. Travelers are given a glimpse of history and interesting facts relating to the original City of Charlestowne and how it came to be what it is today. Learn about earthquake bolts, historic land owners, and the architectural details that surround this city. A top recommendation is for a private tour with Carolina Polo & Carriage Co to really experience this romantic way of travel!
Of course, nothing can beat using your own two feet to tour the city and really take in all Charleston has to offer. Whichever method of transportation you choose to explore Charleston, you can’t go wrong. Start planning your vacation getaway by booking one of our luxury vacation rentals either downtown or on Folly Beach – and keep an eye out for our newest properties to be announced soon!