This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Charleston throughout November. Whenever possible, we will make note of attractions and events that are free, family-friendly or great after dark.
Tours on Fort Sumter are very limited. Fort Sumter Tours, a local tour company, is the only authorized concessionaire of Fort Sumter. They offer 1 – 3 tours per day, depending on the time of year. The tours include a 30-minute ferry ride to and from the fort and 60 minutes on the island. The total length of the tour is just under 2.5 hours.Read more »
This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Charleston throughout October. Whenever possible, we will make note of attractions and events that are free, family-friendly or great after dark.
You have many choices, including walking tours, but also carriage, prison, pirate the true crime tours. For the over 21 crowd, there are even ghost pub crawls. Ghost tours are a great alternative to traditional history tours as they offer insight into the city’s darker history and supernatural legends. Whether you believe in the afterlife or not, ghost tours can be a fun way to explore Charleston’s city center.
If you haven’t already checked out Boone Hall Fright Nights at Boone Hall Plantation, you should! There’s fun for the whole family and it’s a Charleston family tradition – so you’ll get to scream with the locals.
Want to check out a plantation AND have your kids have a blast, too? Check out Magnolia Plantation Family Fright Nights. Everyone will have a blast! Just about every bar in town will have a Halloween Costume Contest or party going on. Check out the Charleston City Paper Calendar for more details.
Under near the church grounds on Meeting Street may lay dozens of unmarked graves, the original residents of Charles Towne lost forever. The next stop on our Charleston Ghost Tours…The current structure of the Circular Congregational Church has grown in size from the original church and may be covering the remains the original churchgoers from the seventeenth century, whose cemetery dates back to 1681 but the oldest grave remaining is from fourteen years after.
The oldest grave in the cemetery and in Historic Charleston dates from 1695 and is that of the Simonds family. They donated the land to establish the church and their unmarked vault is thought to hold the remains of Henry, Frances and an unnamed son.The original meeting house, which led to the name of the adjacent “Meeting Street”, was burned down in a fire, only to have that fate repeated for the next two structures. The current church built in 1891 stands strong today.
The historic cemetery has more than 150 graves from before the Revolutionary War. These historic markers made of slate still today feature the morbid carvings of ancient symbols of death. Some with the skull and crossbones and others “death’s head” but more continued to evolve into “soul effigies” to represent the departing spirit complete with wings.The monuments and cenotaphs of this historic graveyard, covering the past three centuries, evoke a sense of eeriness.
The original theater from the 1700s was destroyed in a fire. It is now located in an early 1800s building that was once a luxury hotel, Planter’s Hotel. While it was a high class place at first it later became the go to for gamblers and drinkers, and with them, working girls. As with most historic theaters, there are a few people from the building that seem to have never left.One of them is reported to be a famous actor, or rather the father of an actor who is not famous for acting, Junius Booth. Booth name ring a bell? John Wilkes Booth’s father is said to watch shows from the balcony. We have no idea if it’s Booth.
In reality, it’s probably not since he died elsewhere but it makes the story better.But more frequently seen is the image of a zombie-like women with ragged hair, wide eyes and a burned red dress. Nettie used the Planter’s Hotel as her “office” until the clients stopped coming. She would stand outside on the balcony wildly yelling at passersby often in the middle of storms. Until one day as she hung from the balcony, ready to fall, a lightening strike took care of that for her.
The Dock Street Theater is open and free to wander around … if you dare. Even better, catch a show while you’re at it!
Battery Carriage House Inn
Built in 1843, this stunning hotel has three resident spirits that are so often seen, there is a even a page for Ghost Sightings on the inn’s website! Rooms 8 and 10 – a headless torso, and a very friendly gentleman.
The headless torso also has no legs or arms and doesn’t seem to be very friendly. Despite not having a head, an angry gasping moan can be heard if you get too close.It is thought he is a Civil War solider who was brutally maimed in a munitions accident nearby at the Battery.
The gentleman likes to climb in to bed with female guests and as soon as they make a sound, he’ll exit through what used to be the door and is now a piece of furniture. One of the previous owners had a sensitive son, college aged, who threw himself from the roof and no one knew why.
A Victorian home build in 1888, since the 1970s it has been a restaurant named after a dog who refused to leave the porch when his owner moved away. But Poogan wasn’t the only one who refused to leave. Zoe St. Armand and her sister lived in the house at the turn of the 20th century. She dressed in long black dresses, with her hair in a bun and wire rimmed glasses. Her and her sister were spinsters and much more inclined to socialise with each other than anyone else. So when her sister died, so did a piece of Zoe. She would be heard yelling out her sisters name and suffered such a break that she was institutionalized until she died in the 1950s.
Zoe is seen regularly. Sometimes in the mirror in the ladies bathroom, or wandering through the restaurant. Often her presence is felt with dishes flying and chairs being knocked over. Sometimes the kitchen gets order tickets from a waiter who isn’t working that night.
59 Church Street
The only place in Charleston whose city plaque (posted on homes around town to tell you the history of the building) states the word “ghost”is at 59 Church Street. The Whistling Doctor, Doctor Joseph Ladd, died in this home after he unintentionally ended up in a duel and was shot in the leg. The homeowners have been on television describing their encounters with this gentle soul.
No place in Charleston feels more as if you’ve been transported back to the nineteenth century than Philadelphia Alley, seen our our Charleston Ghost Tour, with it’s narrow cobblestone walkway lined with historic homes and the wall of St. Peter’s Church.
In it’s original incarnation, the alley was built in 1766 by landowner Francis Kinloch to access the tenements behind his house. It was called Kinloch Court until most of it was destroyed in a fire thirty years later. Left derelict and abandoned, the remaining structures succumbed to another fire in 1810 that destroyed much of the city.
To honor the city of Philadelphia, who sent aid to help rebuild, the area was rebuilt once again and renamed Philadelphia Street in 1811. Not much as changed since then. There is even an old stone with the outlines of a metal carriage wheel etched in it.
But the eerie haze and smoky glow around the now electric lampposts are not remnants of the long ago fires. Ask any local the direction to Philadelphia Street and you may be met with a few moments of silence as they try to recall. For a quicker answer, ask how to get to Dueler’s Alley.
Charleston was (and in many ways still is) a Old World city of honor. Following the Irish Code Duello from the end of the eighteenth century, a man who accepted a duel was willing to risk death to defend his honor. One who was not was considered a coward.
The tragic story of Dr. Joseph Ladd, a well-regarded newcomer to the town hoping to establish himself in order to marry his love, takes place here … a carefree young man of 22 who whistled while he walked, and may still whistle down this street.
Visitors often feel a cool air as they enter the alley, ducking out of the way of imaginary gunshots they hear ringing out as they turn the corner. The long lost souls of men defending their reputation have not far to go – a small cutout of the alley leads directly to St. Philips’s Church graveyard, the next stop on our Charleston Ghost tour.
This post will provide details about each of the tourist passes that are available in Charleston, South Carolina. We will also compare and contrast all of the services they offer to help you make a decision about which one to purchase.
If you’re looking for one easy pass you can use to enter several historic and notable sites in Charleston, this service is definitely worth consideration. The Charleston Tour Pass includes free admission to 29 different attractions.
Check out our personal experience with the Charleston Tour Pass when we used it on our visit to Charleston:
Many of the sites included are very popular locations and will likely already be on your itinerary. In addition to plantations and tours, they also offer free tastings at a few restaurants in the area. Here are just a few places you can expect to visit with the help of this tourist pass. Read more »
This post is our guide to things to do in Charleston, with tips on free things to do, suggested nighttime activities, things to do with kids, top attractions and other points of interest. We also include links to our posts on things to do by month or season. Also be sure to check out our pay-what-you-wish walking tours.
The following is our guide to finding accommodation in Charleston. We have included a range of hotels and hostels with the hope that you will be able to find the one that best suits your needs and budget.
Airbnb is a great option where you’ll find additional rooming options come on the market just for Inauguration as residents rent out spare bedrooms or entire house for the events. Check out their website for more information!
This self-guided tour takes you through a section of the city with a large density of 18th-century sites, including those open to the public for free and some that that charge admission. With houses and buildings that have remained intact since before the American Revolution, Charleston allows your imagination to travel back in time to the when stately horse-drawn carriages rode down quaint cobblestone streets. It also is a reminder of America’s darker past when slavery was legal and Charleston was one of the biggest hubs of the slave trade. Experience this as a GPS-enabled audio tour.
Welcome to Charleston, a city known for its southern charm, fabulous food, and historic significance. To ensure that you leave this city loving it as much as we do, we have create a detailed travel guide for Charleston on a budget. Learn the tips and tricks of the locals to help plan the perfect trip!